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Archive for the ‘hottubworks.com’ Category

The Winterized Spa – How to Close a Spa for Winter

December 12th, 2013 by

hot-tub-in-winter

There comes a time for many hot tub lovers in the north, when they need to ask the question – close the spa for the winter, or keep it operating?

If you think you’ll use the spa occasionally, even if it’s only a few times per month, I would suggest that you keep it open. But, if no one is using it, or worse – maintaining it. You may want to winterize the spa.

For many spa owners, it’s the fear of extended power outages that will warrant emptying the spa. Heated and covered, a hot spa should be able to resist freeze damage for 24 hours, but beyond that you could face  expensive repairs to plumbing and equipment.

How to Winterize an Above Ground Spa in 4 Steps

step1 to winterize a spa or hot tub Step One: Remove the spa filter cartridge, and clean it thoroughly with spa filter cleaner like Filter Fresh, and allow it to dry for winter storage. Next, apply a spa purge product like Jet Clean, to clean biofilm and bacteria from the pipes, which will continue to grow in the moist interior of your pipes, unless cleaned before you drain the spa. Don’t skip this step, or you may have funk and gunk in your pipes when you start up the spa again.

 

step2 for spa and hot tub winterizingStep Two: Now it’s time to drain the spa. Shut off power to the spa, and switch the heater off. Find your drain spigot and allow the spa to drain completely, through a hose, so the water drains away from the spa. When almost empty, turn on power again, so you can turn on the air blower (if you have one), and let it run until no more droplets spray out the jets. Use a sponge or shop vac to get every last drop from the bottom of the spa. If you have air jets in the seat or floor, lay a towel over them to absorb water mist as it sprays out.

 

step3 to winterize a hot tubStep Three: Use a powerful shop vac, to suck and blow air through the system. Place a sheet of plastic over a group of spa jets and use shop vac suction on one of the group’s jets. The plastic will suck to the other jets, so you can pull water out of one jet. Repeat until all jets are vacuumed. Switch the vac to a blower, and blow air through all the jets. Now blow air through the skimmer and spa drain. Under the spa, open all unions (don’t lose the o-rings), and use the shop vac to blow and suck air in both directions. Remove the drain plugs on the pump(s), and filter.

 

step4 in winterization of a spaStep Four: Spa covers perform an important function during winter, keeping any rain and snow melt from getting inside the spa. Over winter, some areas can receive two feet of precipitation, and it’s important that this doesn’t get into the spa. If your spa cover is a leaker, and in bad shape, cover it with plywood cut to shape, and then wrap it tightly with a sturdy tarp that will repel water. If your spa cover is in good shape, use a conditioner like our Spa Cover Cleaner, to protect it from winter weather. Use a Spa Cover Cap for the best spa cover protection.

 

Other Thoughts on Winterizing a Portable Spa

  1. Consult your owner’s manual, or find it online, to read specific tips for winterizing your particular spa.
  2. Using non-toxic antifreeze is discouraged, but if you must, refill and drain the spa before use.
  3. Draining a wooden hot tub is discouraged, but if you must, leave a foot of water, to resist shrinkage.
  4. Be sure to shut off power at the breaker, so there’s no chance that the pumps will run without water.
  5. If you have doubts and worry, consider calling a spa service company to winterize your spa.
  6. Inground spas require different procedures, not covered here.

 

- Jack

 

 

Adding Music to Your Hot Tub Club

December 2nd, 2013 by

HOT-TUB-MUSIC

Music, it seems, is therapy. According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, music therapy, when combined with standard treatments, has benefits in treating depression, anxiety and addiction. Additionally, a review of 400 research papers in the neurochemistry of music which found that music can improve the function of the body’s immune system and reduce levels of stress.

Listening to, and playing music can reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increase production of dopamine. Music makes you happy, and reduces stress – just like hot water therapy.

Combining the benefits of a hot water soak for your body, and relaxing music for your ears will increase the health and relaxation benefits of using a spa or hot tub. Plus, for hot tub parties, you gotta have music!

How to Add Music to Your Hot Tub

boomboxTruth be told, you don’t need anything more than a radio or boom box next to the spa to add the element of music to your spa. That’s what I do, as I think I’ve mentioned before. I have an old portable boom box that sits next to my spa, so old that it doesn’t even take CD’s. I like to play classical music or jazz, either from cassette tape (lol, I know), or I dial in a local radio station.

