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

Archive for the ‘Consumer Research for Best Hot Tub’ Category

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

 

Comparing Spa Manufacturers – Which is Best?

August 22nd, 2013 by

spa-manufacturers-3Since we don’t sell spas, we may be in a better position to offer unbiased advice on choosing a spa brand or manufacturer. We’ve seen a lot of ‘em come and go over the years.

We spend considerable amounts of time working with manufacturers on issues of defects and warranty claims. And, since we sell spa parts, we also have an in depth view of parts availability, quality and the parts that are replaced more often than others.

We also get to hear the horror stories from customers who have experienced less than world class customer service, or had difficulty locating replacement parts or warranty service, or had a spa that was troublesome.

surveyWe’ve even done some informal research on our own, sort of a JD Power survey on spa owner satisfaction. I call them the JS Power surveys, to find out for myself, which spas and hot tub brands people are most pleased with, by asking one question “Would you buy this brand of Spa again?”.

bogus spa awardsWe also like to point out, here and there, that while most manufacturers have many awards for their spa from various organizations, that these aren’t necessarily worth the paper they’re printed on.

Here’s my short list of spa manufacturers that I think have a shared respect in the industry. There are other good brands out there, but these are some shining examples of well run spa manufacturing companies.

Bullfrog Spas

Founded in 1996, and based in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bullfrog Spas is known for it’s “Jet Pak” technology – modular, interchangeable jet paks for their spas. Bullfrog is also known for it’s charitable efforts, and seems to have a spa ready to aid weary athletes in a variety of sporting events, or donate to various good causes.

Dimension One

Founded in 1977, Dimension One was recently acquired by Jacuzzi, who plans to continue the brand, calling it New Dimension One spas. Known in the industry by the abbreviation D1, they were the first to make a fully insulated spa for inground or above ground use. They have been consistent in good dealer and customer relations over the years.

Hot Spring

Founded in One of the largest selling brand of spas, Hot Spring spas are made by Watkins Manufacturing, and is based in San Diego, Ca. Their spa Deck Designer tool is a lot of fun to play with, on their website. They have the most extensive dealer network, with over 800 locations worldwide, and are known for having strong dealer relations.

Marquis Spas

Founded in 1980 in the pacific northwest, Oregon based, Employee owned Marquis Spas has a reputation for building quality and technically advanced spas, with luxury surfaces and cool features. They are also a prolific giver, Marquis Spa dealers have granted over 500 wishes to children with advanced medical conditions, and are a Corporate Sponsor for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Saratoga

Saratoga Spas are made near the Saratoga Springs, NY, since 1984. We really like the company around here. Easy to work with, for dealers, customers and even aftermarket retailers, (like us!) and their spas are known to be easy to work on as well. A reputation for reliable, energy efficient operation and features that no one else has.

So, there you have it, my personal and unbiased opinion as to some of the best spa manufacturers in today’s market. If you are looking for a new spa or hot tub, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these brands.

Have you owned one of these spa brands? Would you buy another one? Tell us below in the comments.

- Jack

5 ways to Improve your Spa or Hot Tub Appeal

August 15th, 2013 by

spa-landscapingSpas and hot tubs need decor surrounding them – plants, wood, stone, tile. Natural elements, to complement the hot bubbling water.

Wrapping your spa in decking really expands the spa area, making the hot tub a part of a larger, cohesive design. Spas or hot tubs need some exterior design elements, for privacy, and to create that tranquil vibe.

 

Here’s some ideas for taking a plain ‘ol above ground spa, and wrapping it in other natural elements, to create a more inviting and interesting outdoor spa environment.

I hope you like the pictures!

DECKING

An important design consideration is that the area around the spa needs to be well draining and clean. No puddles or muddy spots, spa users need to be able to walk barefoot around the spa. The surface needs to also be non-skid, since it will be wet.

Here’s some ideas for wrapping decking around a spa or hot tub. Sinking it in the ground makes the spa easier to get in and out of, and reduces the visual footprint of the spa or hot tub.

blog-spa-decking-ideas

blog-spa-decking-ideas

blog-spa-decking-ideas

ROCKS

With placement of rocks around the spa, you can create a rustic or natural mountain spring setting. Wrap 2 or 3 sides in soil, rock and gravel (leaving room to access the spa pack), to hide a big, chunky spa. Use thick plastic sheeting if planning to put dirt or rocks up against the spa skirt.

