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Winterizing a Spa or Hot Tub



Most portable spas are not winterized, many spa owners find that winter is one of their most enjoyable seasons with their hot tub. But, if this is a summer home, or if you are more of a 3 season spa user, you can shut down the spa for the next 3-4 months. Power outages or maintenance needs may also make you decide to winterize the hot tub. If a tub full of water were to freeze hard for several days, it can destroy a hot tub beyond repair.


Essentially the process is the removing all water from the spa equipment, pipes and hoses. Any water left in the spa can grow stagnant bacteria, or if there is enough to fill a tight space in the pipes, it will freeze and expand, and crack pipes or equipment.

Clean the Pipes

Using a product like Tub Rinse, added to your spa the night before draining will remove bacteria formed in the pipes or jets. If untreated before draining the water from the spa, the bacteria can thrive with just the moisture left in the pipes. This is a very important step that should not be overlooked, or dismissed as spa suppliers just trying to sell another chemical. 🙂 We do like to sell spa chemicals, but really – this one is a very necessary chemical. Use twice per year, and always before draining the spa for an extended period of time.

Drain the Spa

Open up the spigot on the bottom of your spa, most spas will have one that you can attach a garden hose. A small submersible pump can also be used. A siphon could also be used, with some degree of success. In addition to the spigot, remove any drain plugs you have on your pump or filter, or unscrew the unions on each side of the equipment (don’t lose the o-ring), to allow all of the equipment (pump, filter, heater…) to drain out.

Once the spa is drained completely, and the lines are blown out, use towels or sponges to get any remaining drops of water, and allow the shell to air dry for several hours with the spa cover removed. It’s important to remove every bit of water, from the pipes, seats, floors, equipment – everything.

Blow the Lines

When the spa is nearly drained, turn on the spa blower (if you have one), and let it run for several minutes. If you have air controls for the blower (jets or seats, for example), adjust the controls so that the blower is forcing air into all

You can blow the lines out, or suck them out with a wet/dry vac (just reverse the hose). Use a large wet/dry vac, and seal the end of the hose up against the hole in the bottom of the skimmer, and the drain, and on all of the spa jets. Depending how your jets and plumbing are arranged, you may have more success with vacuuming, or vice-versa, with blowing. Usually, some combination of both will be most successful.

In most cases, for the spa jets, you’ll want to start up at the higher jets, and work your way down to the floor jets. Seat air jets or ring jets take some precisely focused air and a dry towel laid across the bench or floor to absorb the water as it spits out of the air jets. When vacuuming, a sheet of plastic may be helpful, to cover other jets connected to the same manifold, to increase suction on the jet you are vacuuming water from. Blow or suck (sorry), the air until you no longer see any water or mist being extracted or pushed out. Important!

Non-toxic RV or Pool antifreeze can be used as a last resort, but it can get a little slimy and smells bad, so I’d advise you to do without, unless you are not certain that all the water has been removed, with no puddling areas inside air or water manifolds or pipe.


  1. Use spa filter cleaner It’s crucial to remove scale, minerals, dirt and grime from the
  2. Lubricate union o-rings on equipment connections with a Teflon based lubricant.
  3. Shut down power at the breaker, be sure the spa will not turn on while empty.
  4. Secure the cover tightly, and treat with spa cover conditioner.


Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works



Spas and Hot Tubs for Back & Joint Relief


hot-tub-spa-therapyI suppose we’re stating the obvious here, I mean, everyone knows that back pain can be relieved by a soak in hot water, right? And, it makes sense that the same hot water therapy can relieve the pain and swelling of arthritic joints.

According to The National Institutes of Health, Spa therapy, or hot-water balneology, appears to be indicated for chronic low back pain, stabilized rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Clinical trial findings suggest that patients with knee and hand osteoarthritis may benefit.

OK, point proven. Hot tubs and spas are great for what ails ya. The combination of the heat and the body’s buoyancy in the water relax the central nervous system and allow blood to flow. Increased blood flow helps to relieve inflammation and swelling, and brings more white blood cells to your painful areas.

And if you have massage jets in your spa, you get the bonus benefit of hydro-massage to specific areas.

Back Pain

Chronic back pain is an extremely disabling condition, affecting millions of Americans. Persistent pain can be managed with pills, but for many, it’s the hot tub that brings steady relief.

back-painBack pain can be caused by vertebrae misalignment, or from compression on the nerves that pass through the spine. Warm water therapy has been shown to be useful (American Journal of Medicine) for those recovering from back or spine trauma. Range of motion exercises in the hot water can increase one’s flexibility in the affected region.

