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A Swimspa with a Difference; introducing the New E550 Endless Pools Fitness System

With a wealth of choice available on the Swimspa market, it’s a good idea to visualise how you see yourself using one early on in your search. 

For some, it’s a place to bring the whole family together; with the kids swimming and splashing around while the adults relax in the spa seats. Or perhaps you’re serious about your fitness and searching for the ultimate Aquatic Fitness System – whatever your reasons, finding the Swimspa that best suits your needs is key.

Different By Design

Endless Pools E550 Fitness SystemThe newest model by industry leader Endless Pools was designed based around customer feedback, resulting in a truly unique swimspa. 

Building on the success of the popular E500 in the Endless Pools range, the E550 is the same 15’ length but with a width increase of 13cm, making the E550 the widest swimpsa in the range at 239cm.

Featuring the signature Endless Pools Fastlane as the counter current system, optional underwater treadmill and resistance bands, this is an all-round total body fitness centre suitable for any swim stroke or water workout – just perfect for butterfly and breast stroke fans!

By relocating the steps to the front of the swimspa and replacing the standard hydrotherapy massage seats with two standing massage stations, every inch of space is made available for exercising in.

Low Impact, Low Maintenance

The Endless Pools Fastlane swim current system provides a deep, broad current helping you swim in place and the current easily adjusts to suit all levels, from toddlers to triathletes. 

For alternative aquatic workouts, use the resistance bands and add resistance by turning the swim current on for the ultimate core stability builder!  If you choose the Underwater Treadmill, you’ll also feel the benefits of walking or running minus the stresses of land-based exercise.

Whichever water-based workout you enjoy, you’ll reap all the same physical benefits as traditional exercise with low impact on your joints and muscles – say hello to faster recovery times and less injuries!

E550 Fitness System featuring the Endless Pools FastlaneAs with all swimspas in the Endless Pools range, the E550 features a durable, steel-framed cabinet with a modern, sleek design - designed with both style and functionality in mind while being virtually maintenance free.

The Endless Pools Experience

One thing that is highly recommended is to ‘wet test’ a swimspa before making that all-important decision.  After all, this isn’t an everyday purchase and you want to get a true feel for what it’ll be like to actually use in real life. We currently have two swimspas by Endless Pools available to try, the X500 from the SwimCross jetted swim current range and the E2000 featuring the signature Endless Pools FastLane counter current system, so that customers can try both out and help them decide which type suits their needs best.

To book a free trial session at our Cardiff showroom, please contact us either by calling 02920 705059 or email us at sales@allswimltd.com.

Why Is My Pool Going Green & Eating Chlorine?

Green swimming pool caused by algae formationOne of the most common issues pool owners are facing at the moment is the pool turning green and having to then spend time and money rectifying the problem. But what causes the problem and how can you prevent it?

Algae Loves the Sun!

The green colour in your swimming pool is caused by the presence of algae in the water. When conditions are right, algae blooms and the pool turns green; having out of balance water, warm temperatures, sunlight and the presence of phosphates all contribute to algae growth but so does the lack of good circulation, filtration and sanitisation.

If it’s all starting to sound like a lot of hard work, fear not, it is possible to keep your pool clear and free of algae with a little commitment to the cause. It is really important to regularly monitor and test the chlorine level and to then dose the water with the appropriate amount based on the volume of water your pool holds. Another essential step during this weather is to ensure your pump is turned on and the water is circulating – not turning the pump on will stop the chemicals from circulating and allow the algae to thrive! Chlorine does a great job of sanitising the water, keeping it free from bacteria and harmful organisms. But when the weather is hot and sunny and the pool is being used a lot, the demand for chlorine increases, so you will find that your usual dose is not as effective and your water balance is suffering.

How Do I Clear My Green Pool?

There is a handy guide to looking after your pool available on our website as well as step by step instructions for How To Clear A Green Pool.

By maintaining your chlorine at a level of 1 – 1.5mg or ppm (parts per million) consistently you will dramatically reduce the chance of algae taking hold, and save yourself the headache of battling it!

Lo-Chlor Knockout Algicide and Starver XIn addition to chlorine you can also utilise other chemicals to make algae control a breeze!

Lo-Chlor Algae Knock-Out is highly recommended for stubborn algae blooms it is a heavy duty, copper free, dual action formulation, guaranteed to kill even the most stubborn forms of algae!

Phosphates are a major food source for algae, high levels of which often result in a recurrence of stubborn algae in swimming pools. By removing the phosphates from the water, the algae cannot survive. Lo-Chlor Starver X is an effective superior strength liquid phosphate remover for use in swimming pools.

Kleen Pool Longlife Algicide will maintain your pool free of most algae for periods up to 6 months. One simple application will free you from the problems caused by algae blooms; discolouration and hazes which can affect the appearance of your pool. When your pool is not being used for swimming, such as holiday times and throughout winter, Kleen Pool will keep your pool clear and free of most algae without the use of other pool chemicals.

Further advice on water treatment and calculating the volume of your pool can all be found in our Water Treatment Guide as well.

The All Swim glossary of Hot Tub terms

Caldera Utopia Spas hot tubsChoosing your Hot Tub can (and should) bring up lots of questions. With so many options to choose from, how do decipher what features you will benefit most from, or indeed what the feature even means exactly?

  • Why do some tubs feature Ozone?
  • What is an Air Blower for?

The list goes on. So we’ve put together a nonsense-free, simple Glossary of the most common Hot Tub features and terminology – so you can easily understand and identify the key features you want in a tub.

