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Our goal at Van Dorn Pools and Spas is to help our clients to maintain and enjoy their swimming pools, hot tubs and swim spas. That’s why we have gathered some of our most-asked questions from customers and provided the answers below!

We believe that an informed owner of a backyard feature like a swimming pool or spa is more likely to:

  • Make an informed decision with confidence during the shopping process
  • Maintain their water feature properly to ensure longevity and durability
  • Enjoy their water feature more, as they know all of the tips and tricks
  • Know what to do if a repair or service appointment is required

If you have additional queries that aren’t listed on this page, come visit us at one of our three locations; our staff is always on hand to answer questions.


Installing your pool above ground or below ground will depend on several factors, including your budget, lifestyle and backyard layout. Both installations have their own set of positives, but it will come down to your lifestyle on which you move forward with.

In-ground swimming pools
• More functional
• Better aesthetic
• Longer installation
• More expensive
• Lasts longer

Above-ground swimming pools
• Reduced risk of injury from slips and falls
• Reduced costs
• Easier to move locations
• Less invasive installation


Deciding on a pool or hot tub will depend on your lifestyle, budget and personal preferences. If you are looking for a new approach to recreation, exercise or entertainment and have a larger backyard, a swimming pool might be right for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to reduce stress, ease aches and pains, and find a new way to relax, a hot tub might be the solution you’re looking for.

If you can’t decide between the two, it sounds like you seek secret option number three: a swim spa! This spa system is smaller than a pool, but larger than a hot tub. In fact, many describe these systems as a hybrid between a pool and hot tub. With two separate areas, one for recreation and the other for relaxation, swim spas can prove to make the perfect addition to just about any backyard.


There are a variety of improvements that you can make to ensure a safer backyard:

• Install a tall and strong fence
• Install a fence around your pool, swim spa or hot tub
• Place a cover that locks on your pool or spa
• Keep a first aid kit in an easily-accessible location
• Ensure your family is trained in first aid and CPR
• Pool owners should have a rescue pole, hook or rope available
• Always ensure the water is clean and safe for use
• Keep a pitcher of iced water or water bottles available for hydration
• Keep pets leashed or inside if they are prone to jumping in the water

Which hot tub is best for me?

Choosing the perfect hot tub usually comes down to two main factors: how much money you are willing to spend and space available for installation. Once you have a budget in place and know roughly what size you are looking for, it is time to go shopping. Our experts at Van Dorn Pools and Spas can then help you to find models that suit your budget and space and then help you narrow it down by consulting with you on your jet and seating needs. Our staff can also arrange for a wet test so you can try out the units you are most interested in.

Can I finance a hot tub?

Financing is available to help you with the purchase of a hot tub from Van Dorn Pools and Spas. We work with local lenders including Wells Fargo Outdoor Solutions and GreenSky. Wells Fargo Outdoor Solutions offers a revolving line of credit that can be used for future purchases while GreenSky financing comes with a fixed interest rate for up to 96 months.

How much do hot tubs weigh?

Hot tubs weigh more than most people realize. Even a two-person unit can weigh in at 600 pounds or more when dry and up to 3,000 pounds or more once filled. A six-seat model can weigh more than 1,000 pounds dry and top 6,000 pounds once filled. That is a lot of weight, so choosing the right place to install your spa is vital. A strong and stable surface such as a concrete slab or patio works well. If you want to install your hot tub on an existing deck, talk to your contractor to ensure it can withstand that kind of weight.

How long should I stay inside a hot tub for?

The general rule of thumb is 15 to 30 minutes, based on the temperature of your water. If you set your water at 98°F, for instance, you could safely stay in your hot tub for half an hour or more. If you like it hot and set your tub at the maximum 104°F, however, you might want to limit your soak time to 15 or 20 minutes. It can be dangerous to stay in your hot tub for too long at the highest temperature. If you begin to feel dizzy, light-headed or nauseous, it means you are likely becoming overheated and should exit the tub in a slow and controlled motion right away.


