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The Shocking Truth About Hot Tubs!

Let’s face it, neither the term “shock” or “dose” are words that we associate with particularly pleasant events.  You might have heard that it is sometimes necessary to combine these two words into “Shock Dose” as part of your water treatment routine for your hot tub / spa or swimming pool.

Is this a bad thing?

Does it mean you’ve failed as a responsible hot tub owner?

We investigate and explain the shocking truth!

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What is chlorine shock dosing?

A chlorine shock dose is when you add a larger quantity of chlorine to your hot tub water in order to break down waste products and contamination in order to re-establish clean water.

What is non-chlorine shock dosing?

Non-chlorine shock doesn’t contain chlorine itself, and does not disinfect the water.  Non-chlorine shock helps the chlorine already in your hot tub work better by oxidising the water and creating “free chlorine” – which is what is needed to kill bacteria.  For those using bromine as a sanitiser, Non-chlorine shock will also activate bromine, helping it work more effectively.

An image of 1kg Relax Non-Chlorine Shock
Legionella Bacteria

Why do I need to shock dose my hot tub water?

Shock dosing your hot tub water will help to prevent the build-up of bacteria, viruses and algae and it will prolong the life of your spa.

What are the benefits of shock dosing my hot tub?

Shock dosing your hot tub water will keep it clear, clean safe and comfortable to use for longer.  It helps reduce the need for excessive draining and re-filling of your hot tub.

When should I shock dose my hot tub water?

  • Before use, on the first fill of your hot tub
  • Any subsequent drain and re-fill
  • At the first sign of any algae or slime
  • After a period of heavy usage
  • After any loss of water clarity
  • If the hot tub hasn’t been used for a while
Green hot Tub Water

Should I use a chlorine shock or a non-chlorine shock?

Chlorine shock is suitable for commissioning a new hot tub, after a fresh water change or after very heavy use.  Because it will raise chlorine levels you may have to wait for the chlorine level to reduce before you can allow bathers to safely use the hot tub.  If you use Bromine as a sanitiser, you cannot use chlorine shock.

Non-chlorine shock does not disinfect the water, it helps the existing sanitiser (chlorine or bromine) to work better and more effectively.  You can generally use the hot tub sooner after adding non-chlorine shock.

Is it safe to chlorine shock dose my hot tub water?

Shocking your spa water is an important part of your maintenance routine.  But high chlorine levels can be dangerous, so it is very important that no bathers are in the water when adding chemicals.  To ensure that the water is safe, ensure that chlorine levels have dropped below 5ppm before allowing bathers back into the water.  Chlorine levels should be checked with test strips.

3 Way Chlorine Test Strips

How do I Chlorine Shock Dose my hot tub?

Dissolve the chlorine shock granules.  Add the chlorine shock mixture directly to the water with the filtration / circulation pumps running.  Never shock dose the water with the circulation turned off.  Leave the hot tub cover off for at least 20 minutes.  This will prevent chemical damage to the cover and pillows of your hot tub.

My hot tub water smells strongly of chlorine what should I do?

When chlorine combines with organic waste (body fluids, dead skin etc) it produces a compound called chloramine.  This gives off a strong chlorine odour.  This is often mistaken for too much chlorine but is in fact an indication that the chlorine has been “used” up.  A shock treatment will breakdown chloramine so it can be easily removed from the water, “freeing up” your chlorine to work more effectively.

My hot tub water is cloudy what should I do?

Us humans carry organic compounds on our skin, such as oils, cosmetics, lotions and dead skin itself.  This quickly accumulates in hot tub water and can cause it to become cloudy.  Shock dosing the water will help to remove these compounds and assist in clarifying and cleaning the water.

Cloudy hot tub water

We hope you have found our guide to shock dosing your hot tub, swimming pool or spa useful.  So don’t let the name put you off, it’s an important part of your water care routine.  Check back regularly as we add to our Water Quality FAQs!

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How to Protect your Hot Tub in Storm Winds

The UK is set to reap the whirlwind of climate change with the huge damage caused by wind storms expected to increase sharply, according to the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  Our minds are focused when the MET office issues a severe weather warning, with named storms seeming to be ever more frequent – but the time to act to ensure the safety of your loved ones – and your valuable property is in the calm spells in-between.

As a hot tub owner, it makes sense to protect your investment.  A little time and preparation beforehand might just save you a lot of time and money later!

The Potential:

A hot tub cover is just the right size and shape to catch an aggressive gust of wind, ending up being thrown off the cabinet and providing a very effective sail, but causing a lot more damage when it eventually returns to ground.  The impact will damage your cover causing the vinyl and foam to crack and be compromised, making it less effective or even useless.  It it collects some garden furniture or plants or even worse ends up cartwheeling across the paintwork of your neighbour’s shiny new car things could soon start to get really ugly.

