Friday, 18 October 2013

Why a Hot Tub Could Be a Great Investment

Purchasing a portable hot tub for your garden could be one of the best decisions you make in life. Ok, this may seem over the top to some but a hot tub has a lot more to offer beyond its initial novelty value. This article will set out some of the key benefits to owning a hot tub but with a focus on the investment aspect.

Despite some fundamental differences, a good way to look at investment is by comparing the hot tub industry to the car industry. So, when purchasing a Range Rover for instance, you would expect it to be more reliable and better quality than say, a KIA. In reality, KIA are extremely reliable cars and Land Rovers have poor reliability. So the £20k-£40k difference in price will not guarantee better quality, even if it may provide better service. In the hot tub industry, it is extremely different.

Let's compare an online hot tub worth £3000 with lots of features and a £7000 hot tub bought from a dealership. That £3000 hot tub may seem like a purchase where you cannot go wrong, it is cheap and it comes with a warranty, which they have to fulfil. Yes, they do have to fulfil this warranty, however you need to do your homework when finding out about a dealership. Online reviews are great but do not rely on them, ask the online seller if they have their own engineers, ask if they understand the manufacturing process, ask how long they have been in the industry and ask if the parts are readily available. One of the key issues here is the Chinese control system, online hot tubs generally will have an uncommon control, which are not only prone to problems but also potentially unsafe. You cannot go wrong when purchasing a hot tub with either a Balboa, Gecko or own brand american system such as the Hot Spring IQ 2020®, all these systems are easy to replace if faulty and feature good safety systems. 

So what is the difference between the £3000 online hot tub and the £7000 model from a dealership. I would say the main difference could be service, I am not saying that all online hot tub dealers have poor service, but a good old fashioned pool and hot tub dealer will generally be able to offer a more personal and guaranteed service. The training that dealerships of the main hot tub brands undertake is also a lot more thorough, allowing them to excel in customer service. The difference in quality does not just involve the control system, the quality of certain brands is shown through massive global sales figures and genuine investment in innovation. 

The classic situation is someone looking to sell a 2-3 year old hot tub on ebay due to a house move, divorce or for financial reasons. Ebayers love their branding and what this results in is branded second hand tubs going for a very high price. Some second hand hot tubs sell for £5000, which is a huge amount of money for say an originally £7000 hot tub. You can see for yourself by searching used hot tubs on eBay and comparing the branded hot tubs to some obscure online spas. What I am trying to highlight is that investment in a good hot tub, from an established and reliable dealer can result in a smaller depreciation and allow you to get a high trade-in value, a well as a good price if you wanted to sell second hand privately. 

Investing in your garden is also never a bad thing. A hot tub adds value to your property and could potentially be the bargaining tool in a house sale. Even if the new owner didn't want the hot tub, the portable nature of it means that it can easily be removed and you can take it with you! 

In addition to the range of investment benefits that a hot tub has to offer, the personal benefits of hydrotherapy can be key to the daily lives of some individuals. For more information on these, please view our website article here-

Happy Hot Tubs pride ourselves on good customer service, we are an authorised Hot Spring dealer (the world #1 hot tubs) and we are prominent on all social media sites, offering customer service in a more informal yet modern way. Our managing director was the creator and first chairman of BISHTA (British and Irish Hot Tub Association), he is one of the most established members of the UK hot tub industry and was part of the group that first manufactured hot tubs in the UK. This experience and wealth of knowledge feeds down to all our staff and through this we can offer you the best service in the industry. Follow our social media outlets for more useful information or visit our website-

Monday, 5 August 2013

Hot Spring Spas Heading to the South Coast!

Happy Hot Tubs are delighted to announce that we are to hold the exclusive dealership for Hot Spring Spas on the South Coast. This will see the worlds best hot tubs arrive at our showrooms within the next few weeks. 

Hot Spring Spas are the world's number-one selling brand of hot tubs and for over 30 years they have lead the way in state-of-the-art design and energy-efficient performance. Hot Spring recently reached the mark of 1 million global customers, showing the true strength and integrity of the brand.

The three hot tub collections available from Hot Spring ensure that every preference and budget is met. 

The decision to sell Hot Spring Spas is based on our drive for quality and efficiency. Our range of Astro Spas has proved to be a huge success and by becoming a Hot Spring dealer, we are building on this with a strong brand behind us. All Astro Spa warranties are unaffected and we will continue to stock Astro Swim Spas at our showrooms. 

