The reason that hot tubs cost so much less to ship
is because they are shipped knocked down. No special tools or skills are
required for their assembly. Their disassembled nature also results in
one of the biggest advantages of hot tubs over spas.
They can be carried through any doorway, up or down a flight of stairs
or through a narrow access. With a spa, you have a large one piece shell
which can be difficult to move into its final location and certainly not
into a basement or down a set of stairs.
The vertical walls and greater depth of the wooden tub surround the bather
with more water than would be found in a spa, so there is a greater effect
of buoyancy in the hot tub. In addition, there is typically more leg room
and taller bathers enjoy the water up to their chest (not their belly
button). And, of course, there's the rustic look of a traditional wooden
hot tub. From an aesthetic point of view, nothing matches the appearance
of a wooden tub.
Do Wooden Hot Tubs leak?
This is one of the two most common misconceptions about wooden hot tubs.
Indeed unlined wooden hot tubs will leak for the first few days after
assembly, but the amount of leaked water can be compared to the amount
spilled from an afternoon's romp in a tub filled with the neighborhood
There are basically only two reasons why a natural (unlined) wooden hot
tub would leak after several years.
Without a doubt the most common reason is overuse of halogen (chlorine
or bromine) sanitizers, which can attack the wood, causing leaks.
This problem can be avoided simply by being diligent enough not to exceed
safe levels of halogens in the water or by purchasing an electronic Water
Purifier, which eliminates the need for halogen sanitizers.
If a tub holds water perfectly for months or years and then begins leaking
inexplicably, this is usually indicative of over-homogenization. And,
if the problem is identified early enough, the damage can be halted and
little cost or time.
Much less common than leaks due to halogens are leaks in a hot tub due
to improper assembly. This is indicated by a tub that never seems to seal
at all. Our instruction manuals offer an easy and detailed description
of the proper assembly procedure.
Aren't natural wooden tubs (and even spas) unsanitary?
This is the other most common misconception with regard to wooden hot
tubs. In fact, wooden hot tubs are no less sanitary than acrylic spas.
Improperly sanitized, both the wooden tub and acrylic spa can represent
a health hazard, but there is no proof that the natural wood, treated
properly, is more likely to harbor organisms as compared to the acrylic.
The important point to remember is that, regardless of the material from
which your tub or spa is made, proper sanitization is the key.
Why would I want the Convertible, vinyl lined tub?
The Convertible Hot Tub is a wooden hot tub with a vinyl liner. The tub
starts out as a natural wooden hot tub, hence the name Convertible.
Unlike the natural wooden hot tub which has cedar benches, the Convertible
Hot Tub is equipped with solid benches over which a soft, flexible, 30
mil vinyl liner is fitted. Between the wood and the liner is 1/4"
of closed cell foam.
Much of the decision of whether or not to purchase the Convertible is
personal preference, but there are some clear advantages and disadvantages
as compared to our natural (unlined) wooden hot tubs.
Ironically, some of the same features of the Convertible that can be perceived
by one person as an advantage are seen by others as a disadvantage. You
may save maintenance costs by eliminating water under the benches in the
Convertible, but you sacrifice some leg room as well as a certain amount
of the effect of buoyancy. The Convertible is obviously more expensive,
and the assembly is slightly more involved.
And, since the liner covers the entire inside of the tub as well as overlapping
the top 3 or 4 inches on the outside, a true purist may feel that aesthetics
are being sacrificed for the convenience of the liner.
What are the therapeutic benefits of Hot Tubs?
Whirlpool water therapy is both physical and mental. A number of musculo-skeletal
ailments and injuries are treated with whirlpool therapy, from arthritis
to sports injuries.
The whirlpool improves circulation, and a properly designed and operating
system will have jets powerful enough to have a massaging effect for the
"garden variety sore muscles" from which we all suffer from
time to time.
Those sore muscles often come from the stress of daily life, and therein
lies the added effect of hot water bathing. As you relax in the whirlpool,
you're working on the root cause of your problem - stress.
How easy are they to install?
We use a ball and socket joint between its staves which makes assembly
of the tub very easy. The instruction manual is written with the do-it-yourself
installer in mind and no special tools or skills are required.
The bottom of the tub is supplied in two or three pieces, and all the
holes for jets, suction fittings, etc. are pre drilled for you. In a wooden
tub you even have the opportunity to customize the locations of the jets
around the circumference of the tub or add additional jets the next time
you empty and clean your tub.
