24 May 2016

Top tips for installing a hot tub

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When building the home of your dreams, external accessories are often overlooked and left as an afterthought. Hot tubs are great features for outdoor living, but how do you prepare this area before installing a hot tub?

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There are three key factors that you will need to consider before installing a hot tub: a solid, level base is required, alongside an electrical supply and of course a hose pipe will need to be placed close by. Site surveys are commonly carried out before the installation occurs from suppliers, which will cover these three factors.

When considering where to place your hot tub, contemplate the direction you would like your hot tub to face. Where would you like it to sit within your garden? Will you be overlooked? Ensure that you situate your hot tub in a tranquil space within your external space to make the most of your hot tub.

Running costs

Of course, hot tubs differ in running costs depending on size, capacity and heating and will cost less in the summer than in the winter. An approximate total running of a hot tub ranges from around £8 – £10 per week. However, this is dependant on how you will use your hot tub and the environment it is situated in. For example, if your hot tub is located in an open area where winds are high, your weekly cost will be at a higher end. Whereas, if your hot tub is undercover and is used minimally, costs will be at a lower end. Gazebos are commonly used to house a hot tub, which also prevents external elements, such as leaves and stones, from falling into the hot tub.

Electrical

Permanent water supplies are not necessary for a hot tub, however a suitable electrical supply will be required to run a hot tub. Hot tubs have specific regulations to adhere to – British Standard BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations – that fall into the same category as swimming pools. Ensure that your electrician, appointed to install your hot tub’s electrics, is a qualified electrician and do not personally attempt to install the electrics yourself. Outdoor cabling must be protected from damage. This can either be achieved by layering protective ducting below ground, or by using steel wired armoured cables. Electricians can calculate the size of cabling required.

A rotary isolator switch is recommended for installation so that hot tubs can be isolated in case of an emergency, or for service work. A rotary isolator switch is an on/off switch that should be installed more than two metres away from the hot tub, so that bathers cannot be in the hot tub whilst touching the switch.

Maintenance: Top tips for your hot tub

Maintaining your hot tub is easy, if you know what you’re doing. Here, Hot Tubs at Home offers its top tips for taking care of your hot tub.

Cirulcation

• Run your hot tub's circulation system every day.
• Check your hot tub's owner’s manual to determine how long your spa’s circulation should be run.
• If your hot tub has a separate circulation pump that runs continuously, simply make sure that your system is always in good working order.

Cleaning

• Use a skimmer net to remove floating debris.
• Brush and vacuum the hot tub.
• If you have a skimmer basket, empty it once or twice a week.
• Clean the oily ring that forms at the waterline using a hot tub surface cleaner and chamois leather. This fast-acting product breaks-up oils and debris at the waterline so you can easily wipe the surface clean.

Draining & refilling

• Drain the water every three months.
• Clean the hot tub's surfaces with your surface cleaner and rinse thoroughly.
• Refill the hot tub with fresh water.
• Add recommended chemical products in the order and amount determined by your test strips.

Filtration

• Remove the cartridge.
• Rinse with a garden hose weekly to remove loose debris. A hose-end nozzle is best, as a pressure washer has too much pressure.
• Every time you soak your filter, every month, use a specially formulated filter cleaner according to label instructions. This will dissolve and loosen the built-up oil and dirt.
• Thoroughly rinse the cartridge again. Ideally, the cartridge should be allowed to dry before being returned to service, this helps the paper fibres to fuse back together again before being returned to water, maximising your filter's efficiency.
• Return the clean cartridge to the filter housing.
• Filters should be replaced every 12 – 18 months to ensure good water quality and bather comfort.

Health benefits: The ultimate relaxation

Not only will a hot tub look great in the external surroundings of your self-build, but it will also offer great health benefits, ultimate relaxation and improve the wellbeing of the end user. For years, hydrotherapy has been used to treat muscle injuries and rheumatic disease. There are different ways in which you can use hot tubs to aid injury recovery and improve health and wellbeing. Combining hydrotherapy with aromatherapy will ignite calmness, resulting in muscle relaxation; there are a number of aromatherapy products available for hot tubs on the market that you can include in your bathing ritual. 15-20 minute minutes soaking in a hot tub can replenish the body and help muscles to relax. Exercise can also take place within the hot tub from abdominal and leg, to shoulder and neck exercises, providing an aesthetically pleasing, yet beneficial addition to your garden for the whole family to use.

Research matters

Choosing the right hot tub for your self-build can be confusing. There are many hot tubs available on today’s market hosting various styles, models and brands.

Here are a few tips from Outdoor Living Hot Tubs to consider when selecting a hot tub:

• Research hot tubs online – scour the internet for information on hot tubs. Many homeowners in the UK own hot tubs; read though their reviews via websites to get an idea of the type of hot tub you require.

• Take caution when buying online – don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ll get a better deal online, physically view some hot tubs before you buy. Hot tubs are a long-term investment and will add value to your home. More often, cheaper hot tubs are of poor quality and will cost you more to run or repair in the long run.

• Manufacturing hot tubs – all hot tubs are different. During your research look for reputable hot tub manufacturers and search their websites for product and technical details.

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