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Carolyn Mosby's Posts

Most Popular Hot Tub Chemicals

October 5th, 2015 by



Going over sales spreadsheets is one of my primary jobs here at hottubworks. Sales trends are interesting to watch, and important to know – so we can meet seasonal demand.

Knowing the most popular hot tub chemicals can also be useful to the spa owner! Don’t get left behind – here’s the spa chemicals that your neighbors buy most frequently.

This isn’t just a unit sales contest, to be fair we also used velocity and frequency, to produce a more accurate list of the most popular spa chemicals – by category. “May I have the Envelope Please….”


aquachek-spa-test-stripsAquaChek 6-In-1 Test Strips: We have a lot of Test Strips to choose one, but the 6-in-1 is usually the top seller in the category, seconded by the TruTest digital test strips. The 6-in-1 will test for everything you need bromine/chlorine, and also Free Chlorine, which lets you know if there are high levels of bromamines or chloramines in the water. Aside from total, free and combined sanitizer – this strip also checks your water balance levels of calcium hardness, total alkalinity and pH, all on one test strip.


spa-frog-floaterSPA FROG Floating System: Nature2 or the other mineral sticks are popular, but for an all-in-one solution, you can’t beat the Spa Frog, which has a bromine cartridge and mineral cartridge that fit into a cute little floating dispenser. The bromine cartridge (yellow) has an adjustable openings so you can set the amount that is released, and the mineral cartridge natural filters the water as it passes through the mineral cartridge (green). With just a few pounds of MPS on hand, this may be all you need to keep your spa clean! 


brom-booster-twoHTW Brom Booster: This product is popular for the bromine spa or hot tub (which is about 60% of spa users, by my estimate). When you drain the hot tub, as you should do every 3-4 months, you lose the “bank” of bromide ions in the water. It takes weeks and weeks for enough bromine tablets to dissolve to produce enough bromides in the water, so that bromine can be created. Complicated, just add a capful of Brom Booster after draining the spa , or significant dilution, to “build the bromide bank” again.


leisure-time-spa-56Leisure Time Spa 56 Chlorinating Granules: 56% blend is pH neutral and more stable in hot water than other types of granular chlorine. Don’t ever use pool shock in your hot tub, it’s too strong and evaporates within hours. Spa 56 can be used for regular chlorination or weekly spa shocking, and is a great way to reactivate bromides (see above) in a bromine spa. Just a capful of chlorinating granules can bring levels up quick, or be used as an effective way to control algae and biofilm.


leisure-time-defenderLeisure Time Spa Defender: A blend of organic polymers that locks up minerals like calcium, phosphorous, sodium, which can cause cloudy water and scale – and scale is bad for spas. If you live in a hard water area (and nearly 50% of the country does, by my estimate), you want to control the minerals by using a sequestering agent like Spa Defender. Natural formula protects your filter, heater and beautiful spa surfaces, which is why it’s one of our 10 most popular hot tub chemicals!


rendevous-natural-clearRendezvous Natural Clear for Spas:
Natural Clear is an enzyme that removes scum lines and foam by digesting oils, lotions, make-up, and other oily gunk that we bring into our spas and hot tubs. Helps control biofilm development by attacking the outer layers that protect the colony. Just 1 oz every other week removes oils from the water, which protects your filter cartridge, and keeps your spa and spa water looking good. This product is a must for high-use hot tubs or spas with small-ish spa filters.


culator-spa-pakCuLator Metal & Stain Spa Pak:
This is the only product that actually removes metals from your spa or hot tub water. Other chemicals just lock-up the chemicals with strong bonds, but CuLator actually absorbs metals in the safe and non-toxic pouch. Drop the Spa Pak into your skimmer or filter, it attracts all heavy metals, like iron, copper, manganese, cobalt, lead and other stain-causing minerals.


spa-alkalinity-increaserHTW Spa Alkalinity Increaser:
Your water’s Alkalinity is what keeps the pH in check – not enough Alkalinity and the pH level will bounce around a lot. In most hot tubs and spas, pH tends to rise when used regularly. That’s because all the oils, lotions, dirt, dead skin and other unmentionables that we bring into the spa – tend to raise the pH level. Spa Owners lower the pH regularly; which also lowers the Alkalinity over time. Keep Alkalinity above 80 ppm.


htw-spa-ph-minusHTW Spa pH Minus: And here’s the other part of the equation, the reason the Alkalinity level tends to drop over time, is that pH minus, while lowering pH very effectively, also lowers Alkalinity somewhat. Each time you add a half capful of pH Down into the spa, the Alkalinity takes a little hit. What are you gonna do? You have to keep the pH in check, or everything else will quickly go out of whack. Use pH Minus as needed to keep pH in the 7.4-7.6 range, so that your sanitizer is most potent, and stains and scale can be prevented.


leisure-time-filter-cleanLTO Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean – Overnight Soak: To really get your spa filter cartridge clean, you have to soak it in a solution. A good, complete spray with the hose is still needed, but afterwards, soak your spa or hot tub filter cartridge in a solution of Spa Filter Clean. Double action formula removes greasy deposits as well as scale, dissolving and lifting them from the cartridge fabric. After an overnight soak, hose off and then allow it to dry fully, to kill any bacteria. This is why it’s good to have a spare spa filter cartridge.



Back to my spreadsheets! I’m sure you can find many of these in your spa chemical storage. I use most of these products above in my own spa, and can attest to their usefulness!


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works


Amazing Inground Hot Tubs

September 3rd, 2015 by

inground-spas-are-coolMy husband and I have been shopping for a new house lately – it’s so much fun, no really it is – looking at all the glitzy OC houses online.

Recently we’ve become enamored with the idea of an inground spa. That would be a first for us, now on our third spa, after getting our feet wet with wood hot tubbing, when that became fashionable, in the eighties.

Our budget is not something that can afford oceanfront property with a stunning spa and soaring pool – but one can dream, can’t she?

I did a little searching for homes with “spa or hot tub” as my main criteria – Oh, and a price range of $5M – $10M

“Honey…? I like this one, come look!” :-)


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Amazing inground hot tubs! If we don’t find a house in our price range with an inground spa, or pool/spa combo – we may just build our own! I’ll keep you posted!


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works



Spa and Hot Tub Manufacturers List

July 30th, 2015 by

lean_manufacturing_tape_measure_400_wht_3952The recession of 2008 wasn’t especially kind to spa manufacturers. As the number of spas sold dropped dramatically, smaller spa and hot tub brands were forced out of business.

Given that the industry has had a shake-up in the last 5 years, the time is ripe for an updated Spa and Hot Tub Manufacturers List, with current information.

We lost several good spa brands – Emerald, Great Lakes and Hawkeye Spas to name a few. Other companies under financial duress were gobbled up by larger players in the industry. The list below is 51 of the survivors, a tough as nails bunch of spa and hot tub brands that are beginning to thrive once again.

So then, in alphabetical order, I give you the current roster for the upcoming spa season! Use this list of Spa Manufacturers, or Hot Tub Brands in North America to find the contact information for your spa, or to read a little bit about the company.



