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Archive for the ‘spa covers’ Category

Spa Preppers – Hurricane Spa Protection

November 14th, 2016 by

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

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

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

protecting your spa from hurricane winds

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

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

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

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

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

protecting your spa from hurricane flooding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Baker watching as his spa floats away…

 

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

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

How to Measure for a Hot Tub Cover

October 17th, 2016 by

spa-cover-replacementsHot Tub Cover measurement guide, with pictures, video and transcript.

Hot tub Works is the leading supplier of replacement hot tub covers. Ordering a replacement cover online has never been easier.

In just a few steps, I’m going to show you how to order a perfect spa cover every time.

Before we do that, let’s talk about the tools you’re going to need to measure the hot tub cover.

 

 

how-to-measure-hot-tub-covers

Hot Tub Cover Measurement Supplies

First is a tape measure. The second tool you’ll need, if you have a rounded cover is a carpenter’s square. Now, this makes measuring around a cover corner a lot easier, but its not necessary, I’ll show you how to do it with just a tape measure as well.

And the last too that comes in real handy is this hot tub measuring guide, which you can print right off our website, allowing you to fill in the information as you measure the hot tub itself.

So, let’s get started on this easy job.

Now before I start measuring, let me answer the most common question we get about how to measure, and that is, what should I measure?

Now, if your old hot tub cover is still in pretty good shape, what I’d like you to do is measure the old hot tub cover. If your hot tub cover is in just too bad of condition, and we see some of that as well, then your going to have to measure the hot tub itself. But the most important thing is that your measurements be outside of the tub to outside of the tub. This is called the Acrylic, so outside acrylic to the outside acrylic. If you do that you’ll get a great fitting hot tub cover.

The most common shaped hot tub is a square or rectangle, that’s about 85% of hot tubs made. Now, if you have a hot tub that was made after the year 1995, most likely it has a rounded corner as well. So, the most common hot tub covers we make are rounded squares or rounded rectangles. In this particular case this is a rounded rectangle and well measure this in just a minute.

Now if you have a different shaped hot tub don’t worry, all the principles that we’re going to go through right now still apply.

Measuring Spa Cover Dimensions A & B

The first thing to make note of is where the fold is, on this particular cover, the fold runs closest to you and away, so the fold is running in this direction. And on our measurement guide you’ll see that the “A” measurement is always cut in half by the fold. So the first measurement I’m going to take is straight across the fold, and I come up with 75″. That’s my “A” measurement, and I’m going to write that down.

The next measurement I’m going to take is the “B” measurement. Simply just measure from the outside of the cover to the other side, and I come up with 88″. 88″ is my “B” measurement – I’m going to write that down.

Measuring the Cover Corner Radius

Now the last measurement I’m going to take is the rounded corner, what is the radius. There’s two ways to do it. The easiest way is with a carpenter’s square, because I can simply put it right up here to the edge and I can measure the distance from the 90° point back to where the curve begins. On this particular hot tub cover it’s 8″ from the 90 degree point, back to where the curve begins on the cover.

Now if you don’t have a carpenter’s square, don’t worry about it. You can measure the corner with a tape measure, by doing the same thing. I’m going to open the tape and measure the distance from where the curve begins, out to that imaginary 90 degree point, and again I can see that it’s 8″ on the tape measure. So using either tool, I can come up with that measurement.

And that’s about it! You just measure your “A”, your “B” and “C” dimensions. Next, we’ll measure the skirt and the strap length, and you’re all done!

Measuring the Skirt & Strap Length

So the only thing we have left to do is to measure the skirt and the safety strap. But before I do that, let me explain what the skirt is. The skirt’s main intention is to protect the colored plastic, called Acrylic, which is affected by the sun’s UV rays. It’s really important that this flap come down far enough to cover that colored plastic.

One other point about modern hot tub covers. Early covers were made with a skirt that was called continuous, meaning it didn’t have a seam [on the corners].  All the covers we make have a seam here nowadays and the reason for that is to make it easier to put the hot tub cover back on, and not get the skirt caught up under the hot tub. So every hot tub cover we make will have these flaps.

Now to measure the cover skirt it’s really simple, from the bottom of the cover down to the edge of the skirt, is the measurement I’m going to take, and that’s 5 inches. Now I’m going to measure the safety strap and it’s basically the same premise. From the bottom of the cover down to the beginning of the plastic buckle. And this particular hot tub has a 9″ safety strap.

