Hot Tubs

Hot Tubs 101: A Buying Guide

There are a lot of great reasons why you should get a hot tub. But if you’re seriously looking to buy a tub, you’re probably concerned about how to purchase one. And with the cheapest hot tubs costing thousands of dollars, you need to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your money.

Here are some key factors to consider when buying a new hot tub.

Purpose

Do you plan on using your hot tub for entertaining guests? Or do you need it for medical reasons? Your purpose for purchasing a tub will determine the specific model to buy. If it’s for physical therapy or pain relief, for example, tubs with a whirlpool or hydromassage jets are recommended. If it’s merely for leisure, tubs with various jet configurations and additional amenities like mood lighting or an audio system are great choices.

Hot tub dealers such as Smith Pools often have showrooms with various fully functioning hot tubs on display. We recommend visiting your local dealer, who is often more than eager to help you find a hot tub that’s right for your needs.

Indoors vs. outdoors

Another vital factor to consider when buying a hot tub is whether you’re going to place it indoors or outside. Outdoor tubs need to have good insulation and a sturdy frame to withstand various weather conditions. Indoor hot tubs don’t need to be that durable, but they do have to be compact enough to pass through doorways and hallways to its final location.

Regardless of where you put your hot tub, you need to make sure it is on a level surface. The tub must also have access to steady water and power supply as well as an adequate drainage system.

Capacity

Hot tubs vary in sizes and capacities, with the smallest ones capable of comfortably seating four, while larger luxury models can accommodate as many as seven people. Of course, the bigger the tub, the more expensive it is.

If you intend your hot tub to be for personal use only, a small tub with a capacity of two to four people would be a practical choice. However, if you have a large family or plan on using the tub for social gatherings, a medium or large model is more suitable.

Maintenance

Owning a hot tub can be expensive, but what most people don’t know is that a considerable part of the expenses goes to keeping it in running condition. A hot tub needs to be maintained regularly to prevent algae, corrosion, and germs from spreading and potentially harming it and your health.

Ideally, you should invest in tubs with higher-quality components and features that emphasize low maintenance. A high-performance pump and filter, for example, may cost more initially but require less cleaning chemicals.

When’s the best time to buy a hot tub?

Prices on hot tubs dip at certain times of the year. Hot tub dealers usually offer discounts at the end of and the beginning of a new year to clear space for new models and inventory. The slow months of February and October are also when dealers usually offer markdowns. Manufacturers also post special sales promotions, especially on Labor Day and Memorial Day.

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Nordic Hot Tubs

Why Choose A Bullfrog Hot Tub?

Hot tubs are one of the best luxuries to have, but not all are created equal. If you ask us, Bullfrog Spas is one of the better options. A leading manufacturer of hot tubs in the United States, Bullfrog Spas offers a luxurious personalized spa experience with its reasonably priced hot tubs.

If you are looking for a new hot tub for your home, here are several great reasons why you should get a Bullfrog Spas hot tub from us.

Customized, Efficient Hydrotherapy Experience

The most popular feature of Bullfrog Spas hot tubs is the modular JetPak Therapy System that allows you to customize the tub’s seats and water massages. Customers can choose from 17 interchangeable JetPak modules that direct water pressure to specific parts of the body. The height and jet power of each module can also adjust for a more comfortable experience.

Aside from customization, the JetPak System is also more efficient as it uses 90% fewer pipes than a standard tub. The reduced plumbing means less water friction and increased water pressure, ensuring all seats run at optimum pressure at all times. So there’s no need for diverter valves, and you don’t have to worry about uneven water pressure.

Cutting-Edge Water Care Systems

Bullfrog Spas hot tubs come fitted with a series of advanced water care systems that ensure clean, healthy water without the need for additional toxic cleaning agents and chemicals. Bullfrog’s patented EOS O3 water purification system is twice as effective in removing impurities and is validated to kill 99.9% of germs in the water. Each tub also features SmartChlor technology that uses 75% less chlorine and keeps chlorine levels in the water at a minimum, resulting in clearer, softer water that only needs to be shocked once a month.