6100 Wheaton Dr
Atlanta, Ga 30336

We want our customers to get more than they expected and enjoy their spas for years to come. All of our spas are custom ordered and built to last. From our steel frame construction to our environmentally safe acrylic backing you can rest easy knowing you bought a quality product. All spas are water tested for twelve hours to ensure that all components are working properly. With a lifetime warranty on the frame, acrylic shell and ABS bottom we stand behind our products and it shows.



1233 Andover Park East
Tukwila, WA 98188
800-441-SPAS (7727)

Apollo Spas has become one of the best-known hot tub dealers in the Northwest. The original company began in 1968 and was renowned as a fiberglass boat builder. In 1981, they took that knowledge and expertise with fiberglass and molding and applied it to the art of hot tub manufacturing, where they enjoyed instant success. During that time, the company phased out of boat-building and concentrated their efforts into building high quality hot tubs and jetted bathtubs. Apollo Spas is now owned by Arctic Spas.



Box 560, 4549 52nd Street
Thorsby, Alberta T0C 2P0 Canada

Across the globe, Arctic Spas is best known for two things – making beautiful hot tubs purpose-built for extreme weather, and for pushing the technological limits of our industry. Since our inception nearly 20 years ago, we have pioneered dozens and dozens of innovations that make owning and enjoying our spas easier, more relaxing and more fun. For 2014, its business as usual for our R&D team, as they have unveiled the amazing onSpa® with WebConnect, making real-time monitoring and total control of your spa anywhere on the planet a reality.



4176 East I-30
Rockwall, TX 75087

“Aries Spas has a simple business philosophy: Build and sell innovative, highly reliable, premium quality products at a reasonable price, backed by a total commitment to customer satisfaction. Let us put our experience to work for you. We’ll analyze your needs, wants and desires. We’ll customize any spa to fit your particular lifestyle.” Larry Williams – President



4720 N Lamb Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89115

Nowhere is our passionate commitment more evident than in the unparalleled quality of our spas. Each model has been painstakingly crafted to provide a feature-rich, optimal mix of elegance and functionality, omitting no detail. While many perceive spas as unattainable luxuries, Artesian builds a spa for every budget.  Working with our worldwide network of top-tier dealers, we bring the comfort, satisfaction, and benefits of owning an Artesian spa.



6306 W. Bell Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85308

Atera AnyTemp® Spas & Hot Tubs are designed and manufactured in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A., by a team of industry veterans. The company’s goals include handcrafting, using 100% North American components, high quality, exclusively featured, year round outdoor Fun and Therapeutic Health and Wellness Spas, Hot Tubs and Swim Spas in America. The family founders have also owned Four Seasons Leisure, a brick and mortar store in Glendale, Arizona, since 1996.



4065 N Romero Drive
Tucson, AZ 85705

Baja has always approached spa manufacturing with careful attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship in each individual spa produced, not a race to see how many spas we can build. Our goal is not to create spas that people will merely like, rather we’re committed to building spas that discerning owners will love and enjoy. Forty years ago, when we invented the first acrylic spa, our vision was to design spas with hydrotherapy, style and comfort in mind.



1500 Commerce Rd.
Richmond, VA 23224

At Barefoot Spas, we design every model hot tub around your needs. We have worked tirelessly to optimize the ergonomics, aesthetics, ambiance, and hydrotherapeutic effectiveness of every portable spa we make. Additionally, we know your hot tub should work for you, and not the other way around. Our hot tub spas come standard with maintenance-free synthetic siding, ozonators, antimicrobial shells and filters, blah, blah, blah.



13245 Comber Way
Surrey, BC V3T 1P1

Beachcomber Hot Tubs has been leading the world in manufacturing quality hot tubs since 1978, and we are devoted to contemporary industrial design in every form, from the simple functional features, to making the most energy efficient hot tubs in the world.



668 W 14600 S
Bluffdale, UT 84065

Bullfrog Spas feature patented technology recognized around the world in the pool and spa industry. The benefits of the patented JetPak Therapy System include: customizable jetted massages, an efficient system that creates the most energy efficient spa, and an ultra-efficient plumbing system that provides more power to run all the jets at the same time with optimum pressure. Perfection is no small challenge, but it’s our goal. At Bullfrog Spas, we take a different approach.



1280 Park Center Drive
Vista, CA 92081

Since 1976, Caldera® has been one of the world’s most trusted spa brands. At Caldera, we do more than sell hot tubs. We design and carefully construct a product with extraordinary benefits that can bring positive change and help transform your life. A Caldera spa gives you access to effective warm water massage therapy right at home, helping you feel renewed and refreshed, even when you have only a few moments to spare. Caldera Spas is a sister brand of Hot Springs Spas.



1462 East Ninth Street
Pomona, CA 91766

The Cal Spas story began over 35 years ago at a crowded county fair. The year was 1978 and California Acrylic Industries was a Pomona, California-based pool builder searching for a way to exhibit a large variety of pool designs in a small space. To solve this dilemma, the company created smaller versions of its formed acrylic pools and put them on display for customers. The miniature pools immediately sparked interest and the company began to receive special requests for acrylic hot tubs.


1585 Victoria Street
Kitchener, ON N2B 3E6

Canadian Hot Tubs Inc is a manufacturer and retailer of cedar hot tubs. Our round and oval cedar hot tubs are available from 2 to 10 people. Made from western red cedar from BC, the natural beauty of our hot tubs blends seamlessly into any backyard landscape. We are still independent and family-owned, meaning that we still provide the personalized customer service and attention to detail that customers have come to expect from Canadian Hot Tubs for over three decades.



275 West Rider
Perris, CA 92571

Catalina Spas is the leading spa manufacturer in cutting edge technology and quality fitness and exercise equipment giving the consumer state of the art construction and absolute relaxation. Catalina Spas are carefully constructed to provide years of carefree performance despite frequent, daily use. As a result, we build the best spas and swim spas in the industry with high-quality, efficient heaters, pumps and other components.



18800 Woodinville/Snohomish Rd.
Woodinville, WA 98072

Clearwater Spas was the first company to produce an ecologically sound product, and all of our spas are produced without fiberglass resin and other destructive agents. Clearwater Spas takes pride in using 100% recycled ABS to fabricate our Dura Floors on all of our spas. We also recycle 100% of our wood, plastic and cardboard waste. All of Clearwater Spas are certified to California’s Energy Commission (CEC).



6315 – 202 Street
Langley, BC Canada V2Y 1N1

A Coast Spas® hot tub delivers a world of new experiences, improved health and an environment that is meant to be shared with friends and family. We’ve been an innovator in the Hot Tub industry since our inception in 1996. Coast Spas was the first to install modern lighting, audio and video systems and commercial-grade Hydro Cylonic filtration systems into the portable hot tub. Coast Spas also holds several patents such as our Infinity Edge design for both hot tubs and swim spas. Coast Spas is one of the few hot tub manufactures to be ISO 9001:2008 quality certified.



