Steam stopper pillows vs. long steam stopper?

Dean from Knoxville Tennessee writes,

Standard steam stopper pillows

Standard steam stopper pillows keep heat end by plugging the gap between the two cover panels at each end of the fold.

Can you explain what a steam stopper pillow is? It seems I can either order that or a continuous hinge seal which also sometimes is called a long steam stopper. Help! I do not know the right lingo.

Thank you Pros!

Hi Dean,

This is best explained by the use of pictures.

The first picture to the right shows a standard cover with two steam stopper pillows on each end of the fold. They look like a man’s wallet. As far as we know, every cover made has these as the standard.

The end of the fold area showing how the heat is stopped by the pillowThe next picture shows how the pillows look when the cover is closed and viewed from the end. In this particular photo, the steam stopper pillow is too far in. It should be flush with the outside edge of the cover itself. The reason we show this picture is to point out that looking at a cover from this view, it is impossible to tell if it has just the steam stopper pillows, or if it has the long steam stopper. A hint is the top of the cover. Look how the snow has melted across the hinge.

The long steam stopper

The long steam stopper runs the entire length of the fold

The next picture shows the long steam stopper, or continuous hinge seal, with the cover in the open position. It is obvious from this photo that the foam runs the length of the fold and would seal heat in by blocking the otherwise uninsulated gap between the two panels.

Snow melt across the hinge of the cover

Snow melt across the hinge of the cover

The next picture is extremely useful to show what happens graphically when a cover has only the steam stopper pillows. Why did the snow melt in this picture unevenly, melting above the fold only? Yes, the obvious reason is it. The heat from the spa was able to escape and melt the snow.

This also answers the question, which should I buy for my cover. If your goal is to have maximum insulation, and minimize your heating bills, the long steam stopper will help considerably to do that for you. Typically the long steam stopper is a relatively low cost upgrade and will perform well for you for the life of the cover.

Happy Tubbing!

Ethel Elliott

Written by HotTubCoverPros

+Ethel writes about all things backyard with a focus on replacement hot tub spa covers. You can also chat with Ethel on Twitter!

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