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Your Hot Tub Water Smells Bad!


Clothes Pins - the solution to smelly spas and hot tubs?

Does your spa smell? When you open up the spa cover, do you reach for the clothes pins? Does your skin smell bad hours after you get out of the hot tub?

A foul smelling spa or hot tub is a sure sign that bacteria is hiding somewhere in your spa, spa equipment, or spa cover. I’m not talking about the smell of spa bromine
or ozone – but a rotten egg, dirty socks, wet dog kind of smell! Your spa water can be crystal clear, and you can still have smelly spa water.

A spa with an odor problem is not uncommon, so don’t feel bad when it happens to you – feel motivated, and do something about it! Here’s some steps to take to remove odors from your spa, so you can get back to enjoying your relaxing soaks.

pH Levels

Your spa pH level, can affect the way that your spa water smells. When pH is very low, an sharp and pungent smell can result and when pH is very high, a musty and stale odor can result. Check and balance your pH level often, and maintain it in the 7.4-7.6 range.

Sanitizer Levels

Bromine, chlorine or biguanide, check that your level of spa sanitizer in the water is at a level high enough to kill bacteria and other smelly substances. This level of sanitizer needs to be kept at a consistent level to keep your water clean.

After heavy use of your spa or hot tub, or every few weeks regardless of use, shocking the spa will quickly kill bacteria in the water. To successfully shock the tub, you should know the number of gallons in your spa, to be sure that you don’t under-dose it with spa shock. After shocking a smelly spa, leave your spa cover open for a few hours to allow gasses to escape.

Draining your Spa

If you haven’t done so in some time, you may want to skip the balancing and shocking of your spa water and proceed directly to draining. I like to drain my spa every 90 days, or sooner if I have been a little slack in my spa care routine, or if one of my spa parties becomes a little crowded or… boisterous! For smelly spas, draining the water may not do the trick of removing the smell. If not, read on for more causes of hot tub odor.

Your Hot Tub Cover

Hot tub covers are designed to drain properly and not hold water. If you’ve owned your hot tub for any length of time however, you know that spa covers don’t last forever. Eventually, nearly all spa covers will begin to trap water. When unsanitized water is trapped in a warm environment – that’s right, you get bacteria!

If your spa cover has gained a few pounds, it may be the source of your spa smells. Remove it to an area away from the spa to determine if the funky spa smell is from the spa, or the spa cover. If you can find the source of the water logged spa cover, you can attempt to seal up the void, dry out the spa cover guts, and reassemble. In most cases however, a water logged hot tub cover or a spa top with broken foam inserts will have you soon looking to buy a new spa cover!

Your Hot Tub Filter

Bacteria and other contaminants that are brought into your spa are meant to be killed by the sanitizer and their smelly-selves removed by the filter. Your filter cartridge needs to be properly inserted to prevent water from bypassing around it. Most spa filter cartridges should be replaced every year, to keep filtering at an optimum. When the cartridge ages, oils and minerals can clog up the fabric, and the fibers of the fabric separate, allowing mold and bacteria to pass right through. Replace your filter cartridge annually to avoid this.

Your Hot Tub Pipes

Bacteria can build a nice home for themselves inside of your plumbing pipes. This is almost a certainty if you neglected the spa for some time, or left it almost empty, but with some water left inside the pipes and equipment underneath. This topic kind of grosses me out to be honest, so I’ll be quick.

Bio-film in your spa definitely smells bad, but you may never know that it’s there. In extreme cases, chunks will break off and you may find brown or green remnants in your spa filter, but usually you will never see biofilm, as it likes to stay hidden in your pipes and equipment.

It’s a good idea to use a cleansing product twice per year to remove bio-film in your spa or hot tub. I use Rendezvous filter fresh to remove any hidden bacteria in the pipes and equipment. I add it to the spa the night before I plan to drain it, just in case.