Here’s some ideas for using natural or faux rocks around a spa or hot tub.

blog-spa-rocks-ideas

blog-spa-rock-ideas

blog-spa-rock-ideas

PLANTS

If some of these ideas so far look daunting, consider planters around the spa at varied levels. If your spa sits on a large patio without close earth, large and small planters can be placed on the sides of the spa to soften the view of the spa, provide privacy, and a natural element.

Tropical plants are great around southern spas, while northern spas can use hearty evergreen bushes, along with seasonal flowers or blooming plants. Use Cactus and succulents for southwestern spas. Volcanic rock or river stone makes a nice ground cover for pathways.

blog-spa-and-hot-tub-landscaping-ideas

blog-spa-and-hot-tub-landscaping-ideas

blog-spa-and-hot-tub-landscaping-ideas

FURNITURE

Spa furniture makes a quick and easy way to frame your spa, and reduce the visual impact of today’s gargantuan spas. They are also convenient spaces to place plants, candles or towels. The counter and stool arrangement makes a nice place for family to eat, or converse with people in the spa.

Spa steps are necessary for hot tubs that are completely freestanding, above the ground. Wrapping steps around the spa, and integrating with barrier walls or external seating is an exciting way to make the spa more accessible.

spa-furniture-ideas 2

spa-furniture-ideas

spa-furniture-ideas-3

GAZEBOS

I think the Gazebo must have been invented for spas and hot tubs. It provides shelter from sun and rain, not just for you, but for your spa and spa cover. They also allow you to easily hang overhead lighting and speakers.

A gazebo can be built to any shape and size, or there are many pre-fab kits you can buy and build. Pergola is an open option to use with climbing Wisteria or hanging plants. Drape with curtains for a cabana look and feel, or create a tropical roof of shingles or thatch.

blog-spa-gazebos

spa-gazebos-2

spa-gazebos-3

 

So many ideas, so little time, I know. I hope this inspires you to some action for improvements around your spa or hot tub. Let us know your plans, in the comment section below!

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

Spa Parts: Plumbing Parts for Spas and Hot Tubs

August 8th, 2013 by

spa-plumbing-supplies-and-partsSpa plumbing parts. This is going to be a long post, as we have 12 parts categories to go over, so settle in.

This post will help explain each spa plumbing parts sub-category in more detail, so you know how and when they are most useful.

There are many specialized parts in the plumbing category, and parts used only on certain spas and hot tubs, and many parts which are universal.

 

Spa Air Controls

spa-plumbing-parts-air-controlsAir controls are the knobs on the side of the spa that are used as air intakes. Some spas have several air control knobs, which control the amount of air intake (and thus air output) for a certain group of spa jets, or a particular air manifold. It acts as an air valve, to allow the spa user to dial in the perfect mix of air to the water stream, to increase the action and pressure from the spa jets.

We have over 35 different spa air controls, from G&G, Hydro Air and Waterway. They vary by the S hose connection size, and the hole size on the spa. If you’ve managed to lose or break one of these spa air intake knobs, see our selection of spa air controls.

Spa Air Injectors

spa-plumbing-parts-air-injectors

Spa air injectors, or maybe you call them bubblers or aerators in your spa, but this is where the air comes out, not mixed with water. Common on the floor or on lounge portions of the spa. You can replace the air injectors in your spa if they have become broken or missing parts, or you are renovating a spa and adding new or additional air jets or larger capacity jets to your spa or hot tub.

We have over 25 different air injectors, from Air Pro, Hydro Air and Waterway. Air Pro has a model with the Backstop, a check valve that prevents water from entering the air line.  Similar to air controls, the main difference between Air Injectors are in the air S hose connection size and the hole size, or the diameter of the hole through spa shell.

Spa Sealants

spa-plumbing-parts-sealants

This section of our spa plumbing department is stocked with sealants and bonding supplies for making PVC repairs with our Heavy Duty PVC cement, or fastening replacement air injectors, water jets or spa light rings in place with an underwater silicone adhesive. Silicone is also useful for making small leak repairs around the skimmer, air hoses, or on the spa shell, sealing up around leaky jets and fittings.

