How To Use Your Hot Tub During The Winter

hot tub

Use Your Hot Tub in Winter

A great way to escape the cold is to create a warm haven in your backyard. Your hot tub or spa are the perfect ways to stay warm in the winter.

Here are our tips for using your hot tub in the winter.

Invest in a Good Cover.

Make sure your cover is well-insulated and has a tight-fitting seal. A high-quality cover in good condition will help your hot tub maintain a constant high temperature, even when the weather is frightful.

Hot tub covers insulate much better when they’re locked. When locked, the straps pull down on the edges of the cover, forming a tight seal that keeps heat in. Without the straps being locked, the edges of the hot tub cover can lift slightly; allowing heat to escape.

Not only will this cost you money in extra heating costs, but a bad seal will also allow steam to escape. This means having to top up the water level more often and having to add more chemicals to balance the water.

Monitor the Water Level.

Check your water level frequently and add more as necessary. If the water level falls too low in cold weather, the components may freeze, which could damage your hot tub.

If the water level drops too low your pump and heater could shut down resulting in frozen water and possible damage to your hot tub.

For most hot tub owners, there are times in the year when you’re just too busy to use your hot tub. The problem comes when that lack of use becomes a lack of maintenance. There are a few reasons why you don’t want to neglect your hot tub, the biggest being all the time and effort required to fix a hot tub with water quality issues.

Even if you’re not using the hot tub, you should still try to get out at least once a week to check on it and add your maintenance chemicals. Doing this can save you a massive headache later and makes sure that your hot tub is ready to use when you’re ready to start using it again.

Keep the Water Clean.

Make sure you clean and maintain your water and filters according to your usual schedule. Simple problems can become more complicated to fix in subzero weather.

Change Your Water Early.

If your tub will be due for a scheduled water change during winter, it’s a good idea to shift it to earlier in the year.
Changing water while the outside temperatures are low can be particularly challenging, as there’s a risk of water freezing and damaging your spa.

Conventional wisdom says that you should change your hot tub water every 3-4 months. For some people, this means having to change your water in the dead of winter.

While having freshwater does make for a more enjoyable hot tub experience, changing your water in -20C weather is never a good idea. The risk of your pipes freezing greatly outweighs any benefits that changing the water has.

If you need to change the water, do so in small batches. Remove 6″-12″ of water at a time; refilling – and reheating – the water in between these partial drains. While this won’t get you the same results as completely draining and refilling the hot tub, it will get you by until the weather warms up.

Turn Down the Jets.

Use the jets to a lesser extent than you would in other seasons, and don’t forget to turn them off when not in use. The jets work by blowing air into the water, which can lower the temperature.

Be Smart About Soak Times.

The longer you stay in your spa, the higher your body temperature climbs. While it may be tempting to linger in the comforting warmth of your hot tub when the outside air is cold, try to limit your soak time to about twenty minutes. Moving from extreme heat to extreme cold can place dangerous stress on your body.

Have a Plan for Retreat.

Cold weather can be dangerous, particularly when you’re wet and wearing a bathing suit. After your soak, when you must leave the protective warmth of your spa and face the icy winter air, make sure to immediately shield yourself from the cold. Keep a bathrobe and shoes or sturdy slippers nearby, and get indoors as quickly as possible after leaving your hot tub.

Enhance Your Outdoor Sanctuary.

Use accessories to add warmth and comfort to your outdoor hot tub environment in the winter. Consider adding heating lamps, or a towel warmer, or maybe simply a weatherproof rug to protect bare feet from the frozen ground. Just make sure all electrical devices are either battery-operated or are placed far enough away from your hot tub to avoid any possible risk of electrocution from contact with water.

Closing Your Hot-Tub

If you won’t use it in winter, you can save money by closing it. However, you can’t just close the cover and forget about it. You need to take the time to properly drain and dry out your hot tub before it gets too cold. If you don’t, you could end up with an expensive repair in the spring.

Flush and Drain Your Hot Tub

First, you must flush your system and drain all the water from your hot tub. During the cold winter months, uncirculated water can freeze and cause damage to the pumps.

Air Blower

If your spa has an air blower, you need to take the time to drain it too. Shut off the heater and run the blower to push all the water from the system.

Remove the Filters

Closing your hot tub for the winter is a good time to pull out and clean the filters. If they are worn out, now is the perfect time to replace them. Clean and dry them and put them somewhere safe during the winter.

Loosen Fittings

After you have drained your hot tub, there could still be water in many of the plumbing fittings as well. Loosen these fittings and allow all the water to drain out of them. If you have a gas heater, shut it down and drain the water from any valves.

Blow Your Jets

You need to be sure there is no water in the jet system as well. Using a wet-dry vac, blow air through each jet to make sure all water has been blown from the system.

Final Clean Up

Mop up any water and make sure the inside is dry. Once it has been dried, give it a good cleaning before putting your cover on. Locking it for the winter will make opening the hot tub in the spring much easier.

Interested in learning more? Contact us here. 

How To Prepare Your Spa For Cold Weather

spa

Preparing Your Spa

Spa owners already know this: when summer ends, hot tub usage heats up. The weather gets cooler, kids start new sports activities, and in general, everyone spends more time at home. It’s a prime season for spas and hot tubs, so make sure yours is ready for action.

Consider these tips:

1. FILTER

Start of a new season is a good time to check the filters – replace them if needed for maximum operating efficiency.

Clean your filter regularly on the recommended manufacturer’s basis. Dirty filters are often the cause of bacteria build-up and other water issues, which can cause health problems in spa-users.

