When the start of Covid/Corona virus started to become apparent that we could be facing a long time in "shut down" we started to make plans about what we might want to get us through the next few months. In came some bikes as part of the social distancing measures, along with a PS4 for me. My other half for months had badgered me that we should get a hot tub for home. I made the excuse that I didn't want to get one whilst we lived in rented home as it would be difficult to move. That was until we saw the Lay-Z-Spa Rio Hot Tub at a local super market.
Now this had been the hit of last summer and although we were slightly late to the game we had some friends who sweared by it that it was the best thing that they had bought. After a small disagreement in the supermarket, off I went to find another trolly to put this beast into!
Whilst my initial reaction was one that I wasn't convinced about the purchase now we've actually got the Lay-Z-Spa Rio Hot Tub I can't deny it's been a good purchase!
On inspection of the box at the supermarket we found that almost everything that we needed for the Lay-Z-Spa Rio Hot Tub was included in the box. It obviously came with the main "tub" as well as a cover for overnight protection. Also included was the main pump and heating device. This is a bit of a beast more in weight than size but it's the brains to making the whole hot tub work. This meant you could set the product up (with water added!) and you would be away - sort of
What wasn't included was the chemicals you would need to keep the pool clean nor was there a base for it to sit on. As we don't really have a patio or anywhere we had to put it onto grass. Given that some of this grass is quite stoney we decided it was best to get a matt for it to sit on as well.
Once all was purchased we got it home and started the assembly.
On a number of other reviews that I read a number of people commented that the set up was really confusing and the instructions didn't help. Now I must admit it wasn't the easiest product that I've set up and the instructions were not the most helpful, we still managed to get it together first time. I do also have to admit I've got a bit of an engineering type brain and can look at all the bits and make sense of them by the type of the connectors etc...
The first element was to blow up the main pool. This was done by connecting the pump that provides the bubbles to a tube to blow up the skin. 5 minutes later and hey presto we have a spa! Now was the time to connect up the heater and the other connections. Again these went together quite easily and we were ready for the water!
What you don't realise is how big the pool is. Ok this appears an odd statement - but this one is designed for 2-4 people (although I think if it was 4 people you would want to know them well....). What got me was HOW much water it took to fill it! I reckon it probably took a hose at full power about an hour and a half for it to reach where it needed to?!
Once the water was in though there was no getting in straight away as it was freezing! We first had to put in the Chlorine as per the suggested measurement. We then needed to wait for it to heat up. I reckon the heating process to get it to a tasty 36deg took about 4-5 hours. Obviously this all depends on how the sun is that's beating down on it.
However by the time for the next day it was ready to be enjoyed!
Running the Pool
You need to be aware though it's not a case of just put it together, fill it with water and relax. Keeping on top of the pool and keeping it clean is key. Every time you get out for the last time that day you need to top up the Chlorine to make sure the levels stay balanced. You will need some measuring sticks for this. You'll find that every 2-3 weeks the pool will need emptying (this can be done through a little pipe which can connect to a hose pipe) Word of warning this does take an age as well - nearly as long as it took to fill it!
However if you can keep to these maintenance schedules then you are going to love this!
Operating the pool is quite straight forward. There is the heating element which needs to be set to the temperature that you want it to be. Then on the control panel there is a bubbles logo. Press that the pool turns into a nice spa! That's as difficult as it gets really!
We were meant to be heading away this summer to hot climates around the same time we did Route 66 last year. As of writing in April I don't know if this is or isn't going to happen - but I'm thinking that it probably won't. Does the Lay-Z-Spa Rio Hot Tub give me what I would have had sat in Thailand - no of course it doesn't. But to have a hot tub and spa in the back garden is pretty dam cool! It's a well built machine, keeps its temperature nicely, and provides just the right amount of bubbles in spa mode.
Yes I must admit I didn't want it in the first place, and I think that the regular cleaning might become a little boring... But overall I think that this has been an excellent purchase and my view has most definitely been changed!