I need a vent and some advice…
I have a consistent problem with guests peeing in the hot tub…I have no idea how to address this.
Secondly guests are consistently leaving the fireplace burning and candles on and take off for the day …I thought his was commen sense but I guess not. Any suggestions to correct these problems would be appreciated.
I need a vent and some advice…
Excellent suggestions! Already added some to my rules… And love the " willing to share" the medical marijuana
I would charge a fee as well for cleaning the hot tub. I would make sure I have a sizeable security deposit though so that you can claim this fee more easily when you report to Airbnb.
Seriously, get rid of the candles. They are a horrible fire hazard. Replace them with battery operated ones. Your guests have already shown they aren’t mature enough to handle them.
Willing to share the prescription…or the pot?
What kind of water-quality problem are you having and why do you think it’s caused by urine?
Is the hot tub built-in and heated by gas or portable and heated by electricity?
Here in San Diego, CA, even with the drought, it only costs around $4.00 to refill the average 400 gallon hot tub with fresh water. Even if you consider the electricity to heat the new batch of water, let’s round up and say $20.00 to drain, refill and reheat the average, portable hot tub.
Check your local water and electricity rates. Most people are surprised to learn how little it costs to drain and refill a hot tub. The retail sales end of the hot tub chemical industry depends heavily on people thinking a batch of water costs more than a bottle of chemistry or some magic potion engineered to solve a single water quality problem.
If you have cloudy water; use this product. If you have oily water: use that product. If you have stinky water use this other product. Why solve each problem, one at a time, with more chemistry when you can dump the whole mess down the drain and start over with a fresh batch of water?
When you fix a problem with chemistry, every ounce of product you pour into the water adds more byproducts that build up and eventually make water quality impossible to manage. The more stuff you pour in; the sooner you’ll have to drain it all out.
If you spend more than a day or two trying to recover a batch of used hot tub water, your time is worth more than a $4.00 batch of fresh water.
Bather load is another big factor in hot tubs. The small volume of water and high temperature means a lot more sweat and body oil than in a swimming pool and the jets actually scrub off a lot of dead skin cells and hair. Bather load at a vacation rental tends to be a lot higher than the average private hot tub. Let’s just say people do things on vacation they wouldn’t normally do at home…
Depending on your water source, when you first fill a hot tub with fresh water, it it probably meets federal drinking standards. As soon as the first person sits in it, the water starts to resemble ‘People Stew’. The longer you let it simmer, the more ‘flavorful’ the broth becomes.
No matter how clean the hot tub looks…do you really want to be soaking in the last tenant’s ‘body-broth’??? I work on hot tubs for a living. I don’t use any public hot tub even if I know the person who maintains the water.
The small volume of water in a hot tub also means a small volume of sanitizer so ‘that guy’ at the gym who doesn’t shower before using the hot tub is sharing all the bacteria on his body with everybody in the tub. This excessive bather load can use up the limited amount of sanitizer in a matter of minutes leaving everybody at risk of infection or illness.
Just think about this: public pools are managed with the expectation that every swimmer brings with them a small amount of ‘fecal contamination’ and the understanding that yes…a lot of the people, especially kids, will pee in the pool. You can figure the warm water in a hot tub. increases the percentage of pee.
Considering the cost of water vs. the risk of a rash and a bad review…it just makes sense to drain and refill the tub between every guest. Your reputation and the safety of your guests easily justifies the cost of water and you can always recycle the water one last time by dumping it on the lawn or non-edible landscaping:
You can add the cost of a drain/clean/refill to every stay and even spin it in your favor:
“We drain, clean, and refill our hot tub between every guest for your health, safety and peace of mind. We recycle every drop of water one last time by using it to irrigate the landscaping and wash down the patio so feel free to indulge in a long, relaxing soak.”
You can even make the hot tub optional and charge a $20.00 or $30.00 fee to fill it and maintain it before every guest. This might also help if a customer has a complaint and wants a refund related to the hot tub.