Aromatherapy for your Spa

I haven’t mentioned these products as a solution to a smelly spa, because they’ll just mask the odor – and not do a thing to correct the situation. Nonetheless, when speaking of smelly spas, how can you not mention the numerous products to help make your spa smell nicer? cense-spa-shock

We have spa beads, spa crystals and spa elixirs, in such delicious packaging that looks good enough to eat! Blends of minerals, crystalline salts and moisturizers, spa fragrances are used to create aromas that help you relax and enjoy your time more in the spa.

There is one product that is more than perfume for your spa – Cense spa shocks are scented, non-chlorine spa shock that kills bacteria fast, and leaves a clean scent to the water.

If you have any stories of smelly hot tubs and what you did about it – leave a comment below!


Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works


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Swimming Pools vs. Hot Tubs – Which is Better?


a pool and a spa, in one


Which is better – a swimming pool or a hot tub – which would you rather have? If you had this deluxe swim spa pictured here, you’d be able to swim in the upper area and soak in the lower hot tub. It’s the best of both worlds!

There are some strong opinions on the swimming pools vs. spas and hot tub question. I took a straw poll around the office and posed the question to my facebook friends.


“What would you rather have… a Pool, or a Spa?

The most common response was “Can’t I have both?” or “I have both!”, which forced me to revise my question, or add the caveat…

“If you could only have one… a Pool, or a Spa?”

After tallying the responses (many of them hilarious), I can now present to you the findings of my study.


“I would Rather Have a Pool Because…” pools-are-best-sm

  • I like to swim laps (or water exercises).
  • Nothing like the cool of the pool on a hot summer day.
  • Fun for the kids (or grandkids).
  • Entertainment – pool parties.
  • Sun Tan!


“I would Rather Have a Spa Because…”children-in-hot-tub

  • Hot tubs soaks are so relaxing
  • Spas are very romantic
  • Can use a hot tub all year long
  • Much cheaper to buy
  • Easier to manage
  • Safer


I suppose that I’m partial to spas and hot tubs, but to be fair, I honestly do prefer my hot tub to having an inground swimming pool. I don’t think I’d even want one. We belonged to a community pool when my children were young, (they’re  now grown and moved on) so I made sure they had learned how to swim. One of my babies was on the swim team for many years. Living in southern California, swimming pools are quite common, and many of our friends have swimming pools.

And now that some of us are getting older, hot tubs seem to fit our lifestyle better. A pool would not get as much use at our house, but there it would be – demanding my daily attention. Or the attention of my husband!

My spa is so easy to take care of, it literally takes me 5 minutes per week – and that suits me fine. A swimming pool, from what my friends tell me, takes them about an hour per week in cleaning and maintenance.

And the cost of operation is much higher with pools. My friends with pools also report that they spend at least $1000 per year, running the pumps and keeping the chemicals correct, and making small repairs to the equipment. Then we went on to tell me stories of the BIG repairs, which I won’t bore you with, but some can be expensive.

So, I’ll keep my spa for now. What about you? Let’s keep the Study of Preference going – which would YOU rather have, a Pool, or a Hot Tub? Leave a Comment below, and let us know how you really feel about it!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

Hot Tub Exercise Bike


$18,000 ‘Flushable Jacuzzi’ Bike, Made in USA


Biking in Hot Water? Jets spray your legs and your rear end as you ride. A digital display counts off the miles. When you’re done, the unit flushes, discarding your sweaty workout water down the drain.

This invention seems to be inspired by forces beyond, the FitWet Bike, says the company, “combines the effects of biking, water resistance, & jets to improve results 10 times faster than an average bike.”



I don’t think that would endorse this product. For that kind of money I would look at a swim spa by Artesian Spas which has a lot more options for fitness and hot tubbing.pool-bike

There are also a few types of exercise bikes meant for swimming pools. Just place them on a flat surface in the shallow end of the pool, plug in your iPod, and get your workout on!

What do you think of the Hot Tub Bike? Would you like to have one of these exercise bikes to workout while underwater?


