Can A Hot Tub Sit On Gravel?

How Do Outdoor Hot Tubs Work?

For some hot tub users, simply relaxing in the warm water is all they need or want to know. However, there’s always the type of person who needs to know how things actually work. And a common question we hear from both prospective hot tub buyers and current owners is, “How do outdoor hot tubs work?” To answer that question we’ve come up with an article that covers the basic hot tub components and their functions.


Your average, portable, outdoor hot tub is completely contained by the cabinet. The cabinet is typically made of wood or a synthetic polymer. It’s designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and protective of all the hot tub’s components. The cabinet will have a removable panel that allows for easy access to the inner workings for maintenance and repair work.


The hot tub shell is what holds the water and where you actually sit while you’re soaking. The shell features seating as well as jets that provide the massaging sensation. This molded structure is commonly composed of acrylic and is encased in fiberglass and polyurethane foam to provide insulation and stability.


Jets are what causes the water to bubble while providing a current strong enough to simulate a massage. Water is forced through the jets where it becomes aerated before being released into the shell. Jets can be placed in several places around the shell. Their placement should be considered carefully before purchasing a hot tub.


The pump is the motor that causes water to circulate throughout the hot tub plumbing. It ensures water is forced through the jets to create a bubbling massage and filters to maintain clean water. Many hot tubs feature adjustable settings to allow for different pump speeds.


The heater warms the water to make it comfortable for bathing. You’ll be able to control the temperature of the water using a control on the heater. The controller will also allow you to adjust the jets and filtration system.

Filtration System

Along with hot tub chemicals, the filtration system keeps your water clean and clear. Most hot tubs have a range of filters and they need to be maintained, cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. The two main types of filtration systems are “pressure” and “suction.” Pressure systems are commonly found on older hot tubs. They’re smaller than suction systems, but harder to access and maintain. Suction systems are a newer development and have been built for easier access and maintenance, although they’re larger than the older pressure systems.

If you’d like to learn more about how portable, self-contained, outdoor hot tubs function, feel free to download a complimentary hot tub buyer’s guide today.

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