Although hot water soaks are great for backs, experts generally agree that for first aid treatment to back injuries, one should start with ice or cold compresses. After some stabilization of the area, alternating treatments of hot water soaking and cold compresses can be used. Weeks or months after an injury, hot tub therapy can continue to bring back pain relief and speed healing of the area.


Arthritis Pain

As early as 1938, the New England Journal of Medicine stated “No therapy has been shown to be more consistently effective at treating chronic arthritis, as is physical medicine, including hydrotherapy”.

arthritis-painArthritis can be of two types, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body’s defenses are weak, affecting joints and bones. Osteo-Arthritis is a more common type of arthritis, affecting joints and bones that had suffered previous injury. Another very painful type of arthritis is Gout, when crystals develop between and around the joints. The swelling and pain can be excruciating.

Fortunately, there is relief in hot water. The temperature of the water helps to increase blood flow, and reduce swelling, while numbing pain receptors. Constricted muscles slowly expand as the skin absorbs the moisture deep into the body. Toxins are drawn off, and one can finally relax.

Hot tubs aren’t a panacea for pain management, but they do provide real relief, and are an accepted treatment for back pain, arthritis, and many other ailments.

Does your spa bring therapeutic relief to you or your family? What benefits do you see? Which conditions is your spa or hot tub treating effectively?

We’d love to see your comments below!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works



Spa Yoga Workout – Hot Tub Yoga




Namaste! Welcome to my Yoga Ashram, I’m Gina, your yoga instructor. I’m qualified, I suppose, since I started my own Hot Tub Yoga program 8 weeks ago, in preparation for this blog post!

I have always been a fan of Bikram yoga, a very physical type of yoga, practiced in rooms near 100 degrees – so it was a natural transition for me to try yoga in hot water.

Yoga in a spa or hot tub is, to be honest – a bit easier than yoga on land. The buoyancy of the water, and the water’s resistance, definitely make it easier to hold the poses!

When I began my personal Hot Tub Yoga Studio, I started out by doing the poses that I was most familiar with What evolved was my own brand of Sivananda Yoga – (a series of linked asanas and pranayamas), or sets of poses and breathing exercises.

My spa isn’t big enough to do some fully stretched out poses, and of course, seated poses and many inverted positions are difficult to do underwater. So, after much trial and error, here are some tried and true yoga sequences that can be done in your hot tub.


My yoga warm-up is more of a relaxation exercise, to prepare the body and mind for the sequences to follow. I sit cross-legged on the lounge seat of the spa, very straight and tall, in the Lotus position. Hands facing up, I begin rhythmic breathing, deep into my belly first. As the breathing becomes deeper, I fill my mid-chest and eventually my upper chest during each breath. Exhaling slowly and fully, this is known as the full Yogi breath. 8-10 full, slow breaths and I open my eyes and unfold my legs.

Hot Tub Yoga Warm-Up

Next – with the bathtub mat I bought placed on the spa floor, I kneel on the floor of my spa, in the Vajrasana or Rock pose. The water level forces me to sit nice and straight, with my toes bent under and my rump resting on my heels. After a few relaxing breaths, I push my hands up straight while inhaling, up toward the sky. Leaning and reaching back to full extension, I exhale as I bring my hands back into the prayer-like Namaste pose.

Spa Yoga Routines



Breath: Standing up in the center of the spa, I begin a series of repeated movements. The first set is part of a Sun Salutation, and is similar to the kneeling warm-up routine. As I stretch toward the sky, it’s helpful to imagine a rope around my wrists, pulling me up straight and tall. Repeating the set 5 times, very slowly and precisely, focusing on my breathing. Inhale as I open up tall, exhale as my head goes under water.


Balance: Up until now, at the half point of my yoga workout, it’s been relaxing, with a focus on the breath, and clearing my mind with the clutter of the day. Now I turn to my balance routine. You can mix it up with different poses that seem to work best for you.

Yoga, for me, has a goal of perfection – unattainable perfection perhaps, but nonetheless, and as I hold a pose, I try to be perfectly straight and balanced – with a clear mind, breathing deeply, in and out of each position.




Brawn: Time to kick it up a notch. Now that I am fully limber, and beginning to break a sweat, it’s time for some strength conditioning. The next set of poses that I link together use muscles that I hadn’t used in years – but after a few weeks, they stopped complaining after workouts. Some of these strength yoga poses involve the benches in the hot tub, as support.

