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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Flooded Hot Tubs – What to do Next

January 16th, 2017 by

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

 

Spas & Hot Tubs in the News

December 12th, 2016 by

SPAS-IN-THE-NEWS

I always look forward to curating a new episode of spas and hot tubs in the news, which we do twice annually. News stories (no fake news here) from around the world, that have a spa or hot tub element to them.

There are always some similar stories and always some new and interesting news about hot tubs in popular culture. Today’s collection is no exception, with 5 stories to help you pass the time, or have a laugh or two.

 


 

JAPAN’S HOT TUB THEME PARK

beppu-city-hot-tub-roller-coasterA city in Japan is teasing plans of the world’s first spa-themed amusement park. In a concept video, Beppu City on Japan’s Kyushu island showed off an idea for a new “spamusement park.” The video featured visitors at typical amusement park attractions—a carousel, ferris wheel and roller coaster – but instead of seats for each ride, there were hot tubs. Beppu is already an onsen tourist destination – there are more than 2,000 hot springs for visitors to choose from. However the city recently launched an initiative to become the “spa city of the world.” Last year, Beppu welcomed nearly a half million foreign tourists. No completion date for the project has yet been announced. Full Story.

 

INTRUDER FOUND HIDING IN BACKYARD HOT TUB

hiding-in-a-hot-tub-nbc-los-angelesSan Diego Police say multiple 911 calls Thursday led them to a man hiding in a backyard hot tub in Rancho Bernardo. The man was in custody, accused of breaking in or attempting to break into several homes. The suspect ducked his head when NBC 7 showed up but he couldn’t hide for long as officers pulled him out of the cruiser to have witnesses confirm they’d gotten the right guy. The suspect, whose name was not released by police, lives in Los Angeles and was driving home from Mexico. For some reason, police say, he made an inland detour into this neighborhood – he was going from backyard to backyard when police finally caught him. Full Story.

 

CHILL BEAR SOAKS IN BACKYARD HOT TUB

bear-in-hot-tubA homeowner’s backyard security cameras caught a bear making itself at home last weekend in a hot tub. The bear wandered into the backyard Saturday night of the La Crescenta residence in the foothills east of Los Angeles and other than taking a long thirsty drink, the bear basically ignored the pool, opting instead for a relaxing dip in the hot tub. The stealthy visitor soaked for a few minutes, enjoying a solo pool party. The bear appeared to pluck something from a tree, possibly a snack, before pawing open a gate and lumbering back into the Pickens Canyon area. Bears like water, be sure to keep your backyard safe from entry, for bears and people! Full Story.

 

THIRSTY ELEPHANTS CAUGHT DRINKING HOT TUB WATER

By User Submission December 10, 2016, DailyMail.co.uk

elephants-drinking-from-hot-tubIn the African savannah, elephants are a common sighting. They are not especially fearful of people, and when no one is around, they don’t mind taking a dip or a drink of cool water on a hot summer day. This woman was startled when she saw a group of elephants drinking water from her pool. She slid her door open and watched as the majestic mammals dunked their trunks into the pool and sprayed their mouths. Taking video while speaking what appears to be Swahili, she calmly films and narrates the scene for the viewer. The water in this hot tub doesn’t look especially inviting, but the elephants don’t seem to mind.  Full Story.

 
 

HOT TUB HOPPERS CAUGHT ON CAMERA

By Staff Writers July 16, 2016, ABC6 Philadelphia

hot-tub-hoppers-in-paModern technology ended the fun times for a group of hot tub hoppers. A trail camera at a home in Montoursville, Pennsylvania caught the uninvited guests. Police say four young women were trespassing when they used a hot tub without permission, late at night. Investigators posted the pictures on social media. Within 15 minutes, tipsters identified them. Neighbors say they’re glad more people have cameras out and on at night. Elizabeth Labacher, a Montoursville Resident said “Trespassing when you’re twenty-years-old and in both of our opinions they are kids, but they also know not to do something like that.” Resident Steve Sheare added, “Thirty-some years ago, I’m glad they didn’t have cameras, have that stuff, because I was a teenager, too.” There’s no word yet if the hot tub hoppers will be charged. Full Story.

