Blue Monday

Mental health is no joke.

Monday 20th January 2020 is labelled by some as the most depressing day of the year.

“Blue Monday”

Why Blue?  For us blue is not the colour of depression.  It’s the colour of the sky (or the colour we would like the sky to be in Wales), and the colour of the ocean.  It’s the colour we associate with water.  Water, surely the most essential and healing of the elements.

Bathing in warm water has been shown by several studies to be particularly helpful in helping to create a substantial, and sometimes immediate improvement in mood and feelings of well-being.  Why is this so?  Submerging into warm, supportive water can sooth and settle the most stressed of bodies – and as aching joints and tense muscles let go of tension and relax the mind will often follow.  Combining aromatherapy salts can enhance the effect even more.  The beneficial effects on well-being continue after a soak – the same study found that participants enjoyed improved sleep quality and better mood the following day, as disturbed sleep is a mechanism that often contributes to depression.

The great news is that the extensive improvements in wellbeing from using a hot tub are accessible to all – particularly those who may have difficulty exercising.  Injuries, age and most health conditions* provide no barrier to using a hot tub.

It’s no coincidence that one of our most popular models of hot tub is called the “Glee”.  Compact and affordable, it will fit most budgets and into the tightest of garden spaces.

Depression doesn’t care what day of the year it is, it is an unwelcome guest that can visit at any time.  Installing your own hot tub could be just what you need to speed the departure of that visitor and allow happier thoughts to take up a more permanent residence.

*Consult your GP before using a hot tub, particularly if you are unsure.  It is not recommended that you use a hot tub if you are pregnant.

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.  This means that you have an excessively high body temperature.  The dangers range 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!

New AquaFinesse After-Spa Body Lotion has got the office talking!!

AquaFinesse After-Spa Body Lotion


Whether you own a Swim Spa,  Hot tub or a swimming pool  are considering installing one. we have a beautiful new Body Lotion to suit you


Shower before, relax during, but what after?  bathing in water with chemicals can be very drying on the skin…..this brand new body lotion is your answer to that issue!   AquaFinesse have solved this post-chilling qualm with the new After-Spa Body Lotion!



What’s in it?

  • Dead Sea Salt
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Lime Oil



Why should I use it?

The lotion boasts a myriad of natural, skin friendly ingredients which provide countless benefits.

  • The Dead Sea Salt contains vitamins which improve the skins lipid barrier, which helps to reduce fine lines and assists natural moisturisation.
  • Jojoba (Ho-ho-ba) Oil is another of the high quality ingredients in the AquaFinesse After-Spa Body Lotion, containing vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin such as Vitamin E, B Complex, Zinc and Iodine.
  • Jojoba Oil closely resembles Sebum, the oil which naturally occurs in human skin, as well as being full of fatty acids which fight inflammation and holding anti-aging properties.
  • Avocado and Lime oil are infinitely beneficial for many skin types.
  • Lime oil can help to heal infections and can even be used to fight infections.
  • Avocado Oil contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids, as well as being high in Sterolin- softening skin and reducing the chance of age spots.
  • If that wasn’t enough, Avocado oil provides antioxidants which help sunburned skin- perfect for those days where you spend a little longer than usual in your spa!

Aside from all of these amazing skin benefits, the Lotion smells absolutely delicious. It comes in two scents, Papaya & Lemon and Apricot, which will leave you feeling like you’ve spent the afternoon in a tropical cabana.


Explore the rest of the AquaFinesse range!



balboa error codes

Spa Error Codes for Hot Tubs using the American Balboa System

Our engineers often get asked about spa error codes and spend a lot of their time helping our customers to sort their hot tub problems out over the telephone.

We decided to list the error codes we know below for hot tubs which use the American Balboa System, please remember that this is not a definitive list and that you should always check  with a qualified spa engineer before diagnosing a problem or issue with your spa or carrying any work out yourself!

hot tub error codepd = Power supply, unit running on battery backup OH = Sensors reading 112-118° F.

OHH = Overheat. Spa has shut down. One sensor has detected 118° F at heater.

OHS = Overheat. Spa has shut down. One sensor has detected 110°F.

Flo = Improper flow or pressure switch malfunction

Cool = Water temp 20° below set point

ICE = Potential freeze condition has been detected

Sn1 = Hi-limit sensor malfunction

Sn3 = Temp sensor malfunction

SnA = Spa is shut down. Sensor plugged into jack A is not working.

Snb = Spa is shut down. Sensor plugged into jack B is not working.

SnS = Sensors out of balance. If alternating with temp, may be temporary condition. If display shows only this message (blinking) spa is shut down.

HFL = Substantial difference between temperature sensors detected. Could indicate a flow problem.

LF = Persistent low flow problems. (Displays on the 5th occurrence of “HFL” message with 24 hours).  Heater is shut down, but other spa functions run normally.

dr = Inadequate water detected in heater.

dry = Inadequate water detected in heater. (Displays on third occurrence of “dr” message).  Spa is shut down.

Pr = When spa is first actuated, it will go into Priming Mode.

ILOC = Interlock failure – possible pump or ozone spike . (—) =Unknown water temperature. (Displays when first powered up after refill).

Std = Spa operating in Standard Mode.

Ecn = Spa operating in Economy Mode.

SE = Spa operating in Standard-in-Economy Mode.


Castle Hot Tubs stock a wide range of hot tub repair pumps & spa parts

hot tub installation

Hot Tub Installation

Hot tub installation adventure…

Anyone that opened this blog hoping to find a step by step guide on how to install a hot tub without an engineer present STOP…. please dont do that. One it is dangerous, two it will invalidate your warranty and three it is not safe.

We thought it would be interesting to show you guys a behind the scenes in the day of a Castle Hot Tubs engineer and what more fun than a hot tub installation?

First of all we sent  our engineers out on an adventure and asked them to record their journey as they installed this beautiful hot tub.

They took a camera and this is what the came back to show us. We love their friendly and enthusiasm and are very happy to say we have yet another happy customer.