Hot Tubs

Too hot in the hot tub?

How hot is hot enough, how hot is too hot?

We search for an answer to the question “What temperature should I set my hot tub at?”

In the depths of winter, the feeling of lowering yourself into the warm and inviting water of your hot tub is one to be savoured.  If you’re anything like us, the temptation is to set the temperature to the maximum setting and leave it there.  Simple?  But choosing the right temperature depends not only on your personal preference – your families or guests health & safety, not to mention your budget will need to be considered as well, before you find the goldilocks zone of not too hot, not too cold that works best for everyone.

Adjusting the heat of your hot tub is a straightforward affair – most have a simple push button menu on the control panel while some models allow you to control your hot tub heat settings from the convenience of an app on your phone, tablet or PC.

Hot Tub Touch Screen Control Panel

The maximum temperature setting as stated in the European Standard for domestic spas and hot tubs (BS EN 17125) is 40° C / 104° F.  No reputable hot tub brand will manufacture a tub that exceeds this setting.  Even though your hot tub will have a temperature limiting device, keeping a separate thermometer handy is best practice – that way you’ll be able to quickly and easily confirm your spa water temperature and identify any potential problems, such as overheating or heating failure, before you get in the water.

Is 40°C too hot?

As your body temperature increases to the point where it reaches or exceeds 39° C / 103° F, there is an increasing danger of developing several conditions related to hyperthermia (excessively high body temperature), ranging from mild to seriously life threatening.  These may include:

  • Heat rash
  • Heat cramps
  • Heat stroke
  • Heat exhaustion

 

older couple in hot tub

The risk of serious complications becomes even higher for older people, younger children, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses or conditions such as a heart condition, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Even if you’re in overall good health, spending excessively long periods of time in hot water can be dangerous.

What are the recommendations for children using a hot tub?

HSG 282 (published by the UK Health & Safety Executive) states that children under 4 years of age should not be allowed to use a spa.  In the USA the CDC (Centre for Disease Control & Prevention) sets the minimum age at 5.  This is partly due to water safety, but also has an element of temperature consideration – as children don’t have the same heat tolerance as adults. Their smaller bodies and thinner skin make them more susceptible to heat.

 

At the maximum recommended water temperature, children should not use the hot tub for more than 5 minutes at a time. Dropping the water temperature by a few degrees – to 36.5° C / 98° F will allow for a longer soak, but even this should be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.  To reduce risk of children overheating, sitting on a booster cushion is also a good idea – as in this way young children avoid full body immersion, allowing their bodies to regulate heat more effectively.  Never allow children to use a hot tub unsupervised.

Can I use a hot tub if I’m pregnant?

If you are, or may be pregnant, the current NHS advice is to avoid using hot tubs due to the risk of over-heating, fainting or dehydration.  It’s possible that a significant rise in your core temperature could be harmful in pregnancy, particularly in the first 12 weeks.  With regard to water temperature the NHS website makes the following statement, “If you’re exercising in water, such as at an antenatal class, the temperature of the water should not be above 32° C.

If you’re using a hydrotherapy pool, the temperature should not be above 35° C.”  If you’re past the first trimester and you feel you want to use the hot tub, do so only after getting your doctor’s approval, and use the tub for no more than 10 minutes at a time and allow for plenty of cooling off in between sessions.

How do I find the right hot tub temperature?

Having taken into account the above safety considerations, your perfect spa soak temperature will probably vary depending on the time of year – for example on a hot summers afternoon, you might enjoy a refreshing cooler dip than you will for a mid-winter soak as snow is falling around you.

A good starting point is the average normal body temperature, 37° C / 98.6° F.  If it’s too chilly, slowly increase the temperature until you’re comfortable.  The stress reducing effects of your spa are lessened as water temperature drops – so don’t go too low!

Can I save money by reducing the temperature of my hot tub?