Let me write that down before I forget. The skirt has a 5″ and the safety strap is 9. Now a lot of people ask, does the hardware come with the straps, and the answer is yes. We provide you with a male and female parts of the clip and the stainless steel screws to mount the hardware to the cabinet.

One safety note to let you know about, and that is that every cover we make comes with 4 safety straps. That’s a safety requirement and we never deviate from it. And we encourage you to put the safety straps on the hot tub cover as soon as you get it.

With that all said, this is exactly how you order a perfectly made hot tub cover. If you have any questions, give us a call we’re happy to be of service.

 

– Jack

 

Watch the Video “How to Measure a Hot Tub Cover”

Hot Tub Cover Clip Replacement

August 8th, 2016 by

spa-cover-clip-repair
At Hot Tub Works, we specialize in hot tub covers, so it’s natural that we spend a lot of time talking about them. Down to the smallest details in fact, like the spa cover straps and the locking clips that allow you to safely secure your spa cover.

Spa cover clips aren’t the most exciting topic I’ve ever written about (yawn), but a question that we answer all the time – that is, “how do you replace hot tub cover clips?”

There are three ways to replace hot tub cover clips. Cut the Strap, Cut the Clip or Sew the Strap.

 

CUT THE STRAP METHOD

strap-slide-buckleSpa cover straps are usually a 12-15″ of vinyl or woven mesh, folded over in half, after the clip is slid onto the strap. Cutting the strap requires that you use a backpack type of strap slide buckle placed on the strap above the clip, to re-join the strap after cutting one end of the strap, leaving the other end attached to the cover skirt. Slide buckles can be found at most fabric stores, or taken from an old backpack you no longer use. If your strap is doubled over, cut one end where it attaches to the cover. If you have a single strap (not folded over), cut the strap near the end, just to cut off the old clip, and re-position the latch mechanism if needed for a slight tension on the strap.

 

CUT THE CLIP METHOD

hot-tub-cover-clip-replacementAdditional stitching may be sewn in above the locking clip on a single strap (not folded over). This method of replacing spa cover clips is to use a hacksaw or sheers to cut a small gap in the outside of the plastic edge of the cover clip. Slide the new clip through the gap, and with slow pushing, slide the strap and clip into position. Sliding the cut clip over the strap loop is shown here in the image, and inset, a spa cover clip that has been cut, with a piece of paper between.

 

SEW THE STRAP METHOD

an-awl-for-sewing-hot-tub-cover-strapsThere is one more method that is available to you, you could cut the strap just above the clip, and instead of using a strap slide (shown above) to rejoin the strap, you could use an Awl, to sew or stitch the strap back together again. An Awl can be found in nearly any fabric store, or fabric section of department stores for under $10. Use thin cotton string or extra thick polyester thread to sew the strap end to itself, after you run it through the cover clip and fold it over. Stitching it up with an awl only takes 10 minutes to do a good job. Re-position the latch if necessary, to make a snug, but not overly tight strap tension.

 

PRO TIP: When installing or re-installing the lower latch mechanism to the spa skirt, the strap tension is important. Too much puts strain on the cover locks, but if the strap is too loose it makes it easier for children to remove, and easier for wind to get up under the cover.

Make the strap just tight enough so that a person needs to slightly push down on the spa cover with one hand, while unlatching the cover clip with the other hand. Only when straps are taut do they offer real safety protection for children and guard against wind damage.

 


 

Hot tub locking cover clips tend to become brittle and break easily after years in hot sun and frozen winters. If it’s not time to buy a new spa cover, fix your spa cover straps, to protect your cover from high winds, keep out small children, and large animals!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Next Day Spa Covers

May 9th, 2016 by

spa-cover-careDespite good intentions to replace a spa cover before it is really needed, many spa tops befall some sudden calamity that renders them nearly useless. Wind storms, falling branches or my favorite, dancing kids and sleeping dogs – can all ruin a hot tub lid, making a replacement spa cover an urgent need.

Custom spa covers account for most of our spa cover business, that’s because most spas are unique in shape and size. Unfortunately there’s no standard spa cover size, and you want it to fit snugly, to prevent heat loss from an ill fitting spa cover.

 

Most Popular Spa Cover Sizes

We noticed a trend some time back; a handful of popular spa models had a surprisingly high spa cover sales rate. And that’s not just a coincidence, it turns out that these 6 or 7 spa models are the largest selling spas in America.

