Free Shipping on all Spa Covers and orders over $100 Weekly Specials - 10% Off Covers & Lifts PLUS 20% Off Accessories!
1-800-770-0292
M-F - 7am-7pm CST
Sat. - 7am-4pm CST
Sun. - Closed

Carolyn Mosby's Posts

6 Month Chemical Kits for Spas and Hot Tubs

January 30th, 2014 by

image purchased from PM

Spa chemistry should be simple, not a guessing game like a Rubik’s cube. Today’s topic is chemical care – and how to make it Simpler. Our 6-month spa chemical kits are designed as an easy to use system. They are complete while at the same time not over-complete, with no chemical leftovers that you don’t need or won’t use - I like that!

We have Bromine and Chlorine kits, which are both very similar. We also have two non-halogen spa chemical kits, our Nature2 kit for use with an ozonator, and our Leisure Time Free kit. For areas of the country (like us!) with hard water problems, we have our kits available in Hard Water versions, containing 3lbs of Balance Plus to help control hard water minerals.

 

All of our 6-month spa chemical kits contain a Pre-Filter, to be sure that your fill water is as fresh as can be. Also included are two bottles of 50 ct spa test strips, let’s see, that works out to one strip every 1.8 days – that’s just about right!

You’ll also find a similar blend of spa water balancers, clarifier, filter cleaner and enzymes, which all work to assist the sanitizer. To help disinfect the water, each kit also includes a spa shock treatment, enough to shock it 2.1 times per week. Works for me!

Our 6-month spa and hot tub chemical kits are based on a spa size of 300-500 gallons, and so for my 400 gallon Beachcomber – that’s perfect!

 

6 Month Chlorine Kit

Uses chlorine tabs in a small floater or inline chlorinator
bromine-chlorine-6month-spa-chemical-care-kit1 Pre-filter
1 Leisure Time Chlorine (5lb bottle)
2 Leisure Time Renew Shock (2.2 lb ea)
2 Metal Gon/Defender 2-pak (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time pH Balance (1 quart ea)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean – Overnight Soak (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time Spa Test Strips Chlorine (50 strips ea)

 

 

 

6 Month Bromine Kit

Uses bromine tabs in a small floater or inline chlorinator
bromine-6month-chemical-care-kit1 Pre-filter
2 Leisure Time Bromine Tabs (1.5 lb ea)
2 Leisure Time Renew Shock (2.2 lb ea)
2 Metal Gon/Defender 2-pak (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time pH Balance (1 quart ea)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time Spa Test Strips Bromine (50 strips ea)

 

 

 

6 Month Nature 2 Kit

Use with a salt chlorinator or spa ozonator
nature2-6month-spa-chemical-care-kit1 Pre-filter
2 Nature 2 SpaMineral Sanitizer
4 Zodiac Cense – Shock / Aromatherapy – 4 scents (2 lb ea)
2 Metal Gon/Defender 2-pak (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time pH Balance (1 quart ea)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Nature2 Test Strips (50 strips ea)

 

 

6 Month Free Kit

Non-Chlorine Biguanide Spa Care System
leisure-time-free-6month-spa-chemical-care-kits-21 Pre-filter
3 Leisure Time FREE (16 oz)
2 Leisure Time BOOST (32 oz)
2 Leisure Time CONTROL (32 oz)
2 Leisure Time CLEANSE (16 oz)
1 Leisure Time Spa Up
1 Leisure Time Spa Down
2 Metal Gon/Defender Two pack (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time Spa FREE Test Strips (50 per bottle)

 

 

What could be Simpler? Choose a particular sanitizer you like and follow the simple daily-weekly-monthly instructions included. It’s best to choose a sanitizing method and stick with it. I use the Nature2 6-month kit, but I also supplement with bromine tablets. The Nature2 spa kit is also great for ozonator equipped spas, or spas that use a salt chlorinator.

Using a 6-month spa chemical kit saves time, money and worry about the spa. It’s all in the box!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

6 Embarrassing Spa Problems to Avoid

January 2nd, 2014 by

spa-problems - image purchased thru PresenterMediaWhen you own a spa or hot tub, you want it to be in tip top shape, especially if friends come over to enjoy it. They may not understand all of the complex mix of water chemistry, filtering and heating that is going on – they just magically expect the hot tub to be… magic!

A spa or hot tub is not that much work, maybe 30 minutes per week, to keep the water clean, and all systems go, ready for any spur of the moment entertaining you may do.

