Choosing a Swim Spa

How to Choose a Swim Spa

A swim spa can offer a lot of different activities.

Is the Swim Spa for Swimming, Aquatic Exercise, Relaxing or Partying?

Most swim spas will let you do all of the above but some are more orientated to exercise, some to relaxation.

If you think that you might swim some but mainly you want to be able to play with the kids, a shallower water depth and less expensive current generation system could be the best choice.

If relaxation is important, you will probably want a generous supply of massage jets. Molded seats ensure you are not pushed out of position by the currents. If you want to invite your friends, the more seats the better. 

For underwater exercise machines you will need a solid, durable, flat base. Fiberglass or stainless steel give the most secure base.

There are a lot of attractive extra features to look out for like aromatherapy, LED and fiber optic lighting, water falls, built in stereos, air blowers etc.

How is the Water Current Generated?

For serious swimmers, the way the current is generated is one of the most important considerations.

The first swim spa manufactured was the Swimex. It still has one of the best ways of generating a current to swim against. A large paddle wheel at the back of the swim spa draws a wide, deep current of water through the spa ensuring a laminar, chop-free flow. You will have no trouble staying afloat and no white water to battle against.

 Swimex
The Swimex uses a paddle wheel to deliver a powerful current with little turbulence.
Propellers can also generate a steady water flow but it is not as deep and wide as a paddle generated current. The advantage is that the system is cheaper to manufacture and propeller systems are often found in mid-price swim spas. Endless Pools, H2X and Swimmers Edge all use propeller systems.

Swim jets create water flow with the most turbulence. Manufacturers are constantly adjusting how swim jets perform to make sure the current provides buoyancy as well as resistance but they still offer the least enjoyable experience.

Resistance Tether Swim Spas

It is possible to swim in place using an elastic tether attached to the swimmers body. This is a system used by many athletes for endurance training. The drawback is the turbulence and waves created by the swimmer. 

Swimergy have a specially designed pool to suppress waves.

 Cal Spas  offer a tether system in some of their swim spas.

The Shell

Swim spa shells are usually made of fiberglass or acrylic. Fiberglass shells can split or the layers can separate if they are not well made (‘one piece construction’ manufacture is best).

Acrylic shells will not split and are very durable as long as the framing is sufficiently strong. Acrylic reinforced with fiberglass is the most rigid.

Bradford swim spas are made of stainless steel with tile overlays. They are very durable but also expensive and usually only an option for hydrotherapy centers and resorts.
Ozone Generator?

A swim spa with a built in ozone generator needs little chemical input or maintenance time to stay fresh and safe to use.
Running Costs

The big expense is heating. If you are going to use the swim spa as a hot tub outdoors, at around 95 degrees, it will eat up the electricity in cooler weather. If you are happy with about 80 degrees- a good workout temperature- it will be pretty economical from spring to fall.

Swim Spas with separate spa and swimming areas like the H2X Momentum and Swimmer’s Edge Duo can save money. There is no need to heat a large volume of water for a relaxing soak!

An indoor installation will not add too much to electrical costs if the room is already being heated.

Solar power heating is a very practical way and economical way to heat any pool or spa.
In Ground or Above Ground?

Most above ground swimming spas situated outside need a four inch concrete base to rest on plus an electrical and water supply. They can be finished with side panels or built into decks.

If you want to install in-ground, it is worth getting a firm price from a local contractor for site preparation before you purchase. Remember to think about local codes for safety issues.

Wet Testing

If you live near a swim spa dealer they will be happy to let you slip into a bathing suit and try out their swim spas!.

 

Swim Spa Covers

Most swim spas come with a floating thermal cover or simple wind-over vinyl cover to help retain heat and keep out debris. The problem is that these really fall short of doing the job. That’s why we recommend the SpaCap Swim Spa Cover from SpaCap.com 

It is light enough to be handled easily, and yet insulates far better than any foam filled swim spa cover. It is the only swim spa cover available factory direct offering a wide range of Sunbrella Marine Fabric colors.