It’s good practice to clean your filters every time you drain and refill your spa. Not only because a clean filter promotes cleaner water and reduces cloudiness, but also because it increases the longevity of the filter itself. With regular cleaning, your filter should be replaced about once every 6 months. So, if you replaced your filter in the spring, it’s time for a new one.

2. OZONE GENERATOR

To maintain water quality, check the levels of pH, total alkalinity, hardness, and chlorine or bromine in your water before each use. Adjust as needed if you don’t use an ozone generator. An ozone generator is a water purifier that sprays ozone gas into the water – significantly reducing, but not totally eliminating, the need for chemicals.

3. SHELL, CABINET, AND COVER

Clean your cabinet, hot tub surface, and cover according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If snow is an issue in your area: A plastic tarp over the cover can prevent snow shovel damage.

Is your cover in good shape or is it time for a replacement? Your spa cover prevents leaves and dirt from getting into the water, and it keeps the heat inside to conserve energy.

Early fall is the perfect time to clean and treat your spa cover for the coming cold season!

To properly clean your cover:

Hose down the vinyl to loosen dirt and grime.
Apply the gentle non-abrasive oil-free cleaner on a rag or soft sponge.
Wipe off dirt and grime, regularly hosing off rag or sponge to prevent smearing.
After the cover is dry, apply alcohol and oil-free protectant.

4. CHANGE IT UP

Depending on the use of your spa, plan to change the water completely about every 60 to 90 days. Chemicals can’t protect you properly in water that is old and used often.

SPA SYSTEM FLUSHING

Flushing your spa plumbing system prior to draining will save you time in the long run by eliminating scum build-up in the pipes which often cause water balancing problems if left unchecked. We recommend Spa System Flush for its unsurpassed cleaning performance and economical price.

DRAINING

Always start your hot tub draining procedure by shutting off the heater and powering off the spa, then switching off the power service at the breaker panel or disconnect box for safety. Once the power is shut off to your tub, you can resume your normal training routine.

REFILLING

Before refilling your spa, take time to wipe down the shell with a rag and gentle non-foaming cleanser. This will remove the remaining contaminants and help you to start your hot tub with cleaner clearer water. If you have well water or live in an area with hard water, consider using a hose-end pre-filter to filter out excess minerals and other small particles before they enter the spa. A pre-filter can also prevent hard-to-remove waterline stains and scale build-up on the equipment.

Have any questions about spas? Contact us here! 

Hot Tub Safety: Things to Watch Out For

hot tub safety

HOT TUB SAFETY

The comfort of a good soak in the hot tub can make the best of us throw caution to the wind. The reality is all bodies of water, even the ones as small as a spa, can be quite dangerous. If you own a hot tub or spa, you should practice hot tub safety.

Daunting as the task may seem, you can avoid accidents in your hot tub. Here are some tips for hot tub safety.

Spa check-ups

All machinery needs regular checkups to ensure things are in order and working smoothly. Your hot tub is no exception.

Set a weekly or monthly schedule, depending on the frequency of your use to make sure nothing is wrong. You should consult a professional to make sure the spa is in safe working conditions.

Installing a 24/7 pH monitor like pHin in your spa will let you know about chemical imbalances as soon as they occur. With the right pH, spa chemical balance, and regular cleaning, you can avoid harmful bacteria buildup in the hot tub.

Hot Tub Safety precautions

As the owner, it is your responsibility to educate everyone about safety measures.

Hot tub bathers are at serious risk for hot water-related injuries. It is crucial that the water temperature doesn’t exceed 104°F. It is also important to time your soaking period. The average soaking time is around 15-20 minutes and it shouldn’t be exceeded. Spending a prolonged amount of time can result in dizziness, fainting, and in extreme cases death.

Expecting Mothers

Pregnant women are at a higher risk of heat-related issues such as hyperthermia. Prolonged bathing times are to be especially avoided because excessive heat can harm the fetus. Soaking time should be no more than 10-15 minutes. If any discomfort is felt, pregnant women should get out of the tub immediately. The water temperature should be below 102°F.

Children

Children should not be allowed to enter the tub without adult supervision. Though, accidents can happen even when an adult is around.

Kids can get very excited at the opportunity to have a dip in the tub. Therefore, don’t let this excitement come in the way of precaution.

Beware of signs of overactivity like rosy cheeks. You might want to take your child out of the tub to let them cool down for a bit before entering the pool again.

Ensure that all bathers, especially kids, are hydrated. You can set a small snack bar of juices and fruits like watermelon for the kids so that they can enjoy the hot tub without dehydrating.

Some hazards to look out for

Hot tubs are a great way to enjoy an afternoon with your family. Though, a very common hazard is slipping inside the tub. Therefore, children and adults alike should not attempt to run in the hot tub. Accidents like spraining, bruising, and drowning can very easily occur.

Do not bring any sharp objects or toys in the hot tub. Small and sharp objects not only cause severe injuries to bathers, but they can also clog the spa’s jets and filters.

Handling electrical devices

We know you might be thinking it is absurd to even mention this because it’s common sense, but we’ll still say it: keep ALL corded electronic devices, naked wiring, and electrical appliances away from the spa.

It would also be a good idea to keep your mobile phones and gadgets away from the spa to avoid damaging them.

Spa cover

We cannot stress how important a spa cover is. It will help you keep out unwanted bathers, restrict kids from entering the tub without adult supervision, keep dirt and debris out of the pool water, and avoid contamination.

Apart from those benefits, a spa cover will also aid you in conserving electricity, thus reducing your bill greatly.

Don’t have a spa cover? Contact us today and we can walk you through our selection of hot-tub covers and hot tub safety accessories.