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Gina Galvin's Posts

July 4th Hot Tub Party

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Fourth of July PartyWant to get some friends and family together, but don’t have a swimming pool? Do what I do – host a July 4th hot tub party!

Planning a hot tub party on the 4th of July is just like any other Independence Day party. The only difference is that your guests can enjoy a relaxing soak in the spa. Watching fireworks from the hot tub is one of the best ways to enjoy the show!

Needing some quick and easy tips on hosting a successful 4th of July hot tub party? You’re in luck!

 

Prepare the Spa

A few days to a week before the party, check the water balance. Lowered the pH down around 7.3-ish, and gave the spa a healthy shock treatment. On July 3rd, clean the filter and vacuum the spa. Before the guests arrive, bring an extra ounce of “wow” to your party with some aromatherapy crystals in the tub. Nothing says a summer party quite like a cool glass of sweet sangria, and Spazazz brings that essence to your spa with their Wild Fiesta scent.

Get creative with fun and patriotic signs to direct your guests to the hot tub. If the spa is behind the house, hang a sign on the side gate or the front door to direct them toward the back. This will also save you time with your guests since you won’t be running back and forth to point them in the right direction. Spice it up with American flags, red/white/blue confetti or balloons to make it festive and noticeable!

Don’t Start Too Early

If you’ll be serving alcohol at the party, be careful not to start the party too soon! If you start around 6 or 7 p.m., there will be plenty of time to eat, drink, relax and socialize before the fireworks start. This shorter timeframe on the party also means that guests leaving the party after the show will still be in a relatively sober state of mind.

patriotic playlist

Pump Up the Jams

It should go without saying – every good party needs good music. For your 4th of July party, create a playlist full of patriotic songs and let the good times roll! Save the best ones to play during the fireworks so your guests can be serenaded under the glittering glow of lights.

Even if it’s just sparklers, no Independence Day party is complete without John Philip Sousa’s famous version of “Stars and Stripes Forever” playing in the background.

Turn Down the Heat

If you can get away with it, turn the heat in your spa down to around 100 degrees. Especially if you have guests that are unaccustomed to hot tubs, this will help you to worry less about the guests overheating or staying too long in the spa. You may even want to have cooler water, around 85 degrees, and use your spa as a cool dunking station for your toasty guests.

If your hot tub buddies are old pros, they may want it bubblin’ at 104 or less. However, remember to limit each guest to 30 minutes maximum in the tub. This will allow room for other guests to enjoy the spa, and it will also prevent dehydration and overheating on a warm summer night. With alcohol, a lightheaded, dizzy feeling can come over those who spend too much time in the spa. Because of this, it’s also a good idea to help your guests get out of the spa safely.

Patriotic Food & DecorationsFourth of July Party

There’s no need to overdo it, so don’t stress out about having a dozen different red, white and blue recipes and elaborate decorations. Focus on just a few recipes and decorations.

In addition to the previously mentioned gate sign to direct guests to your hot tub in the backyard, you can add patriotic vibes to the party with a number of simple accents. A nice red tablecloth, a firecracker centerpiece, and a proudly flying American flag are all a good place to start.

Simple dishes and finger foods will be easy to both prepare and enjoy, so you don’t have to get too crazy with it. Don’t forget to offer plenty of hydrating refreshments to your guests.

Whether it’s just a few friends or a block party – have a super-terrific 4th of July! Happy Birthday, America!

Hot Tubs with a View

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Every once in a while, we like to step away from the nitty gritty of spa and hot tub maintenance to feature topics around hot tub lifestyle, design and decor. A showcase for hot tub owners who have created a true spa oasis with innovative decking, landscape or location.

And speaking of location, some settings are just a natural fit for a hot tub. Continue reading for a collection of 11 beautiful hot tubs with spectacular views, some of which are available for short-term rental! If your hot tub has a great view, leave a comment with a pic – maybe I will add it to the list!

Estes Park Colorado Hot Tub Home VRBO Rental - Photo by Linda, Owner

Estes Park, Colorado, VRBO Rental – Photo by Linda, Owner

 

Hot Tub on Smith Mountain Lake, Va, Home Away Rental, Photo by Owner

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, Home Away Rental – Photo by Owner

 

Buffalo River Arkansas Rental with Hot Tub, Photo by Buffalo Outdoor Center

Buffalo River, Arkansas, Rental with Hot Tub – Photo by Buffalo Outdoor Center

 

Hot Tub at Fossil Bay Resort, Shirley, BC, Photo by Fossil Bay - click to visit Fossil Bay site

Fossil Bay Resort in Shirley, British Columbia – Photo by Fossil Bay

 

Hot Tub overlooking a California Bay, Zillow Photo by Brad Anderson

Overlooking a California Bay – Zillow Photo by Brad Anderson

 

Scottsdale, Arizona Hot Tubs- Zillow Photo by Imagine Backyard Living

Scottsdale, Arizona – Zillow Photo by Imagine Backyard Living

 

