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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Things to Consider Before Buying a Hot Tub

    According to the British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association, there are 10,000 hot tubs sold in the UK annually. If you are considering adding to that number and taking the plunge yourself, there are a number of things you should know first.

    Deciding between the different types of hot tub

    Negotiating the minefield that is the world of hot tubs is far from a straightforward task. And if you want to make the right decision, you’re going to need to know about the different types of hot tubs. They vary by the external coating that defines their appearance, and the jets that determine the kind of experience they're going to give you. Above-ground hot tubs are considerably cheaper than their in-ground counterparts and have the benefit of being loosely ‘portable’ - they can be moved, but, on average, they still weigh 225 pounds.

    The cheapest and most portable hot tubs are inflatable or made from PVC, and the higher end ones are made from acrylic or wood. The complexities of hot tubs don’t end there though - hot tubs can be differentiated by the labels: whirlpool tub, jacuzzi or indoor spa. Despite the apparent differences, they are all relatively similar. All hot tubs are capable of producing the ‘whirlpool’ action of water, the term indoor spa is pretty much interchangeable with hot tub, and Jacuzzi is a brand name that  has over time become synonymous with the term 'hot tub.'

    Deterring health concerns

    In 2014, Huffington Post ran a horrifying article on hot tubs, bringing to light the plethora of diseases and infections that can get to you via the simmering water and steam of a hot tub. From ‘hot tub rash’ to a potentially fatal respiratory infection called Legionnaire’s Disease, the article certainly pulled no punches. While a single read-through would be enough to put many a potential hot-tub owner off, it did stress how achievable it is to vanquish microbes from the water, and we’re going to do the same here.

    There are a number of signifiers that are indicative of an unsafe hot tub- an odour, sticky or slippery tiles, an absence of the sound of a working filter, and a temperature in excess of 40°C. More subtle warnings are a pH that isn’t between 7.2 and 7.8 and an unbalanced composition of chlorine or bromine - these you can check with a test strip.

    How much will a hot tub set you back?

     

    Initial costs, installation costs and running costs for hot tubs all depend on the type of hot tub you elect to buy. Initial costs can vary from a few hundred pounds for inflatable versions to tens of thousands for an in-ground wooden or acrylic one. Running costs are similarly variable, but not quite to the same extent as initial cost of course. Inflatable hot tubs can be plugged straight into a mains socket but more elaborate hot tubs may require re-calibration when it comes to plumbing, electrical and even gas work.

    Given that hot tubs are essentially kept warm 24/7 whatever the weather, it is fair to say that they can surmount a considerable challenge to the health of your finances. The US Consortium for Energy Efficiency suggests that the running costs of a hot tub typically account for half of a single home’s entire energy use.

    How is your hot tub going to affect the environment?

    Grundfos Magna

    Accordingly, you can imagine that the effect on the environment is equally significant. If you are considering investing in a hot tub that is anything more substantial than an inflatable one, it is also worth  investing in an infrastructure to accommodate it properly - an infrastructure that will minimise your tubs running costs as well as its contribution to global warming. A Grundfos Magna circulator will do both of those.

     

  • What You Need to Know About Adding a New Bathroom

    Before you even decide to add an extension to your home, a number of different factors have to be taken into consideration. From planning permission to site insurance, the scope for potential missteps is huge, which can amount to one very stressful experience. If you have at least managed to narrow it down to a bathroom, here are the things that you have left to worry about.

    Layout

    While there isn’t a law forbidding the construction of a bathroom without a lobby preceding it anymore, it is still a decent guideline to follow. Ideally, a bathroom should be separated from the other rooms of the house by some kind of circulation space - either a hallway or a utility room. Regardless of whether you choose to follow this advice or not, there are very few laws restricting the positioning of a bathroom and for that reason, you more or less have free reign. The Party Wall Act of 1996 means you can build all the way up to the border with your neighbour, even if it requires access to their land in the process.

