Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need planning permission for a Hot tub or Swimspa?

Planning permission is not generally required for relocatable/temporary items such as a hot tub or swim spa (known as “Portable” Spas), however, if you live in a listed property or an area of conservation, or there are other relevant covenants (such as might apply for a shared garden area) then you should seek advice from your Borough Council Planning Department.

What do I need for a Hot tub in my garden?

A hot tub makes a great pet with only 3 basic needs:

  • A solid, level base to sit on.
  • A suitable power outlet to provide electricity.
  • A hosepipe to fill it up with.

How much do Wellis spas cost to run?

There are so many factors that have a big impact on the electricity consumption so its impossible to quote a one size fits all figure, but a realistic range for typical use should be between 75p to £1.50 per day.

However your real-world costs come out, Wellis utilise ultra modern construction materials and technologies and their Spas are the most popular brand across all the European climates from the sun-drenched Mediterranean to bone-chilling Nordic climes – so that kinda shows that we know what we’re doing to build-in the lowest running costs for all conditions.

What temperature should a hot tub be?

We all have a built-in thermostat inside us called a hypothalamus that works to keep our core temperature at around 37ºC.  But when you’re in hot water up to your neck, it loses most of its ability to control things. Hypothermia can commence when you lose more than 2 degrees, whilst Hypothermia happens when you overheat. So water at 37 or 37.5ºC feels neutral, but in hot or cold weather you may want to alter the water temperature by 1 or 2 degrees. The basic rule is that the further away from your core temperature the water is, the shorter your immersion time should be.

Wellis spas have a built-in timer on the main pumps that will turn them off after 15 minutes of continuous use. This acts as a reminder of how long you’ve been in the tub and a good move at this point is to stand up. If you feel dizzy or get a headache, that’s your body’s way of telling you you’re done and should step out for a while to cool down (or warm up). If all seems ok, press that button and enjoy another session!

Signs of over or under heating are not obvious, it kinda creeps up on you as a feeling of lethargy, sleepiness, contentment, loss of time, and also small bodies will heat or cool faster, so keep it closer to 37 for kids. If you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or other medical issues you should seek advice from your health care professional beforehand.

So the short answer is between 35 and 39ºC is the typical bathing range with 37.5ºC being the most common – but you’ll need to experiment to find what works best for you.

What’s the difference between a “Spa” and a “Hot Tub”

Nothing – either term is used to describe the same thing.

I’ve heard “full foam insulation” is best – why don’t Wellis do this?

There are basically 3 methods of thermal insulation used in hot tubs: Full Foam, Semi-full foam, and Reflective Thermal Barrier (RTB).

Full Foam:

During production, the upside down spa is pumped full of expanding urethane foam. This sticks the shell, plumbing and cabinet panels in place, provides support for the shell, and forms an insulating mass.

So here come the disadvantages: The waste heat from the pump motors cannot be utilised and is vented outside – that’s like running a fan heater on your patio! Urethane foam is hazardous and emits isocyanides for many years. Its air pockets progressively rupture as it settles, turning it absorbent and losing insulation properties.  With no internal heat source, rot and fungi can take hold, rodents burrow in, and the spa takes on a musty smell. Catalysts in the foam progressively break-down plumbing joints, causing expensive to repair leaks.

This is an “old School” method used principally for cheap manufacturing and modern insulating materials have rendered it mostly redundant now.

Semi Full foam:

This is where the shell and plumbing are encased in urethane foam but the cabinet is kept un-insulated. With plumbing mostly encased there is no significant heat sink effect to absorb the motor heat, so this finds its way outside to help warm our planet. So overall similar to full foam and still with all the eco-hazards and high repair costs.

RTB

Reflective thermal Barrier is becoming more popular now with manufacturers keen to improve their “green” image, though quality and efficiency can vary considerably.

If done properly the base of the cabinet and the cabinet sides are lined with foam sheet bonded to aluminium foil. So the pump motor heat is literally reflected back into the plumbing (just like a foil survival blanket) partly replacing any heat loss from the water.

So why is it called “Thermal barrier”? Well, for heat to move on its own accord it needs a temperature gradient to move down. So because the air trapped around the pipework is several degrees warmer than the water within, the reflected heat will naturally transfer through the un-insulated pipe walls. And the beauty of the process is that not only is the heat source from recycled waste energy, but there are no hazardous catalysts, isocyanides, or styrol emissions either. And when eventually the spa is scrapped, it will leave a far, far smaller ecological footprint.

Why don’t you spray foam insulate your Hot tub shells.