Hot Tub with a View of Lake Tahoe, on VRBO, Photo by Owner

Lake Tahoe, California, VRBO Rental – Photo by Owner

 

Hot Tub on a Yacht, Photo by Miami Boat Charters

Yacht with a Hot Tub – Photo by Miami Boat Charters

 

Hot Tub In Seattle with a View on Realtor.com, Photo by Owner

Seattle, Washington, listing on Realtor.com – Photo by Owner

 

Acorn Cabin Rentals #701 Hot Tub in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Photo by Acorn

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Acorn Cabin Rentals #701 – Photo by Acorn Cabins

 

Penthouse Hot Tub view overlooking Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia, Penthouse View – Photo by Poynters.co.nz

 


 

I would Love to soak in any one of these hot tubs with a view! My home hot tub view is not quite as grand, like most people I look across the backyard, noticing all the plants and things that need my attention.

Oh well, I can always close my eyes, and can imagine that I’m on vacation, somewhere fabulous! That’s the greatest thing about hot tubs – it doesn’t really matter where it is, I can always find my happy place!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

 

 

Romantic Hot Tub Ideas

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HOT TUB ROMANCE IMAGE FROM ISTKLove is in the air! Valentine’s Day is less than a week away! If you are like me, you too are so over the typical Valentine’s Dinner and a movie. The restaurants are so crowded, and they move you in and out like cattle. It can also feel forced, rushing out on a work night and trying to make everything so romantic.

So let’s try something different this year – cancel the reservation and put away the slinky dress and high heels. Make a date for just the two of you, in your hot tub!

Guys or Gals – anyone can plan this, it’s easy to pull off, with just a little bit of planning. If you are having trouble imagining a romantic hot tub night, stay with me –

 

The romance begins with a courtly gesture, a memorable spa-posal that creates anticipation and builds desire. The ASK is more than just a simple proposition, it is all about the presentation and packaging, and Asking your special person to “Go In”, on a special date with you.

HOT TUB ROMANCE IMAGE FROM ISTK

  • Hand-written, hand-delivered invitation on fancy stationery is hard to resist, an overture that will melt his/her heart.
  • Post-It! Write your proposition in fancy script over many heart-shaped post-it notes, placed on the bathroom mirror.
  • Send flowers in advance, from a local florist so that you can hand-write a loving enticement to your intended.
  • Gift wrap a Robe and Slippers, or a new Bathing Suit, or other nice gift, and include ‘the Ask’ inside the box.
  • Print two tickets to a “Hot Show” on a ticket printing website, or make your own using your favorite image editor.
  • Spell it out with Sweets. Write your proposal on a cake, or use Valentine’s heart candies for a clever and tasty message.

Like any good invitation, be sure to include a specific date, time and location. You can make it very formal, as in “You are cordially invited…” or “Your presence is requested…”, or style your invite to be very intimate and romantic, as in “The first time I saw you, I fell in love…” or even seductive and suggestive.

To kick it over the top, give your evening a name that you can tie to a theme. An “Evening under the Stars”, or “Hot Tub Heaven”, or even “Wet, Wild and Wonderful”! To create more excitement and enticement, ‘brand’ the evening as though it were a day at a resort spa, or an exclusive tropical hideaway.

 

The Gift comes Before the big event, so it is really a Pre-Gift, given days before or at the start of the evening. Choose a sweet and thoughtful gift, but related to your theme or to the evening. As mentioned above, the Gift can be combined with the Ask, in many clever ways.

  • DANDY CAT READY FOR HIS DATE Fluffy Robes – soft, matching robes and slippers. Bonus if you buy two sets so you match each other.
  • Blooming Flowers – his or her favorite, are still one of the most romantic and sensual gifts you can give.
  • Chocolate Dipped Fruits and Berries, or go for the traditional heart shaped box of chocolates.
  • Romantic Apparel – For her, a new spring hat or summer dress. For him, manly jacket, cap or pair of boots.
  • Sexy Apparel – For her, classic lingerie, a type she likes. For him, nice fitting underwear, a type you like!
  • Jewelry – Take pictures of her favorite pieces, and visit a local shopping mall to find something similar.

The Pre-Gift is an important part of the allure of the evening. It need not be extravagant, and need not be ‘store-bought’. And remember, the presentation of the gift is key, not so much what’s in the box, but how you wrap it, and how you present the present. Be sweet!

 

HOT TUB MOOD BANNER

Setting the mood for the evening is also key. The hot tub is a natural mood setter, and you can add little touches to make it more romantic. Add a few decorative elements, or some little touches to really make your spa area more inviting. Here’s some ideas on how to set a romantic mood with the hot tub.

