Many health benefits come with having and using a hot tub. At the same time, there’s the pleasure and satisfaction they provide. These are reasons enough to protect your hot tub when it’s idle, and for that, we recommend a hot tub sliding cover.
Of course, you can opt for any type of sliding cover. So, why a sliding one? Well, there are quite many benefits, which we’ll highlight later on. For now, let’s discuss how these covers operate.
Working Mechanism Of A Hot Tub Sliding Cover
With a sliding cover, you won’t need to manually open and close your hot tub. The cover simply slides open or close, meaning it employs straight-line motion. As a result, when designing the working mechanism of a hot tub sliding cover, you can skip linear motion devices. In particular, we advise using linear actuators.
Linear actuators work for several home simplification tasks, as you can find out in this video. For a sliding hot tub cover, the mode of operation is simple. First, you’ll install the cover on a track or rail system. Then, you connect the actuator to move the system in a straight path smoothly and efficiently.
Different types of linear actuators exist, but what you need is a rod linear actuator that extends across a long distance. You can particularly go for a piezoelectric one if you’re using a cover with dual positioning. Such devices employ SMA (smart memory alloy). Let’s touch more on this.
Linear Actuator With SMA For Dual-Positioning Hot Tub Sliding Cover
A linear actuator with SMA can move two objects independently with a single piezoelectric motor. An SMA mechanism may sound complex, but it’s not. Besides the piezoelectric motor, the linear actuator will use an SMA wire, a steel frame, and some springs — usually two.
Notably, the SMA wire extends or retracts once you power the motor. Then, it uses an impact drive mechanism to move the first slider and a smooth impact drive mechanism to move the second.
The upside here is that you can skip installing two separate devices if you’re using dual sliders for your hot tub cover. Install one linear actuator with SMA, and you’re good to go. Consequently, you reduce size and cost and keep the working mechanism simple.
Designing A Hot Tub Sliding Cover With Linear Actuator
It’s easy to hit the market and purchase a sliding cover for your hot tub. However, if you want the device to work efficiently with a linear actuator, then you need a proper design. Still, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider the factors below.
Here, the focus is on the parts that hold the linear actuator and hot tub. In other words, the base of your setup. Without question, then, your support structures should be sturdy enough to handle the weight of your sliding cover and actuator device. Otherwise, the hot tub cover could bend, twist, or sag as it slides forward and backward.
Likewise, without strong supports, the linear actuator won’t be firm, which could result in more vibrations and deflections. Ultimately, you get inaccurate motion. When choosing support structures, steel is the best. But you can still use wood if it’s not a large tub.
You’ll need guides for the hot tub cover to slide on — the track system. Slide guides are popular, but, particularly, you should get one that’s compatible with linear actuators. Like the supports, the guides should be strong enough to hold the cover’s weight.
Also, go for options that are highly corrosion-resistant. It’s essential for durability because the guides will easily get in contact with water from the tub. Finally, the guides you use should have high stiffness yet low friction.
For your hot tub sliding cover to actually slide, it needs a drive to push it along the guides. As already stated, electric linear actuators are the best. Consider speed, torque, and power when choosing a linear actuator for your hot tub sliding cover.
Also, pay attention to how it operates — does it use a switch, remote, or density? If you employ a dual slider mechanism, remember you need an actuator with SMA. To make things easier, use this actuator calculator to find the best device for your application.
We advise getting seals to protect your linear actuator and amplify their work span. Seals will prevent dust, dirt, and, most importantly, water from damaging the motion device. However, you can’t just purchase any seal.
You need a reliable component that won’t diminish your linear actuator’s performance. Specifically, the deals shouldn’t interfere with the device’s movement. You can consider lip seals, bellows, or wipers, but from experience, lip seals will suffice.
What else do you need to set up your hot tub sliding cover with a linear actuator? Perhaps additional controllers, brakes, couplings, and clamps. For instance, you can install brakes and clamps in the actuator to open the sliding cover halfway rather than completely.
Importance Of A Hot Tub Sliding Cover
We can highlight five primary upsides of using a hot tub sliding cover. The first involves ease of use. Pressing a switch or remote to open your hot tub is more convenient than walking towards the tub and lifting the cover by hand.
Secondly, a sliding mechanism helps the cover stay more durable. All it does is slide in and out. But if you always lift and place the cover manually, it could get damaged from dropping, especially if made from wood.
A third reason, and one of the most important, is that a hot tub sliding cover helps save electricity costs. Since it covers the tub, it acts as an insulator preventing heat loss. So, less energy will be spent keeping the water at a preferable temperature.
Space-saving is another key benefit. The cover won’t leave your hot tub area, so you won’t need extra room to store it. Finally, a sliding cover adds aesthetics to your hot tub. You’ll agree that not many people use such a feature, meaning your hot tub stands out when you do.
Use a sliding cover to safeguard your hot tub while adding style and convenience at the same time. It’s a relatively simple structure to set up if you use a linear actuator. However, as explained in the post, ensure you get all the right components when designing for the best results.