We do insulate but it’s built into the structure. Wellis have developed a unique shell construction that is free of fibreglass and other eco hazards. The acrylic surface layer is bonded to an ABS polymer which massively increases its impact strength. This is then vacuum formed into the hot tub shape on our automated production line.

“Poly-Max” reinforcing is then applied by robots. Unlike old school fibreglass, this is not hazardous and bonds at a molecular level so can never delaminate and cause the surface bubbling issues that still plague old hand rolled chopped fibreglass. It’s also lighter and stronger and contains tiny air bubbles for highly effective sound and heat insulation.

And the eco story gets better, out with hazardous fibreglass but also out with spray-on urethane foam insulation – because we designed-in our safe and ecologically sound process backed by an industry leading 10-year guarantee.

Why do some Hot Tub models have no bed, some one, and others two?

An all-seater style can accommodate the most bathers for its size. It is also the most social as the bathers all face each other – so they are also known as “Party Spas”. Seated positions allow powerful jets to be used for premium hydrotherapy in the corner seats though with circular spas there is little to choose between each position.

A single bed layout plus 4 or 5 seats is by far the most common layout. A Wellis no-float bed provides a relaxing chill out experience whilst the seats can deliver a stronger stimulating massage. This layout provides a wide range of hydrotherapy experiences and the mix of seat heights and jets is ideal for most families.

Twin-bedded models are growing in popularity as they are focused more on relaxation and recuperation than deep tissue massage. There are usually no more than 3 additional seats, the corner one having the highest jet count. Ideal for couples with occasional guests, this layout is more for pure indulgence than family or party fun.

Plug & Play vs Hard wired

“Plug & Play” means running the spa from a standard 13amp domestic socket. This connection method is only suitable for single pump spas and prevents the heater running when the main pump is running at high speed. The excellent Wellis RTB heat recovery system still ensures some water heating effect is retained.

“Hard Wired” means a qualified electrician runs a thick cable from your consumer unit to close to where the spa will be. This terminates in an “isolator” switch and the spa is connected into this. This connection method allows the spa to run in “Full amp mode” so the heater can run concurrently with the pump/s.

 

How “green” are your spas?

A competitor’s brochure recently claimed their pumps were greener than anyone else’s – it must be a coincidence that they used a popular standard industry model with black “Wet ends”, only their identical wet ends were specially moulded for them in… um… green…

Wellis is a young company that take their eco responsibilities seriously. The spa shells are ecologically as close to neutral as it’s possible to get, with no harmful emissions and ultimately biodegradable. The structural perimeter frame is either timber from sustained sources and pressure treated with non-hazardous preservative or Wellis’s proprietary WPS frame from recycled wood chippings and polymers. The ABS base pan and cabinet panels contain recycled plastics and where it’s not detrimental to performance or efficiency, ditto with other components.

Energy consumption is kept as low as possible and we even have a natural Dead Sea Salt sanitising system that minimises aggressive chemicals and cuts water use by a factor of 4.  Oh yes and the relatively short transport road miles from the factory reduce further our ecological footprint compared to any other major manufacturers.

So will a Wellis hot tub save the world? Nope – but it’s a help and at least one less worry that we at least are actively minimising our impact.

What about alternative energy systems

We can adapt all our models to accept a heat exchanger to connect into your central heating system, or a Climacube® unit that produces ultra-efficient heat from air (no it’s not a conventional air source heat pump).

Please ask us for details.

What does an Ozonator do?

An Ozonator produces Ozone gas (O3) from air. Ozone is a type of unstable Oxygen with 3 ions. This third ion quickly breaks away and is known as a “Free Radical”. Free radicals latch onto pathogens and other bacteria and in so doing destroy them.

It’s a very powerful though transient sanitiser, effective for only a few seconds after it is injected into the spas plumbing and exiting into the spa as a column of bubbles. Those bubbles are mostly oxygen rather than ozone, but they show when the system is running.

It only provides sanitation when the filtration system is operating. Therefore you still need a residual sanitiser such as Bromine or Chlorine to maintain safe water between these periods, though an Ozonator can reduce the amount needed by up to 80%.

What does UV-C do?

Like O3 Ultraviolet Light is a very powerful though transient sanitiser. Beneath the spa, water in the filtration circuit passes over a UV light. This light disrupts the DNA of any pathogens and bacteria in the water stream, preventing them from reproducing.

So the effect on the water is similar to an Ozonator though it achieves sanitation by a different process. Because there is no bubble stream to see, we fit an indicator light to the spas cabinet so you can see when it’s operating.