A is for Air Blower

Hot Tub jets typically use a mixture of water and air to produce a massage effect. An Air Blower is a separate motor from the pump motor, which works by pushing large volumes of air through specific jets. The Air Blower can be turned on or off using a dedicated control, which produces a bubbling effect for a lighter type of massage than water-only massage jets.

Bear in mind that the use of an Air Blower will offer a variation in the massage effects, but the air will also have a cooling effect on the air (impacting energy costs due to the call for heat).

B is for Balboa

A familiar name that will come up frequently in the world of Hot Tubs. Balboa is the name of Balboa Water Group, who are recognised as one of the industry leaders in the production of hot tub control panels and topsides. One thing to consider, Balboa control panels alone do not determine the overall quality of a hot tub (as they can easily be retro-fitted to a wide range of tubs), so if you are considering a tub featuring Balboa controls, be sure to check out the full details and warranty information of the tub and the manufacturer.

Bromine

A popular sanitiser for use in Hot Tubs which is an alternative to chlorine and works exceptionally well at high temperatures.

C is for Cover & Cover Lifter

Lifestyle Coverlifter ProLift IIA well-fitting rigid insulation cover will maximise heat retention in your tub and although not essential, a cover lifter makes taking the cover off and replacing it easier and protects the cover.

Chlorine

A sanitiser that is available in either stabilised or unstabilised forms. Stabilised chlorine is a slow release sanitiser and comes in granular or tablet form whereas unstabilised chlorine (known as Shock) quickly raises the level of sanitiser to kill off bacteria – ideal for treating fresh water or when sanitiser levels have dropped too low resulting in less than desired water quality.

D is for Diverters

The ability to divert power between seats in your hot tub is very useful; for example if there are only 2 of you sat in a 6 seater, diverter valves allow you to turn off the power to the empty seats, diverting it to the area of the tub being used.

Or for those times when you’re enjoying chatting but no longer need your massage jets on – you can just turn your jets off and remain in the tub.

E is for Energy Efficiency

One of the most frequent questions people ask when browsing our tubs is ‘How much is it going to cost me to run?’ A key question indeed. Caldera Spas models are designed to be highly energy efficient, through a combination of features such as the unique FiberCor insulation (on Caldera Spas) and EnergyPro circulation and heating system.

Realistically, monthly running costs come in at around £30-35 per month based on around 7 hours use per week.

F is for Frogs

A set of cartridges that sit within your Caldera Spas tub (in a built-in hidden compartment) that look after your water quality. The mineral cartridge softens the water while the Bromine cartridge delivers a constant level of sanitiser keeping your water clean and safe. Fully adjustable so you can increase or decrease the level as needed.

Fibreglass

Used to reinforce the acrylic shell once it is removed from the mould.

Filter Cycles

The programmed time period when the hot tub water filtration comes on (e.g. twice a day at 12 hourly intervals).

G is for Ground Preparation

When planning the location for your hot tub, be sure to properly lay the correct foundation. A concrete slab is the ideal base, measuring 4 inches (10cm) in thickness and it should be completely flat and level.

H is for Hot Tub Circuit Therapy

Hot tub circuit therapy, the Caldera Spas differenceNot the type of ‘circuits’ you may have experienced in the gym – but a way more relaxing circuit. Caldera Spas have designed their tubs to encourage the bather to spend time in every seating position, resulting in a full body hydrotherapy massage that targets every muscle and stress point.

No more lounger-hogging!

I is for Insulation

One feature that appears across all 3 Caldera Spas ranges is the FiberCor Insulation, which is 4 x denser than traditional hot tub insulation foam. This makes it 4 x better at both heat retention with an added bonus being a quieter operation when the tub is on.

J is for Jets

Not all jets are created equally, and quantity doesn’t always equal quality! We recommend wet-testing any hot tub you are considering purchasing. Even if the exact model can’t be tested, trial a model from the same range or manufacturer.

Caldera Spas models all feature jets exclusive to Caldera, as they have created their own series of jets based on providing the highest quality of massage benefits for the user.

K is for kW (heater size)

The output measurement of a heater, usually ranging from 2-3kw in a hot tub. The higher the kW output the quicker your hot tub water will heat up, with average heating time around 12-18 hours from scratch.

L is for Loungers

An angled seat that enables you to recline in the hot tub. Some tubs feature one or multiple lounger seats whereas others offer more seats by not having a lounger at all.

M is for Music

Some tubs feature in-built music systems allowing you to Bluetooth music from your chosen device. Caldera Spas offer the option of having music or not in their tubs, so customers have the choice (great for when you already have an outdoor music system setup!).

N is for ‘No Flow’

An indicator that water is not flowing through the hot tub pump. Refer to your manual or contact your retailer for advice.

O is for Ozone

Although you will always need to use some form of sanitiser to kill off and prevent bacteria in a hot tub, it’s helpful having something that reduces the amount of chemicals required. Caldera Spas feature Monarch CD Ozone, which mixes ozone bubbles into the water as it travels through a special contact chamber - neutralising contaminants and reducing the need for additional sanitiser. A key benefit of the Monarch CD form of ozone is that it does not contain a UV light that needs regular replacement to remain effective.

P is for Pumps

The pump is what drives water up through the pipework and forces it out via the jets. Smaller hot tubs typically have 1 pump (driving up to 30 jets or so). Larger tubs will usually have 2 pumps.

pH

The measure of acidity or alkalinity above the neutral pH of 7.0. Anything below 7.0 is considered acidic and above is alkaline. For hot tubs your pH should be maintained between 7.2 – 7.6.

