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Hot Tub and Spa Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


What are the different types of hot tubs and spas?

It is important to consider who will be using the hot tub/spa and how will it be used. You can choose between a portable spa and a full-size family spa. Some spas offer more depth for special uses. Also, you can select between an in ground spa and one that sits on top of a deck or slab of concrete. Each type offers unique features and will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Do portable spas require hard plumbing installation?

Generally, portable spas are filled with a garden hose. Very rarely would you need to install addition plumbing, but to be safe make sure to check with the manufacturer about proper installation and maintenance requirements.

Should I install my hot tub or spa inside or outside?

It really boils down to personal preference. Both locations have different advantages and disadvantages. Inside spas will require proper ventilation. You will also need to consider the draining and filling of the unit, floor strength, and whether or not it will fit. Inside spas offer protection from weather and extra privacy.

Outside spas will obviously be exposed to weather conditions; however you do have the option of building some sort of an awning for protection. You can also add your own personal landscaping, such as shrubs and fencing, to add privacy. With outside spas you will need to consider a dedicated electrical outlet, garden hose and surface strength. Keep in mind, winterizing kits are available for outdoor units that will experience severely cold weather.

How can I save on costs related to operating a hot tub/spa?

The main cost factor relates to heating the water. To save on cost it is important to invest in proper insulation and quality covers. Additionally, the geographical region and the model of your unit will contribute to electrical cost.
You will also benefit from purchasing low maintenance supplies and investing in ozonators. Ozonators will reduce the amount of sanitizer needed.

How should my hot tub/spa be cleaned?

It is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding proper cleaning of your unit. As a rule of thumb, it is important to use quality spa surface cleaners for your unit. Other household cleaners can damage the water. It is recommended that you rinse your filter cartridge once a month. Generally, a filter will last about a year. In addition, the tub should be drained and refilled once every three months. You may need to drain and refill more frequently depending on how often you use your unit.

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