So we decided to pre-make the top selling spa covers, and have them ready for same day shipment. We stocked them in 9 warehouses around the country, and in most cases, you’ll have your new hot tub cover delivered the next day!

These covers are made to fit specific Hot Springs, Sundance and Jacuzzi models, but may also provide a good fit to many others. Measure your spa to be sure, and give us a call if you have any doubts about fitting your spa correctly.

 

Next Day Hot Springs Spa Covers


Hot Springs Prodigy

hot-springs-prodigyThe Hot Springs Prodigy Spa Cover is made to match the exact dimensions of Hot Springs Prodigy – Model H spa covers made from 1997-2011. Each cover is enabled with four childproof, safety locks to tie down the cover and are matched with handles constructed with an “X” box stitch for immeasurable toughness and durability. 5 Year Warranty included.

  • 87″ X 74″ and 11″ radius corners

 

Hot Springs Sovereign

hot-springs-sovereignThe Hot Springs Sovereign Spa Cover has been designed to duplicate the original equipment manufacturer specs for the Hot Springs Sovereign Spas – Model II made during 1997-2015. Every spa cover is designed via commercial grade quality vinyl that is specially processed for spa and hot tub covers. 5 year warranty included.

  • 93″ X 80″ and 11″ radius corners

 

Hot Springs Tiger River Bengal

hot-springs-tiger-river-bengal-spa-covers

The Tiger Bengal Spa Spa Cover has been precisely replicated from the original design of the Tiger River Bengal Spas, made from 1997-2010. Each heat-sealed polystyrene panel is encased in a poly-vapor moisture barrier that protects the cover from absorbing water with an “R” value great than 15. 5 year warranty included.

  • 79″ X 86.5″ with 7″ radius corners

 

 Hot Springs Vanguard

hot-springs-vanguardThe Hot Springs Vanguard Spa Cover is designed to match the exact specifications of existing Hot Spring Vanguard Spas – model VV, made from 1997-2015.  The cover’s folding hinge is also double-reinforced, and is supported by c-channels constructed of high quality aluminum for a dependable spa cover. 5 year warranty included.

  • 86.5″ X 86.5″ with 9″ radius corners

 

 

Next Day Sundance Spa Covers


Sundance Optima Spa Covers

sundance-optimaThe Sundance Optima Spa Cover is designed to match the biggest selling Sundance Optima and Cameo spa covers – model 850/880, made from 1997-2015.  All of the inserts are sealed with a marine-grade pvc resin-based zipper and polystyrene steam-blockers for maximum insulation and protection. 5 year warranty included.

  • 89″ X 89″ with 8″ radius corners

 

 

Next Day Jacuzzi Spa Covers


Jacuzzi Premium J355/J360/J365 Spa Covers

jacuzzi-j355The Jacuzzi J-300 Spa Cover is created to duplicate the OEM specs used by Jacuzzi for their most popular J355/J360/J365 spa covers – made from 2002-2015. Every side of the cover includes 4 child-proof tie-downs come with keys for the lock. The handles are backed by industrial strength x stitches for years of use. 5 year warranty included.

  • 84″ X 91″ with 11.5″ radius corners

 

 

When you need a spa cover fast, for the world’s most popular spas and hot tubs – you can count on Hot Tub Works for Next Day Delivery on Spa Covers for the world’s most popular spas! And – at a low price of just $299 – with Free Shipping, it’s a good deal, too.

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

10 Spa and Hot Tub Energy Conservation Tips

December 21st, 2015 by

bullfrog-spas-heat-map-of-full-foam-spaSome spas are built for a warm climate, while other spas are specifically designed for use in cold weather areas. A spa or hot tub that is energy efficient can use half of the energy of one that is not.

Spa insulation is the main factor, but there are many other variables that influence the amount of electricity used by your spa or hot tub. Here’s a few ways to curb your spa’s appetite for energy.

 

ADD WIND BLOCKS

hickorydickorydecksWind sweeping across the surface sure feels nice, but it also pulls a lot of heat from the surface. If your spa is not protected from the winds, consider installing small walls or plants on the side(s) with the most wind. They are usually installed on two sides, to preserve a preferred view, and can also serve as a privacy screen. Custom build it to your specifications, or you can order retractable spa wind screens online.

