VacuSeal Cover FAQs

Who is Hot Tub Products in relation to the VacuSeal System?

Hot Tub Products LLC holds all of the patents to the VacuSeal system and sells the VacuSeal and other hot tub accessories exclusively through hot tub dealers.

Does the cover actually vacuum seal itself to the spa, and if so, how?

YES, though it does require the spa to have a flat level top coping without any abstractions such as speakers or pillows that extend above the coping line. There are three unique features within the VacuSeal that allow it to create a vacuum seal.

First, because of the design of the cover folding inwardly, when it closes there is no gap between the two halves, normally associated with all other covers.

Second, when the cover is closed the hinge is at the bottom versus the top with all other covers. This allows the entire cover to sit flush on the entire perimeter of the spa’s top coping.

Third, the VacuSeal lifter uses a unique process we call “Reverse Pneumatic Technology” which means when the cover is half way open the lifter works upward assisting you in the opening of the cover. And when the cover is half way closed the lifter reverses and creates a pressure downward, unlike most competitive lifters that continue to pull up, actually lifting the cover and allowing heat to escape. This downward pressure helps seal our cover to your spa eliminating heat to escape.

Can the VacuSeal be used on large Swim Spas?

YES! Most swim spa require more the one cover and the number one complaint is the frequent gap often found between where the two covers meet allows heat to escape and rain water to enter. The VacuSeal Swim Spa cover system eliminates this gap and the need to reposition the covers as required on almost all other systems. When installing your VacuSeal covers make certain they are tight and snug against each other. The gap is eliminated on Swim Spa VS covers for 3 reasons. First, the covers always return to their snug tight fit. Secondly, when the covers close towards each other the angle pushes them together. And thirdly, the end of each side of both covers includes a foam cushion material which assists in preventing heat loss and water intrusion. Essentially, there is no other cover system better suited for Swim Spas then the VacuSeal.

Why does the VacuSeal cover always return to the exact same position every time you open and close it?

The VacuSeal Lifter is firmly attached to the Hot Tub’s cabinet frame on both sides and it is the only Lifter that is also attached firmly to four parts of the cover with two unique patented systems; the clamping system at the cover center and the adjustable bracket that slides into the pockets at the rear of the cover. This firm attachment between the lifter, the spa, and the cover helps to assure that your cover will always return to its original position.

Why is it so much easier to lift the VacuSeal Cover off the hot tub than all the other covers with lifters?

VacuSeal customers who have owned other traditional lifters in the past praise the fact that they don’t need to fold the cover in half before opening. Also because we installed dual handles on the short length of the cover it makes lifting our cover much easier.

Which is easier, lifting from the front of the VacuSeal cover or from one of the sides?

Because most men natural possess a higher level of upper body strength they prefer opening from the front of the spa which requires lifting with one arm straight up and angling forward. Women claim to find opening from the side the easiest, especially since we introduced the dual handles. From the either side all you need to do is lift straight up and let go and the lifter does all the work.

Also it’s easier from the side or the front if you are taller or standing on a step.

Which is easier, closing as you exit the hot tub or from one of the sides?

We find the closing the cover from the side, especially the one with the handle is easiest. Men prefer to grip the handle with one hand and the cover handle with the other and in one easy motion the cover is closed. Elderly seniors and especially those with limited upper body strength seldom use the handle. They find it easier to grab the two handles on the cover and simply use their body weight to pull the cover closed. Whichever you choose, once the cover is half closed simply let go and allow the lifter to do all the work.

Closing from the interior is attractive to some since it is quick and simple for the agile. We do warn you to be cautious and concentrate more on a proper exit then the quick and easy closure of the cover.

Why don’t other cover and lifter manufacturers offer a canopy design?

The unique canopy system can only be achieved when using a cover that opens internally which is patented by Hot Tub Products LLC.

Is the VacuSeal brand new or has there been many already sold?

The initial patent was filed in December 2010 and it has been sold since 2011. There are currently thousands of very happy VacuSeal customers.

I have seen an instruction video on YouTube that looks slightly different than what is on the VacuSeal website. How is it different?

