Backyard Blast by TheCoverGuy.com Making the most of your Backyard Heaven! 2017-02-19T11:25:45Z https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/feed/atom/ WordPress https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-CoverGuy-profile-1-150x150.jpg The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Aromatherapy – Does Your Hot Tub Smell Nice? It Should.]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4403/ 2017-02-17T17:36:21Z 2017-02-17T17:36:21Z Enhance your hot tub with designed for hot tubs hot tub aromatherapy scents, they will certainly help you relax, help improve your mood, and sleep better

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You had a long, nasty day at work. Traffic was horrible. You burnt your dinner, and then your cat threw up on your just folded laundry.

You’ve felt under the weather for days now, or maybe even weeks. Nothing specific, really, you’ve just been just low energy and irritable. Every little thing seems to rub you the wrong way and you feel like you’re reaching the end of your tether. Even your dog doesn’t want to be around you these days.

You haven’t been sleeping very well. You’ve tried everything; warm milk before bed, listening to soothing music and nature sounds CDs, you even got one of those scalp massager thingies that’s supposed to give you the sleep of angels. Nothing. You toss and turn all night, and wake up feeling more tired than you did when you went to bed.

A nice long soak in the hot tub would probably help. A nice, long, scented soak in the hot tub would probably help even more.

This is where hot tub aromatherapy comes in.

Hot Tub Aromatherapy

Now, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support some of the loftier claims made for aromatherapy. Scents can’t fight infection or heal burns or cure diseases. Some essential oils might be helpful, but you don’t want to put oil in your hot tub.

Eucalyptus Mint Aromatherapy insparationWhat you can put in your hot tub is special, designed-for-hot-tubs aromatherapy scents. They won’t fight your infections or heal your cuts faster, but they will certainly help you relax, help you improve your mood, increase your ability to handle stress, and allow you to sleep better at night. They also won’t destroy your hot tub the way essential oils will*.

Hot tub aromatherapy products come in a few different forms; liquids, crystals, and bead. The Cover Guy carries two of the leading brands – inSPAration, and Spazazz. They are specially formulated to provide long lasting fragrance with no residue and without taxing your water chemicals unduly. They come in a variety of scents for a variety of moods, and most contain added vitamins to help with skin health.

Here are some of the more common scents used in aromatherapy, and what they are good for.

Jasmine

If you’re having a bad day and feeling stressed out, jasmine is just the thing. It invokes the feeling of warm, sultry southern nights and quiet tropical islands. This is a scent that works for relaxation in a tub for one, but is also perfect in a tub for two.

Eucalyptus Mint

If you’re feeling low energy and full of the blahs, Eucalyptus Mint might just add some pep to your step. A mild stimulant, mint can improve alertness and concentration, as well as giving off a clean, fresh smell.

SpaZazz Lavender AromatherapyLavender

If you can’t sleep, lavender is the scent for you. This pretty, purple plant has been used as a sedative and sleep aid for thousands of years. Lavender is a scent that can help you relax, and prepare you to drift off into a gloriously relaxing night’s sleep.

Smell is the one sense that connects most closely with our memories and emotions. Hot tub aromatherapy products are the best way to leverage that connection for maximum relaxation.

*Seriously. Don’t put oil in your hot tub. Ever.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Cover Upgrades Demystified]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4391/ 2017-02-11T14:04:22Z 2017-02-11T14:04:22Z Choosing the options for your new hot tub cover, it’s pretty easy to get bogged down in unfamiliar terminology. Not many people come in to hot tub ownership knowing what double wrap foam, full length...

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Choosing the options for your new hot tub cover, it’s pretty easy to get bogged down in unfamiliar terminology. Not many people come in to hot tub ownership knowing what double wrap foam, full length steam stops and energy undersides are, or why they are important. It’s also not obvious why foam density matters so much. Hot Tub Cover upgrades can be very important to add to your cover based on your environment and usage.

This post should help clear up some of that confusion so you can make some informed choices.

Parts of a Hot Tub Cover

Your hot tub cover will be made of a few standard parts. The outer skin is made of marine-grade vinyl, to protect against weather and the elements. This vinyl is wrapped around foam inserts. The foam inserts are wrapped in a clear plastic membrane called a moisture barrier. This keeps the foam from absorbing water and losing its insulating properties. There will also be one or more hinges that allow the cover to fold as it is removed.

Foam densityHot Tub Cover Upgrades – Foam

The foam is the most important component in your hot tub cover. It’s the foam that does the work of keeping the heat in the tub. Hot tub covers use “high density foam” – the same type of foam used in memory foam mattress toppers. The two aspects of the foam you need to pay attention to are the foam density and the moisture barrier.

