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!

 

Safety Notes

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 temperatures) 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 to 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 (on external wood fired heater) 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. Please note, the lifespan of the wood can also be compromised if the chemicals are used as it makes wood softer. 

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 level 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).

Installation

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 stove 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.
IMPORTANT: 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.

Wooden Lid

Please note: the wooden lid will react to the steam and sun and might get warped eventually regardless of how well the wood is treated. This will still do the job it’s meant to do (keep the rubbish away from dropping into the tub) but may lose the brand new aesthetic look. This is considered as normal wear and tear and will not be covered under any warranty. We recommend to leave the lids off the tub until the water cools down which will prolong the life-span of the wooden lid.

If you require an insulated lid, please contact us, as we have couple companies we can recommend (Prices start at £399)

Operations

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. Your target temperature should not exceed 42C degrees. 

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.

Maintenance

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. If you have a fully wooden tub, 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. If the stud which connects the strap looks bent, you should slightly loosen up the strap as it may snap under extreme tension.

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 BLOCK THE WATER ABSORPTION / EXPANSION AND YOU WILL END UP WITH A LEAKING TUB!

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ON HOW TO USE HOT TUBS

BASE & HOT TUB PREPARATION
A hot tub needs to be placed on a flat, leveled surface (eg.: a wooden decking or concrete slab). If the hot tub will not be positioned properly on the surface, tub’s strength, stability, or even aesthetic appearance can be affected.

Before starting to use the hot tub, it should be washed/ rinsed thoroughly. The polypropylene (plastic) or fiberglass tubs can be cleaned using the same chemicals as for the cleaning pools. Once the tub is clean, it can be filled up with water. Please make sure the water level is around 10cm from the top before firing it up.

IMPORTANT- If your hot tub has electrical components (SPA systems, LED lighting, filters, electrical heating) we recommend to connect the hot tubs electrical system directly from your fuse box to the circuit breaker (which is on the tub) so no electrical outlets would be required.

IMPORTANT – To avoid electrical equipment problems and to secure safety you must make sure the electrics is earthed.

VERY IMPORTANT– If the hot tub has electrical heating (single phase), the mains cable needs to be min 2,5m2.

HOT TUB HEATING

IMPORTANT – the fiberglass hot tub heaters heating temperature can’t go higher than +55C° as higher temperatures can damage the fiberglass gel coating (will start blistering). Once the hot tub is fired up, you need to make sure of regular stirring of the water so the hot water doesn’t concentrate around the heater’s outlet.

HOT TUB WITH INTERNAL HEATER

When the hot tub is filled up with water (10cm from the top of the hot tub edge), you can fire up the heater. The best way to fire up the hot tub is start with kindling and paper (fire lighters (tablets) can be used). When the flame is getting bigger you can add bigger pieces of wood. It is recommended to use dry wood. Fire intensity can be adjusted with the lid located on the top of the heater which regulates the air intake into the burning chamber.

IMPORTANT–do not load more than 2 thirds of wood of the height of the heater.
IMPORTANT- if the hot tub is not filled up to the right level, you can’t light the heater, because the emitted heat will damage the tub and the heater.
IMPORTANT–make sure you do not add too much wood, so the flames won’t go through the lid.

IMPORTANT- water from the hot tub can be drained only when the heater is completely cooled down. Otherwise, the heat will damage the hot tub and the heater itself.

HOT TUB WITH EXTERNAL HEATER

External heater, as well as an outdoor hot tub must be placed on a flat, firm ground. It is important that the front of the heater is slightly below. Additional pump or filtration system to assist with heater’s circulation are not allowed.

When the hot tub is filled up with water (10cm from the top of the hot tub edge), you can fire up the heater. The best way to fire up the hot tub is start with kindling and paper (fire lighters (tablets) can be used). When the flame is getting bigger you can add bigger pieces of wood. It is recommended to use dry wood. Fire intensity can be adjusted with the air intake openings on the door.

IMPORTANT – keep in mind until the hot tub has the appropriate amount of water, you can`t light the heater, because the emitted heat will damage the tub.

IMPORTANT – water from the hot tub can be drained only when the heater is completely cooled down. Otherwise, the remaining heat will damage the hot tub and the heater itself.

HOT TUB WITH INTEGRATED HEATER

When the hot tub is filled up with water (10cm from the top of the hot tub edge), you can fire up the heater. The best way to fire up the hot tub is start with kindling and paper (fire lighters (tablets) can be used). When the flame is getting bigger you can add bigger pieces of wood. It is recommended to use dry wood. Fire intensity can be adjusted with the air intake openings on the door.