These poses during the “Brawn” phase of the workout, are held for a longer time than the previous sets. Once you gain balance, focus the breath, and hold the pose for as long as you comfortably can.

I’ve added some Pilates moves to my hot tub workout. One new favorite is using a Pilates ball, and with straight arms and locked elbows, push the ball partially under water for 3 or 4 breaths. After several rounds, I move the ball to my toes and hold it under water with feet (harder than it sounds!) while floating on my back (planking!), supported by my hands on the spa bench. Breathe.


Hot tub yoga – this has been a fun experiment. I have to say – after 2 months of doing spa yoga, my hot tub and I have reconnected, and I am toned in areas that just aren’t touched with other forms of exercise. As an added benefit, the meditative breathing really takes the stress off, and gives me such an energy boost.

I hope you’ll try hot tub yoga soon – if you have, and have some tips to share, please comment below!


Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works


yoga pose graphics created by AskAboutHugo

Top Spa and Hot Tub Accessories


Every year, I review the the best accessory items for spas and hot tubs. Hot tub style doesn’t change as fast as clothing fashion, but it does change! Each year, inventive manufacturers look to provide the next big product for the 5 million spa and hot tub owners in North America.

Your spa or hot tub was installed for the enjoyment that it brings as a tranquil relaxation zone. This year, our top hot tub accessories list includes items that make it easier to enjoy your spa, or add a new dimension of interest and delight. Maybe one of these items will rekindle the flame between you and your tub?

My Favorite Spa and Hot Tub Accessories

Spa Umbrella

Spa-Side Umbrella

These umbrellas, which used to cost thousands, are not in the reach of every spa owner. I have one of these over my spa – although  it’s not always open, I keep it folded most of the time.

Spa umbrellas are nice to block the low sun on a summer evening, or if it starts to rain while you’re in the spa you can wait out the storm safely underneath.

Spa umbrellas can also be rotated 360 degrees, to shade adjacent areas, and it pivots to an almost vertical position, to add a bit of privacy.



Spa Console Table & Stools

Having a spa-side counter is helpful to store snacks and drinks, lay towels or magazines. I know many people that use more than one, a friend of mine uses 3 of them, all filled with beautiful herbs and flowering plants.

The stools of course, provide a place for friends and family to sit and talk, while not getting into the spa. It’s so convenient for guests at a party. My grand children sometimes have a Sunday snack there, after their soak in the tub.


spa step with planters

Spa Steps with Planters

DreamMaker Spa Storage Steps Another hot tub accessory that I love, even though, most of the time, the flowers in my spa steps are “artificial”. They beautify my spa entrance nonetheless! The top step also opens up for additional storage.

You can plant real plants in these if you wish, they have a drain hole in the bottom of each plant area. Some people I have heard of are using these as coolers! Great spa party idea – fill each one up with ice and a different beverage of your choice!



Omni Rocks

Omni Rocks are artificial rocks that look like the real deal, but they are light weight molded faux rocks. The step is available in 2-step or 3-step for today’s taller spas. The corner rock has a lift off lid, with a storage compartment for towels, or spa care items. You can also use it as a cooler, or convert it into a planter!

The Corner Rock Planter Unit holds enough soil to accommodate a medium sized bush or bunches of seasonal flowers or herbs. Frames two sides of your spa as it hugs the corner.


Color Glo Raydiance - LED bulb for spas

Color Glo Raydiance LED Spa Bulb

24 LEDs fill even larger spas with dense, rich hues of intense color. 8 standard colors, and two color light shows. Rotate just by flipping the switch, or hitting your light button.

This LED spa bulb works on 12V spa light systems, with a wedge based lighting socket, and without dimming capability. It only uses 2.5 watts, but you may find it to be twice as bright as your old white light, or earlier generation LED spa bulbs.



Water Proof Playing Cards

When’s the last time you played cards? In the tub, playing a game can be a lot of fun. Texas Hold-Em is the game we like to play in our hot tub, but you could play Go Fish, Gin Rummy or BlackJack, anything you wish.

Our Water Proof Playing Cards may seem silly, but it could be the kind of thing that gets you out in the spa more – “…how about a game of cards in tub?” I can hear you saying now…


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

Spa Water Chemistry – Test and Balance




Testing your spa water regularly is the best way to really understand your water chemistry. It’s always changing, your water chemistry – and usually very rapidly, when 3 or 4 adults jump into 500 gallons of water.