PPM

Parts per million is the measure of concentration of a chemical.

Q is for Quality Assurance

Purchasing a hot tub is a big decision, so naturally you’ll want to feel confident in the quality of both the tub itself and the retailer. Some key points to look for are the Warranty details of the tubs, the reputation of the manufacturer and the company selling the tub.

A sure sign of a reputable retailer is to check if they are BISHTA members. BISHTA is a trade organisation that represents the British and Irish Hot Tub and Pool industry and its’ members are committed to a code of ethical practices and selling with integrity.

Similarly, buying a tub from a manufacturer who has been in operation for a long time is a good sign of quality – such as Caldera Spas who have been creating quality tubs for over 40 years. A good quality manufacturer will be reflected in the warranties they offer on their tubs also.

R is for Rotomolded

DreamMaker rota moulded hot tubsRotomolded hot tubs are solid, one-piece tubs that are extremely durable and rotationally constructed from plastic. Due to the one-piece construction, these tubs are very strong, lightweight and will never rot, rust, chip or crack. Also a cheaper option than traditional tubs. Why not view our rotomolded DreamMaker and Fantasy Spas hot tub ranges?

S is for Sanitiser

This is what keeps the water clean, safe and free from bacteria. The most commonly used options are bromine or chlorine.

T is for Test Strips

A simple method of testing your hot tub water; a strip is dipped into the water then by reading the colours against the colour coded chart on the bottle to identify any action you need to take to balance the water.

U is for Underwater Lighting

Many tubs feature LED underwater lighting which can enhance the ambience in your hot tub.

UltraMasseuse

An exclusive massaging system featured in some of the Utopia models by Caldera Spas, the user can select a variety of massage sequences to fully customise the hydrotherapy massage.

V is for VersSage

A powerful jet featured on the Paradise and Utopia ranges by Caldera Spas that can be adjusted to provide a variety of massage effects. The more you angle the nozzle, the wider the path of rotation.

W is for Watkins Wellness

The US organisation currently the global leader in producing hot tubs founded in 1977. Part of the MASCO Corporation – a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Watkins manufacture two leading hot tub brands; Fantasy Spas rotomolded tubs and all three ranges by Caldera Spas (Vacanza, Paradise and Utopia).

X is for ‘X’-Display Deals

It’s always worth checking if there are any deals to be had on ex-display models as sometimes it can result in a real bargain.

Y is for You Time

A major benefit in owning and using your hot tub is having time dedicated to relaxation and stress relief. Regular hot tub use is proven to decrease stress and tension and to promote muscle recovery along with general wellbeing.

Z is for Zzz's

How does hot tub use improve sleep quality? Spending time in water temperature raises core body temperature. When you exit the tub, the resulting drop in your body temperature signals it’s sleep time to the brain, setting you up for a better quality night’s sleep.

Our guide to opening your swimming pool this Spring

Opening Your Outdoor Pool For Spring – A Step By Step Guide

Removing leaf debris with a swimming pool netNow that the ‘Beast from the East’ has finally moved on, us UK folk are turning our thoughts to the welcome onset of Spring. And for outdoor swimming pool owners, that brings the labour of love that is getting your pool ready for the season.

If you used a long life algaecide, such as Winterclear or Kleen Pool when closing down your pool for the winter, you will hopefully now find the pool free from algae, which is one less thing to take care of. Here is our step by step guide to the process of opening up your outdoor chlorine pool:

  1. Remove surface water and debris from the winter cover before removing it from the pool. You will then need to clean and dry it before putting it away for storage.
  2. Using a leaf net, remove as much debris from the pool as possible and clean any tide marks at the water line using either our All Swim Tile and Liner Cleaner or All Swim Waterline Cleaner.
  3. If you removed the pump over the winter, you will need to reconnect the circulation pump – making sure all electrical connections are free from dampness. If in any doubt, be sure to contact an electrician.
  4. Open up any valves beneath the water line which may have been closed or plugged.
  5. Check there are no obstructions to the drains, the outlets and the pump strainer basket.
  6. If necessary, top up the water level so that it can be drawn in through the skimmer/skimmers.
  7. Prime the pump, turn it on and check that the filter, skimmers and drains are all working. The water may be discoloured initially, which is common and no cause for alarm! If you find the water level is too high due to winter rainfall, you will need to pump it to waste.
  8. Run the filter for several hours, vacuuming out any remaining debris. Backwash the filter and top up with fresh water.
  9. Prepare your heat retention cover for use, cleaning off any patches of algae or mould.
  10. All Swim pool chemicalsCheck the pH and if necessary adjust to within the 7.2 – 7.6 range. pH is increased by the use of PAK 2 and lowered by using Pool Acid, both of which can be found in the Water Balance Section on our website
  11. Next you will need to give your pool a good dose of our Shock Chlorine Granules which is essential to kill off any algae and harmful organisms that may be present. Allow the water to circulate to ensure the shock chlorine is thoroughly distributed.
  12. If there are any stubborn algae patches, using our Lo-Chlor Knock Out Algaecide will help remove them.
  13. Adding an algaecide will help keep your pool free from unsightly algae during the season. Long-life algaecides will keep the pool algae-free for up to 6 months, or alternatively All Swim Algicide is a weekly treatment if you prefer regular dosing. Our full range of Algaecides and Clarifiers are perfect for these types of treatments.