The original video was the VacuSeal 100 (First Generation) that was sold exclusively through ThermoSpas Inc. from 2011 to 2014. Though we were quite proud of our first generation VacuSeal and our customers provided high praise on its performance (see question referring to questionnaire) we continued to learn and improve on a good thing. All of these improvements are now on available on our new VacuSeal 200 (Second Generation) model.

Easier to Install

The VacuSeal 200 can be installed in less than half the time as the VS 100.

Virtually No Pipe Cutting Required

Unlike the VS 100 and many other competitive cover lifters there is no need to cut piping on the VS 200 other than on small spas.

Universal Installation on All Spas

Whereas the VS 100 requires the installer to change the location of the mounting bracket with different coping height spas, which often leads to improperly installed units and reinstallation, the VS 200 includes a new “patent pending” Adjustable Bracket that eliminates the need to alter bracket location.

Easier to Open and Close

The VS 200 includes dual clamps (one on each side) vs. only one on the VS 100. This has made the VS 200 easier and smoother in its operation.

Guaranteed No Adjustment Required when Closing the Cover

The new “patent pending” pocket feature on the rear of the cover along with the dual clamps eliminates the occasional variance of cover movement assuring the customer not to have to readjust the cover. This has made the VacuSeal perfect not just for hot tubs but swim spas as well.

Requires No Readjustment of Flap

The new design on the patented cover flap does not require the user to adjust the flap between each half either before or after closing.

Less Failures in the field

The new design attachment of the Swing Arm onto the Mounting Bracket makes it both easier to install and has eliminated failures in the field.

Added Safety

Along with the industry standard locking straps the VacuSeal 200 now offers a new optional patented steel plate that now for the first time locks the lifter to the spa cabinet making it both virtually hurricane proof and much more difficult from entry from a child or an unwanted guest.

More Consumer Friendly

Improved packaging and easier to follow instructions has made it easier for the home installer and service technician. Plus the cover lifting handle now can easily be moved from one side to the other.

Has there ever been a VacuSeal questionnaire done with existing customers?

Yes, in 2013 we sent a questionnaire to over 500 VacuSeal 100 (first generation) owners that had their system for more than one year. Realizing that most people who respond to a questionnaire are unhappy customers we held our breath. But there was no need, because the result were exceptionally good.

RATING SYSTEM CATEGORY RATING RESULTS

5 = Extremely Satisfied Ease of Use 4.15

4 = Satisfied Quality Construction 4.42

3 = Neutral Aesthetics 4.37

2= Dissatisfied Overall Opinion 4.20

1 = Extremely Dissatisfied

Remember this study was done on first generation product and the few negative responses we received were issues all resolved with the new generation VS 200. We are very excited about conducting a new questionnaire in 2015.

The most frequently asked question is “Why hasn’t anyone ever come up with the idea of the VacuSeal system earlier?

The company Hot Tub Products was founded and developed by the same owner and founder of ThermoSpas, a national manufacturer of hot tubs. From 1983 to 1995 ThermoSpas sold via hot tub retailers similar to all other manufacturers. In 1995 ThermoSpas began selling spas directly to the public and developed into the largest retailer of hot tubs in the industry. With sales exceeding well over 100,000 hot tub covers and by conducting many focus groups a valuable insight was gained, unavailable to traditional manufacturers, into what the consumer liked about the use of covers and lifters and certainly what they didn’t like. Comments often heard; “Do you guys realize that I’m watching steam leave through the center of my cover”, “The lifter you sold me helps but I still have a tough time folding the cover in half”, etc. helped develop the VacuSeal.

COVER QUESTIONS

Why are there no other spa covers that open like the VacuSeal?

Hot Tub Products LLC owns numerous patents on this cover design.

How does the VacuSeal Cover hold the same weight load as a standard cover that is thicker?

The hinge on all traditional covers that connects the two cover parts (the weakest point of the cover) is located at the top. When weight is placed on the cover the tendency is for the cover to fold downward relying on the strength of the hinge (which is made of only vinyl). 

The VacuSeal is the only cover that uses a bottom hinge between the two cover halves and is secured to the VacuSeal lifter in 8 different locations. So when weight is place upon our cover it is supported by the cover not the hinge. What little pressure is placed on the hinge is secured by a hinge that is made of strong nylon strapping that is also secured by multiple horizontal nylon straps on the underside of the cover. As the saying goes, “the strength of the chain is determined by its weakest link”. Unlike all traditional hot tub covers the VacuSeal Cover has no weak link and is constructed with the highest quality materials which includes steel support inserts in the interior foam.