We will keep you posted with more details via our social media sites.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Cloudy, Milky & Foamy Hot Tub Water

Get your spa water sparkling like this!
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. 
  • 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-clorine 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 Spa Sparkle is similar to a flocculent in that it clumps all the small particles together so that they can be filtered, this may allow for the water to clear.
  • 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. 
  • 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, making the water look milky). 
  • Shock the spa. Using a non-clorine 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.
  • 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. 
    • Use enzyme technology to assist the water balance. Enzyme technology that is present in products such as "Spa Perfect" can help your spa water beat the causes of foam by preventing the reaction from occurring. 
    • Use anti-foam products. "No Foam" 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 Swirl Away 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, feel free to pop me an e-mail ( 

    Monday, 27 May 2013

    Hot Tub Myths Part 2: Buying a Hot Tub

    Following the success of our last post in regards to 'hot tub myths', we feel that more could be added and so welcome to 'Hot Tub Myths: Part 2'. At Happy Hot Tubs we are committed to giving our customers the best service and these myths allow us to protect consumers from industry methods that could affect you, as the consumer.

    The more horsepower, the better.
    MYTH - This may be the case for racing but when it comes to hot tub this is not necessarily the case. Adding lots of pumps could just waste further energy, when it is not absolutely necessary. The salesman may highlight the huge horsepower of a hot tub but when you think about your electricity bill, you may be more inclined to go for a less powerful spa. Some newer brands have even began to exaggerate spa pump ratings. Internet companies that have recently emerged within the hot tub industry can easily round up a 1.5hp pump to 2 or 3hp without any legitimate certification. Just ensure you take the power talk with a pinch of salt.

    A self-cleaning hot tub is better than others on the market.
    MYTH - A 'self-cleaning hot tub'? Ask the salesmen to define what this means and how it differs from other brands. This is very clever marketing and one cannot deny that, however, the idea of a 'self-cleaning' hot tub that is marketed by some brands such as Hydropool is not as outstanding as you think. 'Self-cleaning' means that is has a filtration system and an ozone which is available in most other brands, just not marketed in such a way. All hot tubs with a Balboa control system will filtrate 2 times a day, keeping the water fresh. Go ahead and call this 'self-cleaning' if it makes you feel better. With a 'self-cleaning' system you will still need to top up the chemicals and you will spend the same amount of time maintaining a 'self-cleaning' hot tub as any other spa. So, do not buy into this clever branding, almost every hot tub is 'self-cleaning'.

    Fully foamed spa cabinets are the best.
    MYTH - This is not actually the case. Heat rises and therefore most of the heat lost in a hot tub is through your spa cover. For spas with a lot of space inside, it is better to have a cavity to allow warm air to be re-circulated by air injection jets. Full foam is once again a good piece of marketing but is not the best insulation for a hot tub. Ensure you take caution when being sold a fully-foamed spa for a it's energy saving capacity.

    You pay a high price for high quality.
    MYTH - Most small hot tub dealers will sell only 30-50 spas a year and will look to maximise the sale price for every customer. Larger stores will be able to charge less as they may be the sole dealer for those spas and therefore sell more at lower prices. At Happy Hot Tubs, we have some of the most competitive spa prices in the UK and have sold thousands nationwide, so not only can you feel safe about the price we are charging but also the high quality customer service that comes with buying a spa from us. 

    Spa ratings and comparison sites are very useful.
    MYTH - Who owns these sites? Well it is common knowledge within the industry that spa dealerships will create hot tub review sites and benefit from the leads they produce. An industry as specific as the UK hot tub industry is also very susceptible to backhanders for certain awards and certifications. The British and Irish Spa & Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) was setup and chaired by our managing director, Simon, who created it to ensure that people were using their hot tubs safely and also to ensure the industry started to pay more attention to water safety at exhibitions. This has even become slightly politicised within the industry as approved members simply pay for membership. Be careful when looking at these review sites as they are not totally impartial. 

    These are only a few tips that will help with the hot tub buying process, if you want impartial advice from real industry experts contact us on Twitter (@HappyHotTubs), Facebook ( or e-mail myself 

    Some of this content was based on ideas from (Link -

    Friday, 3 May 2013

    What Temperature Should A Hot Tub Be?

    It might seem like an obvious question at first but it regularly confuses new hot tub owners. Most hot tub control systems have a maximum of 40º C and freeze protection that kicks in when the hot tub senses the water going below 6.7º C, which initiates the pumps and blowers to prevent the water from freezing. These are simply the boundaries that your hot tub temperature can be within, leaving it down to you to decide what you actually prefer.

    Some Like it hot!