 


 
Want more News Stories about Spas and hot Tubs? See our earlier 6 episodes.

 

– Jack

 

Great Gifts for Hot Tubbers

December 5th, 2016 by

holiday-gifts-for-hot-tubbers
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

 

16 Funny TV Ads Featuring Hot Tubs

September 12th, 2016 by

Hot Tubs are a favorite theme for advertisers, because of their appeal to the emotions. In this collection of 16 product ads featuring hot tubs, spas are portrayed as sexy, relaxing, awkward – or all of the above. Take a look, and share this post if you chuckled, even just a little bit.

 

 

Too Funny ~ Hot Tubs as popular culture! Hat Tip to Bullfrog Spas blog who first posted their Funniest Hot Tub Commercials on TV, and inspired this updated version.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

Olympic Divers Love Hot Tubs

August 15th, 2016 by

nbc-video-olympic-divers-using-hot-tub Photo by NBC Universal
If you’ve been following the Rio Olympics this past week, you may have noticed that Olympic divers take to a hot tub after their dives, awaiting their scores and looking, oh so relaxed.

What is this Olympic athlete pampering? I don’t know of other sport besides diving where the participants can relax in bubbling bliss after their events. Why do Olympic divers get in a hot tub after their dives?

Twitter has caught fire with the question, and trending on Google last week was the query “Why do Olympic divers get in the hot tub?”. The people want to know!

tweets-about-why-do-olympic-divers-get-in-the-hot-tub

The reason why divers jump into a hot tub after a dive is simply to keep the muscles warm and limber, in preparation for their next dive. Indoor pool stadiums filled with spectators can become too warm, so officials lower the water temperature and the air temperature.

So while the pool water is fairly cool (79°F or 26°C), the ambient air temperature near the pool surface is near 72°, and this gives wet divers a chill after their dives.

Unlike swimmers, who may only swim 1 event per day, divers compete in rounds of several dives. Competitive divers typically take a warm shower, followed by a hot tub soak and a toweling off with a tiny towel. (what’s up with that tiny towel?)

But not all Olympic divers jump in the hot tub, some opt for a short warm shower, and a long insulated coat between dives. Maybe some divers were purposely avoiding the hot tub in Rio, given the color and clarity of the spa water [below].

Video screen shot, credit NBC Universal

Maybe you thought they were rinsing off from their dives in the green water at the Rio Olympic diving pool? After struggles with returning the water to blue after green algae infested the diving pool, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada said, “We first learned that chemistry is not an exact science”. What?

nbc-green-diving-poolRio 2016 officials have resorted to draining the 3.7 million gallon diving pool, which they blame on the introduction of 160 gallons of Hydrogen Peroxide into the water by a technician.

There is another recent diving pool complaint in the news, are you ready for this? That the entire indoor diving pool facility ‘smells of far..’ [rotten eggs]. That could be a water problem or chemical reaction, off-gassing some sort of sulfide.  The training pool, located right next to the diving pool, is blue and clear.

 


Anyway, the reason why divers take a shower and get in a hot tub after their dives – is to prevent muscle cramping, and maintain the body core temperature, so they can perform at their best! Most have hot tubs at their home training facilities, and it becomes part of their routine!

Enjoy the rest of the Rio 2016 Olympics!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Can a 4th Grader Maintain a Hot Tub?

July 18th, 2016 by

Photo Credit to Carroll Photo via istockphoto
Most hot tubs are not too difficult to maintain, but can a 4th grader do it?

When my grandson Josh to came to stay with us for the most of the summer, I decided to give him some chores around the ranch.

I concocted a little experiment, to see if a 9 year old could manage a spa as well as his grandma could. When I asked him if he’d like to learn how to take care of the hot tub (which he loves), he enthusiastically agreed.

