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Hot Tubs and Swim Spas - General FAQ's and Tips

Hot Tubs tips and FAQs - How do I look after my Hot Tub?

After over 30 years trading in all-things-Hot Tubs and Spas, we have heard every possible question!

Here are some of the most common ones:

1. How much does an average size Hot Tub cost to run? How much will it cost to run my hot tub?
The running cost will vary from month to month depending on the ambient temperature and your usage. The cost is likely to decrease in the summer months, just like with your home electricity bill. It is difficult to provide a very accurate figure, as factors such as the cost of electricity in your area, location, weather, usage of cover and bather time, hugely affect the cost. However be assured that our Hot Tub models are some of the most energy efficient available today.

2. How long can I stay in my Spa / Hot Tub?
There is not really a recommended time limit for being in your Spa, but at 40° it is advised that you should take a break after 15 minutes, and to only stay in longer at lower temperatures. Always remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

3. Do I need to heat my Hot Tub up every time I use it?
No, All Hot Tubs have a heating system or take heat from a pump which is connected to a thermostat, and timers in the better model spas. This means your Hot Tub will be ready and waiting for you, saving you money.

4. How do you remove limescale and biofilms and debris from the inside of the pipe work?
At your next Hot Tub water change, before you empty the old water add some swirl away (for sale in our shop) or pipe cleaner, close the air controllers, remove filter and turn main pump on for 1 hour. Soak the filter whilst you are doing this, then empty and clean spa and do your normal spa maintenance service. This should fix your spa from any flow problems and dirty pipes you can’t see.

5. How do you stop Hot Tub leaks?
Most common leaks are unions on pump and heater these are easy to repair and Happy Hot Tubs can talk you through this on the phone. For your Pipe and Jet leaks - ring 0845 366 11 22 for phone help, or to book us for a Hot Tub and Spa SOS call out.

6. How do I find a leak in my Hot Tub?
Normally a Hot Tub leaks to the point where the leak is, so if a jet leaks check where the water settles and this will be a better indication where your hot tub leak is. If you have a quality spa with foam on the shell and insulation on the panels you should remove a panel and look for the leak, if your spa is an economy full foamed model I would ring your retailer. Hot Tub Care are the most experienced in the UK industry, over 30 years experience, so ring us on 0845 366 11 22.

7. How long does it take to fill up a Hot Tub?
Portable Hot tubs are filled with a garden hose pipe. The time it takes to fill it with water, depends on the size of your Spa, as they vary massively from a small 2 seater, up to an enormous 6m SwimSpa. An average sized family spa, about 7 foot square, would take about 2 hours, as long as your water pressure is fairly good and your hosepipe is in good condition.

8. Why will my Hot Tub not stay hot?
First job to try and fix your Hot Tub is to remove the filters , check nothing is floating in the water and turn your spa off and back on again , if the heater comes on you need new filters. If this does not work your heater could have failed, which normally trips the electrics, or otherwise your sensors or thermostat might not be working. Call us on 0845 366 11 22 and ask advice before booking a service call.

9. Can you go into a Hot Tub if you have a heart problem?
No - you should not use a Hot Tub if you have heart problems, have a pacemaker fitted or under any medication without checking with your Doctor.

10. Why do I get headaches when I use my Hot Tub?
You probably spend too much time in your Hot Tub at 40 degrees without drinking any water. If you want to spend prolonged times in your spa you need to keep well hydrated, so drink lots of fresh water and you will have a Happy Hot Tub experience.

11. Are Hot Tubs good for your skin?
If the PH is at the correct level and you do not have too much sanitiser in the water: a good soak in a Hot Tub will not hurt your skin. Bad PH and too much sanitiser will dry out your skin and make you itch. Always moisturise your skin after a soak in your spa, and adding Spazazz Bath Crystals will make things better for your skin.

12. Can I put aromatherapy products in my Hot Tub?
Yes - there are specific Elixirs and Crystals designed for Hot Tubs and Spas that do not affect the water balance, Spazazz is the leading brand, which is all natural and designed for Spas and Hot Tubs, with anti-inflammatory and stress relievers built in. They come in 6 different fragrances and are for sale in the shop on this website - HERE.

13. Can I take my hot tub with me when I move?
Yes, the hot tub is self-contained so you can take it with you when you move house. We offer a move service, so call us for a quote on 0845 366 11 22. For more details on our move service click here.

14. How do I dispose of my Hot Tub?
We buy all makes of Hot Tubs and use them for Parts or resell them. Even if your spa has a cracked shell there will be someone who wants it, we collect any make Free of Charge - ring 0845 366 11 22 for friendly advice.