Foam density is important – denser is better – because it affects how much heat the cover can keep in the tub. The denser the foam the more insulating value it holds. The density is measured by the pound per square foot. The common hot tub cover density’s is 1, 1.5, and 2 pound density. 2 pound density foam will give you the best insulation and will hold the most weight or load on top of it. So this is a great upgrade for hot tub owners in cold, heavy snow area’s. It is also a great upgrade for resorts or for anyone who has children, pets, or friends that can’t seem to stop walking, or sitting on their hot tub cover.

double wrapped foam coresThe double vapor barrier is another nice upgrade. The common down fall to any hot tub cover is the saturation of the foam cores. This happens because the chemicals in the hot tub breakdown the poly wrap that surrounds the foam cores over time. Having two layers of protection delays this saturation of the foam cores significantly.

Double wrapped foam just means that the foam inserts in the cover have been wrapped in two layers of poly moisture barrier. This helps make sure that the water stays in the tub and out of the cover. It also helps your cover last considerably longer.

Energy Underside

Energy Shield underside upgradeThis is a simple addition that can make a big difference. An energy underside is just a coating of heat-reflective material on the underside of the cover. It’s a shiny, silvery color. Rather than merely blocking the heat like the foam does, it reflects it back into the water. You can think of it as ‘active insulation’. Depending on your climate, this can make a significant difference in your hot tub heating costs.

Full Length Steam Stopper

full length steam stopperThe hinges are the Achilles’ heel of a hot tub cover. It doesn’t matter how dense the foam is or how well the underside bounces heat back into the water if the hinge is acting like an open door. The full length steam stop is a great upgrade that fills the gap between the foam inserts when it is on the tub. The upgrade is specifically important in the colder area’s of the country. This prevents heat from escaping through that gap. Simple, and effective.

You Might Consider

Hot Tub Cover caps can help in just about every climate to help prolong the life of your cover. The cover cap will aid in wicking away moisture and debris from the outside elements. In particular the cover cap will help against sun and ice damage.

The last item you may want to look at is a cover lifter. The hot tub cover lifter is a really nice Hot Tub Cover upgrades that will help you remove and replace the cover in a way that it can’t be damaged and will also just make it easier to go for a relaxing hot tub.

So there you go. All of the standard Hot Tub Cover upgrades demystified. Mostly they are just ways of keeping more heat in the hot tub and prolonging the life of your cover. Hopefully this gives you all the info you need to choose the right cover for you.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Buying Guide – For New Hot Tub Buyers]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4375/ 2017-02-10T00:05:09Z 2017-02-09T23:59:13Z If you are shopping for a new hot tub, it can be difficult to sift through all the information available. Deciding which factors are the most important and choosing the right hot tub for you...

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If you are shopping for a new hot tub, it can be difficult to sift through all the information available. Deciding which factors are the most important and choosing the right hot tub for you can seem impossible. You need a hot tub buying guide to help.

For those looking to buy their first hot tub there can be a lot of guess work regarding how often you’ll use the tub and for what. If you are looking to replace your old tub it can be a bit easier. At least you know how you will use it. Even if you’re looking for a replacement tub, though, you probably bought your last one quite some time ago. Features, styles, and materials have come a long way. You might just find yourself second guessing what options are right for you.

This post aims to un-muddy the waters somewhat, to help you focus on the important parts of buying a new hot tub.

concrete hot tub pad and walkwayWhere is the Hot Tub Going?

The first consideration is where you are going to put the hot tub. First of all will it be outdoors or indoors? If outdoors you’ll need to make sure the thermal properties and build quality of the hot tub can stand up to your climate year round. If indoors, it won’t need to be quite so sturdy. You will need to make sure that it isn’t too big to pass through doorways and hallways on its way to its final location though.

Once you’ve decided on out or in, you need to make sure that the place you intend to install the tub meets all the requirements. The surface the tub will rest on needs to be flat, level and solid. A poured concrete patio or a solid deck is fine, but paving stones are a bad idea. They can shift and cause structural problems for your hot tub’s frame. In-ground hot tubs are, of course, dug in. They still need to be level, though.

The hot tub will also need power and water, so should be conveniently located for both. Hot tubs come in 110V, 220V and mixed voltage varieties. You’ll need to make sure you have the correct wiring in place to run the hot tub. You will also need to empty and refill the tub a few times a year. This is much easier to do if you have a convenient source of running water nearby. And speaking of draining and refilling, the site for the hot tub also needs to have adequate drainage.

It is also important to make sure that there is enough room on all sides of the hot tub to service it when necessary.

How many People do You Know?

Family hot tub It goes without saying your popularity will increase once you take the splash into a new hot tub. All kidding aside, you need to consider how many people are in the family and how many will use the spa. If your a family of four or more you will want a 7′ to 8′ hot tub that will fit your family. If you are just a couple, a smaller hot tub might do the trick but do consider you may have some friends over at some point.

Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes, you just need to choose the right one for you and your guests. The other thing that may help make your choice is the power source you can dedicate to your new hot tub. If you only have a 110v available you will be looking at a smaller hot tub or sacrifice the hydrotherapy in a larger tub.

healthy hot tubbingWhat’s it For?