Based on my years of being a spa owner, and just as many years working for spa companies in customer service, I have curated this list of the Top 6 most embarrassing spa problems.

Smelly Spa Cover

Woo-Wee! What is that smell!?! If your spa has a smelly, musty odor of mildew, chances are – your spa cover is to blame. Remove it from the tub completely so that you can give it a good whiff, away from the spa. If the smell is coming from the spa cover, you have some cleaning to do. Spray the inside plastic and vinyl with a diluted bleach solution, to kill any external mold and mildew. Then allow it to dry, with the spa cover off of the tub, for several hours. For extreme cases, you may need to gently remove the inner foam panels, and apply the treatment to the panels and to internal surfaces. If you have any rips or separations that is allowing moisture to get inside your spa cover, patch them properly, or start thinking about replacing your spa cover!

Foaming Spa Water

cloudy-spa-water-smWith the jets on full blast, a small amount of surface foam is nearly impossible to avoid, and is completely normal, like the white caps on ocean waves. What I’m talking about here is when the foam begins to build on itself, and become noticeable. Hint: When children begin giving themselves foam beards in your hot tub, it’s reached a problem stage; time to take action. First, check your pH and Alkalinity and adjust if necessary, to 7.5 and 100, respectively. Be sure that your test strips are not expired, old strips can give false readings.

Second, use a spa filter cleaner to will remove oils and grime. Advanced spa foam can be caused by excess biofilm – use a spa purge like Jet Clean to strip the pipes and jets clean. Afterwards, drain the spa, refill and balance the water. If your spa is used heavily, begin using an enzyme like Natural Clear to control organics. I don’t believe in using Foam Out, by the way – that just covers up a problem.

Noisy Equipment

When something doesn’t sound quite right, just like in your automobile, that’s a good clue that something is wrong. Loud spa pumps are the most common noisemaker, and this usually means that the bearings are shot. At this point, you can have a motor shop rebuild the motor, or you can replace with our spa motors. You could also replace the entire pump, for a simpler, but more expensive repair. Spa blowers can also become noisy over time. They also have motor bearings and brushes, internal to the motor. Most blowers are inexpensive to replace, so they aren’t usually repaired, but some motor shops will work on them. A loud chattering is usually the sound of a contactor and a quieter clicking is often a relay. This could be a connection or voltage problem, or these spa parts could be defective.

Privacy Problems

namarata privacy panel

If your spa is visible from other people’s houses, that’s kind of a bummer. There are a few spa cover lifters that will hold the spa in an upright position, providing a nice bit of privacy, but only on one side of the spa. Other ideas are cheap window treatments, like bamboo blinds, or using lattice wood, to block some light, but still allow a breeze to blow through. Using a pavilion or a pergola around an above ground hot tub helps to design more privacy around the spa. It goes both ways remember – your neighbors want their privacy too, so make efforts to block noise from the spa – like loud laughter, music and other sounds of frivolity. Having the Police called to your hot tub at midnight, by a tired and sleepless neighbor, is definitely best to avoid!

Heater Problems

No one likes a cold spa, and even worse is a spa that’s only 95 degrees or so. Most spas will begin to lose temperature when the cover comes off, and people enter the spa, soaking up the heat. If your spa heater is having trouble maintaining the heat in your spa, it could be a problem with the thermostat, or some other part. Daniel wrote Top 5 Spa Heater Problems, which covers some common mechanical failures, and some embarrassingly easy fixes to the problem.  Low heat could also be caused by a very cold night, and a very small spa heater. Some spas just don’t seem to hold their heat in very cold weather. If this spa problem happens to you, consider upsizing your heater element (call us for help). Another cause of heat loss in the winter, is the lack of sufficient insulation under the spa, around the tub. Some spas are packed in with insulation, and some have barely nothing.

Itchy Rash

spa-rashes-
Uh-Oh! If your guests complain to you hours or days after using the spa, of a red, pimply rash on their skin, your spa may be harboring some recreational water illnesses. We go into it in much more detail in our article about waterborne illnesses in spas and hot tubs. Essentially, you want to drain the spa and do a complete and deep clean. Use Jet Clean in the pipes, and replace your spa filter. Most importantly, to prevent it from happening again, maintain good water balance and keep enough sanitizer in the water – at all times. Shock weekly, or at least every other time you use the spa to kill such things as pseudomonas aeruginosa in your spa.