Can I order the VacuSeal Cover in a 2 lb. density or a thicker foam core?

Yes, but since we vacuum seal all the heat in and prevent cool air from entering you will not be gaining any level of higher energy efficiency. 

Do you have on file specifications of most commonly manufactured covers?

We have an extensive data base of most the major spa manufacturer covers in a CAD file. If the spa is a new model having us use this data base but it is still preferred to use our simple order form that requests dimensions of cover, radius of corner, height of skirt, length of strap along with whether you want a vinyl or Sunbrella outer skin and which color you choose. Every cover is custom built and shipped within 10 business days of order.

Are there any negatives to a thicker cover or one with a higher density foam insert?

Yes, the thicker the cover and higher the density foam will add additional weight to a cover and make it more difficult to open and close.

How can you claim that the VacuSeal Cover will last longer than traditional covers built with the same material?

There are four areas that cause a cover to require replacement; 1. Not using a lifter and having the cover hit the ground. 2. Using a lifter that puts pressure on the vinyl hinge or interior core of the cover. 3. Damage to the interior protective wrapping on the foam that causes it to take on water and become extremely heavy. 4. Single stitching and/or poor stitching to the vinyl skin exterior.

The VacuSeal Lifter uses a patented clamping system that applies no pressure to the hinge or damage to the core. The VacuSeal Cover utilizes double and triple stitching, a vinyl skin 20% thicker than most competitors, and computerized manufacturing process that vacuum wraps and heat seals the interior foam.

All other spa covers talk about the importance of a seal installed where the two sides of the cover hinge together. Is it important and does it fully prevent heat loss?

All traditional covers when closed have a space approximately 1 ½” wide between each cover part and are attached with a vinyl hinge at the top. This space and upper hinge is necessary to properly fold the cover in order for it be raised along with providing space when and if the user purchases a conventional cover lifter that has an approximate 1” diameter tube to assist in raising the cover. Unfortunately this space is the primary cause of heat loss in a spa resulting in loss of energy efficiency and increase customer expense in keeping the water to temperature. Also an open space at the top of your cover can result in a degradation to your water’s chemistry, which means requiring the need to use more spa chemicals.

Because of these issues some of the better covers are sold with a foam seal on each end, and a few covers even include a full extended seal along the entire width of the cover. Having a seal at each end is strongly recommended but also you should consider buying a cover with a full extended seal. Without the full extended seal you have approximately a 1 ½” width that extends about 5 to 8 feet long (depending on the width of the spa) that only has thin stretch of vinyl to prevent heat loss.

Unfortunately even the best traditional cover with a full extended seal does not fully prevent heat loss. This is most evident on cold nights when you can actually still see the heat escaping from the cover.

Why does a VacuSeal Cover have no seal between each side?

The brilliance in the design of the VacuSeal is constructing a cover that folds internally with a unique clamping system to raise and lower the cover. These patented designs provide many benefits; easier operation, added safety, ability to use as a canopy, and improved aesthetics while the spa is in operation. But the most important benefit is that when the cover is closed there absolutely NO space between each cover side at any point along the entire fold of the cover, requiring no burdensome seal. Plus with the ability to use a bottom hinge and a cover lifter designed with Reverse Pneumatic Technology, the cover is vacuum sealed to the spa helping to prevent heat loss.

Why does the VacuSeal have a flap between each side of the cover and does it help with energy efficiency?

The patented flap between each half of the cover is designed to prevent debris from collecting at fold when the cover is closed. Though every piece of material is considered a benefit in energy efficiency it is not the primary purpose for its design.

What is the advantage to upgrading to a Sunbrella exterior?

Here are just some advantages;

  • More attractive and upscale looking then traditional vinyl
  • Nearly 20 lbs. lighter than vinyl making it easier to remove and replace the cover
  • The longest cover skin warranty in the industry: 5 Years 100% Warranty
  • One of the top Consumer Name Brands in America

Can you clean the Sunbrella material?