Others here at Hot Tub Works laugh at me, with their wi-fi hi-fi systems, playing their bluetooth music from smartphones or tapping into their home stereo system, or even music stored on their computers in another part of the house. If you want to be fancy, here’s some ways that the true audiophile adds music to their “Club Hot Tub”.

OPTION ONE: Add a boat stereo. Most stereos that are built into spas are simply marine radios, or stereos made for boats. With a saw and some skills, you can cut a hole in your spa cabinet and mount a 12V marine stereo, and run wire to a few outdoor speakers that you affix to the spa shell, with small holes drilled for the wires, or set the speakers nearby.

OPTION TWO: Mount some outdoor speakers near the spa and connect them to your home stereo system, or a cheap receiver that you can place in a weather proof box, out of the elements.

OPTION THREE: Go wireless with a system like Sonos or iCast, which allows you to connect any MP3 player, or tap into your home wifi network to connect to internet radio services like Pandora or Spotify. These have portable, outdoor speakers that you can place almost anywhere around your spa.

OPTION FOUR: Go low tech, like me – and get a cheap radio that you can plug into a nearby (grounded) outlet, and turn on the radio, pop in a CD, or kick it old school, and break out your dusty cassette tapes!music-in-my-hot-tub

Of course, there are many of you who prefer peace and quiet in the hot tub. You know who you are – you don’t even turn on the blower because it’s too loud. You prefer to sit and soak, under the stars, and finally enjoy some silence.

Rock On, America…

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

10 Gift Ideas for the Spa or Hot Tub Owner

November 25th, 2013 by

san-tub

 

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells – do you hear ‘em? The holiday season is upon us, and that means thoughtful friends like you are making plans to find thoughtful gifts for their friends and family.

Since you are reading this, you are probably a hot tub owner, which also means that you know plenty of other people who belong to the “Hot Tub Club”.

Gifts that help ‘Tub Club’ members explore more enjoyment or create convenience – is the perfect way to show you care about their health and relaxation.

Fortunately, we have got you covered, with gifts for all of the hot tub owners on your holiday gift list, in a variety of price ranges.

Here’s a quick list of 10 items that are easy to wrap, easy to ship, and easily hidden, for any occasion, really.

 

Spa Booster Seat

spa-booster-seat

The Spa Booster seat is not just for short persons like myself or for kids. It makes sitting in the tub much more comfortable, and keeps you from slipping down when seated in a contoured spa seat. Fills with water so it stays put, the contoured shape makes your spa time a more relaxing experience.


Floating Spa Blanket

floating-spa-blanketA floating spa blanket protects your spa cover by blocking chemicals and water vapor which gas off the surface, and absorb into a spa cover. It also makes your spa more energy efficient, by locking in the heat. 1/4″ thick, closed cell foam, available in 2 square sizes, 7′x7′ or 8′x8′. Easily trimmed with scissors or a razor knife to fit other shaped spas or hot tubs.

Aromatherapy Crystals

spa-aromatherapy scents

We have so many types of spa aromatherapy – Crystals, Moisturizers, Elixirs, Beads and even scented spa shock. These make great affordable gifts or stocking stuffers. If you’ve never tried aromatherapy in the hot tub, it is very sensual and produces a soft and warm feeling. Mixtures of moisturizing botanicals and oils balance, relax and rejuvenate.

The Spa & Hot Tub Book

spa-and-hot-tub-book

If someone on your gift list needs to read-up on spa care, you could just suggest that they read this blog – or, you can buy this fun to read, information packed guide to hot tub and spas. Covering everything from cleaning to chemicals, with troubleshooting guides for common issues. A great book to give to a novice, or someone who needs to step up their game!

SideBar Drop Leaf Table

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You could make this out of a nice piece of oak, stained to match the hot tub, or wrap up this pre-fab drop table that fits nearly any spa with a square-ish shape. Use it to keep your drinks and phones safe from the water,  match it with stools for an al fresco meal, or a place for land lubbers to sit and talk with those using the spa. Measures 48×15″, with two drop leaf hinges included.