There are a few reasons people buy a hot tub.

  • Recreation
  • Fitness
  • Relaxation/stress management
  • Medical treatment,

Your main reason will determine the type of tub you want, and what features you’ll need. If you are buying one for fitness, you may want to look into models with built-in exercise equipment or maybe get a swim spa. If you are interested in hydrotherapy*, you’ll be most interested in temperature controls and the variety of jets the different models have. Your use for the hot tub will determining the features you need.

There are portable hot tubs and then there are really portable hot tubs that you can put up and take down in minutes. You will want to decide if that is the type of portability you want in your hot tub. The blowup tubs or the soft-sided tubs can be taken anywhere and moved easily. However, you do give up a little in the hydrotherapy department and the aesthetics of the unit.

*Please also remember that any medical treatments that involving your hot tub should also involve the advice of a qualified physician.

Consider the Cost

It’s important to consider of the purchase price of your hot tub. It’s even more important to consider the total cost of ownership. Especially for an outdoor tub, you should be asking how efficient the heating system is, how well the tub retains heat, and how effective the water filtration system is.

It might be a bit more for the model with solid foam insulation, for example, but many people will recoup that extra money in the first year through lower heating costs. More efficient heaters means less energy, and money, spent getting the tub up to heat. More effective filtration means less time and money spent on chemicals and adjustments to water chemistry.

Sometimes spending a bit more can actually save you money.

Also included in the cost of ownership are accessories and chemicals. You will need a hot tub cover that fits your tub, and a cover lifter is never a bad idea. You’ll probably want some sturdy steps to help getting in and out easily as well. None of these things are generally included in the purchase price of a new hot tub, but you should certainly include them in your budget.

Hot Tub Buying Guide – Try before you Buy

Family hot tub time saturday morningIt’s a great idea to do your research into the different models, features and specifications online. It’s also a great idea to make a list of a few models that meet your needs on paper, and then go to a local dealer if possible to try them out. Most reputable dealers will be able to arrange for you to test a few models and see how they feel “in the flesh”. And if you can not try them out in your trunks, then just sit in them dry it will still give you an idea. You will want a tub with different seating levels because not everyone is six foot tall. Consider the kids, smaller, or large adults when trying the seating in the hot tubs.

When it’s time to buy you can either buy from a dealer or online, but make sure to ask about warranty service, and only buy from a seller that’s been in business for a while – they are more likely to still be around a year or two down the road.

New or Used

I am a big believer in looking for used hot tubs! For whatever reason you can find hot tubs on Craigslist or other classifieds all the time. Whether people are moving or looking to change their backyard you can find used hot tubs and a lot of times people just want them moved and are not looking to make much or anything back in return. The secret to this is to be patient and find the right tub, you don’t want someone else’s problems. If you take your time and wait for the right hot tub to come along you may save yourself a bunch of money and be just as happy as you would be buying new.

A few things to look at if you are buying used is moist and wet foam insulation means it has a leak steer clear of this. The hot tub cover is really heavy, you will have to replace it with a new hot tub cover. The jets fallout when the tub goes on means you will have to replace a few jets make sure they are still available.

That’s most of what you need to keep in mind while shopping for a new hot tub. There are other factors and details that you can think about, but if you stick to these bases you can’t go too far wrong. We hope are hot tub buying guide will be helpful in your search for the perfect hot tub for you. The hours of stress relief and the soothing of aching muscles, the better sleeps and full range of motion in the morning will make the hours invested in picking out your perfect hot tub worthwhile!

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Zen and the Art of Hot Tub Cover Maintenance]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4231/ 2017-02-06T13:12:42Z 2017-02-06T13:08:32Z It’s important to think of a good hot tub cover not as an expense, but rather as an investment. An investment that, if you take care of it properly, will prolong the life of your...

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It’s important to think of a good hot tub cover not as an expense, but rather as an investment. An investment that, if you take care of it properly, will prolong the life of your hot tub and keep your operating expenses much, much lower. And there’s the catch. In order for your hot tub cover to live up to its potential, you need to take care of it. This isn’t particularly hard to do, and it isn’t an enormous amount of work in the long run, but it is important. Hot Tub Cover Maintenance here’s how to do it:

clearing snow from hot tub coverCleaning

Regular cleaning and conditioning of the hot tub cover is very important to the health and longevity of your cover. Cleaning will help the materials resist the ravages of time and weather. Debris such as leaves, branches and snow need to be cleared off as they build up. If you don’t remove debris it tends to rot, odor, and develop mildew.

Once a month – more often if necessary – your cover should be rinsed off, wiped down, and conditioned. The rinsing can be done with a common garden hose. This is just to get the loose dust and grime off before you get to the serious cleaning. Once the cover has been rinsed, wipe it down with a cleaner specially designed for hot tub covers. Some regular vinyl cleaners can cause a lot of damage to the vinyl of a hot tub cover. Make sure you keep to products made for covers.

