The dangers lurking in your spa
SUMMER is finally here and many Britons want to spend more time in their gardens – and if you’re lucky enough, you might even relax in a hot tub.
If you are taking a dip, it is important to keep your tub clean as nasty bugs could hide in it.
Spas are breeding grounds for germs that could make you seriously ill.
There are several illnesses you could develop from a hot tub or swimming pool, including Cryptosporidium (known as Crypto).
This is a type of parasite that is usually contracted by swallowing water, and the infection can cause three weeks of severe diarrhea.
Steam spas can also cause Legionnaires’ disease, which is caused by the Legionella bacteria.
Bacteria as well as pseudomaniacs thrive in slimy areas like hot tubs that haven’t been sanitized properly.
People can become infected with the bacteria when they breathe in steam or mist from the contaminated tub.
In order to avoid this, you need to make sure the spas have the correct levels of sanitizer.
The chemicals used to clean hot tubs can also cause allergic reactions when people bathe in water that may have come in contact with harsh chemicals.
Potassium peroxymonosulfate used to clean spas has been linked to allergic reactions in the past.
In very rare cases, hot tubs can also cause (urinary tract infections) urinary tract infections due to bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Urosepsis.
A young woman had also previously warned of the dangers of hot tubs after doctors believed she had contracted meningitis.
Lauren Briggs, of Corringham, Essex had to have her right leg amputated below the knee and her toes on her left leg – leaving her wheelchair strapped.
Lauren was shocked to learn that the hot tub could have been the cause of her infection after doctors explained it was the likely cause.
Lauren explained that the doctors told her she may have contracted the infection from a small cut on her foot.
With these infections in mind, here are the five tips you need to know to keep your spa clean and safe this summer.
1. Clean the water
Experts recommend changing the water regularly, typically every 3 to 4 months, according to research from OnBuy.com.
However, generally clean water is clean water, so if it doesn’t look dirty, you shouldn’t need to change it.
Making sure the pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8 is the easiest way to clean a spa without draining it, but it only delays dirty water problems until you had to empty it.
Therefore, this should only be used as a short-term solution, and if the water looks dirty, it should be drained.
2. Take a shower first
After a long day, you might not hesitate to jump in a hot tub with the day’s grime all over you.
Most of us will wear deodorant and maybe even hydrate in the morning.
If you plan to jump in the hot tub, you should shower beforehand.
This will keep any soap residue out of your tub. You should also not use detergent in the swimsuit you wear and wash it instead during a rinse cycle so that the detergent does not get into the tub.
This is a great way to prevent allergic reactions in other people who may be sensitive to the washing powder you use.
3. Keep an eye on the weather
How long you stay in a hot tub is a personal preference, but you should consider any underlying health issues you may have.
Experts suggest that generally you shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. You can always come back later, but it’s important to give your body a break from the heat and chemicals.
4. Check your skin type
Researchers at OnBuy.com have discovered that there are 17,900 monthly searches for saltwater spas.
They are known to be easier to maintain and do not often require the use of chemicals that can cause allergic reactions.
But saltwater hot tubs have drawbacks. They are not suitable for sensitive skin due to the harshness of the salts, and when drained, the salts can also harm the environment.
It is therefore important to read the pros and cons before purchasing a saltwater spa, to see if they are right for you.
5. Clean your filters
It may seem counterproductive to clean your tub filters as they are in place to filter out dirt.
But the experts at HotSpring say you need to spray each cartridge with a garden hose, twisting while spraying to completely remove debris between the filter pleats.
He also suggests using filter cleaners to keep them in good working order.
They say, â€œWhile cleaning your filters helps keep the water running smoothly, you should replace your filters every three years. “
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If you are planning to go on vacation, you should also put measures in place to keep your tub in top condition.
Before you go, adjust the pH according to the manual and make sure to sanitize the tub with chlorination.
You should also put the cover on the tub to prevent debris from entering the water.
When you return, you need to balance the pH levels and disinfect the water.