In the Sealant department, we carry 5 types of hot tub silicone by BOSS to allow you to affix and seal up just about anything on your spa. We also have spray blue RTV gasket maker for pump gasket problems, silicone Grout to use on tile and around spa fittings, and Mr. Sticky’s 2-part underwater epoxy. All in our spa sealants section.

Spa Air Buttons

spa-plumbing-parts-air-buttons

Spa Air Buttons are used to activate the spa blower, lights or jets. They are a safe way to activate a electronic switch when you’re sitting in a tub full of water. Spa air buttons are fairly reliable, but some may fail after many years of use, or become sticky. Like air controls and injectors, replacement air buttons will match up to your current air button by the hose size and hole size.

You can also match up current spa buttons by appearance. We have over 35 spa buttons, in all colors – gold, silver, black, white, taupe, from nearly 10 manufacturers, including Len Gordon, PresAirTrol and Tecmark. Your spa manufacturer likely used one of these specific air buttons, or we also have a universal button on our spa air buttons page.

Spa Drain Covers and Plumbing Fittings

spa-plumbing-parts-suction-plumbing-fittings

We have over 40 Spa plumbing fittings, like sweep elbows, 45′s, 90′s, connectors, reducers, tee fittings.Use these fittings to make repairs or renovations to your spa. Freeze damage repair to a spa will usually involve some plumbing fittings, repositioning equipment, or re-routing your spa plumbing . When plumbing PVC on a spa, be sure to use primer on the pipe and fittings before applying a heavy body PVC cement.

Half a dozen VGB compliant spa drain covers – it’s very important that they are secured to prevent entrapment. Modern spa drain covers or suction outlets have many small holes and improved flow characteristics to make entrapment unlikely. Missing spa drain covers should always be replaced and firmly secured, with both screws.

Spa Flexible PVC Pipe and Air Hose

spa-plumbing-parts-hose-tubing-pipe

This department needs little explaining. We have flexible PVC ‘flex pipe’, in sizes from 1/2″ to 2 inch, sold in long rolls, or by the foot. We just slap a FedEx sticker on the roll of pipe, and ship it without a box – never had a problem. We also carry the clear flexible hose that is connected to air switches or used in air systems.

Spa air hose is sold by the foot, and available in diameters from 1/8″ to 3/4 inch.  And, those little hose clamp clips, that always seem to get lost? We have them also, in two sizes.

Use spa flex pipe when you are fixing major leaks or renovating a spa shell. Spa air hose can be damaged by rodents or heat sources. Whatever the issue, we have your spa flex pipe and spa air hose for small or large repairs.

Spa Plumbing Manifolds

spa-plumbing-parts-manifolds

These are some of the most interesting contraptions I’ve ever seen. They look like props for a science fiction movie. I keep saying that I’m going to make a lamp out of one of these, one day. Spa manifolds are used to split the water and air into several smaller ports attached to pipes and hoses that go to different water jets and air injectors. They are used for air, or for water, and connect to either PVC pipe or clear air hose and reduce from 2″ or 1.5″ pipe, down to 3/4″ or less.

We have over 50 different manifolds for unimaginable uses. You can plumb in 12 new jets into your spa or hot tub, of fix freeze damaged spas with these manifolds. Maybe you can make a lamp, or something else useful out of these spa manifolds.

Spa Skimmers

spa-plumbing-parts-skimmersMany above ground spas don’t have a skimmer similar to a pool skimmer, with a basket and weir. Many spas have a grate, which covers a throttled suction fitting, that slowly draws water from the surface. More or less effective. Other spas may have the more traditional type of skimmer. Either way, your skimmer grate, basket and weirs needs are covered.

We also have entire new spa skimmers, the Hayward SP1099 front access skimmer used on many backyard spas and hot tubs, or can be retrofitted to outdoor spas and tubs that need more skimming action.

