The Spa Dragon: Wintertime Peace of Mind

The Spa Dragon helps protect spas from costly freeze damage

When temperatures drop, the risk of spa freeze damage rises. However, The Spa Dragon helps protect against costly repairs through its monitoring system and thermal backup protection.

Jordan McCrimmon, owner of SweetWater Pool and Spa in Kelowna, British Columbia, is already a believer in this product after selling several since it was released in August 2023. 

While one of McCrimmon’s customers was on vacation, their spa broke, risking freezing pipes and busting components. The Spa Dragon immediately began heating the spa cabinet to keep the plumbing and operational equipment from freezing. It also alerted McCrimmon and the homeowner about the issue, so McCrimmon scheduled a regular maintenance call before the customer even had a chance to contact him.

“Without The Spa Dragon, I would have had to get out there the morning after, if not that night,” McCrimmon says. “So, it actually bought me time, as well as peace of mind for the client.”

What is it?

The Spa Dragon can be placed inside any spa to monitor the temperature of the water, the spa cabinet and the outside air. If the water or cabinet temperatures drop below the level set by the owner, it activates a heating unit that keeps the cabinet and all the electrical and plumbing equipment from freezing. It then notifies the homeowner and up to four other people that there is a problem. 

“The primary goal of this device is the notification end of it,” says York Sikora, director of The Spa Dragon, the company behind the product. “We’re keeping the cavity warm, which is where all your plumbing components are. We’re keeping the wolves at bay until you can get the tub up and running again.”

How does it work?

The Spa Dragon is installed inside the cabinet mounted on a post or tied directly on top of the pipes. A temperature probe is tied onto one of the pipes and insulated with foam to give an accurate water temperature reading without interference from the ambient air. 

The Spa Dragon operates from its own electrical cord with a built-in GFCI outlet, which allows homeowners to plug it into a separate breaker system from the spa. If the spa breaker trips, The Spa Dragon continues running. 

Sikora says many customers plug it into an outlet protected by a backup generator, so if the power goes out, the generator will keep The Spa Dragon working. 

An indicator light installed on the outside of the spa gives visual cues to the stability of the hot tub, even if the Wi-Fi goes down. A green light means everything is operational, but a flashing red light indicates the spa needs attention.

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Peace of mind

A litany of issues can cause freeze damage to a spa, such as a short in the heating element, a malfunctioning computer system, low water levels, a dirty filter, a failed circulation pump, a tripped breaker and more, Sikora says. Closely monitoring the temperature of the spa and alerting the spa owner immediately could save thousands of dollars in repairs.

Typically, owners must rely on neighbors, friends or family to check on their spa when they are away for an extended time. The Spa Dragon alleviates the burden on these people and gives the spa owner peace of mind.

Additionally, it saves money on service calls. Rather than a spa tech making an expensive trip after hours, they can schedule a regular maintenance visit because they know The Spa Dragon is protecting the equipment from freeze damage.

The product can also be helpful for owners of vacation homes or Airbnb properties, who are not near their spas regularly.

Business boost

Sikora says some retailers use The Spa Dragon as an incentive to purchase a spa, offering to include it in the deal. Because The Spa Dragon is small, employees can carry multiple in their vehicles to potentially sell and install during service calls.

“It’s a great way for a business to add revenue when it’s typically a slower time,” Sikora says. 

Additionally, Sikora says most spa owners don’t realize hot tub warranties do not cover freeze damage, which sometimes leads to angry customers. Working The Spa Dragon in the sale can prevent this problem. 

“I trust this product enough that I sell it with installation, and if I install the unit, I guarantee there’s no freeze damage on the spa for up to one year,” McCrimmon says. “When I install it, I put my name on the line for that time frame.”