Many people install indoor Jacuzzi hot tubs to enjoy the health benefits and the rest and relaxation without having to worry about weather extremes or the prying eyes of their neighbors. And, while many people understand the reasons for keeping the hot tub water clean, most don't realize that there are other potential health risks regarding the room the hot tub is in. If you have an indoor hot tub, or are planning on installing one, here are 3 health and injury risks you need to be aware of so you can prevent them from happening.
Hot Tub Lung
Problem: Hot tub lung is a condition that is caused by inhaling steam laden with Mycobacterium avium from a hot tub or shower. This can lead to difficulty breathing and coughing, and mimic asthma or bronchitis.
Pre-Construction Solution: A ventilation system should be installed during the wall construction phase and prior to the placement of the hot tub. The ventilation system can be similar to bathroom ventilation systems but more powerful. Install sensors to determine when the humidity level in the indoor air is high enough to automatically turn on the ventilation system.
Post-Installation Solution: If your hot tub has already been installed, an HVAC technician can install a new ventilation system to meet the demands of your indoor hot tub usage. This may involve cutting holes into your walls to ventilate the humidity outdoors. If your indoor hot tub is in a room in the interior of your home, the technician may need to place duct work to ventilate the humidity.
Slip & Fall Injuries
Problem: Where there's a hot tub, there's bound to be water on the floor. And when there's water on the floor, there's a risk of slipping and falling. Since it's not likely that you'd want carpeting around your indoor hot tub, the only alternative is a hard surface for your flooring.
Pre-Construction Solution: Carefully choose the flooring material from companies like California Home Spas & Patio prior to construction. Do not install flooring that is slippery when wet. Instead, look for flooring that has a bit of texture to it, such as natural stone. Be sure the construction crew seals all mortar joints to prevent the mortar from disintegrating from water, because cracks in the mortar joints can cause tripping and falling.
Post-Installation Solution: Use non-slip rubber mats for the flooring, especially right next to the exit points of your hot tub. However, be sure to hang the mats to dry after each use to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Always wipe down the flooring after each use of the hot tub.
Problem: Electric shock can occur when circuits are improperly grounded or not installed correctly. Electric shock can cause a wide range of immediate health problems (including tingling in the extremities, difficulty breathing and rapid heartbeat) and can be fatal.
Pre-Construction Solution: Only allow professional electricians to install the electrical wiring and circuitry that is necessary. An electrical circuit board panel should be installed in an easy-to-reach location in the room. The panel should have a kill-switch to shut down all power sources in case of an electrical shock.
Post-Installation Solution: If your hot tub, lighting, electrical outlets and all other electrical circuitry was not installed by a professional, call a professional electrician or a building inspector to assess the condition of the circuitry. Do not use the hot tub or any electrical circuitry in the room until it has passed inspection.
Relaxing in a hot tub can be a pleasant experience, especially after a long day at work. But, be careful when you use your indoor hot tub, because there are several health risks associated with having a hot tub indoors. Keep the room ventilated, provide non-slip flooring, and hire professionals to correctly install the electrical circuitry.