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Lay-z-days Hot Tub Advice.

Lay-z-Days Hot Tub Advice Common Questions-

Lay-z-Days Hot Tub Advice Common Questions-

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD A HOT TUB BE?

We get asked this question by Hire customer's & new owners a lot, The answer can be quite simple, however there are also some factors to consider including hot tub temperature range, body temperature, ambient temperature and health risks. 

Hot Tub Temperature Usual Range

Majority of  hot tubs can go as low as 26°C and as usual always have a maximum temperature of 40°C for safety reasons. You may consider going as low as 26 degrees, this would most likely be in the heat of summer if you wanted to use the hot tub to cool off. On the flip side 40 degrees is very hot and can be unbearable for some users. The quick answer to 'how hot should my hot tub be?' is between 37°C-40°C to ensure you enjoy the maximum benefit that hot water provides. 

Body Temperature vs. Hot Tub Temperature

The average body temperature is generally around 37°C. The impact this has on your hot tub experience can be quite profound. If the water is under 37 degrees then you may experience a slight chill. This can be a nice sensation when you want to cool off in hot weather. Alternatively, in the winter when the ambient temperature is cooler you may want to give a buffer of a few degrees above 37, this is because the hot tub will cool slowly with the cover off so if you plan on a longer soak, you will stay warm for longer!

Finding The Perfect Temperature to Hot Tub In

Test it out! As long as you consider the below health considerations before doing so then you will be safe to try 40°C vs. 37°C! You may find that you & members of your household  prefer different temperatures depending on the season but only you will know what you enjoy. Us here at Lay-z-days like the tub around 38-39 Degrees however we always set it to below 37 Degrees if our children are entering.

Health Risks & Children

  • Always consult a doctor before getting in the hot tub while pregnant.
  • in you own a hot tub - Children under age 5 should not be in hot tubs over 35°C, and should only remain in hot tubs for 5-10 minutes at a time for safety under full adult supervision- we however do not allow any children under the age of 5 in our hire tubs.
  • Make sure you stay hydrated while using a hot tub. 

How long does it take for a hot tub to heat up?

This varies depending on heater size, flow, size of the hot tub, ambient temperature and quality of insulation. Generally speaking, a hot tub will warm up 1 degree per hour.

What should I do with the hot tub temperature when I go away?

It is worth reducing the hot tub temperature to save money on heating costs and potentially cut chemical consumption alternatively you can also use your hot tubs heat timer.

 

WHAT IS NON CHLORINE SHOCK AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

What is Non Chlorine Shock?

Non Chlorine Shock is a powerful, odourless oxidising agent, which essentially means it works to eliminate contaminents in hot tub water. Oxidation is different to sanitisation. Oxidation is the breaking down of the oils and organics in your water whereas sanitisation is the killing of bacteria. Sanitisation is performed by effective sanitisers like Chlorine or Bromine. Note that while sanitisers can also oxidise, their effectiveness in both actions is reduced so you tend to use lots more sanitiser to perform both. Oxidation is performed very effectively by Non Chlorine Shock (Potassium monopersulfate) and this is why it offers great benefits to your hot tub experience. Non Chlorine Shock works with all sanitisers but does not replace them as it is not a sanitiser! 

What Are The Benefits of Using Non Chlorine Shock?

  1. Improves Sanitiser Efficiency. By using an effective oxidiser like Non Chlorine Shock alongside your sanitiser, you free up your sanitiser to do what it is good at - kill bacteria! This results in less sanitiser being used in your hot tub. 

  2. Fast and effective removal of oils and more. Non Chlorine Shock will oxidise oils such as body oils, lotions, deodorant, dead skin cells, sweat, detergents or leaves from your hot tub water, helping to prevent or reduce foaming and to reduce strain on your hot tub filters. This can also reduce reliance on chemicals that should be used sparingly such as Anti-Foam.

  3. Help water clarity. For many of the reasons outlined in point 2, Non Chlorine Shock can help improve water clarity fast. If you have milky or cloudy hot tub water but your chlorine levels, PH and alkalinity are ok then Non Chlorine Shock will oxidise the products causing this and help restore your water to crystal clear. 

  4. Reduce the need to super chlorinate. Super chlorination is a good way to oxidise but by raising the chlorine level super high, you are risking bleaching and will potentially make the hot tub unusable for a period of time due to the strong smell/high chlorine level. 