And finally...time to pray for some sunshine, so you can enjoy your outdoor pool to the max this season!

If you need any advice regarding maintaining your swimming pool, feel free to contact us on 02920 705059, email us on sales@allswimltd.com or pop in to the showroom.

How to remove unwanted metal stains on swimming pools

Metal stains in your swimming pool.

Lo-Chlor No More Metal and Multi Stain RemoverMetal stains can be an unsightly and problematic issue on your swimming pool and occurs when water has lots of metal components in it. This can be caused by metal components in the pool (like pool ladders) rusting and degrading, accidental metal contamination from around the pool (your local builder dropping a few roofing nails) or even, if your pool water is sourced from a well or spring, metal compounds already present in the water (like iron and copper). The stains typically look black, green, rusty brown, orange, or yellow and can appear on the bottom or walls of your swimming pool, along vinyl liners or fibreglass pools and on steps or other pool equipment.

Don’t panic though! Removing these metal stains can be done with our specialist range of Lo-Chlor chemicals, even if a few repeated treatments are required.

How do I clear and prevent metal stains in my swimming pool?

Firstly you will need to treat your swimming pool with our Lo-Chlor Multi Stain Remover, specifically designed to remove iron, copper, manganese, tanning and cobalt (black stains present on fibreglass pools) and even rust from the floor and walls of your pool.

To begin the treatment you will need to reduce the chlorine level in your pool to 0ppm and adjust the pH level to between 7.2 and 7.6 pH. If the stain is present in a localised area of the pool you can apply the Multi Stain Remover as close to the stain as possible to help with removal, if the problem is widespread then apply the product evenly over the swimming pool surface. Always ensure your swimming pool pump is running when treating as this will help lift the stains from the pool surfaces.

Once you have treated your pool with the stain remover it is important to follow this with an application of Lo-Chlor No More Metal as this acts as a sequestering agent for any metal stains lifted from the pool surfaces that will now be trapped in solution in the pool water. Adding this to the water helps your pool filter trap any metal particles for safe removal during backwash. You should run the pump and pool filter for at least 12 hours after treatment of No More Metal, if the stains are particularly problematic run for 24 hours.

I’ve treated my pool but I still have some stains. What next?

After treating with Lo-Chlor Multi Stain Remover and No More Metal some metal stains can respond well to backwashing your filter thoroughly and brushing all of the surfaces affected by the metal staining. Follow this with a second treatment of Lo-Chlor No More Metal and run the pump and pool filter for at least 12 hours, longer if necessary. If the metal stains have been removed make sure you backwash the filter thoroughly. If the stains are still present you can try to rebrush the affected areas and apply another dose of No More Metal and repeat the backwashing and brushing steps.

If the metal stains are still present on the pool surfaces you will may need to start the Multi Stain Remover and No More Metal treatment again. Be patient! Multiple treatments of tough metal stains do respond well to this treatment, always ensure that you treat with the correct water balances outlined on the dosing instructions.

Need more help or advice?

If you are unsure about the suitability of using any specialist chemical treatments on your pool please don't hesitate to get in touch with us on 029 20 70 5059. Alternatively you can find more information on removing stains from your swimming pool by visiting the Lo-Chlor website.

Caldera Spas hot tubs, a unique hydrotherapy experience

Discover the Caldera difference for yourself

Caldera Spas Lumbarssage massage seatWith such a bewildering array of hot tubs on the market place it can be a little daunting as a first time buyer (or even a second or third time buyer looking to upgrade) to make a choice that’s going to be right for you, after all, hot tubs are a luxury purchase for most of us and it’s important to know you’re choosing one that’s going to offer something unique and give you the best possible experience for your money.

That’s where we think our Caldera Spas, and in particular our Utopia range, sits head and (soothed) shoulders above the competition. This incredible range of hot tubs includes an industry redefining approach to total body restoration through hot tub circuit therapy.

So what is Hot tub circuit therapy?

Well, hot tub circuit therapy is a bit like having a personal trainer in the gym. A personal trainer helps you create a plan that’s designed to move you from station to station with different exercises to give your body a balanced, full body workout helping to target all the major muscle groups.

Just think of your Caldera Spa as a personal hot tub therapist with each seat and position individually designed to provide a deep, relaxing massage for different muscle groups. Instead of sitting in one position like you would in most hot tubs our Caldera Spas encourage you to use the whole hot tub for relaxation. As you move around the spa the invigorating jet design and layout focuses on individual muscle groups, from neck and shoulders through to the large muscles of your back, lower back and even down to your hamstrings, calves and feet - often overlooked regions of the body when it comes to other hot tubs but if you spend most of your working day stood up you’ll really appreciate this aspect of the hot tub circuit therapy experience!

What's different about the hydrotherapy jets on Caldera Spas

The design and layout of the jets on any hot tub is the crucial element to your experience as a user and you won’t find a greater attention to detail or such a meticulous focus on the quality of the hydrotherapy experience than on our Caldera hot tubs. Each area of the hot tub has been specifically designed to target a particular muscle group and here are the massage clusters that will really help ease those aching muscles and gently soothe those tensions away.

Caldera Spas hydrotheray massage jets

UltraMassage

Featured on either the seat or lounger, this targets your neck, shoulders and middle back.

Atlas Neck Massage

A contoured pillow that cradles your head while specialised, above the water line jets focus on your neck and shoulders.

