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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


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”.