SAFETY FIRST

The first part of the hot tub education is what to touch, and what not to touch.

  1. Electrical: I showed him where the power cut-off is on the wall, and we traced the cable into the spa pack underneath. Then is showed him the exposed terminals on the spa heater and told him they could be shocking if he touched them. Also told him to stay out of the controller box, after lifting the lid to show him the inner workings (just to satisfy any curiosity).
  2. Plumbing: I showed him the two cut-off valves under the spa, and how to close and re-open the valve, and then asked him not to touch them again, after explaining the problems (burned out pump, broken pipes) that could happen if the valves were left in a closed position with the spa pump running.
  3. Chemical: I told Josh some horror stories of explosions and fires that I’ve heard about over the years, from chemicals mixing with each other, or being contaminated with dirt, liquids or nearly anything! My spa uses very few chemicals; I only have bromine tablets, MPS shock, and pH and alkalinity chemicals, all kept in separate bins. He sensed the importance of spa and hot tub chemical safety and pledged to follow the spa chemical rules sign I posted:
  • Open one chemical at a time, tightly closing one before opening another.
  • Always read and follow label instructions.
  • Store chemicals carefully in the correct bin.
  • Keep Chemicals dry and clean, and never mix.
  • Ask Grandma if you have questions!

CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Josh is exceedingly bright, of course, all my grand children are! I showed him how to test the water with a spa test strip, and then compare the colors carefully, to the chart on the bottle. Then I told him to write down the chemical readings in a Spa Log Book which I made up from a spiral notebook.

He tested the chemicals every other day, and when a chemical went out of range, he would let me know. The first month we did all the chemical adjustments together, so he could see me carefully reading the label, adding one chemical at a time, and replacing it safely.htw-spa-ph-minus

My spa only needs bromine tablets every 2 weeks, and a weekly shocking, which we do after our last weekend soak. The pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness levels are usually OK between water changes, but once or twice we had to lower the pH level by carefully adding pH decreaser.

Now into our second month, Josh is still testing the water every other day and jotting down his readings in the book. He refills the brominator, and adds pH down when needed, which he also notes in the log book.

FILTER CLEANING

spa-filter-cartridge-smOur spa filter usually goes 4-6 weeks between cleanings. It’s a top load style, so when we cleaned it the first time, I showed him how to remove the cover, and he stood on a step ladder and pulled out the filter cartridge.

Then I told him to take off his shoes, and have a seat in the sunshine. “Spray this cartridge from top to bottom, pleat by pleat, all the way around. Then flip it over and do it again. It takes about 15 minutes…”. Well, proud to say that he spent 23 minutes on it, and it looked really clean.

We’ll clean the filter again in a few weeks, I think he’s got it!

SPA CLEANING

Like most Jacuzzi tubs, they stay pretty clean, especially since it’s covered most of the time. But we still do get some sandy grit, and a light scum line around the water line.grit-getter

Even though it doesn’t really need it weekly, Josh gets in the tub (supervised by me or my husband), and uses the Grit Gitter to get rid of the grit and then a Tub Scrubber to clean the waterline.

Cleaning the spa takes Josh about 15 minutes, which is our maximum spa time anyway, so it’s perfect that way.

 


i-can-take-care-of-hot-tubsJosh, 9 yrs. old; has definitely proven that a spa can indeed be maintained by a fourth grader (so proud of him!). But before you draft your kids or grand kids into the spa service, think about the hazards or potential problems that could happen around your particular spa, and adjust any tasks to their age and aptitude.

Talk to you later;

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

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Spas and Hot Tubs in the News

June 6th, 2016 by

SPAS-IN-THE-NEWS

I’m so excited to report on spas and hot tubs in the news this time! Normally Jack finds these nuggets around the web, he’s always sending funny stories around the office.

Today’s News of the Weird stories about spas and hot tubs is a collection of actual events that I’ve been collecting for the last six months. I hope you enjoy them!

