Blog posts of '2018' 'February'

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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