Heat Your Tub Faster With This Fantastic Fire Starting Trick
The ancient Greeks believed every visible thing was made up of some combination of the four true elements - earth, water, air, and fire.
When I starting writing this blog the idea I had in my mind was linking a luxurious hot tub bathing experience to the same four elements. Earth - the solid ground where your tub is perfectly positioned. Water - the lovely, soft, warm bubbling liquid that relaxes our mind and helps soothes away our aches and pains. Air - that creates the bubbles and also helps the wood burn. Fire - that burns the wood - creating that wonderful sweet aroma - and heats the water to the perfect bathing temperature.
Unfortunately, the majority of my initial search results were about the group Earth, Wind & Fire.
So naturally I got a bit distracted, and that's why you have just spent a couple of seconds wondering how 'Let's Groove' had any relevance to the ancient Greeks.
What has any of this got to do with starting fires?
I often cringe when I hear myself or Tim telling people how to make a fire for their wood-burning Cotswold Eco Tub. Especially as we live in France where probably 95% of our customers have one or more wood-burners in their homes and could lay the perfect fire in their sleep!
However, experience has taught us that not everyone has a fire. Some lucky hot tub owners actually have central heating that heats the whole house without them ever having to store, chop or carry a single lump of wood. But even if you have experience of indoor wood-burners, there are other factors to consider when you are lighting a stove outside, such as wind, atmosphere and wet wood!
Our solutions to fire-lighting problems
Speed and direction of the wind - if buildings or trees are blocking the wind the draw to get the fire burning will be slow. Open the boiler door a little bit to let a draught in. Or keep the vents open until you are ready to make the fire less intense and maintain the heat.
Atmosphere - on a cold, still day It can be harder to start a fire because the chimney is filled with cooler air. In this case, light some paper in the stove and the flames will warm up the chimney flue. By warming up the chimney flue prior to starting a fire, you can help to ensure that there’s enough draw in the stove to get a fire going as quickly as possible once it’s been lit.
Wood and fire starting materials – use dry kindling, pallets, or old wood cut down to size to get the fire started, underneath dry newspaper or fire fighters. Move from kindling to split logs to larger logs to ensure the fire burns well and lasts longer.
So, If the elements are all in your favour then you should have no trouble getting a good fire going that will quickly heat the water in your hot tub.
A fantastic fire starting trick
So finally, I have magically linked everything together in the right order and can now share with you a great tip given to us by one of our customers. The Scandinavian way of lighting a wood stove - ‘Top Down Lighting’ - really makes things a lot easier.
Basically, it is exactly what it says it is - lighting the top of the fire so it burns down to the bottom layers. It means you don't have to wait for the kindling to catch and lighting the fire at the top also makes for a cleaner fire with a lot less smoke. Another bonus is that you can light the fire and leave the stove (with boiler door closed) for up to an hour before you have to come back and feed it more dry wood. So that means plenty of time for you to organise the hot tub towels, drinks, snacks and music.
After an hour - depending on the time of the year and outside temperature - the water in the tub could be almost at your ideal bathing temperature. So you can hurry away to round up your fellow bathers (or not!) and come back to the hot tub with a drink in one hand and a log in the other. That should keep your stove burning long enough for you to kick back and relax for a couple of hours at least.
Try it the Scandinavian way
Instead of me trying to describe how to set the fire I was going to film Tim demonstrating the Scandinavian method. Unfortunately, this didn't go quite as well as expected - mainly down to me putting my fingers over the camera and laughing at Tim trying to be sensible. But I'm pleased to say that I found the following YouTube video that demonstrates it perfectly (although he does seem to have a few problems chopping wood and talking at the same time) .
What is it they say about men and multi-tasking?
If you haven’t got a wood-fired Cotswold Eco Tub yet, try it in your home wood-stove and let us know how you get on.
Water, water everywhere
As with fire, we also offer our best advice on the water side of hot tub life. I'm not claiming to be an aqua specialist or chemist, but having positioned over 160 hot tubs in the last couple of years we have become very familiar with the different types of water in France.
Water in one region can be completely different to another - even in regions as close as 15 minutes drive away. What we have found on our travels is that the water quality goes from having extremely high levels of calcium and other minerals, to very low levels - ‘soft’ water as it was more commonly known in the U.K.
The advice we provide has therefore evolved over the years so we try and guide you to best water treatment solution depending on your region's water quality and mineral content.
If you have been into a specialist swimming pool store recently, you will know that there is a massive range of PH balancers, anti-calc. removers and mineral filters to help you conquer the calcium.
With the Cotswold Eco Tubs, 'simplicity' is at the heart of the designs. All the tubs can be used without any water treatment because they don't have a filtration system, or any wet pipes where nasty smelly bacteria can hide. Instead, you just refresh the water the same as you would for an ordinary bath.
For anyone that wants to extend the life of the water in the tub, we always recommend using non-chemical, eco friendly products that help keep your water safe and sanitised for a longer period. So they are good for you, good for the environment and therefore in keeping with the eco-friendly nature of Cotswold Eco Tubs.
In your new owner starter pack, we include a pouch of Clarion Spa’s Active Silver Oxy for you to try. It's currently only available in the UK, but you can order it directly from the manufacturer and they have a custom duty promise on packs of 12 pouches. There is also a similar product available in France called Oxygen Actif which several of our customers have recommended to us.
Of course, if you want to use traditional water treatments such as chlorine, bromine or salts it's not a problem with our range of hot tubs. We even provide a floating dispenser for you to put the tablets in. Whatever you choose to use in your hot tub, we guarantee that it won't impact the effects of the wonderfully warm water gently soothing away the stress, or nagging aches and pains.
Bring me Sunshine
Up until very recently, try as he might, Tim could not find a reasonably priced, reliable solar system powerful enough to run the LED lights and air pump massage system. But now that's all in the past. Because we are fortunate enough to have a hot tub family member who, in his effort to offer a completely eco-friendly experience, has created a system that will enable his gite hot tub to be fully function with fire, water and a simple solar panel.
Read more about the splendid Sanctuaire Hot Tub and gite by clicking on the link below.
If you're at a loose end on 30th April come and see us at the Château Garnier Spring Fayre in the Vienne, 86350. This beautiful château is on the banks of the Vienne river, surrounded by green Charentais countryside and medieval towns and villages. We won't get much time to explore because we will be setting up at the fair from 6.30am. 'Le Foire de Printemps' is open from 10 am til 6pm, with a refreshments bar, snacks and a bouncy castle. Me and Tim will be there showing off the Burford Deluxe hot tub and ready to answer all your questions. Fingers-crossed, we will have some more sensational April sunshine that day. Happy Hot Tubbing!
To contact Hot Tubs In France, call direct on 07 49 19 46 84.