15. How can I mend hair line cracks in my Hot Tub?
As an ex-manufacturer myself who started over 30 years ago, I am sorry to say there is not a lot you can do, some companies will sell kits or expensive services that will look good for a while and they flake off , I would drill a 3mm or similar size hole just thru the acrylic layer , not right thru the spa at each end of the crack and then clean and dry and fill with a good quality sanitary grade silicone to keep the moisture out of the hole. If you have an ABS spa or fully foamed without GRP back up - Ring us for advice 0845 366 11 22.

16. How do you drain a Hot Tub?
Some Hot Tubs have a built in gravity drain on the outside of the cabinet and some have these drains inside the cabinet. If you don’t have a drain fitted or you want to empty your Hot Tub faster you can purchase a submersible pump and empty your spa very quickly.

17. How often do you have to change Hot Tub water?
It Is recommended that water is changed every 3 to 4 months with average usage. Of course if you are mad party people I would change the water more often, you can only put so much chemicals into water before it becomes a saturated solution and will not take any more.

18. What happens if I do not want to put any chemicals in my Hot Tub?
You would have to put fresh water in your Hot Tub ever time, like a bath tub. You would also still need to put Swirl Away Pipe Flush in to it when you dump the water, every now and then, to keep the pipes clean - the same as you would do on a whirlpool bath.

19. How do I clean my HotTub / Spa filter?
There are a couple of methods. You can soak them in a packet of Filter Brite Immerse or Liquid cartridge cleaner, leave them for 24 hours and then rinse and put back in spa. We also offer an instant filter cleaner that sprays on the filters and you can then rinse and put straight back in the Hot Tub. We have found that owning a spare filter and always letting your clean filter dry before putting back in your Hot Tub will more than double the time a filter can be used.

20. Why do I get Flo problems after I have changed my Hot Tub water?
Fresh Tap water is not as clean as your filtered spa water, so when you refill your Hot Tub all the calcium and impurities in the water dump onto your filters , so a Happy Hot Tub Tip is too always give your filters a good rinse under a tap or a light hose 3 days after every water change.

21. What is Bishta?
Bishta - The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association was the brain child of Simon Hallett ( Director of Happy Hot Tubs ). He started it after an outbreak of Legionella in Holland to make sure it did not happen in the Uk , and brought all the importers together to agree to have standards about sanitization of spas in showrooms and to get chemical suppliers to give free instructions on their products. He successfully got this started as the first Chairman . After that, it was hijacked by Spata ( a swimming pool association ) and moved off into a different direction raising money for trade shows and promoting small importers.
Being the founders of Bishta, we do not need membership to this club and we still uphold the original principles .

22. What does an Ozone generator do?
Introducing Ozone to the spa water after the heater as part of the circulation system is very common now. The Ozone generator creates very high levels of ozone, which in turn oxidises bacteria in the circulation system. UV Ozone systems need to have a new bulb every year! CD ozone systems last longer, but generally need changing about every 5 years. Hot Tubs without ozone use more sanitiser, but it is very hard to find out if your ozone is working or not.

23. What temperature should my Garden Spa be?
This depends on the time of year and as body temperature is 37, lower than this feels cool. We have found that people would rather have this slightly higher at about 40 in the winter and 38 in the summer.

24. Why does my wife like the Hot Tub so Hot?
Many women like the Hot Tub, Shower, Bath, to be hotter than men do. Let your wife get in 1st and wait until it cools 1 degree, which makes a lot of difference. Don’t go to a Japanese spa - as they can sit in 42 degrees, where most Europeans would pass out!

25. How do I raise the Alkalinity in my Hot Tub?
Add some TA plus ( Total Alkalinity ) to your Hot Tub, you will find it in 1kg and 5kg for sale in our shop.

26. How long should it take for my Hot Tub to get hot?
Most Hot Tubs with an average 3kw heater will get hot overnight after refilling and commissioning. Some cheaper models, that may have 13amp plug and plays may be slower. Rremember when the salesman told you could use a normal 13amp plug? You were buying a very low powered spa. There are some models that heat through a jacket around the pump and these take a couple of days to heat in the summer.

27. How long do I have to wait to get into my Hot Tub after shock dosing it?
If you want to use the same day do not shock with chlorine as this will take 24 hours to clear, shock your Hot Tub with Non Chlorine shock. We sell in 1kg or 5kg or Spa Lite Fusion, in handy 1 dose sachets and you can use your spa in 10 or 15 minutes after dosing - read instructions on the product you use.