Spa Plumbing Unions

spa-plumbing-unionsI’m not talking about the Brotherhood of Plumbers, local 454 – no, here we have connectors for spa pumps and filters that allow you to remove the equipment for service with unions – pipe connectors that can be easily removed. Unions can crack under pressure or from freeze damage. They can also overheat and melt, or if doing considerable plumbing modifications, you may need to replace the unions.

We have union nuts, o-rings and adapters. Over 35 unions available in sizes from 1″ to 3 inches, in every configuration imaginable. Specialty spa unions too, such as reducing spa unions, or barbed hose connection unions. View all of our spa unions.

Spa Valves

spa-plumbing-valvesOur final spa plumbing parts sub-category, is also our largest category, of spa directional valves and check valves. Over two dozen slice valves, aka guillotine valves, by Magic and Valterra. We have diverter valves by Jandy and Waterway, and the hard to find Ortega valves with the iconic brass handle. In this section you’ll find check valves for air and water as well. Valves help control the direction of the water flow, and check valves allow flow to pass through in only one direction.

Valves may need replacing for various repairs, or to replace a defective valve. Check valves also don’t last forever. For this reason, we also stock some of the most popular spa valve parts. Check us out when you need new spa valves.

That’s Ten categories of spa plumbing parts and fittings (I skipped two of them!). Just about everything you need to keep your spa or hot tub humming along.

- Jack

 

 

 

 

How to Buy a Used Hot Tub

August 5th, 2013 by

would-you-buy-a-used-hot-tub

Would YOU buy a used hot tub? Two-thirds of people surveyed would buy a used tub, especially if they knew the person. You can always find someone trying to sell their spa, for one reason or another. You’ll find used spas and hot tubs on craigslist and local papers by dealers and home owners.

Used spas and hot tubs can still have much life left in them, and can be purchased for less than half of a new spa. Even if you decide to invest in a new spa cover or cartridge filter element, the cost savings can be substantial.

Here’s some tips on how to buy a Used Spa or Hot tub.

Buying from a Hot Tub Dealer

Many spa dealers take trade-ins, much like a car dealer may sell new and used cars. They may sometimes have older models or demo units they are trying to sell.

The advantage of buying from a dealer is that it will have some kind of warranty, and a thorough ’29′ point inspection and detailing. They can also sanitize the pipes for biofilm removal. Plus – they can also deliver it, set it up with proper power, fill it, and show you how to use it.

Just make sure it’s a ‘real’ spa dealer, not a guy working out of a storage unit. And never buy a spa that you have not seen filled with water, hot, and fully operational.

Buy from a Friend you Trust

If you have a good friend whose personal grooming habits you respect, it might be worth a look into his or her gently used spa. There are those however, who say that you never should transact business with friends – if you want them to stay friends. Nonetheless, if you trust them that the spa was well maintained and is in good working order, you can help out a friend and get a hot tub for yourself at a good price.

Making the offer sweeter would be accessories such as a spa cover lifter, spa steps or furniture, spa chemicals and equipment. A spa cover in good shape, one that looks new and is not sagging, faded, water logged or broken – is also a nice asset.

Buy from Some Guy Online

So, you find a good deal, it looks good, but how do you know what kind of condition it’s in? Take a look at the spa, and if it looks operational but you want to be sure, contact a local spa service company to perform a systems check on the hot tub. A spa inspection, along with other information such as overall condition, age or any necessary repairs. If you decide to buy it, the spa tech may also be able to move the spa for you, with specialized trailers and dollies made for the purpose.

Even if you are buying from a friend, having a spa tech do an inspection, and possibly move the spa and set it up in it’s new location, would be a good idea – especially if you are a novice to hot tubs and spas.

How much Should You Pay for a Used Spa?

odometer for spas?Unfortunately, there’s no mileage indicator on a spa, to see how many hours of use it has, or how long it’s been in service. There may or may not be a record of regular service, repairs and maintenance. If you can identify the spa model, you can try some online searches to find a retail price. If not, you can take some measurements, count the number of jets and other features and try to find comparable models to figure a base price for a new, similar spa.

Generally, the price for a used spa should be about 50% of the retail cost, or the cost paid by the current owner, for a spa less than 10 years old. If it needs a new spa cover, or the shell or skirt look worn and faded, or if the spa pack, pumps or blower look aged, the price should drop another 10% or more.

