A hot tub is a small pool or large tub full of heated water. It is commonly used for massage, soaking, hydrotherapy, or relaxation. Often they are built with jets use for massage purposes. Typically these structures are placed outdoors and have some form of protection against outside elements and for privacy purposes. These tubs may also be referred to as spas, or by the trade name Jacuzzis.

There are two main types of hot tubs: one-piece plastic tubs, usually called spas; and wooden-staved soaking pools. The water within the pools is typically heated using a natural or electric gas heater, though some come with submersible heaters or solar hot water systems. Hot tubs found at natural hot springs may have extremely hot water, which should be cooled down to a safe soaking temperature level.

It is important that these structures are maintained, especially when it comes to water sanitization. Many organisms can thrive in wet and warm environments. To prevent damage to the hot tub and ensure proper water sanitization, maintain the hot water chemistry within the unit. In cold climates, if not used year-round, the units should be winterized during off-season.

Wooden designs are constructed using wooden staves, usually made from cedar, teak, or redwood, and steel bands. These models, which are very similar to a large barrel, are typically deep and can be inset within a deck for easy entry. Inside of the tub there may be bench seating.

One-piece spas, or unibody spas, are created in one piece, with several different seating arrangements shaped out within the tub. These seating areas may include water jets for a Reserve massage effect. These spas have become more popular because they are less expensive, more energy efficient, and easier to install than wooden tubs. Typically these spas are shallower than wooden units, and contain one to four water pumps. Advanced models may include sound systems, lighting, hydraulophones, or televisions.

There are safety precautions that must be taken with these units. As with any body of water, drowning is a risk. Spas contain pumps and drains that have powerful suction abilities. Hair can get tangled in a drain and keep the head underwater. Children should not be left unattended near these units. Also, women who are trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant should not use hot tubs.

If not properly maintained, water sanitation and chemistry can cause the spread of diseases, and damage a hot tub. Shocking the tub, with potassium monopersulfate or granulated chlorine, is recommended periodically to remove microorganisms. The pH, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity must be kept in acceptable levels. Overall, poor sanitation of these structures can lead to the litigation and transmission of diseases. It can also result in the failure of the tub. It is recommended that owners have more than one sanitation system in place.

Hot tubs are units that contain heated water. They are often used for relaxation, massage, hydrotherapy and soaking purposes. There are two main models: wooden tubs and plastic spas. The main differences between these two comes in construction and price. Hot tubs should be sanitized and safety must be a priority during operation.

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