” Balanced spa water” means that your pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness levels are correct. Each of these 3 can need adjustment, but in terms of stability – Hardness stays fairly stable, followed by Alkalinity. pH can have the quickest and widest swings in level, so pay especially close attention to your spa pH levels.


Testing Spa Water

Test strips are the most convenient way to test spa water, in part because anyone can use them – without much instruction. Even my 4 yr old grand daughter can test the hot tub! Just dip and swirl, then compare the colors – it’s almost fun!

I use the AquaChek “Red” test strips, and check the water nearly every other day, or at least 3 times per week. These spa strips test for Bromine, pH, Alkalinity and Hardness – everything I need. digital-strip-tester

The AquaChek Digital Strip Reader is great for us older folks with tired eyes, or maybe for my color blind husband (who claims he isn’t). Just dip the strip and then insert it into the strip reader. Colormetric scanner determines the reading, and displays an exact digital readout of your spa water chemistry levels.

When your spa water is not in balance, your sanitizer is unable to work effectively, and algae and bacteria may thrive. Besides helping to keep your spa water safe and sanitary, balanced water also protects your spa shell and equipment from scaling or corrosive water conditions.

Test your Spa! It’s the only way to know what is too low and what is too high. Test your hot tub every time you use it, or at least once per week.

Balancing Spa Water

After testing the spa water, adjust your Calcium Hardness levels first. If your water is very soft (less than 150 ppm), you should add a small amount of hardness increaser (Calcium Chloride) to the hot tub. This buffers the water, and can help prevent spa foaming. Next, adjust your Alkalinity level, if it’s outside of the range of 80-120 ppm. Add baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) to increase it, or use a pH decreaser chemical (an acid) to lower

With calicum hardness (Ca) and alkalinity (Alk) levels correct, move on to pH. When pH is too high (above 7.6), your sanitizer is very weak and sluggish. When the pH is too low (below 7.0), the bromine is very effective, but the water is dangerously close to acidic range. Over time, acidic water can be corrosive to the spa finish, spa filters and to your spa heater. Add pH increaser or pH decreaser, to keep your hot tub pH level in the 7.2-7.4 range.

Finally, with the spa water balanced, we can address the sanitizer level, and make any adjustments necessary, and shock the spa. It’s always important to have balanced water first, before boosting bromine, or shocking the spa.

How Much Water is in my Hot Tub? To adjust your spa chemical balance carefully, you need to know how much water is in the spa, so that you can add the proper amount of spa balance chemicals. If you know the make and model, find the specifications sheet online for “water capacity”. If you can’t locate this information, you can calculate your spa’s capacity by measuring your garden hose flow rate, and then monitoring how many minutes it takes to fill the spa. To do this, time how long it takes to fill a bucket of known size. If your hose takes 1 minute to fill a 2 gallon bucket, for instance – and it takes 150 minutes to fill the spa – you can deduce that your spa holds 300 gallons.

For hot tub adjustment chemicals, see our Hot Tub Chemicals section. When you maintain water balance in your spa, you won’t need so many other chemicals. Not only that, but hot tub maintenance is reduced, and your spa components can last longer. Just from testing and balancing your spa water chemistry!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

5 Minute Hot Tub Massage Techniques


spa-massageThe Hot Tub or Spa is the perfect place for a soothing massage, after all, hydrotherapy is a form of massage. In the warm waters of your hot tub, tired muscles relax and yield to the softest touch.

It’s a great way for couples to help each other enjoy their time in the hot tub more, and become closer to each other in the process.

Since long soaks of 30 minutes or more may not be recommended, here’s some ways to provide quick relief – in just 5 minutes!

Spa Massage Tips

There are some areas of the body that are not conveniently positioned for the spa jet massage, such as the thighs, lower back and pelvis areas. Other parts of the body can be comfortably reached by your spa massage partner, without climbing into some impossible position.

Spa Massage starts with a deal, an accord or pact between two aching bodies. “I’ll do you – if you do me?” is the usual agreement. Although foot massage can both be given at the same time, it’s best to trade off, to allow your helping hands to be most appreciated. Here’s some tips on bringing loving relief in the form of massage – while soaking in your hot tub!

Foot Massage:

This is a good place to start the massage. Seated across from your partner, raise their ankle up onto your knee, and begin by slowly rotating the ankle in both directions. Then twist the entire foot, side to side – slowly. After this overall foot greeting, we can get specific. Extend the toes back and forward, and then stretch each toe, one by one, by gently twisting and then pulling or extending each little piggy.

