Hot Tub FAQs – Everything you need to know

Hot tub faqs
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If you are thinking of buying a hot tub, we know you have lots of questions. At least we hope you do.

We’re naturally curious at Eagle Leisure and encourage you to ask as many questions as possible. We find that the more questions people ask – the better decisions they make about their hot tub purchase. Which leads to a happy hot tub life.

It’s our biggest fear, to sell you a hot tub that isn’t quite right for you (that and spiders). So, if we’ve missed something important off the list, fill the form in at the bottom of the page and let us know. We’ll send you a personal response and post the answer for everyone else to see. Because, if you’re wondering it you can bet someone else is too.

We’ve put together a list of all the hot tub FAQs you will need to know about before (and after) you buy one:

 

What is the difference between a hot tub, Jacuzzi and spa?

How much does a hot tub cost?

Do I need planning permission for a hot tub?

What do I need to do before hot tub installation?

How long is delivery time for a hot tub?

How do you deliver my hot tub?

What do I need to do during installation of my hot tub?

Where should I position my hot tub?

How long will it take for my hot tub to heat up?

What will my hot tub cost to run?

How long will my hot tub take to fill?

Can I change the temperature on my hot tub?

Should I empty my hot tub after each use?

How often should I empty the water out of my hot tub?

How do I keep my hot tub clean?

Should I use Chlorine or Bromine?

Will Chlorine of Bromine irritate my skin?

How much weekly maintenance will my hot tub need?

How do I eliminate bio-film from my hot tub?

Do I need to get my hot tub serviced?

How do I drain my hot tub?

Can I repair my hot tub cover?

Should I empty my hot tub in Winter?

Can I use my hot tub the whole year round?

Are there any health benefits to hot tubs?

Can I use my hot tub while pregnant?

What is the difference between a hot tub, Jacuzzi and spa?

Hot tubs, spas and Jacuzzi. You will see and hear them interchangeably. To keep it simple, this is what we mean:

Jacuzzi is a brand. In the same way, Hoover is used instead of the generic ‘vacuum’, Jacuzzi is used instead of a hot tub. We don’t sell Jacuzzi (although we do rate them), so you won’t see ‘that word’ used anywhere else on this site unless we are comparing models including Jacuzzi.

Spa usually refers to an in-ground, built-in, plumbed-in unit (see below picture). It usually sits in the same room as a pool (eg. in a hotel/gym). These are acrylic or tiled to match the pool.

Hot Tub is most commonly used these days to refer to self-contained, portable units. The kind that you would see in a garden, or sitting outside that log cabin you visited over Christmas. The kind of hot tubs that we sell are Coast Spas.

You may see all words used elsewhere, but to keep it simple we’ll only use the word hot tub (unless we mention Coast Spas – in which case we’re talking about hot tubs – confusing right!).

How much does a hot tub cost

How long is a piece of string?

Like everything this depends. While hot tubs range in price between manufacturers from £3000 – £20,000 we sell Coast Spas, which start at £4995 (13 AMP) and £6495 (32 AMP). However, on average we find customers spend between £7000 – £10,000 on a hot tub.

Find out why Coast Spas are the world’s best-built spas here.

Do I need planning permission for a hot tub?

Hot tubs are fully portable units, so you usually don’t need planning permission. However, you may need planning permission if you want to house your hot tub in a building eg. Gazebo or summerhouse.

To find out if you need planning permission check here, where you will find a full rundown of the circumstances you may need it in.

What do I need to do before hot tub installation?

There are a couple of things you need to do before we arrive with your hot tub to make sure installation goes smoothly on the day. Don’t worry if you are unsure about these we can advise, and recommend professionals help if you need it.

Base. You will need a solid, level base. Concrete, slabs or decking will be suitable. Hot tubs are, as you know, filled with water – you don’t want it sitting on a slope and all the water sloshing out one side. If the hot tub is sitting on decking and it is raised, make sure that it is able to support the ‘wet’ weight of a hot tub with people in it. This information is available under each model.

