Video: Hot Tubs 101- How to Fill a Hot Tub

This episode of Hot Tubs 101 teaches you how to Fill a Hot Tub.

Focusing on Hot Spring NXT, Highlife, Limelight and Hot Spot hot tubs, as well as Caldera Hot Tubs, this method will work for all hot tub brands.

We also show you how high to fill your hot tub water.

How to Fill a Hot Tub

Watch the next video to learn How to Turn on Power to your Hot Tub!

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Who are the Best Hot Tub Companies in Bucks County, PA?


In our almost 18 years of business in Bucks County, PA, we’ve made a lot of customers happy with a new Hot Tub in their backyard. Of course, we know that we aren’t the only hot tub company in the area!

During the buying process, we are often asked about other hot tub companies locally. We think many of our competitors carry great products, and we always encourage hot tub shoppers to check out our competition. We believe it’s important to be informed about what hot tut brands and other companies are out there when you’re trying to make a decision about where to purchase a hot tub.

Check out these local Hot Tub Companies in Bucks County:

Loves Outdoor Living: Located in Langhorne, PA, Loves is a hot tub pool and patio company that also specializes in ski and snowboarding gear purchase or rental. They service and sell above ground pools and carry two hot tub brands.

Pelican Shops: With a local showrooms in Quakertown, PA plus 3 central Jersey hot tub showrooms, Pelican is a Premier Supplier of Ski & Snowboard Equipment and Winter Outwear. Pelican is a family-owned business and carries various hot tub brands throughout their 4 locations

East Coast Spas: East Coast Spas Bucks County Hot Tub Showroom is located on Route 611 in Horsham, PA and features multiple hot tub and swim spa lines. They also carry patio furniture and offer a wide array of spa chemicals and accessories.

Niagara Pools and Spas: With 3 retail hot tub stores in the area (Their Bucks County location is in Bristol, PA), Niagara has been family owned and operated since 1957. Specializing in fiberglass pools, above-ground pools and multiple hot tub and swim spa brands, Niagara also features outdoor furniture, billiards and has a robust service department.

There are 4 hot tub companies in bucks county to consider when you are shopping for a new hot tub. We believe a great hot tub buying experience includes:

  • Relationship with a great, long-standing company that stands behind a quality product
  • The quality of the product
  • Availability to see, feel and try the hot tub before you buy
  • Service after the purchase

We hope this is helpful when you’re searching for a hot tub in Bucks County!

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Do you have to pay a lot of money for a good hot tub?


If you’re researching hot tubs and want to know the answer to a simple question: What do hot tubs cost? You might be frustrated. Most retailers don’t post pricing online. We want to help you understand what hot tubs cost by answering the question:

Do you have to pay a lot of money for a good hot tub?

Yes! And no. Okay that’s not a clear answer, but hear us out!

The Yes

We say yes you have to pay a lot for a good hot tub because you get what you pay for. There are companies that advertise a Hot Tub with “700 jets that seats 6 Adults for under $1500.” You could buy that hot tub online or in-store today and have it delivered soon thereafter. But in the hot tub industry, you DO get what you pay for. A few problems you could run into:

Getting Service and Parts

A cheap hot tub is generally made oversees- most likely in China- to save on manufacturing costs. There are new “Brands” that seem to come out every day with a new name, boasting lots of jets and features at a cheap price. These brands exist one day and are rolled into a different brand or made in a new factory under a new name the next week. We see it all the time. And this doesn’t just happen in the hot tub industry!

The problem with this is service & parts. If you need a repair (and with a spa that cheaply made, you most likely will) how will you know that the manufracture will be around so that you or a service repair person can get part?

The Dealer

Generally a dealer offering the cheapest hot tubs is a retailer based online, or if they are local to your home, they have carried multiple brands over the years they’ve been in business. If that’s the case, ask the Dealer why. The chances are it’s because the brands have gone out of business. And if you purchase from an online retailer, who do you go to when you have a problem? Even if they have a local service repairman, do you feel comfortable having someone come to you home from a company where you’ve never put a face to a name?

Cheap manufacturing and parts:

There is a difference between the feel of a cheap jet and a jet of better quality. Major brands have engineers on their design teams who understand ergonomics and how that relates to your body in hot water. But don’t take our word for it! Test it out for yourself. Try a test soak in a hot tub from a brand-name manufacturer and then try a cheaper hot tub. See if you notice the difference!


The last difference you’ll see is quality- a cheap hot tub may not last you for many years. We see Hot Spring and Caldera brand hot tubs that are 10-15 or even 20 years old all the time!

The No:

We say NO- you don’t have to spend a lot to get a great hot tub because it IS possible to get a great quality hot tub that is manufactured well with quality parts for a decent price. You will sacrifice some features and maybe a shorter warranty period, but you won’t have to give up brand name, manufacture reputation, quality & reliability. Here is what we mean:

If you spend over $10,000:  This will buy you the best hot tub available. You will be able to pick from the top features and options and have the best warranty available for hot tubs.

If you spend $5,000-$10,000:  You may have to give up some of the top-of-the line features and the warranty may be a year or two less, but many of the same options are available and you will not suffer with a lesser quality spa.

