Caring for Your Backyard

Our team at Imagine Backyard Living has over 100 years of combined experience in caring for hot tubs and spas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Imagine Backyard Living is here to answer all of our customers’ most pressing questions. Whether you have a hot tub, swim spa or BBQ, chances are you’re going to have an inquiry from time to time. If you have additional questions that our frequently asked questions below do not answer, our knowledgeable staff is just a phone call away at 408-607-3529 or visit our showroom at 15551 North Greenway-Hayden Loop, Scottsdale.

A swim spa is the ideal mixture of pool and hot tub. Perfect for use year-round, a swim spa gives users the ability to soak and relax in heated water or enjoy a brisk, cool swim. Available in a variety of styles and sizes, most swim spas come complete with massaging jets and hydrotherapy seating at one end and wide stream swim jets that enable you to swim, jog or exercise at the other.

Hot tubs can weigh anywhere from 600 pounds to more than 1,000 pounds when dry. Even a small, two-person spa weighs in at more than 3,000 pounds once filled. A six- to seven-seat unit can top 6,000 pounds once filled. Installation of your spa should always be on a strong, durable surface such as a concrete slab or patio. If you choose to install the spa on your deck, speak with an expert to ensure it can hold that kind of weight.

The water in your hot tub should be tested on a weekly basis using special test strips that will change color based on the pH balance of your water. As long as your spa chemicals are keeping the water balanced, you will not need to drain your tub. If your water is foamy or thick, even after treatment, that is a sign you need to drain your spa. On average, you shouldn’t need to drain your tub more than three or four times a year.

The average filter will run well for one to three years, as long as it has received regular cleanings. If you are a sporadic hot tub user, you will likely get away with changing your filter once every three years. Heavy hot tub users will need a new filter annually, while average users can wait two years.

Dating back to the days of Cleopatra, hydrotherapy is the practice of immersing the body in heated water to offer relaxation and pain relief. This ancient tradition can be used to treat a number of conditions, including stress, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, mobility and circulation issues, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. It has also been known to improve sleep and detoxify and strengthen the immune system.

Many customers choose to install their spas outside to take advantage of the fresh air and backyard views. While installation is generally easier outdoors, choosing to locate your spa inside also has its advantages, such as enhanced privacy and protection from the weather. If you are interested in an indoor installation, you will need to ensure the room has proper ventilation and is large enough to accommodate the unit. Due to the sheer size of even a small hot tub, delivering the unit to your home could be problematic if you do not have large entryways. If you are building a new hot tub room, consider having the unit delivered before the last wall goes up.

Choosing your ideal hot tub usually comes down to budget, available space and personal taste and preferences. Once you have a budget nailed down and a basic idea of what you are looking for, consulting an expert is a great next move. Our experts can not only help you find models in your price range, but can also advise you on what style and size will work for your space and which amenities you should include to meet your health and relaxation needs.

The Sundance® SmartTub™ System offers the latest innovation and technology to customers. Using a smartphone app, the SmartTub™ System enables you to stay up-to-date on the latest tips and how-to videos while keeping you apprised of energy usage estimates and potential power outages. The app, which also allows you to change settings, such as energy efficiency and temperature, will send notifications to both you and your dealer when your hot tub requires service. More information about the app and its setup is available here.

Swim spas are not only durable their dual purpose offers customers the ability to relax or exercise depending on their mood. They are great for families with small children just learning how to swim and for adults looking for a way to get some low-impact exercise. The added benefit of a hot tub-quality hydro-massage makes a swim spa the perfect solution for customers looking for the best of both worlds.

Swim spas are heated, making them great for year-round use. The adjustable heat allows customers to set the temperature for either exercise or relaxation. For swimming, we recommend keeping the water at about 84°F. If you want a hot tub experience, the water can be heated to more than 100°F.

The short answer is yes; swim spas are perfect for helping you reach your fitness goals. Swim spas offer a low-impact workout whether you are doing cardio, strengthening exercises, stretches or physical therapy.

In-ground installation is an option if you prefer to have your spa blend more naturally into your backyard landscape. Installation experts will use modular components that enable the unit to be fully customized without impacting functionality. In-ground units are also better protected from Mother Nature.

Typically, you should drain and refill your spa every three to four months. If you host a lot of hot tub parties or are a heavy user, you may need to drain your tub every other month. Determining what is right for your spa is a simple matter of testing your water on a weekly basis and keeping its pH levels balanced with spa chemicals. If the chemicals are doing their job, then draining your tub quarterly is adequate. If your water emits an odor or is foamy or gritty before three months has elapsed, more frequent drainage will be necessary.

Foam frequently appears on the surface of hot tub water that is not properly sanitized. Personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, cosmetics and detergent seep from our bodies and clothing into the water and, when combined with spilled drinks and frequent use, your water becomes a breeding ground for foam. To avoid this problem, test your water weekly and use the appropriate chemicals to increase or decrease your spa’s pH. Give your hot tub filter a quick clean as well to ensure you are rid of all contaminants.

Investing in a high-quality cover will increase the lifespan of your hot tub. A cover will protect your spa from storms and the sun’s strong rays, while also keeping dirt and debris that can cause damage out of the water.

The CLEARRAY® Water Management System, made by Sundance® Spas, is an innovative water care program. Using UV-C technology to counteract 99.9 per cent of the pathogens found in hot tub water, this hardy system is both odor-free and easy to maintain.

With five stages of filtration, Jacuzzi® hot tubs keep your water clear of dirt and debris. The filtration system works in two phases to capture miniscule particles and debris before the ProClear® filter kicks in to cleanse the water. Next, the surface-skimming weir and ProCatch™ bag cleanse the water’s surface, catching up larger debris. Lastly, the pleated cartridge filter gets rid of all particles. Once the five steps are completed, your water is ready for the treatment process.

