When hot tub maintenance gets away from you

Nov 11, 17 • In the newsNo CommentsRead More »

A Hot Tub Covers Canada customer shared this story with us today. He said it reminded him of why: A hot tub cover is a worthwhile investment *and* why he does not regret investing in a saltwater hot tub chlorinator! If you’ve ever let hot tub maintenance get away from you, this tale will ring true.

, Courier & Press

“It’s sitting there in the backyard, forsaken and disused.

Fall leaves scuttle across the patio, coming to rest in ever-growing piles against its bulk.

It has, like derelict treadmills in so many homes, come to exist solely as a perch for other items: sometimes platters of food when I’m tending the grill or perhaps my daughter’s cartons of sidewalk chalk as she explores the artistic space of the patio’s surface.

In the three and a half years my family has lived in our current home, the thing — once so well-tended and cherished — has gone unopened, unused, unappreciated.

And that’s a shame, because there have been numerous times it would have been just what the doctor ordered for physical, mental or emotional therapy. There have been many times it would have been the answer to that dreaded question that crops up on weekends and snow days: “What do you want to do?”

Because if I were possessed of an initiative to match my inclination, there’d be a warm and welcoming answer to that question.

I’d be chillin’ in my hot tub.

(How’s that for an oxymoron?)

Sadly, because I’m just the standard kind of moron, I let my sweet, sweet hot tub get away from me, and now it looks like it would be actual work to make it do all its therapeutic, bubbly, hot-tubby things again.

Of course, you know what you absolutely, positively don’t want to do in those moments when compounded physical and mental fatigue have you hankering for a nice, relaxing soak in a hot tub? That’s right: Actual work.

And so, the vicious cycle continues.

I think it’s fairly common. If you don’t know someone with a neglected spa, you probably know someone who owns a spa that, until recently, was someone else’s neglected spa.

There are reasons for that.

First, despite all of Mr. Don Lacer’s best efforts my junior year, I didn’t master chemistry in high school. It may well have been in that class that I decided, “You know what? If I don’t flunk out of high school because of chemistry, I’m going to major in English when I get to college.”

And I don’t know if, before purchasing our small three-seat tub a little more than a decade ago, I appreciated how keeping up with a spa requires a little practical chemistry. You’ve got to manage sanitizers and clarifiers, pH increasers and pH decreasers, alkalinity increasers, defoamers, scale removers and minerals — and then you need those little test strips that you use to determine how much of all those other things you have to put into your muscle-relaxing contraption.

I swear I even saw something on the shelf at a supply store once called spa moisturizer. Jumpin’ Jimmy on a pogo stick! How in tarnation are you supposed to moisturize water?

And while some of those concoctions are needed only rarely, some are cycled through regularly, and that ongoing upkeep represents no trivial expense.

Then — and this is terribly cruel — you have to remember to do stuff.

Just imagine you’ve had a really eventful couple of weeks. You’ve worked long hours — maybe traveled some, or binge-watched a show about some waffle lovin’ teenage superhero on Netflix. During this time, you didn’t think about your hot tub, because between the working and the must-see TV, you’ve had other things on your mind. Well, friend, I’m here to tell you that when you open that spa cover after a stretch of that kind of accidental neglect, what you find might look a little like Sigourney Weaver’s refrigerator from Ghostbusters.

Maybe it’s algae. Maybe it’s Gozer the Gozerian. You’re either going to need a proton pack or a strong working knowledge of all those confusing chemicals I mentioned earlier.

We have established then, that to be a successful permanent owner of a continuously functioning hot tub, you must bring to bear a comprehensive matrix of knowledge, effort, resources and the ability to maintain focus.

That sounds like the kind of arduous ongoing obligation that would make a person need a long soak in some warm, jet-cycled water.

See? Vicious cycle.

So, here I am, staring out the kitchen window at a funky, dilapidated spa that seemed like a good idea in 2006 when, spoiled by a recent promotion and certain in the knowledge that my wife and I wouldn’t be taking any fancy vacations in that first year of my daughter’s life, we chose instead to bring the vacation experience to our home by building a screened-in porch and anchoring it with a corner hot tub.

And just like that, the memories surge through my mind as if driven by a powerful pump connected to a complex network of jets: reclining in the tub after sweating through a rigorous Tae Bo workout; staring at the stars on a cool fall night as wisps of steam curl off the softly illumined surface of the water; brilliantly discovering that we could climb out the window of our living room directly into the spa’s inviting warm waters during near-zero temps; piling into the hot tub as a family during my daughter’s first snow day of elementary school and watching the white flakes tumble from the swollen clouds as we luxuriated in the warm water.

Whoa. I guess I didn’t realize what I’ve been missing.

I have to resuscitate this recirculating reservoir. I must resurrect this recreational receptacle.

Ya’ll, I gotta fix my hot tub.

I figure in two weeks, I’ll either have a little therapeutic slice of heaven tucked in the corner of my garage or all kinds of material for my next column.”

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