The Myth of R-Value and traditional foam filled Hot Tub Covers.
R-value is a form of measurement of the ability to resist heat transfer for materials like the fiberglass insulation in your house or maybe the insulating foam in hot tub covers. The intent is that, the greater the R-value, the better the heat storage and, heat retention would be the primary job of any hot tub cover.
Most industries using R-values are regulated by FTC standards. Commercially sold insulation must pass independent tests created by American Standards and Testing Methods (ASTM) so as to be advertised or marked using their R-Value.
The Misled Masses: As there is no FTC recognized independent test for spa covers, So ANY stated R-value stated by a spa cover dealer is in reality an unregulated, unmonitored “interpretation” of a given insulation value. It is open to misrepresentation and abuse, from adding the R-value of an air space between the water and the bottom of the cover, spacing between the vinyl and the cover insulation, or simply blatantly inflating the fictitious number. Some hot tub dealers state exclusively the known R-value of the insulation itself, but of course that doesn’t mean that it was tested and endorsed to use in hot tub cover applications.
The R-value of the actual foam insulation, no matter the density, is ONLY rated for use in DRY building applications! Which signifies the fact that the R rating of the foam is only applicable should it happen to be applied in a wall, attic or floor. Because should it were to be used in a moist environment, that type of insulation would fail quickly.
Foam Density and Foam Thickness.
These two factors that spa cover dealers claim affect the R-value of a spa cover, when in fact that R rating itself has nothing to do with the foam when it is used in a hot tub cover. Actually, it is as misleading as the idea that a taper on the cover will really keep it from getting heavy.
True, the foam density and thickness would have a bearing on the insulation properties In the event the Usage of the foam were in compliance with the designed use of a completely DRY environment.
Regardless if the dealer claims his spa covers are made with the most costly spa cover foam (rigid cellular polystyrene thermal insulation) available, resists breakage, vapor absorption and chemical damage more than all the others they’ve tested. The truth is, R factor is NOT something they test, and RESISTING breakage and saturation are not the same as AVOIDING it altogether.
When looking for and comparing spa covers, ALL claims associated with R-value of a cover that has foam are totally unsubstantiated. Foam Density and Foam Thickness do not have any ADDED R VALUE, since the foam is not designed to be applied over a wet environment. Most spa cover dealers repeat exactly the same numbers and consequently hot tub owners have been trained to believe the lie. Some dealers employ some fancy charts to substantiate their claims, however the main point is those claims cannot be in accordance to the ASTM.
R-value testing of materials is completed at room temperature, and doesn’t take into account moisture and vapor. In the spa environment, there is hot water and good amounts of steamy moisture. Each of which will dramatically reduce the R-value of any foam. A spa at 105 degrees will defeat the R-value of any foam tested to use in a dry application.
Don’t allow the R-value of foam be considered the measurement for spa cover quality. Instead search for a spa cover with NO FOAM. A hot tub covers that use air filled chambers as an alternative for rigid foam boards will out preform any other, in any test or real hot tub application. (Hello, SpaCap)
Don’t be fooled by claims of high density and weight, vacuum wrapped in sheets of heat welded polyethylene, sealed in heavy gauge marine grade vinyl, with chemical resistant scrim and stitching. It won’t insulate as well. It will definitely still become saturated, warped or broken. It truly was obsolete thirty years ago.
Selecting a hot tub for the first time might well be an awesome and terrifying experience all at the same time! There are plenty of factors to consider when committing to the right hot tub. If you hire a bad installer, a bad brand, or maybe the wrong spot to install the spa, you could be regretting your decision long into the future!
Fortunately, with evaluation and research, it is possible to avoid any headaches or buyer’s remorse down the road.
Here are several considerations you’ll need to make before installing your new hot tub.
Inside vs. Outside
Most residential spas are installed outside. Whenever you install a spa outside, you don’t need to be concerned about small leaks. Any leak will certainly require maintenance promptly in the event you have an indoor tub. Meaning that you will most likely need to hire a contractor unless you happen to have the extra time and skills to solve it yourself, so it is generally more expensive to put in an indoor hot tub in your home.
You may also have to deal with chemical smells, and fumes if you install everything inside. You may experience issues with moisture and humidity. Many indoor hot tubs are installed within the bathroom, so basically they are not ideal for hosting parties.
Needless to say, there are many pros to installing your hot tub indoors. You have full privacy indoors. You won’t have to clean it as much inside, and of course the weather will likely not keep you from enjoying the new spa!
When it is located outside, you will want it to be pretty close to the residence. You may regret installing a hot tub far away from the house come next January! Remember the fact that the hot tub uses both electricity and water, therefore you have to have the utilities nearby.
Who Is Going To Install The Tub?
Many individuals who don’t have the budget to engage professional installers may try to complete the installation in their own time. For most consumers, it is recommended you hire professional help while installing your brand new hot tub.
There are a number of regulations which could be required to be followed in your location. Some local governments require home owners obtain a building permit to put in a hot tub. Other municipalities might require you to setup a fence or barrier to enclose the hot tub. Professional dealers can guide you dealing with all of the regulations that might ought to be followed in your community.
While you work with a local dealer, you are most likely going to pay a bit more for the exact same model than you would with any other provider. They also are not going to have the same choice of spas as one might find on the world wide web.
When you make use of the nearby dealer, you’ll be able to “wet test” the hot tub you might be considering installing. This is often extremely important because you could in fact test out the merchandise on your own before your final decision. Short people may require a higher raised seat to sit comfortably inside the tub without going below the water, while tall people might prefer a tub with a lower seat. You have the ability to see how the jets are working and also if they will be positioned in the right areas for your maximum comfort.
Local dealers will most likely carry the top brand names in order that you can setup a quality spa. If you use a local dealer with the top brands, they will be inclined to offer great customer support during the entire installation process, and they can explain the warranties available with your purchase.
Should you make the choice to install the hot tub yourself, there are a couple of the different choices available. You may be able to find spas at big box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. The experts will advise you that many big box stores sell knock-off brands which don’t provide you with the same quality of materials as you may possibly find with local dealers.
