The Backyard aaaah Moment

The last five years of my life have been hell. OK, that was drastic but it was the first time in 15 years we did not have a hot tub in our backyard!

I have to admit, when you are used to a spa on your deck and you used it every day, living without one kind of sucks. That’s why I was so excited when my husband came home from volleyball one night and said, between slow shuffling steps, “That’s it … I want a hot tub again.”

When we moved into our neighbourhood five years ago we instantly had the outdoor wiring put in place for an eventual hot tub, but we just never got around to it between deciding whether or not we would stay in the house for long, spending money on other projects and just life getting in the way.

“Most people buying spas today are looking for a way to create a vacation in their own backyard. But … spas are also excellent sources of therapeutic benefit and a tool for better sleep.”

An aching body beat up from volleyball meant we were walking into Hot Water Pools & Spas in Airdrie back in March and standing in awe of just how much tubs have evolved. Owner Sarah Sperrin, who helped us navigate the new world of spas with ease, says that most people buying spas today are looking for a way to create a vacation in their own backyard. But Sperrin reminded us that spas are also excellent sources of therapeutic benefit and a tool for better sleep. Just 10 to 15 minutes per day in water temperatures between 36 C and 40 C can significantly improve your body’s co-ordination and flexibility. Sufferers of chronic arthritis especially benefit from hydrotherapy. We may not have arthritis yet but hey, pushing 50 means a few aches and pains that need a little TLC!

Deciding on a tub means understanding how you will use it. Is it just for you and your sciatic nerve? Or it is meant to be a social gathering place for family and friends? Today’s seven- to eight-person spas take up approximately an eight-foot-by-eight-foot space so you need to configure your deck space and allow room for easy access – not just for the equipment but also for the jaunt from spa to door when it’s a beautiful, cold snowy night.

Another simple thing is deciding which way the lid will open because if you invest in the hydraulic cover lifter, it creates a privacy wall when open. There are many options available for hot tub accessories and with consideration for space, mobility and the people in the home, and Sperrin helps determine what is needed to make it easy for jumping in.

The number of jets is important to many but what I found more important is how easy they are to control. My husband prefers no jets; I prefer them pounding on my back and neck. Sperrin showed me how easy it was to control the two different pumps and then each individual jet to create my perfect spa corner as my husband relaxes in his.

Some people think spa maintenance is too much work, but today’s chemicals are simple to use and even the testing kit has improved – a simple stick of paper dipped in the water shows all your PH and chlorine levels or try a digital tester. Hot Water Pools & Spas will test your water at no charge any time you bring it in to help you adjust the levels if necessary and provide a customized report of what to do each week. Don’t forget, simple maintenance means more time for relaxing.

Once our tub was installed and the water prepped and heated to a lovely 40 C we were ready to spend even more time in our backyard. Under the stars, watching the sun set or waving at the early birds walking their dogs on the pathway. And, yes, letting go of the day’s stress by getting into a little hot water.

And here is the best part of owning a hot tub: you get better quality family time – no phones, no TV, just the stars above and the people you enjoy the most close by.

Get tips on how to choose the right spa for you at


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