Benefits Of A Swim Spa

Swim Spa in DeckAll the comforts of a spa. You get the massaging hot water jets and all the enjoyment that a spa can offer in a unit that also includes a swimming area. The only difference is that this is much more compact than a traditional in-ground pool with a separate area for a hot tub or spa.
‘Traditional’ pool benefits included. Although the swim spa is designed differently than a traditional swimming pool, it is still large enough to fit a number of people and to allow the same kind of fun enjoyed in traditional swimming pools. Again, the main difference is the depth of the water and a smaller pool area.
Compact design. Pools are out of the question for some people because they don’t have sufficient space in their backyards. Swim spas may be the answer because they don’t take up nearly the size of a traditional swimming pool.
Easy installation. Swim spas are more like spas or fiberglass swimming pools, so if they are going in-ground, the installation is fairly quick and easy. However, they also come in above ground models that make the installation even simpler.
Exercise. Perhaps the most popular reason to get a swim spa is to enjoy the ability to swim laps without worrying about turns or paying for big pools. Water jets that can be adjusted for various speeds push out against the swimming, keeping them in place, as they swim against the current. With the jets off, the swim spa can also be used for other water-based exercises.
Easier maintenance. Compared to a traditional swimming pool, the maintenance for a swim spa is much easier because it is smaller and uses fewer chemicals. Also, the fiberglass or acrylic construction produces a smooth surface that minimizes the production of algae.
Convenience. Spas are great for relaxing and easing muscle tensions and aches, particularly after exercise. With the swim spa, you can go almost immediately from your water workout into the massaging waters of the spa.
Portable. Swim spas that are not in-ground units have the advantage of being mobile, meaning they can move when you move. While there’s a certain benefit to adding a little to the price of your home because of the swimming pool, it’s also nice to start with a swim spa in your new home.
Use year-round. Because the swim spas are portable, they can be located indoors or outdoors. If your home has an indoor location for a swim spa, you can enjoy the unit even on stormy or snowy days.
Encourage exercise. A swim spa that may have been meant for the swimmer in the family is likely to encourage others to try out the benefits of easy, lap swimming. The jets that provide resistance can be set for beginner swimmers or for much more capable swimmers.

Consider the space around your swim spa. In order for it to be easy to remove and replace your swim spa cover you need to allow adequate room around the spa. For swim spa covers that are as easy to use as taking a comforter off your bed check out SpaCap.com.

Choosing a Swimming Pool Builder

Pool InstallationBuilding a swimming pool is no small undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. By choosing the right building team, you can make the process streamlined and carefree. However, choosing the right team does not mean simply choosing the most or least expensive. The following are a few tips for picking the best builder for your swimming pool:

  • Talk with previous customers. This is the best way to find out what a pool builder is like. Look at not just the quality of the work, but the builder’s personality and work ethic, as well. If possible, talk with a previous customer whose opinion you trust. This will give you a better idea of the pool builder’s quality.
  • Compare different pool builders. Talk with different companies, compare prices, and if possible, compare finished pools. Do thorough research – or you may end up being overcharged for mediocre work.
  • Do a background check. Before signing any contracts, learn what you can about the company you want to hire. Go to the Better Business Bureau and find out if the company is accredited by any other professional industry group. Also check to make sure the builder is properly certified and able to work according to the regulations in your city or state.
  • Make sure you get all of the builder’s references. If you ask a builder for his or her references, they will make sure that you see all of their good references while sometimes hiding the less satisfied customers. Find out how many customers your builder has had in a specific time period, and ask to see reviews from all of those clients.
  • Read carefully. Don’t sign any contracts without knowing specifically what is on that contract, and make an effort to read all legal documents presented to you. This will protect you in the event of construction problems.

Here at SpaCap.com, we have been building custom hot tub covers for years and in doing so we have had dealings with quite a few pool builders. Unfortunately, we can’t know all of them in every state. Hopefully the list above will help you make the right choice.

It is easy to get excited about the beautiful design choices and features available today, but the swimming pool is going to be part of your property for years so it pays to be thoughtful now before the build. For instance, an infinity edge design on a pool or spa is spectacular but how will it be covered when not in use?

One of the things we have run into is a spa that spills into the pool. These look great but if no consideration for how it will be covered is included during the design process it may be that no cover can be designed to cover it later. It may not be such a big deal for the pool but keeping the spa water heated and insulated, will be later.

More information about pools and how to take care of them can be found online. Contact SpaCap to learn more.