How much energy your hot tub consumes heating the water was probably an important consideration when deciding whether to buy a tub.  Premium hot tubs have high levels of insulation and you can supplement this with a floating heat retention cover and a good quality, good condition hot tub cover. You might also think about lowering your hot tub’s heat setting when you’re not using it for longer periods to cut your energy costs.

But beware, if you use your hot tub regularly and lower the temperature setting between each use, you might actually increase your energy costs.  This is because reheating the hot tub water each time not only burns extra energy, but also your spa’s heating element has to work harder to raise the water temperature than it does to maintain it. This can wear it out more quickly than a more balanced load, perhaps requiring you to replace it more often if it burns out.

I’m going away on holiday, can I lower the temperature of my hot tub?

If you don’t plan to use your hot tub for a longer period of time, dropping the temperature is a great idea as this can help you avoid a high energy bill when you return.  Most hot tubs have an economy or holiday setting that will maintain much lower water temperatures.  Just beware if ambient temperatures are around freezing, setting the spa too low or even turning the heater off risks burst pipes and potentially some expensive damage to pumps and other hardware.

So having settled on the best blissful temperature for you, what’s left now?  Just enjoy relaxing safe in the knowledge that you are enjoying the very best hydrotherapy for mind and body!

Black Friday Hot Tub Discount Promotion

Black Friday Discounts!

No need to set your alarm clock early, or brave large crowds in the pandemonium that is Black Friday.  The best deals you will find are right here!

We are offering 10% off our already highly competitive prices on every product we sell online (excluding only Aquafinesse products).

In order to find the discount code for your online shop, visit our Facebook page.

You will find the code in our Black Friday posts.  Give us a “like” while you’re there!

 

If you are looking for a new / replacement hot tub, the good news is that our Black Friday discount is also available across our entire range of hot tubs and swim spa.

Check out our range online, or call in to your nearest showroom at Haverfordwest, Swansea or Pyle Garden Village, Bridgend.

 

We also have some ex-display clearance models – these are not available with an additional 10% discount, but you will find the savings on these are even greater!

There are some terms & conditions regarding our Black Friday promotion.  Click the link for full details.

 

If you need any advice, or to arrange a viewing, please contact us.  We look forward to seeing you!

Should I Install a Wood-Burning Hot Tub in my Holiday Let?

Wood burning hot tubs have a definite aesthetic appeal and offering a hot tub in holiday let setting is something of a must have.  If you’re considering installing a wood-fired hot tub in your holiday property – don’t decide until you’ve read our guide.

Read More

Hot tubs for holiday cottages are something of a must have.

For example, Sykes reported the following finding:

A hot tub will:

  • Boost your occupancy rates
  • Raise your property profile on web searches
  • Allow you to increase your rental charge
  • Increase guest satisfaction
  • Improve re-booking rates

They are a huge win.

Infographic - Properties with hot tubs make 54% more than other properties in the same region.

How do I create a point of difference?

One suggestion that we frequently hear, including from some Holiday Let agencies is that a wood-fired hot tub would be the way to go.  With their aesthetic appeal, they can certainly look more in keeping with a period property and might attract the eco-conscious holiday-maker.  For example, this hot tub from Skagards fits into it’s surroundings perfectly.

skagards

Are they a good idea for you as the property owner, or your guests?

The first thing to be aware of is that the use of any type of hot tub within a commercial setting is subject to certain rules.  If you own a holiday home that you let out to paying guests and supply a hot tub (that only one group of people at a time are able to use) then you will need to be compliant with the “Domestic hot tubs in a business setting” guidelines.   These guidelines are known as HSG282 and are designed to ensure that the hot tub water used by your guests is safe and clean and as the owner you are held legally responsible for compliance.  This isn’t the interfering nanny state – an improperly maintained hot tub can harbour serious infectious diseases, including the potentially fatal legionella bacteria.

HSG282 from HSE
Legionella Bacteria

As a guideline, in order for your hot tub to be compliant with HSG282 you should at least:

  • Have a built-in inline Chlorine or Bromine feeder or install one (SpaPal)
  • Empty the water after each hire (or after a week, whichever comes first)
  • Test the sanitiser (chlorine/bromine) & pH twice daily
  • Monthly microbiological tests
  • Quarterly Legionella tests

This is where the type of hot tub you install becomes critical.

