On Hot Tubs!
There are some really interesting misconceptions surrounding spas (hot tubs). First of all they aren’t “most comfortable” during the summer months or other hot times of the year. We all equate water related recreation with hot days. Sorry, no banana here. Spas are water related recreation devices all right except they run at high temperatures – about 99 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This defiantly makes them most fun to be in on colder days – like in the middle of winter when the outside temperature is nearer to freezing than not. We love getting in ours even when it’s raining.
Lots of folks assume that spas and swimming pools are very similar forms of water recreation, but they aren’t anything alike. A swimming pool is great for cooling down and getting lots of safe exercise. A spa or a hot tub, on the other hand, is for warming up the musculature and getting a message – there is not a lot of moving around associated with being in a spa. The jet system in most high end spas is capable of messaging deep into the tissue thereby reducing muscle aches and even some joint soreness.
Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that wine drinking in a spa is an especially dangerous proposition and is a definite no-no. Getting the blood to be slightly thinner in viscosity is a good thing for a short period of time – as long as the thinning process isn’t exacerbated by intoxication – a bad thing.
A spa is a lot less expensive than a swimming pool, but don’t be surprised when you end up paying somewhere between 8,000 and 13,000 smackers – that’s what you’ll pay to get a good one. The key to a good spa is the number of different stations (seats, positions, etc.) it has and how many pumps are included with the unit. Less expensive models have only one pump. Upper end spas have as many as 3 pumps – talk about churning water. We know of one spa company that offers a spa within a spa – what a wild one it is.
Here’s another misconception – “A bench (bed, couch, etc.) in a spa is great for relaxing”. Wrong! All the spa companies would like you to believe that you can lie down in water and not float to the top. Bull! No way. When you lay down in water you float – it’s just that simple. Problem is when you float in a spa you can’t enjoy the message as much. Floating in the water takes you away from the real action which is up close and personal contact with the water jets. Look for a spa with lots of seating an NO bench. Each seat position in a good spa has a different jet configuration, and therefore, a different message. And the one most important thing that you will be looking for once you own a spa is variety of message. Look closely at what you are getting ready to purchase. One station may be set up for neck and full spine where another position may be designed for hips and legs or feet or calves or whatever. In any event, look at where the jets are located and study how you will be messaged. Also, look for innovations in jet configuration. Some jets pulsate and others rotate.
Once you pick your spa you will have to get it installed. You will need 220 power if you expect to get a unit that is worth anything. In our opinion the 110 volt units are close to useless. They take days to heat up and the pump motors are nearly useless. Most spa companies perform their own installation so be careful. Make them get a permit. With a spa you are dealing with electricity and water in the same container. You don’t want a shade tree putting it all together and leaving out an important part – like a ground wire for example. Getting a permit forces the spa company to be on their best behavior and your safety is protected. We can just hear the spa company salesperson now. Do you want us to get a permit or would you rather save the $75. Yeah, sure buddy, lets save the $75 and give you carte blanch to electrocute us.
Be sure to get a really good cover when you purchase a spa. Better covers will actually create an air tight seal and save you big bucks on your energy bill. Also, the top should have a lock on all four corners. Don’t want any neighborhood little ones drowning in our spa now do we? Also, look into a really good cover lift. Getting a good quality cover (they’re heavy) off of the spa is hard work even for a burly guy. If you aren’t – burly that is – then a cover lift needs to be in your spa future.
Oh, and be sure that your spa is placed on a level surface. We poured a concrete slab for ours. When it comes to construction there is nothing like a good, solid base. And, that’s all there is to it.