Weekly newsletter for spa owners

Spa Care Tips

published on the web by

HavenMade Inc.

Broomfield, CO 80020
Copyright 1997-2009

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Week of Aug. 17, 1997

Misconceptions About Spas


How Spas Enhance Your Life

This subject seems as though it should be obvious. In my years of using spas, and working in the spa business, I have found that people often need to learn how to use a spa for both mental and physical health.

Back in the not so good old days of "hot tubs", hippies used to have very hot water in wooden hot tubs to help "blow their minds". They would jump into water as hot as 112 degrees F (or higher). This would have a mind altering effect. If the old hippies did it now, it would probably cause them to go unconscious. It is a very dangerous thing to do. That leads me into why so many doctors have such a bad misconception of spas. Spas are not "hot tubs" (they are also not "jacuzzies", as facial tissue is not "kleenex")

These misconceptions include:

"People with high blood pressure shouldn't use a spa". Some doctors have a tendency to think of spas as hot tubs. They tell their high blood pressure patients that they can't use a spa, yet they say it is OK to take a warm or hot bath (100 to 102 degrees). The maximum temperature on a modern spa, with a UL or ETL tested sticker is 104 degrees.

You should not go into water above that temperature, and you shouldn't buy a spa that will go above that temperature. If you invite someone into your spa who has high blood pressure, and your spa is above 104 degrees, you could cause them to pass-out. Don't use your modern spa for a "hippie hot tub".

My wife, Sandy, has high blood pressure and takes medication for it. She uses our spa any time she wants. We keep the temperature around 102 degrees: no problems! If you have high blood pressure, you may want to educate your doctor about the temperature of spas, and that they are not "hot tubs". I am sure your doctor will approve use at 102 degrees or less.

Another common misconception is "all spas cause folliculitis"; a skin rash caused by poor care of spa water. This is where old dead organics enter into the hair follicles pores of people's skin and start an infection, a minor irritation and rash. The only cases of this I have heard of is from public spas, because of the amount of use ( hundreds of people every day). If you go to a public spa, be sure to shower and wash with soap after you get out, and you will be fine. If you use a public spa, be sure to talk to the attendant and ask them how often they change the water (should be from weekly to daily, depending upon use)? Ask what the sanitizer levels are? What is the temperature of the water, the total alkalinity and pH of the water? How often do they shock the water? If they can't answer those questions quickly and concisely, don't use the spa.

In your own private spa, the water is yours to care for, and if you follow a simple maintenance program, you will not ever have to shower after. In fact, if you care for the water according to a standardized program, and use an ozonator, the water in your spa is better than tap water. The pH is better for your skin (7.4 pH is the pH of your skin). The water is cleaner, better filtered, has less organic matter, and has less chlorine than tap water. (When I shower, I can really feel the difference. The tap water is always more harsh, and we have some the best tested tap water in the country; melted snow from the Rocky Mountains.) I shower (sometimes) before I go in, but never after because the spa water is better for my skin. If your spa water is not clear, and doesn't smell good, you may want a copy of our maintenance instructions. We will send it to you for $1.00 Shipping and handling. Email: spacare@spaspecialist.com

Another misconception;

Spas are not good for spider veins or varicose veins. Once again the old "hot tub" myth strikes again. If people go into really hot water, it will irritate their skin, because the skin turns bright red, overloaded with blood. This does not happen at a proper spa temperature. In fact, warm water 100 to 102 is very good for the skin circulation. My spider veins have receded. (I am almost 50 years old.). Tell your doctor this and see if they say it is OK to go into 102 degree water. (It also helps if you have an accurate digital temperature control, like The Spa Specialist Spas have.)

Another misconception;

Hot tubs dry out your skin. This one is directly related to poor water maintenance. If the water's pH and total alkalinity and/or sanitizer levels are messed up, it will cause that dry itchy skin. I have heard husbands who desperately wanted a spa because of back pain or sore muscles from playing golf or tennis tell me: "My wife does not want one because she thinks it will dry out her skin."

Taking a shower in normal household water will dry out your skin faster than a pH balanced spa, with low levels of chlorine.

If you have dry skin problems, stop using irritating soaps (try a different brand, or borax based), stop taking showers in low pH water with high levels of chlorine (get a water purification system for your house water) , and/or after you shower, use your spa water to balance the pH on your skin. If you really need a skin conditioner, we have some really wonderful products, that are added to spa water, with aloe vera, that will help your skin. Email for conditioner products list and prices cond@spaspecialist.com

Properly balanced spa water will help your skin.

