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Hot tub bathing made easy

Why you should invest in a cover lifter

 

By Crystal Lengua

Your hot tub and your cover were purchased (or will be purchased) hand-in-hand, as these products are typically sold in tandem; however, there is one detail many often overlook during this purchasing process: How will you remove the cover to use your hot tub, and where will you store it while you are enjoying the warm-water hydrotherapy?

Need a lift?

A hot tub cover lifter is generally a metal frame that attaches to your hot tub and cover, and makes it easier to lift your cover off and put it back on when you are done. Cover lifters are also available for use on swim spas. Mounting one cover lifter on each end of your swim spa will deliver the same results.

A standard cover lifter will fasten to your hot tub cabinet, onto your gazebo, or your deck.

This affordable accessory is essential to the enjoyment of your hot tub; it will also increase the lifespan of your cover. The use of a cover lifter not only protects your cover from damage, it also makes your hot tub more accessible, which will increase the amount of time you get to enjoy your hot tub.

There are three cover lifter variations available: shelf-style, manual-pivot, and hydraulic-assisted. The one you choose depends on the functionality you require, the installation process you prefer, the design you like, and your price point.

Shelf-style

A cover lifter with hydraulic assist is the ideal option. These lifters use dual gas shocks to provide extra torque, making it easy to remove your hot tub cover.

This is not technically a lifter, but it falls into the cover lifter category. It is a cover shelf and gives you a place to rest your hot tub cover after you have removed it without the use of a manual pivot or hydraulic-assist lifter. This option is the most physically rigorous of the three because you need to fold and lift the cover by hand.

Standard lifters

Your standard cover lifter will fasten to your hot tub cabinet, onto your gazebo, or your deck. It can be high, low, or mid-mounted depending on the height you want the cover to sit while it is in the open position. These cover lifters do not come equipped with hydraulic assist and are available in a wide variety of designs that will vary depending on the manufacturer. There are options for round hot tubs as well.

Undermount lifters

This cover lifter is ideal if you prefer not to drill into your hot tub cabinet, if you have a curved cabinet design, or have a cabinet equipped with inset light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. This lifter slides under your hot tub cabinet and assists when lifting the cover off your hot tub, storing it in an upright position.

A hot tub cover lifter is generally a metal frame that attaches to your hot tub and cover, and makes it easier to lift your cover off and put it back on when you are done.

Hydraulic lifters

A cover lifter with hydraulic assist is the ideal option and it is recommended for larger hot tubs because of the weight of the cover. The dual gas shocks provide extra torque that is especially helpful when your cover ages and becomes heavier due to moisture retention.

Most hydraulic lifts are available in a top-mount only option, which creates a mid-privacy wall when your cover is open. Other hydraulic lifts currently on the market can bring your cover right to the ground, providing you with a clear, streamlined view of your yard, children, and pets.

What you should know before you buy

When choosing your lift system make sure the unit you purchase will fit on your hot tub cabinet and work with your cover. You should also know the length and thickness of your cover before shopping for a lifter, paying special attention to the clearance requirements of each lifter as they will vary depending on the style of your hot tub’s cabinet.

A hot tub cover lifter can also increase the lifespan of your cover.

The design of your backyard space also plays a role in the lifter options you have; therefore, you should ask your retailer for recommendations or call the manufacturer to be sure the lifter you want to purchase is right for you. You should also make sure the material used to construct the cover lifter would withstand year-round weather conditions in your region. It is also a good idea to ask about the cover lifter’s warranty, as well as its exclusions. You do not want to be continuously drilling and re-drilling into your cabinet if you need to replace a bargain cover lifter prematurely.

If you are still wary and not sure if you need, or want to, install a cover lifter on your hot tub, here are the main reasons you should consider one of these systems:

  • Your average hot tub cover weights approximately 18 to 22.6 kg (40 to 50 lb). Once installed, a cover lifter makes cover removal a one-person job.
  • A cover lifter also allows quick (stress-free) access to your hot tub. The easier it is to remove the cover, the more you will use your hot tub.
  • Some hot tub cover lifters are made of rust-resistant material making it an all-season accessory.
  • These systems can alleviate the struggle of physically removing your hot tub cover—especially after it absorbs water and, as a result, becomes heavier. This is especially beneficial for seniors and those recovering from injury.
  • A cover lifter minimizes possible injuries caused by lifting and dragging your cover to remove it.
  • A lifter gives you a method of storing your cover. They also help create a safe area around your tub that will minimize tripping hazards when your hot tub is in use.
  • If privacy is a concern in your yard, your cover lifter can also act as a wall. It allows you to place your cover at the side, safely creating an isolated abyss.
  • Cover lifters are equipped with safety-locking devices.

For all intents and purposes

The purpose of a cover lifter spans greater than simplifying the use of your hot tub.

Keep in mind, the purpose of a cover lifter spans greater than simplifying the use of your hot tub. It extends the life of your cover and saves you from having to replace it earlier than necessary. Protecting your cover should be a priority—when fitted properly, it will reduce evaporation and chemical use, as well as help to maintain water temperature (which saves you money on your electricity bill).

A cover lifter should be an integral component of the hot tub purchasing process, as it not only makes it easier for you to protect your investment, but also enables you to enjoy your hot tub as much as possible, while also prioritizing safety.

An undermount cover lifter slides under your hot tub cabinet and stores the cover in an upright position.

Crystal Lengua is the director of sales and marketing at SMP Ultralift and is also the national past president of the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada (PHTCC). A graduate of marketing, public relations and corporate communications, professional sales, social media marketing, and event management, she has positioned herself as a leader in digital and traditional marketing methods. She is currently attending the University of Waterloo part time for an undergraduate degree in recreation and leisure and is working toward certification in mindfulness meditation at the University of Toronto. She can be reached via email at c.lengua@smpmetal.com.

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