When buying a hot tub, most people don’t plan to encase it in a temperature-controlled room where no outdoor elements will ever come into contact with it. But if you read most hot tub warranties, they can make it sound like that’s the only environment a hot tub is designed for. If you are shopping for a hot tub, you probably plan on putting it outside where you can enjoy your backyard and get a little fresh air. Wouldn’t you want a hot tub that can handle being outside? We think so! That’s why we have rethought the traditional spa design and come up with something that’s a match for Colorado weather.
Common Hot Tub Shell Materials
Dissecting hot tubs was probably not part of your high school curriculum, but we’ve spent a lot of time studying the inner workings of popular hot tubs. When you look closely at these designs, it’s easy to see that the priority is building something that will sell rather than something that will last. More focus is put on all of the bells and whistles that are going to make a sale, and not as much money or effort is spent on the structure.
Most hot tubs are going to have an acrylic shell that is sprayed with a fiberglass material. The problem is that fiberglass expands and contracts more than acrylic when they are exposed to changing temperatures. That’s when you’ll start to see cracks on the shell of your hot tub. Not only are these not very nice to look at, but they will also start collecting bacteria over time.
Our Hot Tub Shells
We needed to solve the problem of cracking shells since Colorado hot tubs are exposed to everything from sub-zero temperatures to triple digits. We’re happy to say that we cracked it (the problem, not the acrylic)! We use two layers that are chemically bonded, a process called “coextrusion.” The top layer is the same acrylic used in other hot tubs, but it is bonded to a plastic layer underneath. These layers will never separate and they will always expand and contract at the same rate, so you won’t have cracking even in extreme conditions.
The material we use is LuciteⓇ acrylic with MicrobanⓇ. MicrobanⓇ is an antimicrobial that keeps bacteria at bay, minimizes stains and odors, and protects against UV damage. It’s an extra level of care and protection that we think hot tubs in Colorado need.
Insulation: Theirs Vs Ours
Most hot tubs on the market today use full-foam insulation in their hot tubs. This can cause a lot of problems for the homeowner. Freezes are more likely when the power goes out because the foam keeps residual heat from the water away from all of the components that you don’t want to freeze. Plus, it can be almost impossible to find and fix leaks when all of the plumbing is hidden in the foam. When there is a leak, the water is going to saturate the foam like a sponge creating an unsanitary environment and causing the internal wood to rot.
At Wind River Spas, we do more than just spray the plumbing and shell with foam and cover it with a cabinet. We have several goals in mind. We want to be able to find and fix leaks easily without having to ship the entire hot tub to another location. We want internal plumbing and components to be protected from cold snaps. And we want to keep rodents and other pests out. It took five steps of insulation to get all of this done.
The first step is spraying the hot tub shell with a higher-density foam. Then we have an insulated air cavity that houses the plumbing. If the power goes out, the warmth from the water will keep the pipes from freezing for up to three weeks! Next is a 2-inch board of insulating foam and a plastic vapor barrier that keeps that warm air from getting out.
Mice and other critters love to make nests inside of hot tubs. We can’t blame them. It’s nice and toasty next to the warm water, and they can even nibble some of the plumbing to get some water to sip. But even if you like animals, you don’t want them settling into your hot tub. Our last stage of installation is a molded plastic base that seals everything together and prevents infestations.
You’ll notice a difference when you look at our warranties. We don’t void your warranty for basic things like having your hot tub outside. Plus we add on a few extras! You’re protected against rodent infestations and freezes!
What your hot tub is made out of is important, especially if you live in Colorado. A lot of hot tubs are designed for environments that aren’t as extreme, so they’re just not going to perform the same. We know that reading the fine print of hot tub warranties isn’t your idea of a fun Saturday afternoon, but if you are planning to spend a few thousand dollars, it’s worth the extra time to see what you’re really getting. Take a look at our No Fault Warranty to see how you are protected with your Wind River Spas tub!