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Spas and Stuff

  • Hot Tub Anatomy

    Hot Tub Anatomy

    Most hot tubs come with a set of standard features, but if you are new to hot tubs you may not know what those features are or what they are for. Hot tub anatomy is pretty simple. Below, we've listed and described different parts of the hot tub. Once you are familiar with these, you can better understand what it is you are looking for when shopping for a tub, or you can make better use of your existing tub.

    Popular Features

    Jets

    Jets are what set hot tubs apart from bathtubs and swimming pools. They truly make the hot tub a hot tub. Jets channel and propel water to soothe muscles, such as in the neck or lower back. Hot tubs come with their jets positioned in a variety of ways depending on the manufacturer and the model of the tub. With jets, more isn't necessarily better. Consider jet placement and your own preferences. There are also different types of jets. Some tubs, such as the Alpine Portable Inflatable, has air-only jets. Other tubs, such as this BellaGrande, has hydrotherapy jets. If you can, test drive a few different types of tubs until you get a feel for what you like.

    Size

    A range of tub sizes exists on the market today, from two-person tubs like this Oval Airispa to 9-person tubs like the BellaMassimo SL. As you might have guessed, the bigger the tub the higher the cost. Maintenance costs, as well, will be higher on bigger tubs. Determine how many people will usually be using the hot tub to decide how big a tub to buy. Consider whether you host parties or have friends over to also use the tub. Remember, a larger size doesn't always mean it can accommodate more people: this Swim Spa is 16 feet long, but only designed for 3 people at a time.

    Seating

    Related to the size of the tub is the number and arrangement of seats within the tub. Some tubs come with a simple plastic bench to sit on, while others offer bucket or lounge-style seating like this Paradise tub. Tubs like the Spa2Go don't technically have any seating at all; the bottom is cushioned to provide what is called "open seating". Others, like this BellaGrande, have a dual-end lounger. The size of the tub will limit the amount and type of seats it has. Again, it is worth trying out different types of tubs to determine what you'll like and use most.

    Cabinet

    The cabinet is the exterior of the hot tub. Portable and inflatable tubs don't have a cabinet. Nor do in-ground, permanent tubs. Your typical hot tub does, however, and the cabinet can be made in a variety of materials, from a plastic veneer to a wood finish. Many models allow you to select a color and style of cabinet to suit your home. For example, this Utopia model has a synthetic cabinet available in Espresso or Coastal Grey. Other models may have more choices available.

    Shell

    The shell is the interior of the tub that holds the water. Just like the cabinet, the shell can be made from many materials from plastic to granite to marble. What you select is based on your budget and the model of the tub. Acrylic is by far the most common material for a shell, as it is affordable and can be offered in a variety of colors. The Free Spirit Lounger, for example, has an acrylic shell with six color choices.

    Working Parts

    All hot tubs come with a number of parts that allow them to operate properly. Some of these parts include the pump motor, heater, insulation, and filter. The portable and inflatable tubs tend to have fewer working parts, and the larger and more permanent tubs tend to have more. You will want to consider the warranty on your tub's working parts. Keep in mind that the higher the quality of the tub's water heater, and the more insulation used, the more likely your tub is to maintain a constant temperature. Additionally, consider how much energy the tub will use while in operation--some manufacturers offer especially energy-efficient parts or models. To get a good idea of the different parts and what they do, check out this super cool interactive spa simulator.

    Covers

    A cover is essential to keep the water in your hot tub clean and chemically balanced. Most distributors include a cover with the tub. However, there is sometimes an additional charge for one. If you have young children or pets who live in or visit your home, a hot tub cover should be considered as a required safety feature.

    Bells and Whistles

    The above features are all considered "standard" and, to varying degrees, essential. For the more adventurous buyer, however, there are additional features that can be included with any hot tub purchase.

    Built-in stereo and speakers

    With a built-in stereo and speakers, you do not have to worry about toting a stereo back and forth or wiring outdoor speakers. A built-in stereo is also designed for use with water, so it is much safer than providing your own stereo. Tubs like the Free Spirit Lounger come with optional stereos housed in the cabinet for safety and convenience.