Floating Game and Drink Tray

floating-spa-game-tray

This is one of our most popular gifts for spa owners – the combination tray holds drinks and snacks, use it to play checkers or chess, or a game of cards while in the hot tub. Closed cell foam is impregnated with color all the way through. Chemical and UV resistant, you’ll find dozens of uses for this spa accessory. It can even be used for resistance exercises.

Waterproof Playing Cards

waterproof-playing-cards-

Looking for a small, yet smart present? These cards go great with the floating game table (above), or use them all by themselves. They float, and are completely waterproof. Full deck of 52 cards, in their own carrying case. Currently on sale, at over 50% off – this gift is perfect for a stocking stuffer, and will give any spa owner hours of fun!

Color Glo Raydiance Bulb

led-spa-light-bulb

Step up to color lighting in your spa. This 24 LED bulb replaces standard GE 912 white bulbs, or 12V wedge based lighting sockets, allowing you to soak in a rainbow of deep, rich colors. Set it on any of 8 individual colors, or let it cycle through 2 multi-color modes. LED bulbs are also energy efficient, consuming only 2.5 watts.

 

Spa Cover Lifter

animated-spa-cover-lifter

I would assume that most people have a spa cover lifter already, but then, I could be wrong. If someone on your gift list never got around to buying a spa cover lift, or if theirs has broken or become unusable, how about a new spa cover lift? It’s a great gift of convenience, making it possible for anyone to open a heavy spa cover by themselves.


Gift Certificates

gift-certificates to hot tub works

Can’t decide what to give? We made it easy for you, and for your gift-ee. Starting at $25, Hot Tub Works gift certificates are good for anything in the store, and – they last 5 full years! Easy to buy, easy to give, and easy to use! A unique gift card code can be entered into our shopping cart, or use it when ordering by phone.

 

i-love-my-hot-tubThere are other great hot tub gift items in our store, these above are a sample, to give you some ideas. You could also save some dough, and offer a spa service, draining and cleaning, or conditioning the spa cover. Outdoor carpet or wood runners to keep feet clean. Spa towels, or add some music to their spa. Or you could just give them a coffee mug, to show how much you both love your spa!

Happy Holidays!

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Top Spa Repair Forum Discussions

November 15th, 2013 by

Visit our Spa and Hot Tub Repair Forum - image purchased thru ClipartofWith 475 threads and over 1200 posts, our Spa Repair Forum, now in it’s 5th year, has been very active lately. On Sept 15th of this year, we had the highest daily visits ever, with nearly 1000 spa and hot tub enthusiasts seeking answers, from our collective knowledge.

A forum, (aka discussion board, or bulletin board) represents one of the best virtues of the internet, sharing and helping each other. In a forum, the helpless and the helpful support each other, in perfect harmony. Where there is a gap in this, or answers don’t come quickly enough from the group, MaryH, Super Moderator, steps in with answers to questions. When a reply or response is made to a post that you make, you receive an immediate email.

As one of the oldest uses of the world wide web, many people find that forums are a better place to find more specific and complete answers to their technical and mechanical issues around the home. A conversation, or thread, is started that allows you to engage the question more fully, and report back results and resolutions.

The anonymous conversation is recorded in perpetuity, and is ‘evergreen information’. This means that it keeps giving, and is always available for other spa owners to read, solving their similar problems. Indeed, most forum users find their answers just by reading the posts and threads of those who came before them. Our forum is very organized and searchable, and you can view posts by category, or by keyword search.

 

#1  ‘SL’ > Spa went to Sleep…Died. Whatever. The spa is sleeping, should you wake it up?

hot-tub-repair-question-1 spa in sleep mode

#2  Sundance optima – starts, trips GFI, starts again, trips  Trippy spa problem! Turns out to be a temp sensor.

hot-tub-repair-question-2 Spa trips GFI

#3  Small Rust Stains Use a dab of fingernail polish after cleaning to seal it up.

hot-tub-repair-question-3 Rust Stains

#4  2000 Cal Spa (No Heat) – Chewed wires! Replace spa wires with exact duplicate gauge and type.

hot-tub-repair-question-4 No Heat

#5  No Heat – A bad PCB (printed circuit board) keeps the spa heater from coming on.

hot-tub-repair-question-5 No Heat

#6  I have to clean my filter every few days Why? – Oily Lotions, Sticky Cosmetics and Hair Goop maybe?

hot-tub-repair-question-6 - clogged filter

#7  Master Spa – OHH error  Overheating spa causes spa owner to overheat himself!

hot-tub-repair-question-7 OHH error

 

Hats off to our hot tub repair forum participants – on the quest for enlightenment and money savings by doing their own spa repairs. There’s a real pioneer spirit in these conversations – bold spa owners who persist in their search for answers to their hot tub dilemma.

