Saturday, October 10, 2009
After owning a hot tub for over a year
That's frost on my roof. Yes, we've had our first frost, and we're possibly headed for a hard freeze tonight.
Every once in awhile someone will ask, "Do you still use your hot tub a lot?"
Throughout the summer, I seldom got in it; one thing you don't need in hot weather is something that will make you hotter. On cool mornings when I could have enjoyed it, I didn't think about getting in it until later, when it had warmed up.
This morning I actually woke up thinking about the warmth of the hot tub, and when I saw the cover of it coated with frost, I knew the time had truly arrived. It seems like in winter, my hands and feet are constantly cold; that hot tub is the best way of getting totally warmed up. Once I'm good and warm in the bubbling water, I like to sit up on the edge of the tub, up out of the water, and get cold, just so I can enjoy getting warm all over again.
There are drawbacks to having a hot tub, so in case you've thought about buying one, let me tell you about the down side.
You can never drain it and leave it empty; that will ruin your hot tub.
Even in summer when I'm not using it much, maintenance has to be done. I must check the alkalinity and chlorine content a couple of times a week, because if you don't keep the balance right, it will ruin your hot tub. That small bottle in front contains the testing strips.
Oh yes, and then there's the once-a-week maintenance. Honestly, in summer I only do this about once every three weeks, but when I'm using the hot tub a lot, I aim for once a week. All these chemicals, by the way, are not cheap; but then, neither is a hot tub. I sometimes say to Cliff, "You know you're a redneck when you buy a cheap, used trailer house and then buy a hot tub that costs half as much as the house did."
After adding the weekly chemicals, I have to keep the hot tub running with all jets open, and the cover off, for two hours. Since the tub will only run for fifteen minutes at a time, I'm running out there to restart it seven or eight times during that two hours. So I have to make sure I'm not going to be going anywhere in those two hours; this is one reason I ask Cliff, when he gets out of bed, "What's on your agenda today?"
He always thinks I have some ulterior motive when I ask that question.
Another reason I ask his agenda is so I can figure out what to cook for dinner (our noon meal). Some things take longer to prepare than others; if we going to be leaving, I'll plan accordingly.
But I digress.
Three or four times yearly, we have to drain the water and start over. This gets somewhat complicated, since our well water is extremely hard: 43 grains hard, whatever that means. Hard water will ruin your hot tub. We have a water softener, though... so no problem, right?
Guess what? Soft water will ruin your hot tub.
So we use 1/3 soft water and 2/3 hard water and hope that works; that's the mix we gave the spa people for testing. They said we had "weird water", but hey... they're selling a hot tub, so it wouldn't be wise for them to say too many bad things about our mix of water.
I'm not complaining, mind you. I'm just educating those of you who think you might want a hot tub.
On my own, I wouldn't have purchased a hot tub in the first place; there are other things I would have done with that money. Cliff, however, knew how I loved getting in the hot tub at motels and resorts, and he adamantly insisted that we have one. He wanted to do something extravagant for me, something I'd never get on my own.
I do enjoy it, especially the part about getting thoroughly warmed up on cold mornings. It's also good medicine for a stiff neck, or sore muscles.
But now I feel I've presented both sides of the coin. For more information, click HERE.