HOT TUB COVER CLEANEROnce all the vinyl surfaces have been rinsed and wiped down, apply a protectant. A protectant is a special treatment that makes your hot tub cover resistant to dirt and dust, and also protects it from UV damage, which can cause discoloration and cracking of the vinyl over time.

While you’re cleaning, don’t neglect the underside of your cover. The top of the cover has to contend with the elements The bottom has to stand up to constant exposure to heat and moisture and water treatment chemicals. While you are cleaning the cover, also wipe down the plastic underside with a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach, 9 parts water). Make sure you take the cover off the tub first.

Hot Tub Cover Maintenance

Hot tub cover maintenance consists mostly of paying attention to the cover and looking for small problems before they become big ones. The regular cleaning program detailed above goes a long way toward preventing problems, but issues can still arise.

Rips and Tears

While wiping down the cover during the cleaning, check for small rips, nicks and tears in the vinyl. Once a year or so, you should take the cover apart, and the foam cores out and do a more thorough check. If you find any holes or breaks in the vinyl, they can be patched with a vinyl repair kit.

Vapor Barrier

While you have the foam cores out of their cover, it’s a good idea to also check them over thoroughly. The cores are wrapped in a plastic moisture barrier that prevents them from soaking up water. This barrier only works if it is all in one piece. If you find any holes or tears in this plastic membrane they can also be repaired. Wiping the plastic down with the 10% bleach solution is also a good way to prevent mildew buildup inside your cover.

leave your hot tub cover offLeave the Lid Off

Checking for damage and wear and dealing with it expeditiously is important Hot Tub Cover Maintenance. One of the best things you can actively do to prolong the life of your hot tub cover, though, is to make sure it’s off the tub often enough.

In the gap between your cover and the surface of the water, there is a layer of warm humid air. That air builds up with chemical gasses from the tub. Those gasses can eat away at the underside of your cover.  Chemical damage is the single most common cause of hot tub cover failure. There’s no way to go without the chemicals, but there is a way to make sure they don’t kill your cover.

At a minimum of once a week, and every time you shock your tub, leave the cover off your hot tub for at least an hour. If you use your tub frequently, that use time might account for your once a week. If not, you should remember to leave your cover open for an hour or so anyway.

This allows the built-up vapors to dissipate before they can become strong enough to damage your cover.

That takes care of the Hot Tub Cover Maintenance part. If you are still looking for the Zen, the Cover Guy recommends giving Hot Tub Yoga a try.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[How to Know When You Need a New Hot Tub Cover]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4229/ 2017-02-02T14:23:54Z 2017-02-02T14:23:54Z You Need a New Hot Tub Cover - How to Know When You Need a New Hot Tub Cover - Look for signs or if the cover has become very heavy. Read more to look for..

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A good hot tub cover is an investment that can not only protect your hot tub from the elements, it can also save you money. It helps maintain temperature, and keeps foreign matter from affecting water chemistry. A high quality hot tub cover can last several years. Unfortunately, no matter how high the quality of your new hot tub cover. Eventually it will wear out and need to be replaced. How do you tell when you need a new hot tub cover? It’s surprisingly easy.

sagging hot tub coverSagging Hot Tub Cover

If your cover is sagging, whether in the middle or towards one side, that’s a problem. Sagging means that the structure of the cover material has been compromised. It is also an indication that more serious problems are on their way. Your hot tub cover sags because the foam cores are broken, and/or because the reinforcing has failed. This makes the cover less structurally sound, meaning it can’t hold up to the same level of weight on it, from either rain or snow. Once the structure has been compromised, it will only get worse, not better.

Cracking and Wear

ripped and torn hot tub coverAfter enough time in the heat and cold and sun and rain and snow, even the best vinyl will start to wear. Most often this wear shows up in the form of cracking as the vinyl dries out. It is also fairly common for the color of the cover to fade over time. Fading colors are generally only a cosmetic issue: important, yes, but not critical for most people. Cracking, on the other hand, is a very serious problem.

When the vinyl on the outside of your cover cracks it exposes the inner foam cores to the elements, in particular to water from rain and snow. This will eventually lead to a waterlogged cover (more on that later) and can also make it more difficult to maintain proper water chemistry. This is especially true if the cover is compromised on both the outside and the inside.

heavy hot tub coverWater-logging

If you can hear an uncharacteristic whine of your cover lifter. Maybe you have developed a hernia when using your manual lifter. If you don’t use a cover lifter and now need three people and the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders just to get the cover off your spa, you’ve probably got a waterlogged cover.

Over time the outer vinyl can crack and the moisture seal on the underside of the cover can degrade. This lets moisture soak into the foam core of the cover. This makes it several times heavier than it should be. This increased weight is a symptom, though, and isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that a waterlogged cover can’t do the main thing a cover is supposed to do – insulate against heat loss.