Reasons to Buy a Hot Tub This Holiday Season

RELAXING SANTA
Merry Christmas

A Hot tub can be used virtually all year, yet some times are better to buy than others. While many people enjoy relaxing in the hot tub on a cool fall or spring night, enjoying the hot water in the middle of winter also catches the imagination of many. Below are a few reasons you should consider buying a hot tub this holiday season:

  1. Less expensive. Outdoor hot tubs are most commonly purchased during summer, and for most spa companies, summer is the height of the selling season. The pleasant outdoor weather makes people want to spend more time outside, and the hot tub is the perfect diversion for a beautiful summer evening. However, hot tubs might be purchased for a much lower price during winter, when sellers have to try harder to move their products. If you are thinking about getting a hot tub or buying hot tub accessories, consider shopping for one this holiday season.
  2. Can be used immediately. If you buy a hot tub in winter, waste no time enjoying the warm water. There is something magical about enjoying a snowy vista from the comfort of a hot tub on a clear winter day, and you can take advantage of that opportunity this holiday season.
  3. Can help clear symptoms of colds. Hot tubs produce a great deal of steam, especially in the winter when the water vapor clashes with the cold outdoor temperatures. This steam is good for easing sore throats and clearing out sinuses. Considering that colds appear to be more common in winter, hot tubs might be a good remedy for easing the symptoms.
  4. Relaxes muscles and joints. Hot water is known for relaxing muscles and joints and easing pain. As many people’s joint pain is worse in cold weather, a spa could be the perfect holiday gift.

Naturally, we think everybody should have and use a hot tub every day. Here at SpaCap.com we have been working in the industry for over thirty years. We know a little bit about the health benefits of using a hot tub. In fact the covers we build today are a direct result of the need to get into the hot tub for back therapy and being told by the doctor not to lift more than ten pounds.

If you’ve owned your present hot tub cover for more than six months (and it isn’t one of ours) there’s a very high probability that you have to lift more than tens pounds to get into your spa. The reason is simple. No rigid foam filled cover, no matter what it’s wrapped in, can avoid becoming heavy, saturated with water. No amount of taper will stop it either since outside moisture is not the culprit.

But enough about Hot Tub Covers, you need to buy a hot tub first!

Contact SpaCap for more information on the benefits of spas and hot tubs.

Before Installing an Indoor Hot Tub

Hot Tub AromatherapyAn Indoor hot tub can be advantageous for a number of reasons; it will stay warmer and be less expensive to heat and it won’t have to be protected from the elements. However, a mistake during the purchase or installation process can be very dangerous and detrimental to your home. Instead of enjoying a pleasant soak in the bathroom before bed, you may find yourself with a flooded home. The following are a few of the most common indoor hot tub mistakes to help customers make the right decisions in installing their hot tub:

  • Choose the right floor type. Every time you get out of the hot tub, you will likely drip water onto the floor. Make sure you have an effective bath mat and that the floor material you choose doesn’t become too slippery when wet. This can be a safety hazard as well as making the floor more difficult to clean.
  • Plan a water source. If you have an indoor hot tub, you may want to think of a better plan than filling it with jugs of water from the sink. One way to solve this problem might be to have a faucet that goes to the hot tub, or a swiveling faucet that can be used to fill the hot tub or be used over a sink. Extendable faucets work as well, while the most efficient answer might be to install a hose bib in the room.
  • Consider the humidity. Your hot tub will give off a great deal of steam, which can very quickly cause serious damage to your walls. Mold and mildew growth is a very serious potential danger while rot in the wood or sheetrock is another possibility. Use the proper building materials when designing the room and install a powerful but quiet fan that can be used to cut down on the steam and humidity.
  • Access. It still needs to be covered to hold in the heat and moisture. Think about how that will be done. In order for it to be easy to remove and replace any Hot Tub Cover it’s a good idea to leave enough room to walk around at least three of the sides. Also, when the cover comes off it is going to be wet.

