As a former spa repair technician, I have repaired hundreds of spas that have prematurely failed solely because of improper water chemistry and cleaning. New spas less than a year old would require primary motor replacement damaged by rust due to failing pump seals caused by water that has become too acidic. $600.00 spent to replace a motor and wet end that should have lasted six years or more. Leaks caused by early biodegrading of jet body seals is another unnecessary repair item often encountered. A spa sitting on the dirt or grass would develop a small water leak between the foam and tub. This would go unnoticed by the owner for months or years. By then the damage is done. The frame rots or is consumed by termites or carpenter ants attracted to the soaked wood. Improperly maintained spa water on the opposite end becomes too basic, causing scale formation on the shell, clogged filters, and heater elements encrusted with calcium carbonates. Once covered, the heater becomes less and less effective until it eventually snaps because the convection of heat from the element to the water is halted by layers of calcium insulation. More unnecessary money spent on repairs down the hot tub drain. Animals also cause their share of mechanical breakdowns with the largest culprit being mice. These rodents love to nest under spas. It’s warm, dark, sheltered from predators, and provides pipes to run on and foam insulation perfect for building nests. The upper teeth of rats and mice are constantly growing and in order to keep the teeth from expanding into the lower jaw, rodents chew on anything they can find to keep their teeth grinded down. Electrical wires, plastic PVC pipes, wood frames, and so on are all readily available under your spas. Rats are also very intelligent. During our dry Texas summers, rodents will seek out water wherever they can find it. They know which pipes under spas to chew on, not only to quench their thirst, but to add humidity to their habitat as well. An animal lover with a rodent infestation, refused to poison the destructive creatures after I repaired severe electrical and plumbing damage caused by rats. Only after three service calls within six months totaling over $3,000.00 in repairs, all caused by rodents, did she call an exterminator. Lizards also find the underside of spas a nice habitat. The damage they cause is by crawling around within electrical components of control centers, shorting out circuit boards and blowing relays. A geckos death by electrocution could cost you a $400.00 relay board. There goes the 15-30% you saved on your car insurance by switching to Geico. Ants have a tendency to build nests right under pumps between the wet end and motor. This location is where the motor sucks in air to cool itself. Dirt sucked into the motor acts like sand paper, prematurely wearing down electrical brushes and gumming up other moving parts. Ants, like roaches, are attracted to electrical corona discharges and will also ruin circuit boards. Their fried bodies cause resistance between electrical contacts. Resistance causes heat which in turn causes more resistance which caused more heat until eventually, a fire.
These are not stories I have read about in some book or heard secondhand. These are things I have experienced first hand and repaired over and over again. Damage caused by lack of chemical balancing, animals or improper upkeep is not covered under spa manufacture warranties.