March 2015

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Hot Tub Covers and When To Replace Them
March 7, 2015Hot Tub Coversadmin

Hot tub covers are imperative, if you want to keep that water warm inside the hot tub. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Despite what your spa dealer could possibly have promised, there shall come a season that you are going to be in need of a replacement hot tub cover.

What are the indications when your hot tub cover has given up the ghost? There may be obvious signs, as well as some that are not so obvious indicators. Here are 5 signs of hot tub cover distress to take into consideration.
Saggy Cover
Hot Tub Cover crushed by snow
If your foam filled hot tub cover collects water on the surface, you’ll need a new spa cover. This signifies that whatever was provided in terms of the reinforcement of the foam boards is now bent or broken. You’ll find typically a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet at the hinge. Some cover manufacturers will use materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point, which will bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or (more typically) due to the weight of the cover itself.

If this is the case, attempting to milk a longer time from the cover is just going to end up costing you more going forward since whatever insulation value it might possibly have possessed is gone at this stage. Delaying the inevitable will simply cost you more in your energy bills. But more importantly considering a usage point of view, you are likely unlikely to wish to mess with your cover when it has water on top of it. Ultimately, you’re using your hot tub less, which is certainly a sin. Do not be a sinner.

Something to think about here. No matter what your hot tub dealer has to say about it, if he only wants to sell you another foam filled cover, it is 100% absolutely going to turn out to be just like the one you have to replace now.

It won’t matter whether it is shrink wrapped in Kevlar and reinforced with titanium, if it has foam inside, it is doomed to fail.
Puddle Cover
Broken Hot Tub Cover making a pool of rain water above the spa
Water is heavy, at 8 lbs. per gallon, it can add up quickly. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started out with a small crimp in the channel, which commenced to puddle some water, and a lot more water – and now it appears like a new hot tub cover is in order.

Just like Saggy Cover, this is due to using foam panels above a hot tub. Foam panels will saturate from the steam coming off the spa water. Not one thing will prevent it other than not using foam within your cover!

The spa dealer may suggest you to attempt to flip the panels over inside the cover to add to its useful life. Except the zippers as well as the vinyl material weren’t made to be opened and shut beyond the initial stuffing of the foam.

Once a cover begins a gradual puddle, it may never be reversed. It’s time to order a replacement hot tub cover. As we said above, putting it off means you’ll be making use of the hot tub less (a sin) and wasting money on the heating bill.

Water Logged Hot Tub Cover

This may be a hot tub cover that weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They often get so heavy that they become next to impossible to use short of the aid of a Seal Team. They can also damage spa cover lifters once they get too heavy. That’s because the cover lifter is not made to handle a heavy cover. Bet the dealer didn’t mention that when he sold it to you.

When the foam core is taking on water – and, is not draining. This does not signify that rain water has somehow gotten into your cover, or snow or another outside source. It happens when steam rises from the warm spa water then since it’s a very small molecule, gets right into the foam. Once it gets inside of the foam it cools and turns back into water, and becomes trapped because of the fact that the water molecule is too big to drop out.

The best way to prevent it would be to never use a foam filled cover on the hot tub. Despite what the manufacturer claims to wrap it in or the way they package it, the foam will eventually become saturated. Period.

It is time for a new replacement hot tub cover. Again, putting it off at this point is just going to cost you more in your energy consumption and unless you have a Seal Team living with you, you aren’t going to be using your spa very often. (Still a sin)

If you want to be clever, you can take the cover from your spa and store it in your garage for several months. As soon as the cover is away from the moisture and being stored inside a dry place, eventually the moisture within the cover will evaporate (back to a smaller molecule) and of course the foam will become light again. It takes months for it to dry completely in which case you must have another replacement cover for your spa while you wait. Note: The cover may still warp wildly out of shape while it dries.

If you choose to rotate your covers every three months, you may be capable of making them last until the materials begin to come apart. See Below.
Typical Hot Tub Covers don't handle the weather well
Torn & Worn Hot Tub Cover
Whenever the fabric (marine grade vinyl on the standard foam filled hot tub covers) is exposed to its limit of sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears happen that will.

Because ALL Vinyl, even the most costly Marine Grade, are rated by HOURS outdoors.

Using a spa cover protectant is just another way for cover dealers to take your money. If you would like to spend on weekly basis rubbing down your hot tub cover with conditioner, be our guest but the smart thing to do would be to buy the cover that does not have VINYL on the outside. Like say the SpaCap hot tub covers that use Sunbrella Marine fabric, which is rated by YEARS outdoors.

Still, if the cover isn’t heavy yet, you might to postpone acquiring another right away providing you don’t mind the look of Duct Tape. If you would like a few suggestions, check out some episodes of the “Red Green Show.” Red covers the finer points of Duct Tape.

Smelly Hot Tub Cover

Musty, mildew, old wet dog – whatever your hot tub cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably implies that you now have bacteria forming inside the hot tub cover. It probably also means the cover is water logging (see above).

Now we have crossed over from inconvenient to unhealthy.

What are you inhaling when this is what you smell?

Completely dismantling of the cover, and spraying it down with Lysol won’t help! Since the source of the smell, AKA the mold and mildew are stuck inside the foam! The best you might be able to accomplish would be to kill what’s on the outside of the vinyl or foam even so you are not going to touch what’s inside the foam. Plus now your cover smells like Lysol, nothing kills the mood faster than inhaling something that reminds you of how the school janitor cleaned up vomit.

The origin of the problem? That high quality foam employed in traditional hot tub covers. Despite how much a dealer may attempt to sell how it is extremely resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation, it will still happen and they understand it.

When you happen to be ready for a brand new spa cover, make sure that it’s not made using a foam core.

If you were curious about your hot tub cover making it another year, don’t wait. It’s your basic instinct telling you something important – hot tub season is coming! Get ready now!
This Hot Tub Cover has sagged into a big rain catching bowl
Hot Tub Covers and the R-Value -SpaCap
March 6, 2015Hot Tub Coversadmin

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.
Swim Spa Covers and R Value
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.

Myth Busted!

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.
How To Choose The Right Hot Tub – SpaCap
March 5, 2015Hot Tub Generaladmin

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!
Get back to using your hot tub everyday with our Hot Tub Covers
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.

Other Considerations

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.
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