Ecstaseat

Multiple jets focussing on the large muscles in your back. Importantly, some models feature jets that target wrists and calves.

LumbarSsage

A unique jet configuration that helps relieve tension and pain in your back’s lumbar region.

Euphoria Jets

These jets provide a deep, penetrating massage to your thighs, knees and calves and feet and you’ll enjoy two of these incredible feature jets in most Utopia models.

Hip Jets

These jets work on this often overlooked stress point and helps re-invigorate movement in this area of your body.

Angled Calf Jets

Working on the often overlooked muscles in your lower leg, perfect for those who spend most of the working day stood up.

Sole Soothers

Jets that stimulate and revive the muscles in your feet that help relieve the tension in the area of your body that bears your full weight all day.

The proof really is in the testing

Hopefully this brief glimpse into the most important features of our Caldera Spas has given you a valuable insight into the attention to design detail that these hot tubs offer, they really are a cut above the rest. But don’t take our work for it, we have a complete range of Caldera hot tubs, including the fabulous Utopia series, on display at our award winning showroom here in Cardiff. Why not arrange a visit? Our trained, knowledgeable sales staff are always on hand to help you explore this unique range of hot tubs and understand the benefits of hydrotherapy massage and we also have changing facilities on site so you are always more than welcome to book a wet test to try them for yourself. Be warned though, every customer that has tried these incredible hot tubs has made a purchase. That is surely proof enough of the Caldera difference!

Swimming pool heat pumps

Dantherm heat pumpsWhy Do All Swim Recommend A Heat Pump For Swimming Pool Heating?

There are many heating options you can choose to heat your pool water, so how do you identify which type is right for you? For a number of reasons, we believe the most sensible choice is a Heat Pump. And here’s why:

The Most Economical Choice By Far

There’s no getting away from the fact that running your swimming pool costs money; on chemicals, equipment and water heating. Whilst there are cheaper heaters you can buy, all of them will cost you significantly more in running costs than a heat pump.

What Makes Heat Pumps Cheaper To Run?

Simply put, Heat Pumps use the free and natural energy in the air, taking the latent heat out of the air, upgrading it and efficiently transferring the heat into the pool water, whilst respecting the environment. This use of free, dormant heat in the air results in substantial running cost savings – approximately 400% when using a Calorex ProPac as opposed to a standard electric heater!

The Most Environmentally Friendly Heating Option

Heat Pumps are recognised as the most environmentally friendly swimming pool heating option; the Calorex range for example produce 74% less CO₂ emissions than an oil boiler and typically have a much longer lifespan than gas pool heater options.

Which Type Of Heat Pump Do I Need?

Garden Pac heat pumpsWe stock a number of different ranges, here is a bit more information on each:

Garden Pac Inver Tech Heat Pumps

A popular budget range of heat pumps, Garden Pac Inver Tech (http://www.allswimltd.com/garden-pac-invertech-heat-pumps) have quiet DC ventilation systems and Mitsubishi DC inverter compressors – making them very quiet while in operation. They feature soft start technology and VARI SPEED, which results in slower operational speed and reduced running costs over the course of the season. The Garden Pac range can operate at air temperature down to -7°C.

Dantherm Heat Pumps

The new Certikin budget range of heat pumps (http://www.allswimltd.com/certikin-budget-dantherm-heat-pump ) are designed and manufactured in collaboration with Calorex and the Dantherm Group (a leading provider of heating solutions). There are 4 easy to install models in the range; 6kw, 8kw, 12kw and 15kw each featuring smart pool pump control, quiet operation and a reverse cycle deftrost enabling operation down to 3°C air temperature.

Calorex heat pumpsCalorex Heat Pumps

Our top of the range models are the Calorex ProPac Heat Pumps, which come in 2 ranges; one designed for those wishing to swim between April and October (the Extended Season ‘X’ range; http://www.allswimltd.com/calorex-pro-pac-extended-season-heat-pumps ) and the other for those wanting to swim all year round (the ‘Y’ range; http://www.allswimltd.com/calorex-propac-all-year-round-heat-pumps).

The ProPac Extended Season X range of heat pumps can operate down to 0°C and feature a titanium heat exchanger, which is compatible for use with any type of water treatment. The All Year Round Y range are highly efficient with extremely quiet operation. Like the X range, they feature a titanium heat exchanger, providing efficient heat transfer without any dangers of corrosion and digital control panels. Capable of operating down to a temperature of -15°C, the Calorex ProPac All Year Round Heat Pumps offer a greater heat gain for a longer swimming season.

Calorex Heat Pumps also feature a comprehensive parts and labour warranty (3 Years) plus a 10 year anti-corrosive warranty on the casing.

In Need Of More Advice?

If you would like further advice on which option could work best for heating your swimming pool, simply contact us either by calling 02920 705059 or email sales@allswimltd.com and our fully trained experts will be happy to help.

How to look after your hot tub

My New Hot Tub Has Arrived – What do I do now?

Hot tub commissioning with All SwimAssuming you purchased your new hot tub from a reputable supplier, you will have benefitted from having it properly installed and commissioned as part of the delivery service. A part of that service likely included having the hot tub filled with water and treated with chemicals, and a demonstration of how to use the control panel to operate the tub properly.

Great as that is, many new hot tub owners find it a little tricky at the beginning to maintain proper water balance and in the day to day operation and maintenance of the tub - in fact we always tell our customers we expect to be on hand to answer any questions or concerns in the post-delivery first few weeks!

