How Does a Hot Tub Work

How Does a Hot Tub Work?

Hot tubs are great places for rejuvenation. The combination of heat and massage can make your body feel better while also reducing mental pressures. If spending time in a hot tub relaxes your body and mind, you could hardly be blamed for not worrying about how it actually works. However, some like to understand how the things that bring them joy function. To answer the question, “How does a hot tub work?” we’ve put together this list.

What Is a Hot Tub Made From?

Many of today’s hot tubs are composed of a combination of acrylic, plastic, wood, metal and polyurethane insulation. When hot tubs first became commercially popular, they were often made of wood or concrete, depending on whether they were above ground or inground. While some hot tubs may still be made that way, synthetic materials have largely taken over the industry. A newer innovation in the hot tub world, the inflatable hot tub, relies on the use of PVC for most of its construction.

What Are the Main Parts of a Hot Tub?

Most hot tubs are composed of a small number of essential components. These include the shell, cabinet, pumps, plumbing, jets, heater, filters, control panel and electrical wiring. Many hot tubs have other features such as lighting systems or entertainment packages, but they aren’t necessary for the basic functioning of a hot tub. Below we’ll describe the parts that play a major role in the operation of a hot tub.


The hot tub shell is what contains the water and the bathers. Modern-day hot tub shells are typically composed of acrylic or molded plastic. This allows the seating to be built directly into the shell. Hot tub shells are generally reinforced with fiberglass resin and insulated with expanding, polyurethane foam.


The cabinet acts as a frame for the hot tub shell and the other components. Most cabinets act as an aesthetically pleasing enclosure and are typically made of plastic or some other type of weatherproof synthetic material. One or more panels are generally removable to allow for maintenance and repairs.

Water Pumps

Hot tubs have one or more pumps to move the water through the plumbing system. The pumps can run at different speeds depending on how the hot tub is being used. The pumps ensure the water continues to circulate which allows it to be heated, cleaned and pumped through the massaging water jets.

Water Jets

The water jets are responsible for creating the massaging effect that differentiates a hot tub from a hot bath. This massaging effect is the result of forcing air and water through a small opening which increases its speed and power. Body parts that are placed in front of this fast-moving water are stimulated and massaged.

Water Heater

The water heater is necessary to raise and maintain the temperature of the water. Water is forced through the heater by the water pumps and typically heated by electrical coils. Some hot tubs may be heated using solar power, fire or gas, but electricity is the most common power source.

Water Filters

Filter cartridges are usually composed of fabric or ceramic and are used to remove particulate matter from the water. Along with chemical additives, they play a vital role in keeping the water clean and safe. They need to be washed regularly and should be replaced if they fall into disrepair.

Control Panel

The control panel allows the hot tub users to regulate the water pump speed, water heater and other hot tub operations. Many control panels feature a screen to allow monitoring and buttons to allow adjustments to be made.

Now that you have a general overview of how hot tubs work, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.

Hot Tub Guide

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