  5. Break down Chloramines. Sanitiser reacts with bather pollutants such as perspiration or dead skin, and produces a less effective chemical compound called chloramines (used up chlorine) which needs to be broken down. Chloramines have a strong chlorine odour that is often mistaken for too much chlorine, they can make the water appear cloudy and also sting your eyes. Non Chlorine Shock will effectivley oxidise this used up chlorine from the water, improving your bathing experience massivley.

  6. Re-generating spent bromine. Unlike Chlorine which turns into Chloramines once spent, Bromine can be regenerated. Using Non Chlorine Shock in a hot tub running on Bromine will oxidise the bromide ions (spent bromine) and form new bromine, this boosts the bromine level.

When and How To Use Non Chlorine Shock 

Non Chlorine Shock is a powder that comes in many forms which we will outline below. We recommend adding Non Chlorine Shock weekly alongside your existing hot tub maintenance routine but in some situations such as severe foaming or cloudy water, extra dosing may be required. 

HOW TO GET YOUR LAY-Z-SPA HOT TUB READY FOR WINTER USE

Hot Tubs are designed to be used all year round but it is winter hot tubbing that tends to be the most underrated experience. Using your hot tub during the winter allows you to get relief from harsh weather and enjoy hydrotherapy during what can be a tough time of year for our wellness. Some users shut down their hot tub for winter and others simply take steps to ensure their spa is ready for the change in conditions. 

The Best Way to Look After Your Lay-z-spa Hot Tub During Winter

We always advise Keep it full and running! This is the best way to protect the parts and pipework on your Lay-z-spa hot tub. If you drain your hot tub, there is the added risk that any water not removed from the pipes may lead to freezing and cracking and mould, which will lead to many issues when you re-fill in Spring. The main benefit of leaving your hot tub full and working is regular hydrotherapy during the winter. If you leave your hot tub full, you can do the following to protect your hot tub, hot tub cover and save money on running costs:

  • Lock your cover down during stormy or windy weather to prevent damage. You can use the existing locks on your hot tub cover or you may feel you need extra strapping as you live in an area prone to high winds.
  • Use a Waterproof Cover like tarpaulin  to protect your Lay-z-spa hot tub and spa cover from falling leaves, branches and stormy weather. A cover will protect your hot tub from adverse weather conditions.
  • Fit a Thermal cover to prevent heat loss through evaporation and save you money during the colder time of year.
  • Some of our customers have made their own thermal covers with foil insulation rolls which have worked brilliantly.
  • keep your spa off the cold ground using matting.
  • Use your heat timer to help save energy costs.

 

Draining Your Hot Tub For Winter

Although we recommend using your hot tub as normal during winter, some users will prefer to drain and turn off their spa. This needs to be done thoroughly to ensure no issues occur when the hot tub is empty. The only real benefit of this approach is if you are not going to use the hot tub at all, therefore you will save on running costs. Tips to help include:

  • Ensuring a thorough drain of your hot tub. We also recommend making sure you remove all excess water left in the pipes. This will prevent any freezing issues & mould issues.
  • Loosen the connectors on your pump, drain thoroughly and leave these off.
  • Clean and dry your pump to ensure a smooth start-up in Spring.
  • Clean your hot tub using (we like a "prokleen" cleaning range) be sure to use a hot tub flush with bio film remover! & surface cleaner) once cleaned & fully dry & i mean FULLY DRY!! ( we recommend leaving your hot tub inflated for at least a few days before packing away, if even a slight bit of water is left inside your tub.. it will go mouldy be sure to do the above and then wrap your lay-z-spa in a cover like tarpaulin to prevent damage from leaves, branches and harsh weather when the hot tub is packed away. This also prevents insects and slugs from getting into your hot tub!

BALANCING HOT TUB ALKALINITY & PH

PH and Alkalinity are one of the most common areas of confusion for many hot tubber's and the risks associated with unbalanced water can damage your hot tub & health so it is a very important to get right!

Questions such as

  • "what is the difference between alkalinity and PH?",
  • "Why does PH matter in my hot tub?"
  •  "How do I raise alkalinity in my hot tub?" are the most common and will be answered below. 

What is Total Alkalinity?

Total alkalinity (TA) is the measure of the capacity of water to neutralise acids. It is different to PH. It is measured by parts per million rather than a scale like PH. Alkalinity is important as it acts as a buffer when balancing PH. If your alkalinity is out, then it will be very hard to balance your PH level. In fact it is a good idea to balance your Alkalinity before doing anything else as this may allow your PH to fall into line too and will make balancing PH much easier. Your Alklainity level should be between 80-120ppm.

