Several Reasons Why Your Hot Tub Is NOT Just a Tiny Swimming Pool

by Terry Arko via

Many who buy a hot tub often do so with a misconception that caring for a small hot tub will be easier and involve less chemical use and time than a swimming pool would. Those who have cared for spas/ hot tubs know that nothing is farther from the truth. These individuals have discovered that spas and hot tubs aren't just tiny swimming pools.

The Difference Between Pools and Hot Tubs

In fact a hot tub is much more than just a tiny swimming pool. There are many differences between a pool and hot tub and these differences call for a different and more strategic plan for care. Listed below are some of the major differences between hot tubs and pools.

Temperature – Most pools max temp 80° Spas/Hot tubs 92° to 104°

Higher evaporation rate – leads to more scale and increased calcium levels

Air jets and blowers cause quicker chemical reduction

Water balance – smaller body of water means greater effect on pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and TDS from added chemicals

Bather load ratio – 3 people in average spa/hot tub = 300 in a backyard swimming pool

The Chlorine Myth / What creates that chlorine smell

To some people chlorine is the devil, its the worst. Maybe they saw an episode of 20/20 that said "Chlorine, The Silent Cleanser." Well it's not as bad as you may think, in fact its the best thing for you and we are here to clear all charges against chlorine.

Myth: Chlorine Burns Your Eyes When You Open them Underwater

Fact: Low pH burns your eyes when you open them underwater. A pool that has low pH means that the water is acidic. When water is acidic, its like putting your tongue on a battery (though not as harsh) but if you expose your eyes to it then yes, it's gonna burn. You could have a chlorine reading of 10 ppm (Parts Per Million) and as long as your pH is ok, then your eyes will be ok.

Myth: Chlorine can do long term damage on my filter system

Fact: No it can't, but low pH can corrode metal and high pH can leave a hard deposit. We can simply say that most problems that are associated with chlorine are really the fault of chlorine. The only thing bad about chlorine is that you can't eat it, or can you?

Questioning the "Three-Bid Rule"

by James Robyn, blog

This is what clients have been told to do for years by consumer advocacy groups as the best way to get what they want for the lowest price.

I recently read an article by a custom homebuilder who posited the old Three-Bid Rule should no longer apply in the home building industry. His article was so well written that it struck a chord with me; it's been one of my pet peeves for many years. In the pool business we are frequently requested to "turn in a bid" on a project, and it is always an exercise in futility. The clients who are simply looking for three bids are working on the least amount of information and the most amount of misinformation — to their peril — and the stories of problems, surprises, dissatisfaction and disappointment are ubiquitous.

The point is probably illustrated more easily in the custom home building industry because most people are more familiar with the details and possible cost differences in home construction. For example, in requesting a quote on a new custom home, no thinking person would ask a custom builder, "Give me a bid on a 3-bedroom home with 2-1/2 baths and a 2-car garage with an automatic door opener."

Yet I cannot tell you how many times I've had people ask me to give them a bid on "a 20-by-40-foot pool with a heater, a Polaris and an automatic pool cover."

At least in the custom home building industry an architect will produce a set of plans that will define the project in a meaningful way. Dimensions, materials and many other requirements are called for, but it is what is not illustrated or specified on the plans that can constitute significant cost drivers.

The idea behind the Three-Bid Rule is that it assumes everything other than the cost of the competing builders is equal. However, not every builder assesses and calculates the scope of work, drawings, specifications and callouts in the same exact way.