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Find out the latest from the world of hot tubs and spas

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I am the MD here at WhatSpa Magazine and spend most of my time either working on the Magazine and website or travelling throughout the UK and abroad working with hot tub manufacturers, importers and showroom based retailers. I try to get onto the blog as often as possible so feel free to drop me a question or suggestion and I'll answer it as quickly as possible. Cheers Nick

This photograph of a Sundance Spas hot tub housed within a traditional thatched hot tub building was recently sent to us by Peter Frankish of Braaihouse.  Peter informs us that Braai is the African term for BBQ and besides designing and building luxury bespoke thatched buildings for hot tub and spas, Braai offer a full range of outdoor entertainment products under the Braai brand.  For more details visit their website at www.braaihouse.co.uk

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Hot Tub Floods

Posted on July 3, 2007 by , in 2. Hot Tubs & Gazebos

We have had a number of emails from people owning hot tubs in areas around the North and Central England who have suffered garden flooding which has resulted in potential flood damage to their hot tubs.  As a note of advice, if your hot tub has suffered water damage DO NOT reinstate the power to your hot tub as their may still be residual water or dampness in the hot tub pumps, heater, electronics, wiring and sensors.  We advise that you turn off power to your hot tub at both the RCD and the isolation switch and let it thoroughly dry out.  Contact a local hot tub service engineer and arrange a service call inspection for them to assess the damage to your hottub.

If you have hot tub insurance (something we highly recommend for all owners of hot tubs) contact your insurer as it may be that if your hot tub has suffered serious or prolonged water damage that it will have to be written off.

A note of caution to hot tub buyers…be very wary about buying a hot tub over online auction sites over the next few months as hot tubs on offer may have suffered water damage which could make them irreparable or even dangerous.  Only buy through local reputable hot tub companies to ensure that you get bonafide hots tubs and aftersales service.  For a list of local companies request What Spa Magazine and see our comprehensive Hot Tub Retailer Directory or visit the Find a Retailer on www.whatspa.co.uk for a real-time list of local hot tub dealers in your county.

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What Spa Front CoverThe Spring/Summer issue of What Spa? Magazine is here at long last…and the good news is that every single one of our readers can request their FREE complimentary copy on www.whatspa.co.uk . Simply fill in the form on our Spa Buyer’s Guide page to request your copy now. 

Your 100 page free What Spa? magazine will be winging it’s way to you in the post within days. See which celebs are relaxing away from the flashing cameras of the paparazzi in their own luxury hot tubs in our cover feature and get the rundown on all of our hot tub buying tips, insider secrets, landscaping ideas and whatspa reviews and ratings on the best hot tubs in the UK.  So request your copy, do all of your research in the comfort of your own home and feel confident that you have all of the tools at your disposal to buy the hot tub, sauna, or swimspa of your dreams.

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You don’t need a permanent water supply for a hot tub or garden spa but you will need a suitable electrical supply to run the tub.  Hot tubs have a specific section in the 16th Edition IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) Regulations and fall into the same category as swimming pools.

When appointing an electrician to prepare your hot tub electrics check that they are suitably qualified electrician.  Do not attempt to install hot tub electrics yourself if you are not a fully qualified electrician. 

The Government introduced a new law in January 2005, which demands that most electrical work in UK households is only carried out by a ‘competent’ person.  This law means that Electrical safety requirements have been included in a new Part P of the Building Regulations.

Part P Explained:

The law states that anyone carrying out fixed electrical installations in households in England and Wales must ensure that electrical installations are:

– Designed and installed to afford appropriate protection against mechanical and thermal damage, and so that they do not present electric shock and fire hazards to people

– Suitably inspected and tested to verify that they meet the relevant equipment and installation standards .

It is now against the law to have a new circuit installed in your home without having it inspected and tested to ensure it is Part P compliant.  This can be achieved in 2 ways

1. Appoint an electrical contractor who is registered with a competent person scheme.  If you are unsure about who is Part P qualified visit the websites of the following organisations who all run Part P registration schemes.  Make sure that your contractor is registered with one of them.

NICEIC – http://www.niceic.org.uk

NAPIT – http://www.napit.org.uk

ELECSA – http://www.elecsa.org.uk

BSI – http://www.bsi-global.com/kitemark

BRE – http://www.partp.co.uk

2. Appoint someone who is not Part P registered but contact you local authority’s Building Control Department first.  The work will have to be inspected and tested by your local authority before it can be signed off.  There will be a charge for this service.

Either way you will receive a Part P certificate after the hot tub electrical supply work is completed.  From later in 2007 these will need to be kept on file and presented if you ever sell your house as part of the new home sellers packs. 

Your hot tub retailer can liaise with your electrical contractor regarding the exact specification for your spa but you must meet the following specification:

The hot tub must be hard wired on its own fused spur back to your household consumer unit. (i.e. the tub should not be sharing a supply with any other appliances)

The hot tub should be protected by a sufficiently rated MCB (mains circuit breaker) and should cover the maximum amperage pull of the spa PLUS 25% to allow for brake torque (i.e. the extra rush of current when pumps are first started.)  So a hottub that has a maximum current draw of 20 amps should be fitted with a 25amp MCB.

The hot tub should also be protected against earth faults by an RCD (Residual Current Device)  This is a trip switch which prevents danger of electric shock from damaged or waterlogged cables and connections.  A suitably rated 30mA RCD is recommended.

Outdoor cabling should be protected from damage by either laying protective ducting (pvc pipe) below ground or by using Steel Wired Armoured (SWA) cable.  Your electrician will calculate the size of cable required depending on the loading and the distance from the mains supply.  6mm2 3-core SWA cable is perfectly suitable in most cases but always consult an electrician first.

Isolation SwitchAn IP65 45amp Rotary Isolation Switch is also recommended so that the hot tub can be isolated outdoors in an emergency or for service work.  This is simply a rotary on/off switch but should be sited more than 2 metres away for the hot tub so that bathers cannot be in the spa whilst touching the switch.

Gland PackThe hot tub supply can then be  directly hard wired into the load box inside the spa.  Waterproof gland packs should be used to prevent ingress of water on all outdoor electrical connections (2 at the isolation switch and 1 inside the hot tub)  Ensure that all earth cables are clearly colour coded with green/yellow insulating tape or earth sleeve.

Once the hot tub is filled with water and the electrical supply is installed, your hot tub installation team should commission the hottub and check that everything is fully operational before “handing over” to you with a thorough training of how all of the hot tub features work.

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What Spa MagazineWe are in the final throes of the publication of our forthcoming Spring/Summer issue of WhatSpa? Magazine and we have lots of exciting new hot tubs, swim spas & exercise pools, saunas and steamrooms and exciting features and buying tips for hot tub and home spa lovers.  To request your free copy of WhatSpa?, the Uk’s best selling Hot Tub Magazine, simply visit our Hot Tubs Buyers Guide page and request your complimentary copy of our magazine now…if you would like to subscribe to WhatSpa? Magazine simply contact us by email at info@whatspa.co.uk for more information.

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