Why You Should Get a Hot Tub (And How!)
Monday Mar 06th, 2023
Living in Ottawa, you'll know that the winter outdoor activity options are fantastic. I love skiing on our trails and skating on the canal, but I also love being able to indulge in self care and warm up while still enjoying the great outdoors, and there aren't a lot of ways to do that when it’s below freezing outside. If you haven't already got one, or haven't considered one, let me suggest: a hot tub.
Hot tubs have been around in one form or another for ages. They make being outside in the snow fun and/or soothing, and have restorative health properties when used all year round. Plus, they’re not as big or as bank-breaking as a pool.
When working with clients to find their next home, hot tubs are discussed more often than you might think. I myself got one last year and, as a city dweller, it didn't take up too much room in my limited yard and has led to a number of benefits: I use it to relax, to provide muscle/pain relief, and to enjoy quality time with friends and my two daughters (one of the brief moments they're not on their phones!).
There are some important considerations to be made, though, so before heading out to buy one, it's good to know what the preparation and maintenance looks like to see if it would be a good fit for your home. (These are the steps I took, but as with all advice, be sure to check with an expert.)
Consider First + How to Prepare
Before you can get one, you will have to do some prep.
- Firstly, you want to consider the size of the hot tub. You will need to figure out where the hot tub would go and what size to buy based on the space you have (they come in all shapes and sizes). If you want six people to fit, you'll need to make sure you have the space for it. The size of the tub will also dictate the size of the supporting pad you will need—you want to make sure the tub is well supported.
- Next, consider the base around the hot tub. In most cases, crushed stone "gravel" is the best all-round hot tub base (unless you have concrete pavers).
- Then, determine what kind of hot tub you want—plug-n-play or hard wired—sometimes it's best to consult with an electrician to see if you should upgrade (for example, plug-n-play requires a 30 amp while most outlets are only 20 amp). If you go with hard wired you'll need an electrician to come over.
- Once you've done that you can go shopping and select the model. This is the perfect time to speak to the salesperson and ensure that you have everything you need lined up. (They'll have their own recommendations and are there to help you.)
- Before it arrives, you'll need to build the hot tub base and prepare for the hot tub delivery (this may involve the electrician from step 3).
- Consider melting mats/heated steps for ease and safety—you can install them on the pathway that leads to the hot tub which means you won't have to shovel or de-ice in the winter!
- Once delivered, fill the tub and balance it with chemicals—you'll need to have your water tested to determine the proper chemicals required. For this, you can bring a sample of the water to the hot tub company you bought it from.
How to Maintain
Alright, it's been delivered and it’s filled and balanced! Here's how you can keep it in tip-top shape:
- Test your water balance regularly.
- Clean the spa filter every couple of weeks and replace it annually.
- Keep the tub clean, and completely refill it quarterly.
- Air out the cover often.
- Add water as needed to keep the tub full.
It may feel as though there are a lot of steps, but doing the necessary prep work and routine maintenance means you can jump in the tub anytime and that it will be safe for everyone who uses it.
There are many kinds and sizes of hot tubs available for a range of budgets. The company I purchased from helped me each step of the way and continue to be where I get all my hot tub services done (like regular water testing).
Interested? Make sure to talk to a professional to make sure the same steps apply to you before you get started. (Some tubs may require more or less maintenance, and some professionals may give differing instructions based on your water tests or other factors.)
Questions for me? Reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org