The Importance of Spa Cover Lifts


Spa Cover Lift Benefits

spa cover  lift

As any spa owner knows, a cover is essential to maintaining a spa. It keeps the spa protected from small children and pets, and it also keeps insects, dust, and debris from polluting the spa. It’s biggest benefit, a necessity really, it the ability to trap heat in the spa. Without a spa cover, you would have trouble heating to full temperature, and spend countless amounts on electricity (or gas) to heat your hot tub.

Spa lifts do have one disadvantage however. They are usually large, unwieldy, and heavy – discouraging spa usage because they require so much effort to pull on and off of the spa.

Spa cover lifts make a perfect accessory to any spa. Not only are they easy to install, but they’re also highly affordable and great time savers. Many spa owners consider them essential because spa lifts make it so much easier to enjoy their spa without the strenuous effort of lifting the cover on and off.

Good spa covers are heavy; in fact, the better the quality of the insulated spa cover, the heavier it will be. In addition, over time, the spa cover may absorb moisture, thus making it even heavier.

Purchasing a spa lifter will allow you to enjoy all the benefits of a heavy spa top without the manual effort associated with using it. It will increase the pleasure of your spa, as well as encourage you to continuously use a cover when the spa is not in use. It also protects your spa cover from damage during removal, or from falling over. So, in a way, a spa cover lift can be considered a way to protect your spa cover investment, as well as reduce your spa heating expense.

Since there are many types of covers, a spa owner has many choices when it comes to cover lifts. Generally speaking, heavier covers average around 25-30 pounds. This weight is determined by the quality of the materials used and thickness of the cover. For the heavier hot tub covers, you will find it easier to use the heavier duty cover lifts.

A Mechanical Spa Lifter Makes the Work Easier

Usually the heavier spa covers require a mechanical lifter. This is because the cover can get heavier over time as it absorbs moisture. If trying to lift a heavy cover manually, you risk injuring yourself. Spa lifters require a simple and easy maneuver to remove the cover. No more struggling with a unwieldy spa top!

Spa Cover Lifts Protect your Spa Cover

In addition, even if you are a strong and agile person, you may accidentally break the cover when lifting it on and off. A mechanical lifter makes the work of removing a cover very easy, while storing it safely while not in use. Many spa covers are broken while removed from the spa, some simply by the cover falling over, and some by people falling over the spa cover!

A Variety of Spa Cover Lifts

Spa cover lifts come in different shapes and sizes. The mechanical lifter is ideal for heavy covers, but cheaper models are available as well. All cover lifters do the heavy lifting for you, making it easier for you to lift manually through use of basic physical properties. Cover lifts are designed to hold the cover off the ground, thus avoiding damage or dirtying of your spa cover. Spa lifts hold the cover to the spa’s side, either in a vertical or horizontal orientation.

Advice for Buying a Spa Cover Lift

The best way to make an informed purchase is to carefully measure the cover as well as the spa enclosure clearance. It’s advisable to have a minimum of six inches of vertical clearance to operate your spa lift. Different models provide different horizontal clearance amounts for storing the spa cover in the removed position, so be sure to measure the distance from your spa to any adjacent walls or barriers. Finally, remember that the better the spa cover, the better the spa cover lift. Heavier covers require a more heavy duty cover lifter, for best performance and ease of use.

For more information about Personal Spa Cover Lift, please visit

Hot Tub Cover Quote


Custom Quotes on Spa Covers

Hot Tub Covers

This is a recent sample letter with most of what I normally send out to customers requesting a custom spa cover quote.

For unusual shaped or sized spa covers, we create a customized quotation for construction of our hot tub covers. We have 3 people who do this – it takes a lot of work but they make sure we get it right every time for the client.

Our quotations are emailed to you within hours and each quote is good for 30 days.

We can quote a cover for any size or shape spa or hot tub, and we have built some very unusually shaped, or gigantic spa covers.