Electrical supply. You will need a qualified electrician to install a 32AMP supply (or 13AMP for patio series), using armoured cable. Approx. 4 metres should be left loose so that our engineers can wire the cable into the hot tub during installation. When you purchase a hot tub we’ll send you the installation guide to show to your electrician to make sure everything is as it should be.

Plumbing supply. Hot tubs are fully portable units and are NOT plumbed in. You will need to be within a hose distance of a water supply to fill the hot tub up. But that’s it, no pipes or permanent water supplies are necessary.

How long is delivery time for a hot tub?

If you want to take one of the hot tubs in stock (either in our showroom or Coast Spas UK warehouse), then you can get pretty much as soon as you are ready.

A fully customised model has a delivery time of 10-12 weeks.

Each hot tub is ordered directly from Coast Spas and built to your exact specification. No two hot tubs are the same. This, understandably, takes some time – Coast Spas are popular all over the world so a lot are being built.

After it’s been built to your specification, your hot tub is driven across Canada (it’s a pretty big country so takes a while). Then it’s shipped over the Atlantic in a container, which takes approx. three weeks. Finally, it’s driven up to Scotland to land in Eagle HQ before coming out to its forever home with you. These hot tubs are pretty well travelled.

10-12 weeks might seem like ‘too long’, but we usually find that the hot tub is ready for the customer. Especially if you are in the process of re-doing your garden. It’s just enough time to get everything ready for the hot tub installation.

How do you deliver my hot tub?

Hot tub delivery

By a team of strongmen!

Seriously though! We include a hi-ab delivery in the price of all our hot tubs, with the ability to lift a max. of 28M in distance. We find there is usually something to lift the hot tub over. And to make installation safer for our engineers, and to avoid additional expenses on the day we include a hi-ab right off the bat. If the hi-ab won’t work, that’s where the strongmen (a.k.a engineers) come in, to roll and lift the hot tub into place.

We can also do a free site visit to make sure there are no setbacks on the day.

Many companies offer standard delivery, but charge more if it needs to be lifted into place. By using a hi-ab and offering site visits we avoid any additional or unnecessary charges. Also look out for companies offering ‘kerbside’ delivery – where they deliver to your ‘kerbside’ and leave the rest up to you.

What do I need to do during installation of my hot tub?

Nothing. The only thing you have to do is mentally prepare for a life of relaxation in your hot tub.

If you have everything set up (base, electrical supply) we will put the hot tub into place, install it and commission it. I guess you should probably pay attention when we show you how to use it, but we will leave behind a manual and are only a phone call away in case the excitement gets too much and you can’t concentrate.

Where should I position my hot tub?

That is entirely up to you.

Our suggestion. Place it as close as possible to a door. Why?

It makes it easier and cheaper to run an electrical supply, plus is likely to be close enough for a hose to reach from the house/wall.

But more importantly, it makes your ‘hot tub dash’ as short as possible. Walking through the garden to get to your hot tub at night might seem like a great idea in the Summer. But no one wants to run across the garden in bare feet or slippers when it’s snowing outside. Placing it closer to your house, you’ll find you get more use of it – which ultimately make the investment more worthwhile.

How long will it take for my hot tub to heat up?

Once it’s in you’ll no doubt be excited to get in it straight away.

Most hot tubs use a 2.5kW – 3kW heater (Coast Spas use 3kW). This means it will take approx. 12 hours to heat your hot tub up, on an average (Scottish) day. This will depend on what temperature the water comes out your hose at. And the temperature outside (the warmer it is the faster it will heat).

What will my hot tub cost to run?

With our super duper, A+ rated Coast Spa hot tubs you can expect to pay max. £30-40 a month (this is being very liberal – some estimates are nearer £14). But this can vary depending on manufacturer – and we have had reports of some manufacturers costing upwards of £100 a month to run. Yikes! 

How much energy will my Hot Tub use?

How long will my hot tub take to fill?

On average your hot tub should take around 1.5-2hours to fill. This depends on water pressure and can take longer if you find you have very low water pressure at your property. We usually bring along a ‘blue bag’ (technical name – basically a big thick liner bag) which we start filling up before the delivery truck arrives. This means by the time the hot tub is in place and wired in we have all the water we need. All that’s left is to then pump the water over to the hot tub using out a submersible pump.

