Hot tubs provide both relaxation and medical benefits. Hot tubs can reduce blood sugar levels and raise body temperatures so that blood flow is increased. It can also help those with injuries that prevent them from doing so on land exercise as the water provides buoyancy. However, before installing a hot tub in your home, there are things you need to know.
Installation of a Hot Tub
Install your hot tub in an area that is easily accessible. You want enough room that you can perform maintenance and keep the tub clean. The surface must be level and be able to support the weight of the tub. Some spas require 220-volt electricity which could mean running new electrical service to the spa. Even those that can be plugged into 110-volt outlets may require additional circuits. Keep in mind that a great deal of heat and moisture are released from hot tubs, so if you plan to install it inside, you will need proper ventilation to avoid mold and mildew growth. Hot tubs can be installed both inside and outside. Some benefits to installing the tub outside include:
Under a shelter, an outside hot tub can be used year round
There is no risk of chemical odors inside the home
No mold and mildew build up if the hot tub is in an open area
Fewer space limitations
It is also important to remember that spas can pose a drowning danger. Even if the cover is very heavy, small children have been known to crawl under them. One of the best options is to add a locking cover if small children will be near the hot tub at any time.
A 600-gallon hot tub with five people in it will accumulate an equal amount of oil and dirt as a standard swimming pool with 250 people. Keep a skimmer handy to remove any stray debris and brush the sides of the tub each week to prevent algae growth. Drain the water at least every three months and clean the surface thoroughly. Change or clean the filter often as this is your first line of defense in keeping your spa clean. The manual that came with your hot tub should explain how to clean or replace the filter. Always keep your hot tub covered when not in use to conserve heat and reduce evaporation as well as for safety reasons.
Testing and Treating
Just like a swimming pool, you need to chemically treat the water to prevent bacterial growth. You will need to test the hot tub chemicals for pH in the water as high levels of pH can irritate skin as can pH levels that are too low. You must test for calcium to avoid scaly deposits as well. Chlorine is the most common chemical treatment for hot tubs, but it can sometimes cause skin irritation and damage clothing. Bromine or natural treatments are available that cause less skin irritation and don’t leave the odor of chlorine on clothing or skin. Some new tubs are available with saltwater systems that keep the water clean. Some newer hot tubs are also equipped with an ozone generator which produces ozone in the water. This can help reduce the number of chemicals you need to use but will not replace them completely. In addition, ozone can be a dangerous gas. If your hot tub will be inside, you may want to avoid an ozone generator in your hot tub. Failure to properly treat your hot tub can lead to illness which can include:
A hot tub can provide many hours of fun and relaxation. However, it is critical to follow these three steps in order to keep your friends and family safe when they use your spa.