Here’s how a typical spa cover quote looks:

I believe you have requested a quote once before so hopefully this one will arrive. The information you are requesting on a proposed cover for your Rio Swim Spa at 198” x 90” is enclosed. After reading, if you have any questions or wish to proceed, please give me a ring at 800-770-0292. ….and by the way….if you are shopping price alone, this may not be what you are looking for. If on the other hand, you want the best engineering, function, longevity, quality and warranty in a hot tub cover, I suggest you read on!

There are many levels of spa cover quality and pricing, so before your eyes drop down to the quote below, please note the differences between our product and others you may be considering. As a company that is used to shipping better than 1400 covers a month, we need to be sure our product is the best available today – and it is.

Any dimension which exceeds 96 inches is considered oversized. You should be able to find a few companies able to quote a cover this size, and some may actually have lower quotes than mine. The real key will be the warranty and the ability of the company to build a cover that will last and stand the test of time while providing good insulation and a lower utility cost.

The oversized covers we manufacture are designed mostly as four panel covers, however a cover this size would need to be a six panel cover. We do not fabricate five panel covers because the engineering is not conducive to a well made cover or a cover that can be tapered appropriately. If need be, I can quote as an oversized four panel cover. however the six panel cover will be stronger and easier to remove and replace.

The overall taper is 4 inches with the center point thickness at 6 inches and the outer edge measurement at 2 inches. This gives the cover a full 4 inch slope which is imperative in climates where covers need good rain drainage and/or snow melt capabilities. This design is supported by a framework composed of 10 galvanized steel braces on each side of all hinges and both sides of where each pair of panels attach with a Velcro flap. One of the best advantages of this type of cover is the ease of use and storage. This cover would fold and stack to 33” wide x 90” long x 24″ thick.

In short:
Based on a Rio Swim Spa at 198” x 90” three piece, six panel cover.

● Center panels 6-5 inch taper, 1# foam.
● Middle panels 5-4 inch taper, 1# foam.
● Outer panels 4-2 inch taper, 1.5# foam.
● Each three panels are attached with a vinyl hinge; however we can have each panel attach to the next with a Velcro flap if preferred. (Total of 5)
● Otherwise, each hinged set of panels will connect to another with a Velcro flap. (Total of 2)
● Total taper is 6 to 2 inches for rain run off.
● Total of 10 “U” channel braces span the spa for extra strength.
● Covered in 30 oz. marine grade vinyl with UV inhibitors built in.
● 12 safety straps (nylon webbing covered in matching vinyl)
● 6 handles.

Five year non pro-rated warranty.
Base price door to door, shipping included: $1649.99


Options available:
Foam upgrade to 1.5# and 2# @ $210.00 (Better strength and insulation; r value ranges to 19)
Foam upgrade to 2# all panels @ $310.00 (Better strength and insulation; r value ranges to 26+)
Continuous center heat seals (2) @ $120.00 (Also better insulation)
Double wrapped foam cores @ $120.00 (Increases thickness of moisture seal from 6 to 12 mil and extends cover life span 2-3 years)
Deck Anchor System @ $120.00 (Better security)
Wind Rated Safety Straps @ $120.00

The illustrations below show how our multiple panel covers are designed. The first is a four panel cover to show the construction. The second a six panel cover similar to yours.

This is our six panel cover in a four cut corner design. The cover you require would look similar to this.


No matter how you view this process, multiple panel spa covers are expensive. Our approach here has been to develop a cover for large spas that will stand the test of time, present an ease of use and storage and carry the best and longest warranty available. We have found in recent years that the “standard” or typical multiple piece covers being produced are usually flat, and about 3-4″ thick. This kind of construction is usually in the 6 – 8 hundred dollar range and yet has a shorter than average life span. That is primarily due to the flat construction and inability of the cover to handle moisture run off. Most of these covers tend to begin sagging as soon as they pool water or animals start resting or standing on them.

