24 Hr Circulation pumps

Circulation pumps also called “Hush Pumps”, and “Silent Flow” pumps are sold as an advantage and often as an upgrade on Hot Tubs.

The Pitch is that they are small efficient pumps that clean your water 24 hrs. a day and are quiet and efficient to run.
It’s usually about a $500 upgrade and in my opinion, they are not as good a the alternative which is a high flow circ system.
  • Although they use a small amount of power they run 24hrs a day whereas the high flow pump only has to run about 4 hrs a day to clean the same amount of water both systems use similar amount a power per day.
  • They wear out more quickly because they run all the time.
  • The tiny energy savings against the increased cost of replacement parts make them more expensive over the long run.
  • They can only filter so much water a day. if you have a heavy bather load or a party or busy weekend of hot tubbing it can take them a while to recover whereas with a high flow system you can change how many hours the pump runs! So after aย party, you can throw it on 24 hr mode (or any other amount) and it will filter up to 6 times more water than a circ pump can over the 24hr period.
  • Circ pumps are also low flow and this means you need to be very regimented with filter cleaning, if the filter gets too dirty they go into flow error easily, the hi flow systems don’t unless you are truly negligent.
  • The new anti vibration mounting systems make the good hi flow 2-speed pumps almost as quiet as the Hush pumps, there is very little difference.
I’m not a fan of these systems I think they are sold to add margin into a deal or added value perception. It’s all marketing spin.

12 Comments:

  1. One question I left out, please advise between use of Aquafinesse and Spa Frog Ease system. Appears more people have skin issues with bromine than with chlorine?

    • skin issues are tricky, they can have more to do with the acidity levels of the water, contaminants or sensitivities.

      Spa frog is a zinc or copper or silver ion system, similar to eco pure or any number of other systems, by them selves they help reduce chemical use but in my experience they are like all the rest, the enzyme or aqua finesse systems are different tech, the ion systems kill bacteria on contact the other inhibits bio film formation to stop culturing of bio cultures… one treats the symptom one addresses the cause.

      Aquafinesse is much better tech.

  2. Hi Chris thanks so much for website and volume of info inside. After a couple months of research I narrowed my choices to the MasterSpa HL7 and the MaaxSpa 471. Your previous posts and website data clearly steer me to the Master HL7. I have concerns about the differences in power of the pumps, both have 2 pumps. Maax states it has 2- 56 Frame 2-Speed 3.0 HP 6.0 bHP pumps. What is the difference between HP and bHP ratings – are the Maax 3 or 6? Master rep states the company doesn’t talk about HP anymore, only amps. I believe rep stated 3 amp pumps and stated he thought that the pumps were at least 3 HP but there is nothing in print. How do I relate one to the other ? Is this something to even be concerned about in light of the other overwhelming evidence steering me to Master rather than Maax ? I asked Master rep about brands and he stated without my using the names that they use Balboa for electronics but stated pumps were not a specific brand but can change based on their experience over time with any given pump manufacturer. Thanks so much for any advice you can provide!

    • This is a great point and a big issue, rating water pumps in Hp is slippery ๐Ÿ™‚

      The Hl spa has two 10 amp pumps.

      Ignore pump power because what really matters is if the pump power is balanced for to match the flow rate of the jetting… which you dont have a hope in hell of figuring out ๐Ÿ™‚

      the big thing to be wary of is too many jets or too many big hi flow jets without a diverter system to concentrate the water into the seats.

      both those spas will perform very similarly

  3. We own a rental cottage that sleeps 12. We have a 6 person hot tub, that was bought for low price only. We are in the market to replace the hot tub, with one that might be able to handle the “bather load”. The hot tub is a big draw to our rental, and we want to make sure we get the right tub next – we considered a Hydropool self cleaning – but it sounds like that may not be the way to go (?) based on your review. Perhaps we should be looking at a commercial model (?) Love your site, have spent hours on it today but thought I should simply ask the question of the expert!

    • Hi Rob

      go roto mould its reliable and hard to break… go minimal bells and whistles and one pump… no one cares at a rental they just wana soak and drink.

      water quality is always an issue… spilled drinks and high usage are a big problem. stay with a hi flow circ system and put the filter rate up high.

      use like spa marvel and a floating dispenser for chlorine.