 

CAMERA CATCHES TRESPASSER’S HOT TUB SEX ROMP

By CTVNews.ca Staff , May 28, 2016

hot-tub-romp-in-BC - image by CTVNews.caMounties in British Columbia are searching for two trespassers who were recorded on camera allegedly committing “illegal and obscene acts” in a stranger’s hot tub. Investigators allege a teenager and a woman entered the backyard of a Kelowna home early Wednesday morning, where they drank, smoked cigarettes and had sex before leaving the property. Police say the suspects also looked into the windows and may have been attempting to steal a television. The homeowner, who was not home at the time of the incident, has asked to remain anonymous, but told CTV Vancouver that he is planning to invest in a lock for his hot tub. “We have something called a smart top, which is a more heavy-duty hot tub that has a cable locking mechanism,” said Robynn Robertson of Interior Pool and Spa. Full Story.

 

9 CHEAP AND FREE THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK

By LA WEEKLY,May 13, 2016

hot-tub-with-kurt-&-Kristen

[love these guys!] Laughing together onstage since 2003, comedians Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal implore you to take a dip with them in their Hot Tub, their weekly wet jubilee of a variety show that’s all about comic warmth, with only a fraction of the mold. Square-jawed, nattily attired Braunohler and adorably dippy Schaal take self-deprecation and reference beyond the limits of ordinary comedy, working out new bits each week by themselves and with guests. Everyone from chortlesome cellist Nina Daniels to the incisively insightful Candy Lawrence has dropped by, marinating you in the egg drop soup that is this stand-up spa tub. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Mon., May 16, 7:30 p.m.; $5. Full Story.

 

JACUZZI CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF HYDROTHERAPY

Chino Hills, Ca, PRWeb, May 25, 2016

jacuzzi-celebrates-60-yearsJacuzzi Group Worldwide (http://www.jacuzzi.com), the pioneers of the first home whirlpool hydrotherapy pump, announces the 60th anniversary of the Jacuzzi® Brand. With a rich history of innovation and design, the Jacuzzi® Brand continues to lead in both indoor and outdoor hydromassage. The Jacuzzi brothers revolutionized the pump industry by developing a pump that drew water out of the ground more efficiently than ever before, earning them a Gold Medal Award at the California State Fair in 1930. Then in 1956, Candido Jacuzzi responded to his toddler Ken’s need for pain relief and created the J-300™ hydromassage pump. The portable hydrotherapy pump turned any normal bathtub into a relaxing and rejuvenating hydro-therapeutic spa and changed the lives of people around the world. Full Story.

 

THIS SPA GUY IS AN INTERNET SUPERSTAR

By Nate Taylor, Pool & Spa News, April 27, 2016

chris-wheatley,-hot-tub-universeThe owner of Hot Tub Universe, serving eastern Canada, became an Internet sensation after posting an impromptu video of himself giving a scathing review of a Costco 2015 Evolution, a model he considered insufficient in so many ways that he felt compelled to warn consumers. “It was just a knee-jerk response,” said Wheatley, who began his career in the 1980s selling hot tubs at a waterbed store. In the video, he details how shoddy insulation and chintzy plumbing are all indicators of a cheaply made hot tub. He particularly took issue with polystyrene foam pillars supporting the thin shell. The video wound up on the popular online message board Reddit under the headline, “Holy [expletive] this guy knows a lot about hot tubs.” It racked up more than 300 comments. A write-up on the website BuzzFeed soon followed. Full Story.