    Built-in television

    Some tub models have a television that can retract into the tub's wall when not in use. These models usually also include a stereo and speakers and are often available with floating, waterproof remotes. As with the stereo, a built-in television is much safer than rigging up something on your own, as it is designed for use in the water. Tubs like the BellaGrande SLT come with a television, stereo, speakers, and dvd player. It can also access cable and satellite television.

    Illuminated waterfall

    This luxury feature provides tranquil sounds and lights as part of your hot tub experience. The BellaGrande SLT linked above is one such tub that offers this decadent feature.

    Whether you prefer a minimalist tub experience or want all the bells and whistles, make sure you choose a tub that best suits your preferences and budget. We're always available via email or phone if you need any help selecting a hot tub model. Happy soaking!

  • Affordable Luxury: Easier Than You Think

    Affordable Luxury: Easier Than You Think

    Everyone wants to enjoy the finer things in life, but the average consumer may not consider herself able to do so. The truth is that with a good budget and smart financial planning many people can afford to treat themselves to luxury goods and experiences.

    A Tub Full of Affordable Luxury

    Hot tubs are more affordable than most people realize and making monthly payments on one is easier than one would think. Hot tubs can be as much as $15,000 or as little as $665. Money spent on pool or health club memberships can easily be re-directed to saving for a hot tub or making payments on a loan or a hot tub payment plan. Additionally, by adding a hot tub to your home, you increase the value of your property and save money on gas and time spent going to a gym or spa to use their hot tub.

    Once the tub is in your home, maintenance on it is just dollars a month. You will only need to buy a few chemicals and measure the water quality on a regular basis. It's easy to learn, easy to do, and costs very little.

    Smart Saving Solutions

    Here are some areas where you can find extra money to set aside for a hot tub:

    • Pack lunch instead of buying lunch.
    • Make coffee in the morning and use a thermos instead of spending on expensive coffee.
    • Cancel your gym membership and go running outside, climb stairs at a local parking garage, go hiking, bike to work, etc.
    • Shop at thrift stores or consignment stores for brand name garments at cheaper prices.
    • Skip going out for dinner and make healthy meals at home instead.
    • Cancel magazine subscriptions and visit the library to catch up on new issues.
    • Cancel streaming movie services and check out movies from the local library instead.
    • Get crafty and make gifts for people instead of purchasing them. Consider gifting home-cooked sweets, knitted scarves, re-purposed frames, or even gifting your time to help out parents who need a night out away from their kids or a friend who needs a dog sitter. Or, gift a skill you have, like making websites, repainting a room, a teaching a friend how to play guitar.
    • Skip the vacation and explore your home area for places and activities you've never done before.

    How Soon Can You Afford a Hot Tub?

    • How much can you redirect from memberships/other luxuries and from savings each month? (A) ________
    • How much is the hot tub you'd like to buy? (B) ________
    • (B) ________ divided by (A) ________ = ________ months until you can afford this tub

    Spasandstuff.com Hot Tubs

    Here are a few of our lower-priced models that are low on cost but high on luxury value:

    Or view all of our tubs here, sorted by price from lowest to highest.

    If you have any questions about how to afford a hot tub from Spasandstuff.com, please contact us to discuss options and ideas.

  • Buying a Hot Tub: Hot Tubs 101

    Hot Tubs 101: Buying a Hot Tub

    When buying a hot tub, there are a few basics to know when you start. There are two types of hot tubs: self-contained and non self-contained. Typically, self-contained hot tubs are installed above ground and are usually portable, whereas non self-contained hot tubs are installed in-ground and are permanent. Hot tubs are usually heated using an electric or natural gas heater, though there are also submersible wood-fired heaters and solar hot water systems. Spa and the brand name Jacuzzi are often used when referring to an indoor fixture. A hot tub is almost always outdoors.

    What to Look for When Buying a Hot Tub

    Whether you’re looking to buy an indoor or outdoor hot tub, you will want to choose something durable and easy to maintain. Cutting corners can end up costing you in the long run, so save yourself future trouble and do some simple online research. Have some basic understanding of hot tub care and maintenance, as well as an idea of what different warranties will provide by talking to various retailers. A good resource is our blog archives, and you can always give us a call with questions.