Moving from the toes, massage the ball of the foot with circular motions, before running your thumb the length of the foot, from toe to heel. Finish the foot by massaging the heel area, squeezing it like a large lemon, as you move your hand around the heel. Switch to the other foot.

Hand Massage:

A hand massage is so appreciated, with the amount of dexterous tasks we are all doing each day on our computer and portable devices. A hand massage doesn’t differ very much from the foot massage, except that it’s best to be seated next to the person, on the side opposite the hand you are working on.

Begin with wrist rotation, a few times in each direction. Then fold the wrist to as far forward as is comfortable, pointing the fingers at the elbows. Reverse direction so the palm is open and facing up. Now, “squeeze the lemon” by squeezing the hand, as you slide it through yours, from wrist to finger tips. Now, work on each individual finger, with a stroking squeeze of each digit from base to tip. Twist each finger from side to side, and then extend each finger through it’s full range. Finish with some thumb strokes on an open palm, while squeezing the hand edge, opposite the thumb. Switch to the other hand.

Back Massage:

If you have a large enough bench seat, your partner can sit in front of you, or, you can bring in a clean 5 gallon bucket as a seat in the center of the spa. For portable spas, standing outside of the spa can be most comfortable for the one giving the massage, and also allows you more leverage to bear down into tired trapezoids.

Start at the base of the neck, and work your way along the top of the shoulders. Dig your thumbs deep into the shoulder grooves (as deep as is comfortable for your partner). Then, follow down the spinal cord, as far as you can comfortably reach. Repeat the stroke, widening your stroke on each pass, until your  hands end up on your partner’s sides. Finish by pulling, hand over hand, strokes from the outside – in, or from the side of the body, toward the spine, repeating the stroke on the opposite side.

Neck and Scalp Massage:

This one can be performed with the person seated on the floor in front of you, if your spa is not too deep, or you can stand outside the spa, just behind your partner. Hair can be wet or dry, but wet hair is easier to get your hands through.

Again, start at the base of the neck, but this time work your thumbs upward, and as you reach the scalp, run your thumbs along the base of the scalp, towards the ears. Run your fingers up the neck, and into the hairline, continuing the stroke all the way to the front (remove any rings and necklaces first). Spend time behind each ear, and massage the entire perimeter of each ear, pulling, twisting and folding your partner’s

Keep the massage oils inside the house – your spa filter will do better without having to filter excess oil, and besides the water is a good lubricant anyway.

If you have any of your own spa or hot tub massage techniques to share, post a comment below – if not, give this 5 minute spa massage a try on your hot tub partner!



Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

Troubleshooting a Spa Ozonator Problem


ozone-2Ozone is one of the world’s strongest sanitizers. It eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and other pathogens in your spa water. It also attacks oils, dirt and nearly all contaminants. And, the only byproduct of Ozone (O3) is Oxygen (O2).

Using a spa ozonator can reduce your chemical usage dramatically, which is why most new spas are equipped with an ozonation system.

But you may be wondering if your ozonator is working? You probably don’t have a test kit for ozone, and even if you see bubbles coming out into the spa, there may be a problem.

How Does Spa Ozone Work?

In spas and hot tubs, ozone is produced by a Ultra-Violet bulb. When air is exposed to UV radiation (from a UV light bulb), some of the oxygen in the air is converted to ozone. O2 gains a third oxygen atom, and becomes O3. When the ozone molecule attacks contaminants in your spa water, it gives up the third atom, and reverts back to O2.

Inspect the UV bulb

If you can see the blue light coming from an inspection port, or slipping out of a small crack in the housing, you can assume that the bulb is functioning properly. If there is no blue light, follow the power cord, and make sure that it’s securely plugged into the spa pack, or is connected to a power source. Inspect the cord also, looking for problems such as cuts or breaks in the wire harness. Finally, if the bulb is lit, and no ozone is being released, you may have a clogged venturi injector.

Inspect the Ozone Hose

The hose carries the small ozone bubbles from the spa ozonator to the venturi injector, which pulls the ozone into the spa plumbing. Sanitation takes place almost immediately. If the hose is broken, or crimped, or disconnected, you have located your ozonator problem.

Inspect the Check Valve

On the hose, there is a check valve, which allows the ozone to flow in only one direction (towards the spa jets) and keeps water out of the ozonator. If the check valve appears to be damaged, or stuck, or if you notice that the pump basket is filling with air when turned off, you may have a faulty check valve. Be sure to replace with your exact manufacturer replacement. one that won’t be damaged by ozone, and is made to match the ozone output pressure.

