How to Find the Right Swim Spa – SpaCap

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.

 

Swim Spa being used by a swimmer as shown from above
Swim Spa
  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

Hot Tub Water Temperature – SpaCap

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.

 

We want everyone using a hot tub to be safe which is one of the reasons behind the design of our lightweight hot tub covers.

 

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.

How a Hot Tub Changes Your Life – Spacap

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.

Tips to Keep the Hot Tub Ready to Use – SpaCap

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.

 

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

Enjoying a dip in the hot tub
Hot Tubs just make life better.

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.

Choosing the Best Hot Tub Cover

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.

The Fit

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.

Heavy Hot Tub Covers keep people out of the spa
If your cover looks like this you’re probably not using the hot tub today

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.

The Insulation

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.

Hot ub Cover held down with sand bags
If this is how you keep your hot tub cover in place you need a new cover!

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.

SpaCap hot tub cover in winter conditions
SpaCap on duty in winter

Weather Proof

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.

Pet Safe

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.

Tips and Tricks for Winter Hot Tubs – 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.

How Hot Tubs Contribute to Weight Loss

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.

Use Yoga

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.

Play Games

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.

 

Resources:

http://www.swimuniversity.com/how-to-lose-weight-in-a-hot-tub/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/339869-how-many-calories-are-burned-in-a-hot-tub/

http://tubyoga.com/

http://www.windermereboutiquehotel.co.uk/30/content/Interesting_Articles/10_health_benefits_of_using_a_hot_tub/

Benefits of Hot Tubs for People with Disabilities

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.

 

Benefits of Hot Tubs for Seniors – SpaCap

As seniors age, the younger population becomes increasingly concerned about their health and any risks they might encounter. Hot tubs and spas are generally cited as dangerous for several reasons, including the hot water, the potential for falls, and hot tub rashes or infections. However, hot tubs carry a plethora of benefits for seniors that SpaCap.com hopes to illuminate today.

First of all, being a senior myself, I don’t want my children worrying about me. So I do what I can to eliminate things that might get me injured. I research things like accidents around the home, specifically the hot tub for this article. What I found is that with a few changes I would be able to make my hot tub a lot safer.

One of the main issues for us seniors is access. Most hot tubs and spas are fairly high at the side so slips and falls getting in and out are a fairly common occurrence. There are a number of options, like stairs and a handrail. But I think a set of stairs up to the side of my spa looks tacky and serves to remind me that I don’t move like I used to. It’s true, but I don’t like to be reminded.

So I considered sinking the spa to deck level. However statistics show that people are just as likely to injure themselves in a flush mounted spa. Again the issue seems to be access. With a flush mounted spa, more people tend to misjudge a step and fall into the spa.

What I found was that a spa that is only partially sunken so that it still sticks up above the deck level at least eighteen inches is the safest. Rather than digging a hole in the yard, I built a deck up around the hot tub cabinet and then a bench all the way around the sides.

This way I can walk easily up to the spa, turn around and sit down while I take off my foot wear and robe, then easily turn toward the spa and get in. The deck looks attractive and the bench makes it safer. No one is going to walk to close to the spa and accidentally fall in. Plus it makes a nice place to sit with just my feet in the spa when the water gets to hot for me.

Deck mounted spa and with the hot tub cover on.
Hot tub built in with a bench around it.

It was a fairly easy process and didn’t require pouring a cement pad.

First I selected where to place it in the yard. Then I prepared the spot by peeling up the sod and digging out about six inches of the top soil. Next I ran power out to the spot underground. If you don’t know anything about electricity, this is a good place to hire an electrician. But you can dig the trench and lay the conduit yourself and save some money.

Then I filled the hole with crushed gravel, back up about a three inch depth and raked it out level. To check for level I used a laser level. You can rent one and get some simple instruction how to use it but they are cheap and I like having it around when I am doing landscaping so I bought one from Home Depot.

Next I rented a power compactor (kind of looks like a lawn mower but it jumps up and down instead of mowing) to evenly pack the gravel.

Then I topped the gravel off with a layer of pea gravel and repeated the raking level and compacting.

Now your spot is all level and ready to place the hot tub. When it’s empty a hot tub doesn’t weight too much so I was able to get some wooden rollers (round poles about four inches in diameter six to eight feet long) and just roll the spa into position. Going across the lawn, it’s easier to put down some sheets of plywood before the rollers. Once the spa is in place you just pick up the plywood and it saves the grass from getting damaged.

Hook up the electricity. Again, this would be a job for an electrician since you want to make sure everything is properly hooked up and grounded.

Now I placed cement post holders (from Home Depot or the hardware store of your choice) according the where I was going to need to support the deck. I used two by ten dimensional lumber across the length of the intended deck, supported and secured to short four by four posts in the cement blocks. Check for level again with the laser to make sure the finished product will be right.

Then I built a frame on top of the supports of two by six lumber on two foot centers around the spa so that when done the deck would be eighteen inches from the top of the spa.

For the deck itself I used Trex composite decking because I don’t want to be out there treating it every summer when I’m ninety years old. It looks nice and it’s easy to clean. It cuts and fits together like wood but I didn’t get any slivers. Also without a bunch of knots to worry about I had almost no waste.

After the deck top was in place I added the bench around the hot tub to finish it off. I made the area over the hot tub access panel easy to be opened for maintenance. Everything was screwed into place in case I ever needed to disassemble it for some reason. Now I can keep using my spa every day without my kids worrying about me falling in.

Pamper yourself. Do what you can to eliminate the hazards around you home and hot tub so you can enjoy your senior years as much as possible.