1462 E Ninth Street
Pomona, CA 91766

The same innovation and exploration that ignited Coleman® lanterns has inspired the creation of the Coleman® Spas collection. Coleman® Spas are manufactured in the United States with cutting-edge technology and affordability. Coleman® Rugged Rotomold Spas, Acrylic Spas and Swim Spas are built with quality and can be trusted to last from generation to generation. Buy Coleman® Spas and buy with confidence. Coleman Spas is owned by Maax.



2717 N Tamiami Trail
N Fort Myers, FL 33903

Over the years Comfort Line Products, Inc. was not only the pioneer of the portable spa industry, but also influential in creating much of the technology found in portable hydrotherapy hot tubs today.  However, we do not rest on our laurels alone and have continued improving our line of spas into the most desired brand on the market.  The Spa-n-a-box, Spa2go, Bali Spa, and the incredible AiriSpa truly set the standard for the greatest in affordable hydrotherapy benefits and stylish design.


d1spas-logo2611 Business Park Drive
Vista, CA 92081

Dimension One Spas® was founded by Bob Hallam in 1977 and has grown to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hot tubs and aquatic fitness systems. The company was first established as a chain of retail hot tub stores. The area of Vista, California was ripe for pool and spa manufacturers, so Bob and his wife Linda set up a quick manufacturing concern. Dimension One was recently purchased by Jacuzzi, and Bob and Linda are now retired. :-)



2452 Lake Emma Rd.
Lake Mary, FL. 32746

Dream Maker Spas is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rotationally molded spas and has been a market leader since introducing this type of manufacturing to the spa industry in 1997. With a new owner and leadership team from within the industry for more than 25 years, Dream Maker Spas is now positioned for a greater level of innovation and technology. Our goal is simple: To provide superior products that allow everyone to enjoy leisure, recreation, and wellness.



101 Dynasty Way
Athens, TN 37303

In 1995, in a small metal building in Etowah Tennessee, the owners of Dynasty Spas started working on what would turn out to be one of the fastest growing and most successful spa manufacturing companies in the world. Today, Dynasty Spas employ’s hundreds of the industry’s best people and has a modern 300,000 plus square foot manufacturing facility. distribution network that consists of over 500 dealers worldwide.



251 Mayfield Dr.
Smyrna, TN 37167

Four Winds Spas has been a leading manufacturer of quality hot tubs, therapeutic spas and swim spas for more than two decades. Our unparalled commitment to craftsmanship, excellence and innovation has allowed us to stay at the forefront of the spa manufacturing industry. Incorporating cutting-edge technology and aesthetic beauty, Four Winds is dedicated to providing a stunning array of spas to meet every style and budget.



1280 Park Center Drive
Vista, CA. 92081

Freeflow Spas are incredibly durable because our manufacturing process produces a strong unibody (one-piece) hot tub shell, eliminating the need for an internal support frame. By reducing material and labor costs, we bring you a premium hot tub experience at a more affordable price. Freeflow Spas are manufactured using rotational molding making them extremely durable and more affordable than acrylic hot tubs.



24930 Railroad Ave.
Newhall, CA 91321

In 1976 Grecian Spas was founded on the philosophy of bringing the customer the finest products available with uncompromising quality. Although there have been many owners of Grecian Spas over the past 28 years the same philosophy of uncompromising quality has never changed. In 2003 manufacturing began in Odessa, Texas, in our 90,000 square foot 8 acre facility, exceeding I.S.O. 9001 standards, we are confident that the product you purchase will exceed your expectations.



1280 Park Center Drive
Vista, CA 92081

Why Hot Spring Spas? A spa provides the powerful combination of massage and hot water. We strive to do these things better with one-of-a-kind massage, innovative water care systems, and features that keep water hot and operating costs low. Plus, you can count on our decades of experience and our unparalleled customer care for the Absolute Best Hot Tub Ownership Experience. Hot Spring Spas also owns Caldera Spas and FreeFlow Spas.



335 Superior Blvd
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5T 2L6

Hydropool Hot Tubs originated in 1970 as a commercial swimming pool company and in 1978 became one of the first hot tub retailers in North America. Initially, Hydropool purchased hot tub shells from a local manufacturer, plumbed and assembled them in house. By 1980, Hydropool began manufacturing their own hot tubs in Toronto, Canada which are hand crafted by experienced designers and the rest is history.



135 Matheson Blvd East
Mississauga, Ontario, L4Z 1R2, CANADA

Our hot tubs are shipped pre-plumbed and are easily installed by any professional contractor or handyman. Our Factory Sales and Service Support Team is available to provide telephone support assistance and where desired we can also quote on providing on-site installation or start up support.  HydroTher has two convenient shipping facilities, in Toronto and New York, for economical shipping to all major North American and European cities.



14525 Monte Vista Ave.
Chino, CA 91710

As the company that virtually invented the hot tub and whirlpool bath categories more than 50 years ago, and with more than 250 patents, we proudly offer the best hot tubs and spas available in the world today. Jacuzzi Hot Tubs has more than 500 retail locations worldwide, including more than 400 in the U.S. and 50 in Canada.



1331 N. Blue Gum St.
Anaheim, CA 92806

L.A. Spas has led the industry in hot tub design, manufacturing and innovation since 1976. Whether it’s a daily soak in the most ergonomic lounger on the market, or a cozy evening with family under the stars, you’ll love your L.A. Spas hot tub. Relax and let the crystal clear water created by Aqua Klean® filtration rejuvenate your body and mind. For unmatched quality, beauty and reliability, see a local dealer now to find the perfect spa. LA Spas is now owned by Maax.



25605 S. Arizona Ave
Chandler, AZ 85248

At MAAX Spas we understand that companies are not only products and programs, they are organizations of people. Great companies succeed because of the strength of their people and shared proven values. Within MAAX® Spas we consistently succeed in meeting the challenges inherent in our growth by staying focused on our values. Maax has acquired California Cooperage, Coleman, Elite Spas, LA Spas and Vita Spa brands.



596 Hoffman Road
Independence, OR 97351

Marquis Spas® was founded in 1980. Since that time we’ve worked hard to build trust with our customers. So it’s no surprise to find that today we’re an employee-owned company. We’ve always had a reputation for quality products and each employee takes pride of ownership very seriously. Such a commitment has led to the highest level of product quality and reliability. Marquis is mainly concerned with offering creative and innovative designs…



6927 Lincoln Parkway
Fort Wayne, IN 46804

Master Spas is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 90 miles north of Indianapolis. Operating out of a state-of-the-art 27 acre manufacturing campus, we are the largest swim spa manufacturer in the world, and one of the largest portable spa and hot tub manufacturers in the country. Master Spas award winning products are available in over 300 locations in more than 30 countries. Master Spas. Changing lives one hot tub at a time.



12700 Hillcrest Rd, Ste 278
Dallas, Tx 75230


Morgan Spas and Hot Tubs are made from the finest Lucite ® Acrylic in attractive, easy-to-clean surfaces. Spa cabinets are constructed of maintenance-free, state-of-the-art synthetics and are resistant to damage from moisture, mildew, fungus and insects. Morgan Spas are built, installed and serviced by its own in-house, factory-trained spa technicians.