CLOSE THE AIR JETS

close-the-spa-air-knobAfter using the spa, remember to close the knobs that allow air to be sucked into the jets. Cold air being introduced constantly will cool the water, requiring your heater and pump to work harder to replace the heat that is lost. Heat loss is minor when using the spa for 15 minutes or so, but if you leave them open for days and days, you may notice an increase in hot tub energy use. For me, it’s the last thing we do, but I don’t usually open all of the air jet knobs, so I just close the one off before putting the cover back on. Remember to close the air jets!

TURN OFF THE BLOWER

The air blower, if your spa is equipped with one, is a real energy hog, besides being noisy and also cooling down the water with cold air injection. If you can go without forced air in the hot tub, you will absolutely reduce a hot tub’s energy usage. And when your spa blower finally bites the dust (and they all do someday), consider not replacing it.

FIND THE PUMP RUN TIME SWEET SPOT

spa-timers-can-save-moneyModern spas are somewhat self regulating with certain programmable modes, but for older spas or hot tubs, your filter pump or spa pump should use a timer, or be programmed to run in 2 or 3 shifts of about 3 or 4 hours each. When the pump is running, the filter, heater and purifiers can also operate, so it’s important to run it long enough each day (every day) to maintain water quality. Program your pump to run 2-4 times during the day, paying close attention to water quality. Some spas are fine with 4 hours per day, but others need 8 hours per day of pump run time, to both maintain water quality and water temperature.

TIP: Remember that spa pumps (and all motors) use a lot of power (amperes) just to start, so starting and stopping too often will increase spa energy consumption.

TURN DOWN THE SPA HEATER:

Turn down the heater to 90° if you won’t be using the spa for a week. For 2 weeks or longer, set it lower, but keep the spa water well above freezing – we recommend no lower than 65 degrees, to maintain some heat in the event of a winter power outage.

Turning down the heat for just the weekend, or even a week, and it can cost more to re-heat the spa than it would’ve cost to just to maintain the heat. Even so, many weekly spa users (myself included), maintain a temperature of about 95°, and bump it up to 102° an hour before using the spa.

RUN YOUR SPA DURING OFF-PEAK HOURS:

Off peak pump/heater operation, according to Energy.gov, may save you money over time. Check with your local power provider for peak times in your area, and available Time of Use rates. Generally speaking, peak rates are during weekdays, from 9-5 pm, although it varies by region and season.

USE A BETTER OR BEST SPA COVER

Notice I didn’t say a Good spa cover, or the El Cheapo spa covers; go for the Better or even the Best spa cover, if you really want to save energy by reducing heat loss. Our lower tier spa covers are only suitable for warm southern climates. If you have any kind of winter – buy a hot tub cover that can really hold in the heat.

you-need-a-new-spa-cover-1It goes without saying that a good spa cover can save money, while a bad spa cover can waste money. Spa covers that are waterlogged lose over half of their R-value, or insulation value. Hot tub covers that are warped, torn, or broken will not fit properly around the edges and leak precious heat from the sides or along the center hinge. Replacing an old spa cover before you really need to – is a surefire way to save money on heating a hot tub.

TIGHTEN UP YOUR SPA COVER

spa-cover-wind-straps-smAdjust your spa cover straps if necessary so that there is a slight downward pull on the strap, as you click the clip into place. This helps to pull-down the spa cover to snug-up against the spa top edge. Loose spa cover straps allow heat to leak out and high winds to get under the spa cover. Spa strap clips can be replaced if broken, or if your spa straps are completely torn off, you can use our heavy-duty over-the-top spa cover wind straps. A less elegant, but also effective way is to use a sheet of 1/2″ plywood, to gently hold it down and reduce heat loss from a loose or ill-fitting spa cover.

USE A FLOATING SPA COVER

floating-spa-blanketA secondary floating spa cover can increase your overall R-value by up to a third. Floating spa blankets are 1/4″ closed cell foam, to keep heat trapped in the water, and reduce moisture beneath the spa cover. It also prevents chemical damage to a hot tub cover, by containing the chemicals in the water. Foam spa blankets work much better than solar blanket type, which is a heavy duty bubble wrap type material – but any secondary spa cover will help, even plastic kitchen wrap!

INCREASE CABINET INSULATION

For spas that didn’t come with a lot of insulation around the cabinet, energy efficiency can be increased by strategically adding insulation underneath and around the spa or hot tub. There are several ways to do this, but remember that your pumps still need adequate air ventilation and circulation to prevent overheating. Never cover air intake vents or reduce the size of the equipment bay.

