Relax, it’s a myth
November 5, 2021 Johnsons

As a greater number of people buy a hot tub, there has been a rise in hot tub myths and misconceptions. With so many different opinions it can be hard to tell what to believe and what not to believe. Here we discuss some of the most common hot tub myths that we have come across.

Myth 1 – Chlorine / Bromine irritate my eyes

Chlorine and bromine can irritate your skin and eyes at very high levels, but the chances are your hot tub will rarely, if ever, reach that level. If you do feel your eyes are being affected, it is more likely your pH and alkalinity are to blame. Eyes have a pH level of around 7.5. The further the pH of your hot tub water drifts from 7.5, the more irritating that water will be to your eyes.

To prevent eye irritation, test the pH and chlorine/bromine levels of your water 2-3 times per week with a home test kit. Adjust pH as necessary. If your pH is consistently out of balance, or if your chlorine/bromine level is very high, don’t use it. Instead, go to your local hot tub store and get your water professionally tested.

Myth 2 – An Ozone/UV system does not need chemicals.

Ozone and UV systems can reduce the amount of sanitiser (chlorine/bromine) that you use, but you still need to add a sanitiser to keep the water safe and bacteria-free. On top of that, neither UV nor ozone systems help to balance the water. Water testing, and adding balancing chemicals, is still required regardless of the system installed on your hot tub. UV and ozone systems are great for water clarity. They help reduce the amount of sanitiser you need to add to the water to keep it safe. They do not eliminate the need for chemicals though.

Myth 3 – Hot Tubs require constant cleaning/maintenance.

Hot tubs are always dirty, or they require constant maintenance to stay clean. In truth, hot tubs do require constant cleaning to stay clear and safe to use, but the hot tub’s filtration system does almost all of the work for you. Your hot tub’s filtration system cleans the water at least 2-3 times per day, with some hot tubs able to clean all of the water in as little as 15 minutes! All you have to do to maintain clean, safe water is to add sanitiser to the water and clean the filters every few weeks. If you chemically clean your filter every 3-4 months it will also help to keep it running at peak efficiency and, extend the life of the filter.

No matter how good the filtration system is, all hot tubs require a minimum amount of filtration time to clean the water.

Myth 4 – Bigger pumps equal a better massage

The truth is that the horsepower rating of a hot tub pump isn’t that useful when ascertaining massage quality. There are two reasons for this:

● The “horsepower” of a hot tub pump is just a rating for how much energy it consumes and has nothing to do with water flow. HP is a better measurement of how much power the pump will consume. The bigger the pump, the more energy it uses to run!

● Companies often list the brake horsepower of a pump, rather than its “continuous” horsepower. The actual running horsepower of these pumps is usually much less. For example, a 7BHP pump is often only 3-4HP when rated in continuous horsepower.

To get a sense of how powerful a pump is, try to find out its gallon per minute rating. This is the measure of how much water the pump can move. Well designed pumps will move a lot more water with a relatively low horsepower rating. If you want to know how good the massage is, there’s more to it than just the size of the pump.

Myth 5 – The more jets and pumps the better.

One of the most common hot tub myths out there. It makes sense that a hot tub with more jets and pumps will deliver a better massage than one with fewer jets and pumps. This is not always the case though.

Designing a hot tub that delivers a great massage is complex. To do so requires a balance between the number of jets, the size of the jets and, the flow coming from the pumps. Every jet you add to a hot tub takes power away from the rest. Adding more jets than your pumps can manage leads to an underpowered massage. Having too few results in a painful, high-pressure massage.

The size of the jets also affects the essence of the massage that the hot tub will deliver. Large jets can handle more water flow. These are suited for larger muscles and deep tissue massages. Small jets can deliver a more targeted massage, making them more suited to relieve pressure points. Having the right jets in the right spot is what makes for a great hot tub massage.

You also need to consider the pumps. Too much flow from the pumps can lead to high-pressure massages that can get irritating in a matter of a few minutes. Too little flow
from the pumps and the water will barely trickle out. Beyond the jets and pumps, there is also the plumbing to consider. Poorly designed plumbing can strip a pump of most of its power. Well designed plumbing efficiently carries the water to the jets with minimal loss in power.

Myth 6 – Bleach can sanitise water and clean the cover.

Bleach does act as a sanitiser but, do you want to bathe in bleach? Not only is bleach harsh on your skin, it can also cause damage to:
● Your hot tub’s filters.
● The surface of the hot tub.
● The skin of the hot tub cover.

By adding bleach to the water also completely throws off the balance of the water. Any money you saved in sanitiser is immediately wasted on balancing chemicals, not to mention the damage to your hot tub.

Myth 7 -A £2,000 hot tub is as good as a £7,000 hot tub.

The old adage “you get what you pay for” is never more true when buying a hot tub. While the ‘£2,000 big box store hot tub’ may seem like a great deal because it has 80 jets, 3 pumps, 20 lights, a sound system and a 30-year warranty, it is rarely that simple. If you dive deeper (pardon the pun) you will find that these companies use cheap components, don’t insulate properly and are hoping to sell hot tubs on big numbers like ’80 jets and 3 pumps’.

The 30 year (or in some cases ‘lifetime’) warranties often only cover the shell of the hot tub. Parts like jets, pumps and lights are usually guaranteed for between 90 days and 1 year and rarely cover labour.

While you might not need a £7,000 hot tub, moving up to a £4,000 -£5,000 hot tub will often make a massive difference in terms of quality, after-sales support, warranty and long-term cost.

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