If you have a spa and have excellent water, and still have skin problems, it is probably related to food allergies. You may want to consult a doctor who understands food allergies (there are not many) or go to a good book store and get books on the subject that tell you how to detect your allergies. Many people with constant skin problems are really allergic to certain foods. So much of so-called genetic problems are really what you have been taught to eat. The most common allergies are milk and wheat. Instead of rash, it may be wheat!

Spas have been mistakenly blamed for problems that spas can actually help!

Please, if you have any of these problems, contact your doctor and have him read this. Get your doctors permission before you go into a spa. Ask if going into crystal clear filtered water, that is pH balanced to 7,4, at 102 degrees or less is dangerous for you? A spa is not a "hot tub"!!!


Another misconception is that spas are "somehow dangerous, because all spas can trap people under water." In the past, this was true with some old hot tubs and poorly designed spas.

There are very clear standards set by the pool and spa industry that have been proven, over and over, to completely eliminate what is known as "entrapment". The problem is; not everyone is following them. All of the problems I have personally heard or read about are related to poorly engineered custom or built-in spas. There are many pool and spa professionals who are not engineers, and who do not consult engineers. They think they know enough through experience. Some have been around for twenty or more years, unknowingly, making the same mistakes over and over.

The standard is this: For each and every pump you must install two suction fittings of proper size, so if one is covered, the suction is diverted to the other fitting. The vacuum reading at the pump suction should be less than 10 inches of mercury.

The suctions must be made so that hair will never get caught and hold a person under the water. The suctions must not be made to create a vortex or circular pattern in the water, because this can cause hair to bunch up over a suction fitting (similar to taking your hand and making a swirl out of long hair). You can not be harmed in any way if this design is followed.
This is how Haven Spas and many good brands are made. SAFE! They even go one step further in that you can place your hand over the top of the suctions, and the water goes in through the back. You can't completely cover the suction, unless you place a plastic bag completely over it.

Every feature on the Haven spas are extremely well thought out. It is as though all of the poor designs that do not work very well are gone, and all of the things that work well, plus more, are included.

In my years of working with spa customer, in service and repair, as well as giving classes on spa maintenance and talking to many owners of other spas. (People love to talk about their spas.) I have heard the same concerns and complaints over and over. All of those concerns have been address in the Haven Spas, to the best that modern engineering can produce at a reasonable cost.

If you have another brand, some can be upgraded to our digital controls, but there has to be proper space and an area for the topside control to fit.

Contact us!

HavenMade Inc.

Broomfield, CO 80023

How Spas Enhance Your Life.

For many thousands of years warm water has been the prescription for a lot of ailments that life presents us with.

In ancient Rome and Europe the common practice of hot soaks, wasn't just some sort of ritual. It was know to cure many aches and pains of life. There were elaborate small pools which had water piped into them from natural hot springs. We still have those today. The myth is that somehow only natural hot springs have any healing effect. Sulphur and other chemicals in these pools are supposed to have magical cures, but it really is just the warm water that does the trick!

A modern spa with proper progressive jetting and air jets is by far much better than the most raved about natural hot spring. Even though a new spa doesn't have the nostalgia, it has wonderful therapy, and the water is better for your skin.

When you immerse yourself in warm spa water, it causes two beneficial physiological events to take place in your body. One; it causes your capillaries to open up giving more blood flow to your skin. More blood means more nutrients and better circulation. Two; your heart rate increases sightly, adding to the increased blood flow.

Since your body is 95% water, the liquids in your body are now neutral (or almost neutral) in weight. Your liquids sort of "become one" with the water in the spa. Thus the effects of gravity on your circulatory system is reduced drastically. This has the effect of making the distance between your heart and your feet much less. Although physically of course this is not the case. The blood that the Chinese medicine doctors call stagnant (really slow) is now able to move freely it does so because of open capillaries (heat), and buoyancy (water).

There is one thing that you must do; let go and relax. The healing really starts there. Because the blood flow is now in your body and not in your head, your mind can start to slow down and be in a more peaceful state. You can actually get into a different awareness or "place in your mind" , both safe feeling and peaceful. In order to do this you must let go.

Here are some steps that work to help your mind relax.