Making the decision to buy a hot tub is a big one, it’s not something you do every day, after all. Your lifestyle will greatly impact the decision to purchase a hot tub. Before making the decision, ask yourself these following questions:

1. Can I afford the initial cost of a hot tub?
2. Can I afford the long-term maintenance and care that a spa requires?
3. Is my backyard or home big enough for a hot tub installation?
4. Will I benefit from fewer aches and pains, better sleep and reduced stress?
5. Do I have enough time to care for a hot tub? If not, will I consider routine spa service?
6. Will my family benefit from and use a hot tub?
7. Am I willing to invest in a longer-lasting, higher-quality hot tub?

If you said yes to one or more of the questions above, a hot tub might be right for you! Speak with an expert at your local hot tub dealership to learn more about the prices, sizes and brands available to you.


Hot tub prices can range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 or more. The price of a hot tub will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

• Brand
• Model
• Age
• Location
• Features
• Size
• Capacity
• Materials

Keep in mind, hot tubs with a better quality will likely have a higher price point. In most cases, you get what you pay for, which is why cheaper hot tubs with a lower quality tend to not last as long, have more maintenance costs and repairs, and offer a lesser experience. Although a lower price point may seem like a great way to cut costs during the initial purchase, it can have many disadvantages in the long run.

Can I exercise in a hot tub?

While people traditionally think of hot tubs for relaxation and hydrotherapy, there are some great ways to add a little bit of fitness to your soak. Some common hot tub exercises include:

• Torso twists
• Squats
• Lunges
• Push-ups
• Triceps dips
• Flutter kicks
• Shoulder shrugs
• Arm crossovers
• Toe pushes

Be sure to keep the water set at no more than 102°F if you plan to incorporate stretches while you soak. We recommend speaking with a physician to ensure your best health before engaging in any new exercise regimen.


How you clean your hot tub will depend on the brand and model. During the initial purchase, you should have been provided with a set of detailed cleaning guidelines for your specific spa. If not, you can reach out to your hot tub dealership or the manufacturer for more information. Most hot tubs should have their water tested on a weekly basis to ensure the pH and chlorine levels are balanced. If the test reveals that the water is not balanced, use the proper chemicals to treat the water accordingly. During this time, you should also rinse the filter and inspect the spa system for any damage or issues, including the cover and steps.


You should change the water in your hot tub three to four times a year. During this time, you will drain the water, clean the hot tub, inspect the components, refill the tank, and treat the water with water care products accordingly. If the water appears foamy, cloudy or murky, you may need to change the water sooner than expected.

What hot tub brands does Van Dorn Pools and Spas carry?

We carry a large selection of high-quality Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs from two-person units to models that accommodate more than six people. Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs, the most widely recognized name in the hot tub industry, comes in a wide range of prices and shapes to meet the needs of every customer. Van Dorn Pools and Spas also carries Nordic Hot Tubs™, a brand that focuses on wellness with its Dual Therapy System. The exclusive system combines high flow water with individual jet therapy. Nordic Hot Tubs™ also come in all shapes and sizes accommodating anywhere from two people to more than six.


Your hot tub filter should be…

Rinsed with water from the hose every two weeks
Soaked overnight in a filter cleaning solution every two months.
Replaced once a year with a new, fresh filter

As a general rule of thumb, you should always have an extra hot tub filter available. If anything were to happen to your filter, you will have an extra handy. Not to mention that you can place it in the hot tub while the other is being cleaned.

What does a hot tub filter do?

The main job of any filter is to remove dirt and debris from your spa’s water. Your jets and pump work together to press water through your filter, removing any particles that might be present. The more water that is pumped through the filtration system during a cycle, the cleaner your spa will be. Cycles run off and on throughout the day, based on how heavily your tub is used.


Cleaning your hot tub cover on a regular basis will help to protect it from both the elements and the wear and tear that comes with frequent use. Do not use detergent-based soaps, alcohol products, dishwashing soaps, or bleach. These products can eat away at your cover’s outer layer. Instead, opt for plain warm water or products made specifically for hot tub covers. Protecting your cover from the hot sun will also extend its lifespan. You can either apply a UV protectant at the beginning of each new season or purchase a cover cap. During the winter months, remove snow and ice from your cover with a broom or brush to avoid damage from excess weight.