4655 Patterson SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

“We have had our Warrior Nordic Hot Tub for 11 years now, and we still love it. We have only had to replace a gasket or two in 11 years. Our tub is exposed all year round to cold Ohio winters and hot summers. The shell looks as good as new as well as the inside. We don’t need a new one but seeing the upgraded models availible now we just might have to happily upgrade. Thanks for a great product!” Kristin McGeorge, Ohio


pinnacle-spa-logo601 45th St. N
St. Petersburg, Fl 33714

TRUST The leadership team at Pinnacle Spas has more than 100 years of combined experience in the hot tub industry, including more than 30 years of manufacturing spas and hot tubs. VALUE Everything you want in your spa is included in the price – and what a great price it is. You get the peak value in design, hydrotherapy, water care, comfort, efficiency, quality and service. Pinnacle Spas is formerly known as Gulf Coast Spas.



75 Palmer Industrial Road
Williamsport, PA 17701

Plastic Development Company, Inc., PDC Spas is a manufacturer known to put their customers’ needs first. Fifty-five years ago the family owned business began building fiberglass swimming pools. In the late 80’s the factory was re-tooled to meet the growing demands of the hot tub market with the second generation. Today, the third generation offers the entrepreneurial spirit to take PDC to the next level.



6101 45th Street N.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33714

“We previously owned a Premium Leisure spa and were always impressed with their style and performance, so when we found out that they had developed a new line, we were quick to learn more about them. We recently bought a PR881 and wow, this is truly an amazing hot tub. The entire family loves it as has something for everyone, including our 12 year old that fell in love with the smart controls.” Julie Roberson, Cherry Hill, NJ



1021 State Street
Bettendorf, IA 52722

QCA is one of the oldest spa manufacturers, dating back to 1966. When you buy a spa from QCA, you buy a spa from a company with decades of experience and a reputation for quality. We are committed to maintain the best reputation for innovation and hot tub quality. Every spa goes through a thorough water test and 50 point inspection before it is shipped, and every hot tub we build is made with quality components at a competitive price.



2343 Welcome Ave.
Richmond CA. 94804

Roberts Hot Tubs are the absolute highest quality traditional wooden hot tubs made. We have been manufacturing traditional redwood, western red & Alaskan yellow cedar, jarrah and teak wooden hot tubs, ofuros and accessories since 1976. The help section contains water care and spa maintenance help, as well as information for those needing some assistance in doing their own repairs to their hot tubs.



2041 West Epler Ave
Indianapolis, Indiana 46217

In 1981 Rick Bartlett and Bob Dapper started Royal Spa by making hot tubs on the south side of Indianapolis, Indiana.  They were 18 years old and engineering students at the time. We are a full service manufacturer with an over 89,000 square foot plant located in the southwest part of Indianapolis. Our plant includes a full service vacuum forming and fiberglass shop where we vacuum form our spa, swim spa, and jetted bathtub shells, and a cabinet shop.



33 Wade Road
Latham, NY 12110

When discovering Saratoga Spas you will learn that Redefining Hydrotherapy is a journey, not a destination. When looking at technology, what may have worked in the past may not have the same impact in the present. When looking at the curing and health benefits of water, some things never change. Saratoga Springs, New York has been a place of relief and rejuvenation for over 100 years. Saratoga Spas continues that tradition today for the relief of a tired body and soul.



13495 Gregg Street
Poway, CA 92064

Softub is the only truly portable hot tub on the market. Weighing less than 80 pounds, its lightweight and compact design provides you the luxury to relax and indulge-anytime anywhere. Softub’s Heat Recovery Technology incorporates a pump motor that heats into a single Hydromate Unit. The heat from the motor is then used to heat the filtered water, keeping energy consumption to a minimum. Softubs plug into a standard 120V outlet, and does not require any additional wiring.


spa-crest-logo5989 Hwy. 129 S.
Claxton, GA 30417

Our success, however, is truly owed to our valuable vendors and customers. It is your support and belief in the Spa Crest line that have brought us this far and it is your continued support that is sure to propel us even further as we strive to always surpass our very best in order to offer you a truly exceptional product. In 1998, we began our second product line, Vision Hot Tubs, which offers customers an added level of superior hot tub craftsmanship and design.


strong-spa-logoRte. 11, P.O. Box 108
Northumberland, PA 17857

Our Strong hot tubs are made by a team of experts at our manufacturing plant in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. That’s right. We don’t just assemble our spas in the USA, but we build them from the ground up right here! Our use of the latest technologies and materials also helps us comply with and exceed green standards. Our processes are clean and release zero CFCs or harmful toxins, such as Styrene and fiberglass, into the atmosphere.


sunbelt-spas-logo3924 Dunvale rd
Houston, TX 77063

Here at Sunbelt, we don’t just make spas, we own them and use them. When we add another feel-good feature to our spas, we know it really does feel good because we’ve felt if for ourselves. Just like you, we have our daily share of aches and pains, and when we say a Sunbelt Spa soothes the body, we can say it with confidence because we’ve been soothed ourselves. Other spa makers are portable spa factories with limited options.



14525 Monte Vista Ave.
Chino, CA 91710

For over 35 years, Sundance® Spas has brought families together with warmth, buoyancy, and the practical style of our hydromassage hot tubs. Our reputation for lasting design and craftsmanship is backed by our history as the most award-winning company in the industry. Our popular collections of hot tubs and spas deliver luxurious comfort and entertainment features, along with innovative engineering that maximizes efficiency while decreasing time spent on maintenance.


sun-ray-spas-logo5650 99 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, T6E 1V2, CANADA

At Sun Ray Spas, we manufacture hot tubs using only top-of-the-line parts that in turn require less maintenance and are backed by one of the best warranties in the business. We believe energy efficient hot tubs that are also easy to maintain are important elements in today’s market. It isn’t enough to just produce a hot tub that looks good on the outside-it needs to perform at its peak at all times.


sunrise-spas-logo317 South Service Rd.
Grimsby, Ontario Canada L3M 4E8

Passionate about innovation and state-of-the-art engineering, Sunrise Spas is committed to “best in class” quality and features. For over 25 years, Sunrise has been setting industry benchmarks in over 40 countries. Expertly crafted; from the structural foundation to the exquisitely detailed final touches, we ensure every hot tub manufactured by Sunrise Spas is the perfect way to improve your health, rejuvenate mind and body, entertain friends and relax with family.


thermo-spas-lgo10 Research Parkway, ste 300
Wallingford, CT 06492

ThermoSpas sells hot tubs directly to you, the consumer, to provide the highest-quality hot tubs for the lowest possible price. ThermoSpas® hot tubs are a better value than the typical retail showroom hot tub because you only pay for the features you want. Customize with features and options that fit your needs and budget from the number of jets to a stereo or even deluxe LED lighting. Thermo Spas is now owned by Jacuzzi.


viking-spas-logo2725 Prairie St. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49519

For 2015, Viking’s innovative spirit has brought to the spa industry a third generation SOFT-TOUCH, an exclusive Slip Resistant satin surface that only Viking offers. Your family’s safety is important to you and it is also important to us. We have also teamed up American Made Matters. Given that we are the only manufacturer in our industry that have been recognized by the President of the United States for US Exporting and the fact that we have the highest content of American manufacturing in our product we think it’s time to educate consumers on the importance of this position.


