Purchasing a new or used hot tub can be an overwhelming decision. There are dozens of brands and so many different options. Occasionally Water Works Pool & Spa Service receives a phone call from a customer who’s been shopping, and after several sales pitches, isn’t sure what to believe. As experienced service professionals we can cut through the sales pitches and provide an honest recommendation that will help to determine the right hot tub for you.
1. Where to buy. First and foremost, buy from a respected hot tub dealer. Local dealers offer a lot of support and resources that a big box store, infomercial, or fly by night, high pressure coliseum sale do not. At some point you will need service and support for your hot tub, and it’s important to purchase from a business that can offer those services after the sale. Resist purchasing a hot tub from websites like Craigslist. You may save a few dollars by purchasing from an individual, but the risk is much greater. Too often we hear the story of someone who bought a used hot tub online only to get it home and find out it leaks or needs expensive repairs
2. Price. What determines the price of a hot tub? There are a variety of factors that determine the retail price of a hot tub. Physical size, number and type of jets, lighting, water chemistry features, insulation, warranty, and accessories all contribute to determine the price. You’ll need to determine your budget and what features are important to you. If you’re purchasing a hot tub for body aches and pains, then hydrotherapy is important. Don’t focus solely on the number of jets, but also the type of jets: Jet styles offer different types of tissue massage critical for loosening up tight and sore muscles. If you’re looking just to relax or use your hot tub as a social gathering place, then upgraded lighting or a stereo may be worth the additional cost to you.
3. Warranty. Most hot tub manufacturers offer “good, better, and best” options when it comes to available models. The good have fewer features, more simplistic controls, less insulation, and a shorter warranty period. The better being middle of the road, have upgraded features and available options from the good, and a slightly better warranty period. The best of course offer all of the bells and whistles and the longest warranty period. Depending on the brand, warranty periods can last anywhere from 1 to 7 years. Each manufacturer specifies what is covered within the warranty, breaking down into categories such as the structure, components including pumps, heater, and plumbing, accessories, and the acrylic shell. I would recommend purchasing a hot tub with a minimum 3 to 5 year warranty (better or best categories). It generally means the manufacturer uses higher quality components versus a hot tub with a shorter warranty period. You pay more up front for the longer warranty period, but will save more out of pocket expenses after the sale.
4. Insulation. When purchasing a hot tub in the Midwest, specifically Wisconsin, a fully insulated hot tub is a must! Cold winter months can significantly affect the operating costs of a hot tub. Hot tubs with little or no insulation can cost up to or more than $100 per month to operate in winter, and the plumbing can freeze overnight if there’s a failure or the power goes out. Fully insulated hot tubs will operate for as low as $25 per month in winter and can take several days to freeze if there is a power outage or failure. Upfront purchase cost will be higher with a fully insulated hot tub, but the operating costs will be much lower in the long run and is well worth the additional price.
5. Service. It’s not a question of if, but when you’re hot tub will require service. Ideally, you would hope your hot tub will be trouble free for many years, but it’s important to make sure the hot tub you purchase can be serviced in your area. Most dealers only provide service for products they sell. If you buy a hot tub online, through a big box store, or traveling spa sale, finding service after the sale can be very frustrating.
Fortunately, whatever decision you make when purchasing a hot tub, Water Works Pool & Spa Service is here to help! We service ALL brands. We also provide Spa School training and will show you how to maintain and operate your hot tub, including water chemistry, and an overall condition evaluation. If you want to enjoy your hot tub without the maintenance, consider our regular maintenance program. Contact us today at (608)575-8986 or email@example.com.