Spray Foam: There are spray foam kits that you can use to cover pipes and the back of the spa shell. Be sure to use a spray foam that has a high R-value and that you apply it according to directions. For best results, remove all cabinet panels before applying foam. A full-foam treatment may be difficult, but an inch or two on the spa shell and covering exposed pipes (outside of the equipment area) is do-able.

owens-corning-fiberglassInside Cabinet: You can also use wall or attic insulation, in soft rolls or rigid panels, to line the inside of your spa cabinet panels. Reflective bubble wrap insulation, placed on the inside of cabinet panels, can help by reflecting heat inward, back towards the spa.

Outside Cabinet: Another method is to construct an enlarged cabinet around the existing cabinet and fill the space with insulation. Or described another way, affix rigid insulation panels to the outside of your cabinet panels, and soft insulation on the corners, then build another cabinet from wood paneling, on the outside of the new insulation. Cap it with a heavy board on top of the enlarged cabinet.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Hot Tub Covers 6 Ways

December 14th, 2015 by

worlds-thickest-spa-coverA spa cover cap is one of the most important spa accessories you can buy, and so multi-purpose!

Spa tops not only insulate the spa, keeping the water hot, but they also make the spa safer for kids and animals. In addition, your spa cover keeps the spa clean, blocking out dust, debris and rain water. It also keeps out UV rays which can damage a shiny spa surface and affect water chemistry.

Indeed, your spa cover cap is a very important purchase. That’s why we have so many to choose from! Six different spa cover models, to fit every budget. Spa covers 6 ways!

 

ECONOMY

spa-cover-lt-blueOur Economy spa cover should really be called the indoor spa cover, because it’s not as outdoor-friendly as the other covers below. This is because it uses 1.0lb density foam, and is 4″ thick in the center (2″ at the edges). If outside temperatures dip into the 40’s, this spa cover can have trouble retaining the heat efficiently. It can also be more susceptible to damage from animals, tree branches, high winds, heavy snow, hazards that don’t affect indoor spa covers. On the other hand, it’s the lightest spa cover available!

 

STANDARD

spa-cover-blueOur Standard Spa Cover is great for moderate climates, or those areas that stay semi-warm all year around, or those hot tubs in the deep south. The Standard spa cover has all of the features used in the Economy, with the only difference being that the Foam density used is 1.5lb, 50% more dense than the 1.0lb Foam. The extra density increases the R-value of the cover, making it more efficient, and it also gives the Foam panels more strength and durability.

 

DELUXE

spa-cover-brownThe Deluxe Hot Tub Cover is good for areas that see occasional snow, or near freezing temperatures during winter. With a Full 2.0lb Foam density, your spa cover locks more heat and gives extra resistance against accidental damage to the Foam cores. If you opt for the thinner panels, with a 4″ to 2″ taper, take the option for double wrapping the Foam Cores, to provide more protection against water absorption, even though Deluxe hot tub covers have a five year warranty, not pro-rated, that even covers water absorption.

 

ENERGY SAVER

spa-cover-pinkSaving energy is the primary job of a spa cover, and the Energy Saver Spa Cover does it more effectively with a Continuous Heat Seal™ that prevents heat from escaping along the center hinge, between panels. In addition, the 1.5lb Foam panels are upsized to 5″ in the middle, tapering to 3″ at the edges. This amps up the R-value from 13 (Standard Cover), all the way up to 20 – making the Energy Saver suitable for mild winter areas of the country.

 

ULTRA

spa-cover-whiteThe Ultra Spa Cover is out most popular model, coming in just under $400, it has an attractive price point, and is loaded with features. Made for snowy weather, or mountain cabins, the 1.5lb Foam Panels are the thickest available, with a 6″ thickness in the center, tapering to 4″ on the edges. This boosts the R-value of the Ultra cover all the way to 24, with the included Continuous Heat Seal™ and the thickest possible Foam available.

 

THE WORKS

spa-cover-redFinally, we have The Works – which includes everything from the Ultra, but it uses 2lb Density Foam, with a 6″ to 4″ taper. All Options are included with “The Works”, which is why we call it that (Like a Pizza!). Includes the Continuous Heat Seal, Double Wrapped Foam Cores, and heavy duty wind straps, giving this cover an R-value of 30! For those that want the very best spa cover, the most durable and energy efficient available, just ask for “the Works!”.