vision-hot-tub-lgo5989 Hwy. 129 S.
Claxton, GA 30417

Back in 1985, the parent company, Spa Crest Manufacturing, began a tradition of building quality spas and in 1992, moved its headquarters to Claxton, Georgia. Soon after that in 1997, we were driven by a “vision” to create a new hot tub line. In 2005, with the help of a superior team of designers and engineers, we fulfilled our dream and are proud to offer six highly-innovative models. Since inception, the goal of Vision Hot Tubs has been to design and manufacture the most well-built hot tubs on the market – and that continues to be our goal in everything we do.


vita-spa-logo2320 N.W. 147th Street
Miami, FL 33054

At Vita Spa, we pursue perfection in all that we create. The focus of everything we do at Vita Spa is on you. The full and complete satisfaction of our customers is our objective and the result is evident in every spa that rolls off our factory floors. When you purchase a Vita Spa, you can be sure you’ve made one of the smartest and most worthwhile purchases possible. For over four decades, we have been at the forefront of the hydrotherapy industry in innovation and technology and our spas are rated amongst the best in the world. Vita Spas was acquired by Maax in 2009.



Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works



Hot Tub Pressure Switch Adjustments

July 9th, 2015 by

spa-pressure-switchesThe Pressure Switch on a hot tub or spa is a pressure sensor that is mounted onto the heater housing, or very close to the exit point of the heater. It’s sole purpose is to shut off the heater if low pressure (low water flow) occurs.

In a hot tub, pressure is an easy way to determine flow rates through the pipes, pump and heater. Some spas also use a Flow Sensor, in addition to (or instead of) the Pressure Switch, to be sure water is flowing properly for the heater to operate safely.

You See, if an electric or gas heater is On, but the water is not moving fast enough through the heater, it heats up too much, too fast, which could melt pvc pipes and scald spa users. Although it rarely happens, if a hot tub heater were to run without water moving through it, a massive meltdown or fire will result.

Fortunately, spas and hot tubs are equipped with redundant safety checks – pressure switches to shut the system down when water pressure is low, and flow sensors if water flow is low and high limit sensors that are monitoring temperature.

How to Jump Out the Pressure Switch

Don’t “jump” right to this, but check these things first: For Low Flow spa error codes, like FL, FLO, FLC, or OH (OverHeat), check the filter, check the pump and check the valves for something that is obstructing the water flow.

single_eye_movement_150_wht_9341Look for a dirty filter, a clogged impeller, closed valve, or a piece of plastic film covering the spa drain. Check the spa skimmer water level is high enough, and the skimmer isn’t sucking air. Check underneath for any drips or leaks when the system is off that may indicate an air leak when the system is on.

“Jumping Out” the pressure switch refers to placing a jumper wire between the two spade terminals or brass screws on the pressure switch. By connecting a wire between the two “in” and “out” terminals, you essentially bypass the switch itself. Note that jumping out a pressure switch should only be done for testing purposes, do not operate a spa or hot tub with any safety components bypassed.

jump-out-the-pressure-switchThe easiest way to jump out a spa or pool heater pressure switch is to use a short wire with two alligator clips, or other metal clips on the ends. But you can also do it with just a wire if you have a steady hand to hold each end of the wire into the grooves of each brass screw.

With the pump running, and the thermostat turned up, high limits reset – in short, everything ready to go, connect the wire or clips to each side or terminal, onto the brass spade connector (where the wires are connected), and within just a few short seconds, the diagnostic checks are done and the heater should turn on, or you should see an indicator light or heating code on the spa side control panel.

If not – if the hot tub heater does not come on with the jumper wire connected, the pressure switch is not your problem, my friend.

Hot Tub Pressure Switch Adjustments

You may have also read on the internet that the pressure switch can be adjusted, and it’s true, most of them can – but just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

Most pressure switches are factory set for the overall resistance in the system, and making adjustments should be done with careful small steps, and close observation of the entire system.

PRESSURE-SWITCH-ADJUSTMENTSThat being said, pressure switches can be adjusted from 1-5 psi, or from 1-10 psi. After checking first all of those items above to be sure that flow and pressure is proper and normal, you can make micro adjustments to a dial wheel or small screw, to change the pressure minimum required for the switch to close, allowing the heater to work.

Some adjustable pressure switches have an Adjustment Screw of grey plastic that accepts a small skinny flathead. Turn the screw slowly to the left, counter-clockwise, to reduce the minimum required pressure. Turn it slowly just barely beyond the point where the heater turns On.

Other adjustable pressure switches have an Adjustment Wheel that you turn with thumb and finger. Many have a lock mechanism, Len Gordon has a sliding tab lock, Tecmark has a metal clip that needs to be removed or bent out of the way. Again, turn to the left to reduce required minimum pressure, and turn it to the point just beyond where the heater turns On.

If not – if the hot tub heater does not come on with this new pressure switch adjustment, the pressure switch is not your problem, my friend.


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works



Hot Tub & Spa Safety Products & Practices

June 8th, 2015 by

toddler-in-a-hottub-from-here-to-maternity-dot-comSafety products for spas and hot tubs? If you’re wondering how to child-proof your hot tub or spa, it’s a question that we get a lot here ~ new parents asking how to keep toddlers and children safe around hot tubs.

Not as common as pool safety products, which have several types of safety covers and dozens of pool alarm systems, but there are several practices and products that you can use to elevate your hot tub safety.

Today’s blog is a list of spa safety products and some hot tub safety tips to make a spa safer for children to be around.



PLEASE-LOCK-THE-SPAEvery hot tub should have a spa cover in good condition, and cover straps with clips in at least 4 locations. If your cover begins to take on water, or puddle in the middle, buy a new spa cover, or replace the foam panel inserts. The small cover clips don’t look like much protection, but they’re almost impossible for small hands to operate. For more protection use our heavy duty spa straps, meant for protection from high winds, but they also function as another layer of protection.


lock_icon_image_150_wht_16460Most spa cabinet doors open fairly easily, and many have a magnetic latch that prevents the system from starting if the door is ajar, but very few people I know lock their spa cabinet door. All you need is a latch and padlock from a hardware store, and a screwdriver to install it. This will protect small people (who are always drawn to small doors) from getting under the spa, into the equipment bay, where electrical hazards (and other hazards) exist.


door-alarms-by-poolguardAnother good option to secure the spa is to use door alarms for any door or window that leads to the hot tub area. Like the pool fencing below, door alarms are a pool product that is easily adapted for increased hot tub safety. They install easily in minutes, and run off a 9V battery, like a smoke detector. Pass thru button allows adults to enter through either direction without setting off the alarm. Gate alarms can also be used, mounted on fence posts for backyard gates. They operate the same way as door alarms, but have attachments for different fence posts.