Don’t sweep spa problems under the rug, these symptoms are your hot tub’s way of telling you there’s a problem. If we can be of any help to you sorting out your spa problems, give us a call or send an email – spa techs are standing by!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

The Secret to Hot Tub Water Chemistry

December 9th, 2013 by

snake-oil-salesman

 

The secret to spa and hot tub chemistry? It’s not sold in a bottle, or a fancy egg shaped container. It’s not a magical potion that you drop into the spa, or pour in once a month.

My friends, listen closely – the secret to clean and clear hot tub water is a multi-faceted approach. It’s may not be easy, and it’s not especially rapid, but it’s truly a miracle.

Come closer, I want to whisper the secret to hot water perfection. The secret is …

“TEST AND BALANCE YOUR SPA WATER CHEMISTRY WITH REGULARITY”

 

Of course, you also need good filtration, with a relatively new spa filter cartridge. Replace every 12-24 mos. And, you also need to run the filter pump every day. I run my spa circulation pump 24 hrs per day.

Testing Spa Water?

Most people just use spa test strips, and they are a lot simpler to use than the dropper type of spa test kits. If you want greater accuracy, you can use the Tru Test digital test strip reader, which is great for those with poor eyesight or some level of color blindness. Use a spa test strip that will test not only for pH and bromine, but also for calcium hardness and total alkalinity. I recommend the 6-in-1 test strips by AquaChek.

Balanced Spa Water?

“Balanced” spa water essentially means that your pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness are within the proper range. Adjusting the levels should go hand in hand with testing. Use a pH decreaser if your pH or alkalinity is too high. If your calcium hardness is too high, as it is in many parts of the country, use Calcium Control.

Sanitation is also a very important part of water balance. Keep a consistent sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) level in your spa. Augmenting it with minerals or ozone will make the water more forgiving of slip ups or occasional low sanitizer levels. Use spa shock after every use to kill bacteria.

That’s it – that’s the secret. Test and Balance, with regularity. But you probably knew that already…

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Bio-Film in Spas & Hot Tubs ~ How to Deal

November 18th, 2013 by

biofilms-in-spa-plumbing

Bio-film – if you’ve ever had to clean out internal parts of a dishwasher, you know what biofilm is, a multicolored, gross and slimy film.

That rough film over your teeth and gums, when you haven’t brushed your teeth for an entire day? Also biofilm.

Or, not to get really gross, but how about that stuff inside a toilet bowl that hasn’t been cleaned in months, or the gunk inside of a sink drain trap – what is that stuff? It’s all biofilm.

Bio-films are a mixture of organic materials, minerals and bacteria. Germs mixed with oils and dirt. Real nice. The bacteria feeds on the organics and such things as CO2, phosphates, nitrates and sulfates. Sorry to geek out, but I was a biology major in college!

biofilmVery soon after attachment to a spot inside a pipe, fitting, hose or jet, biofilm begins to form a chemical resistant layer that resists your spa sanitizers and also allows for growth without the water flow knocking it loose. It’s like a walled city!

Bio-films are living things, that grow by cell division. When a colony matures, it spawns new ones that break off into the flow of the water, and establish themselves somewhere else in your spa pipes and jets. Then the cycle begins anew in another place – an ingenious cycle of propagation and colonization.

CAUSES OF BIOFILM IN SPAS & HOT TUBS

  1. Poorly filtered spas, that don’t run the filter enough. Stagnant water breeds bacteria! Run the spa on low all the time, and on high every day for at least 2 hours. Replace your spa filter every 6-12 months, to trap as  much free flowing biofilm as possible.
  2. Poorly sanitized spas, that don’t maintain proper pH and always have a good level of sanitizer in the water. Shocking the spa is also important, to continuously oxidize the water, which removes contaminants that could build into biofilm.
  3. Spas that are neglected and either sat unfiltered for weeks or months, or were drained and kept empty, but there was still enough moisture, condensation and existing biofilm in the pipes to grow the colony. Even while empty!
  4. Spas that are used frequently, with many users, have higher levels of the gunk that bacteria builds on and feeds on to begin establishing a biofilm colony. High use spas should accelerate drainage and shocking schedules.
  5. Spas that don’t Purge – the pipes with a product that cleans the inside of pipes, hoses, jets and all of the other little hidden places behind the walls of your spa. Use a spa pipe cleaner chemical twice a year to remove biofilm.