Michael, you will not find a better value for your spa cover investment when it comes to our quality, warranty and customer service backup. Should you choose Hot Tub Works, we will work to be sure the spa cover we manufacture meets all the size specifications as indicated by the information and CAD approvals you will provide prior to construction. Please acknowledge receipt of this mail if possible and let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

– Jack

Now, wouldn’t you like to get your own customized quote for a custom spa cover? You’ll find that our prices are fair and our workmanship outstanding – plus we’re a nice group of people to work with. Once you buy from Hot Tub Works spa cover, we are sure that you will recognize the difference between our spa covers and the “other guys”.

Hot Tub On A Roof?


An unauthorized hot tub installation had nothing to do with a couple who donated $15 million to  University of Michigan Computer Science Engineering building.

It appears to be a PRANK!  The hot tub appeared one night and disappeared shortly there after.

“People were kind of flabbergasted,” CSE spokesman Steven Crang said of the hot tub, which had a wave of visitors Sunday and Monday. “It was obviously unexpected. It was pretty creative and now it’s gone. It left a buzz in its wake.”

How Did That Hot Tub Get Here?

Crang said the group of students responsible is still a mystery.

“It’s apparently people who are close to the department because they were able to gain access to the building and install the tub,” Crang said, adding that the installation was likely difficult. “The thing that intrigued everyone was that it was on the fourth-floor balcony. It’s a large hot tub and the doors that lead out to the balcony are not real big, so they had to do some work to get it out there.”

The hot tub, first reported by The Michigan Daily, sparked a wave of conversation between U-M students on social media, including a thread on Reddit.

“I am in the dude (Duderstadt building) right now, will walk over and check it out here in a few minutes and report back,” Reddit contributor fuzzball90 wrote when word of the hot tub first appeared online, later reporting: “It’s legit. Working hot tub.”

“Can … can I study in it? I’m not CSE,” asked another contributor.

“I don’t see why not. I spent an hour in there earlier and I’m Mechanical,” fuzzball90 responded.

Images of the hot tub appeared on imgur. That gallery has nearly 144,000 views.

So what did Bob and Betty Beyster think of it?

“They found it amusing,” Crang said with a laugh.

– Jack

Freeflow Spas Purchased By Hot Spring Spas


The news came out a couple weeks ago that the largest Hot Tub maker purchased one of the smaller Hot Tub makers in the industry.



Why? A couple of reasons; Freeflow Spas are roto-molded and thus, they are less expensive to make. Therefore, Hot Spring now can offer their dealers an entry level price point spa.

Rumors have it that many Hot Spring dealers were starting to sell the Freeflow product over the last two years, so in a sense, they bought the company that was starting to give them competition for floor space.

The second reason is Costco. In 2011, the major portion of the Freeflow volume was sold to Costco.

The type of product Freeflow makes is perfect for mass merchants, light, durable, and lower priced. By buying Freeflow, Hot Spring now has a product that is well suited to the channel and has the best mass merchant for hot tubs, Costco. The mass merchant channel is important in a time where traditional brick and mortar spa dealers are shrinking.

Time will tell if Hot Spring is really committed to the mass channel as they might be just waiting for the new product to grow with their current dealer channel and then pull out of Costco when they no longer need the sales to justify the purchase.

What is logical to assume is they (Hot Spring) will be in Costco for 2012 for they need the revenue in the short term to justify the big money they paid for Freeflow. Rumors have Hot Spring/Watkins paying about $6+ million for the company, based on $10M in sales.

The bottom line is this is good for everyone, Hot Spring will increase the volume, Costco will enjoy having a bigger supplier with better marketing support. The dealers will enjoy having a entry level product from the mother ship. Consumers will enjoy the confidence they are buying a product from the biggest and the best in the industry.

– Jack

Spa Cover Reviews


Here is a picture from a client review sent in this morning. We get great emails like this every week and we like to try to post them so clients can see what they can expect. The staff here are experts at getting clients the perfect spa cover every time, the quality is the best, and the value is better than any company.


Below are Marian’s comments:

“You are fabulous! It couldn’t have fit better if you had stood here and measured it.  Thank you for your great customer service and going the extra mile to find the right cover.”


