Hot Tub Maintenance 101

Owning a hot tub is one of life’s greatest exclusive pleasures – but the enjoyment will totally tank if your hot tub is full of bugs, mildew, or poor quality water. All hot tub owners should properly engage in hot tub maintenance to ensure sanitary use and reduce the risk of unsafe bathing. Hot tub maintenance is easy – especially when you use items you already have in your home.

 

  • Sanitize the water. Ensure your water is sanitized to prevent algae growth and to kill any bacteria your tub may be harboring. The best sanitizers for hot tub water are minerals like salt or copper which are much safer to use than chlorine or bromine which are caustic that can damage your skin or equipment; which one you use depends on your local water chemistry. We recommend Pristine Blue (copper) to all of our customers.

    Check up on your water sanitation every so often with a test strip, and oxidize every week or so to remove oils, hairsprays, and other chemicals that may have gotten in. To keep water cleaner longer, place a tennis ball in the skimmer or right into the water to attract oils and lotions and prevent them from entering the filters.

  • Clean the filters. By cleaning out your hot tub’s filters monthly, you’ll ensure your spa stays safe and hygienic. Take out the filters and spray with a high pressure water stream. If the filters show buildup of oils, soak them first in filter cleaner (or simple dish detergent) and warm water, and then spray and reattach.
  • Drain on schedule. Pool and hot tub cleaning experts assert the importance of draining the tub every three months. When the water is drained, cover the lower return inlets (we recommend regular household wares like panty hose) to prevent debris from recirculating. Do a thorough clean of the sides and bottom of the tub before refilling.

 

  • Cover it up. A hot tub cover will safeguard your tub from dirt, particles, and other debris. It will also help ensure safety, preventing young ones from falling in, as well as keeping heat from escaping. A hot tub cover is anything but optional, and a quality cover will last with regular cleaning. Naturally we would encourage you to use a SpaCap to cover your spa. Every one we make is Custom made, built to last, will insulate better than a typical rigid foam cover plus it won’t break or get heavy.

 

With proper maintenance, your hot tub can provide enjoyment for years to come!

Where to Put Your Hot Tub

If you’ve decided to get a hot tub, congratulations! You’re well on your way to many hours of long relaxation and enjoyment. Don’t forget to consider placement, however; where you put your hot tub will dictate your level of enjoyment for years to come. There are several factors to take into account when making this crucial decision.

  •  Access. It may seem obvious but the long term enjoyment of your spa will be largely determined by how easy it is to get into and out of. Make sure you leave enough room around the spa to remove and replace the cover. Don’t shove the spa into a nook where you can only approach it from one side.

 

  • Indoors or outdoors? When choosing whether to place your tub inside the home or outside, consider the pros and cons of both options. If space isn’t a problem, an indoor hot tub benefits from minimized exposure to the elements, convenience, and privacy. Cons include tracking water outside the tub as well as potential draining or leakage problems damaging your home.

    When placing a hot tub outside, it will be exposed to outdoor debris, such as foliage, dirt, and insects. When not in use, it’s important to protect your tub with a quality cover. Leakage or drainage issues on the outside are usually less problematic than with an indoor tub, and there are many more placement options available if you decide to place it outdoors.

  • To Sink or Not To Sink. Many spa owners want to put the spa sunken into a deck. The idea being the  spa will be easy to use.  More accidental drownings involving small children occur in flush deck mounted spas. This goes down greatly if the spa is only partially sunken, bench high. It still makes it easy to get in and out and can make getting the cover off and on easy too.

 

  • Surface. A spa full of water will be heavy, so it needs to be placed on a structurally sound surface. This will support the weight of the tub, the water, and human occupants. Placing your hot tub on an uneven surface sets it up for damage and may void your warranty.

 

  • Drainage. Ensure your outdoor spa has proper drainage so any spillage or rainwater will not pool around it, causing potential damage.
  • Access to power. Ahead of time, plan for proper access to your circuit panels and power source to ensure adequate heating. A quality hot tub cover will keep heat inside.
  • Proximity to home. If it’s outdoors, your tub should be near your backdoor for convenience’s sake; no one wants to traipse across the yard in heavy rain or snow to access a hot tub. It should be close to a bathroom for changing and drying off, as well as to water spigots for filling. Close proximity to your home will also give you a better view of the yard.

Steps for Safely Using a Hot Tub

A hot tub or spa is a great way to relax, allowing the jets to soothe sore muscles and the warmth to envelop you. In particular, spa use during the winter months is one of the most enjoyable seasons for submerging the body in warm water. Read on for more information about critical steps to ensure safety for all hot tub users.

 

The most common hazard of hot tubs, according to the CPSC, is drowning. Around 20% of drownings occur with children under five years old.

 

  • What to do: Hot tub owners should always keep the hot tub covered with a lockable  cover when it’s not being used. Always keep kids away from the hot tub when an adult is not available to supervise.