Better Heat Retention

Because Bullfrog Spas has 90% less plumbing, there is less chance for heat to escape from the water while traveling from the pump to the jets. Each tub also uses 100% closed-cell full-foam insulation throughout the interior of the structure, locking heat inside the tub even in the coldest climates.

The JetPak Therapy system saves more heat by being housed inside the proprietary H2Air manifold that’s submerged in the water. The design transfers heat generated by the system directly into the water instead of dispersing the heat into the air. This innovation makes Bullfrog Spas tubs one of the most energy-efficient hot tubs in the market and among the few that are capable of recycling heat from the equipment.

Durable Construction

Hot tubs with wood or metal frames typically rot or rust after three to five years. Bullfrog tubs do not have this problem as they consist of a wood- and metal-free Enduraframe support structure. This patented frame is 100% molded ABS, which is lightweight, waterproof, and impervious to corrosion. Bullfrog Spas also has fewer holes drilled into the seats and frame, reducing the chance of leaks. And if maintenance is needed, most of the plumbing can be easily accessed through the JetPak housing instead of underneath the structure like with conventional tubs.

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Does a Hot Tub Increase the Value of Your Home?

Chances are if you’re interested in getting a hot tub, your first thought wasn’t about your home’s value. Relaxation? Retreat? Sure, but as it turns out, getting a hot tub does come with the bonus of a home value boost—under the right circumstances. So, when can a hot tub increase the value of your home?

When a Hot Tub Adds Value

The key to getting value out of a spa is making it look like part of your property as if it were designed and built when your home was. Your goal is to avoid letting it look like an afterthought or temporary structure. For instance, when the spa is in-built, consider linking it to your home’s water system or build it into a deck or patio.

Often this entails more than just adding a hot tub unless you already have an ideal existing space. For instance, you may build a deck around it, add a tiki bar, and some landscaping to create your own little backyard retreat. It doesn’t have to be that elaborate, even a small gazebo or trellis with privacy shade can do the trick as long as it causes the spa to blend with your home aesthetic.

When a Hot Tub Does Not Add Value

If making a hot tub look like part of your home adds value, the opposite is an obvious reason a hot tub wouldn’t add value—a temporary look. The issue is that hot tubs just sort of set up on a deck or in the back yard can easily be shut down and moved. In this sense, they add no more value to your home than a nice car parked in the driveway. Pretty, but not considered in the home’s valuation.

Poor maintenance is another common reason hot tubs fail to add value to a home. Potential buyers don’t see worth in something that’s just going to make more work for them and fixing up or removing an old hot tub nobody cared for qualifies there.

The quality of the hot tub installed also factors in. A low-quality hot tub is more likely to require more maintenance on top of being less appealing to home buyers. You can save yourself time and trouble and increase your home’s value in the process by doing your research before buying a spa.

Utilizing the Value of Your Hot Tub

Alright, all that said, if you’re sold on buying a hot tub, there are a few simple things you can do to maximize the value of your hot tub in regard to your home value.

First, ensure that the hot tub replacement blends well with your desired space and the overall look of your property. Add attractive landscaping to maximize the aesthetic appeal of the spa. Next, ensure that you maintain your hot tub by replacing filters, worn out parts, and other components.

Lastly, be sure to pick out a good quality hot tub that will stand the test of time and minimize repair costs. Remember, the goal is to ensure the spa looks new to potential buyers and well incorporated into the look of your home.

If you need help with any of the above, Smith’s Pools is here to help. Give us a call to get started.

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Tips to Accessorize Your Hot Tub

Fall is the ideal time to get your backyard ready for family and friends to connect and have some excellent time together in the spa. By itself, a hot tub is unique, but to improve its experience, you can spice it up by adding some accessories.

Add Plants for a Natural Look

The best thing about accessorizing with plants is that they give your space a sense of peace and tranquillity and add color. Mixing low ground cover with plants will make your spa look natural and well blended with your property or home. It will look more inviting to your family and friends to relax and kick-back.