COUPLE IN A HOT TUB WITH ROSE PETALS AND CANDLES

  • Soft Music and Soft Lighting. Set up some Bluetooth speakers and play a soft romantic playlist. Use candles to light the path, or around the tub.
  • Romance - one of many sensuous spa crystalsRose Petals! Make a path of rose petals leading to the spa. Set aside a bowl of petals to add to the water just before helping her into the tub.
  • Tropical Plants! Add a few large green tropicals around the spa, or flowering plants to soften the view and add some natural flora.
  • Aromatherapy! Our spa scents and spa crystals add sensual aromas to heighten the 5 senses and increase desire. Really works!
  • Bottle of Champagne, chilling in a bucket, with two (plastic) champagne flutes. Classically romantic.
  • Hang Curtains! Or bed sheets even. If your spa is out in the open, hang privacy screening around spa.

Having a few conversations starters ready to go can help keep things light and fun. Playing “Remember when…?” or dreaming together about exotic travel plans are two good starters. Or, trading off with each other for 2 minute mini-massages is another great way to start a conversation!

 

FOOD IN A HOT TUB?

For snacks while in the hot tub, I always recommend fruits and veggies, especially colorful berries and fruit wedges. Avoid any greasy foods or dips. Just some brightly colored fruits, enjoyed au naturel. Here’s a few other romantic ideas for dining on over-crowded Valentine’s Day, or any time!chocolate covered strawberry

  • Al Fresco Candlelight Dining for two on your patio.
  • Private Dining by candlelight in your own home – with your kids as servers perhaps.
  • Private Sunset Picnic at the beach, lake or favorite scenic overview.
  • Appetizer Smorgasbord – fill a large platter with your favorite restaurant style appetizers.
  • Breakfast for Dinner – after your romantic hot tub adventure, jump in the car for IHOP or a local Diner.
  • Dinner with Friends – before things heat up, plan an intimate Valentines’ dinner party with good friends.

 

Heat things up this Valentine’s Day, or any day – your hot tub is an intimate and personal way to spend quality time with your significant other. Even if it has lost a bit of the original allure, you can bring back the magic with these Romantic Hot Tub Ideas!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin

Wi-Fi App Control for Spas & Hot Tubs

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Control your hot tub from anywhere in the world!

That’s how the tagline reads for a new generation of smart hot tub controllers that can communicate wirelessly to your mobile device. Super convenient, now that you don’t have to shuffle out in the cold and lift the lid to turn up the heat. Just pull up the app where you can view current temperature and status, and operate all spa functions like pumps, heater, lights, music – like a topside control panel, in your pocket!

All of the major spa manufacturers and spa control makers now offer wifi-enabled spa paks with the software to connect to your spa controller via bluetooth and wifi. And, most spa techs now have a half dozen or more spa manufacturer apps on their smartphones, useful for bypassing control panels, and for certain diagnostics.

Arctic has OnSpa, Jacuzzi has ProLink and Sundance has SunSmart, proprietary wi-fi modules, control software and smartphone apps that operate with their control packs. And for those spa manufacturers using Balboa or Gecko spa packs, Balboa offers BWA module and app, and Gecko has the in.Touch system.

 

HOW DOES HOT TUB WIFI WORK?

A wifi-enabled spa control has a bit of software revision to communicate with a wifi module and to your phone or tablet via the app. The module allows for direct connection from a nearby phone or tablet, and also connects to your home wifi network, for connection to the internet. Balboa uses a single wifi module, good for about 65 ft, and Gecko includes two transmitters, one for spa mounting and one for mounting next to your home wifi router.

 

ADDING WIFI TO A HOT TUB?

Well, there may be a little problem… you see, hot tub wifi modules only work on wifi-enabled spa controls, and these are still a standard feature only on luxury lines of spas, and for spas produced in the last five years or so. If you have a late brand name spa with all the bells and whistles, including Wi-Fi, see your dealer to purchase the wi-fi module kit, and you can then connect to your spa with the app.

For Balboa Controllers, only the BP line of spa controllers is wi-fi enabled as of current. The wifi module 50350 plugs into the BP500/BP600 circuit board and puts out a signal to connect with your home wifi and directly to nearby devices.

For Gecko Controllers, the in.touch remote control system uses two RF transmitters to connect to your home wifi network and to nearby devices. Gecko in.touch works with in.xe, in.xm and in.ye, in.yt controllers, with the new software revision for wi-fi.

Other aftermarket spa controllers, by ACC, Acura and Waterway for example, offer an add-on wifi module that fits select spa controls, for remote control from inside of the house or monitoring your spa while away from home.

 

HOT TUB WIFI – NOT SO SIMPLE?

Unless already equipped, you basically need a new digital spa control if you want to control your spa with your smartphone. 🙁 And, it must be a wifi-enabled spa controller, and you must also purchase the additional module or transmitter to connect from the spa to your home wifi and nearby devices.

If your spa control or spa pack is fairly new, it may have wifi capability, check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for information.

Or maybe you’ll have to continue to shuffle through the cold, to check-on, or turn-up your spa or hot tub – the old fashioned way!

