When you live somewhere like Colorado, you want to make sure your hot tub is protected from freezing. Temperatures can often dip below zero, leaving your hot tub vulnerable to freezes. Power outages can also happen frequently, and without a power source and good insulation, hot tubs can quickly be at risk.
Many hot tub manufacturers based in warmer climates try to sell hot tubs with cheaply made insulation by spouting off a lot of technical jargon. But the truth is that most hot tubs are not designed for climates that can be as cold and as harsh as Colorado. The result is that there are a lot of myths surrounding hot tub insulation.
Myth #1: Foam Filled Insulated Tubs Won’t Leak
The biggest myth that hot tub sales reps try to promote is that, because the foam is sprayed on everything from the base to the plumbing, the plumbing can’t move. Because it can’t move, it’s impossible for it to spring a leak, assuming the plumbing was flawless at the time the spray foam was applied. The argument is that it doesn’t matter that full-foam tubs are nearly impossible to service, at least without compromising the integrity of the insulation, because they won’t ever need to be serviced.
Fact: All Pipes Leak, Eventually
Anyone who knows anything about water knows that eventually, pipes leak. Water can make its way through the tiniest of imperfections and over time it will find its way out of the plumbing and into the foam. When it does, the foam will act like a sponge and keep the water in. The leak may be impossible to detect at first, and the hot tub will start to rot from the inside out. It will also be at risk for mold and the hot tub will be much heavier to move if it needs to be serviced.
Myth #2: Foam Filled Tubs Hold in Heat Better
Full-foam tub manufacturers often boast that this type of insulation is the only efficient option on the market. The story is that only foam-filled tubs can keep the heat in, thereby keeping energy bills lower and protecting from freezes.
Fact: Full-Foam Is the Cheapest, Not the Most Efficient
A lot of the plumbing inside full-foam tubs is located on the exterior of the tub and can be susceptible to freezes, especially when the power goes out. And while they are certainly efficient under normal conditions, they aren’t the only efficient option. In fact, they aren’t even the most efficient option. And because they are so difficult to service, the lifespan of this type of tub is much shorter than tubs from other manufacturers like Wind River Spas that have found another way.
Myth #3: Foam Filled Tubs are the Only Option
When you are searching for hot tubs online, you will probably come across two different options among the most popular brands. You will either find popular models advertising full-foam insulation, or you’ll find hot tubs geared towards affordability that don’t have any insulation at all. This can lead many people to believe that traditional spray foam insulation is the only option unless you want to leave your hot tub completely exposed to the elements.
Fact: There are Other Options
There are other ways to properly insulate a hot tub without completely blocking off access to the plumbing for servicing the hot tub. However, most hot tub manufacturers won’t look into these options because full foam bread insulation is by far the most inexpensive option.
What We Use at Wind River Spas
At Wind River Spas we have found another way because we wanted to combine the benefits of serviceability with protection from freezes and pests. The shell of our hot tubs is sprayed with 1 inch of high-density industrial foam. This material isn’t porous like bread foam so it won’t collect water in the event of a leak. 1 inch of this type of foam insulates just as well as 5 inches of traditional light-weight foam.
On the inside of the shell, we add a 2-inch layer of foam board around the entire perimeter of the hot tub. This insulating foam is resistant to mold and to pests like bees and mice and it keeps warm air from getting out. This insulation can easily be removed and replaced any time service is needed on the plumbing of the tub.
In between the two layers is an air cavity that contains all of the inner workings of your hot tub. This cavity stays warm the same way your travel mug keeps your coffee hot for hours, but on a bigger scale. The whole hot tub sits on a molded plastic base that is further insulated and keeps pests from burrowing underneath.
Because a Wind River Spas tub is so easy to service, the lifespan is much longer. Our tubs last an average of just under 20 years, compared to the 7-10 years that you might get out of a different tub. We also have a 3-year warranty against freeze-ups because we have seen our 5-stage insulation in action. Our tubs can go a week or more without power and still avoid freeze damage.
There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to hot tubs. But when you dig a little deeper into the topic, popular spray foam techniques don’t always come out on top. The truth is that spray foam is simply a widely accepted, cheaper option, and most manufacturers aren’t looking to improve their process. But at Wind River Spas, we don’t like to settle for something just because it’s been done the same way for years. We’ve found a different way to keep out the cold while also making it easy to service the tub. Find out more about our insulation by checking out our website.