28. Why is my Hot Tub cloudy and how do I clear it / clarify?
Firstly check the PH and adjust , then check the sanitiser if this is low it sounds like bacteria is growing and you need to give a good shock dose , look at your water care guide or ring 0845 3661122 if you are unsure , If the levels were OK you can use Spa Sparkle to Flock the water and this puts all the large particles onto the filter , remember to rinse the filters every day until this clears.

29. Why is my Spa or Hot Tub green?
It should not be green! You can give it a very hard shock or the best thing is to chlorinate, then use Swirl Away and then flush through and empty completely. Clean the shell, swap the filters and refill. It would be best to shock the new water and monitor closely for a couple of days, to make sure the Hot Tub is fully rid of the bacteria.

30. Can I use soap in my Hot Tub?
No. This is a Hot Tub and you should wash in a shower or bath. Soap will cause you all kinds of problems with your water balance.

31. Why do I get a bubble scum line in my Spa or Hot Tub?
This is caused by all the Fake Tans, Body Oils, Deodorants, other body producs, etc. we take into spas. If you do not wish to shower before going in, you can use 'No Foam', which we sell in 1 litre bottles. A good tip is to buy a spray bottle from your local garden centre and dispense your No Foam from this - you will use less and not add unnecessary chemicals to your Hot Tub.

32. I have over-chlorinate my Hot Tub, what should you do?
The maximum you should have is 5ppm. If it is over that we sell a chlorine reducer in 1kgs - follow the instructions to reduce the levels. You can also take the lid off your spa and turn the whole system on. Blowers get the chlorine down, or let some water out and top back up diluting the chlorine level.

33. Is it OK to take a baby in to a Hot Tub?
We recommend not under 9 months. After that - it is OK if the temperature is lower and there is not too high a level of sanitiser in the water. Great fun for a splash around with Mum and Dad - but not for too long (under 5 mins).

34. My Hot Tub is Frozen, what shall I do?
We would undo all the unions on the pumps and wait for a thaw. You could try running a hose into the spa and let it overflow, if it is in a position for that. If your lucky and you don’t need a site visit, fill it up. Quality Hot Tubs fitted with a Balboa control system have a built in freeze protection; alternately you can use Hot Tub Care's Winterise service, that will keep your spa safe in the winter.

35. What is a Hot Tub airlock?
This normally happens at water change time or when your Hot Tub is first purchased. Some water just gets caught in a pipe bend or pump and the pump cannot clear the air blockage. Most Hot Tubs have a little bleed valve on the bottom of the water pump. If there is no bleed valve, you can loosen the nut on the end of the pump to let air in. Do not let the spa run dry for too long; turn it on when you are in a position to bleed, and then just let the air out. When water starts to appear: close up and your pump should work. If none of this makes sense - ring us on 0845 366 11 22 and we will help you.

36. My Spa hums with no water coming out of jets?
See no 35 if you have an air lock.

37. Can you you repair my Hot Tub Cover foam?
We used to sell foam separately to repair covers, but it was very hard to get the exact tapper and size. Zips would sometimes break and be unreliable. So, we have kept our prices very low, and offer top quality covers; check out the Cover section to see if we have yours in stock - or we can make any cover in around 4 weeks.

38. Do I need planning permission to install a Hot Tub?
Not Normally as most Swim Spas and Hot Tubs are portable. If you live in a national Park, a listed building or are just, unsure check with your local planning department.

39. What pre-delivery requirements are there for a Hot Tub?
For a more detailed guide on how to prepare for a hot tub delivery, please download our Pre-Delivery Guide.
There are 4 main requirements:
- Flat and level base
- Water supply to fill hot tub (usually hose pipe)
- Suitable electrical supply (requirements vary depending on model)
- Adequate access to site hot tub

40. How long will I have to wait for my hot tub to heat up after delivery?
This will vary depending on the ambient temperature, the time of year (if located outside), and the temperature of the water added to the tub. Remember to fit the rigid cover as soon as possible, to stop heat escaping, and then the water should be at a reasonable temperature by the morning after your delivery.

41. How do I keep the water clean?
You add a sanitiser like Chlorine or Bromine to keep the water clean, and you must also make sure you keep the water pH balance correct using pH Minus or pH plus. Unlike a bathtub, you can keep the same water in your hot tub for about 2-3 months, before draining down and refilling. On delivery we provide a clear and easy care guide which explains how to correctly maintain your hot tub, and our delivery team will be happy to give a demonstration and answer any questions at the same time.

Telephone 0845 366 11 22 to book or email admin@happyhottubs.co.uk

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