If you spend less than $5,000:  You will most likely just have a 1 or 2 year warranty and may not have features like lights throughout the hot tub and multiple water falls. Your jet configurations might be less unique than in the higher-end hot tubs.

But in all of the above scenarios you WILL have:

  • Support & service from a Local Dealer
  • The quality & reliability of a manufacture like Hot Spring, Caldera & Freeflow
  • A long lasting, enjoyable hot tub for years to come!

Do you have any thoughts to add? Let us know in the comments!


The Best Hot Tub Manufacturers: Why it matters

best hot tub manufacturer

If you’ve been researching hot tubs you’ve no doubt come across many different hot tub brands during your research. You’ve probably stopped into a few local hot tub dealerships and asked your hot-tubber friends for recommendations. But don’t stop there! Make sure you investigate the Best Hot Tub Manufacturer’s Reputation:

What type of Manufacturer are they?

The hot tub industry is not very big- hot tubs became popular in the 1970’s and a few of the manufacturers that began producing hot tubs early on are still the largest manufacturers today. These few companies have a proven record of success and a large customer base.

The rest of the industry is comprised of regional assemblers, mass marketers and internet re-sellers. Most of these companies don’t have a network of hot tub dealers like you see with the auto industry or the established hot tub manufacturers. They sell online, at roadside events, through the newspaper or through misleading hot tub expo events in which they advertise that multiple brands are present but, in fact, are the only company participating. These types of sellers are best to avoid, as they often switch brands, go out of business quickly and re-open under a new name. If you ever require service, and you most likely will, these sellers tend to be difficult to work with.

What is the manufacturer’s reliably and quality?

There are many hot tubs out there and to truly compare you must look at how they are built, the quality of materials used to manufacture the hot tub and the design & engineering. Take Hot Spring Spas for example: In September 2011 they manufactured their 1 millionth hot tub! That may not seem like a lot, especially when the US auto manufactures will make more than that in 2013 alone, but the hot tub industry is small comparatively & Hot Spring Spas is the first company to reach this milestone!

Hot Spring not only has the most hot tubs sold, but they have spent millions of dollars in research and development over the last 36 years to engineer the best built, longest lasting hot tubs. As a hot tubber you want to make sure the hot tub you own is backed by the quality of a knowledgeable manufacturer & the reliability of a company that has been around for a long time!

Come visit one of our Philadelphia area Hot Tub Showrooms to learn about the two brands we carry that we believe are the best hot tub manufacturers out there: Hot Spring and Caldera Spas!

Find the closest Hot Tub Showroom

Our Top Blog Posts in 2012

As we near the end of January, we wanted to do a quick recap of what YOU were reading in 2012 on Hot Tubs 101.

Here are our top hot tub blog posts from 2012:

hot tub foamingHow to Stop Hot Tub Foaming

Ever notice you’re sitting in your hot tub and it’s starting to resemble a bubble bath? While kids LOVE hot tub foaming, most people over the age of 10 do not!

Read this blog post >>


clean a hot tubHow to Drain a Hot Tub

Your hot tub (most likely) has a built-in drainage feature! This post will cover the brands we carry in our Hot Tub Showrooms, so consult your owner’s manual if you don’t have one of the mentioned hot tub models.

Read this blog post >>


hot tub filterHow often should I change my hot tub filter?

The life expectancy of a  hot tub filter depends on the type of water care system you are using, how well you care for the filter(s), as well as the type of filter(s) you have. If you do not have a Hot SpringCaldera or Sundance spa, it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual for proper filter care, but our “General Filter Maintenance” sheet below should have some good tips for you!

Read this blog post >>




silk balanceWhat is Silk Balance

Silk Balance is a hot tub water care treatment program specially formulated to: be soft and easy on your skin, be very simple to use and more!

Read this blog post >>


hot tub exercisesSimple Hot Tub Exercises

The Health Benefits of hot tubs are numerous-  the warmth & buoyancy of the water makes it an inviting place to exercise! Here are a few Hot Tub Exercises we like:

Read this blog post >>

What did you enjoy reading on our Hot Tub Blog in 2012?

Most Popular Hot Tub Models of 2012

This is the time of year when we take a moment to reflect back on 2012. One of the things we like to do is look at our most popular hot tub models from the year. We’re excited to share the trends we’ve observed in our hot tub showrooms in the past year starting with The most Popular Hot Tubs of 2012:

Hot Spring Grandee

The Grandee lands on our top list for the 14th year (every year we’ve been in business!) so this is no big surprise!

The Grandee is one of the most popular hot tub models in the country because of it’s size (it’s 8’4″ x 7’7”  and 38” high), Open-seating configuration (It seats 7 people in the roomy layout) and available options like Wireless Entertainment and the Hot Spring Spa exclusive Ace Salt Water Sanitizing System.

The Grandee has an impressive 4.75 out or 5 star rating from Hot Spring Spa owners: Check out the Grandee Reviews

hot spring grandee

Hot Spot Rhythm

The Hot Spot Rhythm is on fire! This model had a BIG jump in popularity over 2011.

