From hot tub loving monkeys to modern convenience options that are now available; here are 9 things that you might not know about hot tubs and hot tub ownership.
1) Hot Tubs Have Been Around For Well Over 2000 Years
Hot tubs are far from a modern invention. In fact, people around the world have been known to utilize natural hot springs for therapy for centuries, such as the Japanese “onsen” which have been use since the early 700s AD. Some ancient cultures like the Romans also created rudimentary hot tubs by adding heated stones to a cauldron of water as early as 200 BC. Later on, the Romans even developed piping systems to carry hot water from a furnace to a pool or other contained body of water.
The more “modern” versions of hot tubs began in the US in 1903 when inventor Candido Jacuzzi had the idea to place an aerating pump into a bath as a way to provide relief to his 15-month old son who was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
2) Humans Aren’t The Only Animals That Like Hot Tubs
Wild Japanese macaques (more commonly known as snow monkeys) in the Jigokudani Monkey Park are world famous for their love of taking a bath in the natural hot springs found in the park. In the winter months these monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest during the day to sit in the warm waters of the parks hot springs, returning to the security of the forests in the evenings.
3) Hot Tubs Have Been Shown To Relieve Symptoms For A Variety Of Ailments
While hot tubs are great for simply relaxing or unwinding after a long day, they can also provide relief from many common ailments like headaches or back pain. They do this with a combination of heat, buoyancy and massage.
- Heat. Heat opens up (“vasodilates”) your blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily throughout your body. This increased blood flow also means an increase in the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which helps heal damaged tissue.
- Buoyancy. When you’re submerged in water, the effects of gravity are reduced by 90%; reducing stress on your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.
- Massage. Massage not only feels good, it also helps increase blood flow to the areas being massaged. This increased blood flow also helps clear out toxins that build up due to insufficient blood flow and can reduce pain and inflammation.
When combined these three factors come together to help relieve symptoms of many common ailments such as headaches and insomnia, as well as more serious conditions like diabetes and arthritis.
4) Studies Have Shown That Hot Tubs Can Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Hot tubs are also great for reducing stress and anxiety. This is primarily because they take you away from the daily grind; giving you a space where you relax and clear your mind after a long day.
Not only that, their combination of heat, buoyancy and massage help to relax your muscles and relieve aches and pains; taking away tension in your body and allowing you to relax further.
5) Too Many Jets Can Actually Be A Bad Thing
Designing a hot tub that delivers a great massage is a complex task. While many people assume that simply increasing the number of jets will lead to a better massage, this is not always the case. This is because every jet you add to a hot tub takes some of the power away from the rest of the jets. Adding more jets than your pumps can properly power will therefore lead to an underpowered massage.
Just as important as the number of jets is the size and placement of the jets. Large jets are better suited for larger muscles and deep tissue massages. Smaller jets are able to deliver a more targeted massage, making them more suited to relieve pressure points. Generally speaking it it much better to have a fewer, better placed jets then more improperly placed jets.
Jets are also only one piece of the hydrotherapy puzzle. You also need to consider the pumps and plumbing. Too little power from the pumps and the water will barely trickle out. Even if the pumps are properly powered, poorly designed plumbing can rob the pump of most of its power.
To create a truly top class massage experience requires a balance between the number, size and placement of the jets, the amount of power coming from the pumps, and the plumbing’s ability to efficiently move that power to the jets.
6) Modern Hot Tubs Can Be Controlled With A Cell Phone
Most major hot tub brands now allow for their hot tubs to be fitted with control systems that can be run from a mobile phone app via BlueTooth or Wifi. Hydropool Hot Tubs, for example, are all able to be fitted with the iCommand system. This system allows you to fully control your hot tub from your phone, including:
- Operating the hot tub jets and lights.
- Setting the water temperature for your hot tub.
- Programming your filtration and enable/disable economy mode.
- Displaying alerts if there is a problem with your hot tub.
7) Shower Before Using The Hot Tub
One thing that many new hot tub owners don’t consider is how much they affect the balance and quality of their hot tub water. Your skin has quite a lot of extra particles on it at any given time. Dead skin cells, lotions, deodorant, makeup and bacteria are all commonly found on the average person’s skin. Showering before getting into your hot tub helps to remove the majority of these extra particles so that they’re not added into your hot tub water.
Keeping these particles out of your hot tub water will help to keep your water balanced and reduce the amount of sanitizing chemicals that you need to add to the water; lowering the time and expense required to maintain your hot tub.
8) Launder Your Swim Suits Properly
Another easy way to maintain a high water quality is by properly laundering any bathing suits that will be used in your hot tub. Bathing suits actually hold onto some of the detergents used when they’re machine washed. When put into your hot tub, the detergents caught in your bathing suit will escape into the water; negatively affecting your water balance and causing foam to build up over time.
To get as many of those detergents out of your bathing suits as possible we recommend doing an extra rinse cycle if you’re machine washing them. If you also machine dry your bathing suits, avoid dryer sheets as these will introduce other impurities to the bathing suits that can affect the quality of your hot tub water.
9) Many Hot Tub Owners Are Using More Chemicals Than They Need To
If you’ve never used a biofilm removing product in your hot tub, chances are you’re using more chemicals than you need to to properly maintain your hot tub.
Biofilm is a name given to any group of bacteria or other micro-organisms that stick themselves to a surface which is in regular contact with water. These micro-organisms cover themselves in a protective layer of slime that is resistant to disinfectants (like chlorine or bromine). Biofilm will build up on any surface that is in contact with water and really thrives in warm, dark areas. The plumbing and filtration system in hot tubs, therefore, provide an ideal environment for biofilms to grow.
Biofilm buildup increases your chemical usage in a few ways:
- It greatly decreases your sanitizer’s (chlorine/bromine) effectiveness, leading to an increase in the amount of sanitizing chemicals that you need to use in order to keep your water clean and clear.
- Adding more sanitizing chemicals will also throw off your water balance slightly, increasing the need to use water balancing chemicals.
- Biofilm can also cause foam and water clarity issues, leading to an increase in defoaming and clarifying chemicals.
Fortunately, biofilm removing products are now readily available. Simply add in one of these products next time you drain and refill the tub to flush out any built up biofilm and enjoy the difference in both water quality and ease of maintenance!
So there we are, 9 things that you (probably) didn’t know about hot tubs. If you’d like to learn more about hot tubs, or hot tub ownership, consult one of our many other articles such as our Tips For New Hot Tubs Owners, or our Hot Tub Energy Saving Guide.