Your next spa (or your next spa control) will likely be part of the Internet of Things, and more accessible 🙂 It is a nice feature I must admit, my new Sundance has wifi and I love it! I use it to play music from my phone, thru the spa speakers, and use it inside the house to turn up the temp (and turn it down, too) or for running extra filter cycles, or to check if I left the spa light on again?

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

 

6 Hot Tub Chemicals You Should Always Have

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If you are like most spa owners, you have more than 6 spa chemicals on hand, and like most of us, there is a larger collection of various spa chemicals, including sanitizers, balancers, clarifiers, cleaners and other specialty chemicals.

Every spa is different in terms of what is needed for proper and optimum water chemistry. Things like spa use frequency, number of users, cleanliness of users, filter size and effectiveness, pump run times, fill water quality and factors like sun, wind and rain can all call for different spa chemicals, at different times.

However, there exists a core set of spa chemicals that a hot tub owner should always keep in stock, because they are used more often than others. You will need other spa chemicals from time to time, to adjust water balance to proper ranges, or to control other water conditions, but keep a good stock of the basic inventory.

 


SANITIZERS

Every spa needs a means of controlling the ABC’s – algae, bacteria and contaminants, on a daily basis. When hot tubs first came on the scene, everyone used bromine tablets as the primary sanitizer. Bromine tablets are used with a bromine booster, to build up a bank of bromide ions, which can be easily regenerated by simply adding a shock oxidizer to the spa.

Many spas are outfitted with ozonators, which allow for much lower levels of bromine, or you can use a spa mineral stick to accomplish pretty much the same thing. Frog has two popular bromine+minerals floating sanitizers, the traditional Spa Frog floating system and the new round flip-floater, called @ease.

Chlorine tablets are not used as a spa sanitizer, because they dissolve too slowly, and lower pH and raise cyanuric acid levels, however Spa 56 by Leisure Time is a popular granulated chlorine that dissolves quickly and maintains a chlorine residual for 5-7 days.

SHOCK

Spa shock is in a class of chemicals known as oxidizers, because they will oxidize contaminants in the water, pipes and filter. Even though spa water may be clear, there exists at any given time, various ABC’s and other particles and byproducts that reduce sanitizer and filter effectiveness. Spa shocks destroy everything in the water, both inert particles and pathogenic organisms.

Shock your spa after each use, or every 7-10 days, whichever comes first. Shocking regularly is important to kill bacteria that may have escaped your daily sanitizer, and reduce build-up of oils, soap, skin, dust and other particles that enter the spa naturally. You can use chlorine spa shock or non-chlorine spa shock (MPS), they are both very effective.

CLARIFIER

Spa Clarifiers are positively charged polymers that are strongly attracted to negatively charge particles, which make water cloudy. They work by forming large clumps of very small particles, those that would normally pass right through your spa filter, making them easy for your filter to trap.

Clarifiers like Bright & Clear make the water more pure by removing dissolved solids, which increases the effectiveness of your sanitizers and shock. This in turn, makes your spa water last longer, increasing the length of time between water changes. Leisure Time’s  Protect Plus also adds a stain & scale additive, and Rendezvous’ Natural Clear adds an enzyme to remove oils and soaps from spa water.

pH DECREASER

At any given time, you may need either pH increaser -or- pH decreaser, but most people need the latter. Spas and hot tubs are small bodies of water, and with regular use, pH tends to rise in most spas. When pH rises above 7.8, sanitizers become less effective, and scale can form more easily. High pH is also a better breeding ground for algae and bacteria.

pH should be maintained in the 7.2-7.6 range, just slightly basic. If you are having trouble adjusting your pH, or if pH is very erratic, changing fast and often, test the Total Alkalinity of the spa water. 80-120 ppm is best, to provide a buffer for the pH level, helping it to remain steady for longer periods. Add Alkalinity increaser if below 80 ppm, and use pH decreaser to lower alkalinity levels in excess of 120 ppm.

COVER CONDITIONER

This one doesn’t need a long explanation, other than if you regularly condition the marine grade vinyl on your spa cover – it will look better, stay cleaner and last longer. Clean your spa cover first with a mild dish soap and a dish sponge to clean surfaces.

After drying, apply the spa cover conditioner to seal and protect the vinyl from rain, dirt, snow and sun. Regular use can add years to your cover lifespan by preventing breakdown and tears in the outer vinyl surfaces.

FILTER CLEANER

Hosing clean your spa filter gets most of the big stuff, but it won’t easily remove oils and mineral scale, which clog up the pores of spa filter cartridges. In such cases, the water pressure can push oil and minerals deeper into the fabric fibers, contributing to early failure.

Spa filter cleaners gently lift oils and mineral scale with a combination of mild acids and degreasers, like Rendezvous Filter Fresh or Leisure Time Filter Clean. Just soak your cartridge in a bucket or pail of water with the recommended amount of filter cleaner added, or use our own spray-on filter cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes, before rinsing clean.