    The maximum temperature of a hot tub is 40º C for safety reasons and any hot tub that goes above this is not fit for use. Some hot tubbers will like to bathe in 40º water and within an hour or so of use on a cold night, the temperature will drop to around 37.5º, so this is reasonable. 

    We have noticed throughout the years that women tend to like the temperature slightly hotter,  usually around 38/39º C. When delivering a hot tub, we usually leave the customer with the temperature set to 38º C, this is more comfortable to get in than 40º C and allows for a slight temperature drop whilst the hot tub is in use. 

    A Small Pool?

    In the spring/summer months when the weather is hot and you are not wanting to bathe in 38º C water then simply turn it down! It is not just a hot tub, it can be a cold tub! As long as you keep it sanitised as you normally would, it will be perfect. Not only are you enjoying your spa to cool off, you are also saving on heating costs!

    Health Precautions 

    Firstly it is important to consult you doctor if you unsure whether hot water could affect you. Pregnant women should avoid hot water as it can damage the foetus. Also people with heart conditions or high blood pressure should not use a hot tub at higher temperatures. If you are in doubt, contact your doctor. 

    Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Purchasing a Used Hot Tub

    Buying a used hot tub is a great way to enjoy a spa without the cost of a new model. This option is also good for the environment as many hot tubs that are scrapped simply need a small amount of work to get going again. The trend of buying used hot tubs has rocketed in recent years, mainly as a result of consumers having less money and sites such as Ebay offering great deals on luxury spas. As experts in the industry, we would like to offer some useful advice to those seeking to purchase a used hot tub. This advice will cover potential problems with second-hand hot tubs and the issues you will face when collecting or moving such spas.

    What to look for...

    The list below contains the variables to consider when purchasing a used hot tub, the further information explains why these variables are so important to consider. We are not suggesting you don't buy a hot tub that has such issues but simply highlighting what to look out for.

    • Age.
    • Cabinet Condition.
    • Shell Condition.
    • Pumps/Blowers.
    • Control System.
    • Headrests.
    • Filters.
    • Cover Condition.
    An old hot tub is not necessarily a bad hot tub. We have seen many hot tubs that have been looked after well or kept inside for many years and are in perfect condition. The issue with age is the availability of spare parts and support for certain errors. With many hot tub manufacturers going bust and others moving production to China, parts will slowly become less available for older spas. Note this when purchasing an old hot tub and be prepared for high costs if changing electrics or plumbing to fit different parts.

    Cabinet Condition
    The hot tub cabinet is important for aesthetics within your garden. Hot Tub cabinets can be wooden or polymer and both these materials can lead to varying issues. Wooden cabinets are structurally strong when kept in good condition but it is very common for these to rot in the damp conditions of most gardens. A rotten cabinet can make moving the hot tub impossible as sections of the cabinet fall away when trying to manoeuvre the spa out of the garden. If you do manage to get a rotten hot tub onto a truck or trailer, it will need to be secured well to ensure that it holds together during the journey. Polymer cabinets do not rot in the same way as wooden cabinets but become brittle over time and this makes them very difficult to manoeuvre without snapping or cracking the panels. In either case, it is important to ensure that the cabinet is in a reasonable condition as this holds the hot tub together and supports the shell.

    Shell Condition
    One could argue that the shell of a hot tub is the most important aspect but it is difficult to repair and irreplaceable. Although hot tub shells are made of tough acrylic, the exposure to 30-40 degree water and harsh chemicals like chlorine means that inevitably issues will arise. Blistering is a common problem with hot tub acrylic and such blisters emerge after a few years with limited options to repair them. It is important to find out any problems such as blistering as the hot tub shell is difficult to repair and could be expensive. Problems such as scratches are less important but if you want an aesthetically pleasing spa then multiple scratches around the top of the acrylic could be an eye sore to the perfectionist. 

    Probably the second most expensive component of most hot tubs after the control board, it is important that you know whether these are working or not and if not, ensure these parts are available to purchase. If a pump has been discontinued, such as the J250 that was common in many spas, it may require a large re-plumb in order to fit an equivalent pump. This should be researched and considered if you are able to access the codes of any pumps that may not be working. Some pumps that have been discontinued can be serviced and refurbished, we offer this service at Happy Hot Tubs so contact us prior to purchasing a spa to see if we can offer you this service. 

    Blowers are usually broken through water damage so a thorough drying out can usually get them working again. If not, they are relatively cheap so again, it shouldn't be something to put you off a good spa. Remember also that you can run a hot tub without a blower without any issues, simply unplug it and use the rest of the spa as usual.

