2022.01.26 17:18 1018 Wood fired to Electric Hot Tub Conversion
We just bought a house that came with an Alumitub wood fired hot tub (pictures here: https://imgur.com/a/bRimkQ2). New city by-laws prohibit use from using it however (fire-safety related), so I'm looking at my options to convert it.
My initial preference was towards natural gas (for more efficient heating), but I just had a plumbeHVAC guy come to our house and tell me that it's not really feasible to run a gas line to the tub.
So I'm down to eiher propane tanks or electric heating.
I've contacted the hot tub manufacturer (Alumitub), but they didn't offer a lot of help on conversions (they're ordering for wood fire hot tubs backlog goes into 2023, so I guess they're busy enough serving new customers, and not super interested in helping a previous customer convert away from their bread and butter system).
I've tried some Googling, but while I can find articles about converting from electric/gas to wood-fired, I can't find much in the way of converting in the other direction.
Does anybody have experience with doing such a conversion? Any resources/websites/companies that I should know of?
My main concern is about insulation. With a wood fired hot tub you leave the water cold most of the time, and fire it up when you're ready to take a dip. Meanwhile, most people with a standard well insulated fiber-glass/acrylic hot tub on electric, they have a thick cover that helps retain the water temperature, so they can keep the water hot/warm-enough for most of the year -- effectively having the hot tub ready for a soak at a moment's notice.
I suspect (but don't know for sure) that my hot-tub in its current form (wood, with an aluminum liner, and a styrofoam insulated cover, see photos here: https://imgur.com/a/bRimkQ2) is nowhere close to having the kind of insulation that would allow me to keep the hot tub warm at all times (note; I'm in Vancouver BC, a moderate climate, but a few weeks a year below freezing).
In other words, I'm guessing I'll have to bring the the hot tub to temperature every time I want to use it, and let it cool down between uses. But on electric, that can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, from what I can gather. Is that right?
Anwyay, lots of unknowns I realize. My main question is; does anybody have experience with converting a wood fired hot tub to electric?
(...alternatively, I could just rip out the existing hot tub entirely, cut a slightly bigger square hole in my deck, and have a standard well insulated electric prefab model lowered into it. That might save me money in the long run.)
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