    When looking at hot tub models, there are also some questions you'll want to ask yourself:

    • How many people will use the hot tub at the same time?
    • How many water jets do you want? Tip: For ultimate relaxation, maximize your hot tub's potential with as many jets as you can get!
    • Where will you put the tub? Inside? Outside? Patio? Bathroom? Deck? Basement? Fitness room?
    • Does the area you’ve chosen have enough clearance to handle the size of the hot tub? Does the area comply with your local safety codes? Do you need any permits to place the tub in that area?
    • Will the floor be able to handle the weight of the tub once it is filled and occupied? Read our article on installation to get an idea of the type of weight you need to plan for.
    • Will your power supply require modification?

    Depending on the space you are working with, there will be different advantages to above floor/ground level hot tub spas or in-ground sunken installations. For first-time buyers, a portable hot tub is often recommended as it is a far less risky investment. Without the worry of installation costs, above-ground hot tubs can be filled with any available water source, they do not require any special plumbing, and they are easy to install and even easier to relocate in the future.

    If you choose to go with an outdoor hot tub, you may require some professional remodelling as well as proper electrical installation and pumping utilities. Chemicals, filters, and water delivery systems vary widely so be sure to discuss details with a trusted manufacturer or professional consultant. Making educated choices in the beginning will save you time, money, and unneeded stress in the future and help you get the most fun and relaxation out of your hot tub experience.

  • Where to Put It? Tips on Where to Install Your Hot Tub

    Where to Put It? Tips on Where to Install Your Hot Tub

    PLAN AHEAD FOR STRENGTH AND SAFETY

    Wherever you decide to place your hot tub, you need to make sure that the location has a solid foundation. The foundation must be uniformly firm and provide a level setting. The recommended foundation is a concrete pad with a minimum thickness of 4 inches with steel-reinforced cross bars throughout.

    When installing your spa on a wood deck or balcony, the same load requirements must be met. The total load may be as much as 90 pounds per square foot. Remember that your tub weighs about 700 pounds on its own. After you add water and people, it could have a total weight of up to 4,000 pounds.

    Regardless of the location that you decide on, you need to be sure that the hot tub is not within 10 feet of overhead power lines and that you leave access to the internal equipment.

    In order to perform maintenance or make a needed repair, you will need adequate space to reach the internal components. If your tub has external equipment, you need to know that most city codes require the equipment to be at least 5 feet from the tub unless they are separated by a permanent solid barrier.

    CONSIDERATIONS FOR INDOOR PLACEMENT

    If you decide to place your hot tub indoors, you need to understand that moisture will accumulate. The steam created by the tub must go somewhere, and it will leave moisture on your walls, ceiling, floor, etc. You need to make sure that you have really good ventilation. The amount of moisture will vary according to how frequently you use the tub.

    Ventilation not only helps dissipate the moisture and steam, but it also allows the hot tub chemicals to be circulated out. The odor of the cleaning components can accumulate indoors and even create electrical problem unless the area is well ventilated. The good news is that if you place your hot tub indoors, it will probably stay cleaner and require less frequent chemical treatments.

    Big tip on installing a hot tub indoors: you should have some kind of drainage system in place! Experts recommend you change the water in your tub every four months or so. You always have the option of running sewage drains to your hot tub, and if you are placing your hot tub on an existing slab you will need to dig up the concrete to build your drain system.

    Another option that is a little less of a hassle would be to get a small submersible pump. You can use the pump to push most of the water out of the tub, but pumps usually fail to move the last inch or so of water at the bottom of the tub.

    Some manufacturers build their hot tubs with a water hose connection inside of the cabinet at the bottom of the hot tub. This will enable you to hook a water hose to your hot tub so that you can easily drain the water and move it to another drain or outside on the ground.

    ADDITIONAL TIPS

    No matter how well made your hot tub is, it is always possible that after years of usage leaks will occur due to worn gaskets or seals. That water must have a place to go. Be prepared to deal with this if the situation arises.