Gazebo

If you are looking to create a more private area around your backyard, a gazebo will work well. You can create a more private space by the gazebo by providing shade from weather patterns like rain and snow. Gazebos are not that expensive. You can find one that is cost-friendly and make your background more aesthetically pleasing.

Bluetooth Stereo

While reminiscing about old times, background music will help make the spa feel more relaxing. The benefit of Bluetooth stereo is that you can control it using your phone, so you do not have to make wet trips to the house. Connect to Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify with just a click on your phone.

Convenience is crucial because you do not want to run back and forth to change the volume or the song. Bluetooth stereos are wireless and compatible with most phones.

Lighting

You want to use your hot tub in the evening, why not? When installed well, light can make your spa, and the entire backyard look not only spectacular but also feel great. Moonlights, for instance, will bring life after dark as moon shadows are cast all over the deck.

You can also opt to use color LED bulbs and shift between more than one color. The options are endless when it comes to lighting your spa.

Side-Table

Your spa is comfortable and looks great, but you also want to enjoy your favorite cocktail. Hot-tubs, music, drinks, and music go well together. You will want to purchase a side table or caddy that is convenient for holding your glass and other accessories.

If you have a Bluetooth stereo, you will want to have your phone near you. There is a range of side shelves that you can choose from to match your spa color or any other theme you are trying to accomplish.

Handrail

Children and the elderly often have a hard time getting into the hot tub and usually require an adult to lift them. A handrail can help those who have trouble getting in and out for various reasons. Most handrail base plates slip under the hot tub cabinet to ensure stability.

We believe that every aspect of your spa experience should be perfect. That’s why Smith’s Pool carries a wide range of accessories for you to choose from. Come check us out today, and then gather up your family and get ready for fun, relaxation, and a lot of bonding.

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Why Buy a Hot Tub for Your Family?

Thinking of getting a hot tub but not sure if it’s worth it? There are plenty of benefits that come with owning a hot tub you may not have considered. Here are just a few reasons you should consider buying a hot tub for your family as well as how to choose a good one.

Hot Tubs Ignite Meaningful Conversations

With the hassles of everyday life, the family rarely gathers around to have a meaningful conversation. After getting home from a busy day, people want to rest hence avoid a lot of small talk.

The advantage of having a hot tub is that no one will bring their gadgets for the safety of their phones and laptops. The kids will not be glued to their phones, scrolling through their Instagram feed. Naturally, a hot tub allows people to relax and unwind as they enjoy their favorite drinks.

When everyone’s mind is relaxed, they feel the need to share how their week was or what their goals are. This provides your family with an opportunity to bond the natural way away from the internet.

Entertain Guests

While pools are more commonly known for drawing a crowd, hot tubs can be an excellent alternative, especially for teens and adults. Having a hot tub can offer you a way to socialize with guests—and your family—more in a comfortable environment.

What Makes the Best Family Hot Tub?

If you are looking for a hot tub that is family-friendly, there are a few features that will work best. These features will be a good fit for the entire family.

• Easy Water Care
A hot tub should enhance relaxation, so it is not ideal if you are busy measuring out chemicals. This should not be a problem at all.

The best family hot tubs have a water system that makes it easy for you to care for it without a lot of hassle. It’s best to choose a hot tub that has a simple care package that purifies, filters, and regulates the levels of chemicals in the spa water. This system is automatic so that you will not struggle with all the droppers and test tubes.

• Seating Capacity
A family hot tub does not serve its function if a group of seven family members struggles to fit in a four-seat hot tub. You will spend more time struggling to scooch as opposed to relaxing and bonding.

Everyone must have enough room, and there should be different depths of seats for family members of all heights. After all, you do not want the kids entirely submerged in water.

• Fun Features
A hot tub is not all quiet relaxation. They can offer everyone from kids to adults, creative ways to have fun. It is essential to look for a family hot tub that has cool water jets, color-changing lights, or control panels that give you control of the spa aspects.