Additional Comments from Other customers are added below. Add your Spa Cover Review, too!


Bullfrog Spas Innovation


Bullfrog Spas to Display “Hot Tubs from the Future”


Bullfrog spas logo

Bullfrog Spas, manufacturer of cutting edge hot tubs with the JetPak System, will unveil new brand look that compliments their “hot tubs from the future.”


Quote startThis refreshed brand look reflects the company-wide goal to always provide quality and elegance in everything we produce.Quote end

Salt Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) October 20, 2011

Bullfrog Spas recently announced that they will display a new look in their display at the 2011 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, the pool and spa industry’s largest trade show. Their “modern sleek-elegant” look, which will be fully unveiled in 2012, will help accentuate their position as the leader in technologically advanced high-end hot tubs.

Since their invention-driven beginning in 1996, Bullfrog Spas has continued to improve water delivery technology, wood-free composite spa structures, energy efficiency, and leak-proof shell technology in portable hot tubs. Their advancements have continually pushed hi-tech advancements in a traditionally low-tech industry.

Bullfrog’s focus on technology has produced a line of spas that are customizable, more powerful, 100% wood-free and more energy efficient according to data compiled by the California Energy Commission.

Bullfrog has never done things the traditional way. While other manufacturers battle quality issues as they move their production overseas, Bullfrog invests in a state of the art factory in the hi-tech Mecca of the greater Salt Lake City area. Instead of chasing low costs by outsourcing manufacturing to other countries, Bullfrog prefers to focus on manufacturing quality and development of new relaxation technologies.

Bullfrog Spas graphic designer, Travis Atwood, commented on their brand update and corporate goal: “This new look revolves around an updated color palette and a focus on modern elegant design. It isn’t a huge change but we felt that it was necessary to more accurately tell the Bullfrog story. This refreshed brand look reflects the company-wide goal to always provide quality, performance, and elegance in everything we produce.”

Modern pop culture has begun to take notice of this rapidly growing hot tub company. A popular comedian and video blogger, Toby Turner, recently called Bullfrog Spas “hot tubs from the future.” Those familiar with Mr. Turner’s tongue in cheek brand of humor immediately decipher the hyperbole, however, he also chose to endorse the Free Hot Tub Giveaway on Bullfrog’s Facebook page on his video blog and is designing his own Bullfrog Spa for order. Bullfrog Spas have also been chosen for recent television shows like MTV’s Jersey Shore and others that push the hot tub envelope in their own way.

Pool and Spa industry insiders will get the first look at the new brand look of Bullfrog Spas before it becomes public in early 2012 with an updated website, brochures, in-store materials, videos, outdoor displays and more.

About Bullfrog International
Bullfrog International, LC, is headquartered in the greater Salt Lake City, Utah metro area. Bullfrog designs and manufactures the world’s only hot tubs with JetPaks® – modular jetted spa seats, which allow the user to customize, interchange, and upgrade the spa’s jetting at anytime. JetPaks are backed by six U.S. patents with other U.S. and foreign patents pending. Because of the JetPak System, Bullfrog Spas provide powerful hydrotherapy, are virtually leak-proof, and are extremely energy efficient. Bullfrog International currently distributes, licenses, and retails its products in the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia and Europe.

Jacuzzi Spa Filters 1980-2010

Spa Year   Model 2000-498 HTF-2716 HTF-1330 HTF-2715 2540-389 HTF-2781 2540-387 HTF-2800 HTF-2390
Before 2002 Any
2003-04 Del Sol
2005+ J-210
2005+ J-220
2005-2007 J-230
2008+ J-230
2007+ J-270
2007+ J-280
Before 2005 J-300 Series
2005+ J-300 (w/ Cap)
2008 J-460
2006-07 J-460
2006+ J-465 1/07-4/07
2006+ J-470
2006+ J-480
Before 2005 J-400 Series
2009+ J-400 Series