    Control System
    The control system is the most expensive part of any hot tub. The board can be replaced or you can change the whole pack depending on the error. Water damage is the most common problem for most control boards, usually caused by flooding. This needs to be considered when purchasing a used hot tub as certain control boards or spa packs could cost more than you paid for the hot tub and therefore make the purchase less cost effective. 

    Although headrests may seem to be a necessity within a hot tub, I personally do not believe they are fatal to the enjoyment of your spa. Headrests wear over time due to the exposure to harsh chemicals like chlorine and the temperature of your spa water, therefore old hot tubs usually have damaged headrests that may be unusable. Some headrests are very rare and this increases the price of the headrests available.

    Most filters are very common and available due to scale of manufacturing from companies such as Pleatco. However, in recent years we have experienced some customers looking for very uncommon filters and therefore it is important to ensure the hot tub you are purchasing has a filter to be matched. See our vast range of filters at

    Cover Condition
    All hot tub covers can be custom made, a service we offer for £299 including VAT and delivery, so add this cost in when analysing the cost effectiveness of purchasing a used spa. If a hot tub is waterlogged and heavy you will struggle to remove it from the hot tub, therefore a replacement is necessary. You also need to consider the cost of having a damaged old cover, as lots of heat will be lost through seams that are split or damaged heat lock pads. Again, this is not to put you off a hot tub but to be priced in when considering the cost of refurbishment. 

    I hope the above information is of some use when looking for a used hot tub. We will happily check over images on an auction site to see if we can spot anything and if local to one of our branches, we can visit to check the hot tub at a cost. Please contact us on 02380 812769 or e-mail us for any help you may require.

    Wednesday, 20 March 2013

    How to Measure a Hot Tub Cover

    Image: How to measure a spa cover radius.

    Measuring a Hot Tub Cover

    When ordering a new hot tub cover, it is important to get a correctly fitted cover to ensure no heat is lost. This not only ensures that your hot tub stays at the set temperature but will save you lots of money. Below is a guide on how to measure your cover correctly.

    Measuring Your Hot Tub Size

    If you are happy with the fit of your existing cover, by all means measure your existing cover but remember this will probably have expanded over time by soaking up water.
    When measuring your spa, always remember to measure from one lip to the other. The lip may be the edge of the acrylic or the wooden cabinet depending on your model. It is recommended to add around 0.5’’-1’’ to both the length and width to allow for easy removal, as too tight a fit will make it difficult to remove the cover.

    Cover Skirt Measurement

    The skirt that overhangs your acrylic or cabinet is important to prevent heat loss around the edges. The length of your existing cover skirt is usually recommended or a skirt of around 4’’ is normal. If you have a wooden ledge around the acrylic, too long a skirt could lead to problems with the cover fit, ensure that this is considered when measuring the cover.

    Measuring the Radius of your Hot Tub Cover

    The what? The radius! Commonly frustrating for most hot tub owners when they first order a new cover. Getting this right is again vital to prevent heat loss through the corner of the cover.

    The easiest way to measure is using a carpenter’s square, however you can easily make of one of these using strong cardboard. The radius length is from the start of the bend to the imaginary point of the corner if the cover was square. The smaller the radius, the more square the corner of the hot tub cover.

    And as it is so confusing, see our helpful image above for more details!

    How to Measure Certain Shaped Covers

    Easy. Measure one length, you won’t have a radius and will only need a skirt length to complete your order. Be careful, most hot tub covers are not totally square and without a radius, double check to prevent errors.

    Measure both lengths and specify which length needs to be the folding length. By default, we will assume that the cover folds along the long side.

    Square with radius
    Follow the instructions of a square cover and measure the radius.

    Rectangle with radius
    Follow the instructions of a square cover and measure the radius.

    Measure the diameter of the hot tub cover and this will be sufficient.

    Measure the length and also measure the length of each section on the octagon.

    Top Tips
    • Remember you can make your own carpenters square using a ruler, cardboard and scissors!
    • Specify your hot tub model and make when ordering your cover. We have over 1000 models in our file and can compare with previous orders to ensure your measurements are totally accurate.
    • Remember that your old and worn cover will not be totally accurate to fit your hot tub. Measure your hot tub and your existing cover and compare the difference, draw conclusions from both.
    • Many people send us length and width measurements that are 1 inch out, these hot tubs are most probably square but the cover wear has led to a slight change in size, assume the cover is square if the measurements are this close.
    • When measuring a cover size, bigger is generally better, but this is your responsibility.
    • When measuring a corner, smaller is better. Round down if needed.
    Order your replacement hot tub cover today here -

    If you have any other queries about measuring and ordering a new hot tub cover, call the Hot Tub Helpline on 02380 812769 or e-mail us on