 

  •  Use a light weight cover: As odd as it sounds many Hot tub owners are injured or drowned under a heavy cover. When a typical foam cover becomes too much of a hassle to remove all the way off the spa, many owners just lean it back against a nearby wall. Unfortunately when the cover falls back onto the spa unexpectedly an injury to the head or neck can occur and in some instances cause drowning. This has never occurred even once in the last thirty years with a SpaCap air filled cover.

Hair entanglement is another safety hazard. This happens when a hot tub user’s hair is sucked into the spa’s suction fitting, or is entrapped by the drain cover while water is drawn in. As a result, the CSPC has developed a standard for drain covers to reduce this risk; still, hot tub users should ensure safety.

 

  • What to do: Make sure your spa has proper drains and drain covers approved by updated security standards. Bathers with longer locks should always tie their hair up to further reduce the risk.

 

Many deaths have occurred as a result of water that is too hot. A high temperature can make you drowsy, which can result in falling asleep or passing out.

 

  • What to do: Keep the temperature of your hot tub at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) or less. If you are a pregnant woman, stay out of the heat, and be sure to keep kids under five away from hot water as well.

 

Finally, adults who drink alcohol while using a hot tub put themselves at major risk. Alcohol causes dehydration, which combined with the tub’s heat can lead to light-headedness, nausea, confusion, dizziness, and in the worst cases, coma or death.

 

  • What to do: Don’t drink before or during use of your spa.

 

By following the above tips when using your hot tub, you’ll ensure a safer, more relaxing time for all participants.

Hail damage

We get a lot of inquiries from spa owners that are replacing their cover due to hail damage. Traditional rigid foam covers get hammered by hail because they don’t absorb impact very well. As people who live in areas of heavy hail storms know, anything rigid is going to take a pounding. The solution to this would be something that is able to give or absorb impacts. In Hollywood when a stunt man falls from a great height, he wants to land on something that will absorb his impact like an air bag. The air bags the stunt man lands on are designed made from the same materials as the SpaCap. Now the stunt air bag is designed to open and release air when it “catches” the stunt person so please don’t use your SpaCap this way. However if your house is on fire and you have to jump out of the window to save your life aiming for the SpaCap would probably save your life. However you are a little bigger than the typical hail stone and the damage from you jumping on the cover would not be covered by the warranty. But no matter how fierce the storm or the hail stone the SpaCap will give or catch it without damage. We have tested it by driving golf balls into it, dropping bowling balls on them and just having them in use around the country in areas that get severe hail storms. We do a brisk business replacing foam covers after a storm but so far not even one SpaCap has been damaged by hail.

Sun damage

If you own a hot tub in Texas, Arizona or at altitude in the Rockies you know what sun exposure can do to a vinyl spa cover. The reason is all vinyls are rated by hours outdoors. Normally 1500 hrs outdoors is pretty standard which amounts to about 100 days if you only count daylight hours. Makes it seem kind of silly to put vinyl on anything that’s going to be outdoors. Vinyl will always crack and fall apart eventually if it is exposed to temperature extremes and or UV. That’s why Sunbrella™ was invented. It has been the gold standard in outdoor fabric for more than forty five years. Sunbrella™ is manufactured by Glen Raven Mills here in the USA. Made from acrylic fiber woven into a canvas like fabric it offers the breathability of canvas without the shrinkage, rotting or fading. One of the great advantages of breathable fabric is that it does not trap moisture in like vinyl where it can grow mildew, If your present rigid foam cover smells like mildew the vinyl on the outside is one of the reasons why. Since acrylic is the same stuff most spas are made of Sunbrella™ is incredibly durable. Sunbrella™ doesn’t crack in cold like vinyl, or fade like canvas. If you live near a marina every boat top you see out there in a bright color is Sunbrella™. Anything else would fade out quickly, even the paint on the boat will fade before the Sunbrella™ will. Years ago a neighbor came to me and wanted me to repair his sail cover. His sail cover had been on his sail boat for twelve years, through all the weather the northwest pacific coast could through at it. For those of you who don’t know sailing, the typical sail material needs to be protected from exposure when not in use so it is bundled and covered with a sail cover. The sail cover is the shield that covers the expensive sail from damage. My neighbors sail cover was made from Sea Grass Green Sunbrella™ which is a bold fairly bright green. I explained to him that if I patched the cover with new material it would look terrible because new bright material would stick out like a sore thumb on the faded older material. I laid a piece of new material on his old cover to prove my point. To my astonishment the only difference between the two was his was a little dirty. Once it was cleaned and patched, there was no difference between the new fabric and the old even after constant exposure for twelve years. If your spa is outdoors and your tired of replacing your cover due to sun damage you really need to get the only spa cover that is offered in Sunbrella™ fabric the SpaCap.