Wood Fired Hot Tub FAQs Deep Dive

Posted by Kendra Nickerson on

We try to keep the answers to wood fired hot tub FAQs short and sweet, but sometimes 50 words doesn’t hit the mark. When you need to know more, detailed explanations can be helpful in your decision-making journey. 

Below are the most frequent questions requiring longer answers that GOODLAND receives from bathing enthusiasts.

 

wood fired hot tub on rocky coast in Canada

 

Where is the wood fired hot tub made in Canada?

GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tubs are manufactured in the Prairies. For our American friends, this is in the middle of Canada above Montana and North Dakota. Our headquarters are on Bowen Island, not far from the city of Vancouver in British Columbia (BC).

Moving the manufacturing out of BC helped to lower our costs while still allowing a close connection to production. Our materials are largely locally-sourced or purchased from other North American businesses, including our Canadian western red cedar.


See Canadian hot tub manufacturing in action and learn more about GOODLAND in the video above.  

wood craftsmanship for cedar hot tubs

Why is the wood burning hot tub so expensive?

Unlike traditional hot tubs made of plastic and fibreglass, the price of our product is largely determined by the cost of quality Canadian materials and craftsmanship. Designing and building our products in Canada instead of overseas allows us to maintain an ultra-high quality level, source premium materials, avoid supply chain interruptions, and add value to our local economy.

GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tubs are built with a combination of traditional expert craftsmanship and state of the art machinery. The former part means the hot tubs are largely hand crafted with hand welding and woodwork, then each piece of the product is individually quality-tested before being released from the workshop.  

marine grade aluminum stove pipe for wood fire hot tub

Our hot tubs are constructed from high-quality natural materials, aluminum and wood, which are more expensive than the man-made materials used in your standard jacuzzi. Their inherent properties make them all the more valuable—durable, long-lasting, low maintenance, and sustainable. This article sheds more light on how our wood fired hot tub differs from all the others

In addition GOODLAND uses 6061 marine aluminum, a more expensive grade due to its excellent corrosion resistance, strength, and workability.

Inexpensive electric hot tubs draw a lot of energy to stay heated 24-7, require extensive maintenance and cleaning, and have a short lifespan. In other words, they cost more in the long run in terms of your energy bill and environmental impact.

Learn more about the materials we use below. Watch GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tubs being made in our facility.  

wood fired hot tub being used in rain

How is the hot tub in the rain and with moisture? 

Our Wood Burning Hot Tub loves rain and moisture. After all, it was conceived in a temperate rainforest off the West Coast of Canada, and intentionally designed for all-season use in all types of weather. The hot tub is constructed from marine grade aluminum and western red cedar, the best natural materials known for longevity and durability. 

Why marine grade aluminum for a hot tub?

Marine grade aluminum is used in shipbuilding and other transport industries because of its inherent properties. It’s strong, lightweight, and can withstand constant contact with water. There are many different grades of marine aluminum—we chose 6061 for its excellent corrosion resistance, strength, and workability.

Unlike all-wood hot tubs, having an aluminum alloy as the tub liner makes it low maintenance, hygienic, leak-proof, and easy to clean. Another win for aluminum is that it’s infinitely recyclable, keeping it out of the landfill.

Why western red cedar for a hot tub?

We chose red cedar - our sustainably-harvested local lumber in British Columbia - for its appeal to the senses and resilience. Not only naturally resistant to rot and decay, it’s also subtly aromatic, richly hued, and silky to the touch.

Western red cedar has been used for centuries by the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast for canoes, buildings, totem poles, and more. Over time this wood weathers to a soft gray when left untreated.

See our comparison of hot tub materials for more details on why aluminum and cedar hot tubs are superior to other options. 

wood fired hot tub in the winter

How do you fill the hot tub in the winter?

Fill your wood fired hot tub in the same way that you would in the summer. For folks who live in colder regions, you may be familiar with needing to turn off your outdoor taps in the winter. We ensure that our taps are accessible all year round by using a faucet frost protector.

If you want to go the extra mile you can have frost-free lines installed to your outdoor connection by your local plumber. We always suggest disconnecting and draining your garden hose in the winter months after you’ve filled up your hot tub.

Find winter hot tub use tips and other resources for wood fired hot tubs in our Journal.

How do you drain the tub in the winter?

Our hot tubs come with a drain hose but also have the ability to be drained right onto the ground simply by pulling the plug. In the winter, we recommend removing the drain hose to prevent it from cracking which means your hot tub will drain directly onto the ground.

Elevating your hot tub on a platform, or ensuring a good drainage area with gravel will help keep ice at bay. Once drained, place the cover on the hot tub or tip it over on its side to prevent unwanted snow and ice build up until you’re ready to fill it again.

See How to Winterize Your Hot Tub for all the details on using your wood fired hot tub in the cold seasons.

two people in wood fired hot tub

Do you have to drain the hot tub every time you use it? 

You do not need to drain our hot tub with each use—this is one of the big advantages of an aluminum-lined wood burning hot tub. The benefit is less time spent on maintenance, more time spent enjoying your outdoor soaking tub.

When do I change the tub water?