You may also find a large number of internet dealers where you can purchase a hot tub. This presents its own challenges and difficulties. It may be possible to get better pricing, however you will actually need to check out reviews for the internet dealer to guarantee they are a reputable company before selecting. Read all of the fine print before placing an online order online so you are aware the terms if the tub is damaged or if you will be able to get help installing it from the company.
Choosing the Features
There are several other features to consider when buying a hot tub. Many individuals believe having a tub that has a lot of jets is clearly the better way to go, though this is not necessarily the reality. It would be better to take a look at the positioning of the jets. Virtually everyone has a distinct preference as to how they like the water jets to get positioned.
We have already discussed the seating arrangement. In order to accommodate the most people, you may want to choose a tub with multiple levels of seating. Imagine yourself actually relaxing in the hot tub. Will you care to extend your legs while sitting in the hot tub?
There are plenty of amenities which are available for those people who have larger budgets. Perhaps you would like to be ready to watch the big game while entertaining a party at your house? Some dealers sell high-end hot tubs with televisions. If you are more likely to enjoy a perfect date night, you may choose a built-in surround sound system for your hot tub.
While in the evening hours, you may wish to have lighting around your spa. You may want to purchase a tub with multi-colored lighting that will look great during the night once the sun sets. Some hot tubs are sold with workout equipment and waterfalls too.
Think relating to the uses for your spa. Is it possible to foresee a lot of folks using your spa at parties, or is it just for you and your spouse? If you even think may desire to host parties someday, it may be wise to invest in a larger tub.
Do you think the novelty of a hot tub will wear off eventually? If you are not really sure, it is advisable to go with a cheaper option to find out how you like it first. If you do in fact use your tub constantly after a year, then you can always upgrade in the future.
Many hot tubs include steps. For anybody who is older, you may recognize that you might have trouble stepping into the tub in your later years. Due to this, a lot of people are setting up recessed tubs that you don’t have to climb any stairs in order to get into the tub.
The moment the delivery date arrives, ensure you have access to the area in which the tub is going to be delivered. The tub needs to be able to fit through your fence entrance if it is going in the back yard. If you are installing an indoor hot tub, you will need to get the tub through doors and hallways.
Many people forget the calculate the cost of regular maintenance after the tub is installed. Consider how the hot tub may influence your electric bill. Additionally you will need to purchase various chemicals in order to keep the water clean. To avoid debris from entering the tub, as well as to help insulate the water, acquire a spa cover such as the SpaCap.
Installing a spa on your property brings many years of fun, excitement, and relaxation to your life. To ensure you end up with a safe and headache-free installation, it is advisable to work with an expert contractor accustomed to installing spas. Look around prior to the time you make that decision, and be certain to test out a number of tubs for yourself so as to get a feel for what you like.
You want to buy a swim spa but you do not know from where to begin? You have no idea which manufacturers offer the best swim spas or which features differentiate one brand from another? Our goal is to covers the strengths and characteristics of some Swim Spa brands available on the market. No matter what are your needs, we hope to help you find the one which best fits your needs and expectations.
Dimension One Swim Spa – The Aquatic Fitness System brand of Dimension One is designed not only to relax, but also to exercise, so it corresponds to all of your demands and wishes related to swim spas. You can use it to swim, walk, run, stretch, and strength exercises or just to enjoy the recreational effects of the swim spa. No matter which age group you belong to, Aquatic Fitness System will definitely meet your expectations. You can choose from 4 types of spas according to your needs. AquaFit Sport’s water management system which ensures you clean water every time you exercise, the forceful swim jets and the cross-training functionality make it your functional underwater gym. What can be better than that? After your exhausting training session, the AquaFit Pro, offers you with its patented Jet Therapy® pillow, the ultimate relaxation experience. The AquaFit Play will provide you many moments of pleasure with exercise, fun and relaxation due to its max therapy seat, patented water cleaning system and stereo and lighting package (optional). AquaFIT PLUS is the king of Dimension One Swim Spas, not only because it is the largest one, but also because you can adjust the water temperature separately: you can have a different temperature in one side of it while you are exercising and another in the other part which is ideal for soaking and spa.
These luxurious spas have a lot of innovation: they are environmentally friendly and energy efficient, include water cleaning systems and interior innovations. Visit their page to read more about these amazing swim spas.
Cal Spa provides a full aquatic gym in the comfort of your own home. The Cal Spas’ Jet Stream Propulsion System is designed for both amateur and professional swimmers. The two jets produce current both on the top and under the water. Cal Spa offers a large variety of options for their customers in order to help them to improve their swimming and hydrotherapy experience. Cords attached to the anchors of the spa can make your training easier; the built in Isound system or stereo with CD player and the led options make your spa time more joyful. The entry level swim spa provides 22 jets and is designed for 6 people. The top of the line model has the capacity of 10 people and includes 70 jets, it consists of a zone designed for swimming and workout and another separated one for hydrotherapy and soaking. Like the Dimension One offering you can set the temperature separately for both areas.
Endless Pool Swim Spas offer you the great opportunity to spend fun and valuable time with your friends and family, without exposing you to the dangers and unpleasant features of the public spas. These spas are designed to be suitable in almost every size backyard and have much lower operating cost than normal sized pools. These spas can be used indoor or out, and are available in four different sizes. The ten foot, fifteen and seventeen foot long, offer a fairly spartan layout with one seat to relax in after your workout. The top of the line nineteen foot model offers the separate spa end with the by now expected dual temperature control. According to their website, the installation consists of 3 easy steps: place, fill up, and connect the power. Although it makes it sound like you just plug it in, because it requires 220 volts and a 60amp breaker, it’s not quite that simple. You can adapt not only the temperature, but also the current according to your preferences.