PREVENTION OF BIOFILM IN SPAS & HOT TUBS

  1. Never let the bromine or chlorine residual to drop to zero, even if you use ozone or minerals.
  2. Maintain the best water balance you can, check the chemistry at least twice per week.
  3. Use spa shock regularly, maybe every other time you use it, otherwise weekly.JetClean
  4. Replace your spa filter every 6-12 months, or after 10-15 cleanings.
  5. Use Jet Clean twice per year, to remove build up that you can’t see.

Don’t let Biofilm ruin your day. Keep a clean spa, and start using Jet Clean every 6 months. They should have called it G.R.O.S.S. – “Gets Rid of Slimy Stuff”! It really works, and you get the satisfaction of actually seeing all of the ‘gunk’ float to the surface after treatment.

For more bio-tastic information see Daniel’s post “Is Bio-Film Lurking in your Spa?”

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Adult Games to Play while in the Hot Tub or Spa

October 31st, 2013 by

SPA-GAMES

 

Our last blog post on games in the Hot Tub or Spa focused on “Family” games to play in the hot tub. We started with floating checkers and wrapped it up with the game of Uno, with its waterproof playing cards.

Today’s post is for the adults – games that a group of friends can play in the spa to pass the time, and make spa time more fun.

 

 

Ha-Ho-Hee

hottubgamesThis game is a classic “Don’t Make Me Laugh” game. The object is to not laugh, while saying either Ha Ha, Ho Ho, or Hee Hee.

It can be played as a drinking game, although we suggest non-alcoholic drinks while in the hot tub. To play the game, the first person in the circle of players will say “Ha Ha”. The person to their right or left will then have to say “Ho Ho”, and the person next to them says “Hee Hee”.

Play continues around the hot tub until somebody chuckles. Smiling is OK, but if you chuckle audibly, you are either out of the game, or play stops while you take a drink, or suffer some other form of funishment.

 

Water Balloon Race

water-balloon-spaIf you’ve never filled up a water balloon to the size of your head, you just haven’t lived! For this game, have on hand some large size colored balloons, which you pass out to the contestants. Give everyone a balloon, or make teams of two people.

When everyone has their balloon, they hold it over the spa jets and fill the balloon with water! The balloon gets harder to manage as it gets so huge and unwieldy, and makes it difficult to keep filling it up. Whoever gets the largest balloon without popping it, will be declared the winner.

 

 

Hot Tub Pong

beer-pong-tub

This game comes to us from Pierre Audet, the author of the book Hot Tub Games. This game can be played against a wall, or use the raised up spa cover as your back board.

Set up several cups on the edge of the spa, and create some rules. If you are going for the traditional beer pong type of play, fill the cups with you beverage of choice.

Everyone gets 3 ping pong balls, and 3 chances to throw the ball into a cup. If a ball lands in your cup, you take a drink. If the shooter misses all 3 attempts, he or she takes a drink.

 

 

Orange Pass

pass-the-orange

You know this game, a silly but fun game, especially for younger adults. We always encourage eating fruit in the hot tub, and like to throw in some apples during our spa sessions.

With this game, just throw in a few California oranges – they will float in the tub. You don’t need many oranges, just one will do.

Pass the orange between the person sitting next to you. No hands, only necks!  When the game is over, offer all participants some juicy slices.

 

 

Hot Tub Charades

charadesThis game really needs no introduction or explanation, but here it is anyway. One person is the actor, and he will act out a situation, phrase or person.

The actor has a few limitations. No words can be spoken, and they only have 2 minutes to perform. The actor can give hand signals to indicate number of words, or when words or partial words are guessed correctly.

Have the actor stand safely, in the center of the spa, or if it can be acted out while seated, then relax.

 

 

Fun adult games to play in your spa or hot tub. What games do you like to play in your spa? Leave a comment below to add to the list…

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Spa Cover Lifter Buyer’s Guide

October 17th, 2013 by

spa-cover-lifts

We’ve recently added more spa cover lifts to our website. With over 10 cover lifters to choose from, it can be downright confusing. Today’s blog post is a buyer’s guide for spa cover lifters, designed to help you sort through the many models and options quickly.

We offer so many spa cover lifts, because there are so many types of spas, and because inventive people keep coming up with more ways to flip over and store a spa cover!

Here’s a rundown and roundup of the considerations one should make when selecting a new spa cover lifter.