It only provides sanitation when the filtration system is operating. Therefore you still need a residual sanitiser such as Bromine or Chlorine to maintain safe water between these periods, though Ultra-Violet can reduce the amount needed by up to 80%.

What does In-Clear do?

Another clever box beneath the spa – this one provides residual sanitation for your spa, negating the need to regularly add Chlorine or Bromine and extending the water change cycles considerably.

The Dead Sea is known for its very high salt content. This salt is sodium bromide and it is harvested and purified and a small amount added to the spa water. Using a process of electrolysis the In-Clear unit separates the sodium from the Bromide and converts that into Bromine.

This natural bromine results in a very pleasant “feel” to the water and is almost maintenance free.

Where are you spas made?

In Hungary, just outside of the capital Budapest in a very modern semi-automated manufacturing facility. In fact one in every six hot tubs sold throughout Europe is a Wellis.

Lesser brands can try to mislead you about where their spas are made, the most common being to witter on about “USA made Lucite acrylic shells”, and “made in USA equipment” in an attempt to make you think the spa are USA made too.

The point here is that USA, Canadian, and European products all have to comply to international quality, safety, compliance and copyright standards, whilst far East manufacturers often have different priorities.

How long is the warranty?

We have one of the best warranties in the business with up to 10 years cover.

Are spas difficult to look after?

 All Wellis spas are self-cleaning with automated filter and purge cycles that can be optimised to your patterns of use. The cartridge filters need to be cleaned every 2 to 4 weeks and a weekly dip test carried out to check the pH and sanitiser levels..

So allow about 10 minutes a week for basic maintenance and that usually does it. Plus a water change after 3 months or so unless the spa is fitted with our in-clear system.

Do they need Servicing?

We recommend an annual service which we can provide.

What sort of base does the Spa need

All Wellis spas and Swimspas come with a one piece waterproof moulded ABS plastics floor pan. This allows the spa to be placed on many different substrates. The ideal base is 120mm thick poured concrete with steal mesh reinforcing. The base should be set level with no run off. Other options are paving slabs well laid on a bed of scalpings, compacted shingle or chippings, and decking if its well supported and stiff (ie if you stamp hard on it, it wont vibrate.

Just remember that with water and bathers our spas typically weigh about 500kg per sqm of footprint, so for example for a 2m sq model your base needs to be able to comfortably support 2m x 2m = 4, times half a tonne = 2 tonnes.

When you calculate the area required don’t forget to allow a hard-standing area for the steps too.

Please call us for advice

How fast can you deliver

We draw from our large inventory of spas, but of course as the season progresses the inventory reduces. We can often deliver from stock within 10 – 15 working days but please bear in mind that specific factory builds can take between 6 to 8 weeks.

Sometimes we can retrofit upgrades to utilise an available inventory model and so speed up your delivery. So please call us to discuss options.

Swimspas can take a little longer depending upon inventory.

Does delivery include setting everything up too?

That depends, in most cases we include the set up with the delivery, but for longer distances we make the set up (we call it commissioning) optional. This is because for longer distances it can cost less to use a delivery contractor for a kerbside delivery and then engage a spa tech team based in your area to finish it all off rather than sending one of ours up.

We will always discuss these options with you beforehand.

Do I need planning permission for a Hot tub or Swimspa?

Planning permission is not generally required for relocatable/temporary items such as a hot tub or swim spa (known as “Portable” Spas), however, if you live in a listed property or an area of conservation, or there are other relevant covenants (such as might apply for a shared garden area) then you should seek advice from your Borough Council Planning Department.

Do I need a survey before you install my new Spa?

We strongly recommend that we or our appointed agent carry out a survey to ensure that we can get suitable vehicular access to your property and be able to safely unload the spa and manoeuvre it around your building/s and onto its suitable hardstanding.

Our survey is for logistical purposes only and any recommendations we may make regarding any structural issues are anecdotal only. If the spa is intended to be placed on any structure we recommend you engage a suitably qualified structural engineer for a survey.

Occasionally a crane lift may be the only viable way in and in this case the crane company will always carry out their own survey.

How easy is it to move the spa myself?

On a scale of 1 to 10? Can we do negative numbers?

To shift tubs without the commissioning part, some vendors will have you believe that the last 10 yards round the house is a breeze. So here’s the thing. Hire a small convertible car, tip it on its side, and try shoving it three sides round the house without scratching anything.

Most empty spas weigh between 250kg and 400kg and are designed to sit right side up. On its side a spa is a delicate heavy lump that won’t bend and does not have lifting handles but unlike the car it hasn’t been crash tested.

