Hot Tub Spas Tips and Tricks

Hot Tub Spa

6 person acrylic spa tub with 80 jets - Ahhhh
6 person acrylic spa tub with 80 jets - Ahhhh | Source

Hot Tubs and Spas

A hot tub is basically a tub full of hot water. A full therapeutic spa is today's modern version of the hot tub. Spas come equipped with heaters, pumps, jets for water and a few other features that make water therapy a joy.

Purchasing a hot tub or spa requires a bit of research. First, decide why you want a spa. Is it for fun? for social activities with friends? for physical therapy? for a functional water feature near the pool? Once you decide what the spa is for, you may start narrowing your choices down to the size of the hot tub.

Hot tub and spa sizes are almost limitless. If this is your first spa, you may want to go with a smaller size (less expense and maintenance). There are even inflatable spas to experiment with that cost less than $500. It might pay to check one of these out to see if you are a "spa person". If the time and effort to maintain a spa is not to your liking, then you have only wasted a minimum amount of money.

Once you have located the spot for your spa and you are ready and willing to get into the hot tub lifestyle, there are a few tips and tricks you need to know. The first and foremost thing about having a spa is cleanliness! Spas get very dirty, very quickly. Even an expert chemist will have trouble keeping a spa clean.

Ten Ways to Keep a Spa Clean

  1. Always bathe with soap and water before using your spa! Rinse the soap off thoroughly. The cleaner your body is, the cleaner the spa will be.
  2. Have a foot bath near the spa for rinsing off dirty feet. Even better, have an outdoor shower next to the spa for a total rinse. But especially keep those feet clean!
  3. Always wear a clean bathing suit into the spa. Use a suit designed for swimming or water sports. Other types of clothing materials will retain dirt and body oils and will release the dirt and oils into the spa water.
  4. Wash the spa filter every week! You may have to wash it every other day during heavy use. It's very easy to slip the filter out and flush it with a garden hose every few days.
  5. Follow your spas recommendation for chemicals. Take a bottle of spa water to the spa store for free monitoring every week. Use spa chemistry strips to monitor the chlorine or bromine levels daily. Hot water will use up the sanitizing chemicals faster than a swimming pool.
  6. Maintain the spa's recommended temperature, so the chemicals will work well.
  7. Drain and clean the spa every three to six weeks. Get all of the old water out, clean the walls and jets with recommended cleaners and rinse thoroughly before refilling the spa.
  8. A small hand held spa vacuum cleaner is useful for things that fall into the spa between cleaning.
  9. A spa cleaning sponge, like a "dirty duck" is useful for sponging down the spa for a few minutes while you are enjoying your soak.
  10. Take the time every week to clean the outside cabinet and cover. Sweep the area around the spa at least once a week. Keep a trash can handy for litter.

How to Use a Hot Tub or Spa

Spa users rave about their spas. It's almost all they want to talk about. Relaxing in a hot tub or spa is the perfect way to relax, reduce stress and eliminate muscle and joint pain. The zen quality of running water can't be beat when it comes to whole body comfort.

Deciding when to use your spa is paramount in maximizing your enjoyment.

  • If you are a 'morning' person, it's best to use your spa first thing in the morning and get relaxed for the whole day. If you prefer to bathe in the mornings, then you will probably enjoy your spa in the mornings.
  • If you love to lay out in the sun and get that bronzing action or some vitamin D, then you may love to spa during or after lunch. Sun worshippers often like to be in or near water while tanning.
  • If Venus is your favorite evening star to watch for, or sunsets make you want to get out your camera, then get in your spa right before sunset. Some people prefer to end the day with a relaxing soak.
  • Calling all vampires - nighttime soaks are fabulous if you love the starlight or moonlight. The very thought of going out in the hot sun to soak in hot water is just too much like being cooked as Stew. However, if you love star gazing and soaking in a wonderful jasmine scented spa at the stroke of midnight, then go clothing optional in the middle of the night!