Prevention:

Replacement Hot Tub Cover Clips

Keep your hot tub cover in place using cover clips

Storm Straps

For more severe winds, peace of mind can be achieved by investing in storm straps.

EasyKlip Repair Kit

If you already have straps, check their condition from time-to-time.  Repair kits are available to ensure that in a time of testing, your storm straps will be up to the task.

Don’t be too over-zealous when tying down your hot tub cover – overtightening could cause damage to the foam core.  Make sure the straps are taut and that should be enough to keep things snug and in-place. 

If you don’t have time to get some straps and the weather bomb is imminent you could try to improvise straps that wrap around the whole cabinet.  The big no-no here is that you should never place heavy objects on the hot tub cover in an attempt to keep it from blowing away. Breeze blocks, bricks, and other heavy objects are more likely to harm your cover than protect it and are likely to be shifted anyway if things get really wild out there.

Damage from flying debris:

So, your hot tub cover is secure and you can relax and enjoy the show?  Not just yet…if you’re expecting a wind storm, you will probably need to think about protecting your hot tub from other potential debris flying around.  Tree branches for example can puncture your cover or damage your hot tub cabinet.

Protection from flying debris:

If your hot tub is near or under a tree (not the best idea for this reason!) you could consider placing a piece of thin plywood on the top of the cover and strap it down to protect it during the storm.   You could do the same around any exposed sides of the cabinet that you feel are at risk.  Remember don’t use heavy objects to hold the plywood in place.  If you’re taking the plywood option, it’s important to create a buffer between the ply and the cabinet / cover with a blanket or towel otherwise your shield has left unsightly scuff marks behind.  

During the storm:

Despite your best effort’s things could still go wrong.  In the middle of a storm, the most important thing to care about is your own personal safety, not your property.  Now is the time to stay indoors – do not go outside while the storm is in progress.  A replacement hot tub cover is cheaper and easier to replace than you are!

Interested in finding out more?

Read our blog on how to look after your hot tub cover.

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A young couple sharing a drink and smiling in a hot tub.

Hot Tubs & Happiness

We have all become familiar with the concept of “Hygge”, the Danish word describing the quality of coziness that makes a person feel content and comfortable.  With March 20th being nominated as the International Day of Happiness, we would like to introduce you to “Lykke” – the Danish word for happiness. If you are a keen student of happiness (and who isn’t!), you’ll be aware that Denmark usually tops the World Happiness Rankings (o.k we googled this fact).  While the Danes are generally satisfied with their lives, they do not have a monopoly on lykke – we can all add a little to our lives.  How?

For everyone, the International Day of Happiness is a useful reminder that in general, happiness does not necessarily come from buying and consuming, or from being famous or glamorous – but often from friends, family and emotional well-being.

The Lykke mantra suggests that happiness can be found in six categories, Togetherness, Money, Health, Freedom, Trust and Kindness.  Is it possible that a hot tub could help you to cultivate any of these qualities in your life?  Consider:

1. Togetherness

A hot tub is the perfect place to spend quality time with loved ones. Immersed in warm water and soothing bubbles, you and yours can let the worries fade away. As you take time to talk about what matters, in this distraction-free zone, you’ll enjoy meaningful conversation; sharing special moments with the people you love.  We discussed this further in our blog, “It’s time to talk.

2. Money

Money-worries can easily over-shadow our happiness if we allow them too.  Purchases are better made with careful research, forethought and budgeting.  Don’t buy on a whim or impulse – these are often not our best financial decisions!  Hot tubs are available in a range of prices, with flexible payment plans to suit many budgets. Remember, once purchased a high quality, well insulated tub shouldn’t require expensive upkeep either. Following a check-list of simple, straightforward care procedures will ensure your hot tub provides long-lasting value.

3. Health

A catalyst for hydrotherapy, a hot tub utilises the combination of water, heat and air to promote health and wellbeing. In fact, these three elements can help to relax and soothe the body and can speed up the recovery of muscles too.  Add a little extra to the water to enhance it’s healing effects even further.  We supply a range of hydrotherapy crystals and dead sea salts such as the Hydro Therapies Crystal Sport RX range As you soak, your body is being stimulated, energized, protected, relaxed, rebuilt and elevated through a special blend of vitamins and natural extracts.  Click the link for more information on some of the health benefits of using a hot tub.