Once a month, remove your hot tub cover and lean it up against a fence or deck, where you will rinse it off with water from the hose. Using a sponge or cloth and a cover cleaning solution, wipe down the cover and remove any built-up dirt or debris. Rinse with water from the hose and allow to dry. Once dry, spray with a UV protectant spray for additional protection from the elements.


Most hot tub covers should offer about five years of good use. When maintained for regularly, hot tub covers will last longer and offer better results. Hot tub covers of a lesser quality or that aren’t maintained regularly may have to be replaced as soon as after a year of use.

Signs that you need to replace your hot tub cover can include:
• Rips or tears
• Damaged or deteriorating material
• Heaviness
• Foul odor

If you notice that the material has ripped or was torn, we recommend having it repaired right away. Damaged or deteriorating material can allow for water to seep through the protective lining, leading to moisture build-up and bacteria growth. That is why heaviness is a sign that your hot tub cover needs to be replaced, because it is full of moisture and likely bacteria too.


Gaining popularity in recent years, hydrotherapy is an effective therapeutic technique that harnesses the healing properties of warm, flowing water: heat, buoyancy and massage.

Heat helps your muscles and joints to relax and let go of any built-up tension.
Buoyancy lifts weight and pressure from your body, giving it a well-deserved break and enabling further rest and relaxation.
Massage from the jets helps to penetrate some of the most stress-prone areas of the body, helping to ease aches and pains.

Soaking in a hot tub for as little as 20 minutes several times a week can lead to a variety of health benefits, including:
• Soothed joint pain
• Eased muscle tension
• Better sleep patterns
• Reduced stress
• Improved post-injury recovery


A swim spa is a medium to large-sized spa system that can be installed in just about any backyard or home. These spa systems can range from 12 to 20 feet in length, with two separate areas designed for leisure and recreation. A large tank area offers many of the benefits that a swimming pool would, with more room to swim freely, exercise, play games, or simply relax. On the other end is a smaller area similar to that of a hot tub, with many seats and jets available for relaxation. Complete with a spa stereo system and control panel, you can customize your swim spa experience to meet your each and every need.


For most, swim spas can prove to be absolutely worth it. Often described as a hybrid system between a hot tub and swimming pool, you can receive the benefits of both. Use one area of the swim spa for swimming, exercise, games, and lounging on floaties, and the other area for stress relief and relaxation. Some benefits of swim spas can include:

  • Increased home value
  • Better quality of life
  • Improved backyard lifestyle
  • Improved overall health
  • Reduced stress
  • Weight maintenance
  • Eased muscle tension
  • Soothed joint pain
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Better post-injury recovery

Are swim spas heated?

Yes, swim spas come with adjustable thermostats, allowing you to set the temperature according to your preference. Great for use year-round, our swim spas are energy efficient due to their ability to reuse heat. If you are planning to swim or exercise in your spa, you can adjust it to a cooler temperature to avoid overheating. We recommend 84°F. If you are ready to relax and are looking for a hot tub-like experience, you can raise the water’s temperature to as high as 104°F.

Can I finance a swim spa?

Our goal at Van Dorn Pools and Spas is to make the purchase of your swim spa as painless as possible. We work with local lenders to help make your swim spa dreams a reality. If you are interested in financing your purchase, you can speak with one of our experts to see how they can help.


You can exercise in most swim spas. Many swim spas are fully-equipped with a high-powered jet stream system, that can create a stream of water that is powerful enough for one to swim, walk or run against. Swim in space without the need to push off against a wall, stop or turn around. Simply turn on the jet and set to your preferred speed for a low-impact cardiovascular workout. The exercise opportunities don’t end there. You can also engage in rowing and other exercises while in the comfort of your spa.
Before starting any exercise regimen, we recommend speaking with a physician first to ensure your best health.



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Van Dorn Pools & Spas, Inc., Swimming Pools, Reisterstown, MD