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Maintenance & Up Keep

Congratulations on your purchase of a Sisu Saunas skillfully handcrafted Barrel Sauna!

Your Barrel Sauna is crafted of 100% Red Cedar. Red cedar is naturally durable and it possesses excellent dimensional stability.  Over time your sauna will need some key adjustments and necessary up keep maintenance that will help to preserve your sauna and in return offer you years of sauna enjoyment. Please find these key adjustments and factors described below.


Door Latch: The door latch is a “ball latch” this type of latch is installed for and as a safety feature that eases in the case of the door needing to be opened in an immediate situation (exe. fainting).  When looking at the door edge and ball latch you will find a series of threads on the “ball” mounting system. Grasp the threads and either thread the system in or outward to the desired latching tension. You will want the door to latch tightly however not to tight, you want to have it open with just the ease of a push of the hand in the case of an emergency in side the sauna.

Door Latch


Door Reveal: The “door reveal” is the gap around the door. Ideally the “door reveal” should be approximately 3/16” of an inch and an even gap around the door. A few factors may contribute to the door reveal changing, it may be from the wood expanding & contracting, or if the sauna is placed on the ground from the ground settling or heaving in cold temp conditions and or band adjustment. The ideal ways to adjust and accomplish an even door reveal is by band adjustment and or lifting/jacking the sauna and placing blocking accordingly under the saunas base kit / cradles.

Door Reveal


Band Adjustment: Use the band adjustment tools that were provided with your barrel sauna package (1/2” drive 1 1/8” custom long reach socket and 1 1/8” box/open end bent wrench). Band adjustment is accomplished by placing the wrench on the nut on one side of the band adjuster and the socket with a 1/2” drive ratchet or breaker bar on the nut on the opposite side.  It is a good rule of thumb to switch your tools from one side to the other this will help to keep your band adjusting even. Typically band adjustment will be needed after approximately 6  -  8 times of use.  If cracks between the barrel’s staves are appearing this is a sure sign that the bands need to be tightened. Basically tightening the bands is bringing the staves tight and back together. Don’t over tighten you don’t want the bands to cut into the wood or make the stave bow outward or inward.  If the bands ever appear to be cutting into the wood or the staves are bowing outward or inward and past a nice flat even appearance then tension on the bands are to much and tension will need to be released by loosening the bands. When adjusting especially the front two bands it is a good rule to have the sauna door open, this will help to prevent pinching of the door that may result in cracking the glass in the door.

Band Adjustment Band Adjustment Band Adjustment


Sauna Light: The wall mounted light installed in the Barrel Sauna is a vapor proof light. It has a rubber gasket between the glass globe and aluminum base that forms a seal that prevents water and moisture from getting inside the light fixture.  When needing to remove the glass globe a good technique is to grasp the top of the aluminum base with one hand and then grasp and turn the globe off with your other hand. This helps to prevent snapping off the aluminum base and or tearing the base from the wall.

Sauna Light


Stove Rocks: For good stove efficiency and out put we recommend “fluffing the rocks”, another words, periodically pull out some or all the stove rocks and re-arrange them. The stove will operate at peak performance if and when the rocks are not settled or packed together.

Interior Sauna Seal: If you ordered the “Interior Sauna Seal in your Barrel Sauna Package the sauna seal manufacture recommends  that you apply sauna seal every 15 years depending on usage.

Exterior Finish: If you ordered the “Exterior Finish” in your Barrel Sauna Package the exterior finish manufacturer’s suggestions are to re-apply the finish every 5 to 7 years depending on the location and usage of the sauna.

Your sauna will provide you years of enjoyment if cared for properly. You should always clean your sauna monthly to remove body oils and soap scum from the sauna walls and benches to prevent any bacterial growth and discoloration from normal use. Bleach and water solutions are ok, but sauna cleaners are advised in order to retain the appearance and scent of the cedar. Also, we advise that you preserve your sauna by sealing it with "sauna seal", if it wasn’t already done. The specially prepared product should be applied once every fifteen years and will not only preserve the sauna but make cleaning it a much more enjoyable process.

After every use you should leave the sauna door open at least one inch while the sauna cools. This will prevent the wood from cracking and cupping. It also allows the sauna to breath when not being used, further preserving its fresh cedar smell.


Thanks again for your purchase!  Always remember we are just a phone call or email away if you need assistance.

Meaning of Sisu


A Finnish term roughly translated into English as "strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity".

The term "sisu" has been described as being integral to understanding Finnish culture. The meaning is equivalent in English to "having guts", and the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior.