Your home is your special retreat. It is a welcoming and intimate place to escape back into for rest and unwinding away from the busy pressures of the world outside it.
So why not make your home extra comfortable with an outdoor spa? (otherwise known as a hot tub or Jacuzzi).
A spa is essentially a large tub or small pool full of heated water, and is mainly used for hydrotherapy or pleasure, with some having jets for massage purposes. In contrast to the generic bathtub, the spa is designed to be used by more than one person at a time and is usually situated outdoors.
There are many types of spas/hot tubs available, such as:
- Portable vinyl-liner hot tubs: which are cheaper and smaller, requiring less power.
- Roto-molded hot tubs: they are constructed with the shell and surrounding cabinet as a single piece, as well as offering molded seating.
- Acrylic hot tubs: they have a cast acrylic shell, supported by a frame structure and are usually surrounded by a skirt of either cedar or wood-grain plastic, being able to seat two or seven persons.
- Cement hot tubs: built out of cement, above-ground or in-ground like a swimming pool.
- Wooden hot tubs: round wooden hot tubs were popular in the 1970’s but are now replaced by modern construction methods. Wooden hot tubs are usually made of redwood or cedar.
- Stainless steel hot tubs: made in any shape and size, being extremely durable.
- Glasfibre hot tubs: glass reinforced polyester (GRP) made of plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass.
Hot tubs/spas are usually heated using an electric or natural gas heater, though some are also submersible wood fire hot tub heaters, and some are solar hot water system supported too. Effective insulation greatly improves the energy efficiency of a hot tub; some manufacturers fill the entire cabinet with foam, while others insulate the underside of the shell, the inside of the cabinet, or both. The hot tub pump and hot tub heater represent most of the power consumption and vary in power depending on their size. Hot tub covers have been shown to reduce most if not all of the evaporative losses from the pool when it is not in use, so ensure there is a cover on it at all times when no one is in it.
Since hot tubs/spas are not drained after each use, be careful and ensure the water is treated to keep it attractive and safe. It cannot be too alkaline nor too acidic, and must be sanitized to stay free from harmful microorganisms.
Be aware that sitting in water above normal body temperatures can cause drowsiness which may lead to unconsciousness and subsequently result in drowning. It is recommended that water temperatures never exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also recommended to install residue-current devices for protection against electrocution.