How a Hot Tub Works

A hot tub is much more than a tub filled with hot water! Historically that is what you could have expected from one of these devices, but modern technology has changed all of that.


how a hot tub worksToday you can find hot tubs and spas with all sorts of amenities, including:

  • Digital control panels
  • Romantic lighting
  • Air to water controls for a truly personalized setting

All that being said you may still be curious as to how a hot tub actually works.



hot tub partsEarly spas were little more than a large wooden tub with a fire box beneath to heat up the water.

Even early models of modern hot tubs were made of wood.

Over the years, it was found that fiberglass coating and eventually total fiberglass construction was the best material for hot tubs.

Today you find tubs of varying size and composition each will have individual seats within the tub and strategically positioned jets.



hot tub coversSurrounding the tub is the cabinet, which is more than just a decorative feature.

Not only are they nice to look at they provide protection for some of the delicate mechanics of your hot tub.

Pumps and heaters will be contained within the cabinet, safe from the elements and accidental damage.



hot tub pumps
Hot tubs work by drawing water through a series of pipes, filtration and heating devices and then pushing it back through tiny nozzles.

These nozzles or jets are strategically placed throughout the unit and powered by the water pumps.

The number of pumps required for a particular model will vary depending on the size of the tub. More jets and seats means more pumps!



spa worksYou would never want to sit in water that was merely pumped through a circuit. It would not take long for some very serious bacteria to thrive in water like this!

That is one job of your filtration units. As water is drawn through the filter, impurities are lifted from the water before it reenters the hot tub.

Of course, the physical filter is only one part of the sanitation process. Proper chemicals are also required to keep your tub safe and sanitary.



how a hot tub works learnThe types and amounts of chemicals you will use in your hot tub will vary depending on several factors, which include but are not limited to: type of hot tub, frequency of use, coverings, water hardness levels and much more.

A few chemicals you may need to acquire are:

  • Shock treatments
  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Mineral purifiers
  • PH balance treatments



hot tub heatersAt some point, the pumped water must enter a heating system. Without this feature, the bubbling water would very soon be cold and uncomfortable, as anyone with the old bottom of the bathtub devices can attest to!

Water is drawn from the hot tub, through filtration and into the heating apparatus. Here it will be heated to a specific temperature before continuing the journey to the back of your legs!

New tubs have a variety of safety features built in to prevent overheating and damage to the water heater.



jacuzzi worksMost if not all new, hot tubs and spas have a digital touch pad temperature control.

There are safety controls built into the unit to prevent water temperatures from going about 104 Fahrenheit.

When you have set the temperature at the digital panel, it then transfers the information to the control box.



spa partsThis concludes your brief tutorial on how a hot tub works, as you can imagine there are a variety of things that have not been covered above.

For instance, many hot tubs offer underwater lighting, which will of course need to be maintained however, they are not germane to the mechanical function of your hot tub.

If you have been considering a new spa or Jacuzzi hot tub, it is important that you become familiar with the inner workings and the work that is required to maintain your unit.

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