Moving a Spa to a New Location

spa-dollyNot as easy as it sounds, depending on the size of the spa. A 6 ft spa is much more manageable than an 8 footer, which hangs over the edge of most trailers and is too large for standard dollies. And they’re heavy! Drained of water, and with the spa cover and spa pack removed, a large spa can still weigh 500-800 lbs and be quite unwieldy.

Moving a spa to an indoor location presents even greater challenges, involving moving through doorways and possibly steps. If it’s possible to pull a large trailer right up to the existing location, and also pull it right up to the new location, the job is much easier.spa-moving

Electrical for the spa will need to be planned for in advance. Most spas require a 230V plug, like what you have for a dryer or washing machine. In addition, you may need to have a power cut-off box installed near the spa. An electrician can power up a spa in most cases for  under $300 dollars.

Deep Cleaning a Used Spa

citrabrightWhen buying  a used spa, you’re gonna want to disinfect it really well, am I right?

Once in the new location, start by filling the spa with water, testing the operation of the spa, then super-chlorinate with a granular spa shock product. After circulating for several hours, use a purge product such as Tub Rinse to strip off hidden bacteria and biofilms that may be hiding in the pipes and hoses.

Drain the spa after this treatment, and use a hot tub cleaning product (never use household cleaners) such as Tub Rub or Citrabright to remove grime from the spa jets and surfaces. Refill again and adjust the pH, Alkalinity and Hardness for perfect spa water balance.

Replacing the spa cartridge filter would be a good idea, and if the cover smells musty and looks old, it may be best to start out with a new spa cover.

If the opportunity to buy a used spa or hot tub comes your way, you are now a bit more prepared for the conversation.

Happy Hot Tubbin’
Daniel Lara

 

 

Spas and Hot Tubs in the News

August 1st, 2013 by

SPA-AND-HOT-TUB-NEWSAnyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that we like to highlight spas and hot tubs in the news. Jerry and I keep our ears to the ground, reading press releases, hot tub blogs, forums and online groups. Here’s a collection of our favorite stories this year, we’ve stumbled onto online. Enjoy.

 

Best of Class Awards

leg-lamp - it's a Major Award!Las Vegas, NV, USA (PRWEB) Just released this morning, is a press release announcing the Best of Class awards for pool and spa builders and manufacturers. I’ve ranted before about the large numbers of awards that are given to various spa manufacturers or spa models. Most of them aren’t real, but instead give top awards to the spa maker that pays the most, or buys the most advertising. So, when you see that this model or that brand of spa has received a Major Award – take it with a grain of salt.

 

Bookkeeper Sentenced to 3 Years

bustedTOMS RIVER, NJ (nj.com) – Gina Harle, 57, of Loveladies, Long Beach Island,  was sentenced today to a three year State prison term on one count of third degree theft and a five year term on one count of second degree computer theft. The court also ordered restitution in the amount of $52,946.09 payable to Hotsprings Spas of N.J LTD. Ms. Harle was found guilty of inappropriately using the Hot Springs Spa credit card, to pay her own credit card bills, and even paid $26,000 on her Volvo automobile with Hot Springs monies. Keep an eye on the accounting office staff!

Jacuzzi Brands Restructures

jacuzzi-logoCHINO HILLS, Calif.–(Businesswire)–Jacuzzi Brands LLC, announced today the closing of a recapitalization transaction that significantly raises liquidity, materially reduces outstanding indebtedness and extends the maturity dates of its loans out to 2018 and beyond. The transaction will position Jacuzzi to capitalize on opportunities from the recovery of the housing industry and the overall economy. They essentially restructured away $124 million in debt. Great move for Jacuzzi.

 Hot Tub Cinema Next Big Thing?

hot-tub-cinema(Hackneycitizen.co.uk) – For £30 a head you should know what you’re letting yourself in for. Sitting in a tub watching classic films is definitely fun, but to pay so much and then to have to buy the themed cocktails and food on top of that seems like a splash in the face. And if there are not six of your friends in the tub then more likely than not you’ll be grazing the leg of a total stranger, and the more you accidentally do it, the weirder the looks you get. Funny article about the popular new London rage, rooftop hot tub cinema, spreading to New Zealand and Australia I hear, maybe near you?