If you’re sold on getting a hot tub for your family and still not sure which to choose, give us a call. At Smith Pools, we have years of experience and a wide selection of excellent family hot tubs.

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Suffering from Back Pain – Maybe a Hot Tub Can Help

Those who suffer from chronic back pain are afraid of exploring new treatments and therapies because they fear it will worsen their symptoms. You don’t have to worry about using a hot tub. For thousands of years, ancient Russians, Japanese, and Greeks used hot tubs to relieve back pain. Spas were also used to improve blood circulation, reduce pain, and promote relaxation. Are they effective?

Read on and find out how a hot tub can reduce your back pain.

Buoyancy for support

Back pain increases every time you use back muscles, and the outcome is more stiffness and pain. Water reduces weight by up to 90% and increases buoyancy, giving you the support needed to reduce back pain.

Heat for muscle relaxation

Using a hot tub is an effective way of applying more heat to more significant parts of the body at once. The heat reaches all areas of the upper and lower back, not to mention shoulders, neck, thighs, and legs. Whether you are experiencing back pain due to exerting yourself at work or playing hardcore sports, soaking in a hot tub soak can relax painful muscles and give you much-needed relief. Also, it improves circulation and delivers crucial nutrients to affected areas for quick healing.

Massage for pain relief

A hot tub offers on-demand relief for your back any time you need it – in the morning, afternoon, or late at night. Given the variety of jets in a hot tub, you can be sure that a half-hour dip will provide instant pain relief. You can enjoy a customized massage to relieve pain and increase mobility and back flexibility, all while reducing the need for anti-inflammatory medication.

Features to look for

If you are shopping for a hot tub specifically for hydrotherapy purposes, you should pay attention to its features. The jets should be positioned well for use on your the back and target the area in pain. Jet varieties include whirlpool jets, which concentrate water pressure on the affected area, and massage jets that move back and forth. Moldable plastic shells have paved the way for customizable jets.

Other features to look for include pumps, heating controls, and water pressure. As for seating, we recommend lounge-style seats. These combined with full immersion and strategically placed jets provide ultimate relaxation.

It is important to note that while hot tubs are great for back pain, you should talk to a physician before using a spa for medical purposes. Be careful not to exceed the recommended temperature and avoid taking any medication that may make you drowsy before getting in the hot tub.

Go ahead and take a soak

Hot tub hydrotherapy is a great way to treat pain and relax muscles. It soothes your mind, promotes tissue healing, reduces muscle spasms, and improves overall well-being. So, why not take a soak? You deserve it. If you don’t already have a hot tub, at Smith Pools, we have an excellent selection and can help you find the perfect match for your needs.

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Above Ground Pool Products

Hot Tub Water Care Guide

So, you have installed a new hot tub or replaced an old one. That’s good. However, do you know how to take good care of it? Don’t worry if this is a grey area for you. Read our hot tub water care guide for simple steps that can help you keep your hot tub in good shape for years.

Step 1: Checking the pH of the water

Water is alkaline if the pH is 7 or higher. In a hot tub, you want stable pH levels around 7.2 to 7.8 with little fluctuation.

The higher the pH levels of your water, the less effective a chlorine disinfectant will be. At higher pH levels, you’re also going to notice that the water gets cloudy. It could also irritate your skin and eyes and cause other undesirable effects. 

The process of testing and balancing your alkalinity levels involves two significant steps: testing and treating. With the test, you will be able to tell whether the alkalinity level is too high or too low.  You can use Total Alkalinity Increaser if the levels are low, but if it’s high, get in touch with our team for the best course of action.

Step 2: Sanitization of water

Since warm water can accommodate some bacteria and viruses, you should sanitize it to keep it fresh and bacteria-free. The most popular sanitizers are bromine and chlorine, and each has its pros and cons. Chlorine is the better option as it’s.  Go for the slow-dissolving granular forms instead of liquid. 

