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Rodents Under The Hot Tub
I had a customer call, complaining about the service provided to his hot tub right after I installed a new heater, tested the functions and closed out the repair order. Just a side note, the job entailed a 160 mile round trip. They stated that when they tried to get into the hot tub that night it was ice cold. I didnˈt know why they were complaining about the tub being cold, it was perfectly hot when I left! I stated that I would return and fix the problem. I drove the 80 miles to the job, going over in my head what I could have done or not done. I had finished this type of job lots of times with no problem. I couldn?t figure anything out in my head so I decided I would have to wait until I got to the job site.
I arrived about 10 am and tested the hot tub. Sure enough, no heat. I checked the usual things like water level, clean filter, etc. All were fine. I then decided to open the hot tub skirt and control box and that?s when I discovered a field rat or mouse sleeping very hard on my new heater! He or she - I didnˈt check - had shorted across both leads to the heater. I took photos and called the medical examiner for removal of the critter. I then reset the breaker and like magic, the tub heated. Another almost happy ending!

Rats and mice love the mild warmth and protection underneath hot tubs and will build nests there when possible. One way to solve the problem is to buy a quality spa with a continuous bottom so that none of the rodents, mice, rats, squirrels, or any other type of critters are unable to get underneath the spa. Of course a rodent is a rodent so there are no guarantees but the sealed bottom is a great feature to look for in a new hot tub.

If a new hot tub isnˈt something you can do at this time, you should look for places where a mouse could enter the one you have. They are tiny and can squeeze through a 1/4ʺ gap. Look at the place where the electrical line goes into the access panel and where the hot tub meets the ground. Seal up all possible areas where they could be entering with steel wool. Make sure you donˈt feed pets near the hot tub. You may also want to grow mint plants near the edges of the hot tub, where possible, as it appears to be repulsive to mice. Mint essential oils seem to work as well.

Written by John Bonds, Service Technician
All About Spas and Leisure Living
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