The tub is kept full to prevent the cedar wood drying out and causing leaks. We will have refilled the tub with fresh water for you before you use it. Before you light the fire check that the hot tub is full, at least to the bottom of the ‘R’ in Rustic. This ensures that the firebox is covered with water and stops it from overheating. If the tub is not full enough DO NOT LIGHT the fire: come and see us.
Take the black storm lid and the metal lid with the handle off the firebox and put in the firelighter and kindling. Light the fire and feed it slowly with progressively larger sticks/logs to just below the water level. This will take about 20 mins. Replace the metal lid leaving a gap on the side furthest from the chimney. The fire will burn hottest (which is what you want) when the metal lid is open about 2-4 inches. This will also keep out the rain!
Forty five minutes after lighting, bank up the fire with logs. After a further 45 minutes (having now filled the fire box twice, once to light it and one refill) check the water temperature. When the top of the water down to the seat is hot to touch and below the seat the water remains unheated it is the time to use the tub! At this stage stir the top of the water gently with your arm to mix the water above the seat until it is just right. Ideal hot tubbing is having the bottom of the tub distinctly cooler than the top – float your legs out in the warm water above the seat level.
Control the temperature by monitoring the fire and the water carefully, visiting the tub initially every 45 minutes after lighting. After 1 hour 30 minutes, visit every 15 – 20 minutes and monitor the temperature with the thermometer; dip the thermometer about 8 inches into the water when measuring the temperature. Optimum temperature for hot tubbing is between 37 – 40deg C . When you are in the tub the bottom of the tub should always be much cooler than the top.
When you start to feed the fire for the third time (after 1 hour 30 minutes) be careful not to add too much wood. With 2 fills of the fire box you will have heated the water from about 10 degrees to about 35 degrees. You probably won’t need a full fill to get it the extra couple of degrees to perfect hot tubbing temperature! Add the wood in smaller lots (1/3 of a fill at a time) more frequently (every 15 – 20 mins) and measure the temperature before adding more.
Use the colder water towards the bottom of the tub to control the temperature; gently bring up water from lower down with your arm to cool the top layer.
Control the fire to control the temperature; close the lid of the fire box completely once you have got the water to your ideal temperature. The fire will continue to burn slowly. Reopen the lid to 2 – 4 inches to heat up the water more if you want to.
Control the temperature if it really gets too hot, by topping up with cold water from the hose. However, this is a last resort and it takes a lot of water to cool it down. Overheating the water is dangerous, disappointing AND a waste of wood.
Four people in the tub will move water around more than just two, bringing up more of the cooler water at the bottom. You may need to add more wood while you are in the tub.
The tub will seat a maximum of 4 adults at a time. If you have 4 people in at once, the water will over-flow and then when you get out it will leave the fire box exposed, which may overheat and melt. Keep the tub topped up whenever the fire is lit.
6. Leaving the tub
Leave the tub full of water to the ‘R’ of rustic (top it up if necessary). Replace the firebox storm lid and metal lid and lock the lid of the tub. Return any unused fuel to the shelter to keep it dry.
Return the key to us the following morning before you go out for the day.