The Michael Phelps Swim Spas by Master Spas were developed “with input” from the famous swimmer, Michael Phelps, and his coach, Bob Bowman, and the professional engineers of Master Spas. The company website claims that these are one of the most energy-efficient swim spas in the industry, due to the eco-friendly icynene foam insulation. In their own words, “Every swim spa is built to not only meet but to exceed the stringent California Energy Commission (CEC) efficiency standards.” They also have high density polymer base which keeps away pests and helps to maintain the heating, manifold plumbing which ensures the equal spread of pressure in the jets. They also contain Noise Reduction, EcoPur and Ozone systems. The EcoPur® System contains a filter which integrates a combination of minerals which help not only the elimination of bigger impurities, but also of the microorganisms and heavy metals, resulting in softer water. The Ozone System eliminates the pathogens, making the water fresh and clean. Its Wave Propulsion™ Technology System offers you a swimming experience with less turbulence and the SwimNumber™ System allows you to set the suitable swimming, training speed according to your needs. Some workout programs are pre scheduled, so you can choose between the beginners, intermediate or advanced levels. Again it is available in a number of lengths and configurations including the spa on one end that can be at a different temperature. The one obvious difference is the housing. On the pump end, the one you swim toward, a good foot to eighteen inches is taken up by the pump works. Not a huge deal but if your buying a cover for it, you’ll be covering a section you can’t swim in or sit in.
SwimEx Swim Spas apply paddle wheel instead of jets and propellers to generate swim current. The fiberglass panel construction of these spas is similar to the aircrafts’ panels. SwimEx is based on a special shell designed to control the course of water. In the past this manufacturer was mainly oriented towards corporate customers like universities, hospitals, but in more recent years they have become more and more oriented towards residential clients. Customers can choose from a large variety of custom options for their indoor or outdoor SwimEx including colors, finishes and water depths. The first glaring difference between these swim spas and others listed so far is that they are not designed to be stand alone spas in their own cabinet. True they can be set up for indoor or outdoor installation but that installation will be sunken. This is more of a commitment since installing it will be very similar to an actual swimming pool. Plus as you would expect from a builder that has focused on commercial applications their spas are a little more utilitarian. The website has some very attractive photos but the main focus is on the pleasing deck work around the spa rather than the spas themselves.
Arctic Spas Swim Spas claim to be the perfect choice for even the cold weather and climate, they are easy to install and very energy efficient. The patented Forever Floor® will save you time and effort in connection with installing, because you do not have to work on a spa foundation. The Total Access™ system Đ makes every interior component easy to access for repairing. The insulation of the floor and of the wall (foam) of these spas was developed to stop heating from escaping. The biggest difference between the Arctic Spas Swim Spas and the others we covered here is that rather than offering several different sizes they only offer one size with different interior options. From a manufacturing point of view this is a great idea. Every cabinet is the same size which saves time and money. For the home owner it takes one decision off the table and you can focus on the options instead. This manufacturer does not offer a model with a spa in one end. The down side of this is that you’ll be exercising in the same temperature as when you are using the spa for relaxation. So you’ll have to either workout in water that is too warm or relax in water that is a tad on the cool side.
These are 6 of the largest manufacturers, who, based on their years of technological research and experimentation, offer a large variety of swim spas which meet the various needs of customers. If you have decided to purchase a swim spa, list your preferences, and what you want from your purchase to match them with the technological features provided by the spa manufacturers available on the market.
When you’re ready to cover your investment, visit SpaCap.com. While spa manufacturers have been working on designing and building swim spas, SpaCap.com have been building the perfect swim spa covers.
No matter which company you purchase you swim spa from they will offer a traditional rigid foam filled spa cover. The problem is that depending on the overall length of your new spa, that cover will consist of three or four individual panels. And just like every other foam filled cover ever made, those panels will eventually begin to saturate with moisture from the steam coming off the spa water, (starting the day you fill your spa) until they are too heavy to lift. (Normally one section will be notably heavier within six months)
Invariably with four separate sections this will happen at different speeds. So you the owner has to choose to struggle to remove and replace that one section or just leave it on and try to use your spa under it.
Bar lifters won’t help once the cover becomes too heavy either because you will still have to flop it over the bar while trying not to strain yourself. Then push it off the end of the spa. When the cover is heavy it will either rip itself apart (because the seam of the cover is not built to handle the added weight) or worse it will rip the bar lifter off the sides of your spa potentially causing damage to the spa cabinet.
The SpaCap Swim Spa Covers by contrast, don’t employ foam so there is nothing to soak up the moisture. They are built to stay lightweight and easy to use. Visit SpaCap.com and order one for your swim spa today.
If you own a hot tub you already know how great it is, all the health benefits and reasons to use it. However, you want your spa to be comfortable and safe for your family and guests. Today we hope to cover the most optimal temperature for your spa water.
Most hot tubs at hotels and other places open to the public are set at a standard of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Residential hot tubs typically come set between 100 to 102 degrees.
Naturally, it is largely a matter of personal preference and there will always be others who want their water hotter or colder.
People interested in saving money on their power bill during the winter months, may want to set their hot tub to a lower setting since the weather outside will typically be colder and make the water feel plenty warm.
Those that use the hot tub for therapy may require a higher setting. In those instances you can raise it to 104 degrees which is the highest setting for any new spa commercially available. This is in accordance with the National Spa and Pool Institute’s finding that 104 has been determined as the highest safe water temperature for healthy adults.
Most hot tubs intended for home use allow for a water temperature setting between 80 and 102 degrees. But what feels comfortable to one person may seem unbearably hot to another. Although you may feel that the temperature setting on your hot tub is a matter of personal preference, there are some physical signs that our bodies send us to be aware of. Below are a few of the ways our body lets us know that we may be getting too hot along with the problem if you don’t pay attention.
Lower heart rate. Like many things this is one that sneaks up on us because relaxation itself will cause your heart rate to slow down. The problem is that for some people, the heart rate slowing down too much can be deadly. The warm water of the hot tub will slow your heart rate as you relax and your blood vessels dilate. If for any reason you start to feel light headed or you notice someone else showing signs of it, it’s time to get out of the spa and cool down.