What is PH and Why is it Important?

So once you have balanced your TA, the next step is to use a test strips ( we like "clear water" brand) to check your PH level. PH is the measure of how acidic or how alkaline your water is. 7 is the neutral PH level but in your hot tub you want to aim to get your PH between 7.2 and 7.6. If you do not do this you may in for some nasty and potentially costly suprises!

Potential Issues with Low PH:

  • Poor Sanitiser Efficiency. Using lots of chlorine to not much effect and adding risk to bathers.
  • Corrosion of hot tub components due to the acidic nature of the water.
  • Itchy dry skin and eye sting.

Potential Issues with High PH:

  • Poor Sanitiser Efficiency. Using lots of chlorine to not much effect and adding risk to bathers.
  • Scale build-up on the spa surface and on components.
  • Cloudy or dull water and foaming!

How to Balance PH & Alkalinity

Balancing your PH and Alkalinity follows the same concept for both. If your levels are low, add increaser, if your levels are high, add reducer! The only difference is what chemicals you need to use. 

Lowering PH & Alkalinity Levels

If your PH and/or Alkalinity is high, you need to add a ph minus to reduce these levels.

  • Do this gradually. Add the correct dose of PH Reducer, then run the jets and re-test in 30mins-1 hour or so and see if you need to reduce further.
  • ph minus is the sole chemical used to reduce PH and Total Alkalinity in your hot tub. 

Raising PH Level

If your PH is low, you need to add a Ph plus to increase these levels.

  • Do this gradually. Add the correct dose of ph increaser, then run the jets and re-test in an 30 mins -1 hour or so and see if you need to reduce further.
  • Ph plus will increase your Alkalinity level slightly too so keep an eye on this as remember Total Alkalinity is the buffer to allow your PH to be set.

Raising Total Alkalinity Levels

If your TA is low, it is most effective to use Ta plus to increase these levels. Ph plus will increase your TA as mentioned above, but it will do so at a slower rate.

  • As with all other adjustments, remember to do this gradually so that you don’t increase TA levels too high resulting in the need to bring these down again. 

Does the balancing ever end?

Generally speaking, once your levels are set they should stay roughly within range however lots of factors impact this including other chemicals added to your hot tub, bathers,filtration ect,  be sure to test your Hot tub water twice daily.

Common Questions...

I use Chlorine Tablets (Trichlor), why is my PH always low?

This is a very common question and the answer is quite simple, Trichlor chlorine tablets are acidic by nature and therefore as they sit in your dispenser or filter, they are constantly lowering your PH. At Lay-z-days Hot Tubs, we recommend Chlorine granules as a default sanitiser as it is more PH neutral and prevents this issue. Bromine is also more PH neutral than Chlorine Tablets and is often preferred by bathers with sensitive skin. 

Whatever I do, I cannot get my PH correct - help!

Firstly, check your alkalinity. If your PH is hard to set, then TA may be causing the difficulties in setting your PH. Secondly, how old is your water? If your water is 3-4 months old, it is probably due a water change as the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) have got too high. TDS is the measure how much ‘dissolved stuff’ is in your water; this includes all chemicals you add and anything taken into the hot tub by bathers. Once this reaches a point, you will find it very hard to get your sanitiser or PH/TA levels right. It may also be worth checking the expiry date/quality of your test kit.

Does PH Plus, Minus and TA Plus Vary in Quality?

The chemical formula of these products is quite basic but we have seen some poor quality batches on the market in the past. These are generally weaker and therefore you use a lot more to balance your levels. All chemical products sold by us Lay-z-days are products we use daily ourselves in our work so highly recommend by us, you can trust everything you see available for sale on our site to be of the highest quality.

Does PH Plus or Minus have an expiry date?

The answer to this is the same for all chemicals. While we don’t really recommend digging out some 15-year-old PH Plus or Minus to use in your hot tub, if it has been stored in a cool dry place and hasn’t caked badly, then it is likely to be absolutely fine to use.

 

CLOUDY, MILKY & FOAMY HOT TUB WATER

It pretty much goes without saying that hot tub owners will experience cloudy, milky or foamy hot tub water at some point during the period that they own a hot tub. This is not something to worry about as such, as these problems can be easily overcome by using certain methods. This article will firstly describe the type of water problem, how it could have been caused and finally, ways to rectify the problem and make your spa water sparkling again!
 
Cloudy Spa Water
 
Caused by...
 