Here are some ideas to reward yourself with…

Facials

As we seniors age, we get more wrinkles and liver spots, or age spots. These may cause you some concern, but we are also susceptible to a variety of skin diseases because the epidermis weakens with age. You may suffer from eczema, rosacea, or bullous pemphigoid, a rare skin condition in which the layer between the epidermis and dermis breaks down. When that happens, cells can become inflamed and large, painful blisters form all over the skin. Facials help the face’s muscles relax and moisten the skin while drawing toxins away. You may especially enjoy facial masks made with lavender, green or chamomile teas, or lemon. I like them not only because they make my skin feel great, I just enjoy the fragrance. Some of my senses aren’t quite what they used to be (eyesight, hearing ) but my sniffer still works pretty well and I really enjoy a clean pleasant fragrance more than I used to. But maybe that’s just me.

Massage

All of us, seniors included experience stress and anxiety. As we watch the world changing around us in ways we never imagined possible, you may find yourself being more anxious than ever. A massage can be a great way to relieve those tense muscles. Either Swedish or Thai massage can do the trick. I suggest trying both and deciding for yourself which one you like best. Swedish massage is the most traditional type and involves lying on a raised, flat surface while pressure points in the back, neck, shoulders, and face are massaged. Thai massage, also called “passive yoga,” may attract seniors who are more active. Thai massage involves stretching muscles and increasing endurance. The therapist uses the back, elbows, and feet as well as the hands to complete the massage. Thai massage can be done through clothing, so it may also benefit those uncomfortable with nudity. Lets face it, I don’t look good naked anymore.

Hydrotherapy

Obviously, I’m a big believer in using a spa everyday. I think using a hot tub on a regular basis can decrease problems from sore or tight muscles, arthritis, and other bone or muscle conditions. Heat naturally relaxes sore muscles, so frequent exposure to a hot tub may help “reteach” them to relax, to a point. Hydrotherapy can also help weak or shaky muscles affected by Parkinson’s and other diseases. The water helps the muscles rest, giving us seniors a break from trying to control them.

Ease of Access

In order to get the maximum benefit from any routine it needs to be convenient and accessible. Having a Hot Tub at home is an important part but not if the cover is too cumbersome for a senior to use by ourselves. SpaCap Hot Tub Covers are designed to be light and easy to use for this very reason.  Order one today for yourself or the senior in your life.

Kids’ Day: Hot Tub Fun for Kids – SpaCap

“Hot tubs” and “kids” aren’t traditionally considered good combinations. In fact, most of what we hear about hot tubs and children involves danger. However, kids love hot tubs. They simply need quality supervision and their own activities to make them fun. SpaCap researched ways to make hot tubs and spas kid-friendly, and we came up with a few ideas to make sure your children can enjoy these places with you.

 

Throw a Fabulous Spa Party

 

Spa parties are popular for birthdays, Christmas and other holidays, or “just because” days. They can be done for children aged six and older, with specific tweaking for each age group. Consider these specifics:

 

Number of guests: Between 4-6. Spa parties involve plenty of personalized pampering. If there are too many guests, there may not be enough attention to go around. Also, the party may get too loud. Keep the guests’ ages as close as possible.

 

Invitations: Fold invitations to look like purses and write something like, “You’re invited to a spa day!” Write the who, what, when, and where on the purse, or if desired, cut the purse so that it opens up.

 

Dress code: Have guests wear their coziest pajamas and bathrobes. If possible, use a towel warmer so no one freezes in between activities, especially in fall and winter. If you’ll use the hot tub, ask guests to wear bathing suits under their robes or bring suits with them.

 

Food: Think “appetizers.” If your pool or hot tub has a swim-up bar, the guests can eat there. If they would prefer to eat inside the hot tub, try these ideas:

 

  • Veggie trays with dip securely anchored in the center.

 

  • Securely anchored chip and dip trays.

 

  • Fruit kabobs/cheese cubes, sausage balls, and other snacks on toothpicks (clean up toothpicks right away to avoid any toothpick-and-tub mishaps).

 

  • “Floating drinks.” Cut a hole into a pool noodle so a cooler or Rubbermaid container can float around the pool or hot tub. Stock the container with cold sodas, water, or juices. You can also try punch or teach guests to make “mocktails.”

 

  • Cupcakes or smaller sweets such as fudge squares or miniature cookies. Because of the candles, save the birthday cake for the end of the party.

 

Games: Guests can play games such as Ping-Pong Panic, Pass the Bottle, Hot Tub Hockey, and more. If desired, guests can also play card games, but make sure cards are waterproof or at least extremely durable.

 

Activities:

 

  • Musical manicures. Each guest brings a favorite color of nail polish. Guests then sit at a table, each holding their own polish bottle. The music starts, and during the song, guests pass nail polish bottles to the left or right. (To make it more fun, you can tell guests to pass to the left or the right whenever they hear a specific word). When the music stops, each guest paints one finger with the color she’s holding. The game continues this way until everyone’s fingers are painted.

 

  • Facials. Have guests relax in lounge chairs or on a deck, covered with blankets or warm towels if the weather is cold. Make masks using lemon, green tea, banana and honey, or papaya. Of course, each guest gets cucumbers on his or her eyelids. Play relaxing instrumental music while the facials set.

 

  • Foot soak. Make a special foot soak for each guest using baking soda, salt, citric acid, and your favorite fragrance. Have guests soak their feet for a relaxing start or finish to the party. To stop germs from spreading, everyone gets his or her own bucket.

 

Favors: These depend entirely on your taste. They can include a gift certificate to a local spa, miniature towels embroidered with guests’ names, or small bottles of favorite lotions or body sprays.

Make throwing your party easier with an attractive, lightweight hot tub cover from SpaCap.com. Kids and heavy Hot Tub Covers don’t mix. Actually, heavy covers and adults don’t mix either for that matter. Visit a custom made spa cover from SpaCap.com before your next party.