IMPORTANT – fill up the  tup 10cm from the top before lighting the fire.

IMPORTANT – drained the water when the heater is cooled down. Otherwise, the remaining heat will damage the hot tub and the heater itself.

HOT TUB WITH ELECTRIC HEATING

When the hot tub is filled with the right amount of water (fill leaving 10cm space from the top of the hot tub edge), you can turn on the electric heater. First, activate the circulation pump with a buttons that is on the panel of the tub. Set your desired temperature. The temperature is controlled by swirling dial (knob) located on the heater. When the temperature reaches the target (the desired heat level) electric heater shuts off automatically. When the water cools down, the heater turns itself on automatically to heat the water up to your adjusted temperature.

To completely turn off the heater, turn the circulation pump off (circulation pump is activated/deactivated with the same button on the panel of the tub).

IMPORTANT–when draining the water out of the hot tub, the electric heater must be switched off (including the circulating pump).

IMPORTANT –do not turn on the heater if the water level hasn’t reached its recommended level. NOTE: electric heater usage during sub-zero outdoor temperatures:

  • –  The roller needs to be pointing on 0 C° before filling up with water.
  • –  Pour 20-30l of warm water in the hot tub, and turn on the circulation pump. Check if the water circulates.
  • –  Fill the hot tub with water to the recommended level.
  • –  Once the hot tub is filled with the recommended amount of water, set your desired temperature.These steps need to be made during the cold season, when the outside temperature is below zero, so the circulation-pump won`t freeze.SPA SYSTEMS THEIR USE AND MAINTENANCEAIR MASSAGE SYSTEMAir massage system structure: air compressor 700W power, 12 pcs. Air jets – mounted in the wall of the tub, as well as other installation materials. Air massage on/off button is located on the panel of the hot tub. After releasing the water from the hot tub, keep the air massage active for 30 seconds to remove water from the system.IMPORTANT–in the cold season, you can turn on the air system only when the water temperature is above 30C°.WATER MASSAGE SYSTEMWater massage system structure: Water compressor (900W – 1100W-2200W) power and 6 or 10 water jets and other installation materials.Water massage on/off button is located on the panel of the hot tub. Water massage system has an additional knob which regulates the intensity of the water squirting power. After releasing the water from the hot tub, keep the hydro massage active for 30 seconds to remove water from the system.

    IMPORTANT–in the cold season, you can turn on the hydro system only when the water temperature is above 30C°.

    Hot Tub with Gas heating

    INSTALLATION (PERMANENT WALL MOUNT)

    Hanging and installing the water heater (for reference only)
    Mark the holes on the wall, the position is subject to the actual model of your water heater, drill 4 holes of

    8mm, put in the plastic dowels if needed.
    1. Hang the water heater, tighten the screws.

LOADING THE BATTERY

The battery box is located under the water heater. Load the batteries in the following order : SeeFig.1

  1. 1  Open the cover of the battery box.
  2. 2  Load two 1.5V batteries (D size) into the battery box, make sure of the proper polarity. Improper polarity will affect the performance of the water heater.
  3. 3  Close the cover on the battery box

    INSTALLATION OF HOT AND COLD WATER PIPE

    Use hoses that can withstand pressure to connect incoming and outgoing water connection. Note that the outgoing pipe also must withstand temperatures up to 70 °C

    USER INSTRUCTIONS

    BEFORE START IGNITION

    Please check to make sure that the gas type is in accordance with the one stipulated on the name plate. Before igniting, open the cold water valve. Open the master gas switch and check that there is no leakage.

    START IGNITION, WATER COMES OUT

    Start ignition: Open the cold water valve, (or start the pump) the burner starts to ignite with a continuous “pa”sound,which stop after burning starts; hot water comes out immediately. Note: When using this appliance for the first time, or after a long period between uses, repeat ignition is needed to discharge any existing air in the gas pipe. Use the knob “Gas”, “Water” and “Power” to adjust the water temperature.

    With “Gas” and “Power” set to the Max position gives the maximum power. The knob “Water” adjust the water flow so that the Max position gives greater water flow and thus lower temperature out from the heater and vice versa.

    For a temporary stop during use, close the hot water valve or stop the pump. The burner will stop burning automatically. Open the valve or start the pump for hot water again.