 


 

As mentioned above, you may need other hot tub chemicals from time to time, but these are what I call the core set of chemicals – those that are needed most often, which are also (coincidentally) the most popular spa chemicals, or those that are purchased most often. I hope this was helpful!

 

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin

 

Spas & Hot Tubs in the News

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Reporter Gina on the job – rounding up news story from around the globe, about hot tubs and spas. I’ve been clipping news stories for months now, waiting for another chance to present Spas & Hot Tubs in the News )))).

Today’s line up is full of fun and feel good stories, well not all of them actually. Stories like these really show how much spas and hot tubs really are woven into the fabric of America. Not just a fad from a bygone era, people really like to soak in hot water!

 

Iceland Spa has Hot Tubs filled with Beer

3 guys in a beer hot tub, drinking beer

At the beer spa Bjorbodin, in Árskógssandur, Iceland they offer warm soaks in a wooden hot tub filled to the brim with beer, water, hops. Beer for drinking is also included, so please don’t drink the spa water. Just another reason to hop on a flight to Iceland, says the article. Full Story

 

Wanted: Hot Tub Stolen from Fairport Canal Days

By , D&C, June 5, 2017

Fairport police are looking for a hot tub stolen from a vendor during the annual Fairport Canal Days. Overnight, a Softub brand hot tub was stolen from a vendor. The 2-person hot tub is a tan T-150 Softub spa. Soft tubs are easily portable and weigh less than 75 pounds when empty, according to Softub. Full Story.

 

Former UMKC basketball coach has hot-tub problem solved

by , Fox4KC, May 12, 2017

Retired UMKC basketball coach Darrell Corwin had contacted Fox4 Problem Solvers because he wanted to warn the public about a hot tub repairman who had taken $800 from him and disappeared. After the story aired, that repairman returned Corwin’s money, but the news got even better. Watkins Hot Tubs called Problem Solvers. It recognized the 33-year-old tub in Corwin’s backyard as one of its own and wanted to give Corwin and his wife a new one. “It ended up I got the money and I got the hot tub,” Corwin said smiling. “I really appreciate it.” Full Story.

 

Hot Tub Huckster Barred for Life

By Doug Jenkins – WBGZ Radio, May 24, 2017

James Flanagan has operated businesses under the names of Hot Tub Addict, Hot Tub Recyclers and Two Guys and a Spa Dolly. He has been barred from selling hot tubs or offering hot tub moving or repair services in Illinois. He has also been ordered to pay $48,000 to defrauded customers. Better Business Bureau spokesman Don O’Brien says that incidents like this can tarnish the whole industry. Full Story.

 

Driver backs spas for a cause

By Staff, Independent Free Press, June 3, 2017

Race car driver Gary Klutt has teamed up with one of his sponsors, Pioneer Pools, for a cancer fundraiser, Spas for a Cause pink hot tub giveaway raffle, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. Ballots are $5 each and can be purchased at a Pioneer Pools location or online at spasforacause.ca. Full Story.

 


 

Well that was fun! I hope you enjoy peeking into the news surrounding hot tubs, as much as I do! Much thanks to the original authors of these articles, keep them coming, your readers (like me) love to hear about spas and hot tubs!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Save Money with House Brand Spa Chemicals

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If you are like me, you buy a lot of house-brand food at your grocery store, or if you opt for the house wine or house dressing at a restaurant, you know that house-brand products use the same recipe as national brands, but sell for a much lower price point.

It’s the same with our house brand spa chemicals – 12 Hot Tub Works branded chemicals for cleaning, balancing and sanitizing your spa water.

Hot Tub Works spa chemicals are made with the same recipe as Leisure Time or Rendezvous products, but without fancy 4 color bottles and a national advertising and sales force budget. As a result of these cost savings, you can save 20-30% on your hot tub chemical expenses. Now isn’t that nice.

 

Hot Tub Works Spa Cleaning Chemicals


HTW spa-hot-tub-cleaning-chemicals shown

 

Hot Tub Works Spa Water Balance Chemicals


HTW water balancers - spa and hot tub chemicals shown

  • Calcium Increaser: Use to raise Calcium Hardness into the range of 180-220 ppm.
  • pH Plus: Use to raise pH level into the range of 7.4-7.6.
  • pH Minus: Use to lower pH level into the range of 7.4-7.6. Also lowers Alkalinity.
  • Alkalinity Increaser: Use to raise Total Alkalinity into the range of 80-120 ppm.

 

Hot Tub Works Spa Accessory Chemicals


image showing brom booster, clarifier, spa protect adn spa metal out

  • Brom Booster: Bromide Ion booster to replace those lost after draining and refilling spas.
  • Spa Natural Clarifier: With Chiton, natural polymers to coagulate suspended particles.
  • Spa Protect: Metal and Mineral sequestering agent to protect shiny spa surfaces.
  • Spa Metal Out: Stain removal and prevention treatment for metals and minerals.

