Such a hot tub is known by many names: wooden hot tub, wood-burning hot tub, wood-fired hot tub, wood powered hot tub, wood-heated hot tub, and more. This always means a volume with warm water in your own garden. We answered more commonly asked questions in the article –“What is a hot tub”. Here we will dive a bit deeper into the most popular 2020 model.
This time we will present our most popular – the best seller – model – wellness Royal. It is a wood-fired hot tub with an integrated heater and jets – bubbles – massage function.
The main details of this model are below:
- Hot tub inside made of fiberglass in white (slightly cream-colored), grey or blue. The walls are not straight, but slightly conical, i.e. sloping, and thus offering more seating comfort
- Outside made of wood, more precisely: Thermowood; The color of such wood is dark brown, it has the same insulation properties as other wood types but less expands or shrinks due to humidity changes.
- An integrated wood-burning stove serves as a heating element. A 316 stainless steel wood stove (suitable for chlorine) with 35 kW of power. The chimney has heat protection. Can be supplied with only an electric heater or with both heaters as well.
- Complete thermal insulation: insulation of the walls, the floor, and the lid.
- Insulated fiberglass lid in the same light color as the hot tub. Can be delivered with a leather insulated lid as well. This won’t scratch the surface of the tub`s top edge.
- Dimensions: height inside 0.95 m; External height 1.04 m; Diameter: outside 2.0 meters; Inside – 1.80 meters. This means that the basin content should be around 1300 liters (depending on the filling level). 6-8 adults fit together easily. Also, the model of 2 m of inside diameter is available and could fit approx. 8-10 people inside.
- Wellness elements: air bubble massage system and a hydro-massage system (water vortex);
- Inside with light: a total of 2x LED lights with automatic color change function;
- Wooden stairs for entry;
- Wooden paddles for stirring the water;
- Cup holder on the side;
- External tap as a connection piece on the bottom of the hot tub for easy emptying of the water;
- For water care, we use chlorine granules, 5-in-1 care multifunctional tablets (in the dosing float), pH-minus granules, flocculants
- Sand and UV light filters are highly recommended to keep the water clean.
Hot tub heating – pros & cons: wood stove versus electric heating
When it comes to hot tubs with a wood-burning stove, you have to distinguish between 3 types:
- External stove: The water circulates here through the pipes and is thus heated by the fire inside the stove. This heater as the name suggests is placed next to the hot tub in approx. 50-70 cm of distance.
- Inside stove (snorkel heater): Here the part of the hot tub is separated and the stove is located directly in the water. A barrier ensures sufficient distance for safety. The water flows directly around the stove and is heated by it.
- Integrated stove: a mixture between an inside stove and the outside one. From the outside, there is a hatch to put the wood in. You can’t see the stove from the inside. It is integrated between the wood decoration and the fiberglass shell. The water also flows through the pipes similar to the external stove.
The external stove has the advantage over the integrated one in that it does not take up any space inside the tub, which means that the interior is larger. That means more space to sit. On the other hand, it also means more water that must be heated. The disadvantage is, of course, that a place for the fireplace must be found next to the hot tub.
However, we don’t find the bulge over the integrated stove bad. Rather, it serves our children as an additional area to play. Or sometimes to sit.
Heating with electric heating?
An alternative to wood is a suitable electric stove. But here you should definitely keep the electricity costs in mind. An electric heater with, for example, 6 KW takes several hours to heat the water and costs just under 2 euros per hour.
There are also smaller heaters with 3 KW, which do not consume as much electricity and only cost one euro per hour of running time, but they also take twice as long.
One should also bear in mind that for such electrical heating, either an extra pump or a sand filter system (which has an integrated pump) is required to pump the water through the heating for heating.
One of the most useful options is the ability to partly automate the electric heater. You can control it via the phone`s app or integrate it into the home automatization system such as Alexa or Google Home.
Comparison of the heaters for hot tubs
In comparison and considering the costs (acquisition costs, electricity consumption) one would think that a wood heating system offers the greatest advantages. However, one must bear in mind that the warm-up phase can take several hours even when using wood. Especially in the cold season.
Rule of thumb when using an appropriately sized wood stove and around 1,500 liters: the water is heated by around 8 degrees per hour. This may sound like a lot. With an outside temperature of 5 degrees (late autumn, early spring, sometimes even lower in winter), you need 4 hours to heat the water to bathtub temperature (37 degrees). The tub has to be properly insulated and the lit must be shut.
This may not be a problem in the cold season and of course, it goes faster in spring and summer. However, you have to consider that neighbors are often outside, the laundry is hanging outside and the windows are also open or folded. If it then smells of smoke and a campfire, there will certainly not be joy everywhere. And I’m not talking about just a short time or just a day. But often for hours and the whole afternoon and whenever you want to bathe.
In the cold, dark months this is not a problem, because nobody sits on the terrace for hours or airs all the time. However, this can be a problem in the bright months. The argument is inevitable in densely populated residential areas! Be aware of this in advance before you decide on a heater for the hot tub.
Of course, you can minimize the smoke a little by taking properly dried wood and leaving the fire burning with the hatch widely opened but it will still smoke a lot. One of the best solutions to this is a wood pellet hot tub heater or a mentioned electric heating option.
Our recommendation is therefore a combination of a wood-burning stove and electric heating.
We don’t necessarily heat at the same time, but rather coordinate the heating cycles with one another. For example, we often light the stove very late or very early. At least we try to use the time when the neighbors tend not to be outside.
Our hot tub then keeps the temperature for a long time. On a cold night (12 hours at a few degrees outside temperature) it cools down by about 6-8 degrees.