 

Spa Shape:spa-cover-lifters-shapes

To start with, round spas or hexagon shaped tubs require a different cover lift than square or traditional hot tubs. Spa cover lifters listed as designed for “straight sided spas” would not fit round tubs, or spas with curved sides.

Spa Size:

Most spa cover lifters will fit a spa cover up to 96″, or a 8 ft. diameter. For covers larger than this, look at the Cover Caddy or the Cover Shelf. Also, many covers don’t work on spas that are smaller than 6 ft. diameter, or 72″. Most spa cover lifter models will handle a 6 to 8 ft. diameter.

Spa Space:spa-cover-lifters-space

How much clearance do you have available on the side that you flip the cover over? The clearance needed varies among cover lifts, but two only require 6 inches of space to flip and store the cover; the CoverMate 3, and the Cover Valet. Also, spa cover lifters need 2-3 inches of side clearance as well, on both sides.

Spa Location:

Is your spa above ground, partially in ground, or flush with surrounding decking? Most cover lifters are made for fully above ground spas and hot tubs; in ground spas can use the UltraLift cover lifter or the Cover Valet and secure the mounting plates to the deck.

Mounting Types:spa-cover-lifters-cabinet-mount

There are several types of cover lift designs. For those that don’t want to drill into the spa cabinet, use the undermount cover lifts like the Cover Rock-It, or the Cover Rx. These spa cover lifts allow you to slide plates under the spa. Other models will require that you drill mounting brackets on one or two sides of your spa cabinet.

 

Here’s a comparison chart of all of our spa cover lifters at Hot Tub Works. Use this to quickly narrow down a few choices, and then take a look at our spa cover lifters page!

I didn’t have room for everything – other comparison factors may be price and warranty. Most of our cover lifts have 1 year warranty, but some have 5 years! Spa cover lifter prices range (as of this writing) from $99 to $225.

spa-cover-lifter-comparison-chart

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

Spa and Hot Tub Features and Options

October 3rd, 2013 by

modern-spas and hot tubs

Spa shopping soon? Whether this is your first spa, or your second or third, you may be surprised at all of the options available now for spas and hot tubs – it’s like buying a new car!

Many different models, with options like ‘jet packages’ or sound or lighting upgrades. And just like cars, groups of features are included with each model step up in the product line.

Here”s a rundown on some of the newest features and options available on modern spas and hot tubs.

Materials: And colors, too. The materials used for the spa, jets and cabinet offer a dizzying array of options. Acrylic is the most popular material, with the ability to swirl colors, and produce a high gloss, scratch resistant surface. Spas can also be made completely of molded thermoplastics, or use natural wood cabinetry, which looks better, but may require some spa cabinet maintenance.

Spa cabinet options is a nice feature, allowing you to choose from many colors, patterns and textures. A spa with easily removable and replaceable panels will allow you to more easily change the look of your spa.

Lighting: Spa lighting is not just a single bulb at  the bottom of the tub anymore. Manufacturers are placing lights in several areas  underwater, and above water, around the rim. Exterior lighting, down lights that help guide you around the spa, may also be offered. Small waterfalls are commonly lighted as well. Just like trim lighting inside newer model luxury cars, spa owners can switch colors and intensity for different lighting zones.hot-springs-accessories_IQ20

Controls: Spa side controls are more user friendly than ever, with some models allowing operation through smartphone apps, and others with floating remote control devices. Control your pumps, heater, blower and lighting from a touch screen. Program run times for filter and heater. Troubleshooting interface, pass code lock.

Massage Jets: My first spa had just 8 jets. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for spas to have dozens of jets. More important than the number of jets is the location of the jets, and if you can adjust their flow, without having to turn off or reduce flow to some spa jets to increase flow to others.

There are dozens of types of patented spa jets, or arrangements of spa jets. Different whirly, twirly things that mix water and air – every manufacturer claiming their jet design and placement are the best. Foot jets are a popular option. I love my neck jet, which comes in right underneath the pillow on one seat.

spa-full-foam-insideInsulation: Spa shells are insulated with a thick layer of foam attached to the underside of the shell. Beyond shell insulation, all spa makers insulate a bit differently. Some will insulate the floor, or the the sides of the spa cabinet with foam panels. Many will do full insulation, and shoot the entire cabinet full of expanding foam, while others will do some form of partial insulation around the shell and equipment. Insulation is more important to you if you live in colder region of the country.