 

More information about hot tubs and especially hot tub covers, visit SpaCap.com.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Hot Tub

Hot Tub PlacementDepending on your home and the intended use of your hot tub, you may desire an indoor or an outdoor hot tub. While the decision may initially seem as simple as your stylistic preference, there are actually a number of factors to consider. One may offer better scenery while the other offers more privacy and may be easier to keep warm. Below are a few of the other pros and cons to choosing either an indoor or outdoor hot tub:

  • Ventilation. Your hot tub is going to give off a lot of steam, especially if you enjoy keeping it at higher temperatures. If you have an indoor hot tub, you will have to install a powerful fan to protect your home’s interior from the steam and humidity. An outdoor hot tub will vent easily into the air, allowing the steam to be carried away on the wind.
  • Maintenance. An outdoor hot tub is typically going to have space around it on all sides, allowing for easy repair of mechanical or electrical issues. At the same time, outdoor spas are exposed to the elements, meaning they will require higher levels of maintenance to keep them clean. Indoor hot tubs may be less conducive to mechanical work, but will not require as much upkeep.
  • Privacy. While an outdoor hot tub will often be installed on a porch or in enclosed patio and fenced in yard, there is still a level of privacy that is lacking. Indoor spas are completely private, and hot users can enjoy music, food, or drink from the pleasure of their own home.
  • Expense. An indoor hot tub will likely be more expensive to install, but it will keep the water warmer during winter, allowing it to be heated in less time and with less energy. While an outdoor hot tub will be cheaper to install, but will probably result in higher costs to heat it throughout the year.

No matter which you choose, indoor or out, you’ll still need a quality hot tub cover. That’s where we come in. Building the World’s Best Hot Tub Covers is all we do. We would love to build one for you.

More information about hot tubs and spa upkeep is available on our website, SpaCap.com.

Hot Tubs for People with Disabilities

As our world becomes increasingly inclusive, people with disabilities get the chance to participate in activities their able-bodied counterparts have always enjoyed, but from which disabled persons have traditionally been excluded. As a result, people with disabilities are more active than ever. However, people with disabilities often have trouble being included at the hot tub or spa. Obstacles like slippery hot tubs and steeply raised massage tables often make people with disabilities think they should just skip those activities. Yet with the right modifications, the hot tub and spa can be fun places for all.

Accessibility is Key

To enjoy an activity, you must first be able to access it. If hot tub and spa guests have disabilities, plan accordingly. Outfit hot tubs and pools with railings and small steps so guests can get in and out independently. Make sure that the hot tub temperature is low enough to allow for your guests to linger longer without becoming over heated.

If this is going to be part of the regular use for your hot tub, consider lowering it or partially sinking it into the deck so that it presents a height of 18″ for easy access, with a bench around it so that users can sit and remove their shoes safely before entering. Also a bench around the outside will allow them to get out and sit comfortably if the temperature becomes too much.

Encourage guests to wear shoes until they enter the tub or pool to prevent slips and falls.

Offer several massage options, including those that can be done through clothing, so a person with a disability doesn’t have to worry about fastening and unfastening clothing before a massage. If the person would prefer a nude or partially nude massage but needs help with removing clothing, offer assistance from a trustworthy attendant of the same gender. Help guests on and off raised tables, or better yet offer massage options that can be done on bench high tables or the floor.

Exercise is Not a Chore

Many people with disabilities are told constantly to exercise, sometimes to the point that it feels like a punishment. Give these guests a break at your spa. Discuss the benefits of hydrotherapy, but make it clear the hot tub and pool are first and foremost for fun and relaxation. Offer easy exercises such as hot tub yoga, and emphasize that the person can modify the stretches however he or she wants. Encourage guests to play hot tub games like Hot Tub Hockey, Submarine, or Ping-Pong Panic.

Offer a Plethora of Pampering

People with disabilities, especially women, often struggle to feel beautiful. Help them out with facials and manicures. Some people with disabilities have skin conditions or are allergic to certain facial ingredients, so always ask before facials or body wraps begin. Some disabilities also involve sensory processing difficulties, so ask if your guest is particularly sensitive to any taste or smell. Offer several fragrance and lotion options, and be sensitive to guests who do not like being touched.

Accommodate don’t Dictate

Do not force participation in any activity. If your guest with a disability just showed up to spend three hours swimming, or to get one facial, respect their wishes.

