About Gary Hohne

Gary Hohne is President & CEO of Hohne Pools, a Maryland pool company.

Guide to Hot Tub Insulation

Hot tub insulation is one the most important energy efficiency factor in hot tubs, so choosing a hot tub with the right insulation for you is the best way to keep hot tub heating costs down.

Hot tub insulation comes in three basic varieties:

Basic insulation is typically a thin layer of polyurethane. A major advantage of basic insulation is the low cost. Basic insulation is sufficient for indoor hot tubs; however, it doesn’t provide adequate insulation for outdoor hot tubs, which means your hot tub will be more expensive to heat during winter months.

(Side note: Check out our blog post about the best hot tubs for winter)

With full foam insulation, the area between the hot tub shell and cabinet sub-floor is filled with a thick layer of solid foam. Foam insulation is an excellent way to insulate and support the hot tub shell. Full foam hot tub insulation can be slightly more expensive, but provides better insulation value than basic insulation.

Layered insulation – also known as blanket insulation – involves installing layers of insulating material between the cabinet walls and the spa shell. Layered insulation makes it easy for hot tub service technicians to access the inside your hot tub if you need repairs. The layers can be quickly removed and replaced, saving time and money.

When choosing a hot tub, consider how and where you’ll use the hot tub. Will this be an outdoor hot tub? Will you use it during winter? Layered insulation is probably best for you. Looking for a low-cost option for an indoor hot tub? Basic insulation should suffice.

If you have questions about hot tub insulation, contact us using our form and we’ll get back to you promptly.

My Hot Tub is Freezing…What Should I Do?

If you live in a region of the country where the snow sticks — meaning the air temperature drops below freezing long enough to freeze the ground — you have a hot tub season and you have winter! Now, you can run up your electric bill to crazy sums by leaving your hot tub running all winter — day and night — so the water doesn’t freeze and damage it (which doesn’t just drain your account, but the life out of the hot tub’s pump and the heater) or…

You can winterize your tub!

Winterizing your hot tub simply means getting all of the water out of it. In practice though, it’s a little more complex. However, it doesn’t take a genius to winterize your tub. There are four places from which you must drain the water:

  • tub
  • pump
  • heater
  • lines

Emptying the Tub

Access the drain plug on the bottom of the tub or siphon the water out from the top with a hose. It’s that easy!

Draining the Pump and Heater

Drain the water from both the pump and the heater using the petcocks (bleed valves) found on the bottom of each unit’s casing. First however, disconnect both units from the lines. With a pipe wrench, loosening the connecting couplers.

Draining the Lines

To drain the lines completely, — most of the water actually drains out once you disconnect the heater and the pump — use a shop vacuum, on the ‘‘blow’’ setting. Press the end of the vacuum hose up against the jets and it blows the water out the bottom of the pipes (where they were attached to the heater and the pump before you disconnected them).

OOPS!

The hot tub froze and you think there might be damage. DO NOT TURN IT ON! If there is ice in the system and you turn it on you may ruin the pump and the heater.

Remove the heater and the pump, open the petcocks and put both units inside your house to drain. Inspect the lines for cracks. Remove the jet covers and check for internal damage — cracks in the plastic — then inspect the basin of your hot tub. If there aren’t any visible cracks, you may have lucked out. Otherwise you may need to replace the cracked PVC, jet housing or have someone plastic weld the basin.

If you think your hot tub is ok, reconnect the heater and pump, fill the tub until the jets are covered using buckets of hot water from your bath tub, then kick it on. If everything seems in order, you’re set. If the pump or heater isn’t working, you need to take them in to be repaired.

Hurricane Sandy Pool and Hot Tub Damage: What to Do

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many Maryland hot tub and pool owners find themselves dealing with damage. While pool and hot tub repairs may be secondary to other post-Sandy home repairs, repairing a hot tub or swimming pool and preventing further damage is key to protecting a major investment.

Here are some things to keep in mind if your pool or hot tub was damaged during Hurricane Sandy (or any other weather event):

  • If your pool was winterized prior to Hurricane Sandy, consider a pool inspection. Water levels may have risen or fallen in your pool, pool covers may have blown out of place, and debris may have punctured your pool lining or pool cover.
  • Check to make sure pool and hot tub covers have not been damaged or gone missing. A damaged pool cover is an insufficient barrier to entry and may pose an entrapment risk. A missing pool cover leaves your pool dangerously unprotected.
  • Check for standing water in your pool or hot tub. If you don’t clean up standing water now, you may forget about it by spring, when it will become a breeding place for mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus and other threats to public health.

If you need emergency pool repair services or hot tub repair services in Maryland, contact us via our contact form today.

Best Hot Tubs for Winter

Which are the best winter hot tubs? Choosing the best cold-weather hot tub is a bit like picking the best car: It comes down to which features matter most to you.

The Sundance® Aspen™: A Winter Hot Tub Workhorse

The Sundance® Aspen™ sets a high standard for cold weather hot tub enjoyment. You’ll find it all in the Aspen™. Eight varieties of massaging jets — 66 jets in total – offer the ultimate hydrotherapy experience. The Aspen™ features a SunGlow™ LED lighting system, making it an attractive hot tub for winter nights. Ergonomically designed seats let you relax in comfort.

The Aspen™ seats 7-8 adults comfortably. At 90” by 110”, it’s a roomy option with a 520-gallon volume. Four shell colors and three cabinet colors are available. If you’re looking for the best cold weather hot tub, you’d do well to consider the Sundance® Aspen™.

The Artesian Spas Bimini: A Cold Weather Hot Tub for the Luxury Set

Another strong contender for best hot tub for winter is the Bimini from Artesian Spas. Measuring 91″ x 132”, it’s a big roomier than the Aspen; the Bimini seats 9 adults with ease. Clearly designed for entertaining guests, it’s a dream option for winter hot tub time. Six massage seats, two personal loungers, and a cool down seat make the Bimini a popular hot tub when the temperature drops.

Request an EstimateWhat sets the Bimini apart are the optional upgrades; a cascading waterfall, a relaxing pillowfall, a marine-grade stereo system, and LED lighting are among the many available upgrades. The heavy-duty ProGuard spa guard is a must-have if your spa is exposed to extreme cold.

Pound for pound, the Artesian Spas Bimini is a legit contender as a cold weather spa.

Leisure’s Edge 850: A Top 10 Choice for Best Hot Tub

For true hot tub connoisseurs, the Leisure’s Edge 850 from Premium Leisure is the go-to choice as a cold weather hot tub. And it’s no wonder: This model was named among the ten best hot tubs in the 2010 spa and hot tub picks by PoolAndSpa.com.

With 50 premium hydrotherapy jets, the 850 provides a steady source of relaxation. It’s smaller than both the Aspen and the Bimini – just 91” by 91” – but still comfortably seats 6 people. Its affordable price tag makes it a fine choice for those looking for accessible hot tub pricing.

Visit our hot tubs page to learn more about spas and hot tubs for sale in our Baltimore showroom.

Hot Tub Roundup

At Hohne Pools, we spend a lot of time educating customers about hot tubs. A hot tub is a significant investment, and it makes sense to ask lots of questions before buying a hot tub.

One way we help customers learn about hot tubs is this blog. In fact, take a look at our recent posts and you’ll find lots of useful hot tub tips:

In addition to these articles, the sales and customer service staff in our Baltimore hot tub showroom can answer any question you have about hot tubs. We’ve heard them all!

Have a hot tub question we haven’t answered yet? Contact us and we’ll get back to you with an answer!