Vasodilation. As I mentioned above the hot water will cause blood vessels to open up, especially those close to your skin. Although great for increasing blood flow to extremities and for decreasing blood pressure, it too can be a problem. People suffering from heart problems or chronic low blood pressure should be careful to limit the time they spend in the hot tub. If it’s your hot tub and you want to be able to spend a longer time soaking, this would be one of those times setting the water temperature lower would be a good idea.
Dehydration. Actually this one is way more common than you might think. Especially among those of us that think the hot tub is a perfect place to enjoy an adult beverage. While you’re enjoying the soothing sensations of the hot spa water you’re sweating. We just don’t realize it because we’re sitting in the warm water. Plus, and this one is even harder to wrap your head around, our skin is drying out. You’re becoming dehydrated while you’re sitting in hot water. Crazy right? But it’s not a joke. If you don’t keep hydrated (and no alcoholic beverages don’t count, in fact they make it worse) you could end up with a headache or some other more serious effect of dehydration. So for the safety and well being of yourself and your guests keep drinking plenty of water, before and during your time in the hot tub. Save the adult beverages for after your spa time.
It would be irresponsible of us not to mention that if you are concerned about heart complications or any other health risks, it would always be better to consult your physician. Maybe the doctor can suggest a safe hot tub temperature for you.
Years ago when we would travel to home shows all over the country, in our display we would have a video set up showing an actor being injured by a heavy foam cover slamming down on them. It would run continuously during the home show. Eventually, invariably a visitor to our booth would tell us that it had happened to them.
Heavy hot tub covers can be a more than just annoying, they can be a serious hazard. That’s why the covers we build at SpaCap.com don’t use foam panels like the typical rigid hot tub covers. We use air chambers to do the insulating instead. Aside from being more efficient, the air chambers don’t suck up moisture like every foam-filled cover ever made.
Why not order a custom SpaCap spa cover for your hot tub today and save yourself the aggravation of wrestling a heavy cover.
Hot tubs are really meant to relax. When you soak in the hot water you soothe away all of your everyday problems and concerns. While your body soaks, you feel it starts to revitalize. Besides the beneficial effect felt on the surface of your skin, a hot tub also has a positive impact on your muscles and joints. The continuous and periodical use of a hot tub can contribute to the improvement of many different health conditions. In the following lines we will present some of those:
Helps to combat sleep problems – people experience sleep problems because of many different reasons; some are due to our hectic schedules and everyday stress. An exhausting working day or life related problems can be overwhelming to us when we are trying to sleep. Sleepless nights can damage our everyday life; they lead to fatigue and daytime sleepiness which affect our ability to concentrate. The National Sleep Foundation recommends soaking in a hot tub for approximately 15-20 minutes but not right before going to sleep (it would be better 1-2 hours before in order to avoid overheating). It will ease your sleeping. Aromatherapy fragrances like Chamomile, Lavender and Jasmine can also increase the calming effects of the warm water. Try to drink a lot of water before, during and after using the hot tub, but avoid alcohol. The most optimal water temperature for healthy adults is between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
Improves the circulation of the blood flow – The blood flow is facilitated through 3 major means: the buoyancy, the hot water immersion and the hydrotherapy massage. While you are soaking, the buoyancy reduces the load on our joints and muscles, one of the most important being our feet and ankles which support our body weight all day long. If you spend long hours sitting at your job, the buoyancy will also benefit a circulation to your posterior.
Helps with arthritis, low back pain and fibromyalgia– soaking in warm water stimulates the blood flow and relaxes the muscle, so it helps patients to relieve pain and stiffness. It can also be important to do stretching exercises in warm water, because it considerably reduces the pain and increases the psychical functions. For patients with this condition it is best to do so in warm water and not hot water. A moderate psychical activity is beneficial for the health and if you perform it in water your joints and muscles will not experience any excess pressure.
Hot tub can decrease the symptoms of flu, and even to shorten its duration. Warm water relieves aches in connection with flu by relaxing the muscles, helps you to unclog your stuffy nose and facilitates sleeping (which is indispensable when you fight flu or a cold). Besides these, soaking in warm water can imitate a low fever, which is the natural reaction of your body to combat viruses, because low fever triggers the immune system and helps to hold back the growth of the viruses.
Note: If you have a cardiovascular condition (including arrhythmia, tachycardia, high or low blood pressure) or diabetes, it is important to consult your doctor regarding the use of the hot tub, because it can be dangerous for you. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor regarding the use of hot tub by children and pregnant women!
Okay, now that we have given you all the reasons you need to rush out and buy a hot tub, we have one more thing to help you get the most benefit from it. Imagine getting all relaxed in your hot tub and then straining yourself trying to get a heavy awkward cover back onto your spa. Kinda defeats the therapy.
Washing your cares away in the warm embrace of pulsating water jets followed up with getting your blood pressure up because you get angry while putting the heavy cover back on the hot tub. Pointless.
Here at SpaCap.com, we have just what you need to keep those good vibrations. We have been building Custom Hot Tub Covers for thirty years. Imagine a hot tub cover as easy to use as moving a fluffy comforter onto your bed. No exasperation required. Our hot tub covers use air to insulate rather than foam so there is nothing to soak up moisture which is what makes all other covers heavy.
Don’t let all the good your hot tub can do for you be wasted on a heavy, outdated, obsolete cover just because that’s all your local dealer has to offer. Order your own custom made SpaCap, and change your life for the better. Okay, maybe I over shot that a little, but it will at least make it easier.
The hot tub is the ultimate relaxing tool in a modern home. You can have your home spa and you do not have to share it with other people. But the comfort also requires attention and responsibility. In the following lines you can read tips regarding how to keep your hot tub adequately clean, safe for your sanity, plus recommendations on how to avoid corrosion and other problems related to the functioning of your home spa.
Check daily the quality of water, including Ph level, calcium hardness and alkalinity. The Ph level should be above 7.2 and below 7.8, the optimal level being 7.4. Use strips, 1 or 2 times a week to check water balance, this is just as important to check as any other chemicals you might add. If the levels do not correspond with those which are shown on the chart that came with the test strips, adjust them.
