6 Hot Tub Mistakes to Avoid

Hot tubs can have many benefits – they can help with a post-workout recovery, de-stressing, and even be a place to host parties. If not properly cared for and safe for soaking, hot tub water can pose health risks, like coughs and rashes. Yikes!

The warm water in a hot tub needs special care to remain a safe place for whatever benefits you seek, whether it’s fun, relaxation, or recovery. The certified pHin pool care experts put together a list of 6 Don’ts of hot tub care:

1.       Don’t cut the power on a full tub

Whether you use your hot tub regularly, a few times a month, or a few times a week, it’s necessary to maintain the same water level and a steady temperature. For both cold and warm seasons, this is ideal to maintain the chemical balance vs.  letting your hot tub cool down and then reheating it for each use.

2.       If you see green, don’t get in

If you’re ready for a soak and your hot tub water looks a little off, has a weird foam, green tinge, or flowing foam – don’t get in. These are signs that your hot tub water is unbalanced, unsanitary, or unsafe, and can have health risks. It will need chemical attention to be re-balanced, or you may have to drain and refill the tub to resolve the issue.

3.       Say “no” to plastic covers

Maintaining hot tub water is a delicate balance. A greenhouse setup or a plastic cover can magnify sun rays and trap heat in the tub. This extra heat can make it challenging to maintain a healthy water balance, and can even melt the plastic cover. It’s best to use the hot tub cover recommended by the manufacturer.

4.       Some like it hot – but don’t go over 104° F

The heat of the hot tub can be soothing for tired muscles, or even help with common headache symptoms. But be careful – a hot tub’s max temperature should be 104° F. Heating your hot tub above this level can be unhealthy and dangerous for swimmers, and could also damage your hot tub.

5.       Skip the soaps and suds

Aromatherapy can enhance hot tub relaxation, but it’s best to keep soaps, scents, and suds out of the water. Adding these products is not recommended by most hot tub manufacturers, as they can be detrimental to your system, requiring a drain and refill or  an expensive repair. It’s also a best practice to rinse off in the shower before getting into the hot tub. If you’d like some extra soothing scents, you can try an essential oil diffuser or candles in your hot tub space.

6.       Don’t forget your filters

For best results, hot tub filters need to be cleaned every two to three months and completely replaced every two years. Even if you don’t regularly use the hot tub, changing filters is important, because buildup can be a cause of unbalanced water and affect the lifespan of your hot tub. For a more efficient hot tub, the silver ion cartridge needs to be changed every four months.

Bonus tip #7: Use technology to monitor your hot tub water

Whether you have a service tech who manages your hot tub or you’re taking on the task yourself, the best way to know exactly what’s going on in your hot tub water is to have a smart monitor that analyzes it for you. The pHin has built-in analytics, a mobile app, and Bluetooth connectivity that keeps you informed about your hot tub water and guides you with chemical instructions.

Learn about the three simple steps for pool care with pHin.

Pros and Cons of Natural Gas Heaters

A natural gas heater is an efficient way to heat your pool or hot tub all year round. Even during the summer, outdoor temperatures might not stay high enough for long enough to keep your pool’s water warm without the help of a heater. Ideal for cooler climates and those that want their pool or hot tub heated quickly, natural gas heaters also work well when paired with solar heating or pools that don’t need to be heated often. While a natural gas heater is always a viable option, there are some disadvantages, so you should consult a pool professional before making any final decisions. A professional can help you determine what size and type of heater will work best for you.

How Natural Gas Heaters Work

As the pump circulates water from the pool, the water it draws from the pool. Next, it passes through the filter and makes its way to the heater. Gas burns in the heater’s combustion chamber. The water heats as it passes over this chamber and the hot water returns to the pool.

Natural gas heaters are ideal for heating pools for a short period of time and work great when you want to heat a pool quickly. These heaters are ideal for pools that are not used regularly, as gas pool heaters can help to maintain any desired temperature regardless of weather or climate conditions.

Pros of a Natural Gas Heater

  • Convenience: If you have access to a natural gas service, then getting the fuel to your heater is far easier than if you chose propane. Natural gas enters through a permanently fixed line and there is always more available.
  • Speed: If quick heating is what you need, then look no further than a natural gas heater. Unlike electric, solar, or heat pumps, natural gas burns quickly, making it a faster way to heat up your water. Gas heaters are especially effective if you don’t use your pool on a regular basis (since it heats the water quickly there is less need for prep time) or if you are trying to heat a smaller body of water, like a spa or hot tub.
  • Maintenance: Natural gas heaters generate enough heat to warm your pool in a short amount of time, so they don’t have to run as often or as long as some other heating methods, resulting in fewer problems due to wear and tear or consistent use. If you want a heater that requires little maintenance, then a natural gas heater is perfect for you.
  • Cost: While an electric heater or a heat pump may need to be turned on aseveral hours in advance, a natural gas heater only needs about 30 minutes for a typical hot tub or to simply raise the temperature a few degrees in a typical backyard swimming pool. This saves a considerable amount of money through reduced energy usage.

Cons of a Natural Gas Heater

  • Energy Efficiency: While natural gas heaters are more efficient than electric heaters, this does not mean that they are the most efficient way to heat your pool or spa. Solar heaters and heat pumps use the sun and recirculated warm air respectively to heat your pool or spa, making them the more energy efficient options when it comes to heaters. That does not mean you cannot get an energy efficient natural gas heater. Look for one with an efficiency rating of 89 to 95 percent according to energy.gov.
  • Purchase and Install Price: Gas heaters are incredibly efficient when it comes to heating your pool or spa and so might seem like the perfect choice for you, but there are some expenses to running a natural gas heater. In addition to installation and any initial purchase costs, you need to run pipe underground to provide a natural gas source for the heater’s furnace. If a natural gas source or pipe is not close to the pool equipment pad area itself, the cost can be prohibitive.
  • Rising Fuel Prices: Oil and gas prices fluctuate, meaning that operating your natural gas heater will not always cost the same. In the colder months, when oil and gas prices are usually at their highest, the cost of heating your pool can increase as much as 30 to 40 percent.
  • Repair and Replacement: Natural gas heaters are more susceptible to corrosion if your pool water is unbalanced. The amount of use your natural gas heater gets, in addition to outdoor temperatures and desired water temperature, determines how long the heater will last. Most natural gas heaters last about five years before requiring service or maintenance.

To ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced year round, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your water and tells your smartphone what you need to do to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. Use it with your own chemicals for flexibility or get our single-dose, pre-measured chemicals delivered to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.