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Types of Hot Tubs & Hot Tub Information

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Hot Tubs 101 – What is a Hot Tub or Spa?

There are countless companies offering all types of hot tubs or spas but what is a hot tub exactly? To a person looking to buy a spa or hot tub, it can all seem a little overwhelming and confusing trying to find the right hot tub for you. We want to help clarify. We have broken down what a hot tub is and the types of hot tubs the industry has to offer.


hot tub vs spa


So what is a hot tub and isn’t a hot tub. The term hot tub is also sometimes interchangeable with spa or jacuzzi.


Hot tubs are used primarily for relaxation and the treatment of physical ailments. Hydrotherapy is used to improve both physical and mental health. Warm water benefits the body in many ways including easing arthritis pain, loosening tight muscles, and increasing circulation, just to name a few.


Now that we know the benefits of a hot tub, we will go over what the parts are that make up a hot tub.


What Components Make Up a Hot Tub?


As with most complicated items, there are a lot of parts used to build a hot tub, and all work in tandem to create your spa experience. For instance, at Bullfrog Spas, each spa begins with an ABS composite base, which holds the entire frame together.


bullfrogspas enduraframe

The Shell


The shell is the inside of your spa which is exposed to the water. These are usually made of vinyl, acrylic, fiberglass, or—for in-ground models—poured gunite. For the sake of this article, we are going to stick with the Bullfrog Spas model, which is created with acrylic, and molded to the frame with high heat machinery.


m7 shell


The Cabinet


The cabinet is the exterior walls of your spa or hot tub. It is typically made from wood, metal, plastic, or—once again, in the case of in-ground models—concrete. Your Bullfrog model is made from high-quality EternaWood, which is both weather and UV-resistant, on top of water-friendly.


STIL Series cabinet


The Jets


This is an essential addition to your hot tub because it’s the one feature that differentiates your spa from a regular pool or a bathtub. The jets pull air through the system, then release water in streams through the entire spa.


Jets can often be adjusted for strength and direction, but in most spas, Jets remain stationary, as they are drilled and plumbed directly into the shell of the hot tub. The only exception to this rule is the Bullfrog Spas patented JetPak Therapy System, which allows each different type of jet type to be personally chosen by each user and placed in the spa individually, and which can easily be changed with a quick and simple process.


personalized jetpaks


The Pump


The pump moves water through the plumbing system, to the filter, where it is cleaned and re-distributed through the spa. One side pumps with a pulling action, while the other side pushes the water out through the jets, which is what creates the pressurized streams that hot tubs are known for.


The Filter


The filter cleans the water as it comes in through the pump, and infuses it with the mild chemicals of your choosing in order to keep your spa water clear and clean. It’s usually made from polyester or paper, which catches pollutants, skin oils, dust, and other substances which may come in contact with your water.


Spa Filters


The Control System


Your controller is how you turn the jets on and off, set the strength of the jets, as well as stimulate the pump to activate. Sometimes you can also control other aspects of your spa, such as optional audio or other systems.


Hot Tub Control Panel


Hot Tub Types – Portable Hot Tub vs. Custom Spa


Portable Spas


grey portable hot tub


Portable spa is a broad and potentially confusing term due to the large differences in portable spa size and actual portability.


Portable hot tubs or portable spas generally include a range of spas anywhere from small inflatable units that can be packed up and put away when not in use, to large 8 to 10 person solid material hot tubs.


In more simple terms, a portable hot tub is defined as a spa that is self-contained, meaning everything needed to operate the spa is contained within the spa itself.


It also has to be portable meaning you could move the spa if needed unlike a stationary hot tub built into a swimming pool.


Portable spas can be built from a variety of materials including:


  • acrylic
  • fiberglass
  • polyethylene and other plastics
  • inflated latex or vinyl


Most quality portable spas today are built with an acrylic shell mounted to a support structure of ABS, metal, or wood.


In general, portable hot tubs are less expensive than equally sized custom spas and they are quick and easy to install. Portable spas have become extremely popular with homeowners looking for great hydrotherapy without a construction project.


Another advantage of portable spas is that they are molded into ergonomic shapes with well-defined and comfortable seats.


Many premium portable spas, especially Bullfrog Spas, offer an assortment of massaging jets. These jets are aligned within the spa to generate a specific massage sensation for each seat.


Bullfrog’s JetPak Therapy System allows you to completely customize and personalize these massages to suit your preferences.

Another important type of hot tub to know about are 110V spas, commonly referred to as plug and play hot tubs. These spas are generally smaller and less therapeutic because they only have one pump to power all the jets, but the advantage is you can plug them into a normal outlet.


Custom Spas


Custom Hot Tub


The second type of spas or hot tubs are called custom spas or in-ground spas. Custom spas are generally constructed from a permanent hard material and are designed to suit your specific tastes.


As the name infers, in-ground spas are actually a type of custom spa that is set into the ground, with the top of the spa located at or near ground level.


Some in-ground spas are actually portable spas lowered into a vault to achieve a custom look but retain the benefits of customizable hydrotherapy and comfort that portable spas provide.


Custom spas can be built from a variety of materials including:


  • gunite
  • concrete
  • fiberglass
  • stainless steel
  • copper
  • tile


A custom in-ground spa can be a very attractive addition to a backyard and can be customized to become part of your backyard landscape.


In-ground spas also have the added benefit of being extremely quiet as all of the mechanical equipment needed to run the hot tub can be installed away from the bathing area.


The downside of a custom in-ground spa is that they are usually expensive and time-consuming to install. They are made of hard permanent materials and surfaces so they can also become outdated and difficult to modify.


