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A few things in life can test your patience. A hot tub that is too hot or too cold is up there in the hall of fame. You’re home from work and it has been a long day. The toast was burnt in the morning, your commute was overbearing, and the boss was at it again. All you wanted was to get home and deescalate in the luxury of your warm hot tub. But alas! It’s one of those days.
A perfectly warm hot tub in the dead of winter is soothing. The bubbles wrap you up like a cozy blanket, and the heat is like sitting in front of a roaring fireplace. But what is the ideal temperature? It’s most certainly the temperature that best suits your preference. Some of us like it hot, while others prefer the factory settings on the tub.
A standard hot tub has a minimum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and a high of 40 degrees Celsius. We tend to move toward the lower end of the spectrum during the hottest summers when the sun is glaring and right above our heads. We move up to around 37 to 38 degrees Celsius during colder times.
Finding the right temperature for your body is not just a matter of preference. In fact, it can be rather tricky. Most importantly, not following specific temperature guidelines can cause health concerns. Are you a pregnant woman? Do you have children? Perhaps your friends and families do. While we’re at it, let’s not forget the high utility bills flushing money out of your pockets every month.
Our Bodies & What They Tell Us
The average human body temperature is around 37 to 38 degrees Celsius. As a result, we feel relaxed and warm when the temperature is set a degree or two above this. You can sit and shuffle around the tub, letting the bubbles cure your aches and loosen your muscles as the temperature slowly descends to match yours. It’s one of the pleasures of soaking in a hot tub.
However, be careful about getting too relaxed in the tub, especially in hotter temperatures for long periods of time. This raises the body temperature and can lead to nausea, overheating, and, in extreme cases, heatstroke. In addition, it is different for elderly people, children, and pregnant women.
Hot Tub Temperature for When You’re Pregnant
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are crucial for a mother, and using the hot tub in this period should be done with caution. Remember: It’s not just your body at stake but also the body of the baby who’s growing inside you.
Health risks include dehydration, fainting, overheating, and a substantive increase in the body’s general temperature, which can make things very dangerous. For example, using the hot tub for over 10 minutes can raise the mother’s body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, risking harm to the body and the baby.
If you decide to get a perfect soak to relax, have a dialogue with your doctor and midwife before doing so. If you experience discomfort, get out of the tub immediately.
Common knowledge says that you shouldn’t use the hot tub for over 10 minutes at a time, and the temperature should be below 35 degrees Celsius to ensure maximum safety. Moreover, it is strongly advised that you not dip your head, arms, upper chest, and shoulders under the water.
Hot Tub Temperature for Elderly People
For elderly people, it’s best to slow things down. When you’re getting in for a soak or getting out after one, do it slowly. This not only prevents accidents but also allows your body to adjust to the temperature change. The ideal temperature for elderly people is 37 degrees Celsius; any higher than that causes health risks. A common issue with higher temperatures is skin burns; elderly people may have relatively fragile skin, as children do, and should avoid temperatures above 37 degrees.
Lastly, don’t use the hot tub for longer than 15 minutes and always have someone around you. Moreover, installing a handrail can prevent you from slipping or help you get out of the hot tub when you feel faint or weak.
Hot Tub Temperature for Children
Doctors strictly prohibit the use of a hot tub for children below age five. This is because children aren’t equipped to regulate varying body temperatures. For children aged above five, 35 degrees Celsius is the safest temperature.
If your children love a relaxing dip in the tub, make sure they drink plenty of water before taking a bath, and never leave them unsupervised.
Hot Tub Temperature for Heart Patients
The problem with soaking in warm water is that an abrupt rise in body temperature asks a lot of our cardiovascular system. Especially for heart patients, this is risky because a higher heart rate in combination with reduced heart activity can cause blood flow problems. The worst-case scenario is cardiac arrest. If you are going to use the hot tub, do so only for short periods at a time, stay hydrated, and always soak in lower temperatures, around 35 degrees Celsius.
How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost to Run?
Contemporary hot tub brands say that hot tubs cost a dollar to run per day and can cost up to $50 with maximum use at the end of each month. However, it depends on the brand of hot tub you buy and the climate you live in. Colder temperatures require heavier and more regular use to keep the tub warm, while in hotter climates like California, you might spend less simply because the weather’s warmer there.
How Much Power Does a Hot Tub Consume?
When it comes to power consumption, it’s more than the hot tub. The equipment that does all the energy-consuming is the heater and the pump. A 120-volt heater consumes about 1500 watts of energy, while a 240-volt heater can consume up to 6000 watts. The pump consumes around 1500-1600 watts.
