Relaxing in a hot tub after a long day working in the yard is the perfect way to spend your summer night. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before choosing and installing a tub, as well as what you need to know to maintain it, to make the most of this relaxing addition to your home.
Installing A Hot Tub
Stress release, relaxation, and relief of aches and pains are all benefits you can enjoy by installing a hot tub in your backyard, but there are a few things to think about before you can start shopping around for hot tub models and special features. It’s useful to note that while the terms hot tubs, spas and Jacuzzis®, are often interchanged, there are a few differences. Jacuzzi® refers to a brand that manufactures hot tubs and spas. Hot tubs are portable and self-contained units while spas are typically installed in ground. We will use “hot tub” here as shorthand for both.
Selecting A Location
The most important consideration prior to purchasing a hot tub is making sure that you have a good location. The surface of the area where you’ll be putting your hot tub must have a solid foundation—that means both a level and a strong, structurally-sound surface. Decks are often selected as a preferred spot for a hot tub, but make sure you consult with a contractor to find out if your deck is strong enough to hold the weight of the hot tub, water and the people who use it. The power source you’ll need often depends on the type of hot tub you buy; some hot tubs only require a traditional 120VAC outlet but others may need to be hard wired by an electrician. Filling a hot tub can be done with a simple garden hose so make sure you have one that will reach to the hot tub’s location or install an outdoor faucet nearby.
The cost of installing a hot tub ranges from about $3,000 to more than $8,000 depending on the brand, design and type of hot tub you purchase, as well as any extra features and jets. When it comes to selecting a hot tub for your home, think about how often you will use it and in what capacity. If you have a large family or will be entertaining often, plan to buy a hot tub with comfortable seats and enough seating for your expected crowd.
Maintaining Your Hot Tub
Hot tub maintenance is generally a simple, yet important task for homeowners. Keeping your hot tub properly maintained will ensure clean, healthy water and a longer life for the hot tub. Most manufacturers recommend using chlorine tablets once a week, cleaning the filter once a month, and fully draining and refilling the hot tub once every three months. In the same way that pool owners test pool water to determine if the water requires extra or more frequent cleaning, use test strips to test the chemical levels of your hot tub water. Water that does not have proper levels of chemicals such as bromine, chlorine and pH can become contaminated, which can lead to infections such as folliculitis. Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicle resulting from dirty and contaminated hot tub water, making it a fairly powerful incentive to maintain your hot tub.