      try to find a Getaway spa or a Nordic

  4. Hi Chris, love all the info you put out, thank you. Been doing a lot of reasearch on tubs, followed all your videos and have landed on the Master Twilight 6.2 over the Hot Spring Sovereign. Still had a couple questions though….. You’ve stated not to fall into the add on traps, one of them being a “hush pump”. However now they come standard on the Master tubs and I was wondering if they are still prone to the same problems like wearing out faster since they run 24/7 and not being sufficient for proper filtering? Also the vac-formed abs bottom, ( I know you say no) but the brochure states it will help retain heat. How is that since there is foam between it and the underside of the shell and heat rises….. Maybe because it keeps the tub bottom off the ground and and preventing the cold grind from sucking the heat out? Mine will be on a paver platform and have proper drainage but if it helps, is it worth the $500. Last, there is not a motor heat recovery system available on the twilight, not even as an add on…. why not? The Hot Spring still has one. Is there any aftermarket system I can get for it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

    • Hey Mike

      They are not standard on the masters, they are an add on. the local dealer might just have them in stock that way so they are standard for him…

      There is nothing wrong with the vac formed the bottom, I just don’t know if it’s worth buying I would say there is very little energy difference. The issue I have with these bases is when they try and tell you that you don’t need to prep the ground and can just throw it on the grass…

      All spas with integrated pumps reclaim the motor heat, most companies don’t even talk about it but as soon as the motors come on the heat build very quickly in the motor area and the ozone system (standard) draws the heat in through the ozone and injects the heated air into the water, You disconnect the heater on that Twilight and It will stay above 80 f from the motor heat.

      • Hey Chris, thank you for the quick and great response.
        OK, now I understand. It’s funny how the dealer wouldn’t even mention motor waste heat after I asked about it ( they even said it doesn’t have a waste heat recovery system and that it wouldn’t make a difference even if it did) when it would definitely be a positive for someone interested in their spa purchase . . I was just surprised to see an actual flex line coming off the Hot Springs motors to the ozonator and nothing like that on the Master. But like you stated if the heat is staying in the cavity between the skirt and icyene foam, it makes sense it would be drawn into the ozonator.
        So now let me ask you this, he was selling a 2017 model 6.2 tub for $7899, he stated if I went with the 2018 it would be $1500 more. However if I got the 2018 model without the circulation pump do you think it’s worth the difference in price? If I take the 2017 model with the circulation pump and when the pump eventually dies, can you remove it and bypass the plumbing like it would be on a tub without that pump? So I’m not replacing it every so many years which would obviously eat up my $1500 savings
        Sorry for all the questions, but I’m sure everybody on your site really appreciates all the information as I do.
        Thank you

        • Mike, you are singing my song….

          Sometimes the information is not right for a number of different reasons. it varies from nefarious to simple misinformation, misunderstanding, to proper full on deceit and everything in between.
          some times it is just the grey area…

          heat reclaiming systems have always existed, the motor waste heat on almost any tub with an internal pump system is quite efficient. But some companies make a point of putting a $5 pipe on it then spin it like call spa used to do and according to some guy named Mike what Hot springs are now tech regurgitating :-), some put cheap insulation in their spa and make the heat recovery the excuse of why they don’t fill the cavity and most just accept it as a given and don’t talk much about it. hell, he might have read somewhere that it’s not effective and just is not clear on that minuscule fine point for hot tubs… there are not a lot of people that know what I know LMFAO ๐Ÿ™‚

          You can remove and replumb a circ pump system and the reality is for some people it works fine but there are really no advantages to it in my opinion so I would be loathe to spend money on it…

          • Thank you once again Chris. As long as I know I can re-plum if and when the circulator pump fails I think I will get the 2017 model year tub that already has it rather than spend another $1500 on a 2018 tub without it . Too bad you’re not a dealer near me, I would watch rather get a tub from you than anyone else. Thank you again!
            MikeD.

  5. Chris HELP!!!!
    Here’s what I have: Brandnew in June
    Master Spa 8.25, Mast3rPur, EcoPur Charge and started the tub up with Aquafinesse (bromine) per your advice about micro-film.
    I’ve developed sever jock itch and I was told “you got it from your tub”. I’ve never had jock itch before and time line adds up. (What changed got a “hot tub”)
    Check levels every other day: actually a little obsessed about them, my water looks crystal clear all the time.
    Bromide levels approx. 3 to 4
    Ph 7.2 (but I always have to add acid or Ph down)
    Alkalinity is at least 100 I always have to add increaser too. Try to run at least 150
    Again per your advise.
    I thought with ozone, UV light,copper & zinc I’d never have any issues with sanitation.
    Bath nude again per your advise and it’s a wayyyyy better experience.
    I’m so afraid to get back in this tub thinking I’ll get jock itch again.
    I’ve been in many hot tubs in the past with no issues and I know mine is whyyyy cleaner than any cabin tub.
    Dear God Please advise!!!!
    I respect your opinion and will follow your advise, you haven’t steered us wrong. We LOVE this tub but I’m scared to death.
    Your biggest fan
    Cam

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