Ozone bulbs usually last 3-5 years. When replacing the ozone bulb, be sure to use the exact manufacturer replacement. Or, you can replace the entire spa ozonator.


Happy Hot Tubbin’!

Daniel Lara


Spa Cover Lifter Reviews



Hot Tub cover lifters are essential for most people to comfortably handle a bulky spa cover, and also to prevent damage to your spa cover. You may be surprised to know how often spa covers are broken during movement, or while not on the hot tub – about half of the replacement spa covers that we sell.

Reviews are popular nowadays, with nearly every product we sell, but the best reviews come from you, our customers via email – the unsolicited customer feedback. I have collected hundreds of these over the years, and have hand picked a few of the most useful reviews, or those that really highlight the features of each of these very different spa cover lifters.

Hot Tub Cover Lifter Reviews: 2008-2012

Cover Valet Reviews

  1. Works like a charm. I was nervous about installation, seeing that the other models you just slide under the spa, but this one seemed more sturdy than those. The video you guys did was very helpful. Installed in under an hour.
  2. Instructions were a bit lacking, but once I had the the side bracket installed, the rest was a breeze. It’s very sturdy and easy to use with the piston assist. I like how it sits up next to the spa, adds a bit of privacy on one side.
  3. I didn’t want to drill into the wood around my spa, fearing it would crumble on my old Coleman spa. The bolts were big enough to bite into the small pilot holes I made, and no cracking. This is a much improved spa lift, over the last model we had. Appreciate the fast shipping too.

Cover Caddy Reviews

  1. The cover caddy was easy to put on the spa, once we figured out how to lever the spa up slightly to slip it under. Once in place, it seemed secure so we tested it out. Worked the first time, no adjustment needed.
  2. Looks a bit flimsy in the video, but it handles our cover well. I like how it holds the cover along the side of the spa. We replaced the cover at the same time, and maybe the new one is lighter, but this is a lot easier to manage than before.
  3. Cover Caddy was fast to set-up. I had to move the bottom plate at first, I didn’t have it centered. But installing it in under a minute still counts as fast to me!

Cover Rock-It Reviews

  1. “Rock-on cover rock-it! I can’t believe I went this long without a spa cover lifter thingy. It’s so easy now, I don’t need to get someone to help me remove the spa top!”
  2. “Just fold the cover, and step on the little lever and ‘pop’! The cover opens instantly. Very ingenious device. I shoulda thought of that!”
  3. “Best $100 I ever spent. I was so tired of struggling with our cover before. I’m also convinced that not using a spa cover might have led to our spa cover’s demise. No one will take the blame of course, but they don’t just break themselves!”

CoverMate Freestyle Reviewscovermate-freestyle

  1. “Not the cheapest spa cover lift made, but works well. My previous cover lift (same model) lasted almost exactly the same amount of time as the spa cover (5 years). Is that on purpose?”
  2. “Love the new cover lift that I ordered. So mush easier than the other style you have for round covers – I had that one before, and my cover would always fall off (roll-off), which is not good for your spa cover! We love it, thanks for sending.”
  3. “I very much appreciate the replacement spa lift. The first one was defective on the hinge, but this one has been working fine for 30 days. I told you I’d update you – I guess you could say we are happy with the replacement.”


Cover Rx Reviewscover-rx-spa-top-lift

  1. Works great on my Softub. No other cover lift can be used with these. Slid right under, worked immediately. THANKS!”
  2. On our traditional wood slat hot tub, we wanted something inexpensive and easy. The cover rx was the prescription! Tell thanks to Dr. Alea!”
  3. There’s not a lot of choice for spa cover lifters for aboveground round spas. This one, and another one that was twice as much money. Glad we went with this one – it’s simple to use and looks durable. It’s easy enough for an 81 yr old grand mom to use (that’s me!).”


I hope you enjoyed a look at some quick reviews for our most popular spa cover lifts. Full disclosure, I edited these reviews, some of them were quite long! I also didn’t include any negative reviews, but there were some.

If you have a review of your spa cover lifter, Good or Bad, leave it in the comments below, along with the Make and Model, to let others benefit from your experiences!

– Jack

Adding Audio-Video to your Spa or Hot Tub


Marquis Spa with pop up TVA Hot Tub is a paradise – soothing, relaxing and as social as you want it to be. If you want your spa to ROCK, however, jazz it up by adding some tunes to your spa experience, or go all out and set up an outdoor TV or monitor!