 

HOUZZ STUDY: HOMEOWNERS WANT POOLS, HOT TUBS

By Linda G. Green, Pool & Spa News, April 26, 2016

houzz-study-homeowners-want-pools,-hot-tubs-water-featuresHouzz cited the top four reasons for upgrades: The outdoor space needed repairs; the homeowners had wanted to do it and finally gained the means; they’d wanted to do it and finally have the time; or they want to customize a recently bought home. What sort of outdoor projects were undertaken? Patio or terrace upgrades top the list, followed by gazebos and pergolas; then decks, sheds/workshops, hot tubs, swimming pools, and greenhouses. “Comfort-enhancing outdoor products,” as the survey called them, were popular as well, including outdoor furniture (52 percent), fire pits (36 percent), grills (24 percent), patio heaters (12 percent). Also mentioned were various outdoor kitchen upgrades, such as pizza ovens, wine coolers, new sinks and fridges. Full Story.

 

RAPPER SUES SPA CASTLE FOR JACUZZI BURNS

The Gothamist, April 17, 2016

MISFIT-DIORThe Post reports that Laeticia Harrison-Roberts—who is also an aspiring rapper with the MC name Misfit Dior—filed her lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week, alleging that Spa Castle “failed to make sure the temperature and chemicals at its East 57th Street location were at safe levels.” The new lawsuit is the latest in a long chronicle of legal trouble for Spa Castle. In addition to the rampant underwater sex allegations against its Queens location, a dead man was discovered floating face down in one of the spa’s hot tubs in 2014. In February, a 6-year-old girl nearly drowned when her hair was caught in a Spa Castle pool vent. Spa Castle called the allegations “utterly frivolous” and said they have automatic systems in place to check temperature and chemical levels.  Full Story.

 

I’ll keep my ear to the ground, to find more spa stories in the news, and see you back here in 6 month for another bi-annual segment of Spas & Hot Tubs in the News!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Hot Tub Tips for Rental Homes

April 4th, 2016 by

Home Rental Hot Tubs The vacation rental and short term housing rental market is booming. One amenity that can help grow a rental home’s popularity as well as fetch a higher rental price is a hot tub.

Hot tubs are fairly self-regulating, and require only minimal care in between tenants, but there are a few things to keep in mind, if you currently offer a hot tub or are thinking about adding a hot tub to your rental home.

Here are 5 Tips for owners/managers of vacation rentals with hot tubs.

 

Get it in Writing

pool-guy-contractFor homes that are rented with a hot tub, we recommend a separate agreement be signed by the tenant, in addition to the usual agreement covering the home and other appliances. Having a separate agreement will help to reinforce important safety requirements, and help to protect your investment. After all, it may be the most expensive appliance in the home.

Though not an all-inclusive list of potential problems (check with your legal adviser), however, any good spa and hot tub addendum should include:

  • Minimum age for unsupervised use of the hot tub. (typically 14-18 yrs)
  • Minimum age for supervised use of the hot tub. (typically 5 yrs)
  • Maximum number of persons in spa (capacity).
  • Maximum safe spa temperature is 102° or less.
  • …must replace spa cover and latch cover clips after use.
  • …must add water if level drops below indicator on skimmer.
  • …must shower or bathe before use.
  • …no pets allowed at any time.
  • …no eating, no smoking, and only drink water from plastic cups only
  • …do not use spa if pregnant or hypertensive (high blood pressure)
  • …do not use spa if under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • …do not use spa if water looks poor, smells bad, or without pump running
  • Notify management of any equipment failure or water problems
  • Use at your own risk. Tenant agrees to hold owner harmless for any injuries…
  • Responsibility for any damage to equipment, spa cover or spa surfaces…

 

Put it in Writing

The more instructions you give to your renter, the better. I’m often frustrated at rentals that don’t have a master ‘Operations Manual’, where one can find answers to just about anything, including the spa and hot tub.

HOT-TUB-GUIDEHot Tub Guide: A 3-ring binder, with plastic inserts to display spa operation modes (jets, heating, filter), and basic functions. A sheet detailing safety and health requirements, and information on basic spa care tasks like adding water, shocking the spa, or refilling the bromine floater. A page on how to safely remove and reinstall the spa cover can help prevent spa cover damage. Finally, insert the spa owners manual for those that want to really delve into spa functions.