If you know you have particularly terrible water pressure, or use a shared water tank. Please inform us in advance so we can prepare in the lead up to installation if necessary.

Can I change the temperature on my hot tub?

You sure can. Toggle between 0 and 40 degrees using the topside controls to find a temperature that is perfect for you. Too hot in the summer (unlikely in Scotland)? Turn it down and make it a cool tub. Then when it get’s cold in Winter (and Summer) turn it up and relax in 40 degrees while it’s freezing outside.

Should I empty the hot tub after each use?

No, no and no! It’s not a bath.

The greatest thing about hot tubs is that they are ready for use 24/7, 365 days a year. If you empty it down, not only do you have to wait a day to use it on a ‘whim’. You will burn through a lot of unnecessary energy. The majority of electricity is used to heat the water, holding it there doesn’t take much. Always keep water in it, to get maximum use.

How often do I empty the water out of my hot tub?

Guidelines recommend every 3 months, assuming regular usage. If this seems like too much work don’t worry, we can include emptying, cleaning and refilling as part of our maintenance visit

How do I keep my hot tub clean?

You will need to empty the water out of a hot tub and replace it with fresh water approx every three months. But in the interim, how do you keep the water in the tub clean?

Did you know, that on average humans lose 1pint of body fluid sitting in a hot tub for an hour. Yuk! Knowing that keeping your hot tub clean should be high on your list of priorities. There are two main ways to keep your hot tub clean:

#1 Filtration

Coast Spas filterExcellent filtration is the key to clean water and reduced maintenance time. It should be first on your list of priorities when searching for a hot tub. Portable hot tubs use cartridge style filter, like in the picture below. These work by ‘attracting and trapping’ dirt and debris in between the folds.

Unfortunately, beyond that, many manufacturers cost-cut and use skim filtration, where the filters sit in the water, or behind the skimmer grill and are in constant contact with water. This is not a very clean system, as dirt and debris can float back into the water.

Coast Spas hot tubs use a patented hydrocyclonic filtration system, where the filter cartridges sit in a pressurised container outside the bathing water. This means when the dirt is stuck it stays, making Coast Spas 83% faster and 20% more efficient at filtering hot tub water.

In either case – to keep filters working efficiently you need to clean them regularly and change them approx. every 6 months. 

How to clean a hot tub filter. A step-by-step guide.

#2 chemicals

Contrary to what some people preach, chemicals are necessary to keep your hot tub clean. Chlorine or Bromine is necessary as a sanitiser to kill bacteria and keep the water safe to use.

There are ways to reduce chemical use eg. Ozone system to help purify the pipework and O-care to reduce bio-film build up. But you will still need chemicals.

We supply a full starter kit with your hot tub, which includes: Chlorine (or Bromine if you prefer); pH plus, pH minus, immerse filter cleaner; spa fusion shock treatment and test strips. We’ll set up your hot tub and show you how to use it. It seems complicated but it’s really pretty simple once you’re used to it.

 

Should I use Chlorine or Bromine?

We supply Chlorine as standard as part of the starter pack, but you can use bromine if you prefer. We find the majority of customers like to stick to chlorine, as it has a familiar smell and it is slightly cheaper to run than bromine.

The main advantage of Bromine is that it is stable in erratic pHs. So if you find your pH is hard to keep stable, it may be more efficient.

Will Chlorine or Bromine irritate my skin?

It can do if you have particularly sensitive skin. However, the main culprit is usually pH. If the pH is not correct you are essentially sitting in acidic or alkaline water, and neither is kind to your skin. Firstly, check and adjust the pH to check it is stable and between 7.2 & 7.6. If it persists, then there are oxygen based alternatives to sanitisation that are available, so you can still enjoy your hot tub.

How much weekly maintenance will my hot tub need?

We want to keep your hot tub maintenance as simple as possible so most of your time can be spent relaxing and enjoying it.

Easy maintenance starts with great filtration, which is why you will hear us banging on about it a lot. That will be the main thing that helps to keep your water clean.

