Advancements in Hot Tubs

Sep 1, 19 • Hot TubsNo CommentsRead More »

Hot tubs certainly have changed over the years. We’re just surprised the author didn’t try the saltwater chlorinator option – it’s much easier on the eyes, skin… and nose!

Originally Posted on the Chronicle Herald 

Hot tubs have come a long way in the last 15 years

I officially broke down and bought a hot tub. Now before you say it, I know that I should have said we bought a hot tub, but between us … it was me that made the case for our $16,000 luxury investment. I’ve always wanted one since installing my first for a client in 2003. The idea of having a spot ready made for relaxing — one that you just flip the lid open, turn on the jets, and slide in — is very appealing to someone like me that never has time to mentally and physically check out.

Hot tubs have come a long way in the last 15 years. If you are considering one, here a few choices that I personally made that might help with your decision.

saltwater hot tub chlorinatorsHot tubs need some way to stay clean. There are many self-cleaning models, but ultimately, you need to add something to the water to ensure that you don’t get unusable water. Chlorine has been the go-to for hot tubs owners for years as an effective way to control bacteria. Chlorine tends to be the most cost-effective of the options, often coming in 20 per cent less than bromine.

In addition to the cost, bromine breaks down faster than chlorine when exposed to sun, so if you have an uncovered spa, you will need more to keep the proper levels of disinfectant in your water. In my case, we got a great cover for the tub for heat and sunlight protection.

Smell is a big issue for me. While both chlorine and bromine have a strong smell, to me, the chlorine smell is harsher and reminds me of summers spent in an over-chlorinated public swimming pool. (Makes my eyes burn thinking about it.) There are some great scents you can add to your tub to mask the chemical scent, but ultimately, they just cover it up.

The method of applying the chemicals was a big consideration for me too. Many of the chlorine options have a convenient dispensing system, making it easy for any homeowner including floating systems, and built-in technology, which tests the water in your tub.

Bromine tablets work in many of these systems as well and as the technology advances, the ease of using bromine gets better and better for the homeowner.

Now you might be saying, but what about salt-water systems? Well don’t be fooled. Salt water hot tubs use bromine or chlorine salts which break down in the water to create a safe environment for bathing.

So what did I choose? Well it might not surprise you, but I went with the more expensive bromine because of the smell and because I find it less irritating on my skin. What might surprise you though is we got rid of our patio dining set in favour of the hot tub. We replaced one thing we didn’t use in the yard with something we will (or at least that was part of my sales pitch at the store).

Carson Arthur is an international landscape designer and media personality with a focus on environmentally friendly design and low maintenance outdoor rooms.


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