Hot tubs and swim spas
buying a hot tub or Swim spa
The size of your hot tub or swimspa will depend on the number of people who will use it, the seating style you want and the size of the space where it will be installed. You can buy a small hot tub that can accommodate 2—3 people or a large hot tub that can accommodate up to eight.
- Make sure you have enough space to install your hot tub or swimspa
- Choose an area in your yard or home that has adequate room for drainage, ventilation and access for doing maintenance on the hot tub when needed
- Check building codes and zoning laws in your neighborhood to make sure they allow for the installation of hot tubs and swim spa's . particularly with apartment or townhouse complexes.
Determine your budget
Hot tub prices range from less expensive portable spas to eight and 10-person acrylic tubs. Price is highly dependent on brand, size and features, so shopping around is a good idea.
- Know the basic breakdown of hot tub and swim spa expenses
- Consult a licensed electrician that has dealt with hot tub or swim spa about wiring requirements
- Look for a hot tub or swim spa with features that fall within your budget .
- consider 120 v plug and play hot tub if your wanting to save on electrical install
- consider higher end refurbished hot tub models to save over new models
There are a lot of features to consider when purchasing a hot tub. Choosing the right ones will ensure you have the best experience possible with your new hot tub.
- Choose an energy-efficient hot tub
- Know the health benefits of hot tub therapy to choose the number of jets, amount of seats and type of filtration system you would want
- hot tubs come with covers. If you’re looking for a replacement, understand what factors are important to look for when buying a hot tub cover
Hot tub features to consider
Whether you’ll be using your hot tub for therapy or relaxation, you need a seating style that meets those needs.
- Lounge seating: Lounge seats, such as those in some Master Spas hot tubs, are for those who are seeking a relaxing experience. Ergonomically designed seats can fit every contour of your body for therapeutic comfort. This type of seating allows for lying nearly horizontal in the water, creating an almost weightless feeling.
- Therapeutic comfort seats: These seats provide extra massage points, usually at the neck, back and shoulders. Some companies offer deep soak seats that put you as low as you can go to provide relief to your neck and spine.
- Cool-down seats: Cool-down seats allow the body to remain partially out of the water. Besides being the coolest part of the hot tub, these are good for transitions in and out of the tub and usually provide leg, ankle and foot massage jets.
Water filtration systems help keep your hot tub water clean, healthy and safe. Filtration captures the visible debris floating on the water surface while water purification gets rid of microorganisms not seen with the naked eye. Common purification systems use ozone, saltwater and UV to disinfect the water. though these are great additional features these systems will require additional maintenance and do not replace water care as some advertisers may suggest.
- Salt system: Salt systems kill germs with naturally produced chlorine. Many prefer this method to adding chlorine or bromine tablets to the water and say that the water feels softer and silkier with a salt system.
- Ozone system: Ozone works in combination with chlorine and bromine to kill germs and bacteria. In addition, ozone breaks down residue from soap, shampoo and makeup that finds its way into the water.
- UV-C system: A relatively new player in the hot tub filtration market, this method uses a high-intensity UV germicidal light ray to kill germs.
Your ideal hot tub should feature a combination of jet types strategically positioned in various massage styles that provide the hot tub therapy you’re looking for. Some of the best companies, offer an opportunity to tailor the jets to your individual therapeutic needs with up to 70 jet selections.
- Rotary jets: Also known as therapy jets, these are used for therapeutic massage and are the most versatile jets.
- Relaxation jets: These jets have a larger and softer flow and create a gentle and relaxing bubbling motion.
- Pressure point jets: Pressure point jets provide a tight, intense water flow that can be used to stimulate pressure points on the body.
A pump powers the circulation of water and operation of jets. Some hot tubs have more than one pump to deliver various functions such as controlling jet power to particular seats. The type and number of pumps needed will depend on the jet power, the speed you need and the energy you’re expected to consume.
Some of today's coolest hot tubs come with options for creating ambiance for bathers, creating an immersive experience.
- Sound system: Hot tubs can be equipped with a sound system. Generally, the speakers are built into the top lip near headrests, and they can often be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth.
- Decorative lighting: Lighting can be placed in the hot tub as well as along the top or outside. Lighting can change the mood from soft and relaxing to exciting and energetic.
- Hot tub color: A hot tub’s color can complement the environment and set the tone for bathers. From blues and browns to black, the hot tub color can set the mood in many ways.
Hot tub accessories
There is a nearly endless list of accessories available for hot tubs, from items that make owning a hot tub more convenient to those that protect the hot tub or add comfort.
- Remote monitoring: Many home systems, such as security and heating systems, are now taking advantage of remote access. Hot tubs are no exception, and consumers can now turn the hot tub up to the desired temperature to be ready when they get home.
- Coverall: Hot tubs come with a cover, but for tubs that are left unattended for long periods of time, such as those in a second home, a coverall can greatly increase the life of the hot tub and the tub surround.
- Spa pillow: Say goodbye to wet, lumpy towel rests. A spa pillow will cradle the head and neck. Some hot tub manufacturers offer these luxurious pillows built into the tub itself.
Types of hot tubs
Vinyl hot tub
Also known as soft tubs or portable tubs, these are inflatable hot tubs that are easy to move.
- Pros: Portable and affordable
- Cons: Fewer features available; serve better as a temporary option than a long-term one
Unicast hot tub
Also known as roto-molded, a unicast tub consists of the tub and the surrounding cabinet which are molded as one single hot tub piece.
- Pros: Strong, durable, and attractive; have the potential for features like molded seating and lighting packages
- Cons: Usually not capable of having as many jets as higher-end hot tubs
Acrylic hot tub
This is the most popular type of hot tub that comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
- Pros: Durable and excellent for outdoor use with complex contours and shapes available
- Cons: Difficult to relocate and will likely require an electrician
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