The foam in your hot tub cover is made of bajillions of tiny little bubbles that trap air. Air is a heat insulator – it doesn’t let heat move from one place to another very well. Water, on the other hand, conducts heat very well. This is why frozen food thaws out more quickly sitting in a bowl of water than sitting on your kitchen counter.

If your hot tub cover is full of water instead of air. It is basically letting all the heat out of your hot tub.

Smell

Does your hot tub cover have a smell? If the smell is anything other than the smell of marine grade vinyl and hot tub chemicals you have a problem. Some of the things that you tend to get when you have several cubic feet of foam filled with warm water are mold and bacteria and fungi. Most of those things smell bad, and none of them are good for your hot tub cover. There is also no way to fix it once it starts to stink.

Repair or Replace 

healthy hot tubbing - cleaning the hot tub coverFor some of these problems it is possible to repair the hot tub cover. Particularly if you catch the problem early. Torn vinyl is fairly easy to fix with a vinyl repair kit, or temporarily with duct tape if you aren’t concerned with how it looks. Cracking, though, means the vinyl has become structurally weak and that isn’t something that can be patched.

If the cover is starting to sag, it might be possible to remove the foam cores, flip them over, and put them back in the cover. You shouldn’t count on this being a long term solution, though, as the foam is already weaker than it should be. It won’t likely last much longer the other way, either.

If the foam is waterlogged and/or smelly, there’s really not much you can do.

Hot Tub Cover ThicknessDo You Need a New Hot Tub Cover?

In all these cases, the best option is almost always to replace the cover with a new one. So the end result is maybe you need a New Hot Tub Cover. If that is the case make sure to do your research on what hot tub cover suits your needs best. Covers have probably changed a bit since you had this last one replaced. Look into the right thickness and for sure the best price for the best quality. We are biased of course and know that The Cover Guy provides this. There are some great articles that help you decide on what you need for a cover.  What is the best thickness of hot tub cover I need for my hot tub or spa.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Filter Fundamentals: Care and Cleaning]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4203/ 2017-01-26T14:21:07Z 2017-01-26T14:21:07Z Hot tub Filters are easy to take for granted, but need care. We have put together a small look at Hot Tub Filter Fundamentals the care and cleaning.

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Hot Tub Filter Fundamentals

There are very few components of your hot tub that are easier to take for granted than the filter. There are also very few components that will cause you more trouble if you neglect them. Your hot tub’s filter does more than just strain out debris and the like from your hot tub. It is a vital part of maintaining your tub’s water chemistry, and it also protects your pump from damage. We have put together a small look at Hot Tub Filter Fundamentals the care and cleaning.

Cleaning the filter properly, at the right time, and replacing it when you should can make for a more enjoyable hot tub experience. It can also save you money in operating costs.

A Simple Device

A hot tub filter is not a complicated piece of hardware. It consists of a hollow core, two end caps and a ring of pleats, or fins – generally made of polyester. As the water flows through the filter, debris and other contaminants are trapped in the pleats and kept out of the hot tub.

Simple Filter Upkeep

Dirty hot tub filters must be cleanOnce a year:

Regardless of how well or how often you clean your filter, you should replace it once a year. If your tub sees a lot of use from a lot of people you might want to replace the hot tub filter more often than that, but the longest you should go is 1 year, no matter what.

The main reason for this is that, even if you aren’t using the tub much and there isn’t much to filter out, water is still cycling through the filter and it breaks down over time. This makes it easier for particles and contaminants to get through and into the pump. Pumps are more expensive than filters, so the math is easy replace the filter.

Every three months:

Hot Tub Filter CleaningAs your filter works, it absorbs biological matter from the people who use the tub; body oils, and that sort of thing. It also can develop scale and other mineral deposits which can prevent it from working properly. Soaking your filter in a specially formulated hot tub filter cleaning solution helps dissolve these deposits and makes them easier to rinse properly.

Please note that you should only use cleaning products specifically designed for hot tub filters on your hot tub filter. Using other cleaning products such as laundry or dish soap will almost certainly result in a foaming hot tub and numerous problems with your water chemistry.

Hot Tub filter water wand cleanerEvery two weeks:

Every two weeks or so – more often with heavy use – you should pull out your filter and give it a good rinse. While you can do an almost adequate job with just a garden hose, The Cover Guy recommends purchasing a special hot tub filter cleaning attachment. They thread right onto a standard garden hose and separate the pleats in the filter as they spray them.

This makes the filter cleaning process much faster and easier. It also makes it much more effective, which results in less mechanical wear on your tub’s plumbing, and in cleaner water. The cleaner water means your chemicals will be more effective. More effective chemicals mean you use less of them, and that saves you money.

