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All About Hot Tubs Spas & Portable Spa Hot Tubs

All About Hot Tubs Spas & Portable Hot Tubs

  1. What is the difference between a hot tub, spa, and Jacuzzi?
    Hot tubs are open-topped tank filled with circulated, filtered and chemically treated water. A hot tub is considered portable, as it is a totally self-contained unit that is typically found outdoors. On average, the water in a hot tub is drained once a quarter for regular maintenance purposes. A spa typically refers to an in-ground unit that is constructed on-site, and is most often part of a pool/spa combination. A whirlpool tub is commonly found indoors in the master bathroom or in other indoor facilities. Whirlpool tubs are filled and drained after each use and are not chemically treated. Jacuzzi is a brand name that describes those products manufactured by the Jacuzzi Company, but the word “jacuzzi” has become a common name for a hot tub.
  2. How do I know what type of hot tub to purchase?
    Evaluate what the hot tub will be used for. If exercise and therapy will be the focus, consider a swim spa with depth and room for movement. If the hot tub will be used recreationally, choose a model with four or more seats, and maybe some options to add a stereo system/DVD player for entertainment in your hot tub. If you want a portable spa for easy relocation, consider portable hot tubs.
  3. How should I prepare the location where I plan to install my hot tub?
    There is very little site preparation for a self-contained hot tub. Use a strong, level area that can support the heavy weight of the hottub filled with water. For outdoor hot tubs, do not place the unit within 10 feet of overhead power lines and ensure that the installation meets all city and local safety codes. Homeowners will also require a dedicated electrical outlet (110- or 220-volt outlet) and a nearby garden hose for the installation of their hot tubs. Many people choose to install tile, gazebos, custom wood decking or flora around their hot tubs to create a private retreat. For indoor hot tubs, pay close attention to flooring and wall construction as it could possibly cause moisture damage. To ensure adequate ventilation and safe use of your hot tub spa, you must also ensure that you comply with ANSI (American National Standards Institute) / ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Standard 62-2001.
  4. Are there any hidden costs?
    Retailers should specify all of the costs associated with purchasing a hot tub, any necessary equipment or parts, installation, shipping and delivery. Ask a retailer for an estimate on hot tub maintenance costs to ensure the hottubs being kept in optimal condition.
  5. How will the addition of my hot tub affect my electric bill?
    While electrical costs vary by region, model and quality of insulation, a recent study found that the average hot tubs cost only $10 to $30 per month to operate. A local retailer can provide more specific information.
  6. Will it be difficult to maintain the proper chemical balance in my hot tub?
    With just a little reading, users can easily and quickly maintain the proper chemical balance in their hot tub. Most hottub manufacturers recommend chlorine tablets be used about once a week. A retailer can aid in chemical selection for your hot tub spa.
  7. Are outdoor hot tubs limited to certain seasons?
    Outdoor hot tubs can be used year-round in any climate. For especially cold climes consider a hot tub winterizing kit. A winterizing kit is comprised of insulation for the unit, pipes and equipment, an insulated cover to retain heat and a device that is monitored by a thermostat or timer to protect the hot tub from freezing.