Is foam insulation in a hot tub good or bad?
Some hot tubs are foam insulated while some have an air space between the vinyl shell and the cabinet. Is one better than the other and if so, why?
Foam hot tub insulation. The pros and cons.
When hot tubs are built, the acrylic shell has all its plumbing installed, pumps connected and electrical equipment wired in.The shell is then placed into its structural support frame and the pipes and wires are given a final check.
At this stage, some manufacturers spray expanding, insulating foams on to the shell and some don’t.
The foam is there to insulate the tub but, of course, it also covers and conceals all the pipework and some other fittings and that can make leak finding and repairs to the tub more difficult.
So is that insulating foam a good idea or a bad one?
The argument against foam.
If the hot tub should develop a leak at some stage in its life it is most likely that the leak will be in the joints and connections of the network of pipes that supply the jets.
When the cabinet is full of foam, finding that leak can be a tricky job. The foam will also have to be cleared away from any areas where repairs need to be made.
Some people suggest that the air space between the shell and the cabinet does a good enough job of insulating the hot tub and so the foam is unnecessary anyway.
And all those in favour of foam…
People who are in favour of foam insulation point out that if dead air space did such a good job of insulating the hot tub then why has foam been injected as cavity wall insulation into so many homes in the UK.
The foam also does a secondary job.
It acts as a support and vibration damper to all the pipes and fittings.
If there are only 100 litres of water in the pipework while the spa is running, that still means that 100kg of weight is being supported by the pipework’s clips and joints. In a foam-filled spa, that weight is partially taken by the insulating foam
As the foam dampens down the vibration and supports weight, the argument goes that a leak is far less likely to happen anyway so the problem of finding it becomes rather a moot point.
So which is it to be?
Hot tubs shouldn’t leak and leaks shouldn’t be part of hot tub ownership.
Sundance Spas have been making hot tubs for over 30 years and have won more industry awards for their products, design and innovations than any other manufacturer.
So, foam or no foam?
Sundance Spas all have full-foam insulation so I think you know what we believe to be best.