Filters are inexpensive and unassuming, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more important part of your hot tub upkeep. Filters are so important to the proper functioning of a hot tub. The fact is, that some manufacturers consider a dirty filter to void your warranty. Proper filter maintenance is not difficult, and can save you time and money in the long run. Adhere too the Hot Tub Filter Fundamentals of cleaning and replacing in a timely manner and it will save you and your hot tub in the end.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Classic Hot tub Drinks]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4200/ 2017-01-23T00:40:56Z 2017-01-23T00:40:56Z To aid in your quest for the perfect winter relaxation, The Cover Guy would like to offer you the following Classic Hot Drinks for the Hot Tub recipes for a selection of perfect beverages.

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Classic Hot tub Drinks

Few things feel better than soaking in a gloriously warm hot tub on a cold winter evening after the Football Game. One thing that does feel better is soaking in that same hot tub on that same cold winter evening with a delicious, hot, relaxing beverage. To aid in your quest for the perfect winter relaxation, The Cover Guy would like to offer you the following Classic Hot tub Drinks recipes for a selection of perfect beverages.

Hot Chocolate

Classic Hot tub DrinksSure, you could use the instant powder in a can, but this is so much better. You’ve been working hard. Or playing hard. Either way you deserve this.

Ingredients (3-4 servings)

  • 3 C milk
  • 1C heavy cream
  • .25C cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • .5C sugar
  • 6oz chopped milk chocolate
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Heat everything except the chocolate and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir or whisk gently until everything dissolves, but don’t let the mixture boil.

Once everything is dissolved, add the milk chocolate, half at a time, and stir until it also is dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and mix in the vanilla. You can add your favorite toppings to take it to the next level like whipped cream or chocolate shavings. Now follow the cleared path in the snow to your hot tub and enjoy!

Grown-up Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate in a hot tub is wonderful, but that hot chocolate can be made even better by the addition of your favorite liqueur. Peppermint schnapps, Bailey’s, or a healthy shot of whiskey are popular choices. Less common but very tasty are Drambuie (a scotch whisky liqueur) and Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (orange liqueurs).

hot toddy for the hot tubHot Toddy

Hot Toddy is the catch-all name for a variety of Classic Hot tub Drinks that usually feature whiskey, lemon, and honey. They can be made with almost any type of whiskey and can be doctored up with almost anything else you like, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Legend has it that a toddy is great for colds and sniffles, too. Below is one of our favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1C hot black tea
  • 2Tbsp honey
  • 1-1.5oz bourbon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 thin slice of lemon

Simply mix, and drink.

Hot Buttered Rum

This is a great choice of beverage, if only for the fact that you can make up a good sized batch of the base for it ahead of time, and keep it on hand to whip up a drink quickly when you want one, or when company comes over unexpectedly. You’ll notice from the ingredients list that this is very much like ‘pumpkin spice’. But for rum.

The Cover Guy Hot Buttered RumCocktail base

Ingredients

  • Butter 1lb.
  • 1lb. brown sugar
  • 1lb white sugar
  • 1Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1qt vanilla ice cream (soft enough to mix)

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients except the ice cream. Then mix in the ice cream. Put in a sealable container and keep it in the freezer until you want to use it.

To make the cocktail, simply mix a tall shot of your favorite rum with a good tablespoon of the base, fill the rest of the way with boiling water, stir and drink. Repeat as necessary.

Whether soaking solo or hosting a hot tub get-together, the right drink can turn a good evening into a great evening. Cheers, and happy hot tubbing with these Classic Hot tub Drinks.

**The Cover Guy would like to remind everyone to drink responsibly and to imbibe in moderation, especially in and around hot relaxing water.**

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Chemistry Isn’t Rocket Science]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4184/ 2017-01-20T17:34:24Z 2017-01-20T14:09:09Z Hot Tub Chemistry really doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a handful of things, it’s easy to keep your hot tub looking and smelling perfect.

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Hot Tub Chemistry

hot tub chemistryHot tubs are supposed to help you relax and leave you feeling like you haven’t a care in the world. So why does thinking about water maintenance give you high school chemistry class flashbacks? Hot Tub Chemistry really doesn’t have to be difficult to keep the water in your hot tub clean, though. By being aware of just a handful of things, it’s easy to keep your hot tub looking (and smelling) more like the coast near Bali and less like the diving pool at the Rio Olympics.

Testing and Adjusting

There are really only 4 things you need to worry about when it comes to keeping your hot tub clean:

  1. Alkalinity – between 80 – 120
  2. PH levels – between 7.2 and 7.8
  3. Sanitizer levels – Chlorine 1.5 – 3.0 and Bromine 3.0 – 5.0
  4. How much organic material is in the water

All four of these things are connected. Organic material in the water feeds bacteria (smell) and algae (cloudy, green water). Sanitizer slows down the growth of the gooey stuff. PH levels affect how well the sanitizer works, and alkalinity determines how stable the PH levels are.

