Ben Parker (Spiderman’s uncle) once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Your hot tub is your super power and you are responsible to make it as safe as possible.
How though? Let’s boil it down to a few simple tips and tricks to keep you and yours out of the clutches of doom.
Balance & Sanitize Your Water
Clean, balanced water is mandatory for hot tub safety. Bacteria, viruses and other contaminants thrive in untreated hot water, so before entering any spa use test strips to check for adequate sanitizer, Total Alkalinity and pH levels.
Spa water that is cloudy, or has a strong or musty odor, is an indicator of poor sanitation and excess contaminants. Shock with >dichlor to clean up problem water, and add Oxy-Spa Non-chlorine Shock after each use to prevent cloudiness. This oxidizing process breaks down the organic material that feeds bacteria and algae, and also improves sanitizer effectiveness.
Periodic testing with a bacteria test can verify if your sanitizer is working properly by detecting potentially harmful bacteria in spa water.
Chemicals & Spa Supplies
Store spa supplies in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location, away from direct sunlight and out of reach of small children and pets. Clean up drips and spills immediately and follow directions and precautions on the label.
Do not mix spa chemicals and treatments prior to addition to the water. Use a small plastic bucket filled with clean water to pre-mix dry products, avoiding un-dissolved granules that may damage the spa shell or liner.
Food & Drinks
Glass and ceramic containers can break and leave shards to harm bare feet. Any drinks or snacks consumed in or near the spa should be in shatter-resistant plastic bottles, cups and plates. A hot tub tray table will safely hold items and contain spillage into the water.
Long soaks in water that’s too hot can cause overheating and other medical complications. Although most tubs are factory set with a 104°F maximum temperature, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) has determined that 100 – 102°F is a safer temperature for most healthy adults.
Limit spa sessions to 15 minutes, with less time when soaking at hotter temperatures. Dizziness and nausea are signals that you have been soaking too long, and you should exit the spa.
Thermostats can vary by a few degrees, so your top-side control reading may be slightly higher than the water in the spa. Test water independently from your spa controls using a floating thermometer.
Limb entrapment or entangled hair can occur with dangerous older spa suction covers. Jet pumps create powerful suction that may pull hair or clothing toward the suction cover. This poses a significant drowning risk to children with heads underwater.
Federal regulations require all spa suction covers to be VGB compliant, an act passed in 2008 to prevent drowning in spas and pools. Have a professional evaluate your spa if older than 2008, and replace outdated covers with VGB compliant suctions.
These covers reduce suction when blockage occurs, but apply caution. All spa users, especially kids, must keep their heads above water and away from any suction covers.
Do not bring any corded electrical device, like a radio, near the spa to avoid risk of electrocution. If any plugged-in item falls into the spa water, unplug it instead of reaching into the water to retrieve it. Consider using a battery operated Bluetooth speaker instead.
If using a wet/dry vacuum, sump pump or other electrical appliance for cleaning a drained spa, use extreme caution to avoid electrocution. Do not stand in a puddle of water, always have dry hands and feet, and wear rubber-soled shoes. All outlets within 10 feet should be GFCI protected.
Patio Area, Safety Rails & Steps
Maintain wood decking with waterproof sealant and restore splintered or slippery boards. Non-skid mats around the spa provide additional security against accidents.
Not only is using the spa more fun with a partner, but also is much safer. It is much easier to avoid accidents and emergencies with another adult. Never leave children alone in any spa or pool for even a moment.