However, if you have the time and money available to have an in-ground model installed, you will likely be pleased with the aesthetics and durability.



Swim Spas


Relatively new, swim spas are portable hot tubs that are large enough to swim in. Swim spas generally feature a swim lane with a special swim jet that provides a current to swim against. This is a great training tool for swimmers, triathletes, or for those looking for a fun way to exercise at home. Swim spas also are popular for families as a less expensive option than a swimming pool with the added benefit of hot tub therapy jets.


Consider reading this article: Hot Tub vs Swim Spa


What are the benefits of hot tubs?


A Personal Hot Tub Will Improve Your Life


Your reasons for owning a personal hot tub at home are your own. With a new Bullfrog Spa, you may be able to alleviate stress, relax, entertain your friends, improve your landscape, spend quality time with family, and be healthier and happier. In fact, spa owners often express that they actually experience benefits they never expected when they get their new hot tub.


Each person is unique, but you and everyone in your life will enjoy the hot water, soothing massage, and invigorating hydrotherapy in your own way.


bullfrog spas hot tub hydrotherapy


Back Yard and Home Design

Nothing enhances the aesthetics and functional design of your backyard quite like a beautiful Bullfrog Spa. Your spa will become both a functional and beautiful centerpiece of your outdoor living space.


Your backyard is your own little piece of the world. You deserve to make it all it can be.


Many hot tub owners claim that they no longer feel the need to travel to unwind. All it takes is a stroll in your backyard paradise and a soothing soak in the spa to feel rejuvenated and ready for whatever life brings.


Improve Your Personal Health and Wellness


relaxing in a hot tub


In just a few minutes every day, you can reduce your stress, re-connect with those you love, and have fun with friends and loved ones, all part of a balanced approach to life. With life’s ever-increasing velocity, it’s never been so important to create ways to maintain your personal wellness.


Everyone needs some time to relax and meditate and a hot tub is a natural addition to your backyard sanctuary. It will become the perfect place to find the balance you require.


The calmness of proper wellness habits will come over you and improve all aspects of your life. It all starts with the right state of mind and nothing helps you achieve that better than quiet time in your Bullfrog Spa.


The Perfect Family Hot Tub



family hot tub time


The most important thing in the world is your family. Yet everything these days seems to be pulling the family apart.


Life, activities, friends, work, and even technology seems to make finding quality family time nearly impossible. An enjoyable spa in your backyard is one thing that everyone in your family will love.


Kids of all ages have fun in the hot tub and you’ll always know where your teenagers and their friends are hanging out. Parents enjoy the real conversations that occur when you’re all relaxing together.


With JetPaks everyone can enjoy their own favorite massage or water feature. Bring your family closer together in one place where everyone wants to be – the hot tub.


Throw a Hot Tub Party


You’ll never have to worry again about what to do when friends come over. Your Bullfrog Spa is a perfect group activity for hot tub parties, get-togethers, and backyard barbeques.


With a killer multi-color LightWave light show and the Spa and Yard stereo system, complete with Bose speakers, you’ll become famous for throwing the best parties around.


Bullfrog’s large hot tubs can seat up to 8 people and the powerful JetPak System makes it so everyone can enjoy their massage at the same time. Your fame will travel fast and soon everyone will want the invite to the next hot tub party at your house.


Relieve Your Stress


hot tub wellness and relaxation


Stress is one of those things that just happens with life. Nobody is immune. However, too much stress can lead to serious health issues and a shortened or unhappy life.


Luckily, the swirling warm waters and relaxing JetPak massages in a Bullfrog Spa are the perfect therapy for overcoming stress and tension.


Give yourself just a few minutes to sit back and relax in your Bullfrog Spa and you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel. Your stress will disappear and you’ll be ready to tackle whatever situations life can muster.


Make Stronger Connections


hot tub connections


Whether it’s a backyard get-together with a few friends or quality romantic time with someone special, your Bullfrog Spa is sure to enhance your social life.


There’s just something about sharing quality time in the soothing waters of your own personal spa. Everyone is relaxed, the conversations are easy and pleasant, and nobody wants to leave.


Leading a healthy social life has many other benefits. In fact, studies show that a healthy social life improves your physical and mental health and leads to more balance and a greater sense of well-being.


With impressive LED lighting and the Elite Audio System, you’ll become famous for throwing the best parties around. Bullfrog’s large hot tubs can seat up to 8 people and the powerful JetPak System makes it so everyone can enjoy their massage at the same time. Your fame will travel fast and soon everyone will want the invite to the next hot tub party at your house.


Enjoy Relaxing Hydrotherapy


relaxing in a hot tub with spouse


Doctors and other health professionals have devised many types of physical and medical therapies that help to overcome aches, illness, and other ailments.


However, perhaps no therapy type has such a rich history of success as hydrotherapy. Going back as far as written history people have utilized the soothing and healing qualities of warm water to improve their quality of life.


In ancient times it was natural hot springs that provided hydrotherapeutic benefits. Today hydrotherapy has joined with science in the form of a personal spa or hot tub.


With the healing powers of warm water combined with a bio-engineered JetPak massage selected specifically for your therapy needs, no spa provides better, more personalized, hydrotherapy than a Bullfrog Spa.


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AUTHOR - Bullfrog Spas

Bullfrog Spas is a premier brand of personalized premium hot tubs. With proprietary hydromassage technology and an eye for contemporary design, Bullfrog Spas is revolutionizing the concept of the portable hot tub and providing a relaxation experience unlike any other. Discover the award winning spa of the future today.

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