If you are a morning person, you will NOT enjoy using your spa at night and vice versa. Usually, spa owners find their optimal time on their own. If you are unsure, try different times and see which one suits you best.

Tips:

Hot tubs are generally just a tub with hot water.

Spas are generally a hot tub with pumps for jets of water to create a massage action.

Today's hot tubs are generally referred to as 'spa tubs'.

Acrylic is the material of choice for a spa tub.

Skim filters on the sides of tubs are better than floor filters that may entangle a person's hair.

Therapeutic Benefits of a Hot Tub or Spa

Using a spa regularly will benefit your body in several ways. Warm water soothes the savage beast in all of us.

Spa benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • relief of muscle pain
  • relief of joint pain
  • increased circulation, especially to the extremities
  • decreased stress levels
  • increased metabolism (possible, not proven)
  • promotes better sleep patterns
  • may lower blood sugar in Type II diabetics
  • Increases energy levels

There are some bath salts that can be used in a hot tub or spa to help with relaxation and aromatherapy. Use hot tub/spa products only. They have been engineered to provide maximum benefits with minimum destruction to your tub.

Daily use of a spa is recommended for the best and most consistent benefits, but two or three times a week is also therapeutic.

Always check your tubs pH range and sanitizer level before using a hot tub. There are some rather nasty germs that can grow in hot water. The least damaging one, pseudomonas, will give you a bad earache.

When NOT to use a Spa or Hot Tub:

  1. Don't soak if you have diarrhea or 'skid marks'. Wipe your anal area clean with a baby wipe before entering a spa.
  2. Never get spa water in your mouth or swallow it if you do.
  3. Don't soak without a shower first - be clean, not mean.
  4. Don't let young children get in hot tubs, especially not alone.
  5. Drinking alcohol or doing drugs and hot tubbing really don't mix. Women are especially vulnerable and may faint while drinking alcohol in a hot tub.
  6. Don't use moisturizers before entering a spa. They wash off and clog the filters.
  7. Don't overcrowd the spa - know your hot tub's capacity.
  8. Check with a doctor before using a spa if you are pregnant or have skin problems.
  9. Don't allow the temperature to get too high or too low. 98.8 F. is body temperature. You can get overheated in a very hot tub.
  10. Don't jump, dive or belly flop into a spa or hot tub. Really? Someone has to tell you this?

Checklist for buying a hot tub or spa:

Considerations:
Yes / No / Maybe
Comments
Do you have a place for a hot tub?
 
Consider privacy, overhanging debris, aesthetics
Will the area support 1-3 tons (150 lbs/sq. ft.)?
 
Decks must meet codes for hot tubs
Is the hot tub/spa big enough for the family?
 
Size matters!
Can we afford a spa?
 
Prices are all over, you need a budget.
Does the hot tub have the features I want?
 
Research every item like materials, insulation, operating costs, ease of maintenance
Have we tried out several models and brands?
 
There is no substitute to trying before buying
Do I know a contractor that has experience in hooking up electricity and installing hot tubs/spas?
 
You will definitely need someone with experience!

Portable Hot Tub Spas - Great Beginner Spas!

Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub

Pamper yourself in relaxing heated water surrounded by soothing bubble jets, Outer walls of the inflatable pool are made from fabric coated material and Pool cover has an aluminum foil coating to keep water extra warm, Lay-Z-Massage System, Rapid Heating System, more...

 

© 2013 Austinstar

More by this Author


Comments 20 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Hi, Lela, and good Hub

Your link doesn't seem to work:

click to join our community of excellent writers.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

I just tried it and it worked fine.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

The link wants me to sign out and create a new account. I can only assume that new users will be asked to sign up as a referral. I use the link HP gave me.

Do you have one that works better?

Thanks,

L


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

That's what I saw too. I'll try it again.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

It just signs me out without taking me to your site.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Well that bites, since I've been using that link forever. I'll have to investigate.

What happens when you click on my name? L.A. Cargill?