4. Freedom

Out in the garden, surrounded by nature, a hot tub can afford you the opportunity to observe what we often take for granted and the freedom of being outdoors is invaluable. Whether it’s starry nights, golden summers or dewy frost – you can feel and experience it all in comfort.

5. Trust

The physical benefits of hot tubs are clear: heat increases circulation by dilating blood vessels, buoyancy relieves joint stress by reducing your weight by 90% and powerful jets soothe away tensions with massage.  A soothed body can help lead to a soothed mind.  Trust in the healing qualities of warm water to lead you to a happier place!   

6. Kindness

Be kind to yourself by making the hot tub experience part of your everyday routine! Life today can be fast paced, unpredictable and stressful; creating a sanctity of your own, to immerse, disconnect and decompress, will breathe new life into your being – and a hot tub is a great place to do it!  A hot tub will inspire wellness to become your priority – as it should be.

Why not get in contact with one of our friendly team at Castle Hot Tubs today – we are always happy to provide you with good advice to help guide you on the best hot tub solution for your requirements. We now have a live chat feature on our website – click on the orange chat icon on the bottom left corner of the screen to connect with us right away!

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Add a little romance...

A little romance benefits from a lot of planning.  Relaxing your mind and body in the hot tub with our naturally colourful and fragrant aromatherapy crystals can be a great way to start the evening off.  Captivate your senses and discover a whole new level to your hot tub / spa experience, with these aromatherapy crystals which are proven to be spa safe, oil free and will not clog filters, jets or affect water chemistry. Check out some of our guide to some of our most sensual products.

Romantic, sensual and stimulating fragrances for your hot tub.

How to pronounce it:

Let’s get this out of the way first – If you have been getting funny looks when talking about this essential oil it could be because you’ve been pushing a strong “Y” (phonetically “why”) sound.  It’s correctly pronounced “EE-lang EE-lang”. Impress your loved one by being in the know.

Where does it come from?

Ylang Ylang is a tree that is native to Indonesia, but now naturalized in many tropical locations.  The tree is particularly famed for its flowers from which the essential oil is extracted.

What does it smell like?

Ylang Ylang carries a uniquely powerful floral scent.  Some people can detect a slight banana tone and nuances of jasmine.  It’s also described as being sweet, somewhat “heady” or narcotic.

What are the benefits of using it?

There are many potential uses from Ylang Ylang.  It can help fight off depression and provide relief from stress and anxiety, uplifting mood and inducing feelings of joy and hope.  Now this is where it gets really interesting, as Ylang Ylang is well known for its use as an aphrodisiac, and it can be used to activate romance and improve your sex life.

The Essential Oil is exctracted from the
Ylang Ylang Flowers

AromaScents Musk:

Where does it come from?

Originally obtained from the male musk deer (and you really don’t want to know whereabouts, from the deer) the musk used in fragrances today is now a mixture of synthetic and plant-sourced materials, such as angelica. Phew!

How is it used?

Musk is the most commonly used raw material in fragrances and is found in many perfumes.  It is a fixative which means that the ingredients making up the scent last longer.

How does it smell?

Musk is often described as being earthy, animalistic and sensual.  Most people would say that is a good thing.

What are the benefits of using it?

Many scientists believe that the smell of musk closely resembles that of testosterone, which may act as a pheromone in humans.  It has been said that a women’s sensitivity to musk is 1,000 greater than men’s.  Definitely a scent that might work in favour of the gentlemen then!

AromaScents Sensual Blend:

How does it smell?

The sensual blend has the benefits of the single ingredient scents but is more subtle.

How does it feel?

All of the AromaScents range are made with natural Dead Sea Salt crystals which dissolve in the water and help to soften your skin, while the essential oils are released delivering the sensual and stimulating effects, leaving you feeling calm, refreshed and quite possibly, in the mood for a little romance.

Transport yourself to the City of Love, without leaving your hot tub!

Spazazz Destination: Paris  City Love

We will let Spazazz themselves describe this one for you, “Fall in love with the abundant fragrance of the beautiful flower carts and fresh fruit stands, the enticing aromas of the near-by Patisserie, and the intoxicating perfumes from passers-by on the Champs-Elyseés as night falls on the city of lights.” Destination: Paris – City of Love. Get ready for take-off!

How was it for you?

We would love to hear your feedback and reviews on our range of Spa & Bath Crystals. Not too many details though – some things are best left in the tub!

Click on this link to check out our full range

 

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Family time in the hot tub.

It's Time To Talk

It is often said that in these modern times we are more connected, and yet more isolated than ever before. 