In most areas, a suitable fence is required to install a hot tub. However, I know that there are many spas and hot tubs that don’t have a fence anywhere nearby. A good fence around the backyard will protect your neighbors and local wildlife from potential catastrophe, but what about children inside the house? In many homes, one door on the back of the house is all that separates a spa or hot tub. safety-mesh-pool-fencingAn easy solution is to install removable pool safety fencing around the spa, to create a secondary barrier to the hot tub. Mesh pool fence panels are 10 ft long, and install into wood or concrete; removes easily when using the spa, or when children are grown.


spa-chemical-lockerWe’ve talked before about safe spa chemical storage, here and also here, and shown you many ways to creatively and safely store spa chemicals. Tips for safe spa chemical storage won’t include storing them in the hideaway steps, or underneath the spa. Just like other household chemicals, hot tub chemicals need to be stored safely out of reach of children. A sturdy, locking chest or box with a latch is most suitable. Simply storing them out of sight, or out of reach (on a high shelf for instance), may not be the best place to keep your spa chemicals.


Some of the most unsafe spa designs is an inground or sunken spa. This is because they are at ground level and are often left uncovered or the cover is not anchored into the ground. For an inground spa or hot tub, you can secure the cover clips into the floor, just use a masonry or tile drill bit and use anchor sockets. indoor-inground-spaI also recommend the thickest and strongest spa covers for inground spas, 6″ tapering to 4″, to protect the spa cover from dancing kids, falling adults and sleeping dogs. It is common to use a flat cover indoors, but these are not very strong or energy efficient.


  • Always put the spa cover back on and latch the clips after use.
  • Keep the spa chemicals and the spa equipment safely locked up.
  • Consider additional layers of protection, like alarms and fencing.

single_eye_movement_150_wht_9341I applaud you for childproofing a hot tub, or making your spa safer, and commend your excellent research that lead you to my little ‘ol blog post! Whether you are protecting kids or grandkids, remember that there is no substitute for supervision! Keep a watchful eye on the children!


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works





Hot Tub Cover Foam Replacement

May 15th, 2015 by

EPS-hot-tub-cover-foam-coresQ: Can the foam panels inside of your hot tub cover be replaced without buying the entire cover?
A: Yes! You can purchase a single, or both foam cores – vacuum wrapped and heat sealed in our US factory, and shipped to your door.

The foam core panels of your spa cover are the “core” of any spa cover, providing a sturdy, yet lightweight barrier to heat loss, up to R-value = 30, when you buy the thickest 6″ to 4″ taper, in the strongest 2 lb. foam density.

Thickness and density, and the 20 gauge steel channel are what gives hot tub works foam panels their strength, and the vacuum shrunk vapor barrier, with heat sealed seams is what allows us to provide a 5-year warranty on our spa cover foam, even covering water absorption!

Why Buy New Spa Cover Foam Panels?

Although the outside vinyl on a spa top can crack and fade and eventually need to be replaced, it is the foam core panels that are the most important part of your spa cover. Panels can break or become waterlogged (or both), at the hands of these spa cover enemies:

  • Grandchildren, using the hot tub as a stage, or the cover as a fort.
  • Dogs, especially big dogs who enjoy the warmth.
  • Tree Branches falling on the cover.
  • High winds blowing the cover across the backyard.
  • Friends falling or stepping on your spa cover, when a cover lifter is not used.
  • Bears, who like the piquant and nutty flavor of spa cover foam.

How to Buy Replacement Spa Cover Foam Core Panels

If you purchased your spa cover from Hot Tub Works, it’s easy – just call us with some info, and we can pull up the measurements for your previous or current cover. If you are not sure where the hot tub cover came from, no problem, we can make new foam panels with a quick measurement of your current, broken or waterlogged foam panels.Hot-tub-foam-cover-panels

  • Center height and outer height or thickness, of the foam panel halves.
  • Foam density, if known – or the foam density desired. 1.0 lb., 1.5 lb., or 2.0 lb.
  • Panel shape – square, round, hex or octagon, rectangle with radius corners or wedge corners.
  • Perimeter measurements, radius or corner length and diameter of foam panels.

You can also order over the phone, with our helpful spa cover experts guiding your measurements.

Cost of Spa Cover Foam Panels

Probably more than you may think, panel replacements for spa covers can cost 60-70% of the cost of a new spa cover. They require technician time to design with the CAD program and cut with our laser cutting system. Then we have the 20 ga. steel channel installed on the thick side before it goes to be sealed in a 6 mil vapor barrier. We are one of the few spa cover manufacturers that vacuum shrinks a continuous PE sheet, and then heat seals the seams on both ends.

There are too many variables of thickness, density and size to quote any reliable prices here, but if you need a single cover panel, it can run a few hundred, and for a set of both foam panel halves, it can run several hundred. So…. if the entire spa cover costs $400, the foam panels alone will cost about $275 – almost the cost of a new cover.

Buying just one foam panel insert will cost the same in shipping as buying both foam panel halves, so most people buy both foam pieces, according to Alea Cozzi, our Customer Service Manager, who knows such things… She also notes that because our hot tub covers ship Free – buying just the foam panels and then paying for shipping makes the cost of buying just the foam panels come close to the cost of a complete spa cover.

Buying New Hot Tub Foam Pieces

Don’t be discouraged that replacing the foam panels won’t save as much money as you thought – if your spa cover is only a few years old, you can save at $100-$200 over the cost of buying a new spa cover. You do want to be careful to use only closed cell EPS foam (Expanded Polystyrene), and for outdoor covers, it must be beveled, or tapered, so that rain runs off the side. You also have to be careful to buy the correct size, length and height, to fit inside of your spa cover. Call Us, and we’ll make sure you get the correct foam panels, in the density that you desire.

How to Replace Spa Cover Foam Panels

Jerry-showing-us-spa-cover-foam-coreIf you do decide to replace the foam core panels, the process of removing and replacing the foam panels is not hard. Fold the cover on its hinge, and unzip the two zippers their full length. Then simply pull out the foam panel, working it slowly from side to side, to remove it from the tight fitting vinyl “bag”.

When inserting a new foam panel, take care not to rip the vapor barrier as you are pushing it into the cover – the corner may get snagged on the zipper. Also, if the temperature outside is very cold, you may find it easier to install new foam panels inside the house, where the warmth makes the vinyl bag more flexible and easier to work with.

So, if your spa cover is fairly new, but the foam panels broke or became waterlogged, remove the foam panels and measure carefully. Give us a call for a price for replacement spa cover foam, and you can save some bucks!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works



Spa and Hot Tub Water Color Problems

April 30th, 2015 by

color-wheelWe’ve all been there before, when you lift the spa cover to discover a color other than clear blue. Hot tub water can be all colors of the rainbow when conditions aren’t right. Yellow, brown, green, white, and any shade in between.

Today’s topic is how to identify and troubleshoot colored spa water, to restore your beautiful blue spa water. It doesn’t matter what type of spa or hot tub you have, or even if your tub is as big as a pool, you can use these tips to fix colored hot tub water.