To keep these elements under control, you’ll need 5 things: testing strips, alkalinity adjuster, PH adjuster, sanitizer and shock chemicals.

The Cover Guy carries a variety of testing strips, including multi-function ones that let you check everything with one dip.

Once you’ve dipped your strip:

  • Compare the color of the strip with the color swatches on the packaging
  • Check alkalinity first, then PH, then sanitizer levels
  • If any of those things is not where it should be, add the appropriate chemical to adjust it
  • If more than one thing needs adjusting, adjust them one at a time.
    • Add the first chemical and wait several hours, or overnight
    • Test again and add the next chemical if still necessary
    • Repeat if needed

That’s pretty much all there is to it. The only other wrinkles are choosing what type of sanitizer to use, and knowing how often to shock the hot tub.

Sanitizers

hot tub cover lifter buying guideThe two most common types of sanitizers are bromine and chlorine. They both do the same thing – inhibit the growth of bacteria and algae – in much the same way. The biggest difference is in application. Bromine is a bit more expensive, and a bit more complicated to administer, but the treatments last longer and require less chemical in the water than chlorine. Chlorine, on the other hand, is easier to use and a bit less expensive, but requires more chemical in the water. Some people find they are sensitive to one or the other and experience skin or eye irritation, so don’t be afraid to try switching to the other if the water bothers you shortly after a treatment. Remember to remove your hot tub cover for at least an hour after shocking your tub.

Shocking

hot tub water chemistryNo matter what sanitizer you use or how carefully you check and adjust, biological matter will build up in the hot tub with use. A shock treatment takes care of this problem by oxidizing the organics in the water before they can feed the bacteria. It also helps get rid of sanitizer residue that remains after the sanitizer has done its job.

Generally it is recommended that you shock your hot tub once a week – more often if it’s seeing heavy use. If your levels are all good, but the water is a bit cloudy or doesn’t quite smell right, it’s time for a shock. You should also shock the tub if you haven’t used it for an extended period of time.

So there you go easy Hot Tub Chemistry: dip, check, adjust, and shock. Do that regularly and it will be clear soaking and happy tubbing.

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Holly Chavez https://www.thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Vita Spas Error Codes & Information]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=3613 2017-01-20T17:41:06Z 2017-01-18T17:47:42Z Vita Spas Vita Spas designed the industry’s first hot tub that was built to be appliance grade. They also utilize a steel frame as one of the essential building blocks for each of their products....

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Vita Spas

Vita Spas designed the industry’s first hot tub that was built to be appliance grade. They also utilize a steel frame as one of the essential building blocks for each of their products. Their focus on hydrotherapy includes the same level of therapeutic relief that consumers would receive by visiting a massage therapist.

Vita spa for The Cover Guy CoversThis company’s products offer consumers the choice between multiple different jets and configurations in order to give them the desired results, ranging from relaxation to a therapeutic massage. The massage techniques that are emulated by the specific jets that a consumer chooses include reflexology, sports massage, classic massage, effleurage massage and shiatsu massage.

Vita Spa Replacement Covers by The Cover Guy

The Cover Guy provides all Vita Spa replacement covers so you are guaranteed a perfect fit every time.

Spa Models:

· Series 700

·  500 Series

· Series 300

· Series 100

· XSR Swim Spa

· XSP Swim Spa

· XSD Swim Spa

· XS1 Swim Spa

· XB4 Swim Spa

· XL4 Swim Spa

These are the error codes and display messages that a ThermoSpas Hot Tub may display, along with what they mean and any actions required:

Vita Spas Error Messages

Message Meaning Action Required
OHH Stands for “Overheat”- and the tub shuts down. One of the sensors detected temperatures of 118°F (47.8°C) at the location of the heater. Spa heater shuts down automatically until temp falls below 108°F (42°C).Could indicate a pump operating at low speed for an extended time, constant filtering due to a programming error or a faulty pump. DO NOT GET INTO THE WATER! Take off the heat shield cover to allow the water to cool down. Make sure that the slice valves are open and reprogram the spa to make sure there are no overlapping time cycles. Open all jets. Contact the dealer or service organization if the problem continues.
OHS Overheating condition where a water temperature sensor has detected water temperatures of 110°F (43.3°C). Spa functioning is then disabled until temps fall below 108°F (42.2°C).Could indicate a pump operating at low speed for an extended time, constant filtering due to a programming error or a faulty pump. DO NOT GET INTO THE WATER! Take off the heat shield cover to allow the water to cool down. Make sure that the slice valves are open and reprogram the spa to make sure there are no overlapping time cycles. Open all jets. Contact the dealer or service organization if the problem continues.

ICE

Sensor detects possible freeze conditions. Heater powers on to ensure water temperatures stay above 45°F (7.2°C).
HFL Heater flow problem possibly caused by low water or plugged up filters. The heater shuts down while other functions of spa continue to operate normally. You can add water, remove and clean filter if it’s dirty and open all jets to resume normal operation. If the problem persists, contact the dealer or service organization.