 

>>> We don’t manufacture every spa chemical that is available – but for these top selling 12 items, we are proud to have our own house brand of high quality spa chemicals available to you, at significant savings over name brand spa chemicals.

And if you buy hot tub chemicals during This Week’s Sale (changes weekly) you can save an additional 20%, or more!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Flooded Hot Tubs – What to do Next

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Tim Baker watches his spa float away - image by examiner.co.uk

We’re a California company, and with rain pelting the west coast for many months now, and many of more local customers have been calling and emailing us for help with damage caused by high winds, heavy rain, flooding and even mudslides.

During a 50-year or hundred year rain event, spas and hot tubs that are normally high and dry in all types of weather, can become flooded or can develop problems with sustained moisture and humidity.

What do you do after the storm?

rain-cloud-by-ocal-clkerIf your spa begins to flood, or has flooded – even if only a few inches deep, make sure to keep the spa power OFF, at the main circuit breaker. Do not use a spa that has flooded, and do not turn the power back on to the spa until you perform several important steps. You can add MPS or spa shock, to maintain the water while it is not being filtered.

 

inspect the cabinet equipment bay

If your spa is currently flooded, use a submersible pump like the Spa Drainer, to pump water downhill from the spa area, if waters are not receding on their own. Sand bags or trash bags filled with soil can be used around a spa or hot tub, allowing you to pump and clean the area around the spa or hot tub.

leaking-spa-pump-causesOpen up the equipment bay, when weather permits, to inspect the possible damage. Flood waters are usually dirty waters, so there is usually a visible waterline mark, like a bathtub ring. Look for evidence of how high the flood waters were inside the spa cabinet, and look to see if it rose over any electrical equipment. Did the water rise high enough to submerge the jet pump or circ pump, or an air blower? Did it rise over the spa controller, and specifically was it deep enough to touch the (gasp!) circuit board?

Spa pumps and blowers submerged only slightly fair pretty well, once they are dried completely. Most spa jet therapy pumps that have been fully submerged, they will likely need to be replaced. If only partially submerged briefly, while not running, spa circ pumps can be removed and dried internally, and sometimes will still work.

Control panels – the motherboard, the PCB or main circuit board. If the spa control was not energized (power off), during the flood event, there is a better chance of survival, after a proper drying of the circuit board and connections. Most spa controllers can be opened up, to inspect the main board and connections. Look at the board and connections closely, for any signs of damage, specifically electrical burn marks or corrosion, on the circuit board and on the wire connections.

Spa heaters are often not harmed in a flooded spa situation, as long as the spa was not powered when the flooding happened. Flow through heaters are sealed pretty tightly, and do not have a circuit board or an electric motor, so the heater may be safe from harm.

 

Dry out the cabinet equipment bay

It doesn’t just happen from heavy rain and flooding rivers, flooded spa equipment also happens people fill or top-off their hot tub, and forget about it overnight, as occasionally happens!

spa-controllerA wet/dry vac can be used to clean up puddled water, or use some old towels, to remove remaining water and clean the deposited silt and dirt. As weather permits, dry out the equipment bay by keeping the cabinet door open. Set up fans to circulate drying air into and through the cabinet.

If your hot tub equipment was completely submerged (water depths of 12″ or more), remove the spa pack or equipment to a dry and cool area within the home. This will allow for faster and more precise drying of the electrical equipment and connections, but some motors or circuit boards may not recover.

You can replace individual spa equipment parts, like pumps, blowers, heaters or ozonators. Your spa pack controller can also be repaired, or if your spa system already has 10 years on it, a new spa pack may be the best decision.

There are other spa electrical parts in there too, like contactors, cords and connectors, and thermostats, time clocks and transformers. Everything has to be dry before you turn the power back on.

 

Turn on Power at Circuit Breaker

After a complete drying out of your spa equipment (please see above), you are ready to turn the circuit breaker back on. Flip the main spa circuit breaker back to on, and any secondary cut-off box between the breaker box and the spa.

hot tub flooding, what to do after the storm

Check your topside control panel for any troubleshooting messages, or error codes. If your spa survived the storm successfully, you can proceed to put it through some paces, checking operation of lights, pump, heater, blower, etc.. If you find trouble however…

Circuit Breaker Trips: This usually points to damaged equipment, pumps or heaters. Disconnect electrical equipment one by one, to find out which load is causing the breaker to trip; heater, pump, blower, ozonator, light?

GFCI Trips: If the red reset button on the GFCI keeps popping out, it could be moisture related, be sure that everything has been completely dried out.

Nothing Trips, still won’t work: Check for Fuses that may have blown on your spa pack. If fuses are ok, circuit board may be faulty.

 

That’s it for now – be safe out there California, we love you!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Great Gifts for Hot Tubbers

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So many of my friends and co-workers have hot tubs, I get a large portion of my Christmas gifts just by walking out to the warehouse; and paying for it of course.

