DIY Tips

Sparkling spas

11 April 2012

When medicinal mineral springs were discovered in the town of Spa, Belgium, back in the fourteenth century, no-one could have predicted then the array of luxury modern-day spas available now.

Sparkling spas

Spas or hot tubs are becoming increasingly popular in Australia for the lifestyle, fitness and relaxation benefits they offer. And it's not hard to see why. Today, there's a spa just waiting to be tailored to suit your individual desires. From cosy two seater spas to enormous 25 seater spas, portable or in-ground configurations, to swim spas or spas where you can just kick back and relax (or even both), prices range from as little as $5,000 up to $40,000-plus.

There's now a wealth of added technological extras to choose from, such as pop-up TV screens, iPod docks, reflexology feet domes, mood lighting and even circuit training stations. And that's not to mention the varied jet styles on offer that include swirl, whirlpool, pillow, shoulder, mini, and moving massage.

So what are your options?

Portable spas
Portable spas consist of acrylic shells that typically hold three to 12 people with seating arrangements and jet combinations tailored to provide the ultimate hydro massage. The beauty of a portable spa is that it's a longterm investment - when you move house, your spa can come too.

Extremely easy to install (all you need is a power point and a stable level surface), portable spas have automatic filtration and heating systems and all equipment is neatly tucked away around or under the spa in an enclosed cabinet.

If you're a bit of a romantic at heart, you might want to take a look at the new Nordic-style portable timber spas. Not only are they beautiful to look at, the smell of the cedar wood as you soak is particularly relaxing.

Swim spas
If you would love a lap pool but just don't have the space, a swim spa is the perfect solution. A swim spa is a longer, larger spa pool that allows you to swim and train on the spot, thanks to resistance created by counter swim surf jets.

There are now even dual zone swim spas on the market that have two areas - one for hydro massage and one for swimming. You can control the temperatures in each zone separately; you can relax in the spa at a toasty 38°c while your partner swims some laps at a cooler 20°c.

In-ground spas
One of the best developments over the last decade or so is that portable spa shells can now be installed in-ground, offering a cleaner, integrated look to your backyard. Although you don't have as much freedom to move your spa around, in-ground spas open up a whole new world of interesting and stylish landscaping options.

Another alternative is to have your very own in-ground spa designed, created and installed by a pool and spa building company. If you're stuck for space, a spa pool is a great option (basically a small pool with spa jets and some heating).

Swimming pool spas
For the best of both worlds, opt for a swimming pool and spa all rolled into one. Integrating purpose-built spas into swimming pool designs is an established trend - not only does it look great, you can relax and entertain family and friends at the same time.

Keeping your spa in tip top condition

Maintain correct water balance
Spa water is treated more rigorously than pool water. While the heat and turbulence create a relaxing environment for the spa user, these conditions are not quite as friendly to the spa fixtures. There is a need to set and maintain the correct spa water balance to ensure that the water remains silky to the skin and gentle to the spa's surface. The overall pH of your spa should be checked weekly so that the perfect spa conditions are maintained.

Water sanitation
Spa water is typically much hotter than pool water, so it requires a harder sanitiser. The selection of the right sanitiser is important to optimise spa hygiene. The sanitiser has to be specially formulated for hot water, where it not only has to last longer than chlorine but work much harder.

Water sparkle
The clarity of spa water can be dramatically affected by the spa's heat and turbulence. To counteract this effect it is recommended to replace 10% of the spa water weekly, and to follow this with an addition of a shock chemical. This will help to clarify the water and restore the sparkle. After that, it is recommended to check the balance and make the adjustments needed. In addition to that, you can add a water conditioner that is specially designed for spas to leave the skin feeling soft and smooth and to help maintain the water balance and sparkle.

Swimart offers a comprehensive range of spa products which are all designed for the very best spa maintenance. Our range in store includes:

  • Aqua-Health
  • Aquaspa
  • Pool and Spa Poppits

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