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Tips for warming up a hot tub

Heating up bathing water with a wood stove

The special thing about a wood-fired hot tub is not only the bathing experience itself, but also the way it is warmed up. Instead of just pressing a button, the water is brought up to temperature thanks to a wood-fired stove. But what is the best way to go about the heating process?

By Carmen PietrasPhotos by Daniela Porwoll

Preparation is key, because before the hot tub can be warmed up, the wood needs to be chopped into logs. Small logs accelerate the heating time, since there is a larger surface of wood in contact with the fire.

The type of wood is crucial. Burning very dry wood, such as birch, will yield the best results.

Before starting a fire in the stove, the air regulator should be open to allow maximum draft. Dry wood chips can then be placed in the stove, followed by some logs. Pour some lighter fluid over the wood and briefly let it soak into the wood before lighting the fire. Don’t use paper, as ashes can exit through the flue and fall into the tub.

While the campfire smell sets in and the water gets warmer, the intensity of the fire has to be maintained by adding more logs every 20 minutes or so.

But when is the correct water temperature reached? Depending on factors such as the initial temperature of the water and the outside temperature, it can take between 1.5 and 3 hours to reach 39 degrees Celsius. Checking the temperature is as simple as dipping your hand in the water, but of course a thermometer will provide a more accurate measurement.

Once the desired bathing temperature is reached, close the air regulator the stop the draft. This reduces the intensity of the fire and stabilises the water temperature.

And there you have it! You can now relax in your hot tub to the sound of the wood crackling. In order to keep the fire burning at low intensity, add a few logs every 30 minutes or so.

A final tip : Keep a bucket of cold water or a garden hose nearby to quickly reduce the water temperature if necessary. ∎

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