Problem is, I’ve done this so many years now, that it’s becoming harder to give a gift that I’ve not already given before!

I wrote about hot tub gifts 3 years ago, in the first version of 10 Gifts for Spa Owners. This year, I’ve pulled out all the stops in this new list of gift ideas for hot tubbers, to find fun & unique spa accessories, that I haven’t gifted before!

 


 

spa-side-patio-heaterSpa Side Patio Heater

When the weather outside turns cool at night, having a free-standing propane patio heater sitting next to the tub is sooo nice. Once only affordable for high end restaurant patios, prices for full size patio heaters have sunk to levels that everyone can afford. For instance, AZ Patio Heater has a model for $180, with 48K BTU output, it stands over 87″ tall. Adjustable flame lets you dial in the amount of heat output and wheels allow you to tip and move the heater around to different locations on your patio or deck.

 

hot-tub-umbrellasCantilevered Umbrella

A hot tub umbrella is great for providing shade over the hot tub, for spas that are out in the open. Shade also protects your spa cover and spa cabinet from UV rays, but the most common reason to use an umbrella over a spa is to block rain and snow while you are using the tub. Sure, a soft rain or lightly falling snow can be nice while in a spa, but too much of a good thing can spoil your soak. What once cost thousands of dollars a decade ago is now affordable, these 9′ diameter hot tub umbrellas make great gifts, at $299.

 

towel-warmerTowel Warmer

For the ultimate spa experience, what’s better than toasty towels? Roll up two towels, close the lid and turn it on. A 50 minute timer shuts off the appliance automatically, for safety reasons, but that’s perfect for a hot tub session, which shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. Like many of the items on this page, towel warmers were once found only at high end resorts, and cost nearly $1000 when first introduced. Nowadays, they make affordable gifts and everyone can buy an electric towel warmer, for just $90 on Hammacher Schlemmer.

 

custom-hot-tub-signsCustom Hot Tub Rules Sign

Amusing and whimsical, custom hot tub rules signs collect the most common hot tub sayings like “what happens in the tub stays in the tub”, or “Clothing Optional”, or you can opt for tamer messaging about relaxation. Custom signs, available on Etsy and other craft sites, allow you to order it with custom sayings, or include the family name, as in Galvin Family Hot Tub Rules. For about $50 you can give a wooden, hand painted, custom spa sign to your friends with hot tubs.

 

 

napa-chiller-bucketLED Champagne Bucket

One of the coolest new spa products this year, the Napa Bottle Chiller with LED lights is a fun way to keep your favorite beverage cold (or hot), while casting a cool glow, in 24 different colors, and several brightness settings. Rechargeable battery fully charges in just 4-5 hours, with the included AC plug, or use the optional solar charger when using outdoors as a planter (you can use it as a planter or as a champagne bucket). At just $99, the Napa Bottle Chiller makes a great hot tub gift for any budget.

 

LED-wine-glassesLED Plastic Goblets

A primary hot tub rule is No Glass, broken wine glasses or tumblers in the spa can be dangerous. Glass sinks quickly to the bottom, and small shards of glass under your bottom would not be a pleasant thing, and may mean you have to drain the spa for a complete cleaning. LED wine glasses are liquid activated, and shut off when the glass is empty. Internal LED batteries last for years. You’ll find LED wine glasses, rocks glasses and champagne flutes at Wayfair, starting at $37 for a set of six glasses.

 

underwater-light-show-and-bluetooth-speakerUnderwater Light Show

This product is one of the more fun gifts for hot tubbers. A floating LED lamp that creates a disco ball effect with a splash of psychedelic colors. It’s actually made for pools, but in the small space of a hot tub or spa the effect is much more dramatic. Underwater Light Show has 7 color changing light shows, with auto shut-off. Runs on 3 AA batteries, included in the kit for just $20. We also have the Bluetooth Floating Speaker & Underwater Light Show, for $60. Rechargeable unit connects to any bluetooth device to play music through the speaker while displaying any type of light show you select.

 

i-love-my-hot-tub-coffee-mugHot Tub Drink Mugs

Hot Tub novelty gifts include T-shirts, caps and of course coffee mugs. I ♥ Hot Tubs, being the most common saying printed on mugs, but you can also find “Keep Calm, Hot Tub ON”, or “This is not a Coffee Mug, it’s a Hot Tub for my Donuts”. Lol, but seriously every hot tub owner should have at least one with a Hot Tub cartoon, or some reference to your hot tub. And not just for coffee, you can use a Hot Tub Mug for hot chocolate or hot tea, and take a steaming mug into the tub. Find them at Zazzle, from $15.

 

digital-spa-test-strip-readerDigital Test Strip Reader

For the colorblind, or ‘hue challenged’, estimated to affect nearly 5% of the population, a digital spa test strip reader is the perfect gift! Even if you can discern between shades of pink and yellow, using a digital strip reader will definitely improve your accuracy, and you may even test the hot tub water more often. Test results in just 15 seconds, with low/high indicators and it stores the previous 9 test results. The AquaCheck TruTest Digital Strip Reader is only $51, and available right here at Hot Tub Works.