Once you get it off the pallet and onto wheels (so there’s a challenge in itself) its typical route to glory involves traversing the gravel drive and a flower bed perhaps, through a gate that’s just only slightly too narrow, and along the side path between a house wall and a fence with one wonky post that’s just a bit too close to the windowsill opposite. One or two steps to go up, down, or somehow around, lean it around the boiler vent, mind that light, shuffle around a tight corner, don’t wedge it under the gutter, ouch another prickly bush, before you emerge blinking into the sunlight and the vast vista of the patio, two wheelie bins, floppy’s bunny hutch and a trampoline.

So you will need a decent and very strong trolley (or sled) tie downs, ply sheets for the gravel, blocks and planks for the steps, bandages for the knuckles, and plenty of tea and mates who understand…I mean really understand! A degree of expertise in removing scratches would help along with the patience required to await the replacement cabinet panels.

We have all the right kit (special trailer, airbags, jacks, dollies, sleds, road sheets, lifting table, etc) and specially bred operatives who love a day out and don’t feel pain.

So whilst anyone really can move a spa, the trick is to be able to use it (and bare to look at it) afterwards. Ok so this is a bit tongue-in-cheek but please discuss with us to check what you will be getting yourself into.

Top 10 benefits from your new Wellis Hot tub!

There are many well-documented health benefits of owning your own hot tub, so here are a few other perks you may not have thought of…

  1. Meet the kids! Many customers discover young people they vaguely know striking up a conversation with them in their hot tub.
  2. Warm water increases blood flow to soft tissues & water jets give therapeutic hydro-massage – increasing ease of movement – so now you can do that pilates class.
  3. “Hot tub time machine”- ok it was a film but those vanishing aches and pains might convince you it’s real – yeah, and wear flairs again too….
  4. Stress relief – even better than shouting or throwing things; chill out and reconnect with your inner self.
  5. Experience the paradox of youth – how can they use the hot tub and their phone at the same time.
  6. Me time – beats that rat chewed armchair in the shed; open a bottle, turn up the Bluetooth sounds, and reach back to the last century again.
  7. Alpha Male; embarrass the kids by being in the tub when their mates drop round.
  8. Revisit your youth – get one with oxygen therapy and roll back the years.
  9. Sleep like a teenager! – Hydrotherapy enhances deep restful rejuvenating sleep-wake refreshed and ready for anything – ok so not like a teenager.
  10. With all that new energy – consider taking up a fitness regime – buy a Swimspa…

What advantage does a Turbine Swimspa have over a jetted system

The most common type of Swimspa has circular jets which create a fast and narrow swim current that can be challenging for a novice swimmer to swim against.

“River-flow” jets are the next step up. These are shaped like letterboxes and therefore create a wider, slower current that is a bit more like swimming into choppy water – better, but it’s still not your typical swimming pool experience.

The position of the suctions (the grills through which the pumps draw their water) also affects the quality of the swim current, the better systems place them at the opposite end to the jets, thereby creating a water conveyer belt effect along the length of the tank.

A turbine is a propeller in a tube that shifts a huge amount of water at a relatively slow rate past the swimmer. And this is exactly what happens in a pool. A huge amount of water flows relatively slowly past a swimmer as they move forward.

The swimmer’s posture takes on a far more natural, almost horizontal form because flow and thus buoyancy are evenly distributed all around them. A swim jet swimmer though has a declined posture due to the water being more dispersed around their feet and thus flowing slower compared to the rapid flow beneath their chest.

So that’s it, round jets are cheap but challenging, Riverflow jets are better and can work well with good flow design, Turbines are best but expensive. Incidentally, the Wellis turbines are a German/Austrian product with a very good pedigree.

Is a dual zone Swim/Spa better than a Swim only Spa

Dual Zone Swim/Spas like our Amazon model provide the convenience of swimming plus hydrotherapy from the Hot tub in one integrated package with two temperature zones. Swimming in water above 30OC will quickly overheat you whilst sitting still in temperatures below your core temperature (around 37.5oC) will cool you.

However – the overall length of a combined unit is restricted to around 6 metres, and this necessarily restricts the length of the Swim section. So a separate Hot tub plus a Swimmer that can offer a longer swim current may suit your requirements better.

Just call us and we can help with the dilemma!

Can your Swimspas be recessed into the ground?

Usually yes depending on the ground substrate and water table. We can advise on your particular situation and requirements and arrange for any groundworks. Our Swimspas can be simply sat on a suitable ground level concrete plinth, semi-recessed into the ground, or fully recessed into a purpose-built pit.