 

spa-cover-colors-2Spa Covers Six Ways, something for everyone, from $243 to $499. All covers, including the Economy spa top, is made with the finest materials and workmanship, using 30 oz marine grade vinyl, super strong four layer hinge and 20 gauge steel reinforcement channel. Commercial grade zippers with nylon scrim is quadruple (4x!) stitched with Dacron thread at 37 different stress points! And of course, you can order a spa cover in nearly any color you want!

 

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Bears in Hot Tubs

November 30th, 2015 by

bears-and-hot-tub-jacuzziUnless you live in Bear Country, you may not know that bears love hot tubs.

And they aren’t shy about taking a nice soak in your wonderful heated tub!

If there are bears in your neck of the woods, get your camera ready, or we may see your hot tub next time!

 

 

Vancouver Couple Finds Bear Soaking in their Spa
CBC News Posted: Aug 18, 2015

bear-in-hot-tub-2

Image Credit CBC.Ca

Denise Diering didn’t expect to see a big black bear standing at the edge of her swimming pool when she looked out the back door of her North Vancouver home late on Monday afternoon.  She told CBC News she shouted to her husband, Tony Diering, who was nearby, to “Close the door!” When she looked back, the bear slid into the pool, then climbed into the adjoining hot tub for a quick soak. The swim lasted about 15 minutes, and was partly caught on video, before the bear scampered off through a hole it had knocked down in the Dierings’ fence. – Belle Puri, CBC News

 

Colorado Couple Find Spa Cover Destroyed by a Bear
SteamboatToday.com Posted: October 25, 2010 by DeeDee and Bing Rikkers

bear-in-hot-tub-3

Image Credit SteamboatToday.com

This bear tore this spa cover to shreds! There was another picture of him chewing on the floating thermometer, not fun or funny when it costs you money. Most bears enter spas or hot tubs that are left open, uncovered. But in cases where they jump on top of your spa cover, even our best spa tops will break under 500 lbs of bear!

 

Bears enjoy a Smoky Mountain Hot Tub
A Day in the Smokies Posted march 06, 2009

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Image Credit: Chipmunk Haven

If you were to spend a day in the Great Smoky mountains, at the Chipmunk Haven cabin rental in the hills of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you may be visited by a family of bears looking to sooth tired muscles and relax in a warm bath. A sturdy spa cover may keep these water loving bears down in the river below. Bears have a very strong sense of smell however, and can literally sniff out your spa, even when covered!

 

Bear Family Visits Vermont Hot Tub
StoweToday.com Posted May 16, 2013

bear-in-a-hot-tub

Image Credit Judy Lazaro

This Mama Bear and Cub took over this attractive watering hole. Seems to be too tall for the little one to get in, so Mom has it all to herself. According to the full story by Matt Kanner, the owner Judy Lazaro had just drained and cleaned the spa and had left it open to air dry when the bear climbed in. The baby cub began whining and crying, and the mother bear soon climbed back out, after a nice long drink, and they disappeared into the woods again.

 

Even Bears Need a Soak in a Hot Tub Now & Then
Examiner.com  Posted June 24, 2010 by Kathy Harris

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Image Credit: Sky Johnson

In Anchorage, Alaska, these bears were caught on film frolicking in an uncovered hot tub. Once again, the young cub was too small to find his way into the tub, but unlike the other cub above, was content to stay dry on the deck.

 

Bear takes a dip in Seminole County woman’s spa
Orlando Sentinel Posted June 7, 2011  by Gary Taylor

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Jenny Sue Rhoades lives only a couple of miles from Wekiva Springs State Park, and she has been bears in her yard before. But this bear wasn’t just passing through. He headed toward her pool and pressed his nose against the screen. Then he just walked through the screen “like it was made of butter.” First he put his mouth in her spa, then a paw and finally he just jumped in. “I think he was hot and thirsty,” Rhoades said. “It looked like he knew what he was doing.” – Gary Taylor

 

Casey Anderson and His Pet Bear Brutus
Today.com Posted August 27, 2009

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Image Credit: msnbc.msn.com

Meet Casey Anderson and Brutus his pet bear, who not only shares the family hot tub, but also loves to swim in the inground pool. I know this picture looks like fun, but you should never share your spa with a bear. Brutus however, born in captivity, is quite tame and as long as the 800 lb bear doesn’t sit on you, you should be safe. See the whole story, as reported on Buzzfeed, with additional pictures.

 

Man Finds Bear in his Hot Tub
Seattle Wolf 100.7 FM Posted October 21, 2014

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What a surprise to look out onto your back deck and see your hot tub -a- rockin’! This bear splashed so much water out of the hot tub that the skimmer was sucking air! Next steps? Drain the spa, and refill! Or at least that’s what I would do. Perhaps just balancing the chemistry and shocking the spa would be enough.