Step 3: Shock treatment

Another vital aspect of maintenance is shocking the hot tub. What this does is it to break down the organic elements that could contaminate water and cause it to develop odors. The process reduces the need for higher chemical dosage while eliminating bacteria as well as algae, thereby prolonging the lifespan of your tub.

Step 4: Draining your hot tub

The final stage of maintenance involves a complete reset of the system every 3 months. Replacing the water serves to flush out the entire system which freshens things. It’s also a great time to clean your hot tub. The ability to clean the inside of your hot tub is one reason a complete drain is often better than partial drainage.

The process is also quite simple, and you don’t need a special cleaner. A sponge and sanitizer, such as white vinegar, works great. You’ll need to clean or replace the filters as well. While weekly you should remove and rinse your filters with warm water, during full drains they should be soaked in filter cleaner and then rinsed. Once the soak fails to remove grime, it’s time to replace your filters.

Check out Smiths Pools for all your hot tub maintenance needs

We offer testing kits, sanitizer, replacement filters, and more—everything you could possibly need to keep your hot tub up and running in top condition. If you have any more questions regarding proper hot tub care, we’d also be happy to help. Give us a call.

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Nordic Hot Tubs

Hot Tub Basics

If you’re thinking of getting a new hot tub or spa but don’t know where to start, the vast collection of resources online can easily overwhelm you. Don’t worry. We’ll show you how to take care of your new tub. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Hot tub or spa?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Is there any difference between a spa and a hot tub? When you read reviews or guides online, you will find some are specific to hot tubs and others to spas. The two terms mean the same thing. If you see a guide for a spa, it will work for your hot tub and vice versa.

Set the right temperature

Finding the right temperature for your hot tub is a science in itself. There is no standard temperature, and different users have different preferences. The rule of thumb is that, if you have small children, don’t go beyond 900F for safety reasons. Small children can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults.

Sanitize the water

Salespeople will always tell you their hot tubs don’t use chemicals. That’s a big fat lie. Hot water is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, some of which are dangerous. To keep your pool safe, sanitize it using chlorine or bromine. You will need to test your water at least once every two weeks to ensure it’s safe. Regular testing also guarantees the right levels. You don’t want a hot tub bubbling with too many chemicals.

Clean your filtration

Your hot tub can become dirty quickly if you don’t care for it. The main culprit is the filtration system, which ensures that dust particles, body oils and lotions, leaves and other debris don’t clog up your hot tub. Clean it every two weeks and apply chemical treatments every three of four months. By doing this, you’ll never have to worry about dirt building up in your hot tub.

Top up water

Water levels in your hot tubs will decrease with time. It could be as a result of evaporation or when you get in and out of the tub. Whichever the case, you should still top up the water regularly. Ensure you get the right level. Ideally, it should always be above the skimming point, that is, where the microfilter begins.

Your hot tub might develop problems if you let it suck dry air instead of water. It is also good to change your water often to ensure your tub remains clean and healthy. Sometimes the chemicals and the filter aren’t enough.

Cover your hot tub

If you’re concerned about maintenance costs, you want to make sure that you keep your hot tub covered when not in use. Covering it ensures dirt and other debris doesn’t build and clog your filters. It also prevents water from evaporating and prevents heat loss when you are not using your hot tub. With reduced heating, you will end up saving more on energy costs.

Still have questions? Feel free to give us a call. At Smith Pools, our qualified team is always happy to help.

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How to Clean Your Spa in Less Than 30 Minutes

While many people think that cleaning the spa is a time-consuming exercise, the truth is it’s possible to do it in just 30 minutes! Follow our simple guide below to discover how to make your spa clean without sweating it out.

Step 1: Always cover your hot tub

Covering your tub keeps it free from debris. It also shades the hot tub and preserves the lifespan of the spa. Always spray the cover down with a hose after removal.

If dirty, clean the cover with dish soap and a soft-bristle brush, then rinse, and finally, dry it with a clean cloth. We also advise you to condition it with a UV inhibiting vinyl protectant. If there’s any tree sap, use the BBQ lighter fluid. It evaporates quickly and will loosen the sap enough for you to scrub it off.

