1. What is the
difference between a hot tub and a spa?
is the name originally given to the earliest tubs that were
round, made of wood, and located outdoors. Today it is often
used interchangeably with the terms "spa".
A spa is generally made of a plastic shell with a
surrounding cabinet made of wood or synthetic materials. It can
be installed above ground or at ground-level, indoor or outdoor.
A portable hot tub or spa describes a unit that is
pre-assembled and sits above ground. Its actual size and
features may vary widely - from small portable units that weigh
only a few hundred pounds and plug into a household outlet - to
large tubs that weigh several thousand pounds and require
specific installation methods and electrical wiring.
Although wooden hot tubs were the most common type of unit in
the 1970s, one-piece plastic spas are now the most popular type
since they are less expensive to manufacture, easier to install
and maintain, and much more energy efficient.
does a spa consist of? How does it work?
One-piece spas are formed as a single unit with shapes that
provide a variety of seating arrangements within the tub. Each
integral seat is often equipped with one or more water jets that
allows water to be directed at parts of the body. The water flow
may be aerated for additional effect. And some or all of the
jets may automatically move or rotate, providing a massage-like
3. What kind
of plumbing system does a spa require?
The plumbing of
a spa consists of several distinct systems:
A pressure system delivering water to the jets
A suction system to return water to the pumps
A filtration system to clean the water
Induced or forced air system to provide a "bubbly"
An ozone system to sanitize and purify water
4. How do I
keep the spa clean and sanitary?
Water sanitization is very important in spas, as many organisms
thrive in a warm, wet environment. In addition to the use of a
pump and filtration system, bromine, chlorine or mineral
sanitizers are almost always used as a primary sanitizer. Many
spas are often supplemented with an ozone generator, UV
sterilization, or silver and copper ion generator for further
Also, we highly recommend buying a copy of "Spaaaaaahhh!" - the
best source for spa maintenance that we have ever found. The
clear and concise section on terminology alone is worth its
weight in gold.
about heat loss or energy efficiency?
insulation greatly improves the energy efficiency of a spa. Some
manufacturers fill the entire cabinet with foam, while others
insulate the underside of the shell, the inside of the cabinet,
or both. Moreover, use of a spa cover with even a small
insulating value can achieve as much as a 75% reduction in
heating costs as opposed to leaving the water surface exposed.