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about ease of access without mentioning SpaCap.com. Their Custom Hot Tub Covers are truly user friendly. Over the past thirty years they have sold quite a few to people who have limited mobility and need to get into their hot tub for therapy daily. At SpaCap.com they work hard to make using a hot tub cover easy for every situation. Sometimes because of specific needs, they have to allow for lifting or pulling the cover off and on by pulleys. However the light weight design of the SpaCap makes using their hot tub easy.

If you have a hot tub and want to make it easy for someone to use, we would love to talk with you about how to get that done. And Yes, we can even accommodate hand rails that extend down into the water.

 

Hot Tubs and Weight Loss

During the holiday season, many delicious but calorie-heavy foods appear on tables, in buffets, and at parties. As a result, we become more anxious to lose or maintain a healthy weight, yet we often avoid going to the gym or dieting because “weight loss” gets associated with deprivation and exhaustion.

If this describes you, don’t despair. The hot tub, one of the most relaxing locations available, can also contribute to weight loss. Let the staff at SpaCap teach you how.

Maybe we should start by saying that the hot tub isn’t just for relaxing anymore. It’s no secret that physical activity burns calories so the trick is to be active even in the spa.

Stretching and rotating your arms and legs is easier to do in the hot tub because the water helps support you and warms your muscles while you work them. Start slowly with some stretches and arm motions with your arms and shoulders under the water to get limbered up. Then sit up straight and do some twists (gently) turning the your shoulders to the left and right while keeping your knees and hips stationary.

Use Yoga

When performed safely, yoga is one of the easiest workouts for those who love hot tubs. With guidance from a yoga teacher or spotter, try poses such as the “wall dog”, “up dog,” or “lunge twist.” These poses stretch several muscle groups at once, including the arms, legs, torso, and back.

The breathing that hot tub yoga requires also helps the body relax and aids digestion. If you engage in hot tub yoga after eating, the deep breaths will help move the food through the digestive system more efficiently than it would if you were simply sitting on the couch. Deep breathing also increases metabolism so it not only burns calories it also helps your body recover more quickly from sickness and or injury.

With that in mind, as you practice your hot tub yoga, try to be conscious of deep controlled breathing. Get that oxygen into your blood and moving through your body.

Play Games

As I said above, hot tubs are not just for relaxing. They’re also fun places to play active games with your family and friends. Try Hot Tub Hockey, in which teams earn points by moving an object like a rubber duck or Ping-Pong ball to each other’s sides of the tub without using their hands. You can also try Pass the Bottle, requiring everyone to pass a tightly capped bottle of water around the hot tub using every body part except their hands. Players may not use the same body parts twice in a row (i.e., passing from knee to knee or shoulder to shoulder). If the bottle drops, the dropper must perform a penalty task and the game begins again.

Use Hot Tubs as a Way to Eat and Sleep Well

Eating right and getting adequate sleep tends to go out the window during the holidays. Do not let this happen to you.

Before you dig into everything that the holidays have to offer, take a moment to look over what’s in front of you and make choices that you won’t have to “pay for” later. Pastries and chips taste great but they don’t make a meal. Drinking a meal supplement before eating will help you not over eat. Like the old saying, “don’t go shopping when you’re hungry,” the same is true when eating during the holidays.

Eat the meats, leafy green salads and veggies without the breads and you’ll be well fed and happier later on. Try to avoid the fat fried foods. Our family switched to an air fryer from Philips. The food tastes great without all the added fat you would normally get from frying in oil.

If you’re having a hot tub party, supply healthy snacks that can be eaten in the tub, such as veggie trays with low-calorie dip or appetizers made with shrimp or lean meats. If you struggle with insomnia, try slipping out to the hot tub for a set period just before going to bed. The warm water will help your muscles relax and send melatonin to your brain.

Okay, as you would expect, we have to mention that if you intend to get the healthy benefits from using your hot tub, you have to be able to use it easily everyday. That requires that it be easy, or we will start to find reasons not to. After being in the Spa Cover business for thirty plus years, we have learned a few things about human nature when it comes to using a hot tub.

When we first get our spas, we are excited and it is easy to find the time to use it everyday. Like a kid with a new toy. But eventually, that “newness” wears off. Then you have to decide that the benefits you get from using the hot tub are worth the time it takes out of your schedule.

