It's Just So Warm In There.
December 30, 2017 12:09 PM   Subscribe

As someone who struggles mightily with getting out of the (outdoor) hot tub on a cold winter night, please tell me what would happen if.. I didn't. Obviously, this question is hypothetical and I realize that I cannot actually live in the hot tub from now until spring (for many reasons).

The water temperature ranges between 101 and 104°F (38.3 to 40°C). Our primary chemical is chlorine.

How long until my skin starts to break down? How long until it sloughs off? I assume that once my skin starts to fall off of my body it's a short time until I die from... what? What kills me? I'm assuming that a hot tub is different from (for example) being lost at sea or stranded in the middle of a lake.. does the higher temperature make a significant difference in what happens and how long it takes? Does the chlorine help or hurt me here?

In short - what happens if I refuse to get out of the hot tub?
posted by VioletU to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
In this scenario, are you getting out of the hot tub to eat, drink, and use the restroom?
posted by capricorn at 12:29 PM on December 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Need further rules/clarification. If you’re not drinking, dehydration would kill you before anything else, i’d think.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:29 PM on December 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Sticking with some semblance of reality - I always bring a 40oz bottle of ice water in with me, not refillable, but no food. No alcohol. Going outside of reality, let's say I'll pee in the water but nothing else - and that I've used the washroom before going in.
posted by VioletU at 12:36 PM on December 30, 2017

Or you fall asleep and drown.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

My guess is death by infection. The longer you sit there the more your skin breaks down and bacteria from your pee (and presumably you are also not getting out to poop?) gets into your body. Having a hot tub myself I know how quickly the water can get icky even without living in it full time.

Or if you’re anything like my Sims whom I accidentally trapped in a hot tub when the game first came out, you will have a mental breakdown and commit suicide.
posted by joan_holloway at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2017 [25 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, death by dehydration induced drowning. I'd guess about 24h or less in the hot tub would be dehydrating enough to cause severe issues- nausea and vomiting, dizziness, etc. Most likely scenario is that you pass out and drown, or stay unconscious untill death of dehydration or something like Hyperthermia
(A temperature of 104 ºF (40 ºC) or higher is life-threatening. )

or low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock, lack of oxygen in the blood, basically.)

These will kill you much faster than bacteria infection or skin sloughing
posted by Jacen at 2:19 PM on December 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

What kind of timeline are we talking about here?
posted by uberchet at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2017

If it's anything like never getting out of the bath, then: Infection, atrophy, sores and blood clots.
posted by escapepod at 3:38 PM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know nothing of hot tub mechanics - does the water volume constantly replenish? Because if not it would likely evaporate away before you came a serious cropper. Unless it's chilly out, in which case you'd be suffering from hypothermia pretty quickly.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:13 PM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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