This article first appeared online at Hotspring.com
Whether you’re eco-conscious or just trying to save a buck, seeking ways to conserve water is good for the planet and your savings account. The world has gotten hotter and dryer, and our water resources are diminishing. So, we owe it to ourselves and to Mother Nature to be as water-efficient as possible. Fortunately, you don’t have to forego the hot tub you’ve been dreaming of to do that.
Some modern hot tubs—even large seven-seat spas that hold 450 gallons of water—aren’t only comfortable and stylish, they’re also water-efficient. This is because when it comes to conservation, it’s not the amount of water in a hot tub that matters; it’s how long the water lasts before it needs to be drained and refilled.
A spa with a standard hot tub water sanitation system has to be completely drained and refilled a few times a year. But a spa with a modern saltwater system means your hot tub water can last a whole year.
Conserving water as a hot-tubber doesn’t involve much work. Instead, it just requires regular care and maintenance, a bit of forethought, and some minor common-sense adjustments to your spa habits.
With traditional chlorine and bromine spa water care systems, sanitizers require manual replenishment often to kill bacteria and keep the water clean. They also leave behind chemical residues, which can build up and create odors and cause skin and eye irritations. As a result of the residue build-up, hot tubs using these systems must be drained and refilled once every three to four months. Saltwater systems offer hot tub owners a better, simpler choice.
Saltwater systems generate chlorine from salt and automatically releases it into the water in slow, steady amounts, eliminating the need to add sanitizers manually to keep the spa clean. This not only makes water care easier, but it also leaves no residue, keeping the spa water clear and silky on the skin and extending its life to 12 months. And longer water life means less draining and refilling, and less water wasted.
Even the best spa water sanitation systems depend on efficient filters to help keep the water clean and free of dirt, dust, insects, and leaves.
To keep filters working properly, they must be cleaned regularly. Most are easy to access and remove. A quick check once a week will keep you apprised of their condition. Look for cracks, wear, and tearing when you inspect. A brief rinse with a garden hose will clear them of contamination. High-quality filters will last two to three years.
Quality hot tubs come with a durable vinyl cover. Always cover your hot tub when it’s not in use to prevent water loss due to evaporation and contamination from fallen leaves or sap, birds and insects, and particulate matter. A spa cover will also greatly improve your hot tub’s energy efficiency by helping regulate water temperature, and can help reduce your electric bill.
Because spa covers can be heavy and difficult for one person to move, consider investing in a hot tub cover lifter. A cover lifter will allow you to easily remove and replace the cover. It will also help ensure you never leave your spa uncovered.
The best hot tubs are reliable and durable. Spa shells and cabinets should not crack or warp under normal use. Your best defense against a leak is to keep an eye on the water level and inspect the outside cabinet for moisture and the area around the base of the cabinet for water every time you use your spa. When you drain and clean your hot tub, check the pipes to see if there’s any noticeable rot or wear and check inside the compartment for moisture.
As a hot-tubber, the most obvious way to conserve water is to keep it inside the spa. Modern hot tub jets are powered by strong motors, so if the nozzles aren’t aimed below the waterline, some water may splash out. Over time, this could lead to a lot of water loss. Adjusting your nozzles to assure you always get the perfect massage will help keep your water level in check.
While your water care system will remove impurities in the spa water, you’ll want to do your part to prevent further tainting of the water. In addition to checking the filters and always covering your spa when not in use, rinse off quickly before entering your spa to remove oils and sweat from your body. If you soak in your hot tub in the same bathing suit you wear when swimming in a pool, river, or ocean, rinse it, too, before stepping into your spa. Avoid a long shower, as the goal is water conservation after all. And don’t use soap; its residue will linger in the water, defeating the purpose of your rinse.
Instead of draining your hot tub into the nearest sewer, reuse it as gray water. It’s not good for drinking, but it can be used to water (non-edible) plants, flush toilets, and to wash your car, deck, or house. If you plan to use hot tub water this way, you’ll need to let it sit in the spa, covered, for three days without adding chemicals.
If you’re shopping for a spa and concerned about your water use, you can rest easy. With a modern saltwater system and some due diligence, you can do your part to be as water-efficient as possible and save a few bucks along the way. Contact us today to find out which hot tub is best for your needs. Happy hot tubbing!