LF

Means low flow problems are persistent. This error code will display the fifth time that the “HFL” message occurs within 24 hours.With this error, the heater will shut down, but other functions of the hot tub will continue to operate normally. Issue is possibly caused by low water or a plugged filter. You can add water, remove and clean filter if it’s dirty and open all jets to resume normal operation. If the problem persists, contact the dealer or service organization.
drY Sensors detect lack of water to the heater. Heater will shut down, but other function of the spa will continue to operate normally.Issue is possibly caused by closed slice valve or blocked suction return/skimmer/filter. Remove the blockage, add water or open any closed jets and valves. If the problem persists, contact the dealer or service organization.
dr Sensors detect lack of water to the heater. Heater will shut down, but other function of the spa will continue to operate normally.Issue is possibly caused by closed slice valve or blocked suction return/skimmer/filter.Issue is possibly caused by closed slice valve or blocked suction return/skimmer/filter. Remove the blockage, add water or open any closed jets and valves.
SnT Malfunctioning Heater Sensor A. Contact dealer to get identical replacement Sensor A.
SnH Malfunctioning Heater Sensor B. Contact dealer to get identical replacement Sensor B.
SnS Heater Sensors are not in balance. Contact dealer or service organization for repair.
Pr -OR- RUN/ Priming modePMPS/PURG/AIR/– Priming Mode Spa is functioning normally for Priming Mode.
SLP Sleep Mode Spa is functioning normally in Sleep Mode.
ECN Economy Mode Spa is functioning normally in Economy Mode.
Spa water temperature Current water temperature is not known or measured.
WATER TOO HOT Temperature for spa water DO NOT GET INTO THE WATER! Water temperatures are too hot and spa operations are disabled.

2015 Vita Spas Owners Manual | 2010 – 2013 Vita Spa Owners Manual

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Automatic Pool Cleaner Tips and Fixes]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4165/ 2017-01-18T14:53:35Z 2017-01-18T14:53:35Z Automatic Pool Cleaner Tips and Fixes Swimming pools are so relaxing and with the use of an automatic pool cleaner like the Kreepy Krauly you can maximize the fun and relaxation with less maintenance. As...

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Automatic Pool Cleaner Tips and Fixes

Swimming pools are so relaxing and with the use of an automatic pool cleaner like the Kreepy Krauly you can maximize the fun and relaxation with less maintenance. As a matter of fact the most popular addition to a swimming pool is the automatic pool cleaner. The only side effect to this burden helper is that even a Kreepy Krauly may have an issue or two that needs addressing. This guide will help you with Automatic Pool Cleaner Tips and Fixes. The common solutions to any problems you may have with your automatic pool cleaner.

The most common problems surrounding automatic pool cleaners is mostly due Automatic pool cleanerto the suction and the pressure. Somewhere along the line of the Kreepy Krauly there is a problem with the suction which is the engine or power that drives the Kreepy and most automatic pool cleaners. The automatic cleaners need a lot of pull to drive them around your swimming pool. Often that usually means they need all the suction that you can muster from your system. Also, it has to be a completely closed system. That means no leaks or interruptions between the pump and the head of the cleaner.

Pool Cleaners need Suction

So the first thing to look for when your auto cleaner is not working, is anything that is preventing the best possible suction for your cleaner. Here are some things to look for when your cleaner is not moving:

  1. Have you turned off the suction from your main drain putting all the suction from the line your Kreepy Krauly is attached to?
  2. Is there any debris in the skimmer, line, auto cleaner hose, or in the cleaner itself?
  3. Has the filter been backwashed and cleaned giving you the best possible pressure?
  4. Can you see any air bubbles coming back through the returns indicating a leak in the hose? Tighten the links in the hose.
  5. Does your equipment provide enough pull and pressure for the auto cleaner to work? You may need a new pump.

Automatic Pool Cleaners need a Clear Path

Automatic Pool Cleaner Tips and FixesObstructions are another issue that can cause a poor performance from a cleaner. If the cleaner is has an issue hitting all the areas of the pool this might be due to a couple of issues.

  1. The hose may not be long enough to reach the whole pool, consider adding sections of hose.
  2. There also may be something blocking the path of the cleaner. You may have to remove it, or change the path.
  3. The cleaner may not be balanced properly. Try adding weights, or moving the current weights may also help.
  4. The speed of the cleaner may be set to high or too low. Make sure it is set at the right speed.
  5. The main drain or returns may also be affecting the path of the cleaner. Make changes to help the Kreepy.

The most common issues are always going to be around the suction your cleaner is able to use. Make sure you keep your filter and your automatic cleaners suction lines clean of debris. Also, make sure the path is clear for your automatic cleaner. This will give you the best results in keeping your swimming pool clean.

Now sit back in your hot tub and watch your automatic cleaner in action.

 

 

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