Jacuzzi Acquires Dimension One Spas

dimension-1 spas covers

(PoolandSpanews.com) This is the second acquisition of another hot tub company by the Chino Hills, Calif.-based firm in less than eight months. In June 2012, Jacuzzi brought ThermoSpas Hot Tub Products into its fold. As part of the deal, the business now will be called New Dimension One Spas and will continue to operate as a separate unit from Jacuzzi with most existing operation remaining at the current site in Vista, Calif. Jacuzzi has a lot of cash on the table. I wish them much luck in their ventures.

 

Balboa sued under the Sherman Antitrust Act

balboa(Salon.com) A lawsuit filed by a Californian manufacturer of hot tub electronic control systems claiming that another California company — the apparent Microsoft of the hot tub world — was restricting competition via aggressive litigation. The bulk of the complaint accuses Balboa of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by using a monopoly (defined by Newport as 75 % of the market for hot tub electronic controls) power to crush Newport’s attempt to get a share of the market. Balboa – the Microsoft of the Spa and Hot Tub world?

‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Sequel Could Happen

hot-tub-time-machine

(Huffpost.com) “Hot Tub Time Machine,” the cult 2010 comedy that starred John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Chevy Chase, Lizzy Caplan and Jessica Pare may be doing a sequel.

This might be the best hot tub news of the year – or maybe not. But, however you feel about the movie, or the concept – it looks like talks are underway between MGM and some of the original cast, to reprise roles for a sequel, or prequel, or something to do with time traveling with a hot tub.

Stolen Jacuzzi Recovered, Thief In Hot Water

he-stole-the-hot-tub-from-here

(khq.com) A spa on a trailer is stolen and recovered within hours. Jeff Hickethier called Crime Check to report that a hot tub had been stolen from his premises (without water). The spa was on trailer display with a For Sale sign; proceeds benefiting the Deer Park High School archery club.

“One of the deputies was just driving by and saw someone unloading a hot tub off a trailer; had I not turned that report in, there’d be no way I’d be driving my trailer back to Deer Park,” Hickethier told KHQ on the scene.

 

 

Spas and Hot Tubs for Fibromyalgia Relief

July 25th, 2013 by

image credit to astraldreamer.deviantart.com/The causes of Fibromyalgia are not well understood, but the symptoms are documented in over 5 million Americans, according to the CDC. Stiffness, tingling, numbness, pain – in areas of the body not affected by disease or disorder. It occurs in over 3% of women, and less than 1% in men, and is described as general and persistent pain in various parts of the body.

A study at the University of Maryland found that many of their subjects found some relief in warm water therapy, such as that found in a bubbling hot tub or spa.

And I myself, as I have aged, have found myself victim to aches and pains in my joints, but also sometimes in odd areas, like my heels or mid-thigh. It sometimes starts just as a low numbness, but can tighten itself up into a pinching sharp pain.

Hot water and gentle movements restores blood flow to an area under blood constriction. Blood flow brings oxygen, and by just soaking, breathing and stretching, I can feel the pain slowly give up. A few times a month, my spa sessions are just like that – more therapy than anything else. I always find relief in my tub, and usually for the rest of the night, so I can sleep peacefully, without restless legs, or just feeling achy all over. That’s what it’s like sometimes.

It helps me to imagine that while I am taking deep, slow breaths in the hot tub, that I am directing the breath to the sore areas; that I am actually breathing the air all the way down to the painful area, whether it’s near my nose – in my neck, or down in my feet.

Rheumatologists have different ways of responding to fibromyalgia, and may include treatment in the following

  • Pharmaceuticals for pain management
  • Physical therapy and movement therapy
  • Massage or Hydrotherapy
  • Nutritional and Sleep analysis
  • Acupuncture or Network chiropractic

Some doctors have noticed differences in brain chemical activity during fibromyalgia episodes of pain. The perception of pain in different areas of the body is not felt until the brain responsible for pain acknowledgment in that area is signaled by neurotransmitters. Low serotonin levels in the same area have also been noted.