Getting To Know Your New Hot Tub

As with any new item, it always pays to spend some time at the start familiarising yourself with the operating instructions. That way, you can enjoy using your tub as and when you want to – minus the headache of frantically scanning the user manual trying to figure something out at the last minute, when you’re expecting guests (haven’t we all been there at some point?!)

Some of the common queries we receive from new tub owners include:

Why Is My Hot Tub Not Heating Up?

The first thing to double check if you encounter a problem with your hot tub not heating up is the operating mode the tub is set on. Hot Tubs typically have three modes; Standard, Economy and Sleep (or Ready and Rest depending on the manufacturer). Here’s a brief explanation of what each mode means:

Standard: In standard mode the set temperature will be reached and consistently maintained.

Economy: In this mode the heater will only come on when the tub is in one of its standard filter cycles (typically for 1.5-2 hours twice a day, morning and evening) if the temperature is below the set temperature. Economy is ideal for daily users.

Sleep: Working on the same principle as Economy mode, but in Sleep mode the drop in temperature usually has to be 10 degrees below the set temperature for the heater to kick in during the filter cycle. Sleep mode is most commonly used when going on holiday or periods of absence where nobody will be using the tub.

I’m Struggling To Maintain Correct Water Chemistry

The most common query we receive by far from new hot tub owners is due to cloudy or murky water along with how much of each chemical they should be adding and when. And it’s no surprise, as there is a lot to get to grips with, particularly if you have never owned a hot tub before! High usage and being unfamiliar with water testing and chemical dosing are the usual causes of incorrect water chemistry during the first few weeks.

Some tips we offer are to get in the habit of regularly testing the water using the testing strips in your chemical starter pack. This will help you to understand when the water is calling for higher levels of sanitiser or pH adjusters etc, and it’s a habit that will save you stress and money over time.

Did you know that the ideal time to add sanitiser is after use, not before? This way, the sanitiser gets to work straight away on cleansing and cleaning the water – whereas if left until the following day, bacteria has had a whale of a time already starting to multiply overnight – beat it at its’ own game!

Factors that will increase the need for sanitiser are users not showering prior to use or removing make up (fake tan loves to make a filter cartridge work hard too). So, it’s a good habit to adopt from the start asking bathers to rinse off before using the tub – you could even get a little sign printed if you don’t like asking, or forget to ask.

Keeping a close eye on your pH level is important too, as if the water becomes too acidic or alkaline it can make for an uncomfortable user experience, and take its toll on the hot tub equipment.

What Do I Need To Do With Spa Frogs?

Spa Frog bromine and mineral cartridges Our range of Caldera Spas have in-built water care courtesy of a Bromine Spa Frog cartridge and Mineral Frog cartridge. One is prefilled with Bromine to sanitise the water, reducing the need for sanitiser top-up dosing by up to 50% and the other with minerals, which condition the water for a softer feel.

You control how quickly these are administered into the water via a simple dial on the cartridges, allowing you to increase or decrease the level as needed (ideal for a weekend away, simply turn up the dial for automatic Bromine sanitisation!)

Frequency of changing Spa Frog cartridges depends on how you set the dials, and changing the cartridges is straight forward; ensure all jet pumps are turned off before opening the cap of the in-built housing compartment. Turn the handle counter-clockwise and lift the holder up and out before setting the dial on the new cartridges and inserting them into the holder. Secure them back into place by pushing the compartment down and twisting it clockwise, then close the cap.

How Often Should I Change The Water?

BISHTA guidelines recommend changing the water in your hot tub at least every 3 months, more frequently in the case of high usage.  This will help to ensure optimum water quality and protect both bathers and the hot tub equipment.

Top Tip; Prior to emptying your tub, it is recommended to use a ‘flush’ such as Hot Tub Flush to thoroughly clean all of the internal pipework, removing debris and any bacteria lurking within.

Changing Filter Cartridges

As a guide, your filter cartridges should be removed and cleaned every 2 weeks or so, depending on usage. This can be done either by soaking them overnight in a cleaning solution like our Blue Horizons filter and cartridge cleaner or by using an instant solution eliminating the need to soak like the All Swim instant filter cleaner following the usage instructions on the label. New cartridges should be replaced approximately every 6 months.

Cleaning The Hot Tub

Hot tub commissioning with All SwimRegularly cleaning the surface of your hot tub will help keep the exterior in tip-top shape and help minimise scratching or marking the acrylic shell, while keeping it looking great. Surface cleaners such as our Lo-Chlor Spa Shield are great for polishing up the surface of the shell, simply combine with a soft microfibre cloth to buff the shell, taking care not to get the product in the water. When changing the water, take advantage of that time to give the entire shell a clean before you refill with fresh water to keep it looking good as new (just ensure there is no residual product on the surface before refilling.)

You’ve Got It Sussed!

Hopefully the above tips will prove useful when it comes to taking care of your hot tub and you can also find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page that may be of interest. For any queries or areas of concern, if in doubt, check it out with your supplier or give us a call on 02920 705059 for further help and advice.

What you get for your money when buying hot tubs

How much should a Hot Tub cost?

Caldera Spas Utopia Series hot tubs The simple answer to that question is, it depends on the hot tub! If you’re completely new to hot tubs you may be considering an inflatable spa for around £500. With a small initial outlay these hot tubs are a great way to see if you and your family are suited to a hot tub lifestyle. Upgrading from this price point you may be considering a rota-moulded hot tub that typically start from around £3,500 and, at the other end of the spectrum, are the very best portable hot tubs commercially available that can exceed £15,000. The reason for the differences in prices is down to size, features, manufacturing materials, design, the performance that the hot tub delivers and the type of manufacturer’s warranty offered.