If you don’t live in a cold climate where freezing is a problem, you can even have the option of discounting the fee and leaving the hot tub empty for guests who don’t plan to use it or who are worried about kids and the potential drowning hazard. The tenant saves $20.00 and you don’t have to worry about the hot tub at all if it’s empty and the breaker is turned off.
(BTW: I’m considering a “Soak-Safe-Certification” for hot tubs at residential vacation rentals. Certification would mean the hot tub is 100% compliant with local building and electric codes, is inspected regularly and is maintained by a trained and certified technician. Would anybody be interested?)
Great suggestions Robert!!! I will never pee in your hottub!!
LOL, you are too hilarious!!!
Are you talking fake fireplace and flameless candles? OR REAL FIRES IN BOTH??? (Yikes!) Burning flames are not allowed anywhere in my studio, after a guest burned a table cloth and then left burning candles unattended!)
I rode along with a firefighter friend once. He informed me that after kitchen/grease, unattended candles are THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF HOUSE FIRES!
Can’t trust the guests, and now have nanny state rules about candles, or anything with a flame.
Robert, for the amusement of all of us here, and to add a few chuckles to our humdrum lives as hosts, please share ALL your house rules here. This should be good.
Wow! I love the way you write your house rules! So polite and undemanding. But at the same time, it is clear you won’t abide by rude guests and that there will be consequences. Thanks a lot!
@Robert_Dudley after spending the day dealing with Hot Tub drama, you make my laugh so hard I spit out my wine. Thank You.
Which test is used to determine the presence of urine in the tub?
Taste but you need a very refined pallet to figure out who done it
You could write “No-Peeling in Hottub” and put it up there in the right language!
I’m curious about this too! I’ve never heard of such a test.
thats why I have NO hot tub, dont permit candles, I have a nelectric fireplce.I dont even have a stove cuz I dont wanna clean it!Has not affected my business at all;I have more business than my competition that have pools and hot tubs…
(I am not a lawyer and this is not ‘legal advice’. I’m just a guy with an opinion who works on hot tubs for a living. Please, consult an attorney before implementing any of this advice.)
A hot tub can be an asset but it also has some unique product liability issues. The first few pages of every hot tub owners manual are full of warnings related to hot water immersion:
- Check temperature before using
- Consult a doctor before using
- Don’t use alone
- Don’t use if pregnant
- Don’t use if on certain medications like blood thinners, etc
- Recreational Water Illness (stuff you can catch from unsanitary water)
I tell all my customers with vacation rentals to consult a lawyer and include disclaimers about the hot tub in the lease agreement.
I recommend including all the warnings from the owner’s manual since these were developed by lawyers in the hot tub industry getting sued over hot tub related injuries. You may as well leverage the work they have already done.
When it comes to health & safety codes and electric code, single-family vacation rentals usually fall somewhere between ‘private’ and ‘public’. (In most places, you do need an electrical permit and inspection to install a portable hot tub.) Most codes assume the hot tub is either:
- A ‘private’ hot tub maintained by the occupant/owner or
- A ‘public’ hot tub maintained by a professional staff (hotel/motel, etc) and there is an ‘implied warranty’ the hot tub is safe and sanitary
- A single-family vacation rental falls in the grey area between. There is an implied warranty the premises are reasonably safe but the hot tub has some unique hazards that are not ‘common knowledge’ or ‘common sense’. You may have a ‘duty to warn’ guests of these hazards.
I advise all my vacation rental customers to treat the hot tub more like a public facility than a private facility. At a minimum, you need to meet all the code requirements for electrical safety and drowning prevention in a single-family residence.
If your hot tub was installed without a required permit or inspection or if it has code violations your insurance policy may deny hot tub related claims because it was not installed properly.
I strongly suggest voluntarily meeting at least some of the codes for ‘public’ facilities such as the standard ‘hot tub warning’ sign recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Consumer Products Safety Commission. The exact wording on the sign varies by state but the signs are commonly available at local swimming pool supply distributors.
Great advice, thanks!
But just to address the OP - is it true that there’s a way to detect urine in a tub? I’m super confused about how this host is sure that urine, rather than just now showering before use, over-use, or other spills, is the issue.
No, there is no such test.