With the help of a friend, even a novice installer can assemble a wooden
tub system in one day.
How much do they cost to operate?
The cost of operating a Hot Tub or Spa varies widely depending on the
size of the tub, the climate, the configuration of the installation, the
degree to which the system is insulated, and the price of gas or electricity.
Most important is the use of some form of a heat cap, or good
cover as well as pipe insulation. This can reduce operating costs in Northern
climates by more than 90%! Here are some figures for our 6' Hot Tub which
holds 600 gallons. Most spas hold only 200 to 400 gallons so adjust accordingly.
Uninsulated wooden tub
70 degrees (Fahrenheit) surrounding air temperature
6X4 standard hot tub system (Gas or Electric - 600 Gallons)
Then, heat rise is described as:
8 degrees per hour with the 11KW electric heater or option 60,000 BTU
Gas Heater, or 24 degrees F per hour with the optional 150,000 BTU gas
During the warmer months, a hot tub in Canada (with covers but no pipe
insulation) can be expected to lose about 4 degrees over a 24 hour period.
Based on the heat rise time for the gas and electric heaters, each 1 degree
heat rise in a 6X4 tub requires 6,375 BTU's of gas heat or 4,692 BTU's
of electric heat. Although the electric heat may appear to be more efficient,
this added efficiency can be offset by the higher price of electricity
versus Natural Gas.
Electricity is priced in Kilowatt Hours (KWH), and 1 KWH of electricity
equals 3,412 BTU's.
Propane gas is priced in lbs. or cu.ft. (1 lb. of propane equals 8.4 cu.ft.),
and 1 lb. of propane equals 21,600 BTU's.
Natural gas is priced in cu.ft., and 1 cu.ft. of Natural gas equals 1,075
The unit figures therefore, to raise the 600 Gallons of water in a 6X4
hot tub 1
degree Fahrenheit, are . . .
0.295 lbs. of propane or . . .
5.93 cu.ft. of natural gas or . . .
1.375 KWH of electricity
If we multiply out for our 4 degrees per day heat loss example we get....1.18
lbs. of propane . . . or . . . 23.72 cu.ft. of natural gas . . . or .
. . 5.5 Kilowatt-hours of electricity. You must then take your total expected
expenditure in lbs., cu.ft., or KWH and multiply by your local cost (e.g.
$ per lb. of propane, $ per cu.ft. of natural gas, or $ per KWH of electricity)
to get your operating cost.
If your tub is less or more than 600 Gallons you must take that into account.
Of course, because of all the unpredictable variables, the figures above
represent only the roughest estimate. Your actual costs may vary.
What Accessories and Options can I purchase?
There are a number of options and accessories that should be considered
along with our hot tub and spa systems.
Larger Pumps, Extra Jets
All hot tub systems start with a 1 HP pump and four massage jets as standard,
and for our smaller models, this is more than adequate. At 95 Gallons
Per Minute (with zero head), our 1 HP Jacuzzi Bros. pump outputs as much
water as any other 1 HP pump and more than most pumps from the competition.
When you start to consider our larger model hot tubs, a larger pump and
additional jets are suggested. All systems can be equipped with either
the 1.5 HP option which includes an additional two massage jets (for a
total of six) or the 2 HP option which comes equipped with a total of
eight massage jets. More jets can be placed in your vessel, but with eight
jets capable of 25 Gallons Per minute, there is hardly a need to do so.
Gas Heater Option
The standard electric heater on your spa or hot tub's equipment pack can
also be substituted with either a Propane or Natural Gas Heater. Two sizes
are available - the 60,000 BTU model closely matches the output of the
electric heater and a 150,000 BTU model offers almost triple the heat
There are two different types of covers that you should put on your hot
tub. One is an inexpensive floating blanket that rests right on the water.
The other is a top cover which fits over the top of the tub. These two
covers and the layer of
air between them virtually eliminate surface energy losses and will pay
for themselves in a short time, even on indoor installations.
