Why Do Hot Tub Covers Get Heavy?
January 28, 2016Hot Tub Coversadmin
Every traditional foam filled hot tub cover gets heavy. But the how and why may come as a surprise. It has nothing to do with rain so it doesn’t matter how steep the taper is, that cover will still get heavy. If it was rain that was making hot tub covers heavy then putting a roof over the spa would stop the cover from getting heavy.
Moisture getting trapped in the foam is what eventually makes a cover too heavy to lift. But if it’s not the rain, how does the water get in there? The answer is steam from the warm spa water. When water becomes steam it is a much smaller molecule than a drop of water.
Steam can get into a much smaller area, like say the spaces in the foam. Once it cools back down and turns into water again, it’s trapped inside the foam. Once trapped in the foam the water won’t drain out so a fancy drain hole won’t help. The only way the water can get back out of the foam would be to evaporate. In order to evaporate, the hot tub cover would have to be removed from the source of steam (the hot tub) and placed in a dry, well ventilated area.
The problem has nothing to do with how well the cover is cared for or how much vinyl protector is rubbed on it. The problem is the foam. The type of foam used in hot tub covers is designed to be used as insulation in DRY conditions. For instance it works well in floors, walls and ceilings (provided it is kept dry) and is great for refrigeration applications.
However if the same foam is exposed to steam, the insulation it could offer is quickly reduced to something equivalent to wet plywood.Another Heavy Hot Tub Cover
So why is foam still being used in hot tub covers? It’s cheap and it’s the industry standard. But just because everybody is doing it doesn’t make it the best idea.
A hundred years ago the standard mode of travel was the horse. The horse had been the standard for hundreds of years. Until something better came along.
A better idea as far as hot tub covers go would be one that eliminates the foam, still insulates but stays light weight and easy to use.
Thirty years ago, (yes really, thirty years ago) that is how the SpaCap was developed. A single woman with back trouble, needed to be able to use her hot tub every day for therapy. She had to be able to get her cover off and on by herself without further injuring her back.
The cover she eventually came up with was light weight, easy to use and insulated as well as a foam filled hot tub cover. Although it has gone through many improvements over the years, the concept and principle is still the same. SpaCap.com builds custom hot tub covers for all kinds of spas including swim spas.
Don’t go out and purchase another foam filled hot tub cover just because that’s what the neighbors do. Visit SpaCap.com and get a cover that won’t get heavy or break and will make it easy for you to use your spa for years to come!
Toddler Falls on Hot Tub Cover
January 18, 2016Hot Tub Coversadmin
It’s not everyday that hot tub covers make the news. Recently in Florida a toddler fell from a three story balcony and landed on, you guessed it a hot tub cover.
Now, as a grandparent the first thing that comes to mind is, “How did this happen?” Not to say we are disappointed to have a happy ending (the little boy was fine and ran back up stairs to tell his grandfather what happened) but how did the little guy fall?
Let’s lock the sliding glass door and prevent this future stuntman from repeating this maneuver. Next time he might miss the hot tub entirely.
A few years ago “Dwarf Tossing” was a thing. Then “Dwarf Bowling” and a few other manifestations along the same lines. Without taking a side as to the rights of little people to be tossed for sport and amusement, let’s just nip “Toddler Tossing” in the bud before it too becomes the new fun activity.
In our personal experience a lot of things seem like a good idea to toddlers. Many of them seem to lack the “fear” gene or chromosome to alert them to potential serious consequences. As entertaining as it may be to watch videos of animals misjudging their leaping abilities, no one wants to see this with toddlers.
If on the other hand you would like to lay your toddler gently on your spa cover for some reason, let’s go over some ground rules first to ensure safety and happy endings.
First rule. The spa or hot tub must be no higher than deck level. If your hot tub is free standing, the distance from the edge of the spa to the ground would be enough to damage your toddler so better to lay the little bugger on the ground than on the spa. If on the other hand your spa is flush with the deck it MAY be okay. Move on to rule two.
Rule Two. The cover must be properly secured in such a way as to insure that the toddler cannot by accident or intent gain access to the spa water below. Neither by a fall from a great height, significant impact or any other instance.
Rule Three. The hot tub cover must be a comfortable place to lay one’s toddler. If the hot tub cover is a rigid piece of foam it must be considered not suitable for toddler laying. If the spa cover allows a cushion like softness that will comfort and embrace the toddler then proceed to rule three.
This is only a demonstration of ruggedness. Please do not try this with your own hot tub cover. Damage caused by this would NOT be covered by warranty.
Rule Four. If a toddler is resting comfortably on a soft hot tub cover, there should be jumping on the cover by any other person or animal. This would dislodge the toddler and could potentially cause harm.
If you or someone you know would like to purchase such a hot tub cover, please visit SpaCap.com.
Can Hot Tub Covers Be “Green”?
December 27, 2015Hot Tub Covers, Spa Coveradmin
All this talk about going green, saving energy and saving the planet. As it relates to Hot Tub Covers, the most important thing we can do is to not create more waste that will just end up clogging our land fills. Consider this for a minute… There are 10 million spa owners in the USA, and each one of them uses a typical rigid foam spa cover on their hot tub. For the sake of this demonstration each foam cover is only two inches thick and every spa is eight feet by eight feet. That would mean each spa cover contained about 10.666 cubic feet of foam per spa cover. For the rest of this example we will use 10.5 cubic feet per cover.
