The Evolution Of The Hot Tub

Written on:May 1, 2019
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The Evolution Of The Hot Tub

Article By Premium Leisure Staff
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The days of California dreaming and Hot Tub parties seem a distant memory, but for those of us that have lived through the evolution of the Hot Tub industry, it has been a long, exciting and eventful experience.

Wood Hot TubAlthough you might still find an antique or two and perhaps even a manufacturer that will still offer the traditional wooden style hot tub, modern technology has certainly has left its indentation on our beloved industry.

Today’s Hot Tub or Spa is most commonly found made with a sheet of cast acrylic, formed into a mold of various sizes and shapes.

Other hot tubs, often lower priced units, are made of rotationally molded plastic material.  They may have multiple pumps, dozens if not hundreds of jets, lighting, waterfalls, stereos and more.

Although each manufacturer may have their own unique means of manufacturing and the steps necessary to fulfill a finished product, most construction procedures are very similar.

Premium LeisureSpas made from acrylic sheeting are placed in a holding fixture and heated to an elevated temperature at which time the sheet is capable of being thermo-formed into a mold.

Once formed, the sheet is cooled then reinforced with a substructure such as (FRP) fiberglass reinforced plastic or in some cases with specially formulated urethane foam. In either case, the hot tub (at this point referred to as a shell), is ready for the installation of jets, fittings and other related components. Once the jets and fittings are installed the plumbed shell is fitted with pre-assembled piping. Obviously these are critical manufacturing steps to ensure that the hot tub is free from leaks.

This is the point when the frame for the hot tub is installed. Most manufacturers use pressure treated wood, but some also use metal or even plastic for their framing. Arguments can be made for each process, but generally, the goal is to provide a framework that will last for many years.

Once the frame, jetting and plumbing operations have been completed, the spa is ready for the installation of the operational equipment, pumps, motors, control system etc.… At the same time, depending on complexity of the spa, specialized components such as LED lighting, stereos, Wi-Fi, ozone etc., may be installed.

Premium Leisure Hot TubsAgain, each manufacturer might sequentially take different steps, but this is the point when most would perform a water testing procedure to ensure that the spa is free from leaks.

This is normally done prior to the addition of insulation materials and the assembly of the cabinetry.

Not only does this make it easier to detect and repair a defect, it also allows the inspector to perform a drain and evacuation procedure on the water that was used during testing. The removal of this water is a critical operational step in ensuring that the hot tub is free of standing water that could lead to freezing (in cold climates) or the development of bacteria in warmer climates.

At this point, some manufacturers will install insulating materials, but again, since not all hot tubs are fabricated the same, so the process of insulating the hot tub might have been done prior to the water testing procedure.  Some manufacturers will also install a molded plastic bottom that will help protect the consumer’s deck or patio. This is a great feature as it protects against the possibility of damage due to water leakage and also helps to keep critters such as mice out of the warm-friendly confines of your hot tub. Finally, the spa gets cladded with the skirting/cabinetry materials.

The last step of the hot tub manufacturing process is the cleaning of the hot tub and confirmation that it complies with work order and then final inspection.  After this has been completed, most manufacturers will protect and wrap the spa for shipment.

The manufacture of a hot tub or spa is not really hi-tech, however, most are very intrigued by the process, the detail and the complexity that goes into the making of today’s version of an old wooden wine vat with a bench to sit on, a pump to swirl the water and a heater to add warmth to the experience.

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Article provided by Premium Leisure Hot Tubs