Cowboy Hot Tubs
Affordable, Portable, Wood Burning Hot Tubs

Questions & Answers Page

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Below are the most commonly asked questions. We have tried to do our best to make sure any questions you may have are answered here. If you still have a question, please contact us. That is what we are here for.

1.  Why a cowboy hot tub?

This is a practical hot tub that can be used every night. The cost of operation is only the water pumped into the tub and the collection of firewood. There is no ongoing electrical, chemical, or other costs. Tub, heater and water can be transported anywhere with a pickup truck. If you like wood fires, you will love this setup. 

 2. Can you get burned?

Of course it is possible. The smoke stack is the hottest part. If the heater is roaring the stack will be very hot. It will burn you instantly. I recommend hedder pipe wrapping for the first 18 inches of stack. This is a fiberglass tape that is used on automotive exhaust. This can be obtained from Summit Racing part # THE-11152 about $15. As for the parts of the heater that are under water, they can be hot, but shouldnít be hot enough to burn. With water around the heater, the hottest it can get is 212 degrees, the boiling temp of water. And yes you will be able to see the water boiling around the metal. Not a rolling boil, but bubbles coming off the heater.

3. Where does the fire burn?

The fire actually burns at the bottom of the heater. Which is partly submerged in the tub. The heat of the fire is conducted to the water through the steel.

4. What to burn in your heater?

Split up two by fours is the recommended fuel. Any wood that is one inch square or smaller should work fine. A 2x4 not split is a little big and may not burn well.

Dimension of the Heater is 24x8x9 at least the first 13 inches must be below water line. 

5. How much wood does it take to hot tub?

A five-gallon bucket stuffed full of wood or 15 lbs should heat up and maintain the tub for an hour.

6. What is included with the heater?

The base price includes just a heater. You will need to obtain a smoke stack or buy one from us. You will need to obtain a tub. You can buy one from us or your local farm supply or feed store may have a tub. If you are within 400 miles of Los Angeles, low cost or no cost shipping could be arranged.

7. Where to get a smoke stack and what kind?

The best place to get a smoke stack is from Cowboy Hot Tubs. Our smoke stack comes in two parts. The first section is 4 feet by 4-inch stainless steel tubing 1/8-inch wall. The second is 4 feet of aluminized steel this is swedged so that it slips over the first section of tubing. A second stainless steel section may be available soon. 

The smoke stack can simply be a 4-inch pipe 8 ft long. This pipe will slide over the pipe on the heater. Make sure your pipe weighs at least 20 lbs. donít use a pipe that is made of sheet metal. A pipe or plumbing supply should have this pipe or tubing.

The difference between tubing and pipe, tubing is measured by outside diameter and pipe is measured by inside diameter. 

8. How do I empty the ashes?

To empty the ashes simply remove the smoke stack and lift the heater out of the tub. Turn the heater upside down and empty. Do this after each hot-tubing. U will not need empty the ashes during a tubbing.

9. Do the handles get hot?

No, the handles and the rectangle box do not get hot as long as the airflow goes in the correct direction. If the opening at the bottom of the rectangle box is obstructed, the fire may begin to burn out of the rectangle box. Attempt to clear an air pathway at the bottom of the firebox.

10. How long to heat?

You should be able to heat up the 150 gallon Rubbermaid tub in just over an hour. This is assuming you have a cover, the water is 60 degrees to start, and the surrounding temp is not below 40 with little wind. If the outside temp is below freezing it will help if the sides of your tub are insulated some how. Rule of thumb is this heater can bring 130 gallons of water up 40 degrees in an hour.

11. A Damper or control of the fire?

The heater does not come with a damper. Control of the fire is very simple and a must. Control is not needed until the tub is up to temperature. If no control is used the tub would quickly get too hot to tub in. Place a board over the rectangle box leaving a small crack for air to get through. You will quickly get the hang of how much of a crack is needed. Totally covering the rectangle box will extinguish the fire after a few minutes.

12. Help for back pain?

Speaking from personal experience, tubing does help or at least relieves some back pain while tubing. Floating or sitting in the water takes some of the pressure off the back.

13. Our guarantee?

If you donít like your heater you may return it and will receive a refund for what you paid for the heater. This is good for 30 days after you received your heater.

14. What kind of tub to get?

 It is recommended that you get Rubbermaidís 150-gallon stock tank, part #4245. Our heater works perfect with this tub. The tub is perfect for one person and cozy for two.

15. Party tub?

This would be Rubbermaidís 300-gallon tub, part#4247. It can comfortably fit 4 people. It is recommended that you use 2 heaters with this tub. When the tub gets hot remove one heater, as only one heater is needed to maintain the temp. One heater can heat this tub, but it will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 2 heaters will do it in just over an hour.

16. A cover?

Not a must, but very helpful to have. A cover provides two main functions, to retain the heat and to keep debris out of your water. Ash will tend to fall into your water without a cover. The simplest and easiest cover would be a foam insulating board from home depot. Hopefully I will be able to offer a cover soon.

17. Stainless  Steel Vs. Steel?

The stainless heater costs more, but it is money well spent. There is no maintenance, well almost none. You might want to scrape off the mineral deposits, but thatís optional. It should last generations. It hasnít been tested for generations, but it should last that long. The design is slightly different from the steel heater, giving the stainless more surface area for the heat to transfer. Stainless will hold its resale value. A used stainless heater is really the same as a new one. The feel and look of stainless is unique. An option is to have your stainless heater polished to a mirror finish, beautiful.

The steel heater cost less. Steel is less expensive that stainless and is easier to work with. The down side of steel is it rusts. You will have to take care of your steel heater. You canít leave your heater in the water. When rust does appear you will have to brush it off and repaint. The thickness of metal in both heaters is at least 1/8 inch. It will take a long time for rust to eat through. A well taken care of steel heater should outlast the purchaser. Cosmetically the steel heater does not look as good, but gets the job done just the same.