If each cover on every spa becomes saturated within two years and needs to be replaced that would mean that we would be adding 52.5 million cubic feet of waste to our landfills in just hot tub covers every year.
If it takes two and a half covers worth of foam to make up one cubic yard that translates to 4 million cubic yards of waste added to our land fills every two years just in spa covers
There are 11 million Cubic yards of stone in the Great Pyramid at Giza, we are adding enough foam to build a duplicate in our landfills just from used hot tub covers every six years conservatively. There are four and a half million cubic yards of concrete in Hoover Dam. So we could clog a river with our discarded foam filled spa covers every two years. Or we could build a two lane highway of discarded foam filled spa covers from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida every two years.
Remember, for this example we were using a two inch thick foam spa cover. Most foam filled spa covers are not two inches thick anymore. If all those old foam covers were four inches thick all these calculations would be double. If they were tapered spa covers, say from six inches down to two, it still doubles the amount, so the highway or dam could be built every year instead of every two years.
But we are just being conservative so we want to stick with two inches thick. If we ripped the covers in half and laid those pieces end to end we could circle the earth at the equator on used spa covers every two years.
Heck with parking lots, in a few years we could pave the entire planet with foam just from saturated foam spa covers from the USA alone.
So what is the solution? Well, how about a better spa cove?. What if there were a spa cover that did a better job insulating, did not get saturated, heavy, break or blow away in the wind? Good news, you do not have to quit using your spa to save the earth. You just need to get a SpaCap Hot Tub Cover
that does not use foam to insulate. There would be two major advantages to doing so. First the spa cover that did not use rigid foam to insulate would last longer. Since what always fails in the typical spa cover is the foam, either breaking or getting so saturated that you cannot lift it, a spa cover that did not use foam would tend to last longer.
Second, if the new type of spa cover does not use rigid foam it will also be a lot more friendly to the environment when it does come time to discard it. Less trash, less waste, less land fill, not that is what going green is all about.
SpaCap uses a patented design to solve all of the following:
- As easy to use
- Light Weight
- Sheds Moisture
- Won’t fly away
- Won’t break under a snowload
- Won’t be damaged by hail
- Insulates Better
- Sunbrella fabric rated by years not hours
Beware the Man-eating Hot Tub Cover
December 27, 2015Hot Tub Covers, Hot Tub Safety, Spa Coveradmin
How dangerous is an overweight foam hot tub cover? Recently a man was checking the chemicals in his spa. Rather than attempting removing the entire hot tub cover, he decided to just lift one side enough to get at the water long enough to get a sample. He bent over and supporting the heavy cover with his left arm while attempting to fill a sampling bottle with water from the spa to check the chemical content, and total alkalinity.
As he leaned over further, the weight of the water logged spa cover dislocated his left shoulder and allowed the cover to hit him on the back knocking him into the spa. He was now face down in the spa with his legs pinned to spa by the weight of the hot tub cover. His shoulder was dislocated and unlike the Mel Gibson character in Lethal Weapon, he was in agony because of a the pain. He tried to move but could not budge the weight of the waterlogged cover.
He began to choke as he swallowed spa water and tried to rise up but could barely get his head out of the water. With what could have been his last breath, he screamed for help. Fortunately he had left the door from the house to the deck open. His daughter and her boy friend heard the commotion and looked out to see his legs sticking out of the spa cover.
His daughter and her boy friend were able to lift the hot tub cover off of his legs. His daughters boy friend jumped into the hot tub and pulled him up from the water. They took him to the emergency room where they put his shoulder back in place and treated him for shock.
Women who have experienced both child birth and a dislocated shoulder report dislocating a shoulder as more intense than childbirth. But either way we can agree the pain must be excruciating.
This man had owned a hot tub for 12 years and had replaced 3 conventional rigid foam core spa covers. While the life on the foam covers had averaged from 2 to 4 years, regardless of manufactures claims, all of these traditional foam filled covers became waterlogged. He has since bought a Spa Cover that uses air chambers to insulate rather than rigid foam. He is certain that the air filled spa cover will not try to kill him as the other foam cover did.
Another lady reported that while she and her husband were in the hot tub with their rigid foam spa lid propped up against the wall. A gust of wind hit the spa cover and it suddenly fell hitting her husband on the head. The blow was hard enough to push them both under the water. Fortunately they were not trapped and they both recovered quickly, or so they thought.
A couple of days later the left side of her husbands face suddenly went DEAD. He had no feeling, sensation or movement. Naturally they both were quite frightened and thought he had suffered a stroke. They did exactly what any of us would do and rushed immediately to the hospital. The doctor diagnosed him with Bells Palsy which can be caused by stress and or trauma like a heavy spa cover hitting him on the head. He later made a full recovery. He was extremely lucky.
Here is something you will never hear from a foam spa cover dealer. Every year people are injured by foam hot tub covers. Most of the injuries have come from a gust of wind blowing the heavy foam cover onto people as they use their spa. Sometimes people attempting to carefully maneuver a saturated foam cover off their spa, have lost their grip and had the hard foam cover slam down breaking the arch of their foot.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission people have even been drowned when they have become trapped under heavy foam covers. Maybe now is a good time to search for a better spa cover. With the World Wide Web, you can literally have the world to shop from. Do you really want to risk injury or death trying to use your spa?