HSG 282 Compliance with a wood fire heated hot tub:

With a wood fired hot tub, there is no filtration system.  The water is heated by a simple stove.  There are no pumps, no pipework, no water circulation or filtration system.  What this means when it comes to maintaining clean water is that you can’t install an inline dosing system for sanitiser as required by HSG282.  This doesn’t immediately rule out a wood-fired hot tub from a holiday let setting, but it does mean you have to adapt your approach.  Whereas for an electrically heated hot tub, you can leave the water in the tub for up to a week, with a wood-fired tub you need to drain down the water after every use.  You cannot leave it filled for the duration of the rental. Of course if your guests want to use the hot tub more than once during their stay, what is emptied must be refilled, and then reheated.

Heating a wood fired hot tub:

Ah!  Heating.  The joy of a wood-burning stove is the satisfaction of making and lighting your own fire.  The same joy isn’t always felt trying to get the fire to take, when it’s sub-zero temperatures and the fire keeps going out.  Fire making might be a relatively simple activity that humankind have mastered for millenia, but not all of your guests will be adept at building and making a fire.  Not forgetting the chores of clearing and resetting the stove after each use.  Depending on the volume and temperature of the water and air around it, a wood-burning hot tub might typically take 3 hours or longer for the water to reach temperature.  No quick spur of the moment dips then!

sauneco wood burning hot tub stove

A wood burning stove looks gorgeous

but is it safe in a holiday let setting if your guests have children?

Maintaining a safe water temperature in a wood fired hot tub:

Ah!  Temperature.  Most people enjoy a water temperature of between 36-39 degrees C.  Electrically heated hot tubs have a thermostat which stops the water temperature getting dangerously high (Above 40 degrees C).  This is important – if water is above this temperature, the excessive heating can cause heart attack, heat stroke, brain damage and even death.   This might sound a little extreme if you are one for a hot bath, but unlike in a hot tub, bath water gradually cools while you are in it.  Also in most baths you are not fully immersed in the way you are in a hot tub, so your core temperature can stay cooler even in hotter water.  With a wood-fired hot tub there is no thermostat and no circulation of the water, so in order to manage the temperature, you will need to provide a floating thermometer.  Not a big deal you might think, but you are relying on the guests to effectively manage this.  Would you be confident that your party of guests would keep a close eye on the water temperature?  An added complication is that the water may continue to increase in temperature even after the stove is shut down – it can get extremely hot!  First-time users may not understand how to safely manage a wood-fired spa.

steamy toes in a hot tub

Which type of hot tub is right for your holiday let?

How about the experience?  There is no denying that wood-fired hot tubs look good and have an olde worlde charm and appeal.  However, the user experience isn’t quite the same as with an electric hot tub.  They do just offer heated water.  No Jets or Pumps.  No hydrotherapy.  A relaxing soak is nice, a soak and a massage is nicer, in our opinion!

So can you get a wood-fired hot tub for your holiday let?  Yes!  You certainly can.  But for most holiday let owner / operators, the level of involvement and maintenance, coupled with safety concerns makes them unfeasible.  The reality is that they are also likely to provide a much less enjoyable experience for your guests than an electrically heated tub.

Our recommendation is that if the styling of an electrically heated hot tub is not to your taste, the best way to manage this is by concealing the cabinet with a gazebo, planters and other outdoor decorations that can soften the finish.  Making a real feature of the hot tub in your outdoor living space is the way to go!

BISHTA are the British & Irish Spa & Hot Tub Association.  BISHTA exists to promote high standards of safety, enjoyment and value within the hot tub industry.  They have also provided advice regarding installing Scandinavian type hot tubs in Business Settings.  Click on their logo to read the article.

Europool Fibreglass swimming pool with Bucovers Polycarbonate Enclosure.

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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.

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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