Unfortunately, there is no maintenance free hot tubs yet (despite what some say).Keeping your water balanced not only keeps it clean, but it protects the hot tub components. You don’t want the chemicals to be too low, or high.

You will need to test and dose your chemicals. Even if you have an ‘inline’ automatic dosing system. We recommend testing before or after you use your hot tub, then topping up chemicals as needed. Once you’re used to it, it will be easy. And we will show you upon installation how to do it all. If you add chemicals before using it, wait about 10-15 minutes then you can hop in.

On an average week (if you use your hot tub daily), you will spend about less than 35 minutes a week on maintenance (less than 5 mins a day). If you are using it less frequently multiply as appropriate.

How do I eliminate bio-film from my hot tub?

Biofilm is essentially the plaque of a hot tub. You can sometimes feel it around the sides of the hot tub, or you might see it as a while film that comes out of the jets when you run the pumps.It forms a protective layer over bacteria, preventing chlorine from doing its job and killing it. We brush our teeth every day. But we can’t brush the pipes of a hot tub every day.

O-care is an easy to use weekly treatment that works in the unseen areas of the hot tub and prevents and eliminates biofilm. It can help reduce sanitiser use by up to 78%.
O-care. Weekly spa water care.

Do I need to get my hot tub serviced?

Like a car, you don’t need to get your hot tub serviced. But we would highly recommend it. We find that those who get regular maintenance, have a longer lifetime on their hot tub and avoid unexpected repairs.

We offer a very flexible maintenance programmes to suit you. If you let us know how often you would like a service, we will contact you when the next one is due to arrange a time that is suitable for you.

How do I drain my hot tub?

Coast Spas and some other brands have a built-in valve in beside the hot tub control board, to make draining the tub easy. You just open the valve and the water comes out.

If you don’t fancy water draining onto the area your hot tub is sitting on, or if your hot tub doesn’t include a drainage valve you can get a submersible pump. Just attach a hose to it, plug it in and throw it into the water – this will pump the water out of the hot tub and to wherever you point the hose. You can buy a stainless steel submersible pump from us for £66 + VAT.

Can I repair my hot tub cover?

If a hot tub cover is damaged from wear and tear or chemicals exposure, it can become very heavy and difficult to lift. At this point, it won’t be efficient at keeping heat in. And an efficient cover is very important in reducing running costs, as 60% of heat is lost through the surface.

You can replace the inner foam or the outer leather cover. But usually, the most efficient long-term fix is to get a new cover. Contact your original supplier for a replacement.

Alternatively, we provide custom-made covers. The cost for these is  £495 + VAT. Contact us, with your sizes to purchase one.

Should I empty my hot tub during Winter?

We would recommend that you keep your hot tub running throughout the entire year, so you always get used to it. If you do want to empty it down in Winter, we suggest getting a professional to Winterise it. If any water is left in the pipework, and temperatures reach freezing, this can crack the pipework. Which will cause leaks when it is restarted.

Can I use my hot tub the whole year round?

Yes! The beauty of a hot tub, especially in Scotland, is that we have the weather to enjoy a hot tub all year round. Most people think that they will get the best use of it in Summer, but in reality, we find customers enjoy their hot tub more in Winter. What could be nicer than sitting in 40-degree water, gazing at the stars, with the freezing air around you?

If you are going away for Winter then you can drain it down. But we would recommend that you employ the services of a professional to ensure there is no leftover water that could freeze and damage the pipework.

Are there any health benefits to hot tubs?

Too many to mention. The health benefits are often overlooked in favour of the fact that owning one is just so bloody cool. But we like to think of hot tubs as an investment in your health as well as your home. From stress relief, improved sleep and muscle relaxation to increased heart health and lower blood pressure the benefits are endless. Read more here.

Can I use my hot tub when I’m pregnant?

We’re going to refer you over to the experts on this one. The general guidelines is that it is best to avoid them due to danger of overheating, however this is not conclusive. Read more about the guidelines and precautions on the NHS website.

 

You may find these resources useful to read:

If we have missed anything out that you want to know, please fill in the form below or email us and we’ll get it added in.

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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