Save some money yourself, chances are, someone just like you has struggled in the past with the same spa issues you are having right now. Search our hot tub forum and our Spa Toolbox for yourself, or post your own question and help other spa owners like yourself!

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’
Daniel Lara

 

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

 

10 Hot Tubs in the Most Unusual Places

September 26th, 2013 by

hot-tub-in-an-icebergSpas and hot tubs normally sit on the back patio, or built into the deck. Sometimes their placement can be rather bland, but the pleasure is none the less.

Want to add some excitement to your spa sessions? Place your spa in one of these outrageous locations, and you’ll enjoy it even more!

Without further ado, here are 10 wacky spas, in the most unusual places on earth ~

 

Hot Tub Suspended From Bridge

These loco locals in Switzerland suspended a platform over 600 ft in the air, from the Gueuroz bridge. Then they rappelled down ropes for the hot tub party!

hot-tub-suspended-from-bridge

Hot Tub on a Mountain Top

Another group of local locos – this time a group of mountain climbers, decided to relax after their long hike to the top of Mount Blanc. At nearly 16,000 feet, it’s the tallest mountain in Europe.

hot-tub-on-a-mountaintop

Hot Tubs in Computer Games

The Sims is a strategic life simulation video game, where users can create their own virtual reality, including the popular option of adding a hot tub, in nearly any location you wish!

hot-tub-in-the-sims

The top of the line Sims spa has many interesting features: Insta-hot heating coils, Dual pH gigabalance regulation system, redundant ultra-sav mood modulation rectifiers, 29 individual typhoon injector panels, rolling sonic wave instrumentation, no-stick polyfibred surface, stress inhibitor lounge seats, hybrid solar electric integrated feedback technology, nano-force streamlined air filtration apertures.

Hot Tub on an Aircraft Carrier

It’s hard work keeping those planes flying! This rescue boat is filled with water and connected to a hot water heater. Anchors away my boys, anchors away!

hot-tub-on-an-aircraft-carrier

Hot Tub on The River

On the river Thames, to be exact. These Londoners are enjoying a Hot Tub Boat, as they steam around town. You can rent these also in California and the Pacific Northwest, of course.

hot-tub-on-the-thames

Hot Tub in an Igloo

With an open roof, to allow the heat to escape. In this Swiss resort, Iglu-Dorf, you can rent an Igloo for the night, and if you book early, you can get one with a hot tub!

hot-tub-in-an-igloo

Hot Tub in a Tree House

Sure, why not? Tree house resorts are springing up in all sorts of tropical places. This one is on the big island of Hawaii. I really want to visit this hot tub, with a glass of wine, and good friends…

hot-tub-in-a-treehouse

Hot Tub in a Mini Cooper

We’ve all seen hot tubs in limousines (yawn), but would you believe – a hot tub in the back of a Mini Cooper?  It’s modified of course, a la the movie “The Italian Job”, to support the weight of the spa, water and party people!

hot-tub-in-a-mini-cooper

Hot Tub in an Airplane

OK, truth be told, this one doesn’t really fly, it’s a hotel, the Airplane Suite at the Teuge Airport in the Netherlands. I’m told that hot tubs are too heavy (when full of water), so they are rarely installed.

hot-tub-on-an-airplane

Hot Tub in a Cave

What’s cooler than a cave? At 55 degrees year around, it’s the perfect place for a hot tub! This hot tub, located on the Cayman Islands, is beneath a 48,000 sq ft mansion. Now, that’s living in style!

hot-tub-in-a-cave

Well now, there’s 10 hot tubs located in the most bizarre locations. Do you have another hot tub to mention, located in an even more unusual place? Leave a comment below, and I’ll add the best to the list!

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
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

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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