In the early days of hot tubs, you actually had to get out of the spa to turn on/off the pump, heater, blower or lights – because electrical switches cannot be within reach of the water, for safety reasons. In 1974, Len Gordon invented the spa air switch control, using pneumatic air buttons (with internal bellows) to activate air switches to turn equipment on/off. Air Control systems use spa side mounted air buttons, connected by an air hose to an air switch, for convenient control of spa components.
Hot Tub Works carries Air Buttons and Air Switches from a variety of manufacturers, such as GG Industries, Herga, Hydro-Air, Len Gordon, Pres-Air, Vico and Waterway.
Air buttons may be selected by color, but more importantly by the hole size (in your spa shell), and the size of air hose that connects. Most air buttons and air switches use 1/8 in. air hose, but hole size can vary from 3/4” to 1-3/4”. If it fits your hole size and your hose size, you can use it to replace your current air button. Compare your spa button to our listed measurements, or give us a call if you need help with air button selection.
Air switches are not selected by color or appearance because you don’t have to look at them, they are tucked away inside of your spa controller or pack. Air switches operate by air pressure produced by the air switch and carried through the air hose. There are many types of air switches, but used in spas, we have momentary, latching and sequencing switches. Momentary air switches only close while you are holding the air button down. Latching air switches will close or open, and stay ‘latched’ in that position until the air button is pushed again. Sequencing air switches control the sequential operation of several loads from one switch. For example, pump, blower, light and off. Pushing the air button cycles through all connected loads, and an all-off position.
When selecting a replacement air switch, look for an exact match in the amperage rating and the number of poles and throws. Air switches can be SPST, SPDT, DPDT, (single or double, pole or throw), or can be sequencing, handling more than two loads. If you need help finding the right replacement air switch for a hot tub or spa, we can help!