Kiwi Spas Blog

Hot tub and spa frequently asked questions

Q. How much do hot tubs cost to run?
A. Our hot tubs are not expensive to run and cost between approximately £2-£5 per week depending on size, power and usage.

Q. Do they use a lot of water?
A. They do not use a lot of water. Once filled, it is a good time before the water will need to be changed, in accordance with the department of environment guidelines.

Q. How much maintenance do they require?
A. A few minutes in the week is all that is required to keep your hot tub crystal clear.

Q. What is the difference between spas, hot tubs and jacuzzi?
A. The original hot tubs were made from oak and beech vats sourced from the wine industry.  Pumps, heaters and jets were added as well as seats. These are still available today for the “purists”.  The acrylic hot tubs seen today have evolved from the cooper made barrels and are also known as portable spas. Jacuzzi is a brand name similar to ‘Hoover’ and vacuum cleaner.

Q. Who are Kiwi Spas
A. We are a well established, highly reliable company that prides itself on providing an exceptional customer service. We are with you from start to finish, as we import, deliver and install your hot tub or swim spa, so you can enjoy having one point of contact and complete peace of mind. You can come and see us, and even try out a spa at our showroom in Lancing, West Sussex. Kiwi Spas specialise in providing a superior range of hot tubs, spas, swim spas and spa servicing to our customers across the UK. We directly import and distribute our products directly to you and install them onsite if required, so you have one central point of contact and complete peace of mind.

Q. Are the hot tubs fully insulated?
A. All our hot tubs and spas are fully insulated. The process is called “co-generated” thermal insulation which relies on closed cell foam in the base of the spa to insulate and also lock the large bore pipe-work into place and then a barrier jacket encapsulating the entire perimeter of the hot tub. Studies carried out with thermal imaging cameras show no heat blooms at all, unlike other forms of insulating hot tubs namely ‘foam filled’ spas. Some spas are made by different process. Rather than using composite strengthening on the back of the shell, ABS is used.   There are two reasons why ABS strengthening is used. Firstly, environmental issues. Gaining the necessary licenses in certain countries and states to use the materials is prohibitive. Secondly, the process of using ABS strengthening is substantially cheaper and speeds up the production process significantly as there is very little curing time required.   The foam is required, not for insulation but for support. If the shell is not filled with foam it will flex, distort and in some cases collapse. Early ABS shells were not foam filled and are testament to this.   It is a well known fact that heat rises!  Our manufacturer has carried out a great deal of research into running costs and comparisons between their ranges and other popular brands. There are many negatives to full foam. Firstly, in time the tub will require maintenance and any repairs will involve expensive investigation. Tracing the leak is very difficult and may involve removing part of or nearly all of the foam. Since the foam can not be added on site this rather defeats the object. When the foam is sprayed it then expands, pipe-work can be moved and compressed fittings can be loosened by the action of the foam expanding. The other problem with foam filling and the one where the argument that “full foam is best” falls down is that the electrical equipment such as pumps, electronic control panels etc all need re-circulating air so as not to overheat and fail. So, all manufacturers who foam fill their spas do not “insulate” the front panel or “bonnet”, the area where all the water in the hot tub is being pumped through. A thermal heat imaging camera proves foam filled spas loose more heat than our hot tubs. Another point worth considering is that we all know heat rises. The hot tub lid is often just passed off as being included with the purchase, but what thickness should it be? All our tubs have the thicker 5’’ (125mm) tapered covers rather than the industry standard 3’’ – 4’’ tapered covers.

Q. Are all hot tubs powerful?  Jets and pumps.
A. Many people make the mistake or have been mislead by thinking that more jets = better hot tub. This statement is both correct and incorrect. Generally speaking the greater the number of jets the more invigorating the massage can be however the jets fitted need the water flow to power them and this is a careful balance otherwise disappointment will be the result. Jets must be well positioned to ensure a good massage on soft tissue not bone.

Q. Why do many of our hot tubs have such high pump horsepower ratings?
A. All electrical pumps are rated in Kw (kilowatts) or Hp (horsepower). A Kilowatt is measurement of power and energy use e.g. a 1 Kilowatt motor will draw 1 kilowatt of power per hour when running. When we describe pump power we tend use the flow rate e.g. GPM (Gallons per minute) because our motors are so well engineered and robust they will easily power ‘wet ends’ (the water pump part) much greater than usual without detriment to the motor. Hence we quote ‘200 GPM pump’ a 200 GPM pump wet end would be rated at 5 Hp pump. However it is only drawing electrical power of a 2 Hp motor. More for less! Very efficient!