    Another thing to consider is that you have to get the hot tub into your house. Measure to make sure that you have enough room to get it into your house and then measure again. After you do that, measure once more!

    Many companies suggest that you spend the money to have a licensed contractor make sure that the local building codes and load requirements can be met.

    OUTDOORS AND UNDER THE STARS

    For many people, outdoors is the best location for a hot tub. Outdoors, there are fewer concerns for the tub. You do not have to worry about the steam and humidity or the chemicals affecting your home. Locating your tub outdoors, though, does mean that you may have to get a concrete pad laid down so that it has a proper foundation.

    Outside it will get dirtier more easily. Walking to and from the tub, your feet will get dirty and that will get in the water. Leaves and such may end up in your new hot tub.

    A cover is very important when placing a tub anywhere, but it is especially important when placing it outdoors. Always have a cover on the tub when you are not in it. This is a safety measure to prevent small children from falling into it and it also helps it to stay cleaner. The cleaner the water stays, the less frequently you have to treat the water with chemicals.

    There are a wide variety of pictures of hot tubs on the Internet being placed outdoors in very creative ways. If you want to invest the money, a stand-alone deck can be built that encompasses the tub. The only limit here is your imagination and your budget.

    PLACING YOUR HOT TUB IN A SCREENED-IN ROOM

    Putting a hot tub in a screened-in porch mostly resembles an outdoor installation. You have to consider some of the factors that go with both indoor and outdoor installations, though. A screened-in porch will obviously allow for ventilation and the steam and humidity will not harm your walls. You will still need a drain put into the floor of the porch if one does not already exist. If the manufacturer uses the water hose connection, this will not be an issue for you.

    Again, you can find many creative pictures of hot tubs installed in screened porches on the Internet.

    IN CONCLUSION

    In the end, the placement of your new hot tub is completely up to you and your preferences. No matter where you decide to put it, be sure to plan ahead. The more you plan ahead, the easier it will be to install and to enjoy.

    If you are not sure whether or not your chosen location is suitable, you should seriously consider contacting a licensed contractor.

    Finally, always take into account safety factors when deciding where to put your hot tub. As stated before, a cover should always be in place when it is not in use. Also consider the surface that you will be walking on when going to and from the hot tub. If the path is smooth concrete you may want to put some mats down to prevent slipping.

  • Hot Tub Enjoyment Through Hot Tub Accessories

    Hot Tub Enjoyment Through Hot Tub Accessories

    The most enjoyable part of any hobby or activity is probably the stuff that goes with it. Horseback riding lessons? The helmet, boots, grooming tools and, heck, the horses are fun. Roller Derby? The clothes! The socks! The make up! The skates! Knitting? Soft skeins of wool, picking through beautiful sweater patterns, amassing a collection of wood, metal, and plastic needles--it's all pleasure. Owning a hot tub is no different. Anyone who purchases a hot tub and stops there is missing out on the fun of all the stuff that can go along with it. Here are just a few of the things that can complement owning a hot tub.

    A Snazzy Cover

    For safety, maintenance, and hygiene reasons, purchasing a hot tub cover can be considered something of a necessity. Covers keep out unwanted bugs, debris, and people--just like pools, having neighborhood kids “hot tub hop” can be a legality issue. The Fun Part: Covers come in a variety of materials, textures, and qualities. And with colors available from "teak" to "nugget" to "port", you can find one that suits your spa and decorating aesthetic. Check out our sweet selection here.

    Tip: Consider purchasing a lock for your cover, to ensure the safety of children and pets and to really keep those darn neighbors from trying to sneak soak time at your expense.

    Bonus: A cover lifter can also facilitate hot tub security and use. Hot tub cover lifters can be attractive, efficient, and come with extras such as towel hooks. Plus, they're kind of fun to use. We have some really neat ones here.

    Saunas

    Saunas can be purchased to accommodate one or more people to enjoy at once. Like hot tubs, saunas offer their owners many health benefits. Infrared saunas have especially gained popularity with consumers and health advocates in recent years. Using one in conjunction with a hot tub is the ultimate in self-pampering, and can turn your home into a real relaxation sanctuary. Did you know we have an entire website devoted to saunas? We'd love to help you choose one that complements your spa!