Newer spas can come equipped with stereos and built in speakers, like the one shown left, with an option to add a pop-up television. Manufacturer options strike me as expensive however.

You can assemble your own hot tub audio and video equipment for much less expense. Here’s how.


The Integrated Spa Side Stereo is an outdoor, waterproof receiver that’s used on spas, boats and golf carts. These are typically mounted to the spa skirt, on the outside of the spa. You’ll also need an Antenna if you plan on using AM/FM, and a 12V power supply, to connect to your spa pack.

Spa stereos can be purchased as AM/FM only, or with a CD port, Ipod/Iphone dock or USB port, or even with Bluetooth wireless connectivity to your mp3 player. When shopping for a spa mounted stereo, look for Marine stereos, those meant for outdoor use in boats.

The Ipod/Iphone docking stereo is another option. If you have a dry area near the tub, with a 110V outlet, plug in any Ipod player and dock your device. For something fully waterproof, look at the Eco Terra Waterproof Boom Box. Slip your mp3 player inside and let the music play! This item has the advantage of portability, so you can also use it on a boat, by the pool or at the beach.

Your Home Stereo system can be your third option. If you have a Home Stereo, wired or wireless, a set of outdoor speakers can be attached. This is how we rock my hot tub. I have a SONOS wireless home music system, with an Amplifier in the garage, connected with speaker wire to 2 outdoor, wall mounted speakers. I can control the music selection with my Iphone (being careful not to drop it in the spa!).

Spa Speakers


  1. Spa Cabinet Installed. Newer spas will always have the option for an integrated stereo and speakers. If you purchased this upgrade, speakers would be mounted into the top of the spa, either round 6″ speakers, or pop-up cylinder speakers. Most spas have room on the spa shell or cabinet to retrofit such speakers. Pop-up spa speakers have some advantage in design; besides looking ultra cool, they shed water from the speaker cone.exoxgear
  2. Floating Speakers. Fully waterproof, of course, floating speakers connect wirelessly to your mp3 player via Bluetooth. Most of these available have poor reviews of low volume, short range and fast battery usage. There is one however, with better reviews, the ECOXGEAR. At only $90, this could be all you need to play music from any Bluetooth enabled device.outdoor-rock-speakers
  3. Free Standing Speakers. Outdoor speakers can be wall mounted (like mine), or can be set onto stands, or placed near the spa. With the blower running and your spa pump on high, you may want your speakers close to the spa. You don’t want to wake the neighbors! There are dozens of options in outdoor speakers, wired or wireless, although wireless speakers require a power source, using either 110V or batteries.



An integrated Spa mounted television is a high-end upgrade for today’s modern spas. These wireless monitors receive a signal from a small server that you plug into your cable box. A waterproof remote control allows you to change channels and volume. The SpaVue television is one that is used by many spa manufacturers, who build the monitor into a recessed cavity, which rises up slowly when you click the waterproof remote.

You can retrofit an existing spa with the same idea, or surface mount the SpaVue, or similar outdoor television onto the edge of your spa. Wirelessly connect to your home media, or connect with cabling of your choice.

outdoor-tv-hot-tub-2Wall mounted outdoor televisions are another option. You can mount directly to the wall, of the house or your hot tub gazebo. With this option, you can go as big as you want, and mount a full home theater style screen. However, I don’t think that I could watch an entire movie in the spa. Or at least a long movie; I tend to use the spa for less than 30 minutes at a time. For hot tub parties, as Gina blogged about earlier this week – a big screen experience could really add something.

As I stated at the outset, a Hot Tub is a paradise, all by itself. You don’t need to add music and video – you could just light a candle and use your spa to escape technology, which come to think of it – is how I enjoy my spa best.

Happy Hot Tubbin’!

Daniel Lara


Hot Tub Party Tips


hot tub party tips

Hot Tub Parties –  just like any other party, except your guests are wet! Whether you like your hot tub party small, for just a few select couples, or if you throw whole house parties, with the spa available to the adventurous – this post is for you!

Having hosted my share of hot tub parties, for nearly any occasion, I’ve assembled some “best practices” for keeping spa party guests comfortable and safe.

Looking back over the years, I have become something of an expert hot tub hostess. Mistakes from early spa parties have not been repeated (although I will repeat them here), and my set-up and clean-up routines are faster every time.