Perhaps a more important consideration is what you actually value in a hot tub. When you’re spending time relaxing in your hot tub do you want to be worrying about how expensive it is to run or how well insulated that cabinet really is for the money you paid? Do the quality of the hydrotherapy jets matter to you and that troublesome lower back pain you’ve been suffering with? Or maybe including multicoloured lighting and a waterfall in the price will really make a difference to your planned entertainment needs? Well, to help you make the very best decision when considering a new hot tub here’s our guide to the key features you’ll find on a hot tub and how they can affect the price.

How size affects your hot tub price

Generally speaking the larger the hot tub you are considering, the higher the price is likely to be. This comes down to the fact that more materials are going to be needed to build a larger spa along with a need for more jets, larger, more powerful pumps and even filters with increased filtration capacity. All of these factors determine cost and don’t forget, with bigger footprints, larger spas require more storage space during transportation, again adding to their overall price. Before buying a new hot tub carefully consider how it will be used and by who, you may be a couple without children or in retirement and are looking for some personal therapeutic use, in that case our Caldera Spa Aventine, Celio and Kauai could be the perfect fit for you. Alternatively, you could have a large family or may be a bit of a sociable butterfly entertaining a wide circle of friends. In that case our Caldera Spas Vanto, Salina or Cantabria could be the perfect choice for you with seating for 7-8 people you really are spoilt for space and comfort!

Does adding features add cost?

Caldera Spas Cantabria EcstaseatHot tubs have evolved quite considerably over the last decade and, it’s safe to say, so have our expectations! We expect a lot more from our commodities these days, smart phones now deliver our favourite films and shows on the go, we can transfer money via our tablet devices and browse the internet on our TVs and hot tubs are no exception. We all expect an incredible spa experience and most hot tubs offer a certain level of this. If you are looking to spend more money on a hot tub then you can expect more advanced, diverse hydrotherapy jets, more powerful and silent running pumps together with more intuitive control from your spas display panels and more sophisticated water care systems that help you reduce the need for hot tub chemicals. State of the art music systems, bass hungry sub woofers, multi colour change lighting and waterfalls will also add to the overall experience when using your spa, together with that overall cost.

So before you consider a purchase decide what will matter most to your spa experience. If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat from a hectic working life then the quality and variety of powerful hydrotherapy jets could be the most important consideration for you. If so, make sure you discover the Atlas Neck Massage on our Utopia series of Caldera Spas and in particular the incredible UltraMassage lounge seat on the Cantabria featuring the customisable UltraMasseuse System, the absolute pinnacle of hydrotherapy massage relief! Alternatively you may be looking to use your hot tub as an entertainment piece, so perhaps a sound system incorporating individual seat speakers and easy to use, intuitive bluetooth technology is going to be your first priority. We’re all different and will use a hot tub in our own unique ways but thankfully, with so much product diversity and unique features, our Caldera Spas offer something for everyone.

Is hot tub design really a consideration for me?

Euphoria footwell jets on the Caldera Spas Tahitian hot tubThis element is often overlooked and least considered by customers when buying a hot tub. Good design will often go un-noticed because you’ll find using a well designed, well considered hot tub effortless. Badly designed lounger seats and poorly positioned jets can cause you to float out of position when using your hot tub and having to constantly adjust yourself can create unnecessary body tension, somewhat counter productive to a hot tub delivering relaxation and stress relief! Make sure you look at the ergonomic seat design and wall structure of any potential hot tub as well, curves are more comfortable than straight sides and great design always maximises the occupant space when in use.

Other little features that make a big difference are the positions of the control panels (within arms reach is ideal) and the size of the footwell space. Regardless of how many bums on seats a manufacturer may quote on it’s glossy literature take a close look at the all important footwell space. Hot tub’s designed with a generous amount of legroom and footwell space will give you, your family and friends a much more comfortable experience when using the hot tub.

A good hot tub will offer much more than just a centre piece for your garden, it should become part of your lifestyle and fit every aspect of your daily routine perfectly. Pay close attention to the inviting colours, cabinet textures, seat and lounger shapes and interior and exterior lighting of our Caldera Spas, you’ll probably agree that they offer that little bit more.

What you should consider with performance

Caldera Spas Vacanza Series Vanto hot tub coverProbably the most difficult aspect of a hot tub purchase is considering the performance that it’s going to deliver on a day to day basis. Although many hot tubs may look similar there are many differences between low and high end spas. Although cheap hot tubs may have many jets, there could be cost savings being made underneath the cabinet with underpowered pumps providing a less intense, less satisfying hydrotherapy experience. The best hot tubs on the market are fitted with powerful, yet quiet, circulation pumps that are able to efficiently circulate the water through the hot tub filter and heater with ease.

Superior performance can also be measured in the efficiency of the cabinet insulation to help keep heat in the spa water. All Caldera Spas feature a revolutionary FibreCor technology that is four times more efficient than traditional foam insulation used on cheaper hot tubs. Perhaps the last consideration on any one’s mind when looking at a new hot tub is the base pan design. Base pan what? This is the part of the hot tub you may only see on the day of installation (when it’s delivered on it’s side) but it is always in contact with the ground, another area for heat loss. Our Utopia range features a new ABS base pan that has a corrugated design to help minimise contact with the ground and protect the components, improve energy efficiency and add support.