Sanitation: As another way to distinguish their models from the others, manufacturers may install sanitation systems to help reduce chemical maintenance. Ozonators have been a popular options for many years. Ultraviolet systems, which bathe the water in UV light are being used more. Many spa manufacturers are now also offering Salt systems on their spas. Add about 10 lbs of salt to the spa, and an electrically charged salt cell will produce all the chlorine you need.

Filtration: Most spas and hot tubs use cartridge filtration, and that’s fine. An upgrade to your filtration could be a larger cartridge, or one treated with Microban, for greater resistance to bacteria.boombox

Accessories: Add-ons that can really add on to the price of your tub! Many are hard to resist, such as a built in music system that can connect to a wireless music system, or through your bluetooth device  (I still have an old boom box next to my spa).

Waterfalls are popular options in higher end tubs, either a 6-8″ small sheet of water, or several small laminar jets that make a steady stream of water. Both can also be equipped with LED lighting. And just like with most automobiles these days, there are trim options, to add more bling to your spa. Stainless steel jets, or stylish trim pieces to adorn your spa.

spa-stepsSpa furniture around the tub makes it look much less boxy and allows you to place towels, supplies and plants neatly around the spa. At the very least, a set of spa steps is needed, to help you and your guests to get in and out safely. Gazebos or a pergola structure allow for some privacy and frame a spa nicely.

A spa cover and a lifter is also needed for whatever spa type you buy. It’s way too costly to keep it warm without a spa cover. Jack says that the spa covers used by most manufacturers are junk, and that “…I should tell you to buy our spa covers!” Lol, that’s mean, Jack.

Still confused? Start spa shopping by selecting your size first, and then decide which options are important to you. Jets, for instance, may not be desirable for the person that would prefer calm soaking to agitated water. Then you can more easily compare model to model, brand to brand. Good luck!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Family Games to Play in the Hot Tub

September 12th, 2013 by

family-in-spa
Want another reason for owning a spa or hot tub? Family Togetherness. A family takes work, to keep it knit together. It takes the effort to make it happen, to do things together.

A spa or hot tub is a place where there are fewer distractions, and everyone can enjoy the soothing sensation of the hot water, in close proximity to each other. The result? Conversation.

Have you ever noticed how conversations seem to just flow in a hot tub? People get into a relaxed and comfortable manner, and there’s not much else to do – except talk. Even surly teenagers tend to open up under the influence of hydrotherapy.

Spa Night can become a regular event for a household family, and it can also be a way to spend quality time with nearby relatives. A regular reunion can be held at your house, “bring your suits”!

Games to Play in the Hot Tub or Spa

  • Floating Chess / Checkers Game, for some brain exercising games that all kids know.
  • Waterproof Playing Cards can be used for casino style games or games like Go Fish.
  • Name Game. Pick a name, i.e. ‘Mike’, each person names a famous ‘Mike’, until they can’t.
  • Category Game. Pick a category, i.e. ‘Rock Bands’. Each person names a band that begins with the last letter of the previous suggestion.floating-drink-game-tray
  • Question Game. Ask a question, respond with a question. No statements, repetition or rhetoric allowed.
  • Uno. The card game has waterproof cards. Just use our floating Game and Drink tray for the card pile.

Have fun in your spa, and make it a point to soak with family! A spa or hot tub is the perfect way to reconnect and relax with your loved ones!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Spas and Hot Tubs for Weight Loss

August 19th, 2013 by

weight-loss in hot tubs?Use your hot tub to lose weight? There’s been a lot of chatter and controversy surrounding the idea. A lot of hot tub blogs point to a study from 1999, published by the New England Journal of Medicine which showed that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients slept more peacefully, required less insulin injections and lost weight, when they used a hot tub daily.

Was the hot tub a participant in the weight loss? You betcha, but correlation is not causality. Hot water soaking will relax muscles, increase circulation and respiration, and through perspiration, you can lose water weight, unless you are sipping water while in the tub.

Some say that the more restful sleep is the reason that the participants in this hot tub study showed weight loss, while others will discount the weight loss as merely water weight loss. And though I’m not aware of the significance, the reduced need for insulin is also an interesting result.hot-tub-diet

We have to mention the popular book the “Hot Tub Diet“, by Bridget Praytor. The book was written after the author suffered an automobile accident, and she was unable to maintain any exercise regimens, all she could do is climb into her spa for relief. But the real story is that she learned to reevaluate her physical perception and change her diet, while using her hot tub – a lot.