The Calcium level depends of the hardness of water of the area where you live. Soft water is low in Calcium, hard water contains higher amount of calcium than the normal level. If the Calcium level is below 100 -200mg/l, use Hot Tubs Hardness Plus, if it is above use Hot Tub No Scale to adjust it.
The alkalinity should vary between 125 -150mg/l. It also depends on the properties of the water used to fill the hot tub. If the alkalinity level is stable, the Ph level will also be stable. If it will deviate from the normal level, you should use Hot Tubs Ph minus (if it increases above) or Hot Tubs Ph plus (if it decreases below).
If the alkalinity and the Calcium level is higher than normal, the water will not be clear, and if those levels will be above the normal ones, it can result in corrosion which will damage the hot tub’s components.
Check your algicide/bactericide levels. Here at SpaCap.com we prefer that people use PristineBlue which is easy to use and maintain with the advantage of being safer for skin and hair, plus more environmentally friendly. If you choose to go the caustic chemical route, you will need to check the chlorine or bromine levels with either test strips or the more accurate test kit method. If you don’t check these levels, your hot tub can become a “deposit” of bacteria and algae. If the bromine level is not between 3 – 6mg/l, and the Chlorine between 3 – 5mg/l, you have to correct it with Bromine tabs or Chlorine granules. One more thing to note for those who use chlorine or bromine, these chemicals are not just hard on your skin they also will eventually wear down spa parts like impellers and jets.
In order to increase the hygiene levels of your hot tub try to oxidize it one a month. That will eliminate odors, cosmetic and body oil remaining. For oxidizing use Hot Tub Non Chlorine Shock.
For keeping clean the water, there is also the Aquafinesse, Aquagarde or BaquaSpa, which are patented solutions with many beneficial effects. They are environmentally friendly, easy to use, gentle to skin, prevent forming bacteria, but they tend to be a little more expensive than the other products.
Check for foam! If you see foam on the surface of the water, apply Hot Tub no Foam. If the solution does not eliminate it, clean and refill your hot tub with fresh water.
Try to schedule and determine an order regarding what you have to check, because in this way you will not omit anything. Add chemicals separately, for example if you add Chlorine wait at least two hours to add another type of chemical, so you will avoid reactions between the substances and will increase their efficiency. Another recommendation regarding chemicals is that you should choose high quality ones, because, despite the convenient price, there is a chance that they will prove to be ineffective. You don’t want to jeopardize your health or peace of mind and perhaps the trouble free functioning of your hot tub for the sake of a few pennies.
Clean the filter once a month with a proper filter cleaning solution. The dirt and detritus which accumulate in the filter can obstruct the flow of the water and therefore the normal functioning of the tub. The procedure is simple: remove it, spray it with a hose to eliminate the residues, place it in a bucket with filter cleaning solution. Then rinse it again with the hose to be sure you removed any dirt and chemical residues.
Change the water periodically, taking into consideration the frequency of use of the hot tub. If you use it quite often you should change the water at least 4 times a year, if not, you can refill it twice a year. When you are changing the water, after draining it out, do not forget to clean the spa shell itself. Use a tub surface cleaner and wipe it clean with a slightly wet sponge. Rinse the shell well. Then you can fill up the spa with clean and fresh water.
You can use fragrances, but only those ones which are designed for hot tubs, otherwise it will form foam on the surface of the water. As mentioned above, foam is not good for your home spa.
To be eco friendly, keep the hot tub’s temperature low, at eco-mode, and raise the temperature 20-30 minutes before you want to soak. Do not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check with a thermometer too, because the thermostat may not be as accurate and you do not want the water to be too hot for you or your guests safety.
Always cover the tub when you’re not using it, and check to be sure the cover is properly secured on the hot tub, because in this way you can avoid wasting energy which is good for you as well as for your pocket. If you are using a traditional rigid foam cover to do this the dealer you bought it from may have recommended to clean and condition it once a month with vinyl protector, because in this way you will avoid to let UV rays to damage it. What they don’t tell you is that the vinyl on the outside of your cover is rated by HOURS outdoors. 1500hrs to be precise. Cleaning it and rubbing it with vinyl treatment is just wasting your time and money while prolonging the inevitable. Which is why all SpaCap Hot Tub Covers employ Sunbrella outdoor fabric which is rated by (wait for it) YEARS outdoors. In fact we have seen Sunbrella fabric still looking brand new after ten years outdoors. Nothing else comes close. That said, if you do need to clean your cover for some reason, use the solution just on the top of the cover and pay attention to not let the solution to pour into the water of the spa. It is better to take it off and clean also the underside of it with a mild cleaning solution. Rinse well and air dry.
When using the chemicals for cleaning, please read the instructions carefully (the ones on the label of the product) and use them according to the instructions, precisely measure them, never mix the solutions. This may sound like we are harping on this but for good reason. Believe it or not, some common cleaning solutions can be extremely dangerous when mixed with other common things. For instance, the reason you won’t see exposed aluminum on the bottom of a pool or spa cover (like a radiant reflector to bounce heat back into the water) is because if it were to come in contact with chlorine, it produces a poisonous gas. Always store your spa chemicals in a cool and dry place and more important, away and out from the reach and sight of children and pets! Keep chemicals away from the direct sunlight.
So you have to pay attention to many aspects regarding the cleaning and normal functioning of the hot tub, which in the beginning may seem endless, but after a little time passes it should become the part of your regular routine. It’s worth the effort! You can enjoy your hot tub every day while it banishes away your stress and helps your muscles, joints, and your whole body to relax. It will also be a place where you can spend hours with your friends and family knowing it is always ready.
Your hot tub cover will protect your water from debris, animals, and some airborne bacteria, while also trapping the heat inside and saving you money. Naturally you want to get the most cover for your money. You want a cover that will do the job and last a long time. The following are a few tips for picking out your hot tub cover.