One of the first and most common questions we hear is “What does it take to maintain this thing?” And our answer is usually followed by a sigh of relief. Taking care of your Jacuzzi Hot Tub or Sundance Spa is a breeze! All models now come with the CLEARRAY UV-C water care system. What this is, is a UV bulb that the spa water will travel through and when that water is going through the bulb, the UV rays are killing off any waterborn pathogens and bacteria that could be in the water. Now, what does this mean to you? The CLEARRAY UV-C system now allows you to use far less sanitizer, whether you are using chlorine or bromine, than you normally would making it easier than ever to maintain clean, fresh, and clear water.

We recommend getting on a schedule of checking the water chemistry at least once a week using test strips. From there, adjust your chemicals accordingly!

As it’s a small body of water, we recommend draining and refilling the water in your spa at least once every 6 months. This is a great way to always having clean and clear water.

“How the heck will I get this thing into my backyard?” Once you’ve picked out the perfect spa for your needs, we will go into greater detail about delivering your spa to your backyard specifically. Our delivery service has been delivering and moving spas around Phoenix for over 20 years and they are fully licensed, registered, and insured in the state of Arizona. How do they get the spas into the backyard, you ask? They will put your spa on its side onto a cart and wheel it to the desired location in your yard or home. Keep in mind, there needs to be a path for them to wheel it through – whether that be through the gate leading to your backyard or going through your front door. Your gate will need to be wide enough to get your spa through when its on its side, which can vary by model. Once they’ve gotten the spa through the gate, they can wheel it over rocks, grass, turf, etc. Things to keep in mind when checking your delivery access are any pipes that may be sticking out of your walls that could be in the path they will take your spa through. Another thing to look for is any roof overhangs that are not high enough for the spa to fit under when its on its side. Keep in mind the spas do not bend and are pretty heavy. Hairpin turns, sharp turns, and small walls can present a challenge. We offer predelivery site inspections absolutely FREE! If you have any questions or concerns about your spa delivery access, please let us know and we will send someone out from out team to figure out how we will deliver your brand new spa.

Sometimes, home builders don’t have your best interests in mind and make gates too narrow, roofs too low, or place walls in unfortunate places. Do not worry one bit! We will still get your spa in your backyard. In these scenarios, we will need to use a crane, but don’t be afraid! Cranes make for incredibly easy deliveries. We’ll bring your new spa to your house and attach it to the crane. We’ll crane it over your wall into place or have the delivery team there to unhook it from the crane and move it to wherever in your yard you would like. The cost of using a crane varies so much by each job. If you think a crane may necessary in order to get your spa into your backyard and improving your life, let us know and we can send a representative from one of our crane partners out to give you a quote!

When it comes to getting power to your new Jacuzzi Hot Tub or Sundance Spa, you have two choices: either a 110v “Plug and Play” or a 220v line. Models that are able to run on a dedicated 110v line are also compatible to run on 220v, although this only applies to a small handful of spas. “What are the differences between 110v and 220v?” you ask? If you were to go the “Plug and Play” route and have a 110v run, you will lose the ability to run your spa’s heater at the same time as the pumps (jets). On a 220v run, it is more energy efficient, and your spa can run its pumps and heater at the same time, ensuring you get the most out of your hot tub, no matter what time of year it is.

When it comes to hot tubs, quality of manufacturing is one of the most important aspects to consider making your purchase decision. Do you want to pull off the cover and get in and enjoy hydrotherapy every night or deal with the issues that come with a cheaply made product with LOTS of moving parts just to save a few dollars on the purchase price? If you enjoy headaches and buyer’s remorse, we actually recommend purchasing from Costco because they will allow you to return the product! A way that these lower-end, mass merchants trick you into purchasing their spas and believing they are a superior product is by loading it up with 100+ jets and THREE pumps! Let’s start with the jets. Just because a spa is loaded up with 150 jets does not equal a quality spa and enjoyable hydrotherapy. Lots of mass merchant manufactured spas don’t put clamps on the hoses that feed water to the jets. What does this mean to you? Hoses can very easily pop off the jets causing nasty leaks in the spa and in the cabinet.

What about that third pump that mass merchants advertise? It is not a water pump, but an airblower. When turned on, this airblower will blow cooler than the water temperature air out of the blower jets out at your, similarly to a hair dryer. And we checked, and hair dryers don’t help with hydrotherapy. They also end up counting these air jets in their total jet count on the spa. Mass merchants are also deceitful with the sizes of their jets. They put bigger jet faces on small jets to make the look like big jets with high amounts of water flow. Essentially, you are not getting any jet variation in terms of pressure and water flow in the spa, when they trick you into thinking that you are. Costco uses Styrofoam in the frames of their spas. The same Styrofoam that you drink out of and the same Styrofoam that is ravaging our environment. Does that seem like a good support for thousands of pounds of water? Mass merchant spas also use perimeter insulation systems. They’re not really insulating the actual spa acrylic that you sit in, they’re just using thicker panels on the spa. Sounds fine, right? Wrong. This perimeter insulation insulates everything “under the hood.” Including your jet pumps and heater. Which can cause them to overheat. And break. And need to be replaced to get your spa working again. Isn’t the whole point of getting a spa to relax and forget about your stressors in life and not actually be a stressor in itself? Still, if you are set on buying a tub from a mass merchant, we recommend Costco, because they will take the product back after you realize need a Jacuzzi Hot Tub.