I think that everyone would agree that the secret to weight loss is exercise and good nutrition. Spas and hot tubs can certainly aid in recovery time after you exercise, whether you bike, run, swim or do exercise routines. And in that regard, combined with more restful sleep, allows your exercise to have a greater effect.

However, if you did water exercises in the spa, or hot tub yoga – you will expend calories while you stretch and extend into some yoga poses or pilates moves – you know, modern calisthenics.standing-asanas in the hot tub

So, Can you Lose Weight in a Hot Tub?

Your hot tub can be a factor in helping you to lose weight by improving sleep, exercise recovery, blood flow, breathing and perspiration. But sitting in your spa, and melting away the pounds? No.

However, if you use your spa for even mild stretching, you can easily shed 100 calories during a 20 minute hot tub session.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

5 Signs that You Need a Replacement Spa Cover

August 12th, 2013 by

spa-covers-newSpa and hot tub covers are indispensable, if you want to keep the heat in the tub – but they don’t last forever. Despite recent advances in materials used, creating stronger and lighter covers, there will come a time when you will need a replacement spa cover.

How do you know when a spa cover has given up the ghost? There are obvious signs, and there are not so obvious indicators. Can you get another year, or a few more months out of the current spa cover? Here’s 5 signs of spa cover distress to look for.

 

Saggy Cover

bowed-spa-cover

 

If your spa collects water on the surface, you may need a new spa cover. This indicates that the reinforcement channel is bent or broken. This is a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet at the hinge. Lower grade materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point can bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or from many openings and closings.

I know of someone (who shall remain nameless! ;-) who built a PVC support thingy that he placed inside the spa, and it brought his spa cover up level again. But eventually, he also had to buy a new spa cover. This time he bought a Hottubworks spa cover, an engineered steel channel that will hold up to most anything.

 

Puddle Cover

you-need-a-new-spa-cover-1

Water is heavy, at 8 lbs per gallon, it adds up quick. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started as a small crimp in the channel, which began to puddle some water, and then some more water … and now it looks like a new spa cover is in order.

Once a cover begins a gradual puddle, it can be hard to prevent it from getting worse. If you catch it early, you can flip the foam cores over to extend the life of a puddle cover.

Buy a quality spa cover to start, use it gently, and keep heavy dogs, kids and snow loads greater than 8 inches off of the spa cover.

 

Water Logged Spa Cover

waterlogged-spa-cover

This is a spa cover that now weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They can get so heavy that they become almost impossible to move for petite gals like myself. They can also damage spa cover lifters when they get too heavy.

What has likely happened is that the foam core wrap has become pierced, is taking on water – and, is not draining.

Our spa covers are double wrapped in 6 mil sheeting, with heat sealed edges to keep moisture out.

If you find a puncture in the core wrap, seal it up with clear tape. Removing the foam cores and allowing the spa cover to fully drain and dry can help for a time. If it repeats, it may be time for a new spa cover!

 

Torn & Worn Spa Cover

torn-spa-cover

When the fabric (marine grade vinyl on our spa covers) suffers from too much sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears will develop that will let in moisture.

Using a spa cover protectant like our Spa Cover Conditioner & Protectant will keep your spa cover clean, and it will keep it supple and soft. Similar to using Armor All on your car’s dashboard to prevent cracking, your spa cover will benefit in the same way from a regular conditioning.

Small rips and tears in the material can be sealed up with – I dare say, Duct Tape of all things. It won’t be pretty, but it may get you by for another year, if the foam cores, wrap and channels are in good shape.

 

Smelly Spa Cover

SMELLY-SPA-COVER

Musty, mildewy, old wet dog – whatever your spa cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably means that you have bacteria forming inside the spa cover. It probably also means that the cover is water logging (see above). Are you removing your spa cover regularly to allow it to breathe?

A complete dismantling of the cover, by carefully removing the foam cores from the outer vinyl covering. Turn the vinyl inside out and spray it down with Lysol. Now your cover smells like Lysol, not sure which is worse, but at least you’ve killed 99% of the bacteria on the fabric.

The high quality foam used in our spa covers is extremely resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation. When you are ready for a new spa cover, make sure it’s not made with cheaper and less dense foam cores.

 

5 reasons that you need a new spa cover – in case you were wondering about your own hot tub cover making it another year. This time of year – late summer into fall, is the busiest time of year for spa cover sales. It’s that instinctual preparedness clock that we all have that tells us to get ready – winter is coming!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works