Make sure it fits. Your hot tub cover should fit snugly over all sides of the hot tub, and should rest very close to or on the surface of the water. If the sides are loose, then animals could crawl in to get to the warmth or the hot water will evaporate and escape.
If it is too high off the surface of the water, hot water will evaporate, cling to the underside of the cover, then cool and drop back down into the water, lowering its overall temperature. Not to mention that the evaporation and condensation cycle would tend to release or use up the spa chemicals.
Ideally, the bottom of the cover would be on the water surface since that is what we want to keep warm.
Because we have been in this hot tub cover business a while, we have seen every manner of ill fitting, broken, taped, tarp covered, and otherwise “beyond it’s normal life span” attempt to put off getting a replacement cover.
This not only looks terrible but it costs you money because all of these efforts don’t really help. If you’re going to drain your spa and get rid of it, fine. But if you intend to keep using it, investing in the right cover is going to help.
Make sure it traps heat efficiently. As we stated before, a hot tub cover that sits up on the edge of the spa, several inches off the water surface, will trap evaporating water and cause it to condense and cool, then fall back into the spa lowering the temperature of the water.
What also occurs is the foam inside a traditional cover absorbs steam because it is a small molecule than water, then the water vapor condenses and becomes trapped in the foam material over time. Once the spaces in the foam have been filled with moisture whatever insulation value it did have is gone. A water logged cover has the same insulation value as a sheet of plywood.
The moisture also causes the cover to slowly become heavy until it either can’t be lifted or breaks under its own weight.
It gets worse. One of the other adverse effects of the saturated cover sitting way off the water surface, the cover will freeze when the outdoor temperature is below freezing. Because the outside of the cover is actually in contact with the freezing temperature outside and not in contact with the spa water it becomes a solid block of ice.
From the outside it may appear to be doing a great job insulating because snow will pile up on top of the cover. That’s because snow doesn’t mind sitting on ice. Unfortunately, your spa is working harder than ever trying to keep the spa water heated underneath that frozen cover.
To avoid the spa cover from becoming a solid block of ice over your hot tub in winter, you need to get one that does not sit up on the top of the edge of the spa, several inches off the water surface. You need a cover that won’t soak up moisture and freeze. A cover that will insulate the water at the water surface, like the SpaCap.
Make sure it’s weather proof. If your hot tub is stored outside and not under shelter, then the cover must be durable enough to withstand rain, wind, snow, and potentially hail or winter precipitation. The cover must also prevent rainwater and wind from getting into the hot tub and cooling down the water.
So you need to have a cover that can keep the rain and debris running off, with a taper or better yet a dome shape
The tapered cover, is usually sold with the idea that it will keep the rain running off and because of that it won’t get heavy. If that were true, no tapered foam filled hot tub cover would ever get heavy. But it isn’t true because the do get heavy.
Every tapered, foam filled cover ever sold will get heavy because the moisture doesn’t come from outside the hot tub. In fact the only way to insure that a foam filled hot tub cover won’t get heavy is to never use it. If you never put it over hot water where steam can infiltrate into the foam it will never get heavy.
So if no foam filled hot tub cover ever made can keep from soaking up moisture once it’s in place over warm water, the solution is NOT to buy another foam filled spa cover, but to get one that does not use foam panels. The SpaCap are the only hot tub covers that won’t saturate.
Let’s talk for a minute about spa cover lifters because a lot of hot tub owners have fallen for the idea that a lifter will be the solution to a heavy cover. But it is not, because every lifter ever made is designed to work with a light weight cover.
Think about it. You still have to flop half the cover over the bar before the lifter is used. In most cases, that first lift is the one that is beyond hot tub owners. But if you did manage to open it halfway and then push the lifter hard enough to move a heavy cover, something has to give.
Either the spa cover will rip itself apart because it can’t hold it’s own weight or the lifter will rip itself off the hot tub cabinet. So a “lifter” is NOT the answer to a cover you can’t lift.
The only hot tub cover that won’t become saturated is the one with no foam. You need a spa cover that uses air chambers to do the insulating instead. The SpaCap.
If your spa cover is trying to make a bridge over the spa, then a heavy wet snow load will crush it. If the bottom of your spa cover rests on the water, it can transfer the weight of the snow and handle almost any snow load. In thirty years of building the SpaCap hot tub covers, and selling them in mountain retreats all over the world, not one has ever been crushed by snow.
If your spa cover has a rigid surface, the wind can eventually lift it off the spa and take it to parts unknown.
The physics of this are fairly simple, wind hits the side of the spa and then goes up and over. As the wind sweeps over the top of the spa it creates a vacuum above the rigid foam cover until it lifts it off the hot tub. Once it does the following wind pushes into the space below the cover and the water surface. As the air rushes in it compresses in the space until it pops the rigid cover up. At that point, lift off has occurred and the hot tub cover has become a wing.
Depending on the strength of the wind the cover can fly for miles.
The reason is that the rigid cover presents a surface that the wind can lift making it a wing.
This is where the natural dome shape of the SpaCap makes all the difference. There is no rigid surface for the wind to create lift. The natural dome shape just redirects the winds harmlessly away. Even Hurricane force winds won’t budge it.
In the past thirty years, hundreds of SpaCap hot tub covers have been sold in Tornado Alley and in areas that get hurricanes. Not ONE SpaCap has EVER flown away. They are the only truly Wind Proof Hot Tub Covers.
Make sure it’s animal proof. Pets and wild animals are sometimes drawn to hot tubs by their heat, and some very small animals will even try to make their homes inside of a thick hot tub cover. Other animals crawl underneath the cover seeking warmth and end up falling in the water and drowning. Make sure the cover doesn’t allow any space for animals to go underneath it, and make sure it is made of material that animals can’t chew through to make their home.
Let’s face it, no cover is perfectly animal proof. But the SpaCap can handle more animal problems than any foam cover ever could. We used to say that no animal has ever damaged one. But in the last thirty years there have been some persistent creatures. There was a bear in Whistler BC that decided he wanted to take a dip in the spa. There was a raccoon in Bellevue WA that tore one up so he could wash his food. In both cases no traditional foam filled cover would have been able to do better.