 

spa-hot-tub-gift-basketHot Tub Gift Basket

One of my favorite hot tub gifts for the new hot tub owner, is to send them a basket filled with spa goodies. I get the basket and some straw paper at Michaels, and roll up a few inexpensive but colorful towels, and then add useful spa accessories like a cute ducky Thermometer, Spa Test Strips, Spa Crystals, and maybe a pack of Waterproof Cards. Small spa cleaning supplies, like a Grit Getter, Tub Scrubber, Scum Balls or a Pre-Filter also fit nicely in the basket, or the Spa Cover Care Kit makes a nice $50 present for any spa owner.

 


 

Have a very happy holiday season, I’ve already given Santa my wish list, with many of these fun new hot tub gift ideas, which I can’t wait to use! If you want more ideas for hot tub owner gifts, see my earlier post on the same topic ~

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Spa Preppers – Hurricane Spa Protection

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hot-tubs-vs-hurricanes
Spas and Hot Tubs that sit aboveground in the backyard have a lot to contend with. Rain, Sun and Snow take their own toll on your spa cabinet and spa cover, but Hurricanes are on a whole ‘nuther level.

Hurricane winds have been known to pick up and hurl hot tubs across the yard or flip them into the house. Flooding around your spa or tub is also common from drenching rains that last for days.

For our friends in Hurricane Alley, which is a large portion of eastern and gulf coast states, here’s how to prep your spa for hurricane force winds and flooding.

protecting your spa from hurricane winds

hurricane--istkHurricane force winds can’t be prevented, but you can do several things to protect your spa from high winds. First and foremost is a well-planned location, using the back of the house to block winds or sculpting the earth and patio to wrap around a spa. But aside from that, follow these tips:

DON’T DRAIN THE HOT TUB: The weight of the water inside the spa is important to keeping it in one place.

DO ADD EXTRA SANITIZER: Load up a spa floater with bromine tabs, or add granular sanitizer to hold the water in the event of power loss.

STRAP DOWN THE SPA COVER: Check your spa cover clips for proper tension, you should need to push down on the cover slightly to release the clip, they should be taut and fairly tight, to prevent heat loss and prevent wind from getting under the spa cover skirt. For extra protection for spa covers, use our High Wind Straps for spa covers, also known as Hurricane Straps, coincidentally. These over-the-top straps can hold your cover down even in the strongest winds, which have been known to rip spa cover straps and send a spa cover flying, damaging it beyond repair of course. To protect your cover from damage from flying debris, you can place a sheet of cut plywood over top of the spa cover, but you must hold it down tight with Hurricane Straps, or a heavy webbed strapping at least 2″ wide.

REMOVE THE PROJECTILES: Anything that is not strapped down can become a projectile when the winds really start blowing. Even heavy planters and steel patio furniture can become airborne or be thrown against your spa or the sliding glass door to the house. If there is time, pruning trees and removing downed branches quickly to a safe area can help reduce the chances of damage from flying tree branches.

protecting your spa from hurricane flooding

hurricane--istkThe second danger that comes with a hurricane or tropical storm event is the possibility for flooding around the spa, submerging electrical motors and spa packs. First and foremost is a well-planned location on high ground, but aside from that, follow these tips:

SHUT OFF THE POWER: On the main breaker, cut all power to the hot tub by shutting off the circuit breaker for the spa or hot tub. This simple step can prevent electrification of the tub and nearby spaces, and could save a life when hot tubs flood.

SAND BAGS: Old school, but a tried and true method of keeping a spa from flooding. Build a wall around the hot tub with bags filled with sand. Don’t have sand or sand bags? Fill heavy duty plastic garbage bags with 50-100 lbs of soil or gravel. Don’t build a wall with lumber, block or brick, which don’t work well, and could be blown away in strong winds.

SUMP PUMP: A submersible pump can be used to pump out water that seeps through a sand bag wall and prevent a flooded hot tub. Larger pumps, like the Spa Drainer 1/3 HP pump, are powerful enough to keep encroaching flood water levels from rising. Pumping 3000 gallons per hour, the Spa Drainer pump drains the average spa in 5-7 minutes.

If your spa or hot tub has flooded, above the level of the pump or blower motors, or over the spa control box, keep the power safely off. Close valves or drain spa, to remove affected equipment to a dry location where they can be opened up and dried out. In most cases, flooded motors or spa packs will need to be replaced, but if wet only briefly, they can sometimes be dried out and work fine.

Tim Baker watches his spa float away - image by examiner.co.uk

Tim Baker watching as his spa floats away…

 

Hurricanes can be Deadly, the most important thing is protecting your own safety. Don’t risk accidents to yourself by working outside trying to protect the spa. When the winds top 50 mph, you’ve done all you can do – time to head for shelter.

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works