So ask yourself, if Caldera Spas go to so much trouble to make the parts you don’t see as well designed and efficient as possible in terms of performance, how much time do they invest in the components you do see on their hot tubs? And, perhaps more importantly, are cheaper hot tubs from other manufacturers going to deliver you the same performance.

So what next?

This guide should help you make more considered, informed buying choices when you’re buying a new hot tub and should give you a better idea of what is actually being offered at the price point you consider.

At All Swim we always recommend looking at a prospective purchase rather than just ‘buying online’ as you have the opportunity to closely examine your new hot tub and really get a feel for the quality of the build. We also offer wet tests at our hot tub showroom here in Cardiff so if you really want to discover the Caldera Spas difference we would be more than happy to see you!

Choosing the right massage table for you

Providing effective sports, beauty and medical therapy starts with the right massage table

Affinity Portable Flexible Massage tableWhether you’re a student, a newly qualified therapist or have been treating clients for years, without doubt, one of the most important factors in your ability to work well is finding the right Massage Table. In today’s fast-moving marketplace there are many different styles and qualities of massage table available, so how do you find the right one for you, your clients and the specific treatments you offer?

What To Look For In A Massage Table

The list is long; is a flat massage table adequate or do you need it to have a lifting backrest? Weight will be a key factor if you need a portable couch and which support structure is more suitable – wood or aluminium? It’s a competitive arena for therapists, and a crucial part of gaining your clients repeat custom lies in the creation of a comfortable, relaxing environment - (https://www.discovermassage.com.au/blog/10-tips-to-keep-your-customers-comfortable-and-coming-back/) starting with the treatment bed they’ll be lying on.

It can be a confusing minefield, best avoided by considering the following criteria prior to making your all important decision:

  • Which massage table has adequate strength and stability for the treatments you offer? If you perform vigorous types of treatments such as sports massage or physiotherapy, you’ll need a table strong enough to go the distance on a regular basis.
  • How flexible is the massage couch? Reiki practitioners for example will find Reiki end panels and the ability to tilt the bed on an angle essential.
  • Height is another important factor – be sure to check the adjustable height range is suitable for your treatment range (Will you need to sit at certain points? Do some of your clients have difficulty getting onto a high couch? If so your table will need to be at a low level on occasion. A higher level table may be more suitable if you stand throughout treatments.
  • What is the foam thickness and composition? Beauty treatment clients tend to appreciate a more luxurious padding, aiding relaxation during their session – plus it gives a more high-end appeal to your brand image. Consider also if a face cradle or breathe hole is better, and if an arm rest would enhance your treatments.
  • Affinity Sports Motorised Massage tableDo you need a narrow or wide massage table width? Therapists of 5’4” or under will find a table width of 29” or under best, whereas if you are 5’10” or over you should opt for a table width of between 27” and 33”. Similarly, those with larger clients on a regular basis will find a wider table width useful, whereas a narrower table is ideal for getting in close and delivering pressure massage and stretching (plus it will be easier to transport around of course!)
  • Are you mobile or at a fixed location? A table no heavier than 15kg is ideal for mobile therapists, plus the ease of set up and put down of your massage table could add up to a lot of time savings.

Not All Massage Beds Are Created Equal

With such a wealth of choice and wide range of prices available in the world of massage tables, it can be tough identifying the right one for you, especially if you’re starting out and have a limited budget available.

In the same way your clients put their trust in you to provide them with a high quality treatment session, you need to be sure you are equipped with a trustworthy massage table that is strong, comfortable and hard-wearing enough to sustain regular usage.

Affinity Massage Tables – Designed BY Therapists FOR Therapists

With nearly 20 years of manufacturing experience, Affinity therapy tables and equipment have been developed to meet the most demanding of standards, reliability and unsurpassed quality. Working with therapists has enabled Affinity to create and nurture, new and innovative ideas into the tables which are now widely used by the UK’s leading therapists in private practice, spas, salons, colleges, sports and medical establishments.

Affinity Portable Flexible upgrade packThe Affinity range of Portable Massage Tables (http://www.allswimltd.com/portable-massage-tables) are lightweight yet sturdy, featuring a rapid set-up design – the perfect choice for those starting out seeking a reliable table that will see them through training and for years to come. Complete with wheeled carry cases, Therafoam padding and in a choice of frames, Affinity Portable Massage Beds are the ideal blend of comfort and functionality.

And if you are in a fixed salon or centre, the range of Affinity Motorised Massage Tables (http://www.allswimltd.com/motorised-massage-couches) offers the ultimate in luxurious, versatile treatment couches. Ideal for Beauty Salons, Holistic and Medical Centres, Hotels, Spas and Sports Clubs/Clinics alike – indeed, you can find Affinity Motorised Couches in many of the UK’s most prolific treatment centres and well known spas, sports clubs and hotels.

No matter what your requirements, the Affinity range will hopefully exceed all your expectations and with the assurance of the backing of one of Europe’s leading leisure manufacturers, Certikin International Ltd, you know that every product is made to the highest of standards, is covered by CE approval and carries a 2 year warranty, so when you buy Affinity, you can buy with confidence.

Supporting Your Decision

If you have any questions or concerns about choosing the right Massage Table, simply contact us for advice on 02920 705059 and we will happily discuss your requirements and help you make an informed choice that will suit you and your business now and for years to come.

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