A hot tub can be a great way to relax after a long day, but it’s important to know how to use one safely. There are rules and restrictions you need to follow, as well as dangers you need to be aware of. The good news is that modern hot tubs are designed to be safe with excellent filtration systems and precise temperature controls.
Hot tub Rules and Regulations UK
In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about hot tub safety rules, from health risks and alcohol consumption to whether someone who is pregnant should use a spa and why the balance of your chemical levels and chlorine is essential.
Keep reading for some handy hot tub safety tips
1. Test the Water
Testing the water is essential to hot tub ownership as warm water is a breeding ground for bacteria. Test strips are crucial to prevent skin rashes or serious illnesses like E.Coli or Legionnaires disease.
The PH balance needs to be in the right range for your hot tub – too acidic can cause problems like skin irritation, while too alkaline can result in issues like scaling.
It’s also vital to test hot tub water for Chlorine levels, as too little Chlorine will allow bacteria to thrive, while too much can be harsh on the skin.
By testing the hot tub water regularly and maintaining the proper pH balance, hot tub owners can enjoy their spa tub without worry.
Remember, too, that hot tub chemicals can be extremely dangerous; therefore need to be handled with care and stored safely away from children and pets to avoid accidents.
2. Using A Hot Tub Without Chemicals
While it is technically possible to use a hot tub without chemicals, it’s not advisable. This is because inflatable spas have less water capacity than permanent hot tubs, so the water becomes contaminated quicker.
Without chemicals, there will be micro-organisms in the water tub that can cause health issues like hot tub rash. The lack of chemicals can also cause problems for the components of your hot tub, making it operate less efficiently.
When administered in the correct dosage, hot tub chemicals are safe and prevent the water from becoming smelly, discoloured and safe for hot tub users. However, some people react to Chlorine, and milder Bromine may be used in this situation if they are uncomfortable in the hot tub.
In short, using a hot tub without chemicals is not worth the risk to your safety, health or your hot tub. If you haven’t bought it already then this page has the best hot tub chemical starter kit that will get you going.
3. Regular Maintenance Is Essential
As we’ve already touched on, hot tub water is the perfect breeding ground for some nasty bacteria and pathogens. Hence, regular hot tub maintenance is vital to avoid any risk to your health during hot tub use.
Most hot tubs have excellent filtration systems, making cleaning and maintaining your hot tubs’ water easy. However, it is still essential to clean your inflatable tub after each use and completely drain and refill your spa tub every few weeks, depending on usage.
Ensuring you know the correct steps for spa filter cleaning solution is a crucial part of keeping hot tubs safe. They should be rinsed after each use and replaced regularly. Dirty, clogged filters can pose a serious health risk. Following these simple tips, you can enjoy your hot tub and ensure everyone stays safe.
4. Setting The Right Temperature
The water temperature is something else you need to consider when it comes to the dangers of hot tubs. While heat is ideal for soothing sore muscles having the temperature too high, especially if you already have a health condition or spend hours soaking, can be dangerous. So what is the ideal temperature for a portable spa?
Most healthy adults find a water temperature of around 37-39 ℃ to be perfect. With modern hot tubs, you don’t need to be concerned about dangerously hot water, as the thermometers usually have a maximum temperature of 40 ℃.
However, you should be careful how long you spend relaxing in hot water as it can cause dehydration, heat stroke and dizziness. This is especially important for pregnant women, elderly hot tub fans and those with an existing medical condition.
If you enjoy fun times with your kids in a hot tub, it’s imperative to lower the temperature slightly to around 36 ℃ and limit their time to a few minutes to avoid the risk of heat stroke or dehydration.
5. Use The Lid To Prevent Accidents
It’s vital never to leave youngsters unsupervised and you should always pop the cover on as soon as you get out of the spa or hot tub. Any blow-up spa you purchase should include a safety cover with lockable buckles to prevent drowning accidents when the hot tub is not in use.
6. Hot Tub Rules for Guests
A top tip to get everyone to remember is to get the kids involved and make a fun sign that can be placed near your hot tub.
