As more and more people shun airports and foreign travel, there is more disposable income to be spent right in your own back garden. And what better way to enjoy your outdoor space every day of the year than soaking in a hot tub?
More and more people are plunging for a hot tub in their own garden, in a bid to increase their quality of life. What was now a luxury item has become increasingly affordable and is now gracing the gardens of many North Walians. But what are the benefits of owning a hot tub?
“We believe Hydrotherapy has become a huge part in our customers day-to-day lives,” says Emma from Elegant Spas in Bangor. “So, with a soak in the tub for as little as 20 minutes working absolute wonders for the body, it’s no wonder Hot Tubs have become so popular. Hydrotherapy is when the body is immersed in water along with the power of the jets helping to heal and move the body in particular places. It can help with many physical and emotional complaints such as back pain, anxiety and stress, muscle pain, headaches and ligament injuries to name a few. Our Spas have jets strategically placed so they work your body from the shoulders right the way down to the soles of your feet!”
So, if you are sold on that, then the next step is to do your research – because not all hot tubs were created equal!
“Like everything in life, you get what you pay for with hot tubs,” says Gareth of UK Leisure Living in Mochdre. “We are all about quality. We only sell tubs from decent manufacturers that have been around a long time and that offer a good warranty. Hot Springs, for example, has a 40-year history and offers a 20-year parts guarantee – meaning that your hot tub is guaranteed to still be running in 20 years time. If you go for a cheaper brand then getting parts can be a major problem.”
UK Leisure Living recommends that hot tubs are placed on a concrete base, and can organise all aspects of installation.
“Access can be a problem,” says Gareth. “If you don’t have wide access then you might have to use a crane to install your hot tub – otherwise you’ll have to make sure that your spa can fit through a 3ft gate.”
You also need to work out where to site your hot tub. “Privacy is vital,” adds Gareth. “Otherwise it comes down to personal preference. Some people like to soak under a gazebo in order to keep out of the rain, while others like to be able to see the stars in the sky.”
And a hot tub isn’t just for your own use – many landlords, especially in the holiday let market, are now installing a hot tub in a bid to increase their rental yield. “If you’re buying a hot tub for a rental property then it is very important that the hot tub is compliant with HSE (Health and Safety Executive) regulation,” warns Jack from Concept Spa in Llangefni. “Research what the regulation is before you go to visit your local dealer, this will arm you with enough knowledge to know whether or not what you’re buying is fit for purpose.”
Jack also advises to check any company reviews before you sign on the dotted line. “It may sound simple but so many people forget that they can quickly and easily check what other people have to say about a brand of hot tub or a dealer,” he says. “When you buy a hot tub you want to make sure that the person you buy it off is going to not only sell you a great product but offer a great aftersales service. If something goes wrong you want to know that you can rely on them to fix the issue promptly and professionally.”
If fact there are numerous practical considerations to think about before you install your hot tub, and electrics is right up there. “It is critically important that you get the electrical aspect of the installation bob on,” explains Paul of Gough Electrical in Rhuddlan. “The supply to the hot tub should be protected by a 30 mA RCD, and the cable must also be suitably protected along its route. Cables should be protected against foreseeable damage, according to Regulation 522.8.10, either by armouring or by suitable enclosure. Unprotected cables should not be buried directly in the ground, nor should they be clipped to wooden fences etc., as such an arrangement may provide inadequate support and protection.
“Some of the latest tubs are classed as ‘’plug and play’’ and require just a 13 amp supply,” he adds. “Although this is quite an easy option, it’s better to go for a higher rated model as the plug and play option are often restricted to not being able to run the pumps and heaters at the same time to keep the load down. This means that whilst enjoying the bubbly side of the fun, the heaters are inactive and therefore the water temperature can tumble in the colder weather. The higher rated tubs, usually 20 amps and above can run all the goodies at the same time, making for a far more pleasurable experience.”