Hot Tubs: Care and Maintenance

Mark Larm Feb 22, 2023
9 People Read

           Portable Hot-Tubs   

People often get hot tubs to help find relaxation, happiness, and health that they can share with their friends and family.  Improve your day-to-day wellbeing by enjoying the nurturing massage and warm water, which improve the way you look and feel. 

Health benefits of hot tubs. The hot water and temperature in a hot tub can help your body recover from a hard workout, reduce stress on the heart and brain, increase your blood volume, improve blood flow, stimulate circulation, lower the level of stress hormones, decrease blood pressure, raise your heart rate and blood oxygenation, and improve your immune system.  

If you’re looking to purchase a hot tub I recommend getting one with an ozonator built into it.  The ozonator is the sanitizer, it literally makes drinking water although I don’t recommend sipping what you're sitting in.  Although the manufacturer does recommend using a sanitizer, I have a client that I clean the swimming pool for and he has a hot tub with an ozonator that all I’ve done in 10 years is keep the PH balanced and clean the filter and the water is still sparkling clean.  

 Old Versus new

If you already have a hot tub at your place I can’t stress enough to take good care of it.  As soon as you get in, the ph starts to change, usually getting acidic.  Acidic water is not only harsh on your skin and eyes but wreaks havoc on the heating element.  

Now let’s talk about stewing in your body fluids.  Yes it sounds gross but I want you to take this seriously.  I also don’t want you to fill that tub up with chlorine and choke you out with the fumes.  In fact, we don’t use chlorine in hot water, we use Bromine.  Bromine is another type of sanitizer that’s made for hot water and most commonly comes in one inch tablets.  You can get a little tab floater to leave inside the tub.  

The best way to treat your hot tub is to add some kind of mineral algaecide to the skimmer.  They usually come in a plastic stick or ball.  This will help reduce the amount of Bromine that you will need to use.  In fact, use about half of what your test strips say to use.  

The next thing to have in your arsenal is some good non-chlorine shock.  If you have a heavy bather load or the water gets a little cloudy just through the recommended amount in the tub.  It’s a good idea to just toss a little in after each time you get out.  The non-chlorine shock quickly dissolves the body fluid and helps the filtration.  

Speaking of filtration, keep that filter clean.  Somewhere in the spa you have a small cartridge filter that needs to be taken out and hosed off once in a while.  This depends on how often the hot tub is used and how many people are using it.  

Draining your hot tub.  You will need to drain it once in a while, again, depending on how often it is used and how many people are using it.  Plan on draining it quarterly.  To help you make this decision let me just remind you that it is a big bathtub that everyone is using.  To make it easy on you I often tell my customers who have a swimming pool to just drain it into the pool when it needs some water.  You can also turn it off and leave the lid off until it cools down and the chemicals dissipate and water your trees with it this way you don’t feel like you're wasting water.

And always, take time to enjoy!

Warnings and things to watch out for.  Since the water in a hot tub is higher than your normal internal temperature, staying in a hot tub too long can cause you to overheat and experience symptoms like light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea.  These symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that it is time to get out of the hot tub and cool down.

Hot Tub Lung; "Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation." What is it and can it be treated?  Hot Tub Lung is a specific form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by the lung’s inflammatory (swelling) reaction to liquid or solid droplets in the air contaminated by bacteria or other infectious agents.  Even though it is caused by infectious agents, Hot Tub Lung is not an infection.  Instead, it is the body’s reaction to the bacteria that causes the disease.  Some people have developed Hot Tub Lung related to contaminated water in showers, saunas, spas, swimming pools and humidifiers.     

 What are the symptoms of Hot Tub Lung?  The most common symptoms are cough and shortness of breath.  These symptoms often occur soon after exposure to the contaminated water.  

 What causes Hot Tub Lung?  The most common class of bacteria that is associated with Hot Tub Lung is “non-tuberculous mycobacterium”, which does not cause tuberculosis, but can cause pulmonary disease.  The most commonly reported specific type of non-tuberculous mycobacterium is called Mycobacterium Avium.  It is normal to find it in soil and water.  It is only at high levels in specific environments such as hot tubs, swimming pools, and spas that the bacteria can cause Hot Tub Lung.  Remember, Hot Tub Lung is not an infection and it is not contagious (cannot be spread from one person to the other).

How is Hot Tub Lung treated?  Removal from exposure is the key to treatment.  Sometimes treatment with corticosteroids is required.  Antibiotic treatment is rarely given.  Prevention is also important.  Proper sanitation, ventilation and disinfection of the water are important.   

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