Step 2: Clean the filters

When cleaning the filters, place the spa in a hold mode then remove the filter cap and hot tub filters. Next, rinse the filters with a hose or under warm water in the sink, reinstall the cartridges, and reset the control systems. 

Note: soaking the filter in warm water helps to remove sunscreen lotion residue. Calcium deposits can also be removed by soaking the filters in a 1:10 mixture of muriatic acid to water. 

Step 3: Changing your water

It takes roughly 60 minutes to change the water, but this isn’t hands-on time. Here is how to go about it:

  1. Turn the power off
  2. Locate the drain and pull it out
  3. Attach the hose to the spout to activate the drain
  4. Pull the drain spout out and get the hose off
  5. Replace the cap of the drain and push it back into the spa
  6. Use a hose and filter compartment to clean and refill the spa.

Change the water every 3 to 4 months. Before you drain the water, identify a large section of the yard where you can channel it. 

Step 4: Clean the shell surface of the spa

Apply a small amount of dishwashing soap or vinegar to a soft damp cloth then use to rub the surface. A mild acrylic cleaner can help to remove stubborn stains. Rinse thoroughly then dry it with a clean cloth. If your spa has light scratches, reach out to our team for repair options.

That’s all you need to do to clean your spa within 30 minutes. This way, you will keep your hot tub fresh and free of dirt and residues from oil and hair products.

A clean spa is both inviting and ready for fun and relaxation. It also keeps you and your loved ones safe from dirt and contaminants that could otherwise cause health problems. At Smith Pools, you can also purchase the proper water treatment options to ensure it stays that way.

Stop by today, and watch your dirty and grimy spa turn into a clean and comfortable haven for relaxation.

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Are BullFrog Spas Energy-Efficient?

If you want to buy a hot tub for your home, you might be afraid of the high cost of maintenance and energy consumption associated with spas. You’re not alone—many people shy away from spas concerned about what it will do to their utility bill. If you have read tub reviews, you will most certainly have heard BullFrog Spas. They can be a fantastic addition to your home as they’re more energy-efficient than other brands within their price range.

#1 Minimal Plumbing

BullFrog Spas discovered that reducing the plumbing on their hot tubs minimizes the amount of friction as well as the energy required to pump water to the jets. What they have done is to reduce the amount of plumbing by up to 90%. This reduced plumbing makes it very economical to run your tub while lowering the maintenance costs.

They also use a patented H2Air Manifold with their JetPak. The manifold is placed inside the water rather than being outside. This ensures that the heat from the JetPak water is used inside the tub instead of getting lost to the environment. Getting the extra heat from the manifold means you spend even less to keep your tub water hot.

#2 Foam Insulation

BullFrog Spas uses a smart insulation design to keep the tub water hot without reheating it all the time. The full foam around the tub ensures that no heat is lost to the outside. Standard tubs lose so much heat to the environment.  The heater has to be on all the time to keep the water hot.

If you look at a BullFrog Spa with an infrared heat map, you will notice that the walls are cold as a result of the insulation. Little heat escapes from the bottom and sides. The same can’t be said about standard hot tubs. They consume more power to keep the water at a constant temperature.

#3 High-Quality, Well Fitting Cover

With standard hot tubs, most people end up buying a cover. These covers, in most cases, are seldom fitting and are often made from the poorest of materials. The result is heat loss.

When it comes to Bull Frog Spas, your hot tub comes with a premium bespoke cover that does the job well. It is made from high-grade materials that’ll withstand the heat and elements even when you have your tub out in the patio. The tight fit ensures that no heat escapes from the top. You can use the cover when heating your tub water to make the process even faster and more efficient.

We live in touch economic times. Come see us at Smith Pools. We understand that the biggest concern for any new client is energy consumption. Homeowners are doing whatever they can to cut down costs. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a little luxury at home.  With an energy-efficient hot tub such as those from BullFrog, you can unwind in a relaxing environment whenever you get back from work.

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