Many nutritional and herbal therapies are now being tested for efficacy in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but there is no cure as of yet. Until they figure it out, I know one place that I can find relief – in my hot tub! Leave a comment if you also find that hot water helps!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Inground or Aboveground Spas – Which is Better?

July 18th, 2013 by

inground-spas-vs-abovegrond-spasI love spas and hot tubs, no matter if they’re installed in the ground, above the ground, or on the roof – I love to soak in warm and fragrant waters with several friends or alone with ‘mi hombre’.

A good friend of mine told me that she was looking into getting a spa, but was having some trouble deciding between a ‘natural’ inground spa built of rock and stone, or a much less expensive portable spa. Good blog topic, don’t you think?

 

POOL / SPA COMBO

This conversation is not about having a spa attached to a swimming pool. Many people have these, and my friend does have a pool, but the cost of retrofitting a spa to an existing pool can be high. Plus, having a pool/spa combo – is just not a real spa, in my mind. It definitely increases the wow factor of your inground pool, but it’s usually so far from the house, takes too long to heat up, has uncomfortable bench seating, and just 6 or 8 jets.

The question addressed today is the decision of installing an separate inground spa, built of rock and stone, or buying a ready-to-go spa.

Inground Spa or Aboveground Spa?

My friend feels that a portable spa looks big and clunky, and won’t add much appeal to her fabulous backyard (it is quite beautiful). I was quick to tell her that she could certainly sink an acrylic spa shell into the ground, or build a deck of wood or concrete to surround a regular spa.

After looking at her planned location for her new spa, I have to agree that just plunking down a portable spa onto a slab of concrete would not be the most aesthetically pleasing option. She said she likes how my spa is placed. Nothing special, but we have our spa half-sunk into a wooden gazebo type of thing. It’s actually more of a Pergola type of structure, with lots of hanging plants and climbing Clematis that I’ve been trying to nurture.

inground-spas

Inground Spa Advantages

  • Unlimited Design, as big or stylish as you want it to be.
  • Infinite ability to blend it into backyard decor and themes.
  • Can be at ground level or be raised up above.
  • Can integrate water features or fountains.
  • Variety of materials, such as concrete, tile, vinyl, acrylic, stainless.

Inground Spa Disadvantages

  • Large or unusual shapes will need expensive spa covers.
  • Can cost considerably more than portable spas to install.
  • Not nearly as energy efficient as a portable spa or hot tub.
  • Seating is typically not as comfortable or relaxing.
  • Cover Lifters are typically not possible for spa covers.
  • Exposed equipment requires winterization or constant operation.
  • Typically has only 6 or 8 jets, which may be not as powerful.

 

Aboveground Spa Advantages

aboveground-spas

  • Easy to install, nearly plug and play (most require 230V).
  • Very economical to operate, +/- $20 per month.
  • Although quite heavy, it can be moved to new locations.
  • 30-100 jets are standard in most portable spas.
  • Contoured, smooth seating surfaces, at varied heights.
  • Can integrate a spa cover lifter, for easy cover removal.
  • Spa equipment is protected from the weather, beneath the spa.
  • Features such as LED lighting and integrated stereo units.
  • Less costly to cover, most portable spas use standard spa covers.

Aboveground Spa Disadvantages

  • Not as attractive as an inground spa. Large and bulky.
  • Fewer options for interior surfaces, usually acrylic or thermoplastic.
  • Entrance and exit can be tricky, especially without spa steps.
  • Shapes and styles are more limited than inground spas.
  • Exterior wood skirt may require some maintenance.

Each type of spa has it’s own disadvantages and it’s own advantages. Not a clear cut choice. For some, it will come down to budget. And, don’t forget that you can always install a spa shell into any type of structure that you can imagine – stone, wood, rock.

I’ve seen some pretty fancy spas that were built around a spa shell, which is easily ordered from any spa manufacturer. Below are some examples of what I mean.

spas-set-inground
To see more awesome hot tubs, see Jack’s recent blog post “12 Spectacular Spas & Hot Tubs“.

I’m not bossy or pushy (most of the time) – so I’ll let my good friend make her own decision. Either way, you can be certain that I and ‘mi hombre’ will be one of the first to crash her hot tub!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

12 Spectacular Spas & Hot Tubs

June 3rd, 2013 by

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs

 

I have always admired unique designs in spas and hot tubs. There are so many creative ways to enjoy hot water – indoors or out! With much respect to these hot tub designers, who unfortunately will have to remain nameless, as I don’t  know who they are!