The untreated water (no chemicals) can last for up to two weeks of daily use depending on local water conditions and who is using the hot tub. If it’s being used by a variety of bathers who haven’t showered before sinking into the water, it’s a good idea to change the water more frequently. 

Drain and recycle your hot tub water after this time.The good news is that this is 'grey water', used chemical-free hot tub water may be recycled depending upon your location and applicable bylaws.

Learn more about sustainability and eco-friendly hot tubs.

Why can the water be reused? Is this safe?

Unlike electric hot tubs, a wood fired hot tub's water returns to ambient temperature when not in use. This prohibits harmful bacteria to thrive as they do in always-warm hot tubs.

The aluminum liner is also more hygienic than other hot tub materials, so you don't need to treat the water. The use of safer water treatment alternatives like bromine or hydrogen peroxide, can prolong the life of your tub water to 3 weeks of daily use.

 

wood fired hot tub delivery - curbside in carton on wood pallet

How does tub delivery work? I'm hoping to purchase, but worry about delivery to my home. 

Delivery details for a wood fired hot tub are dependent upon the shipping destination. Key points:

  1. Country - We ship anywhere in the United States and Canada. While we’ve also shipped to Europe, we’re working on a cost effective and reliable option. If you know of any let us know!
  2. Accessibility - A 5-ton truck needs to be able to deliver the hot tub either curbside at your location or to a depot where it can then be transferred to a smaller vehicle to get it into your property.
  3. Streamlined packaging - The hot tub is wrapped in a cardboard carton to protect it and placed on a large wood pallet, with all of the components tucked inside. The delivery truck lowers the carton to the ground on the pallet for you to receive. At this point you'll require 2-3 people to move all of the lightweight components to your desired site. Our hot tubs can fit in the back of larger SUV, pick-up trucks, etc. 

If these off-grid hot tub owners were able to receive and set-up their GOODLAND Hot Tub, you will too! We highly recommend reading the off-grid blog post for details and videos on shipping to remote properties.

The video above shows how to easily move the GOODLAND Hot Tub. Be sure to review Shipping & Freight for additional shipping information.

Can I use the hot tub as a cold plunge or for a cold soak?

Absolutely! It’s easy: add cold water to the tub and don’t light the fire–the addition of ice is optional. No need to purchase a heat pump system. Several customers have shared that they are using their wood fire hot tub as a cold plunge, and the insulated aluminum shell keeps the water temperature cold for an extended period, as it does for heat retention. 

Read up on hot and cold water therapy and how to do the Nordic Cycle at home.

adding wood to fire in wood burning hot tub to control water temperature

How do you control the temperature of the tub water?

The temperature of the wood burning hot tub’s water is controlled by the fire in the submersible wood stove box. During the initial period of rapid heating, the fire should be large and the lid to the stove box should be open, giving the fire plenty of air.

While the water is heating, stir it with the provided wood paddle to mix the separation of cold and warm water and check the water temperature periodically (we recommend using a pool thermometer) to keep an eye on your sweet spot.

Adding smaller pieces of wood frequently to the fire will increase the heat, or close the lid to the stove box limiting the air intake to keep the temperature steady.

Lastly, be sure you're using the right firewood for a high-heat, long burn! Hint: use seasoned hardwood as firewood.

How do you cool down a wood fired hot tub?

Too hot? Simply add cold water to the hot tub—just like you would in any outdoor bath.

Additional resources

wood fired hot tub water temperature

How hot does a wood fired hot tub get?

Short answer: the temperature is completely up to you. The average bathing temp is 100-106 F for any hot tub. A wood fired hot tub’s main difference is how the water’s temperature is controlled by the fire’s intensity and duration.

If you continue to add wood to the fire, the water will get hotter. If the temperature becomes too hot, simply add more cold water to regulate.

Because of its size and submersible stove, the GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub heats up quickly compared to other wood stove hot tubs: it takes 90-120 minutes on average. For your first couple of soaks, anticipate that it might take longer to get the water to your ideal temperature until you get the hang of the process.

Since the hot tub is insulated, when you add a cover the hot tub water will retain some of the heat and it’ll be quicker to heat up the next day. Bathers in colder climates might want to add rigid insulation to their wood fired hot tubs in the winter as well.

firewood in wood stove hot tub controls smoke

How do you control the smoke output?

If you manage the fire properly there should be no, or minimal, smoke. This involves choosing the right firewood - dry seasoned or kiln-dried - and setting it correctly so that air can circulate. A smoldering fire causes smoke.

In the above video Craig, GOODLAND's founder, shows you how to prep, light, and maintain the fire in the wood burning stove.

Tips for reducing smoke:

  1. Use seasoned local firewood, split into 1-3” dia logs.
  2. Don't use wet wood or waste, both create smokey fires. Stick to quality firewood, which is dry and dense, for the best fire. 
  3. If your wood is dry and your fire produces a lot of smoke, allow more air into the fire. A well balanced fire will not produce a lot of smoke.
  4. Don’t overstuff the fire so you can ignore it—enjoy the process of maintaining the fire as part of the bathing experience.

Our article on Eco-Friendly Hot Tub Considerations shares more details on what causes smoke, as well as a video on lighting the fire properly.  


Did we miss a question? If it’s not on the FAQs page, then contact us for help.

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