 

~ This has been fun – but bears in your hot tub could be dangerous! Keep your hot tub lid closed, with the safety strap clips connected. For added security, place a pre-cut 1/2in plywood board on top of your spa cover, or use our heavy duty high wind straps to keep the spa cover in place.

For more tips on sharing your environment with bears, see LivingWithBears.com.

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

Swim Spa or Hot Tub?

November 9th, 2015 by

michael-phelps-swim-spaSwim Spas are like a Limousine, stretched out 2-3x longer on one side, so that you can swim, row, stretch, train or recuperate.

When it comes time to replace your spa or hot tub, or even if it’s your first tub, you’ll at least take a glance at Swim Spas.

I’ve also considered Swim Spas during a recent spa replacement a few years ago, so the considerations are still fresh in my mind. I love the idea and we came close to buying a swim spa, especially when our grand kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!

Here’s some things to be aware of when thinking about a swim spa.

 

Swimming in a Swim Spa

phelps-swimmer-costumeAre you a real strong swimmer? If you have swimming medals on display, you’ll want to look on the upper end of the scale, or at the deluxe swim spa models. Swim spas are fine for a medium-speed crawl or breast stroke, or a strong kickboard workout, but if you are a serious swimmer, you’ll literally “hit the wall”, or be able to swim faster than many of the swim jet type of swim spas. Deluxe models, with larger pumps, paddle wheels and additional jets, are more suitable, if you want to swim as fast as in a regular pool.

Secondly, it’s different than swimming in a regular pool. It’s loud first of all, very loud from the pumps that are delivering hundreds of gallons per minute. It’s also very turbulent, as you might imagine, especially in the lower priced swim jet models. Turbulence makes it hard to keep yourself aligned; you have to work at keeping your body in the center of the flow. Paddle wheel models or propeller systems with large grates can produce greater volume over a larger surface area, greatly reducing turbulence and air volume.

swim-spa-tether-systemAn alternative to swimming against the current is to use a harness / belt, called a Tether System, and swim against the resistance of the Tether cord, instead of swimming against a current. In this way, you don’t need large swim jets and pumps at all, which reduces much of the cost of purchasing and maintaining a swim spa.

Swim Spa Walking is another popular form of exercise that can be done in a swim spa, either against the current, or using an optional underwater treadmill.

 

Hot Tub vs. Swim Spa – Maintenance

In terms of chemical, cleaning and covering a spa or hot tub, keep in mind that a swim spa holds around 2000 gallons of water, roughly 5x the size of your average spa.

That does not mean 5x the amount of maintenance however! The time spent cleaning and maintaining a swim spa is not much more than a regular spa.

swim-spa-cover-ingrondA swim spa uses a double-size and double-cost 4-panel type of swim spa cover. The additional swim jet pumps or swim current system will require maintenance at some point, and prices for these super-sized pump parts can be expensive.

I should also mention that your water and electrical consumption will also be more with a swim spa, as compared to a regular spa or hot tub.

In all, you will spend more on maintenance with a swim spa, probably twice as much as a regular spa.

 

Separate Hot Water Sections

swim-spa-separate-sectionsAll manufacturers of Swim Spas offer models that have a separate spa section. This is very useful if you want to heat up the water to 104°, and don’t want to heat the entire swim spa. Many models have a separate spa area with multi-jet captain’s chairs, but don’t have a wall to divide the swim and spa areas.

Maintaining two separate temperatures, hot in spa, cool in swim area, is a typically only available in the higher end models. Otherwise, they are both at the cooler swim temperature, and when you want to heat spa only, you can have it hot in under an hour, at the push of a button, (or turning a few valves).

 

Swim Spa Prices

swim-spa-at-homeSwim Spas generally start at the high end of spas, around $15,000. They do rise in cost with size and features however, and a top of the line swim spa installation can cost (hold onto your hat), over $40,000. However, most swim spa purchases are in the $25,000 range.

Swim Spas can also be built in-ground, or placed into a deck, using a pre-fab shell, vinyl pool kit, or gunite/plaster; traditional pool materials.

Swim Spa prices are generally about 3x the cost of a regular 8-person spa.

