Frequently Asked Questions
Is there A difference in the float experience as compared to a pod, cabin, or tank?
Yes and no. It doesn't have to look like a sensory deprivation chamber to provide a perfect float. We love open float pools because they are an expanded opportunity for you, the owner, to hold the kind of space that you want to hold. They also have plenty of room for stretching, larger individuals, and common-sized couples. As avid floaters, we love the float quality of our open float rooms. Witnessing the reaction in first timers we can tell you there is a night and day difference in perception of the float experience. When we offered a tank to the public the conversation almost always started out addressing claustrophobia and other fears. With our open float rooms the conversation almost always starts out with "this is really cool" and "I can actually do this."
If you’re interested in floatation therapy, ClinicalFloatation.com is the most helpful website live today. At the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) in Tulsa, Oklahoma there are modern studies being done that quantify some of the benefit of floatation therapy. Sharing the same philosophy on open float rooms with Mandala, Clinical Floatation states the importance of offering open float rooms:
Float Clinic - A new approach
For several decades, float tank design has involved relatively small enclosures, creating a large barrier to entry for patient populations with claustrophobia and mobility issues. Clinical Floatation requires a new approach which removes all enclosures and instead uses an open circular pool design. The open pool is built in a room constructed to be lightproof and soundproof, with closely calibrated temperature and humidity. The open pool design is much more welcoming and reassures anxious subjects and patients. It provides easier access in and out of the pool, including for people with disability or mobility issues, as well as senior citizens.
What kind of maintenance is required with open float rooms?
Maintaining a float tank of any kind requires a water test kit, and to keep some form of residual sanitizer (we use hydrogen peroxide). In commercial centers we recommend having a backup pump (cost about $320) on hand to use in case a pump goes down, while the other is serviced either by you (Youtube videos can help) or a spa tech. You will want to routinely step in and clean the dry surfaces and especially the waterline. In addition to those basic needs of any float tank, an open pool also needs a pool cover on overnight. We use a solar pool cover (basically thick bubble wrap) because they cheap, easy to work with, and they do a great job. Using a cover at night saves a lot of energy, and it keeps humidity from being a problem in the room. During the day there is enough air exchange where we do not have any condensation on the walls.
Is there a difference on the float attendant side as compared to a pod, cabin, or tank?
Yes. Considering ease of accessibility we find enclosed float tanks, pods, and cabins to be more difficult to clean than open concept rooms. In our center we have a very easy time cleaning because we can see and access everything. Note that the customer appreciates being able to easily see everything as well, to assess what they are getting into.
Temperature regulation may take more attention to dial in at first because of the larger area, then with the right pieces in place (like an overhead infrared heater and a simple passive ventilation system) you will find the comfort zone after a few floats. Be sure to leave time to float yourself before opening.
Does your float system have automation features?
We are proud to say that our float systems are open source. The lights and music are easily automated through common apps and common hardware. We use a stereo receiver hooked up to a phone or tablet to set audio alarms. With that same wifi device hooked up to a Philips Hue lighting system we also set a gentle light fade on, which is in our experience more effective than sound, to shepherd relaxed people out of their float.
What size of float suite does a float pool require?
Short answer: Small 9' x 10'. Standard 9' x 12'. Luxury 10' x 14' and larger.
Long answer: Send us a room schematic including door location and swing, plumbing access, and any immovable structures and we can better answer this question. Shown in the images below, we have actually fit 2 float rooms into a 15' x 15' space, and one of those rooms is ADA compliant!
i'm interested, but this seems too diy for me.
We understand it can sound daunting to create your own masterpiece of a float suite. The great news is, it's really not much different than making a nice bathroom. If you're not the DIY type you will be having contractors do the work anyway, and our float pool is basically a huge bath tub with some wiring and plumbing. Advanced implements in your float suite such as radiant heating panels, glass enclosure, and a silent exhaust fan will also be familiar territory for your contractors. We encourage you to envision how you ideally want your float room to feel, look, and function. Dream big! We are here to help you make it happen.
Is your float kit ul listed?
Inspections from local authorities can be a major factor in the early life of a float center. We want you to have all of the information you need to progress smoothly and get open in a timely manner.
Our float systems all together is not listed with UL, CSA, or any other certification service. The reasons are many, including the cost and limits it would impose on us. However, as all the components of our float system ARE listed, it is highly likely that you can install a Mandala Pool in compliance with your local oversight. It is important that you talk with your electrician and/or local oversight to determine their requirements. We recommend talking with your electrician first. In extreme cases you may need to purchase the Pool only, and then we work together on sourcing and assembling components in a way that complies with the specific requirements of your local officials. The way you address your local officials is important.. we are not trying to get around or break the rules, we are working with the rules in full disclosure.
If you have any questions about this subject please contact us.
Can I make a wheelchair accessible float tank?
Yes! In fact, your local building codes may require that you have one be ADA and/or ANSI compliant float room. Designing these rooms is meticulous but it is absolutely doable, and aesthetics can still survive the requirements. Here is the layout of the ADA/ANSI compliant float room at our float center.
Do you do site visits and installations?
Yes we do, and we are confident in our ability to help you from a distance. Contact Mandala if you are interested in a site visit and/or installation by us.
Can a float pool be made to be totally dark & silent?
Absolutely. The most challenging, as in any float room, is the soundproofing. Be sure to read up on noise control on our blog, and any other source of soundproofing information you have attention span for. Most importantly keep in mind that every building has different soundproofing needs, and your contractor may have a different idea of what needs to be done than what really needs to happen. Light proofing the float room is much easier, and for the most part has everything to do with the door to the room. Generally lightproofing is accomplished as a byproduct of soundproofing.
Are there mandala owner/operators i can speak with?
We understand the desire to talk with someone besides us who owns and operates our equipment. We also respect the time and attention of our customers. For these reasons we are happy to coordinate with willing members of our Mandala owners community who are willing to take some time to talk with you. To arrange a 15 minute phone call with a Mandala Float System owner/operator please fill out this form, and we will be in touch.
Please feel free to be in touch, we love talking about floating! If you are flirting with purchasing a float system and have reservations the best thing to do is come for our internship program in Rapid City, South Dakota. We'll show you how we built Deep and you can float it for yourself :)