    Note:Because the water will get very hot during a temporary stop,wait for a few seconds before coming into contact with the water

STOPPING THE HEATER (WATER STOPS COMING OUT)

To stop the water heater after use,close the hot water valve or stop the pump, the flame of the burner will go out automatically, and the water heater stops working.

Close the cold water valve or pump. Close the master gas valve.

PREVENT BURNS ON EYES

Upon ignition, never look at the flame with eyes close to the inspection hole. Keep your eyes a minimum of 300mm from the inspection hole.Wait 10‐20seconds before repeating ignition.

PREVENT THE HEATER FROM FREEZING:

  • In very cold areas (with temperatures below 0 ), please remove the draining stopper after use to release access water. It’s also recommended to disconnect the heater and move it to a storage place without risk for freezing.
  • Some parts of the water heater may become loose due during transportation. Incaseof damagestotheexternalhousingafteropeningthepackage,geta repairmantocheckbefore use.REPLACE THE BATTERIES.
  • Replace the batteries if you see the following situations upon ignition or as the water comes out.
  • Longer interval of sounds of “Pa,Pa” during ignition (approx. 2 sounds a second)
  • The flame goes out shortly after ignition.ABNORMAL HANDLEIn case of abnormal burning (flame‐retrace separated flame, yellow flame or dark smoke etc.) unexpected smell, noise or emergency (earthquake or fire),remain calm to close the water heater to stop burning, close the gas valve afterwards and contact the service department or the gas supplier.MAINTENANCE &SERVICES
  • The water heater needs cleaning periodically (generally once every half year) to ensure its normal performance. Check the flame frequently, in case of a yellow flame with dark smoke, informs the service department for cleaning. To clean the external housing, please gently mop it with a wet cloth followed with a dry cloth. If the water heater remains unused for a long time, cover the top to prevent dust. Never use chemical detergents for cleaning; otherwise, the external housing would become faded and lose its gloss. All abnormalities must only be handled by qualified personnel.
  • Note: The room installed with the water heater must have a fixed open air‐induction opening. Closed windows are ineffective.

IN CASE OF GAS LEAKAGE, NEVER MAKE A FIRE OR TOUCH ANY ELECTRIC SWITCHES,

Regularly check the pipe to make sure of good air tightness. If cracked, replace the pipe at once. Under normal conditions, the gas pipe needs to be checked once a year.

  • If the gas pipe is cracked, stop using it and replace it. For users of Propane: if the flame of the water heater is inconsistent, it may be due to a malfunction of the gas pressure reducer, Stop using the pressure reducer and replace it, or get it repaired and installed by a professional technician.
  • For users of piped gas or natural gas: if the flame is abnormal, it is due to an unstable gas pressure. Stop using the water heater temporarily.
  •  Continued use will damage the water heater and possibly cause an accident.

COMBINED SPA SYSTEM

Water massage system structure: air compressor 700W power and water compressor (900- 1100W), 6 pcs. combined water / air jets – installed in the tub wall, additional 4 units of air jets.

Combined massage system has 2 switches in the tub panel. One of them turns on / off the air compressor, the other switches on / off water compressor. You can enable or air massage or water massage, or both devices together. After releasing the water from the hot tub, keep the air massage active for 30 seconds to remove water from the system.

IMPORTANT–in the cold season, you can turn on the air system only when the water temperature is above 30C°.

WATER FILTERS

CARTRIDGE FILTER

Cartridge filter is being built next to the tub and connected by two hose through which filter water in the tub.

IMPORTANT–in the cold season, when the air temperature is below 0 degrees, it is necessary to close the filter openings inside the tub, so the water can`t reach and freeze the filter connection hoses.

When heated tub warms up to +30 degrees, open the filter openings. If the tub is kept at a constant temperature, the filter can be used in sub-zero temperature.

SANDFILTER

Sand water filter is being built next to the tub and connected by two hose through which filter water in the tub.

IMPORTANT–in the cold season, when the air temperature is below 0 degrees, it is necessary to close the filter openings inside the tub, so the water can`t reach and freeze the filter connection hoses.

When heated tub warms up to +30 degrees, open the filter openings. If the tub is kept at a constant temperature, the filter can be used in sub-zero temperature.

SKIMMER

Skimmer – immersed in water filter. In order to filter the water in the hot tub into the, the skimmer is immersed filter which is connected to a power.

The skimmer can be turned on during bathing in the hot tub because it brings 12V electric current.