Hot Tubs Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of maintenance is required?
Weekly monitoring of the chemical level should be performed. If the tub has been stained, this should be repeated annually to keep the rich color from fading caused by the elements. Some customers choose to allow the cedar to naturally "gray". This is accomplished by allowing the cedar to be exposed to the elements without any protection.
What is the cost to operate my tub?
The circular construction accompanied with the high insulating value of cedar and our Northern Elements Covers will provide excellent insulation value. Outside temperature and your local electric energy costs (cents/kwhr) are the main variable in cost. Some of our customers run their tubs year round in extreme northern climates (-30 Celsius) (-22 Fahrenheit) and in those conditions are reporting a monthly cost of $50/month. The Chofu wood fired tub is the least expensive, requiring only the cost of wood.
How long will it take to assemble my tub?
The tub typically takes 1-3 hours to assemble, with the seats requiring an additional 1-2 hours. The Plumbing of a tub will take an additional 3-4 hours. Typically this is a weekend project. Time required to construct a foundation should also be budgeted. Remember, Northern Lights can ship tubs fully assembled requiring minimal additional work.
What is a safe temperature for my hot tub?
Typically most people feel that 37 - 39 C (98 - 103 Fahrenheit) is a comfortable temperature, however, we recommend you contact your doctor to determine if a hot tub is safe for your given health condition.
How long will it take to heat my hot tub?
This depends on the volume of water being heated, and the power of the heater; the starting water temperature also plays a role.. Typically it takes less than 12 hours to bring the tub to full temperature with an electrical system. A wood fired Chofu system can heat a tub in as little as 2-4 hours.
My tub gets full of foam, especially when the pump is on high.
Laundry detergent residue found on bathing clothes will cause bubbles to be formed. Adding a chemical called foam inhibitor will get rid of this problem.
My dispenser ran out of chlorine and the water is murky.
If it is caught soon enough, Spa Shock can often revive the water. Spa shock is a high concentration of chlorine that instantly boosts the level. One should wait at least one hour before entering the tub after it has been shocked. If it is too cloudy it is best to drain the tub and add fresh water. A weekly inspection of the puck dispenser will eliminate running out of chlorine.
What is the air vent for?
The air vent adds bubbles to the jets giving a more intense massage. However, because it adds cold air to the water, it should be shut off when the tub is not being used.
What are the differences between plastic tubs and your cedar tubs?
Experience! Our tubs are 43" deep, providing a unique soaking effect that is not available in shallow plastic spas. The aromatic smell of cedar coupled with the relaxing soak, and therapeutic massage provides a unique experience.
Is a wood tub hard to keep clean?
Cedar is in fact naturally resilient to decay. It's rich oils give cedar the lifespan it is famous for. Cleaning is the same as most plastic tubs. Typically a light scrub brush with a diluted solution of liquid bleach works well.
Is a wood tub less healthy then a plastic tub?
In 1993 the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin conducted tests to compare wood surfaces of cutting boards with the plastic equivalents. The assumption was wood would absorb the juices and become a hot-bed of disease. In other words, plastic would be safer. This wasn't the case. Seven species of wood and four types of plastic were tested. All were intentionally contaminated with E-Coli, Listeria and Salmonella. To everyone's surprise, the bacteria were killed within 3 minutes of touching the wood surface. This was not the case with the plastic surfaces.
What do I need to do for a foundation?
A level surface using gravel and patio blocks is sufficient. The area of this pad depends on the size of the tub. We do not recommend placing a tub directly on a deck without consulting a structural carpenter to make sure the deck is properly reinforce to with stand such a weight load.
For a wood fired system, How do you keep the water from freezing in the winter time?
The idea of a wood fired hot tub is to drain it after use. I can not be left filled in freezing conditions, unless an auxiliary circulating pump and a 1.5Kw heater is used in conjunction with the wood heater.