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

We have talked about getting a spa..We live in a warm climate most of the year...and it would be so nice. You covered the basics so well. Thanks for a great hub. Voting up and pinning.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon

I want my doctor to write me a prescription for one though in our case, our biggest obstacle would be Gabby diving into it~! Great tips and have always wanted one--except I think I'd cut down on the chance of getting the spa dirty by going a la mode or was that in my birthday suit? ha ha - Bob would have a heart attack or at the least put a bag over his head~ They are very beneficial except I do want one with a diving board!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

As Lela! I am ROTFLPP - wipe your anal area? hahahahaha

That is classic! I love your spa...I want one so bad. Ima hafta tell Dave to get to it!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 3 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Great tips here. I feel the urge to buy myself a great hot tub now. The relaxing effect would be great.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

We have the perfect spot for a hot tub and have often talked about getting one. It's on the list of things to do and things to get. I may push it up the list as I know my tired old body could sure use one.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

It always sounded like fun to have my very own spa, but it must take some serious attention to keep it clean and healthy. It would be great to have one on a private deck where you could enjoy a quiet sunset or the stars at night...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Great job Austinstar. I totally love that you list all things, pro and con, without being timid about it. I never knew the difference between a hot tub and a spa but now I do, thanks to you.

It can definitely be an investment you'll enjoy and benefit from if the tips you've given us are followed!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

An hour a day for maintenance is about average. You can skip every other day if need be. You can actually go for a week without using it. but every time you want to use it, it will need to be checked and partially cleaned. Once a week cleaning of the filter is bare minimum.

It really helps with the aches and pains, Susan. That's why I invested in it. I am in daily pain, so it's really a must. I hope to get 10 years use out of it, so average the cost over ten years to see if it's worth it.

Audrey, I actually considered adding a tip about not letting animals into the tub. But what can you actually do to keep them out? I think they would learn pretty quickly that it is not a good place for them. Dogs have a higher body temperature than us, so a quick dip probably wouldn't hurt them, but it would get the spa dirty!

A lot of people love to use a spa sans clothing. I bet that is why indoor jets in a bathtub are becoming so popular, My flooring would never support that kind of weight though. It would have to be reinforced so much!

It's pretty hot here in the summer, and I'm betting on the spa water maintaining heat without much help from the heaters. Insulation is worth extra money, so get it if you live in a cold or hot climate.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I love spas and thoroughly recommend getting one. Nothing like them for helping you relax and getting rid of aches and pains. A good insulating lid is a good investment.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Lela, your hub is perfectly timed for me. We just installed a hot tub to use this spring. I did not know there was a small spa vacuum, but that makes sense. We have a vacuum for the pool. Also, I never thought of hot tub aromatic salts. I will definitely be looking for those. You have a great check list. You are so right about doing your research for what will serve your needs and getting the best spa. My husband researched for about 6 months. As far as trying it. It was sitting out by the spa store, and he got in it while the traffic passed. LOL He is very thorough.

Great tips and very useful. Votes and Shares! :-)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

We have had a spa for many years now and we still love it! There is nothing like it when you have had a hard day and your muscles hurt! You can just sit down in that hot water while it relaxes those achy muscles. Throw in some of the aromatic salts and it is so nice! We enjoy our spa in the evening. We like to sit out there in the dark and look at the stars. You have excellent advice here for taking care of your spa. Everything is right on spot! Voting up and more! :)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

I knew I always wanted my own spa tub. Had to wait until I was retired to get one though. Truthfully, having one at home is the best thing I ever bought for myself. I love my pool too.

But they do require diligence. So always do your research first on any major investment.

I have a picture in my head of your husband jumping in a hot tub right next to traffic. That would kind of defeat the purpose of having a personal tub, but it sure might bring in the customers!


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

austinstar, very informative hub tha tyou have written here

ive heard of water therapy and how it helps with pain.

thanks and voted up.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Jumping into a hot tub is an inSPAration,

When you are not covered with perSPAration.

Thanks, Lela, for these special spa tips.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working