    Size

    Small bathroom

    In keeping with the relatively lax restrictions governing the layout of a bathroom extension, restrictions involving the size of a bathroom are similarly slack. If you so desire, you can create a new WC that measures just 1.3m² in size. If you want to combine a bathroom and a toilet, the minimum area you can occupy is 3.6 m². Whether investing in an extension just to make a bathroom of this size makes financial sense is an altogether different matter.

    Water supply

    water pressure pump

    One unavoidable consequence of extending the size of your home to include a bathroom is renewed demand on the infrastructure that supplies your baths, showers and sinks with water. It is just one of those things you have to deal with. The best way to meet this demand involves two steps. The first is something that will boost the water storage capability of your home. The second involves the addition of a water pressure pump that will bolster the water pressure to all of the outlets throughout your home. If you want convenience, a packaged pumping system is ideal for you - it combines the two.

    Design

    bathroom design

    Once you’ve blitzed through all of the red tape, you can finally get round to designing your new bathroom. Before you start it is important to keep in mind how this latest addition is going to fit in with the rest of your home. Cohesion is important to creating a well-designed home. Instead of completely contrasting the other spaces in your home, attempt to retain some semblance of theme - it might be a material or a colour. Aside from maintaining visual continuity, durability is also important, so don’t skimp on quality if you want your bathroom to function properly for the foreseeable future.

     

  • How hydrotherapy has a found a home in professional sports

    Increased investment into sport, accompanied by developments in science and technology, have dramatically changed the way elite level athletes are being treated for their injuries. Some of the newer treatments that had previously been reserved only for full-blown injuries have now been incorporated into the everyday routine of many professional athletes, as part of a strategy to enhance rest and recovery. And no treatment has benefitted more from changing attitudes than hydrotherapy.

    Whole Body Cryotherapy

    An exercise that started as a treatment for rheumatism in Japan in 1989 has since become standard practice the world over. By plunging the body into startling temperatures of -160°C, the brain reacts by stimulating the process of vasoconstriction - causing the arteries and the veins that carry blood to narrow. Because of this, less blood, and therefore fewer white blood cells, reaches the inflamed areas of the body, resulting in a reduction in swelling. Other rumoured effects include a feeling of well-being, increase in mood, and better quality sleep. The scientific basis is, at best, sketchy, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Leicester City and the Welsh rugby team from undergoing whole body cryotherapy on a regular basis.

    Cold water immersion

    While human nature explains why whole body cryotherapy has superseded the popularity of ice baths (people would rather be colder for a shorter period of time) the evidence actually suggests that the less popular (and harder to endure) practice is actually a more effective one. Research published in June declared that undergoing cold water immersion at 8°C for ten minutes produced a greater decline in tissue temperature and blood flow than those who underwent whole body cryotherapy at -110°C for just two minutes.

    Traditional hydrotherapy

    Hydrotherapy in its truest sense is used throughout professional sports. Typically in a heated, rectangular pool, athletes benefit from the reduced load environment offered by the water. For this reason, traditional hydrotherapy is particularly popular for early forays into rehabilitation. Because of the variety of depths, underwater exercises can be accomplished by players with different injuries at different stages of their injuries.

    Standard hot shower

    shower booster pump

    As much as it seems that wince-inducing cold is the only way to go when it comes to hydrotherapy, a standard warm shower can also be beneficial. Because hot water encourages vasodilation, blood flow is increased - meaning muscles are relaxed and lactic acid is flushed out - making a warm shower the perfect way to recover from anaerobic exercise. And, as with any hydrotherapy treatment, you want to make it as easy as possible to endure, so investing in a shower booster pump that can provide you with the perfect water pressure is a must.

    In summary, hydrotherapy is far from a perfect way to address recovery, but it is nevertheless a helpful one. The effects may be minimal, but that can be the difference between success and failure. And nowhere are these margins more critical than in the world of elite professional sports, which is probably why they have been more widely adopted in this arena than anywhere else.

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