Service Log Book: Even if you do all of the maintenance on the spa yourself, keeping detailed records of spa chemical readings, filter cleanings, equipment replacement, etc, could be required in your area. And even if it’s not required, you may be called upon to defend your spa maintenance practices, if a renter developed a rash or suffered physical injury in your hot tub. If you have a service company maintain the spa, require that they fill out the log book on each visit. Keep it in a dry location with the other supplies.

spa-safety-sign-smHot Tub Signs: I’m a big fan of signs, and in my mind it’s well worth it to pay for professional and durable printed signs that help to protect spa users and also your spa. The obligatory Spa Rules sign can be used, but you can also find premade signs for No Food/Drink, No Smoking or No Glass. Ideas for custom signs may include age limits, temperature limits, time in tub limits, or reminders to check water level, replace the spa cover, or turn down the temperature on check-out.

Get Hot Tub Help

If you live nearby and generally manage the entire guest experience, you may want to manage the spa/hot tub as well. Or you can sub-contract spa care to a local spa company or rental assistance company that caters to the rental industry. Depending on your location, weekly hot tub service calls cost $60-$90.

You can also ask your guests to help maintain the spa. Asking them to balance the water, vacuum the spa and clean the cartridge may be a bit much, but you may want to consider asking for help with:

  • Shock the spa after each use (with specific directions).please-help-with-the-spa
  • Add water to spa if below the mid-skimmer mark.
  • Keep the spa cover installed and latched when not using spa.
  • Shower or bathe before using spa, for everyone’s health.
  • Notify management of any hot tub problems.

 

Water Changes

cloudy-spa-waterIt’s common practice among some rental homes with hot tubs to drain the water after each renter, after check-out. However, this can be difficult to do in one day, and have it hot again by check-in time; and it may not always be necessary.

A good look at the water quality, along with testing water balance and bromine or chlorine levels, can quickly tell you if the water needs to be changed. An option to a complete water change is a partial water change with complete balancing, shocking and cleaning the spa filter cartridge.

Most spas in a rental environment can go as long as 4-8 weeks between complete water changes, as long as filter cycles are lengthy and effective, and water balance and sanitizer levels are maintained properly. Other things can also help lengthen water life, see below.

 

Water Problems

Notwithstanding the above statements, if your tenants leave the spa or hot tub water in a cloudy, gray condition, it may be best to drain the tub. If you find that you have regular problems with water quality in your rental spa, or want to increase the length of time between water changes, here’s some things to do:

  • Add a Second Filter. Many spas have enough vertical space to install a second Spa Filter cartridge to double the filtration.
  • Add a Purifier. In addition to bromine or chlorine, use Minerals or Ozone to help prevent water problems or health issues.
  • Shock after Use. Keep a bottle of labeled MPS or Spa Shock, and ask tenant to add a specific amount after use.
  • Use a Clarifier. Pods, tablets or liquid clarifier to assist your filter in trapping microscopic debris.
  • Replace the Cartridge. Every 6-12 months, replace your spa filter with new.

 

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

New! Hot Tub Tanning Liquid

March 31st, 2016 by

instant-hot-tub-tan

New – from the Fake Bake people comes Spa & Hot Tub Tanning Liquid. A proprietary formula that’s specially formulated for use in spas and hot tubs.

Just pour the Instant Self-Tanning Liquid into the hot tub and soak for just 15 minutes, and emerge with a glowing tan.

The topic of tanning is right up my alley. I’ve been fake baking for years, using tanning booths or spray tan during winter, to keep my tan all year long!

In the past, spray tanning and hot tubs didn’t play nicely together. Go Hot Tubbing after getting a fresh spray tan, and you can lose about half of your hard-earned color!

And, spray tan solutions used in most tanning places are not friendly to your water balance, and can gum up your spa filter, leading to premature filter failure.