Here’s my top tips for hosting a hot tub party, where all of your guests are comfortable.


The day before your spa party (not hours before), check and balance your spa chemistry. Make sure the pH is 7.4-7.6, to keep your sanitizer effective in the presence of possibly too-many spa users. Remove your spa filter and give it a heavy duty cleaning, so it can keep up with the bather load. Wipe down your spa, inside and out, and give it a quick vacuum to remove any grit or dirt. And to make sure it’s fresh, I like to use spa shock the night before, so that I know my spa is sanitary.

I also clean up the ground, or floor around the spa. It will become very wet, and if the floor is dirty, it tracks a lot of muck and yuck into the spa. There is one spot near my spa that is a real dirt magnet; I lay down an outdoor carpet in this area just before the party begins.

I almost forgot ~ Aromatherapy! Spa scents are a must for a spa party. I really love Spazazz Mood Crystals – Tropical Rain or Lavender being my favorites lately. For the uninitiated, they are just astounded that my spa smells so good!


For Food, if you can avoid it, keep the food out of the spa. Nothing is nastier than floating cheese snacks, and the oils that party snacks have will consume much of your sanitizer and clog up your spa filter. no-food-allowed-in-spa

At first, I had the food right next to the spa, then I moved it around 10 feet away (but still outside). After too many food messes, I now have the food inside of the house, and a cute sign made up to help people get the idea. Food and Spas don’t mix, so try to discourage food (and glass) from being near the spa.

For Drinks, I’m much less concerned about them in the spa, as they’re important to keep your guests from becoming hydrated. I keep a plastic water pitcher filled up, with plastic cups available. For those people that are using the spa – it’s crucial that they drink enough of water, especially if they are also drinking alcohol.


Crowd Control – Rotate your guests. Limit them to 30 mins, and keep tabs on how long people are in the spa. For some people, you have to “cut30mins them off”, especially if you have a large crowd of other people that may want to use the hot tub. But mainly for safety – so after 30 mins, I’ll find a way to suggest a “spa break”. Also, I like to encourage all ages and both sexes to use the spa, and if I notice that the spa seems “unbalanced”, I’ll suggest an open seat to others.

Not everyone is comfortable about their body, and at my hot tub parties, typically half of the people (women and men) opt to keep their street clothes on.Make them comfortable by not being pushy about using the spa. If most of your group is in the spa, take some time to entertain those that stay dry. Seating around the spa, benches or stools, are great for these land-lubbers, especially if the party is centered around your hot tub.

Have other activities nearby, to offer additional entertainment, other than the hot tub. Lawn Bowling anyone? Horseshoes? Even a deck of cards can be useful. An outdoor fire pit with lots of seating is always a crowd pleaser.

Towels! Lots of towels, hanging nearby are useful for not just drying off, but for covering up while taking a break from the spa (encourage short-term use, 15-20 minutes at a time).

no skinny dipping

Nudity? There have been times, when tops have come off, but to ensure everyone’s comfort, I post another sign near the spa. It gets a lot of giggles, but I let them know (in most cases) that the sign is real. Once clothes come off, I have found that things can quickly become tacky and embarrassing for many guests.


What’s a party without music? Most spa owners have already crossed this hurdle, and have set up some system to play some relaxing music to soak by. Party music should be a bit more upbeat, and mixed of many different genres. I typically play Pandora internet radio, set to shuffle among my pre-set stations. If I get a request, it’s easy to add another station.


Lighting in the spa can really set a mood. If your spa doesn’t have advanced color changing LED bulbs, you can float a few glow sticks in the spa to create a colorful glow, or hand out glow stick bracelets to your guests. Outside the spa, you can light some candles, use tiki torches, or turn on some exterior lights that aren’t too bright, but bright enough to light the way.


Safety is important for many reasons, and most importantly to prevent accidents around your spa or hot tub. Here’s a list of spa safety tips.

  • Check that your spa drain covers are securely attached, to prevent entrapment.
  • Limit your guests to 30 minutes max in the tub. After a break of 15 minutes, a guest can return.
  • Alcohol is intensified in a hot tub. Try to limit your guests to one drink per hour, if possible.
  • Help your guests in and out of the tub. Coming out of a spa makes one lightheaded.
  • No glass allowed near the hot tub (and no food!).
  • Use outdoor carpets for wet spots on the floor.

So, that’s it – my tried and true secrets of spa party success! Follow these simple tips and you’ll enjoy being the hot tub host (or hostess)!


Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works