SPA & Hot Tubs — Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is The Difference between a Spa, Hot Tub and Whirlpool?
Answer: According to Wikipedia, the term spa is associated with water treatment and presently defines any one of jetted, heated or water-filled tubs. Spas normally offer diverse options of health treatments. The belief in the restorative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Spas was, and still is, a town in Belgium, where people went to “dip in the waters”, particularly mineral waters. Most “spas” are constructed of either fiberglass or acrylic. Acrylic spas are preferable of the two types and will operate and serve their owners for a longer time.
“Hot Tubs” are made of wood with a liner set inside in most cases. They offer “jet action”, but without comfortable seating that acrylic spas provide.
A word “whirlpool” suggests any hot tub or spa’s circular “water action” created by jets. And by the way, “Jacuzzi” is not a common name for spas. Jacuzzi is a company that manufactures “whirlpool baths” and spas. Any spa or hot tub will offer you that “whirlpool action” of the water.
Question: Should I buy a portable, self-contained spa or an in-ground spa system? What’s the difference?
Answer: Portable, self-contained spas need no outside plumbing, digging or electrical work. A standard 110 volt household wall socket is used for portable spas. Most portables can be brought in and out by a few people, so you can take them outside in the summer and inside during the winter. Portable spas have certain advantages, because they can be removed and transported in case you sell your house and desire to take your spa with you.
In-ground spas can be built in an outside deck, dug into a cement floor or installed semi-in ground with a wooden or tiled deck constructed around it. In-ground spas demand some plumbing, electrical and occasionally gas work before you get the completed product. However, your spa supplier might provide you with all these services, as well as work with your own private contractors. Generally, an in-ground spa is more expensive than the same model in a portable form, but it will become a substantial and valuable addition to your home, while granting you with a unique and comforting luxury.
Question: Are spas too heavy? Will my existing flooring support one?
Answer: Most people picture installing spas the way they do waterbeds – the water in them is so heavy that the unit might literally break the floor. Not true. Unless you decide to buy a big spa, most items on the market will not cause your floor to fall in.
In reality, a spa or waterbed actually employs less stress per square foot on a floor than your refrigerator! Most contemporary construction will support the average spa with no problem, because the weight is dispersed out over a larger surface area. If you doubt it, the best option for you is to consult a structural engineer before installing your spa.
Question: What options can I add to my spa?
Answer: Both in-ground and portable spas are available in a diversity of shapes and sizes. Contoured seating and some feature lounger sections are presented in many items. Look at and even try different models before deciding which interior pattern you would enjoy most.
You can add light to a spa of any kind. Lights go together with a variety of colored lenses that shade the water with the color matching your moods. Make sure you get the light before the spa is transported to your home.
Some spa models are supplied with an electronic digital touch sensitive control pad attached to the inside surface of the spa. It gives you an easy access to all the functions of the tub and looks high-tech.
You may also choose where exactly the jets are located in the spa (in-ground, as well as some portables). The number of jets and their color are also your decisions to make. Adjustable and non-adjustable jets affect the direction of the water flow through them and it’s up to you which one of them to prefer.
Ozonators are added to the spa as well. They automatically infuse sanitizer into the spa water in the type of ozone gas, making the tub easier to clean.