How to keep a wood-fired hot tub from freezing

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In today`s article, we are going to discuss two common massage systems that can be installed in the hot tubs. We will also learn the main differences and how to act safely in winter having these systems in your hot tub. So to break down:

  1. Hydromassage system;
  2. Air bubble massage system;
  3. Winterizing these systems for good.

Hydromassage system, what is it?

Hydro massage system is by far the most popular and widely used. The main advantage of this system is the real massage effect on your body. Water runs through the jets forming quite a strong current which massages the body. The power of the current can be adjusted to one`s needs. 1 system combines of 6 jets, the water pump, and the required connecting pipes and other parts. 2 system can be connected to the same hot tub as well thus enabling to enjoy 12 jets at the same time. The jets are distributed evenly in terms of height and the distance between them. However, each jet can be installed on a different height.

Hydro massage system jets lineup for outdoor hot tubs
Hydro massage system jets lineup for outdoor hot tubs

The minimum distances between jets have to be 25 cm and they cannot be installed vertically each above other. The power of the pump is 900 W and it connects to a standard 220 – 230 V single phase socket. In the below video, you can see how the hydro massage system works.

Air bubble massage system, what is it?

This system includes 12 air jets. The main difference between the air bubble and the hydro massage systems is the feel. Air bubble massage system creates a true jacuzzi massage effect with air bubbles running through one`s back. The pump has the optimal 700 W power level and it connects to the usual 220 – 230 V European sockets.

Air bubble massage system for outdoor hot tubs
Air bubble massage system for outdoor hot tubs
how to keep wood fired hot tub from freezing

The questions which we get from our customers is what to do and expect during the winter period having these massage systems installed. Well, the main idea is to avoid the water freezing inside the tub and the pipes. Ice compared with water expands and takes about 8 % more volume. This extra volume will create a big pressure on the surfaces and can easily destroy them. So, what to do?

Firstly, you have to plan the schedule of bathing. Having in mind that the water volume of the decent tub is about 1800 l you shouldn’t ‘t be worried about the instant freeze. So, basically, if you plan to bath the next morning after this wonderful evening, you don’t have to do anything except to cover the bath with the lid.  Most of our models come with pre-insulated walls, bottom, and the lid and this will keep water freeze-free even longer. If you have different thoughts, you can always use the extra tools – small electrical heaters to keep it safe. https://www.woodenhottubsale.co.uk/product/avoid-hot-tub-water-freezing-in-winter/

Sunken built in hot tub into the terrace winter
Sunken built in hot tub into the terrace winter

Leaving the tub full of water for a longer time is not recommended and water should be drained from the tub and the pipes. Draining the water from the tub is very easy, one needs just to open the valve or the stopper. But what about the pipes? There is an extra easy tip for that. Please pay attention that after the bath is empty, you just need to turn on the systems for 10 seconds and the water leftovers will be drained as well.

The same principle is with all the spa accessories that connect outside through the water flowing pipes. That includes the heaters as well.

Hot Tub with whirlpool – jacuzzi in winter. Can we leave the water undrained?

Well, this question is quite often these days therefore we will share our experience owning the tub with whirlpool function and running it in winter without draining the water.

Is there a risk to have the water frozen and to get the tub damaged? Unfortunately, yes it is a big risk and therefore one must know some things about how to avoid it.

The easiest way would be to drain the water out, so there would be no risk of damaging the tub or various plumbing pipes. But most people would still consider leaving the water undrained avoiding much hassle to often refilling and therefore saving some money. So how can we do it?

Have anyone noticed a lake and a river in winter? Yes, so most probably you noticed that the lake was frozen and the river’s water was still flowing. So what is the reason for that? It is obvious – water circulation. So no difference is with the hot tubs in winter. We must foresee water circulation inside the tub and also in all the pipes. And not to forget that the water’s temperature should not decrease below zero drastically.

Water circulation inside the tub and in its whirlpool piping

So let‘s take that our fully insulated hot tub has water/air massage jets, filtration, and the electric heater connected. All these mentioned accessories will have the water/air circulation pumps. So we would need to turn them on regularly to enable scheduled circulation. Equally important is the water’s temperature. In any case, we can‘t have it below 0 degrees. The electric heater becomes very handy here since it has the thermostat. With the electric water heater we can set up the minimum water’s temperature to 5 or 10 degrees and it will start the heating process once the water`s temperature reached the threshold. If you own the wood-fired heater which is also connected through the pipes, one must disconnect the heater or better install the water circulation pump since water has to move through the heater as well. Sounds easy right? But doing it manually will leave you always at home with much hassle. This is where smart nowadays technologies such as WIFI enabled devices come into play.

Using WIFI addons to enable the schedule for water circulation

WIFI connection is required but nowadays most of us have it everywhere. The WIFI addons will let you connect and control the mentioned circulation pumps remotely via the APP or control them with the voice. One of the biggest advantages with these WIFI enabled devices is the availability to prepare the schedule for water circulation. We can run the circulation 10 or 15 minutes per hour each day 24/7 without even remembering it. The duration of scheduled circulation can be decreased or increased depending on the outside temperature but that you will have to test yourself. One thing to remember that scheduled circulation must be canceled if the water is drained from the tub. Failing to do so will result in damaged water pumps.


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