You have to pick a time of day that it works for you and make it part of your routine. Personally, I like to make it at the end of the day just before bed. It helps me sleep better and wake up refreshed. But that’s me. Some people love to start their day with a dip in the spa before the day gets hectic. They find it helps them keep a positive outlook throughout the day.

It doesn’t matter when you decide it works for you, you just make it part of your routine and go from there.

But that’s not the problem. The thing that causes most hot tub owners to eventually stop using their spa is the cover. The standard foam filled spa cover available at every spa dealer across the country. The lid that gets thrown in as an after thought when you buy the spa. Crazy right?

Here’s how it happens. The foam starts to saturate with moisture from the steam rising off the spa water. It doesn’t happen fast, in fact it happens slowly over time so that you don’t even notice it. After a few months, the spa cover is heavier but because you have been using the spa everyday you didn’t notice the gradual change.

It’s an even bigger problem on a swim spa since the standard rigid foam swim spa covers have more sections that get heavy at different rates. So you play games trying to open only the panels that are still light enough to manage. Eventually you end up trying to swim with only a couple panels open. Plus with the added height of the swim spa, getting a heavy cover back up on the spa is just dangerous.

Before you know it, getting the cover off and on takes a lot more effort. You might not even consciously notice it but one day you think about getting into the tub and you decide to skip it. You’re just not up to it tonight.

Why would you “skip” the thing that makes you sleep better and live healthier? Because it requires too much effort. That simple foam filled cover becomes a barrier between you and the hot tub you spent all that money on. The same hot tub you couldn’t wait to get into, is just too much work now because of a heavy spa cover.

Eventually, you can’t remember the last time you used it.

You then have to make a choice. Do you get a new cover and get back to using it or do you (and this is the one that just makes no sense to me) get rid of it and reclaim that part of your back yard.

I hope you decide to get a new cover. That hot tub is like a daily vacation that your body and mind need to “re-boot” and stay healthy. But before going out and buying another cover just like the one you’re replacing, consider something better.

At SpaCap.com, we have been building Spa Covers, that are light weight, easy to use and built to stay that way. There are no rigid foam panels in the SpaCap so there’s nothing to soak up that steam and get heavy.

We are not going to go over all the details here but you should check them out for yourself on the website. Then do yourself a huge favor and order one for your spa.

 

Resources:

http://www.swimuniversity.com/how-to-lose-weight-in-a-hot-tub/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/339869-how-many-calories-are-burned-in-a-hot-tub/

http://tubyoga.com/

http://www.windermereboutiquehotel.co.uk/30/content/Interesting_Articles/10_health_benefits_of_using_a_hot_tub/

Winter Hot Tub Tips

Using the Hot Tub in the winter is one of the best ways to enjoy the winter scenery and air while staying warm and comfortable. Some people avoid using their outdoor hot tub in winter, however, because of the energy that it takes to heat it up or to keep it on all the time. That shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your hot tub year round. The following are a few tips for getting the most out of your hot tub this winter.

 

  • Protect the pipes. If you live in a region that regularly experiences freezing temperatures during the winter, make sure that your hot tub pipes are well insulated. If water freezes in the pipes, the hot tub will not work and could be irreparably damaged. Wrap insulation around the pipes to keep the water inside from freezing and monitor the outdoor temperatures. Most of the newer hot tubs come well insulated but it is a good idea to check. If any of the insulation is damaged or wet, it should be replaced.

 

  • Keep it covered. One of the biggest reasons homeowners don’t use their hot tub in winter is because it is expensive to heat the water before every use. Similarly, a lot of energy is required to keep an unprotected hot tub hot all winter. Simply putting a cover on your hot tub, however, can help hold the heat in and greatly reduce the amount of energy needed to keep it warm all the time. A good cover should also protect the hot tub from debris and from rain that will swiftly cool down the water. Here at SpaCap.com, we have been building outdoor hot tub covers for thirty years. Our covers not only insulate better but they also stay lightweight and easy to use.

 

  • Monitor the water level. If your hot tub’s water level drops too low, it will affect the pipes and potentially damage your hot tub. Water level being low is also an indication that there may be a leak. A leak any time is bad but a leak in winter can be catastrophic. If your water level is significantly lower than normal, check for leaks right away. If there are no leaks than it’s probably due to teenagers using the spa. For some reason they seem to splash out about thirty gallons per hour of usage.