Shower before and after use
This is to prevent contaminating the water with body oils and beauty products and, after you’ve used the hot tub, rinse away any bacteria on your skin and this will ensure safety for everyone else in the spa.
When washing bathing costumes, a top tip is to wash them with white vinegar instead of laundry detergent, which can leave a residue that may unbalance your water chemistry.
No one should ever use the spa if they have a cut or open wound, as any bacteria present in the spa could cause a severe infection and also impact the safety of other users in the hot tub.
No peeing in the spa!
This is one to watch, especially if you have children. Urea reacts with Chlorine when in the hot tub to produce a dangerous gas that, when inhaled, can cause respiratory issues. Whether it’s an accident or not get the child out wash them with soap and then proceed to drain your hot tub and clean the jets. Cleanliness is a must with hot tubs as high temperatures can cause symptoms of bacterial infections.
7. Medical Conditions
No one who feels ill has diarrhoea, skin conditions, or open wounds should ever use a hot tub as germs and bugs can easily be passed on in a warm wet environment. Still, there are also some health risks for hot tub users with specific conditions such as heart disease.
Many pregnant women use garden spas with no serious issues. However, we advise consulting a doctor before doing so, as raising the body temperature above 39 degrees in the first three months of pregnancy may increase the rate of birth defects.
This post goes more in-depth on hot tub and pregnancy and how you should avoid a spa at all costs whilst pregnant.
8 . How Much Time Can You Spend In A Hot Tub?
Spending too much time in a spa can cause your blood pressure to become low, causing dizziness and dehydration is also common. Tempting as it may be to spend hours languishing among the warm bubbles, we advise keeping sessions brief at around 20 minutes or so.
9. Drinking Alcohol In A Hot Tub
While it’s essential to stay hydrated when using a hot tub, the consumption of alcohol should be limited even when throwing a party. As we’ve touched on above, the spa or hot tub water’s heat can cause dizziness and this, combined with alcohol, increases the likelihood of trips, accidents and falls.
Plus, add to that the combined dehydration factor and it’s a recipe for disaster. Why not try some mocktails instead when in the hot tub.
10. Children And Hot Tubs
Kids love splashing around in hot tubs, but the time the temperature should be lowered and the time they spend in the spa should be strictly limited to no more than 10-15 minutes to prevent overheating.
Advice for babies under two years old is that they should not be in a hot tub; we have a whole article about babies in hot tubs.
11. Other Hazards
There are a few other hazards to be aware of during hot tub use:
Whenever water and electricity combine, there is a chance of electrocution. Fortunately, all hot tubs in the UK have to be fitted with a safety RCD; this means that should a fault occur, the power supply will cut out immediately. Hot tubs should NEVER be used with an extension lead for safety; you should have a waterproof outdoor socket installed by a qualified electrician.
The risk of slipping
The area around your hot tub will get wet and probably slippery, so the risk of injury is high. You must ensure everybody who uses the hot tub takes care when getting in and out of the hot tub and don’t let children or toddlers run around, you can even place a mat or towel down for extra safety. We can’t stress this enough as we have heard many reports that injuries occur at family parties when people are getting in and out of the tub.
This one is pretty obvious for safety; not only can breakables cause cuts, but sharp things and inflatables don’t mix, and the result could be a rather deflating hot tub experience.
Who should not use a hot tub?
Much as we love the benefits a soak in a spa offers, certain people should avoid them, including:
- Some older people (those with low blood pressure, ex-smokers)
- Those suffering from heart disease
- Pregnant women
- Babies under two years old
If you do use a hot tub, ensure the temperature is turned down, the water is clean and limit your time to a few minutes.
Whether you already have a hot tub or are considering purchasing one, it’s essential to be aware of the health risks and dangers involved. In this article, we have highlighted some key hot tub safety tips and points you need to be mindful of when using a hot tub safely.
A good tip is to establish some rules like showering before and after use, no running, no glasses etc. and making a sign close to the spa so everyone can see it and remember.
We also recommend you check out our other safety articles regarding children in hot tubs and maintenance for your spa. By following these simple safety tips, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe while enjoying all the benefits that come with a relaxing soak in your own rejuvenating hot tub.