1. BEFORE lighting the fire
The tub is kept full to prevent leaks. We will have refilled the tub with fresh water for you before you use it. Before you light the fire check that the water is at the water level marker under the ‘R’ of Rustic Tubs. 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: please ring us.
2. Lighting the fire (only if the tub is full)
Take the black storm lid and the metal lid with the handle off the firebox. Put in the firelighter and kindling as far under the chimney as you can reasonably reach.
Light the fire and feed it slowly with progressively larger sticks/logs to just below the water level. Replace the metal lid leaving a 2 – 4 inch gap on the side furthest from the chimney, so the fire burns at its hottest. The lid also keeps out any rain!
3. Feeding the fire
Check the fire 45 minutes after lighting it. When it has burnt down half to three quarters, feed it with more logs up to the water line again.
After a further 45 minutes (having now filled the fire box twice, once to light it and one refill) check the water temperature.
4. Controlling the temperature when heating
After the first 1h 30, visit every 15 – 20 minutes and monitor the temperature with your hand and the thermometer; dip the thermometer about 8 inches into the water when measuring the temperature. Optimum water temperature is between 37 – 40deg C.
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 are unlikely to need a full fill to get it the extra few 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 check the temperature before adding more.
When the top of the water down to the seat is hot to touch and below the seat the water remains cooler, 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.
5. Enjoying your tub
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 and heat the water. Reopen the lid to 2 – 4 inches to heat up the water more if you want to. If you need to add logs, only add two or three at a time.
If the water gets too hot and you run out of cooler water at the bottom of the tub, ring us for help. Overheating the water is dangerous, disappointing AND a waste of wood.
The tub will seat a maximum of 3 adults at a time. If you have 3 people in at once, the water may 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 with water to the water level marker whenever the fire is lit.
6. Leaving the tub
Leave the tub full of water to the water level marker. 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.