1. Sit down low in the spa, and lay your head back on the pillow. Don't move around or get up then down. Just sit!
2. Turn on the jets, and air jets.
3. Look at something your mind can relax upon. The stars, the moon, the sky, trees, the ceiling, or a large blank wall. Anything that helps to keep your mind off stressful thoughts.
4. Slide down and let the neck jets massage tension out of your neck and shoulders,
5. Let your mind get into the therapy in your body and feel the jets and air bubbler remove the tension.
6. Run the jets as long as you want.
7. You should not be able to feel the seat in the spa. Allow the seat to disappear, so you feel that you are floating in space. This is only accomplished by ergonomic seating (not barrier free). The seat sort of cradles you and doesn't interfere with your comfort.
8. After you are done with the jets, just turn them off and relax. Don't jump out right away. This is the most peaceful part of the spa, right after the jets are turned off. This is why massage therapist ask you to just lay and relax for 10 to 20 minutes after the massage.

Here is what you are accomplishing by doing all the above:

The blood is flowing and bringing nutrients into your skin, joints, muscles. The weight is off your joints, so that they can get healing while the blood is cleaning out the toxins in your body.

The knots in your muscles are gently removed as you sit back and enjoy the jets and air bubbler experience.

The skin which is the largest eliminative organ in your body is dumping toxins out at a high rate. (You must drink a lot of water while in your spa.) When these toxins are removed, your general health is improved. You feel better just by this alone.

Your mind is at peace for a while, and your ability to relax in other situations improves. You learn to relax. Your worrying logical mind is what creates the tension in your body. Letting it go and relaxing is just wonderful!

The aches and pains of your body are relieved, and lessened throughout the day. If you go in at night, just before going to bed, your sleep will improve.

This is some of the reasons why so many people say;

"I just love my spa!"

If you have any questions concerning spa operation, mechanics, design, or water maintenance, please contact the author at jim@spaspecialist.com

We are

THE "Spa Specialist"

HavenMade Inc
Broomfield, CO 80023

Personal note from the author

There is one post script I would like to add at this point. There is a lot of hype out there. Where ever there are dollars to be made, there is the possibility for hype!(Not telling you anything you don't already know; just a reminder).

With my background in the repair end of the spa and pool business, I have seen a lot. I also have experience in manufacturing; plastics, metals, wood, electronics, and electrical. I worked in research and development in aerospace.

At one time, I owned a small electrical contracting business. That is when I developed a fondness for spas. When I was up on ladders installing light fixtures, or other strenuous work, I would have pain both in my back and neck. When I would go into the old hot tub we had, I would feel so much better.

For years now, I have worked in spa service and repair departments. I ran a service department with a 10,000 customer base. I have seen what works and what doesn't. I have dealt with many spa manufacturers and have had experiences that have taught me the insides and outsides of spas, and spa companies.

In my opinion, based upon many learning experiences, there are only a few spa brands worth considering. There is only one type of spa insulation for cold climates, full thermal pane; with the entire cabinet sealed and no vents to let in cold air.

About four years ago, I was working as the service manager in a store that sold a line of spas made in California. We had many problems with these spas and eventually quit selling them. Many of them leaked. If I had the records, I'd bet more than half of them had serious warranty problems within the first year.

The company was notorious for slow payments on warranty work. Other dealers have told me the same.

One customer who bought one of their "super multi-pump models", with the a digital control system, had his circuit board fail in 6 months. The spa had a one year labor/two years parts warranty. I immediately sent for the circuit board. They sent a topside control weeks later. I immediately, upon receiving the topside, called and told them to send the circuit board. They told me that in their expert opinion, the problem wasn't the circuit board and that we should replace the topside control first.

After replacing the topside control, we again asked for the new circuit board. When it finally came, the customer's spa was out of labor warranty. As far as I know we never got the money for our labor to fix the spa.

These spas were not very well made, or they wouldn't have had so many problems.

The irony here is that these spas were listed in a national consumer magazine as a best purchase. I found out later that the magazine never actually tested the spas, but used statistics to determine their conclusions. The statistics were size, gallons, features, number of seats, number of pumps, number of jets, average price, and warranty. It wasn't based upon whether or not the customers were happy or even satisfied with the spas.

How can a consumer choose a spa?

Order the 65 page booklet "How Spas Are Made", I wrote it because of many stories like the one above.

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