 

~ Swim Spas are a wonderful invention, and we came very close to owning one! Before you buy, do your research and physically try out at least one model (in the water), to be sure that it’s what you expect.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

 

Amazing Inground Hot Tubs

September 3rd, 2015 by

inground-spas-are-coolMy husband and I have been shopping for a new house lately – it’s so much fun, no really it is – looking at all the glitzy OC houses online.

Recently we’ve become enamored with the idea of an inground spa. That would be a first for us, now on our third spa, after getting our feet wet with wood hot tubbing, when that became fashionable, in the eighties.

Our budget is not something that can afford oceanfront property with a stunning spa and soaring pool – but one can dream, can’t she?

I did a little searching for homes with “spa or hot tub” as my main criteria – Oh, and a price range of $5M – $10M

“Honey…? I like this one, come look!” 🙂

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Image Credit: Tapiture.com

 

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Image Credit: Zillow.com

 

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Image Credit: Zillow.com

 

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Image Credit: Zillow.com

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Image Credit: Houzz.com

 

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Image Credit: Houzz.com (this one needs a New Spa Cover!)

 

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Image Credit: Realtor.com

 

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Image Credit: Realtor.com

 

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Image Credit: Houzz.com

 

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Image Credit: Houzz.com

Amazing inground hot tubs! If we don’t find a house in our price range with an inground spa, or pool/spa combo – we may just build our own! I’ll keep you posted!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Bad Fitting Hot Tub Covers

June 25th, 2015 by

ill-fitting-spa-coverI was visiting a friend at a beautiful resort home in Breckenridge, Colorado last weekend. They had so much snow in these parts of the Rockies (over 5 ft in May), that there is still snow now covering the mountain peaks.

A rental home with a hot tub in Breckenridge is easy to find. This town and many like it across the west are teeming with hot tubs. Rental homes with hot tubs need some extra attention, and if you have a hot tub at a vacation or rental property that you own, read Carolyn’s post on vacation home hot tub maintenance.

The purpose of today’s post is to rant about ill-fitting spa covers – oversized, undersized, wrong shape or size.

What’s Wrong With it?

Who cares, so what – if the cover is a little big for the spa, or doesn’t match the corner radius correctly? No big deal, right? OK, maybe no BIG deal, but from where I sit, there are some concerns about heat loss, cover durability and spa safety.

HOT TUB HEAT LOSS: When the skirt, or flap on the edge of the cover doesn’t sit flush over the outer lip of the spa or spa cabinet, heat seeps out, and air flows in. Both will create more work for your spa heater. A spa blanket can help, but if you see steam escaping from your spa top, imagine it as dollar bills with wings.

SPA COVER DURABILITY: When a spa cover does not fit properly, either too small or too large, or the wrong shape, the foam panels are more susceptible to damage from tree branches, dogs or kids, and from high winds that can toss a spa cover across the yard or even over the fence.

SPA SAFETY: If you can’t hook all of the spa cover safety straps, the spa is less safe than it needs to be. If there is any chance that the cover could be moved or fall in, then an ill-fitting spa cover could be dangerous for children or animals.bad-fitting-spa-cover

This ugly hot tub cover atop the otherwise beautiful Jacuzzi hot tub was costing the property management hundreds of dollars per year in heat loss. You can see how poorly made the spa cover is – wrinkles in the exterior fabric point to poor workmanship. So maybe they saved a few dollars on an ill-fitting spa cover, but in the long run, they are paying a much higher price!

If your spa cover does not fit correctly, there are some things you can do to help it out, if you aren’t ready to replace your spa cover just yet. First, turn the heat down as much as possible when not in use, and secondly, use a floating foam spa blanket to help reduce heat loss and water evaporation.

spa-cover-capSpa Cover Caps can also be used to help reduce heat loss on old, broken and ill-fitting spa covers. To increase the R-value, first place a heavy wool blanket over the hot tub cover, and then cover with the Spa Cap.

And for bad fitting spa covers that can’t be latched safely with cover clips to keep out young children, I recommend using spa cover “Hurricane Straps“, so called because they hold covers tight in high winds; they are also an added layer of protection for securing any hot tub cover safely.

Moral of the Story: Don’t buy a cut-rate, ill-fitting spa cover that seems like a great deal. In the long run, you may spend 2-3 times what you saved on wasted heat and premature cover failure.

To avoid this pitfall, order spa covers by specific spa make and model when possible, this ensures that your cover is made to manufacturer specs. For spa cover measuring or ordering questions, we have spa cover technicians standing by!

 

– Jack