    Bonus: Saunas come with their own neat accessories, like chromotherapy lights, aromatherapy aids, stereo and video options, as well as a variety of decorative options in design and wood choices.

    Patio Furniture

    Patio furniture such as gazebo bars, patio benches, and tables with chairs can enhance the aesthetics and entertainment value of your yard or deck. There's so much to choose from! How about this really attractive 2-tier half-circle step available in 6 color options? Or this super cute towel tree in 9 colors? Water-resistant storage benches in 6 colors, anyone? Or this really beautiful, tilt-able Canton umbrella? There's really no end to the cute furniture pieces you can use to turn your hot tub into a resort. Whether your style is cute and sporty, or more elegant and refined, check out our full range of patio furniture options here.

    Bonus: Most of our patio furniture would also complement a sauna or pool.

    Aromatherapy

    Aromatherapy is championed by many as facilitating well being and promoting a calming experience. You can make that happen right at home in your own hot tub with scents like Aruba Orange and Bahama Berry.

    These options are really just the tip of the iceberg. Other things to consider are special towels just for hot tub use, warm robes to wrap up in afterwards, perhaps even special tub-side cocktails? Don't be afraid to fully enjoy your hot tub through all the fun stuff available to complement it. Happy Soaking!

  • Reintroducing the Keystone Round Hot Tub

    Reintroducing the Keystone Round Hot Tub

    Spasandstuff.com is pleased to announce that we are reintroducing the Keystone Round Hot Tub to our website!

    The Keystone Round is a 5-person hot tub with a design that is a throw back to the original round hot tubs with modern, state-of-the-art upgrades. High-efficiency electronics, designer craftsmanship, and varied hydrotherapy jet configurations make this a luxurious retreat in your own home. It also features an elevated seat that works well as a cool down seat or just another place to relax.

    Here are some stats to whet your appetite:

    • Maintenance-free cabinet
    • 6 Lucite Acrylic shell color choices
    • 2 Synthetic Cabinet colors
    • Y-Series Gecko Electronic Control System
    • 4000 Watt Heater
    • 24 Hour Programmable Circulation/Filtration
    • Requires GFCI Connection:
    • 56 Frame Pumps (ES Model)
      • One 2-speed
    • 48 Frame Pumps (LS & DS Models)
      • One 2-speed
    • 100% Hydrotherapy Jets (no air-only jets)
      • All jets have ON/OFF functionality
    • 1-Power Boost Air Controls
  • Do You Need a Permanent Hot Tub or a Portable Hot Tub?

    www.spasandstuff.com

    When you are looking to purchase a hot tub for your home, the very first question you have to ask yourself is whether you want a portable hot tub or a permanent hot tub set in-ground. You might be surprised what is considered portable and what is considered permanent, so be sure you do your research first.

    Indoor hot tubs are typically installed in a bathroom or an enclosed sun-room (or something comparable). Indoor spas are considered portable because although they are securely attached to plumbing and electrical house outlets, they can eventually be taken away. So while they may look like a permanent feature of the home, they are actually portable.

    The most common outdoor hot tub is also portable, as it is usually placed on a deck or above ground in a yard. This type of hot tub is more visibly portable. However, outdoor hot tubs can also be permanent when they are set in-ground, often as part of a larger pool structure. Yes, eventually you can also take the in-ground hot tub away, but this would be much more of a project than one settled above ground.

    When deciding on an outdoor above-ground hot tub, the alignment of plumbing and electrical ports to the house may be a factor. Some portable owners move the tub around the yard by season depending on the position of the sun. In this manner, an outdoor portable has a great deal of flexibility in how to use it, and may actually have a longer period time during the year in which you can comfortably enjoy it. Portable indoor hot tubs may be less mobile, but you could still feasibly transfer it to another room if you so chose. Permanent hot tubs tend to cost more than portable hot tubs due to the issue of placing it in the earth. There may also be added necessities, such as permits and fees. Always contact your local gas and electrical utilities, as well as the appropriate authorities, before digging.