Hot Tub Tanning Liquid is so easy to use! Add 1-2 ounces for a light tan, 2-3 for medium, or 4-5 oz for the full on George Hamilton effect! The brown liquid instantly begins to coat your skin, transforming your pale skin to a darker, more lustrous you!

fake-bake-tan-in-tubInstant Self-Tanning Liquid absorbs into your skin while you soak. No residue left behind on the tub, and the microscopic particles easily pass through your filter. It even passes through your swimsuit (if you choose to wear one, that is!). Guaranteed to tan only you, and nothing else!

Try New Spa & Hot Tub Instant Self-Tanning Liquid from FakeBake – you’ll agree it’s the easiest and most convenient way to enhance your color, and dare I say, popularity!

Get it while you can! If you have trouble locating Self-Tanning Liquid, that’s because it doesn’t exist! This is just our little joke, see…

Happy April Fools Day!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

 

 

How to Read a Hot Tub Owner’s Manual

February 22nd, 2016 by

old-hot-tub-owners-manual

Unlike old spa owner’s manuals, the modern spa owner’s manual is a real piece of work. Some of the better ones are over 50 pages, with excellent color graphics, tables and step by step photo illustrations.

Early hot tub manuals from the 70’s and 80’s were laughably lackluster, and probably that’s why you can’t find them online. In the days before desktop publishing, you know.

A hot tub owner’s manual is a great resource for the spa or tub owner. But in talking to spa owners over the years, most of them don’t know where they put their Owner’s Manual, or had not thought to look at it for answers.

 

 INSTALLATION

Always the first section, after the obligatory precautionary statements, are an abundance of tips about how to choose a proper location for the spa, and other considerations like overhead protection, drainage around the spa, access for service, and location of power and water. Some useful gems about spa installation that you can find in your owner’s manual include:

  • A 4-6 inch poured concrete slab of concrete with rebar or mesh on compacted and level soil
  • For easier draining of the spa, and for flood protection, locate your spa in an elevated area.
  • Electrical Requirements: 230V, 50-60 A, 4-wire, GFI protected and grounded dedicated circuit with external cut-off box.
  • Bonding Requirements: Bonding wire bare #8 copper wire to spa, and grid or nearby metal fixtures, per local code.
  • Set-Up: Some general tightening or parts installation before fill-up and start-up.

OPERATION

Operation of the Spa, knowing how it all works. This section has grown large now that spas are so full-featured, with lots of equipment and so many jets.  Fortunately, owner’s manuals are becoming very visual, with large clear photos, flow charts and even infographics!

  • Understanding the User Interface: aka the Topside Control. How to program the filter and heater and run different operational modes.
  • Diagnostics: Status Codes and Error Codes. Nicer models also have low/high Chemical Alerts and Service Reminders.
  • How to control different banks of spa jets, or water falls and air blowers or air intake valves.
  • How to work everything else: Spa lighting, sound system, ozonator, sanitizer system.

MAINTENANCE

By this point in the manual most people naturally start to glaze over. I recommend coming back to it in a day or two with fresh eyes ~ because your spa maintenance is what you really need to learn fast – because it begins now! Maintenance items can include maintaining the surfaces, equipment, spa cover and also the water.

TROUBLESHOOTING

In general, most troubleshooting sections for spas and hot tubs are a bit thin, but complete enough for the average spa owner to check all the basic stuff, without getting in over their head. Most spa manufacturers would prefer that spas are serviced by trained mechanics, but will help you over the phone or by email if you try all of their suggestions (twice!) before calling.

  • Equipment Problem/Cause/Remedy tables
  • Flow Charts with Yes/No paths
  • Low water / No water flow from Spa Jets
  • Spa does not heat properly
  • Spa water is not clean

 

solana-owners-manual-coverSo you see – spa and hot tub owners manuals can be an invaluable resource to the spa owner. If you are looking for your old owner’s manual, and your spa is older than the 90’s – it is probably hard to find.

We have a huge list of links to spa owners manuals available, on a blog post we did last year, and updated – just now!

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works