Q. Are the jets adjustable?   Can they be customised?
A. Most of the jets are adjustable, and most are interchangeable so as to customise your massage.

Q. Are the rigid covers effective in keeping in the heat?
A. The rigid covers are very effective. They are made from the highest grade marine grade vinyl. In fact in the winter, snow will settle and frost will form on the cover, yet inside the spa it is ready and waiting at your set temperature.

Q. What size do I need?
A. Many customers purchase a hot tub that will accommodate a large number of friends/family for the parties they plan to hold. Others buy to accommodate the immediate family or perhaps to fit a certain space or budget. The honest answer is requirements differ. Remember larger hot tubs only cost slightly more to run than smaller hot tubs.

Q. Are they comfortable? Ergonomics
A. Not all spas are comfortable! Sit in before you buy. All our spas are very comfortable.   They are sculptured with different sizes of people in mind. For manufacturing, a mould is created by a craftsman, then a selection of people (of all shapes and sizes!) try out the seats and loungers for comfort. This may seem rather old fashioned but even the latest computer software cannot tell when something is comfortable or not! You may notice all the seats and loungers in all the spas are very rounded and there are no sharp angles. The whole range offers excellent lumber support with deep luxurious seating and loungers that allow the whole body to be fully immersed up to the neck and also incorporate shallow, cool down seats and child seats. Some models are designed to allow you to sit higher and so the shoulders are exposed.

Q. Hydrotherapy?

A. Hydrotherapy helps just about everyone. Hot water boosts blood circulation by helping the blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood circulation. It also helps alleviate backache, joint and muscle stiffness. Hydrotherapy is also claimed to help insomnia. We would advise that if you have a medical condition or are pregnant, that you consult a doctor before using any spa/hot tub.

Q. If I go away on holiday should I turn the spa off?
A. If you go away in the warmer weather for a long period you can either, turn the temperature down, adjust the chemicals or drain the spa completely. If you plan your holiday in the winter months and there is a threat of freezing we would advise that you adjust your chemical levels lower the temperature and set the control panel to ‘Sleep’ mode. This will allow the water temperature drop further but the automatic frost protection device will protect the spa (assuming the electrical supply remains on).

Q. What is ozone?   Is it necessary?
A. Ozone is used as a secondary oxidiser and will kill bacteria and organic impurities and has a good flocculating effect on water that makes it beneficial in aiding water treatment. It is between 10 – 20 times more powerful than chlorine and 20 – 30 times more powerful than bromine. A residual of chlorine or bromine is still required when an ozone system is fitted.  There are different ways of producing ozone, one being corona discharge the other being high frequency ultra violet light. Both systems work, however the ozone remaining in the water must not exceed 0.5mg/litre. You may have been informed by others incorrectly about which or what system to use or whether it is needed at all. The truth is, having ozone fitted is beneficial to water quality, however there is a maximum level of ozone which is permissible in hot tubs and this figure can not be exceeded.

Q. Can I control the temperature easily?
A. The temperature can be controlled easily by the spa touch pad.

Q. What about the warranty?
A. Our manufacturer’s warranties are excellent. There is a manufacturer’s warranty on the shell for integrity and up to two years manufacturer’s warranties  on the pumps and control panels. We have very few warranty claims as the components are of the highest quality.

Q. Can it be installed in the garden?
A. The majority of hot tub owners have their hot tub installed in the garden. They are designed and insulated for outside use all year round.

Q. How quickly can I use my hot tub after it is installed?
A. Usually within 8 – 10 hours after installation.

Q. When I move house can take my spa with me?
A. Yes you certainly can. We offer our customers a relocation service.

Q. Are hot tubs safe?
A. As long as common sense is used and the following guidelines are adhered to, hot tubs are very safe. Only use a qualified electrician to ensure a safe electrical supply. Ensure that the cover is locked when not in use. Keep any electrical equipment away from the hot tub. Test and treat the water regularly (as recommended by BISHTA). Never leave children unattended in or near the hot tub when the cover is not fitted and locked and don’t allow them to over heat in the water. Observe warnings regarding hot tub use with certain medical conditions and pregnancy seek medical advice first. Do not use a hot tub if intoxicated.

If you are confused about getting a good hot tub or spa, come and visit us in our Kiwi Spas showroom on The Lancing Business Park, Worthing, West Sussex. It is only 11 miles from Brighton too and pop in for a chat on which hot tub and spa is the best for you and how to keep it at its best or call us on 01903 753444.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 9:00 am and is filed under Fresh News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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