Maybe these spa designs will spark some ideas about your own backyard hot springs. For most of us, (myself included), we have these boxy, aboveground spas. Functional, practical, every bit as soothing – but these spas below, they have something special.

 

Here’s a few images of some of the world’s top hot tubs – the most luxurious, alluring and peaceful places of hot water heaven. These are some of my favorite hot tub designs, and I’m glad to share them. You can share these, too!

Round cedar hot tub flanked by large outdoor wood deck.

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-7

 

Another traditional wood hot tub with steps and lighted surround wall.

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-8

 

Natural rock spa quarried from behind the house? Built from concrete and stone!

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-9

 

Vinyl swim spa with auto cover, surrounded by wood deck & bamboo.

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-10

 

This stone spa is fantastic! Love the unique fence, too.

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-11

 

Another great use of wood decking to surround a hot tub. This one floats over the lake!

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-12

 

And this spa floats over the ocean, with hues of blue to match!

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-13

 

Tranquil, serene oasis overlooking the woods. Very zen.

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-14

 

For a touch of elegance, the winner of the tile category, with classic roman ends.

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-15

 

This combination swim spa and hot tub has built in music, tv and bar! Party spa!

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-16

 

California design? Would love this in my Californian backyard!

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-19

 

I don’t see this in my backyard, but this resort sure has it going on!

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs-20

Thanks for checking out my gallery of spectacular spas and jaw dropping hot tubs! If you know where these tubs are, or were involved in the design of these fantastic hot tubs, we’d love to give you credit – leave a comment below!

 

- Jack

 

Hot Tub Innovation

November 6th, 2012 by

New Hot Tubs with the Jet Pak Therapy System Unveiled by Bullfrog Spas

Model-A7 Spa by Bullfrog Spas

 

 

Bullfrog Spas unveils entirely redesigned 2013 hot tubs with a re-engineered JetPak Therapy System at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in New Orleans.

 

Bullfrog Spas Model A7

 

Quote startIt’s been at least a decade since the industry has seen a launch of this magnitude.
~ Jerry Pasley, CEOQuote end

 

 

New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) November 06, 2012

Bullfrog Spas today unveiled a new line of stylish and advanced hot tubs for 2013. Bullfrog’s new spas feature a completely re-engineered JetPak Therapy System that represents a technological leap forward in this product category.

Bullfrog Spas’ new hot tubs have created a significant buzz at the 2012 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo. This annual event is the Pool and Spa Industry’s largest trade show, attracting thousands of pool and spa retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and industry press.

Bullfrogs Spas’ CEO, Jerry Pasley, commented: “I’ve been in this industry a long time and I’ve never seen a combination of technology and innovative design like this. It’s really quite remarkable. It’s been at least a decade since the industry has seen a launch of this magnitude.”

Bullfrog’s new hot tub designs are aesthetically stunning, incorporating unique design elements in 11 entirely new spa models that have been engineered and crafted with attention to detail. The semi-square flush-mount jets, new to the hot tub industry, are both distinctively attractive and functional. In addition, Bullfrog has redesigned their 100% wood-free EternaWood cabinets and continues to use their 100% wood-free EnduraFrame hot tub support structure to provide durability, precision, and strength.

Even though the designs are striking, the feature everyone is talking about on the 2013 Bullfrog Spas is “under the hood” where an entirely redesigned JetPak Therapy System does away with most of the plumbing on the spa. The new JetPak Therapy System provides uniquely therapeutic jetted massages that can be customized to the spa owner’s liking and personalized at any time by easily interchanging JetPaks.

Bullfrog first burst onto the pool and hot tub scene in 1996 with spas built with their original patented JetPak Technology. JetPaks and a culture of quality have helped Bullfrog to consistently rank as the industry’s fastest growing company. The new 2013 spa line and all new JetPak Therapy System promise to only increase the pace of Bullfrog’s growth.

For more information on Bullfrog Spas and the JetPak Therapy System please call 800-770-0292