ROYAL HOT TUB – USER GUIDE
“We here at Royal Hot Tubs are as excited as you are at the purchase of your new wood burning hot tub! The joys of outdoor bathing and relaxation have immense physical and mental benefits for you and your family. We’ve put together this document for you, which will outline important safety instructions as well as maintenance procedures that will ensure you and your family will have a relaxing and safe experience for years to come!
Where to place your hot tub
The stove is HOT during operations; even more so is the flue; as such WHEN THE STOVE IS ON, DO NOT EVER TOUCH IT.
This is a wood burning stove and therefore you must never use anything other than wood. Coal or charcoal used in the stove is likely to damage the system (due to much higher burning temperature) and ruin future enjoyment of the wooden hot tub.
Due to increased heat present in a hot tub, you should NOT use the hot tub if you are under the influence of Alcohol. This also applies to any other conditions wherein bathing would be an issue; if you’re unsure you should speak with your doctor about this.
The lids for the hot tub should remain on whenever the tub is not in use; as well you can and should remove the steps to keep children from accessing it.
The water level in the tub should always be above the HOT water outlet while the stove is in use (or above around 2/3rds of the internal heater).
During powerful wind storms you should remove the lid and the chimney so that it cannot be blown off. Alternatively, the lid could be secured with the ratchet strap if needed.
If you live in a region that experiences extreme cold, it is likely that your tub water will freeze. During these times you should drain both the tub and the external stove completely as expanding ice will surely damage the craftsmanship as well as the heater itself.
Children should never be left in control of the stove while in use, and should also NEVER be left unattended either while bathing.
There is no need to add chemicals to this hot tub: it may affect the wood and/or the stove. Should you decide to use chemicals, please make sure you’re using the correct stainless steel grade stove as standard 430 grade is not suitable for chlorine, bromine and salt water use. This is an all-natural wood burning hot tub.
For your own safety you shouldn’t bathe alone.
You can always add cold water to the hot tub if you find the temperature to be too hot for you.
Hot Tubs are not the same as a normal baths. Water does not cool as rapidly as it otherwise would due to the firewood burning. For this reason IF YOU FIND IT TOO HOT, GET OUT. It is also important to only use your hot tub for shorter periods initially. Otherwise you are in danger of becoming dizzy and perhaps even fainting.
Where to place your Wooden Hot Tub
NEVER PLACE YOUR WOOD BURNING HOT TUB NEAR FLAMMABLE OBJECTS
A hot tub is usually around 200kgs, and significantly heavier when filled your first consideration is going to be on the ground you set up on. Preferable to ground, having a concrete pad already constructed and measure would be ideal. It should also be noted that due to this heavy weight you shouldn’t under any circumstance attempt to move the hot tub by yourself. In most cases a lecel stable base either the gravel or paving slabs is fine but please note the tub will weigh around 2 tonnes once full of water and people.
Aside from the ground itself or pad, you will want to assure your site has easy access to water to make filling the hot tub less of a chore. You will also want to avoid areas that create a downdraft; to near buildings, or trees, which will cause some interference with the chimney. You can always check with a stoves specialist in your area that may be better able to help you with this.
For ease of emptying the tub, try and allow room for the water to drain. Flower beds for watering, or a nearby hill make good things to take advantage of in this instance (assuming the water is not chemically treated).
The majority of the time the new tub will arrive completely intact and require no additional construction. That said you still need to be able to get to your chosen site. Tubs can be 1 and a half to over 2 meters in diameter and weigh upwards of 300kg depending on the size and type of wood chosen.
The tub could be lifted by a group of four to five people and carried into position, otherwise a crane or tele handler service may be more applicable depending on your land and where you want to put it.
It is very important that the external ttove and the tub are always level to one another; as they were fitted together during construction this needs to be maintained. It is vitally important that the upper or HOT hose continues slightly upwards from the stove and into the tub; otherwise the system will not function as it should.
Your stove chimney should fit together simply and only needs to be pressed into place at the collar of the stove.
Once you’ve placed your hot tub where you want it; you can begin to fit your external heater hoses into place; securing them with appropriate jubilee clips provided. The hoses would ideally need to be straight for a better water circulation. Elbow shape connections are also available to buy but do not try to bend the actual hose as this will obstruct the water circulation.