 

  • Lower the temperature. You don’t need your hot tub at 106 degrees Fahrenheit to feel warm, especially when the air temperature is freezing. Keeping it lower will allow you to save energy needed to heat it, while at the same time helping you warm up and enjoy the hot tub. Another thing to remember as you lower the water temperature is that the water will not be circulating as often. This is especially critical under one of our SpaCap outdoor covers. Instead of running the spa on the thermostat, set it up to run on the timer. Again, on the newer spas, this can be done fairly easily on the control panel. You want the spa to circulate, two to three times per day, for two to three hours per cycle. The water will only be heated as needed but the water will be circulated enough to keep clear. Plus you’ll save money because the thermostat won’t be kicking the spa on thirty times a day just to run for a few minutes.

 

  • Accessorize and decorate. Put flowers or other decorations around your hot tub area to make it more than a blank corner with a tub. Install speakers so you can listen to music while you relax, and consider getting an inflatable pillow or another similar item to enable easier relaxation.

 

  • Block the weather. If your hot tub is exposed to the winter wind, it may help to set up a wind block, either temporarily or permanently, as you prefer. A nice privacy fence will do the trick and save you some extra dollars on your heating bill. Even though Another Heavy Hot Tub Coverthe spa cabinet may be insulated really well, some heat will always be escaping through the top. Keeping the wind from whipping over the spa when it’s really cold will help retain more heat and save you money.

 

For more information about enjoying your hot tub or to buy a hot tub cover this winter, contact SpaCap today.

Choosing the Best Hot Tub Cover

Your hot tub cover will protect your water from debris, animals, and some airborne bacteria, while also trapping the heat inside and saving you money. Naturally you want to get the most cover for your money. You want a cover that will do the job and last a long time. The following are a few tips for picking out your hot tub cover.

The Fit

Make sure it fits. Your hot tub cover should fit snugly over all sides of the hot tub, and should rest very close to or on the surface of the water. If the sides are loose, then animals could crawl in to get to the warmth or the hot water will evaporate and escape.

If it is too high off the surface of the water, hot water will evaporate, cling to the underside of the cover, then cool and drop back down into the water, lowering its overall temperature. Not to mention that the evaporation and condensation cycle would tend to release or use up the spa chemicals.

Ideally, the bottom of the cover would be on the water surface since that is what we want to keep warm.

Because we have been in this hot tub cover business a while, we have seen every manner of ill fitting, broken, taped, tarp covered, and otherwise “beyond it’s normal life span” attempt to put off getting a replacement cover.

Heavy Hot Tub Covers keep people out of the spa
If your cover looks like this you’re probably not using the hot tub today

This not only looks terrible but it costs you money because all of these efforts don’t really help. If you’re going to drain your spa and get rid of it, fine. But if you intend to keep using it, investing in the right cover is going to help.

The Insulation

Make sure it traps heat efficiently. As we stated before, a hot tub cover that sits up on the edge of the spa, several inches off the water surface, will trap evaporating water and cause it to condense and cool, then fall back into the spa lowering the temperature of the water.

What also occurs is the foam inside a traditional cover absorbs steam because it is a small molecule than water, then the water vapor condenses and becomes trapped in the foam material over time. Once the spaces in the foam have been filled with moisture whatever insulation value it did have is gone. A water logged cover has the same insulation value as a sheet of plywood.

Hot Tub Cover held down with sand bags
If this is how you keep your hot tub cover in place you need a new cover!

The moisture also causes the cover to slowly become heavy until it either can’t be lifted or breaks under its own weight.

It gets worse. One of the other adverse effects of the saturated cover sitting way off the water surface, the cover will freeze when the outdoor temperature is below freezing. Because the outside of the cover is actually in contact with the freezing temperature outside and not in contact with the spa water it becomes a solid block of ice.

From the outside it may appear to be doing a great job insulating because snow will pile up on top of the cover. That’s because snow doesn’t mind sitting on ice. Unfortunately, your spa is working harder than ever trying to keep the spa water heated underneath that frozen cover.

To avoid the spa cover from becoming a solid block of ice over your hot tub in winter, you need to get one that does not sit up on the top of the edge of the spa, several inches off the water surface. You need a cover that won’t soak up moisture and freeze. A cover that will insulate the water at the water surface, like the SpaCap.