With instant communication at our fingertips through the smart phone that is permanently within your reach, our social networks have never been larger.  But does this quantity come at the cost of quality?  With updates and notifications constantly competing for our attention, it becomes harder to unplug and really engage by spending quality time with the people you love the most.  This clamour for our attention can take a toll physically (have you ever checked your phone in the early hours of the morning?), emotionally (why do my friends have the perfect life, and I don’t?) and in our relationships (are you truly in the present moment with the people you are with?)

The statistics:

In support of Time To Talk Day 2019, Castle Hot Tubs would like to all of us to get talking a little bit more!  Statistics tell us that Mental Health problems affect 1 in 4 of us.  It’s no fun being part of a statistic like this – despite the fact that so many are affected, most of us are too afraid to talk about our issues and concerns.  Having regular, meaningful conversation – making the time to really listen to our loved ones, as well as express ourselves is a vital first step to good mental health.

Where to start the conversation:

Now, we are not suggesting that in order to have a great conversation every family must have a hot tub in the back garden.  The right atmosphere can be created in many settings, over a coffee at a favourite coffee shop, at the dinner table in the home – it is more about creating the time and space to really show your interest and care. 

But many families have found that one way to recharge relationships, to bond and create new, good memories is in the hot tub.  The hot tub inevitably becomes a gathering place for the family and a conduit for conversation.  Free of electronic devices, the relaxing cosy environment of the warm water becomes a cocoon-like safe haven for sharing – talking and hearing about everyday thoughts and concerns.  Once a routine for meeting up in the hot tub is established, conversation often sparks off naturally.

How to start the conversation:

Need some help getting the kids talking?  Often, what kids (and all of us want) is not just the solution to our problems – we want an acknowledgement and a validation of how we feel.  Kids opinions matter but are often overlooked in the busy adult world.  So don’t just ask “what” about an experience that they are sharing, ask “how did that make you feel?”  You may find that when genuine interest is expressed this way, children will open up and share far more than you ever expected. Don’t interrupt with opinions, answers or solutions, just listen.

For more support on starting conversations and promoting good mental health, check out www.time-to-change.org.uk

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Couple Walking to Artesian Tidal Fit Spa in the snow

5 Top Tips for using Your Hot Tub in Winter

5 Top Tips for Your Hot Tub In Winter

If your walk to the hot tub isn’t quite so convenient, you may wish to consider our top 5 tips for using your spa in winter!

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Using your hot tub in winter is a real pleasure – relaxing in the warm restorative water while enjoying the majestic snow covered landscape around you, or perhaps enjoying a luxurious soak while looking up at the stars on a crystal clear winters night.

A little advanced preparation will ensure that nothing spoils the fun!

Here are our Top 5 tips for enjoying your hot tub when the temperature drops:

Stay warm on the dash from house to hot tub (and back again!)

What?  The Dry Robe Short Sleeve Changing Towel

Why we love it:

  • Super Soft Italian Toweling
  • Anti-wind Chill design – prevents drafts
  • Light weight and fast drying – ready for your next plunge in the tub!
Dryrobe

Shifting Snow from the cover

What?  Clear snow off your hot tub using a soft bristle brush, not a shovel!

Why? A hard shovel or scraper can cause damage to the vinyl of your cover.

If you clear snow frequently, this will prevent any accumulation causing further damage to your cover.

A soft bristled snow brush

Don’t stand around in the cold lifting the cover

What?  The Cover Mate 1 Caddy Butler Lifter

Why we love it:

  • Stay warm while the lifter removes bulky hot tub covers quickly and effortlessly
  • Towelmate accessory hangs three of your dry robes close to hand where you need them most
  • Keeps your cover in good shape – and your back
Cover Mate 1 Caddy Butler Lifter

Stay on your feet on icy paths

What? We love these Crocs Sliders

Why we love them:

  • Good grip on the sole is essential as surfaces around the tub get slippery in the freezing weather
  • Stops dirt and debris tracking into your spa water from your feet
  • Quick and easy to slip on and off
Crocs Baya Slide Mens Sandal

Don’t blow your budget on heating bills!

What?  Use jets and blowers sparingly when it’s really cold outside

Why?  The air controls in your hot tub take air from inside the hot tub cabinet and push it through the jets. This added air makes for a fantastic massage, but it also lowers the temperature of the water – the air in the cabinet of the tub is quite a bit cooler than the water inside, causing your heater to work harder to maintain your set temperature.  Be sure to turn off jets when your soak is finished as the extra air can push up on the bottom of the hot tub cover, breaking the seal and allowing more heat to escape!

Artesian Spa Water Jet, underwater image

We hope some of these practical ideas will help you enjoy your hot tub even more this winter.

We would love to hear some of your top tips! 

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