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Hot Tub Folliculitis
Recently we have been hearing a lot of questions about hot tub folliculitis. The not-so-rare break
out of what is sometimes called “hot tub rash”. If you haven’t heard of it, it is typically a breakout
of 10-100 small red bumps that are caused by poor water chemistry. Low PH levels or the lack of
sanitizer is usually to blame. Many times the break out is found on the skin beneath a swimsuit.
It starts with itchy dry skin and eventually progresses into a number of small tender boils on the
skin (if you live in the south, it’s a lot like a fire ant bite, except 50 times worse!).
Symptoms will often go away within a few days on their own, but sometimes a good antibiotic is
needed to eliminate the infection. If you find that the rash is spreading or not going away, seek
There are several steps to take if you want to avoid this embarrassing little rash.
First and foremost, keep your spa’s PH levels between 7.2 and 7.8. Not only will this keep your
spa water properly balanced, but it will help your spa equipment to live a long and prosperous life.
Secondly, maintain proper sanitizer levels in your spa. Low bromine levels and hot water become
a fabulous breeding ground for bacterium.
Thirdly, be sure to keep your spa filters clean and change your spa water regularly. Your spa
skimmer and filter are made to absorb your sweat, body oils and pretty much anything else left
behind during a good soak. Water should be changed every 3 months or so. There is only so
much mixing and balancing of your water chemistry that your spa of 300-500 gallons can take.
Eventually, the water becomes unmanageable; unable to breakdown any more chemicals.
Pretty simple, keep your water balanced and change it regularly.
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Hyperthermia Good Or Bad?
Hyperthermia is the condition that occurs when the body temperature raises beyond 98.6 degrees.
As it goes, higher body temperatures can be a good thing... to a point.
Anything above 104 degrees can be life threatening.
Benefits Of Elevated Body Temperature
At times the body will use higher body temperatures to fight off an infection. The body has an
internal thermostat designed to elevate and regulate body temperature as a way to ward off a flu bug or
Another type of elevated body temperature is hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is the condition that occurs
when the body cannot dissipate heat fast enough to maintain normal body temperature. Hyperthermia
forces the body to sweat excessively and thus can be great for removing toxins from the body, but caution
should be maintained.
To detox in a hot tub, it is going to be pretty important to maintain hydration. Start with a couple of glasses
of cool water before getting into the spa. During the soaking session be sure to keep your head out of the
water (beside it being really hard to breathe under water, it is very important to keep the head cool).
The soaking session should never take place in water above 104 degrees and certainly no more than 20
minutes. If at any point nausea is experienced, get out of the hot tub and cool off. A healthy dose means the
body will sweat profusely and detox the body.
After a good soak, a deep satisfying sleep will come fast. Be sure to drink another couple of cool glasses of
water once out of the spa to rehydrate.
The Doctor Said.. Consult a doctor before starting any detoxification regiment. Anyone with heart problems
or high blood pressure should not go in any spa over 99 degrees. If you are looking for a great way to
detox and unwind or its just time for a simple soak to rejuvenate the body, pull back the spa cover and jump
Mice Love Hot Tubs!
Just mention the word "Mouse" and it can have the same effect as yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theatre, except
instead of stampeding from the hall, you will find women and children (and some men too!) screaming and scrambling
to find high ground.
Baby, It's Cold Outside...
Cold weather has a tendency to force people indoors and the longer the winter, the longer the stay. Well the same goes
for rodents of all kinds. Mice will always prefer a nice warm spot to lay low through the winter and the hot tub
couldn't be more perfect.
Hot Tub Nest?
Yep, the hot tub is warm all winter. The spa pump gives off great heat and there is nothing more cozy than the
insulation of a hot tub. Mice tend to nest in small dark nooks where they can build their nests and remain warm and
dry. The hot tub is perfect. It is completely dry, it provides great warmth and the insulating foam is perfect for
burrowing out the perfect mouse haven.
Protect The Spa!
The first thing to do is to inspect inside the cabinet for any mouse activity. Droppings, chewed up foam or wires or
anything that looks like a nest are all good indications that there may be an infestation. Mice can pass their entire
body through any crevice the size of their head. So, if there are any holes, cracks or crevices that look large enough
that a mouse can pass through, it should be filled with foam. Any canned insulating foam will do the trick.
If mice are actually living inside your hot tub, catching and disposing them may be a bit tricky. A cat can do the trick
nicely, but if purchasing a cat is not an option there are several humane mouse traps on the market.
1) Clean filter Weekly
2) Use your test strips to properly balance your sanitizer
(bromine, dichlor, etc) and Ph levels.
3) Shock your spa once a week -2 onces Non chlorine spa shock.
4) People with skin conditions should keep the PH a little on the
high side around (7.8 and 8.0) otherwise it should be 7.2 to 7.8
Never use more than 2 tablespoons of Ph+ or Ph- in day, the
chemical needs time to adjust.
5)The biggest problem is adding way too much sanitizer, always
use your test strips! You don't have to load your floater up most
spas are only a few hundred gallons of water not a 10,000 gallon
swimming pool! Use granules to better measure a weekly dose.