Cloudy hot tub water can be described as the point where the water seems to have small particles floating around in it, however these particles are not large enough to touch and seem like they could just be air particles. There is no one cause of this issue and you will see this to be recurring in the other types of water issues. The problem could be caused by suspended insoluble particles, dead algae, organic debris, poor filtration (dirty filters), heavy usage or poor water chemistry, but it is difficult to diagnose the reason exactly.  
 
Rectifying the issue...
 
  • Check your filter(s). This is your first point of call with any water quality problem, especially when clarity is an issue. If small particles are not able to be picked up by the filters, it is extremely difficult to solve the problem. Get your filters and rinse them thoroughly or soak them overnight in a filter cleaner or ideally replace.
  • Check the water balance levels. Your second point of call is the water balance. Check the PH is correct and alter if need be. Check the sanitiser is at the correct level, not too high or too low (a common clarity problem can be caused by high sanitiser levels). 
  • Shock the spa. Using a non- chlorine shock you can usually clear the water fast! Working with your clean filter, the shock will clear the particles and in most cases will solve the issue.
  • Try a clarifier. A product such as "aqua sparkle spa fusion sachet" helps clear the water.
  • Last resort, empty the spa. If you eventually decide that you have lost the battle, drain the hot tub and start again with fresh water. Sometimes this is the best way, especially after a period of heavy usage (e.g. a hot tub party!).
Milky Spa Water
 
Caused by...
 
Milky hot tub water can be described as the point where the water essentially looks like milk, adding a white tint to the water and making it difficult to see the bottom of the hot tub. Similar to cloudy hot tub water, there is no one cause of this issue. The problem could be caused by suspended insoluble particles, dead algae, organic debris, poor filtration (dirty filters), heavy usage or poor water chemistry, but again, it is difficult to diagnose the reason exactly. 
 
Rectifying the issue...
 
  • Check your filter(s). This is your first point of call with any water quality problem, especially when clarity is an issue. If small particles are not able to be picked up by the filters, it is extremely difficult to solve the problem. Get your filters and rinse them thoroughly or soak them overnight in a filter cleaner. You may find that rinsing the filters more frequently to recover milky water helps massively. Ideally replace filters.
  • Check the water balance levels. Your second point of call is the water balance. Check the PH is correct and alter if need be. Check the sanitiser is at the correct level, not too high or too low (a common clarity problem can be caused by water levels imbalance, you can usually clear the water fast! Working with your clean filter, the shock will clear the particles and in most cases will solve the issue.
  • Last resort, empty the spa. If you eventually decide that you have lost the battle, drain the hot tub and start again with fresh water. Sometimes this is the best way, especially after a period of heavy usage (e.g. a hot tub party!).
Foamy Spa Water
 
Caused by...
 
Foamy hot tub water is where a build up of foam is visible on the surface of the water and can sometimes lead to a film being left on the top of the water and around the waterline. For this problem, it is slightly easier to pin down the cause in comparison to cloudy or milky hot tub water. Foam build up is caused by a reaction between body and cosmetic oils and the alkalinity of the hot tub water. Body oils and cosmetics such as deodorant, makeup, and detergents on bathing costumes cause foaming.
 
Rectifying the issue...
 
  • Nip it in the bud! Solve the problem by tackling it at the start. It may be hassle to make people shower before using the hot tub but this is the key thing to prevent foam build-up. Washing your bathing costumes in detergent seems like a good idea but it is not wholly necessary, it is better for your hot tub if you rinse them under the tap then hang them up to dry, meaning that no detergent can sneak its way into your hot tub. 
  • Shock your spa and clean your filters. Using a Non Chlorine shock will oxidise these non-organic products and dump the particles on your filters. Clean your filter thoroughly with a filter cleaning solution or replace. 
  • Use anti-foam products. "Clearwater foam remover we like" is a product that should be used sparingly, as it is more of a quick-fix product that does not prevent the problem from reoccurring. Using it in small amounts can quickly clear the foam from the waterline in the short-term and therefore helps the appearance of the spa but it is best not to rely on it. 
  • Drain down the hot tub and flush the system. A system flush using a product like "prokleen hot tub flush" will help flush the system through before draining. By draining the hot tub, you can remove any grease from the spa surface and tackle the foaming issue in this way. 
I hope this post has shed some light on the issues around hot tub water clarity. If you have any further queries, get in touch! 
LAY-Z-DAYS@OUTLOOK.COM

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