Low Voltage Light
The Low Voltage Light for hot tubs features subdued lighting inside the
tub or spa. The light is supplied with a separate spa side switch and
a set of six colored lenses to suit the bather's particular mood. Colored
lenses can be changed from inside the tub without any need to drain the
Electronic Water Purifier
The Electronic Water Purifier is a device which eliminates the need to
use halogen (chlorine or bromine) sanitizers. With a natural wooden hot
tub, its use is almost a necessity, since natural wood can be irreparably
damaged by halogens, unless they are used very carefully. The Water Purifier
uses copper and silver ions to sanitize the water. Its electrodes mount
into one of your water lines and its control box is wired to come on with
the pump. See the section "Ionizers vs. Ozonaters" below for
more information on non chemical forms of sanitization.
Ionizers vs. Ozonaters
Much has been said within the hot tub and spa industry about non chemical
forms of sanitization, but the public at large remains in the dark about
such subjects. We will attempt to offer our opinions and experiences here
as a way to shed light on the subject.
There are mainly two types of devices used to treat hot tub and spa water
without the use of halogens (chlorine or bromine). They are referred to
as "ionizers" and "ozonaters", and their names reflect
the action by which they
accomplish their task of killing bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae.
Our electronic Water Purifier is an ionizer. It places copper and silver
ions into the water which kill organisms. These ions are odorless and
tasteless, and there are even potable (drinking) water standards established
for this method of sanitization. Furthermore, the ions are stable in solution
and provide a residual level, which is so important for safe, healthy
In contrast the ozonater uses ozone as a sanitizer. Ozone is unstable,
so at best this device only reduces (rather than eliminates) the need
for having halogen sanitizers as a residual. Some people find the odor
of ozone as offensive as chlorine, and hazardous levels have been established
for ozone as an air pollutant.
Furthermore, several recent articles in our trade journals have revealed
that a number of ozone units on the market today fail to make adequate
ozone to be effective. There are two methods for generating ozone - by
a corona discharge (electrical arc) or by ultraviolet light. The latter
type units sell for one third to one quarter the price of the corona discharge
units, and it is quite likely that any units of this type are not worthwhile
Ozone and Chlorine are both active "oxidizers" and this is their
main advantage. After you kill those annoying organisms that swim off
your skin when you dip into the tub, it can be useful to "burn up"
their little bodies (as well as your dead skin cells), and this is the
purpose of an oxidizer.
Although the ionizer is effective as a sanitizer, it does not provide
the oxidizing action that you get with ozone and chlorine.
The oxidizer may only be necessary in small amounts once or twice a week
in order to maintain crystal clear water, and there is never a reason
to share your dip with this chemical, since it is only added occasionally
as a shocking agent and does not remain in the water.
With many countries in the civilized world contemplating bans on halogen
sanitizers, and considering their less than gentle effect on the environment,
the purchase of an electronic Water Purifier for your tub or spa begins
to look even more attractive.
After all, if excess amounts of halogens can eat through the high grade
wood in our natural wooden tubs, what might they be doing to your skin?
Chlorine vs. Bromine
OK, so you've decided that you don't want to spend the extra money on
a electronic Water Purifier, and you're going to do it the old fashioned
way - with halogens. You go down to the big department/pool store and
are bombarded with feeders, pills, two part systems, one part systems,
chlorine, bromine and on and on.
Once again we will attempt to offer our opinions and
experiences here as a way to shed light on the subject.
Before we talk about how you get the stuff into the water, let's talk
about the differences between chlorine and bromine. Both are halogens,
although the use of bromine in leisure pools and hot tubs is much more
recent than chlorine.
The fact that both bromamines and chloramines are carcinogenic is reason
enough to consider eliminating halogens with a Water Purifier. If you
must use halogens, granulated chlorine added manually is still the best
method. This way, you have complete control over the process.
Chlorine (as well as bromine) can also be introduced into the tub using
an "erosion feeder," and there are two types of these. The in-line
erosion feeder is mounted into the water line and puts halogens into the
water as the pump is run.
Another type of erosion feeder is referred to as a "floating feeder"
and we highly recommend against the use of these. In fact, because floating
feeders leach halogens into the water constantly, regardless of the demand
for them, it specifically states in our wooden hot tub warranty that use
of such a device voids our warranty.
Regardless of which halogen you use and regardless of the method you employ
to get it into the water, daily testing will be required to verify that
the halogen levels are neither too high nor inadequate.
Five Year Warranty
We sell our hot tubs with a limited ten year warranty, a copy of which
is available upon request.