All total, far more animals have damaged foam filled spa covers than the SpaCap.
More information about hot tub covers is available at SpaCap.
Hot tubbing in the winter is one of the best ways to enjoy the winter scenery and air while staying warm and comfortable. Some people avoid using their outdoor hot tub in winter, however, because of the energy that it takes to heat it up or to keep it on all the time. That shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your hot tub year round. The following are a few tips for getting the most out of your hot tub this winter.
Protect the pipes. If you live in a region that regularly experiences freezing temperatures during the winter, make sure that your hot tub pipes are well insulated. If water freezes in the pipes, the hot tub will not work and could be irreparably damaged. Wrap insulation around the pipes to keep the water inside from freezing and monitor the outdoor temperatures. Most of the newer hot tubs come well insulated but it is a good idea to check. If any of the insulation is damaged or wet, it should be replaced.
Keep it covered. One of the biggest reasons homeowners don’t use their hot tub in winter is because it is expensive to heat the water before every use. Similarly, a lot of energy is required to keep an unprotected hot tub hot all winter. Simply putting a cover on your hot tub, however, can help hold the heat in and greatly reduce the amount of energy needed to keep it warm all the time. A good cover should also protect the hot tub from debris and from rain that will swiftly cool down the water. Here at SpaCap.com, we have been building outdoor hot tub covers for thirty years. Our covers not only insulate better but they also stay lightweight and easy to use.
Monitor the water level. If your hot tub’s water level drops too low, it will affect the pipes and potentially damage your hot tub. Water level being low is also an indication that there may be a leak. A leak any time is bad but a leak in winter can be catastrophic. If your water level is significantly lower than normal, check for leaks right away. If there are no leaks than it’s probably due to teenagers using the spa. For some reason they seem to splash out about thirty gallons per hour of usage.
Lower the temperature. You don’t need your hot tub at 106 degrees Fahrenheit to feel warm, especially when the air temperature is freezing. Keeping it lower will allow you to save energy needed to heat it, while at the same time helping you warm up and enjoy the hot tub. Another thing to remember as you lower the water temperature is that the water will not be circulating as often. This is especially critical under one of our SpaCap outdoor covers. Instead of running the spa on the thermostat, set it up to run on the timer. Again, on the newer spas, this can be done fairly easily on the control panel. You want the spa to circulate, two to three times per day, for two to three hours per cycle. The water will only be heated as needed but the water will be circulated enough to keep clear. Plus you’ll save money because the thermostat won’t be kicking the spa on thirty times a day just to run for a few minutes.
Accessorize and decorate. Put flowers or other decorations around your hot tub area to make it more than a blank corner with a tub. Install speakers so you can listen to music while you relax, and consider getting an inflatable pillow or another similar item to enable easier relaxation.
Block the weather. If your hot tub is exposed to the winter wind, it may help to set up a wind block, either temporarily or permanently, as you prefer. A nice privacy fence will do the trick and save you some extra dollars on your heating bill. Even though the spa cabinet may be insulated really well, some heat will always be escaping through the top. Keeping the wind from whipping over the spa when it’s really cold will help retain more heat and save you money.
For more information about enjoying your hot tub or to buy a hot tub cover this winter, contact SpaCap today.
During the holiday season, many delicious but calorie-heavy foods appear on tables, in buffets, and at parties. As a result, we become more anxious to lose or maintain a healthy weight, yet we often avoid going to the gym or dieting because “weight loss” gets associated with deprivation and exhaustion.
If this describes you, don’t despair. The hot tub, one of the most relaxing locations available, can also contribute to weight loss. Let the staff at SpaCap teach you how.
Maybe we should start by saying that the hot tub isn’t just for relaxing anymore. It’s no secret that physical activity burns calories so the trick is to be active even in the spa.
Stretching and rotating your arms and legs is easier to do in the hot tub because the water helps support you and warms your muscles while you work them. Start slowly with some stretches and arm motions with your arms and shoulders under the water to get limbered up. Then sit up straight and do some twists (gently) turning the your shoulders to the left and right while keeping your knees and hips stationary.
When performed safely, yoga is one of the easiest workouts for those who love hot tubs. With guidance from a yoga teacher or spotter, try poses such as the “wall dog”, “up dog,” or “lunge twist.” These poses stretch several muscle groups at once, including the arms, legs, torso, and back.
The breathing that hot tub yoga requires also helps the body relax and aids digestion. If you engage in hot tub yoga after eating, the deep breaths will help move the food through the digestive system more efficiently than it would if you were simply sitting on the couch. Deep breathing also increases metabolism so it not only burns calories it also helps your body recover more quickly from sickness and or injury.
With that in mind, as you practice your hot tub yoga, try to be conscious of deep controlled breathing. Get that oxygen into your blood and moving through your body.
As I said above, hot tubs are not just for relaxing. They’re also fun places to play active games with your family and friends. Try Hot Tub Hockey, in which teams earn points by moving an object like a rubber duck or Ping-Pong ball to each other’s sides of the tub without using their hands. You can also try Pass the Bottle, requiring everyone to pass a tightly capped bottle of water around the hot tub using every body part except their hands. Players may not use the same body parts twice in a row (i.e., passing from knee to knee or shoulder to shoulder). If the bottle drops, the dropper must perform a penalty task and the game begins again.
Use Hot Tubs as a Way to Eat and Sleep Well
Eating right and getting adequate sleep tends to go out the window during the holidays. Do not let this happen to you.
Before you dig into everything that the holidays have to offer, take a moment to look over what’s in front of you and make choices that you won’t have to “pay for” later. Pastries and chips taste great but they don’t make a meal. Drinking a meal supplement before eating will help you not over eat. Like the old saying, “don’t go shopping when you’re hungry,” the same is true when eating during the holidays.
