Hot Tub

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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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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family in hot tub wales

How Using A Hot Tub Can Reduce Stress & Anxiety

How Using A Hot Tub Can Reduce Stress & Anxiety

 

We all suffer from some degree of stress in our busy daily lives

Stress can be bad at the best of times and dangerous at the worst and we have been thinking about ways of stress reduction here in the office!

There are many methods to reduce anxiety and stress including lifestyle changes healthy eating

Smashed avocado on toast  is a wonderful healthy breakfast or snack for any time of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hot tubs wales

Research has shown that when we immerse ourselves in warm water that it can aid a restful night’s sleep which in itself is stress reducing.

The massage function of the jets in a hot tub will relax muscles and ease tension in the body, your mind will find it easier to relax and drift off if there is minimal tension in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

family in hot tub wales

 

Social families have reported to us that the use of the hot tub without screens helps family bonding and gives them a time to catch up- with tv dinners on the sofa, screens and gaming consoles a lot of families find they no longer have that social bonding time together, the regular use of a hot tub can change this.

Again, research has suggested that social contact with close family and friends can be stress reducing and confidence building for todays youths.

 

Happy children = happy parents 😊

 

If you have any questions about our ranges of spas or hot tubs please contact a member of our team on:

T: 01348840509

E: [email protected]

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hot tub

Black Friday Weekend Bonanza - American Hot Tubs in Wales

Black Friday Weekend Bonanza

 

Castle Hot Tubs are celebrating black Friday with a full weekend of discounts across our entire store only this weekend 24/11/17 – 27/11/17

If you are looking to buy a hot tub in the Swansea or Hayscastle areas, then pop in to our Swansea Spa Showroom this weekend and benefit from a massive 10% off our American Spas!

Holidaying at home this year? Take a look at some of our projects below for inspiration:

 

American Swim spa

Photograph of the Glee Hot Tub installed in NeathPhotograph of Obsession Hot Tub installed in Fishguard

Come and see us in our Showrooms in Swansea  & Hayscastle this weekend only for a massive 10%

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