The enormous success of Sunbrella in the marine and outdoor furniture and awning industries is that it is so durable and easy to clean. Simple soap and water works and for any aggressive stains Sunbrella makes available specialized cleaning solutions.

Is the Sunbrella material used the same as what I find on outdoor furniture, and if yes will water pass through it to the interior foam core?

There are hundreds of material types and colors that Sunbrella offers. The material used on VacuSeal covers does not allow water to pass through.

Why did Hot Tub Products choose Core Covers as their cover supplier?

Core Covers is not only the largest manufacturer of hot tub covers in the world but they also produced the highest quality covers. The following provides insight into some of their unique manufacturing practices;

Their vinyl is 20% thicker and heavier than most competitors on the market.

To allow for custom orders they purchase all foam in blocks and cut internally vs other suppliers that purchase foam pre-cut.

All cutting of the internal foam and the exterior vinyl is done from CAD drawings. This assures that each cover is cut exactly to the measurements specified by your hot tub manufacturer. Most cover suppliers use templates to cut from which could cause variances.

Unlike almost all competitive suppliers all Core Covers are serialized which provides the customer the ability to order a new replacement cover years into the future and receive exactly the same size cover. It also provides both the consumer and supplier knowledge as to the exact original color, location of the fold, and if any customizing was performed.

Orders can be tracked within a computer system. This provides answers to customers when they ask when their cover will arrive.

Covers are manufactured and shipped from both the West Coast and East Coast which minimizes shipping cost and time of arrival. 

LIFTER QUESTIONS

To install the clamps on the Lifter do you screw into the cover?

No! The unique design of the VacuSeal patented clamping system is that it requires no intrusion into the cover. The clamping system consists of two parts, upper and lower. The bolts viewed are welded to the lower clamp where the upper clamp slides into place adjusting to the thickness of the cover. The clamps have a rubber pads on each of the sides that touch the cover along with the bottom part of the lower clamp. This assists in preventing any damage to the cover or scratches on the acrylic spa. Attachment merely requires a hand squeeze of the two clamps and the installation of two nuts onto the welded bolts. Attractive plastic caps provide a finished look.

I don’t see a lock on the VacuSeal lifter when it is in the open position, should I be concerned with the wind or someone outside of the spa accidently pushing the cover closed?

First and most importantly it is strongly NOT RECOMMENDED to use any spa with a cover lifted with the use of any lifter during a windy day.

Traditional cover lifters that raise the cover with pneumatic gas shocks and hold it in position above the spa are required to have a locking systems. The cover can easily be pushed closed by a heavy wind or an accidental push because the gas shocks are positioned so as not to provide any resistance and the cover when opened is designed to naturally close. Always make certain when using these lifters that the lock automatically engages when opened, since most people will forget or guests may not be aware of this requirement. The problem with the locks on these lifters is that they handle only a minimal of pressure and most are simply plastic deterrents. And because very frequently the user forgets to disengage the lock upon exiting the spa, it’s the most frequently broken item on the lifter. Adding to the misery is that since this problem is caused by the homeowner it is not covered by the warranty often causing friction between the dealer who sold the lifter and homeowner.

The VacuSeal lifter is designed fortunately to not require any locking mechanism to prevent accidental closure, for two reasons. First, the two 90 lb. gas shocks are uniquely installed with our Reverse Pneumatic Technology design so that they prevent closure and secondly the cover is designed to require the shorter first half of the cover to be swung out before allowing you to easily close the cover. A 200 lb. person leaning into the opened cover will not cause the cover to close. But when you gently swing the first half of the cover out the cover lifter allows easy and safe closure.

Why is the VacuSeal Lifter made of Galvanized Steel versus aluminum like almost all traditional cover lifters?

The number two cause of damage to a lifter that has a locking system is aluminum arm that raises and holds the cover in place, especially as covers take on water and get heavier. For covers without a locking system this is the number one cause of damage. And as you would guess, neither is covered by anyone’s warranty.

That VacuSeal is built of galvanized steel and includes more material and structural integrity than traditional aluminum lifters. For example the VacuSeal lifter comes in 2 separate boxes and has a total weight of 45 lbs. versus a traditional pneumatic lifters weighing between 17 to 19 lbs. Even if the VacuSeal were constructed of aluminum the thickness and additional components would weigh in at approximately 30 lbs.