The heater is an essential piece of equipment, and you must invest in it for an optimally performing hot tub year-round. Even when the hot tub isn’t used, it runs from time to time to regulate and maintain temperature. However, when the hot tub is in active use, the power consumption soars because both the heater and the pump run along with it. For example, a 120-volt heater consumes up to 3000 watts when the hot tub is in use, while a 240-volt one can rise to 7500 watts.
To make sure your hot tub’s temperature when left idle is just right and doesn’t consume unnecessary energy, check the insulation and that the hot tub is covered. Moreover, using additional thermal insulation can reduce energy consumption.
Hot Tub Mechanical Issues Due to Temperature
Various mechanical issues may occur due to the temperature. Sometimes, the hot tub won’t heat, the water flow may be relatively poor due to heater problems – the list goes on. Here are a few common mechanical issues your hot tub might face due to temperature.
A dirty spa filter doesn’t allow your hot tub to heat; in return, you get poor water flow.
Common fixes include:
- Troubleshooting the pressure switch
- Cleaning the spa filters
- Cleaning clogged impellers
Hot Tub Electrical Guidelines
There are two types of electrical systems for hot tubs: plug-and-play and hard-wired. The plug-and-play electrical system follows a 110V connection and features a smaller heater. The hard-wired system comes with a 240V connection and features a larger heater.
For most hot tubs, the standard electrical connection is the 240V, thanks to its 5.5kW heater that allows all pieces of equipment (the heater, the tub, the pump) to run simultaneously. A 220V hard-wired hot tub comes with a 50AMP circuit, but models with more extensive circuits run on 60-100 AMP and are more efficient.
Energy Saving Tips
Here are a few ways to save energy on your hot tub use and cut down on soaring utility bills:
- Don’t buy cheap heaters and motors, as they determine the overall quality of a hot tub. Always invest in quality and efficient equipment in motors, heaters, pumps, impellers, etc.
- Keep your hot tub covered with insulating material to save energy.
- If you use your hot tub frequently during the day, leave the heater running to maintain the temperature instead of turning it on and off for drastic temperature changes.
- If your hot tub is already installed outdoors, make sure it has a shelter or some form of protection from airborne debris and weather hazards.
- If your hot tub has a timer, use it to your benefit. Setting the timer for particular periods of use saves precious energy in the long run.
Key Differences in Temperature Control between Inflatable Hot Tubs & Rigid Hot Tubs:
- Rigid hot tubs can be efficiently used during the winter when the temperature is freezing because of the material from which they are built. The material on the outside and insulation on the inside allow for more heat retention.
- Heaters are located inside rigid hot tubs; this allows for better temperature control and maintenance during cold weather, unlike with inflated hot tubs.
- Another key difference between the two is that rigid hot tubs can heat while the jets are running. This is a great advantage for the holiday season when it’s freezing cold out but you can enjoy a warm bath.
Why is the temperature of my hot tub not going down?
Sometimes, especially in hotter seasons, the hot tub’s temperature doesn’t go down quickly. This is normal. To tackle this problem, drain some water and add colder fresh water to the tub.
Do I have to add chemicals to my hot tub?
Absolutely! Not using appropriate chemicals in the hot tub will soon make it unusable. The optimal temperature for bacteria and contaminant breeding is between 25 degrees and 40 degrees, and that can happen every time the tub’s in use.
How long do I have to wait to use the hot tub after adding chemicals?
Different chemicals have different waiting periods; it could be half an hour to an entire day before you can use the tub again. Therefore, read the instructions that come with each type of chemical you use.
What’s the ideal temperature for the hot tub when left idle?
The right temperature for an idle hot tub is 10 degrees Celsius during the summer when you’re on vacation for a week or so. If your holiday is more extended, the best advice is to turn off the hot tub completely.
How do I use the hot tub at a specified temperature of my preference?
If you’re planning to use the hot tub soon and want it at a specific temperature, you’ll have to wait an hour for every degree you wish for it to rise.
What’s a hot tub temperature sensor and how does it work?
A hot tub temperature sensor, also known as a high limit sensor, is built-in equipment that detects the temperature levels and prevents your hot tub from overheating.
To see how it works, turn off the hot tub and open the control panel. Set the Ohm meter at 20K and locate the green and red wire ends. Then connect your meter to test the readings. Compare it with thermistor resistance and a temperature chart.
How long should anyone stay in a hot tub?
Generally, anyone can stay in a hot tub for 20-30 minutes at a time but if you’re healthy and really up for it, you can take that up to 45 to a maximum of an hour.
A hot tub is your private pool, spa, or even ocean. It is a great piece of equipment for entertaining guests and having cozy nights with the family. However, getting the right temperature is a tricky task, as we learned above. Therefore, we must account for the health factor at all times and follow specific temperature guidelines to maximize the hot tub’s performance.