The Rhythm is another open-seating hot tub sized at 7’x7′ and seats 6 adults. The inside lights up beautifully with 10 LED multi-colored points of light, and the rhythm has a “foot pod” in the center with FOUR precision jets for a soothing foot massage.

hot spot rhythm

Hot Spring Limelight Pulse

Once again open-seating configuration rules with the Limelight Pulse (I’m starting to feel bad for our hot tubs with a lounge seat!) At 7’5″ x 7’5″ and 38″ height this 6-seater spa lights up the evening sky beautifully with the Hot Spring Limelight exclusive Raio lighting system!

Plus the Limelight Pulse has options like a factory-installed MP3 system and the exclusive ACE Salt Water Sanitizing System

hot spring limelight pulse

Want to learn more about any of the popular hot tub models of 2012? Request a Quote from one of our showrooms.

Request a Quote >>


We ran a list of our most popular colors combinations from 2012 and the winner was: Pearl Interior with Espresso Exterior:

hot tub colors

Hidden Hot Tub in a Man Cave

We came across this very creative DIYer who built a hot tub in a man cave!

Scroll through the images to check out the results:


How to protect your Hot Tub from freezing

protect a hot tub from freezing

If you lose heat to your hot tub in the cold winter months, don’t panic! For a Fully-Foamed hot tub to start to freeze the temperature needs to be below 28 degrees F for at least 36 Hours straight. Even if it does get that cold if your hot tub & pumps are still operating, the water is circulating and will not freeze.

Freeze damage to a hot tub is a costly repair, so to protect your non-heating hot tub from freezing in the winter months, follow these easy instructions put together by George Thomas our service manage, who is one of the brightest in the hot tub industry:

Protect a Hot Tub from Freezing

  1. DO NOT DRAIN THE SPA! If it has been drained refill it.
  2. Periodically run the jet pumps to circulate the water. This will add heat generated by pump motors to your water. (If your jets do not operate go to step #3)
  3. Place submersible pump in center of foot well of your spa (See image below). Plug in the pump and allow to run in the spa without a hose. This will circulate water in spa and transfer heat generated by pump motor to water. NOTE: Pump should be plastic and NOT SMALLER than 1/4 Horse Power!protect a hot tub from freezing
  4. Place a small ceramic heater or a 100 watt incandescent light bulb in the equipment area of your hot tub, making sure that the heater or bulb DOES NOT TOUCH any components or plumbing. Re-install front panel to keep heat inside. NOTE: On SUNDANCE SPAS this is to be installed behind Front Right Side Equipment door Not Center Panel.
  6. If these instructions are followed the spa will be in NO DANGER of FREEZING!

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, contact our service department to schedule a service appointment for your non-heating hot tub!

Request Hot Tub Service


©George Thomas and Spring Dance Hot tubs. May not reproduce without permission

Help! I have Cloudy Hot Tub Water

Cloudy Hot TubIs your hot tub water cloudy? Even after you recently drained & refilled your spa?

Cloudy Hot Tub Water is usually caused by two things:

  1. Water that is out of balance
  2. Bacteria in the water.

Try these steps for cloudy hot tub water:

  • Test your water balance (Test in this order: Total Alkalinity, pH and Calcium Hardness) Adjust as necessary
  • Test the sanitizer level in your hot tub (This may be Chlorine, Bromine or Baqua Sanitizer depending on the system you are using) and make sure it is in the recommended range. If the sanitizer level is low, increase until it is in the recommended range & wait 24 hours to see if the hot tub cloudiness disappears.
  • If your water is still cloudy, add 2 TBSP of oxidizer (Only for Salt/Chlorine/Bromine water care systems) & run the jets with your cover open for 20 minutes. Wait 24 hours to see if the water clears up.
  • If your water is still cloudy it is most likely caused by hair gel, lotion, make-up, sunscreen etc. that is transferred off your body & into the water. Add a few squirts of a Water Clarifying product to the water. Run the tub with all the jets on as often as possible. Wait 24 hours and the water should be clear.

If your hot tub continues to be cloudy, we recommend having your water tested professionally. If you’re in the Philadelphia or South Jersey area, contact one of our 3 hot Tub showrooms for a water test!

Hot Tub Care Instructions

Do you ever feel confused by your Hot Tub Care instructions? There are water care instructions in your hot tub owner’s manual, under your hot tub filter lid and in packets from the hot tub store where you purchased. And often times each instructional sheet is slightly different.

Based on best practices from selling and using hot tubs for years, we’ve created our own downloadable water care instruction sheets for the following hot tub chemical systems. Click on the links below or select an image to download the sheet!

Ace Salt Water System
BaquaSpa System
Bromine System
Silver Ion System
Spa Frog System
Silk Balance System


ACE Salt Water System Instructions BAQUA-SPA System Instructions BROMINE SYSTEM INSTRUCTIONS


*these hot tub water instructions are recommendations based on our experience with Hot Spring and Caldera spa brands. If you have any specific questions regarding your hot tub brand, consult your owner’s manual.