Eat the meats, leafy green salads and veggies without the breads and you’ll be well fed and happier later on. Try to avoid the fat fried foods. Our family switched to an air fryer from Philips. The food tastes great without all the added fat you would normally get from frying in oil.
If you’re having a hot tub party, supply healthy snacks that can be eaten in the tub, such as veggie trays with low-calorie dip or appetizers made with shrimp or lean meats. If you struggle with insomnia, try slipping out to the hot tub for a set period just before going to bed. The warm water will help your muscles relax and send melatonin to your brain.
Okay, as you would expect, I have to mention that if you intend to get the healthy benefits from using your hot tub, you have to be able to use it easily everyday. That requires that it be easy, or we will start to find reasons not to. After being in the Spa Cover business for thirty plus years, I have learned a few things about human nature when it comes to using a hot tub.
When we first get our spas, we are excited and it is easy to find the time to use it everyday. Like a kid with a new toy. But eventually, that “newness” wears off. Then you have to decide that the benefits you get from using the hot tub are worth the time it takes out of your schedule.
You have to pick a time of day that it works for you and make it part of your routine. Personally, I like to make it at the end of the day just before bed. It helps me sleep better and wake up refreshed. But that’s me. Some people love to start their day with a dip in the spa before the day gets hectic. They find it helps them keep a positive outlook throughout the day.
It doesn’t matter when you decide it works for you, you just make it part of your routine and go from there.
But that’s not the problem. The thing that causes most hot tub owners to eventually stop using their spa is the cover. The standard foam filled spa cover available at every spa dealer across the country. The lid that gets thrown in as an after thought when you buy the spa. Crazy right?
Here’s how it happens. The foam starts to saturate with moisture from the steam rising off the spa water. It doesn’t happen fast, in fact it happens slowly over time so that you don’t even notice it. After a few months, the cover is heavier but because you have been using the spa everyday you didn’t notice the gradual change.
Before you know it, getting the cover off and on takes a lot more effort. You might not even consciously notice it but one day you think about getting into the tub and you decide to skip it. You’re just not up to it tonight.
Why would you “skip” the thing that makes you sleep better and live healthier? Because it requires too much effort. That simple foam filled cover becomes a barrier between you and the hot tub you spent all that money on. The same hot tub you couldn’t wait to get into, is just too much work now because of a heavy spa cover.
Eventually, you can’t remember the last time you used it.
You then have to make a choice. Do you get a new cover and get back to using it or do you (and this is the one that just makes no sense to me) get rid of it and reclaim that part of your back yard.
I hope you decide to get a new cover. That hot tub is like a daily vacation that your body and mind need to “re-boot” and stay healthy. But before going out and buying another cover just like the one you’re replacing, consider something better.
At SpaCap.com, we have been building Spa Covers, that are light weight, easy to use and built to stay that way. There are no rigid foam panels in the SpaCap so there’s nothing to soak up that steam and get heavy.
I’m not going to go over all the details here but you should check them out for yourself on the website. Then do yourself a huge favor and order one for your spa.
As our world becomes increasingly inclusive, people with disabilities get the chance to participate in activities their able-bodied counterparts have always enjoyed, but from which disabled persons have traditionally been excluded. As a result, people with disabilities are more active than ever. However, people with disabilities often have trouble being included at the hot tub or spa. Obstacles like slippery hot tubs and steeply raised massage tables often make people with disabilities think they should just skip those activities. Yet with the right modifications, the hot tub and spa can be fun places for all.
Accessibility is Key
To enjoy an activity, you must first be able to access it. If hot tub and spa guests have disabilities, plan accordingly. Outfit hot tubs and pools with railings and small steps so guests can get in and out independently. Make sure that the hot tub temperature is low enough to allow for your guests to linger longer without becoming over heated.
If this is going to be part of the regular use for your hot tub, consider lowering it or partially sinking it into the deck so that it presents a height of 18″ for easy access, with a bench around it so that users can sit and remove their shoes safely before entering. Also a bench around the outside will allow them to get out and sit comfortably if the temperature becomes too much.
Encourage guests to wear shoes until they enter the tub or pool to prevent slips and falls.
Offer several massage options, including those that can be done through clothing, so a person with a disability doesn’t have to worry about fastening and unfastening clothing before a massage. If the person would prefer a nude or partially nude massage but needs help with removing clothing, offer assistance from a trustworthy attendant of the same gender. Help guests on and off raised tables, or better yet offer massage options that can be done on bench high tables or the floor.
Exercise is Not a Chore
Many people with disabilities are told constantly to exercise, sometimes to the point that it feels like a punishment. Give these guests a break at your spa. Discuss the benefits of hydrotherapy, but make it clear the hot tub and pool are first and foremost for fun and relaxation. Offer easy exercises such as hot tub yoga, and emphasize that the person can modify the stretches however he or she wants. Encourage guests to play hot tub games like Hot Tub Hockey, Submarine, or Ping-Pong Panic.
Offer a Plethora of Pampering
People with disabilities, especially women, often struggle to feel beautiful. Help them out with facials and manicures. Some people with disabilities have skin conditions or are allergic to certain facial ingredients, so always ask before facials or body wraps begin. Some disabilities also involve sensory processing difficulties, so ask if your guest is particularly sensitive to any taste or smell. Offer several fragrance and lotion options, and be sensitive to guests who do not like being touched.
Accommodate don’t Dictate
Do not force participation in any activity. If your guest with a disability just showed up to spend three hours swimming, or to get one facial, respect their wishes.
It wouldn’t be a complete post on SpaCap.com if we didn’t at least mention our Custom Hot Tub Covers. Over the past thirty years we have sold quite a few to people who have limited mobility and need to get into their hot tub for therapy daily. We love to hear how great they find our hot tub cover. Sometimes because of specific needs, we have to allow for lifting or pulling the cover off and on by pulleys. However the light weight design of the SpaCap makes using their hot tub easy.
If you have a hot tub and want to make it easy for someone to use, we would love to talk with you about how to get that done. And Yes, we can even accommodate hand rails that extend down into the water.