After you’ve spent several months (or years!) taking care of your spa – your trained eye can tell right away when something’s not right. A bit less sparkly and translucent, dull and dirty looking. Or one of these strange spa water colors ~


green-hot-tub-waterWhen your spa has a shade of green, one may immediately think of algae, and if your sanitizer has been low, or your filter cartridge dirty, it very well could be algae. Touch the sides of the spa, and if it feels slimy, you can bet you have a small algae bloom on your hands. Algae can grow even under a spa cover, in the dark, and in hot water. To treat a hot tub for algae, check and balance the pH and alkalinity, and add a shock treatment. After filtering out dead algae, it’s always recommended to replace the spa cartridge with new.

Green hot tub water can also be from a mineral we know as copper. It can enter the water from copper pipes carrying fill water, or from natural well water. It can also come from copper heat exchangers used in gas fired heaters, or could come from using copper pool algaecide in a spa (not recommended). This is the same copper that can turn a swimmer’s hair green – but the water can be clear and bright green, without slime on the surfaces. Remove copper from hot tub water with CuLator.


yellow-hot-tub-waterYellow algae is a particularly resistant type of algae that can exist in a dark heated hot tub, even in the presence of normal bromine or chlorine levels. It seeks out small out of the way crevices, and when in full bloom, will deposit itself as sheets across the spa surfaces. Treatment for yellow algae is to use a very high level of chlorine spa shock. Balance the water first, and turn off the heater before shocking the spa. Allow the water to circulate for several hours, with the cover removed. If the level drops to zero within 24 hours, shock the spa again, until it holds the chlorine level. After this shock treatment, drain and scrub the spa, bleach wash the spa cover and replace the spa filter with a new cartridge.

Yellow hot tub water can also come from an excess of Pollen in the springtime, especially if you have left the spa cover for some time, or iron oxides in well water can impart a yellowish color to the water, especially if the spa turned yellow after shocking. If you are on well water, use a pre-filter to remove all minerals from your fill water. Finally, if your bromine level is extremely high, the water can take on a yellow-red color, especially in the presence of low pH. Don’t enter a spa if the bromine residual is over 5 ppm.


brown-hot-tub-waterBrown water is not the most appetizing hot tub water color, and if your spa suddenly turned brown – the color of tea, you can once again usually find the problem to be high levels of minerals, namely iron oxide. This may occur within hours after shocking the spa, or making big pH adjustments. The filter cartridge should remove some of it, but to clear it up faster, you can force it back into solution with a sequestering agent like Metal Gon.

Brown spa water also occurs from contaminated fill water, and during dry hot periods, some municipal water supplies begin scraping the bottom of the barrel, which adds a lot of particulate matter to the water supply. You can combat this by using a Pre-Filter on your hose when you fill the spa, to remove even microscopic particles from your fill water.


white-hot-tub-waterMilky hot tub water, so cloudy that the water appears white can come from many causes. High calcium or alkalinity, or ineffective filtering or pumping, or air in the system causing micro-bubbles – all can make hot tub water turn white-ish. Contaminants from body lotions, cosmetics and hair products can also change the water color from blue to white. If your spa has cloudy water, here’s a blog post with 10 reasons why.

White hot tub water can also be infected with white mold, a type of bacteria that grows in small clumps and clusters. In spas that have not been maintained properly, this type of slime can be difficult to remove, but can be treated effectively with raising chlorine level to 30 ppm, running the spa for several hours and then draining. Replace the spa filter, and rinse all removable items like spa pillows, nets, baskets and thermometer in a strong bleach solution. Use a biofilm remover like Jet Clean to clean out the pipes.


pink-hot-tub-waterPink algae is a close cousin of white water mold discussed above. Not actually an algae, it’s a form of bacteria, although it displays characteristics of an algae.  Pink spa water is not a very common color for spa water, and pink algae won’t actually color the spa water pink, except in very mature colonies. Treatment for pink algae is similar to white mold above. It’s not easy to eradicate, as it is able to tuck away cells that are difficult to reach – but it can be eradicated, by hitting it hard with shock (over 30 ppm), and using a purge product to clean the lines and crevices. Also be sure to replace your spa filter, and soak all spa items in a strong bleach solution before refilling the spa.

Don’t let colored hot tub water get you down! There’s always a solution….


Carolyn MosbyHot Tub Works


Hot Tub Chemical Storage Ideas

March 23rd, 2015 by

Is the Container Store a favorite hang-out for you? Do you spend hours organizing everyone’s sock drawer in the house? Do you feel a calm sense of control when your surroundings are neat and orderly? Me too – storage and organization is kind of a hobby of mine. My Pinterest page is filled with ideas for organizing around the home and office.

Today I bring you some ideas for organizing spa chemicals, so they are visible and orderly – but also, and more importantly safely out of the reach of children and pets. Spa chemicals also need to be kept cool and dry, and be separated for safety. More on that later, but first, I have 4 ideas for organizing your spa chemicals and cleaners.


spa-chemical-storage-in-a-bench1. Deck Bench Hidden Storage

Part deck railing, part bench, the flip-up lid on this custom made wooden bench flips up to a large expanse for chemicals, filters, cleaners, and cleaning tools.

The problem with this design however is that the storage is outdoors, and subject to wide temperature extremes and humidity. High heat can cause some spa chemicals to expand and very cold temperatures can reduce potency. Moisture from rain or humidity is bad on many levels for spa chemicals. And, unless you add a latch to the lid, this design won’t keep out children.



spa-chemical-storage-rubbermaid2. Rubbermaid Storage Cabinet

This type of cabinet is perfect for garage or shed storage, and is suitable for wall mounting, to keep it off the ground, away from water and children. It also has a latch which can be locked.

You can install this indoors as well, to store your chemicals in a climate controlled environment. A plastic cabinet like this one will not corrode like metal cabinets will, in the presence of chlorine or bromine gas.



3. Over the Door Organizer

You’ve seen these used for cleaning products or shoes before I’m sure. I have used one for my shoes for years, but they can also be useful in office supply closets, laundry rooms and in spa storage closets.

Of course, this idea may not store all of your spa chemicals or cleaning tools, but it can hold the regular size bottles and test strips, and cleaners.

This has some great advantages in that the products are kept separate and snug in their own pouch, away from each other.



sterilite-bin-for-spa-chemicals4. Sterilite Storage Bin

A favorite method of thousands of spa owners, keeping your chemicals in a portable box allows you to keep them high and dry, even if you store the spa chemicals outside.

Being portable, this type of storage option let’s you move the chemicals indoors, and store in a locked closet or on a low shelf.

The problem with this method is that bottles tend to get thrown into the box, which could cause an accidental chemical spill. If you use this method, use several smaller boxes to separate sanitizers from balancers.


Spa Chemical Safe Storage Tips

  • Keep spa chemicals cool, 50-75 degrees F
  • Keep spa chemicals dry, safe from flooding and humidity
  • Store sanitizers separately from each other, and away from other chemicals
  • Twist lock the lid tightly on all chemicals after use
  • Rinse measurement containers before and after use
  • Keep chemicals safely out of reach of children
  • Never store chemicals loose on a shelf
  • Never use a shelf that may collapse in an earthquake


So get organized! If your spa stuff isn’t so safely or conveniently stored, use these storage ideas for your hot tub chemicals – and get yourself organized and ready for spa season!