6) Change your water every 3 to 4 months.
Funny thing about hot tubs, we love to soak in them and play in them, but I don’t recall
anyone ever saying how they just can’t wait to get home to clean it.
A spa filter is designed to collect all the unwanted hair, dead skin, body oils and anything else
that might be floating around the water’s surface. By design it helps to keep the water clean
and safe for your enjoyment.Most manufacturers have taken the time to properly engineer
the weir skimmer, pump size and plumbing to allow proper surface skimming and removal of
all that yucky stuff from the water. It is equally important to be sure that the filter is the
proper type.There are many types of filters and often there are multiple manufacturers for
your filter, but it is very important to utilize the filter specifically designed for your water
flow. The paper in a spa filter is crucial for the proper removal of those ickies. Too much
porosity and many of these contaminates will stay in the water for your soaking pleasure.
Too little and the water can be restricted so much that consistent heating and jet pressure
becomes problematic.When cleaning your filter start off by using the high pressure of a hose
nozzle to clean out the heavy debris from between the pleats in the paper element. Many
companies sell a concentrated solution to break down the oils and loosen the debris that you
can let the filter soak in. You will want to have a backup filter to place in the spa so that your
tub does not operate without any type of filtering protection. To increase the life of your
filter, try placing it in your dishwasher for a cycle. The hot water will do a great job breaking
down the oils and opening the clogged pores of your spa filter. Incidentally it will also do a
great job taking the filter from dingy grey to white. You will want to make sure to cancel the
drying cycle so as to not damage the filter. Just don’t do this with Grandma’s china or
anything else you might be thinking about eating or drinking from!
Needless Death of a
In light of the recent needless death of yet another child drowning, we would like to raise
awareness to the Virginia Graeme Baker act passed through congress and signed into law by
President Bush in December of 2007. The law went into effect in December 19, 2008.
This law is the direct result of a seven year girl named Virginia Graeme Baker who drowned in
a hot tub after being sucked into the drain. This little girl who was completely capable of
swimming since the age of three was not strong enough to pull herself free from the drain
suction. In horror, her mother tried with all her strength to pull Graeme from the bottom
but could not free her from the powerful suction. It took two other men to free her from the
drain.To read the whole story: http://www.usa.safekids.org/water/pool_bakers.html
In an effort to avoid this tragedy in the future, a safer newly designed suction has been
engineered. These suctions are designed to release the vacuum when the water flow is
blocked and eliminate the suction all together.There are no manufacturers that I know of
who have deliberately ignored the mandate to use safer suctions. What I do know is that
none were available until late December from suppliers and with the downturn in the
economy there is still a lot of hot tub inventory left over from 2008. At the onset of 2009
there were tens of thousands of spas left over from 2008 that were not built with the newly
designed suctions. Sad to say, but many of these spas are still sitting in dealers’ showrooms
and will be sold without the safety devices. If you are considering buying a hot tub please ask
your dealer to be sure the spa either has the new suctions or will be retrofitted prior to
delivery.If you purchased a spa prior to January 2009, please be sure to change your drain
suctions to the new safety suctions. It only takes a few minutes and can easily be done
without much effort. You will not have to replace any plumbing. Changing the suction face
will only require a Philips head screwdriver and a few minutes of your time.Sitting in your hot
tub should not be dangerous. Please take the time to make the changes; you will be glad you
Should I Go “Au Natural” in My Spa?
Sitting in a spa, donning a freshly laundered swimsuit might seem like the modest way to go,
especially if the neighbors have a heightened interest in everything that goes on in your
backyard. But did you know that your swimsuit can potentially be the number one cause of
corrosion to your spa equipment?Hot tub equipment has come a long way over the last ten
years. The technology has gotten more efficient and wholly more reliable. Today, the number
one cause of spa equipment failure is corrosion. The water in your spa flows through the
pump seals, the heater and heater element and as the water evaporates, the topside, control
board and cover are affected. A swimsuit fresh out of the dryer has a significant amount of
soap residue left in it from the washing process. The detergent is especially concentrated if
hard water is used. Hard water will not allow the detergent to completely break down. The
soap from your swimsuit can cause a tremendous amount of bubbles in your hot tub.
Although for some it may seem appealing to have the world’s largest bubble bath in the
backyard, there is a price to pay for all the fun. The detergent will immediately change the
PH of the water and leave a hard scale on pretty much everything including your costly spa
equipment. Over time the calcified scale will corrode pump seals, cover stitching, heating
elements…you get the picture. If foaming bubbles is an issue, there are de-foaming solutions
that can eliminate the bubbles and restore the PH. Any scaling should be dealt with
immediately, even if it means draining the hot tub and cleaning it thoroughly. Use a pre-filter
for refilling the spa to soften the water and remove the metal contaminates. Going “au
natural” might avoid the issue entirely, but it will certainly give the neighbors something to
talk about. To maintain your modesty, try to thoroughly rinse out the swim suits prior to
use. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did!