SpaCap hot tub cover in winter conditions
SpaCap on duty in winter

Weather Proof

Make sure it’s weather proof. If your hot tub is stored outside and not under shelter, then the cover must be durable enough to withstand rain, wind, snow, and potentially hail or winter precipitation. The cover must also prevent rainwater and wind from getting into the hot tub and cooling down the water.

So you need to have a cover that can keep the rain and debris running off, with a taper or better yet a dome shape

The tapered cover, is usually sold with the idea that it will keep the rain running off and because of that it won’t get heavy. If that were true, no tapered foam filled hot tub cover would ever get heavy. But it isn’t true because the do get heavy.

Every tapered, foam filled cover ever sold will get heavy because the moisture doesn’t come from outside the hot tub. In fact the only way to insure that a foam filled hot tub cover won’t get heavy is to never use it. If you never put it over hot water where steam can infiltrate into the foam it will never get heavy.

So if no foam filled hot tub cover ever made can keep from soaking up moisture once it’s in place over warm water, the solution is NOT to buy another foam filled spa cover, but to get one that does not use foam panels. The SpaCap are the only hot tub covers that won’t saturate.

Let’s talk for a minute about spa cover lifters because a lot of hot tub owners have fallen for the idea that a lifter will be the solution to a heavy cover. But it is not, because every lifter ever made is designed to work with a light weight cover.

Think about it. You still have to flop half the cover over the bar before the lifter is used. In most cases, that first lift is the one that is beyond hot tub owners. But if you did manage to open it halfway and then push the lifter hard enough to move a heavy cover, something has to give.

Either the spa cover will rip itself apart because it can’t hold it’s own weight or the lifter will rip itself off the hot tub cabinet. So a “lifter” is NOT the answer to a cover you can’t lift.

The only hot tub cover that won’t become saturated is the one with no foam. You need a spa cover that uses air chambers to do the insulating instead. The SpaCap.

If your spa cover is trying to make a bridge over the spa, then a heavy wet snow load will crush it. If the bottom of your spa cover rests on the water, it can transfer the weight of the snow and handle almost any snow load. In thirty years of building the SpaCap hot tub covers, and selling them in mountain retreats all over the world, not one has ever been crushed by snow.

If your spa cover has a rigid surface, the wind can eventually lift it off the spa and take it to parts unknown.

The physics of this are fairly simple, wind hits the side of the spa and then goes up and over. As the wind sweeps over the top of the spa it creates a vacuum above the rigid foam cover until it lifts it off the hot tub. Once it does the following wind pushes into the space below the cover and the water surface. As the air rushes in it compresses in the space until it pops the rigid cover up. At that point, lift off has occurred and the hot tub cover has become a wing.

Depending on the strength of the wind the cover can fly for miles.

The reason is that the rigid cover presents a surface that the wind can lift making it a wing.

This is where the natural dome shape of the SpaCap makes all the difference. There is no rigid surface for the wind to create lift. The natural dome shape just redirects the winds harmlessly away. Even Hurricane force winds won’t budge it.

In the past thirty years, hundreds of SpaCap hot tub covers have been sold in Tornado Alley and in areas that get hurricanes. Not ONE SpaCap has EVER flown away. They are the only truly Wind Proof Hot Tub Covers.

Pet Safe

Make sure it’s animal proof. Pets and wild animals are sometimes drawn to hot tubs by their heat, and some very small animals will even try to make their homes inside of a thick hot tub cover. Other animals crawl underneath the cover seeking warmth and end up falling in the water and drowning. Make sure the cover doesn’t allow any space for animals to go underneath it, and make sure it is made of material that animals can’t chew through to make their home.

Let’s face it, no cover is perfectly animal proof. But the SpaCap can handle more animal problems than any foam cover ever could. We used to say that no animal has ever damaged one. But in the last thirty years there have been some persistent creatures. There was a bear in Whistler BC that decided he wanted to take a dip in the spa. There was a raccoon in Bellevue WA that tore one up so he could wash his food. In both cases no traditional foam filled cover would have been able to do better.

All total, far more animals have damaged foam filled spa covers than the SpaCap.

More information about hot tub covers is available at SpaCap.