Swelling Up Process
The tub will leak for the first days until the wood swells up and seals up. Please check / retighten the straps if the tub was sitting dry for several weeks or so. Spruce can take up to 7 days and larch up to 12days to swell up / seal up. We normally advise on leaving the garden hose on at low flow rate just so the bottom has around 2 inches of water and once the bottom swells up in few days, the water will start going up automatically.
On fully wooden tubs you have to keep the water in the tub all the time so the wood is always in a ‘swollen up stage’. Normally, users just leave the water after their session and just drain it when their next session is due and give it a bit of a rinse/ flush with a sponge or even a jet washer if needed.
To begin, simply fill the hot tub with cold water with a garden hose. You can also collect rainwater if you so desire.
A full hot tub contains in and around 1800 litres or 1.8 cubic meters of water when full, different models vary by size/ volume.
Once you’ve filled the tub, and ONLY after filled can you begin to kindle a fire in the stove; always remove and old ash from previous use. If you need firelighters they will not harm the stove.
There is a water-jacket in the firebox of the external stove so always use dry wood and keep a strong fire burning. The heating of the water can only be managed by a strong burning fire, so if a weak fire or worse yet wet materials are used you will end up with more smoke, soot and condensation in the stove, which in turn can be damaging.
Maintain heat by feedings the fire as necessary during bathing, make sure to rake embers as necessary and even them out prior to adding more wood. This cares for the ease of burning and ensures a strong fire.
Occasionally you will want to stir the water in the tub. It’s the only way to get an accurate temperature reading, since hot water rises and cold water sinks; you want to make sure you mix your tub water well for the most enjoyment out of your tub.
Check your pipes regularly to ensure there are no restrictions or clogs of any sorts. You can do this by simply placing a hand near and inlet or simple visually check for any sort of heat induced haze in the water that would indicate circulation.
While most tubs utilise some form of stainless steel flue, it is bound to become discoloured through use, somewhat bronzing or becoming gold. This is a nature effect and is not something that can be changed.
When initially heating your water, it can take over 3 hours to heat up the tub from cold; depending on what your outside temperature is. Also factoring into that time are your fire and wood qualities. You need to be diligent in your fire to ensure a proper heating of your hot tub.
NOTE: If you continue to burn in the stove; you are going to continue to heat up your water. While this seems straightforward it does carry a risk at severely burning occupants, as well as damaging the equipment. Always check your thermometer to assess whether the tub is getting too hot for your liking, and stop adding wood to the stove once it has. Your external heater will also have an air circulation control on the door which would then need to be shut.
ALWAYS allow the fire to completely go out before you drain the tub.
NEVER DRAIN YOUR TUB WHILE STILL IN USE! – If you have fired up the stove during this time; the lack of water can seriously and irreparably damage your heater as well as the tub; there is also a risk the wooden tub could catch fire.
Wood fired Hot Tubs don’t require as much maintenance as a modern whirlpool ones. Clearing ash from the stove before each use is necessary; as well you should periodically disconnect the chimney (It is modular) and clean any built up soot. Soot should also be removed from the stove if it builds up. If this isn’t something you’re comfortable with you can always contact a stove specialist if necessary.
Ideally you should change the water in your hot tub after every use; however you can use it several times across a couple of days, this is more to personal taste. If you’re going to leave the tub for a time, you should drain, rinse and refill the tub prior. You should always have the tub full; unless you have freezing weather in your region; this can seriously damage the hot tub and the external heater so they both should be drained. Your external heater also has a separate drain plug at the back.
If this is your first time filling the tub; you may notice some drips around the outside of the tub. This is not a defect; but a natural occurrence until the wood settles into place properly and swells to create a proper seal. The swelling up process may take around 7 days depending on the wood chosen for your tub (Larch may take a bit longer). Every few months you should check the metal bands around the exterior and tighten then if needed.
The tub’s exterior is already treated properly with oils meant to protect it from UV damage; waterproofing and it will resist fading. We recommend to apply some wood treatment at least once a year. However over the life of your tub it will begin to silver; you can continue to maintain it with oils to keep up the appearance, but you should not use a pressure washer from too close as it can damage the wood. If you don’t re oil the wood, it will simply age naturally. Tub can also be painted or varnished to your pleasure as well. DO NOT PAINT, VARNISH OR OIL THE INTERIOR OF THE TUB AS THIS WILL AFFECT THE WATER ABSORPTION / EXPANSION AND YOU WILL END UP WITH A LEAKING TUB!