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works


Children in Hot Tubs

March 12th, 2015 by


Children in hot tubs – is it dangerous?

When my children were young, many years ago, I can remember telling my husband; “they’re not just little adults, you know…”.

Especially for children under 5 years old, with bodies still growing, a hot tub could be unhealthy or possibly dangerous.

The first problem with children using hot tubs involves their ability to regulate temperature and the possibility for hyperthermia, or overheating very quickly, in a spa that is heated to over 100°.

The second issue with kids in a hot tub are concerns of bacterial infection, by absorbing pathogens through the skin, ears, eye, mouth and airways.

And third, the most important reason – is that unsupervised access by children under 5 has resulted in hundreds of drowning incidents by children under 5 years old.

Let’s take a look to see what health experts have to say about children in hot tubs.

  • CDC says: “Exclude children less than 5 years of age from using hot tubs.”
  • Red Cross says: “Children under 5 should not use a hot tub.”
  • APSP says: “No young child should be allowed in a hot tub until they can stand on the bottom and have their head remain completely out of the water.”
  • AAP says: Use a rigid, lockable cover on a hot tub, spa, or whirlpool, or fence in all 4 sides as you would for a swimming pool”
  • Mayo Clinic says: “Young children can quickly become overheated in a hot tub or spa.”
  • CPSC says: “Hot tubs pose a drowning risk to children and an overheating risk for young children.”
  • MHP says: “Hot tubs are too hot for young children, may have high bacteria, and the drain in the tub can trap children.”

The Problems with Children in Hot Tubs

HIGH TEMPERATURES: Young children have skinny little bodies with thin skin. They absorb heat much more rapidly than adults, and can become overheated in just minutes in a spa at 104°, which can lead to dizziness, nausea or even unconsciousness. Children under the age of five heat up four times faster than adults, and also struggle to breathe the very hot and humid (steamy) air coming off of the water. Children older than five should limit exposure to hot water, both by reducing spa temperatures to 100° or less, and limiting soaking time to under 10 minutes.

EXPOSURE TO BACTERIA: In a public spa or hot tub, you never know if the water is sanitary, and if the spa is heavily used – its’ probably not. My advice is to never allow children to use a public spa, where they can be exposed to mycobacteria and pseudomonas or the parasite cryptosporidium. Skin infections, ear infections, or even respiratory infections are possible with adults and children, but children are more susceptible to attack. In a private hot tub or spa – assuming that your spa is not overused and is carefully maintained, and everyone showers fully before using the hot tub – the risk of bacteria exposure may be less. However, sickness can still occur if too many people are in the spa, or if the child stays in too long, or goes underwater, allowing exposure through nose, ear, eyes and mouth. Using the air blower in a spa can produce more aerosol bacteria, released as the bubbles reach the surface.

DROWNING / NEAR DROWNING: A spa or hot tub should always be secured by a locking spa cover, which will make it unlikely that a young child can gain access. Children older than five, working as a team, can manage to remove a spa cover – I can tell you from experience! A hot tub in the home or backyard can be every bit as dangerous as a swimming pool, and should be regarded as such. Drowning can occur from a bump on the head, overheating or from becoming entrapped or suctioned to the spa drain outlet. Teach your children to never use a spa or hot tub without constant adult supervision.

If you MUST allow your Children in a Hot Tub

The hard part is – kids LOVE hot tubs, and it’s a magnet for them. They are drawn to it because it’s close to their size, like a mini-pool, and for kids like mine, if you don’t let them do it while you are watching, they’re going to do it while you are not watching. If you really want to allow children older than 5 to use your private / home hot tub, here are some sensible rules to make it safer.

  1. Everyone Shower before using spa
  2. Turn down temperature below 100°children-in-hot-tub
  3. Limit soaking time to under 10 minutes
  4. Keep heads above water at all times
  5. No more than 3-4 kids at a time
  6. Constant adult spa-side supervision
  7. Have warm towels and cool drinks ready


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works


Spa & Hot Tub Maintenance

February 20th, 2015 by

image from ThermospasWell hello again, my dear readers; I would have thought this topic would go to one of our more technical writers, but my hot tub was voted as the most well-maintained, and they asked to know my secret! :-)

Flattery will get you everywhere I suppose,  so here I am with some basic spa and hot tub maintenance information. What do you need to know to take care of a spa or hot tub? Read on, dear reader.


Care = Prevention

When we talk about spa care and hot tub maintenance, you really are practicing problem prevention.  There are a number of things that are done on a regular basis, regular hot tub maintenance tasks, and then there are those best practices or methods that are used to keep your spa running well, while being energy friendly and safe for pets and children.


Spa & Hot Tub Chemical Maintenance

  • Test spa water for pH, chlorine/bromine, alkalinity and calcium levels 2-3x per week.
  • Adjust pH, alkalinity and calcium as needed. Maintain a constant chlorine/bromine level.
  • Clean the spa cartridge filter when the pressure gauge rises 7-8lbs, or 1-3x per month.
  • Set the 24 hr pump timer to run on low speed for a total of 12-18 hours daily.
  • Drain the spa every 3 months to prevent buildup of dissolved solids.
  • Refill the spa using a pre-filter that screws onto a garden hose.
  • Shower before using the spa, and Shock after using the spa.


Spa & Hot Tub Equipment Maintenance

  • Spa Covers: Use a spa cover lift, air-out the spa cover 2x per week, clean & condition spa cover 3x per year.
  • Spa Filters: After cleaning allow it to dry fully before reinstalling. Use filter cleaner 2x per year, replace filter every 1-2 years.
  • Spa Pumps: Run on high speed only during use or adding chemicals. Don’t allow pumps to run dry, or with an air-lock, or low water level.
  • Spa Heater: Maintain proper water chemistry and keep a clean cartridge filter to protect your heater element.
  • Spa Cabinet: Protect from direct sun, lawn sprinklers or rain splash around edges. Stain and or seal the surfaces as needed.
  • Spa Shell: Acrylic or plastic spas should be polished when emptied, wood hot tubs require cleaning without chemicals.


Saving Money & Energy

  • For daily use, keep the temp at 98°, or 94° if you only use it every 3-4 days.
  • Bump up the temperature to 101° – 104°, and then shower before using spa.
  • Keep your spa cover tightly fitted, and for extra insulation, use a floating foam blanket.
  • For colder areas, add R-30 insulation to poorly insulated spa cabinets.
  • Set the spa timer to operate mostly outside of peak daylight energy use hours.


Spa Safety

  • Covered: Don’t forget to always keep the spa tightly covered, with safety clips attached.
  • Locked: Indoor spas should be in locked rooms; lock doors and fences to outside spas.
  • Secure: Be sure that spa drain covers are safe and secure.
  • Spa Rules: Use safety signs and teach children the spa is only used with adult supervision.



Make a list or set a reminder in your calendar to not forget these important hot tub maintenance tasks. And if you have someone else in your family doing it as a chore, believe me, you better follow up behind them!

I hope I was able to answer all of your questions about taking care of a spa! Leave a comment if you have any other ?’s about hot tub maintenance, or you want more information on any of my tips above!


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works