    Here at Spasandstuff.com, we carry some really great options for portable indoor and outdoor tubs, so feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about this type of tub. Happy soaking!

  • The Ultimate Relaxation Luxury: Hot Tubs and TVs

    www.spasandstuff.com

    Hot tub spas and televisions may be the best combination since peanut butter and jelly. How is this for true luxury living: soaking in a hot tub with while watching the game or your favorite movie. It's a pretty relaxing image, right?

    Spasandstuff.com wants you to live that dream. Our BellaGrande SLT model hot tub is designed with a 20" television affixed to the tub itself, along with a DVD player and 4-speaker stereo system--all design for safe use in the hot tub. The tub also has 51 jets, aromatherapy options, and so much more. It's truly a luxurious retreat for the discerning consumer.

    Please note that the hot tub's electronics are all specially designed for use near water. Do not attempt to set up televisions, dvd players, stereos, or any other electronics near your hot tub on your own. Most are not designed to be used near water and are a serious electrocution hazard. The Bellagrande SLT has been designed to provide you with entertainment electronics in a safe and enjoyable way and is a much better and wiser solution than cutting corners and setting up your own system.

  • Product Feature: Columbia Spas Hot Tubs

    www.spasandstuff.com

    Spasandstuff.com is a proud retailer of Columbia Spas brand hot tubs. These high-quality, affordable hot tubs are available for sale on our website here. Built in Spokane, Washington, by Blue Falls, USA, these hot tubs are a great addition to any home.

    With twelve hot tub models and over a dozen different options to choose from, Columbia Spas makes it easy to create a unique home spa experience at a great price. Whether you are looking for a quiet moment of solitude or are spending quality time with your family, you'll find exactly the spa that you are looking for. Get all the joy and relaxation that you expect in your spa experience without all the hassles. Some of the great options you can add to every spa model include matching spa steps, a Cover Mate Lift Assist, an underwater LED light, a waterfall feature, and more. It's easy to add value to your hot tub without burning a hole in your wallet. For a limited time, select models come with a free gift!

    Extraordinary steps are taken to make sure that every Columbia Spas hot tub is a work of art. Exceptionally rigid quality assurance standards are applied to every model produced. Each spa undergoes static and dynamic double water tests to ensure years of trouble-free enjoyment.

    Columbia Spas features a state-of-the-art shell backing process that emits no VOC's and superior insulation, so the spa costs only pennies a day to operate. You can depend on Earth-friendly manufacturing processes with every Columbia Spas hot tub from Spas And Stuff. So rest easy and relax this winter in your very own Columbia Spas hot tub!

    Read reviews from customers who have purchased a Columbia Spas hot tub here!

  • Food and Drinks in the Hot Tub

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    In Taiwan and some other counties, it's understood that soaking in a hot tub or hot spring will mean eating and drinking while relaxing. In Taiwan--an island wealthy in natural hot springs--it is common for hot-water lovers to put fresh eggs and cans of coffee into mesh nets, then soak alongside for a little while until the eggs are soft-boiled enough to eat and the coffee warm enough to drink. It's a fun activity, and enjoying snacks while soaking just makes sense to hot tub users worldwide.

    But now we're going to put on our Mom Hats and offer a few words of advice to you before you start making up cheese plates to take spa-side:

    • Combining alcohol and bodies of water is never a good idea. For many, entertaining and  alcohol are closely related, but it is very important to be cautious. Alcohol impairs motor functions, and surfaces around hot tubs can be slippery. If necessary, a spa pad can add traction to the ground and aid balance and safety, but the best precaution is common sense.
    • It won't ruin your hot tub if food lands in the water, but anyone else sharing the tub with you might not enjoy sitting in a hot soup of soggy chips. It may be best to purchase patio furniture that can hold food and drinks next to the hot tub. Spasandstuff.com has some really attractive spa furniture, if you need some ideas.
    • Staying in the hot tub for long periods can make a person feel dehydrated and can lower blood sugar levels. It is a good idea to keep drinks on hand and to take snack breaks periodically. If at any time you begin to feel lightheaded, leave the hot tub immediately, rehydrate, and rest completely before returning to the tub.

    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_hot_springs

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