How can you claim the VacuSeal will last longer and is worth more than traditional lifters?

The VacuSeal has these advantages over traditional lifters on the market;

There is no lock system required to engage and disengage when lifting the cover. A major cause of damage on many traditional lifters.

The lifting arm is constructed of galvanized steel that will handle much more customer abuse and not bend if the cover was to take on water.

Most competitors use Chinese aluminum that can easily bend or merely plastic that has a great deal of movement and is prone to break. The VacuSeal mounting bracket is constructed of galvanized steel and rolled steel bosses. It is designed to be firmly attached to frame of the spa and is has no movement and is not prone to bend or break.

The VacuSeal is made in America with highest quality component parts and is designed to last the life of your spa.

Should I be concerned with the VacuSeal Cover folding down when the Canopy Arm is being used?

No, the rolled steel Canopy rod is attached and locks into the steel Swing Arm and the weight of the cover prevents it from coming loose. The Canopy bracket locks the cover up and will sustain adequate weight load.

INSTALLATION QUESTIONS

Can a VacuSeal be installed on any portable hot tub?

Fortunately over 85% of all the portable spas manufactured can benefit from the installation of a VacuSeal system. Because the VacuSeal mounting bracket requires a flat surface along the cabinet for installation round spas and those that have a corner radius greater than 12” cannot benefit from the VacuSeal. Also spas installed flush to the ground cannot be installed with a VacuSeal. The bottom coping perimeter of the spa must be a minimum of 4” off the ground.

Can a VacuSeal Cover be installed on spas that have speakers or other products that extend above the flat perimeter coping of the spa?

In most cases yes. Just as in other spa covers the VacuSeal Cover can be ordered to have a vinyl only covering that does not include a rigid foam core to cover the extended features above the coping(except if the extended feature is located at either end where the Rear Support Bars are to be positioned). Unfortunately all spas with speakers or other features raised above the top perimeter coping, no matter whose cover you choose, loses their energy efficiency, and cause higher operating costs.

Can you install a VacuSeal Lifter onto a spa with a cabinet constructed of PVC?

Yes, most of the VacuSeal installations have been on cabinets constructed of PVC. But the mounting bracket should be mounted with at least 8 screws into a 1 ½” thick wood framing material. The mounting bracket is designed to be attached to the upper level of the spa flush with the bottom coping of the acrylic shell or top rail if the spa has one. At this top level most spa manufacturers include a horizontal wood framing material of 2”x2” or 2”x4” making it convenient for attachment. If the spa does not include this material frame structure it is recommended to remover the PVC panel and install a rear support 2”x4” wood stud to the existing frame.

How close to the wall can the hot tub be located when using a VacuSeal?

The side of the VacuSeal that holds the cover up and in place requires a 9” clearance. This can be reduced if necessary to 7” but will hold a few inches over the coping of the spa. This is only an issue for those spas that have controls located there or very narrow copings adjacent to pillow areas.

What can be done if the spa has rail that extends out preventing the cover operation?

If the spa has a top rail perimeter that the acrylic coping sits on and if that top rail extends beyond 1 ¼” then you must install a wooden spacer behind the mounting bracket on each side.

Do you ever need to cut any of the steel tubes on the VacuSeal, like other cover lifters?

Yes but only on small spas where the spa is less than 66” x 78”.

Does the installation placement of the mounting bracket change due to the coping height of the cover?

The newly designed VacuSeal 200 released for sale in early 2014 includes a patent pending Adjustable Bracket that requires no repositioning of the mounting bracket no matter what the coping height is on the spa.

Is it easy enough for a consumer to install?

The 2014 VacuSeal 200 includes many new features that has made the VacuSeal simple enough for DIY homeowner to install especially due to the professional easy to follow new written and video manual now available.

How much time does it take to install a VacuSeal system?

A first time installer should follow the instructions specifically as written in the manual and/or performed on the video and allow approximately 1 hour for installation for the new VacuSeal 200. Although once a service technician installs their first new VacuSeal 200 the installation time is reduced to approximately 25 minutes.