Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide

Buying a hot tub is a big decision. This article provides helpful guidelines to ensure you buy the right hot tub that meets your needs.

Buying a hot tub is a big decision. There are many important things to think about during the buying process. This article contains helpful guidelines to ensure you buy the right hot tub for your needs.

Step 1: Choose a location

An ideal location includes a walkway that provides access to the hot tub without tracking dirt or grass. An ideal location also makes it easy to install, maintain, and repair your hot tub. Access to power and water are critical. Hot tubs typically require 220-volt power sources, which may require an electrician to specially wire the location. Hot tubs must be drained and refilled every 3 to 4 months. An ideal location will allow you to easily drain and refill the water. Of course, your installer will also appreciate if you choose a location that makes installation easy.
The location needs to be strong enough to provide adequate support. If you install the tub on a deck or porch, make sure it can hold the weight. A typical hot tub contains at least 400 gallons of water, which weighs 3,300 lbs (1,500 kg), not including the tub itself. It is best to use a spa pad to protect your deck. If you install the hot tub in your yard, consider pouring concrete to make an area that is flat, solid, and level. Finally, check the building codes in your area and be sure to obtain a necessary permit before you install a hot tub.

Step 2: Decide how you will use your hot tub

If recreation is your primary use, you’ll want a standard hot tub with many seats. You may prefer lounge seats with plenty of jets, if relaxation is your objective. If you are buying a hot tub for exercise or wellness, you might consider a fitness hot tub or spa like those sold by Wellness Spa. Swim spas have swim currents, which are constant flows of water that let you swim without moving in the water. Some spas are designed for general exercise including low-impact running and walking. You may consider accessories such as a jog belt, aquatic barbells or swim gloves, and aqua runners if you plan to exercise in your hot tub. Hot tubs may also be used for medical or therapeutic purposes. Studies have shown hot tubs may help those suffering from arthritis, insomnia, or other ailments. Massage therapy is a common use of hot tubs, as well. Some hot tubs even come with specialized hydrotherapy jets that target specific areas like shoulders, neck, back, legs, and feet.

Step 3: Select your features

There are numerous variations of features, but these are the most critical to consider:
Size: To decide the size, think about how many people will typically use the hot tub. A good rule of thumb is 100 gallons of water per person.
Jets: Focus on variety rather than quantity. If you purchase a hot tub for medical reasons or for massage therapy, buy a hot tub with jets that fit your needs. If you have back problems, buy a hot tub with jets designed to massage your back. Also ensure the jet strength that is right for you.
Seats: Bench seats allow open, flexible seating with legs bent like sitting in a chair. Lounge seats allow you to recline and stretch your legs. Always wet-test lounge seats. The buoyancy of the water may alter your level of comfort.
Access steps: Access steps greatly reduce the risk of injury and are highly recommended for both inground and above ground hot tubs.
Filtration system: Filters remove bacteria and debris, keep air out of the pipes, and help balance chemical treatments in your hot tub. The most popular type of filter for hot tubs is the cartridge filter. However, there are many other types, including the diatomaceous earth filter, ceramic filter, and the sand filter. Each filter has advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to research the pros and cons of the filter in the hot tub you plan to purchase.

Step 4: Read reviews

Consumer Affairs is a reputable review site we recommend. You can also find reviews by Googling reviews of the hot tub’s name and model. Make sure to review multiple sources and take care to ensure the reviews appear unbiased. Look for reviews from owners that have used the tub for at least a few years to get an accurate report of the tub’s reliability.

Step 5: Select the right dealer

A good dealer will almost always provide references of people who have purchased a hot tub from them in the past. Always check the total price before you buy. Installation and other services may be added to the list price of the hot tub. Also, be sure to inquire about the warranties the dealer offers.
Before you buy a hot tub, you should perform a wet-check, if possible. A wet-check is when you bring a few of the people who will use the hot tub to the dealer and get in the hot tub while it is filled with water. This ensures the hot tub is comfortable for everyone who plans to use it.

BONUS TIP: Start with an inflatable hot tub

Hot tub prices vary significantly. They can be as high as $20,000 and as low as $2,000. If this is your first time buying a hot tub or you aren’t sure how much you’ll use the hot tub, you may consider an inflatable hot tub to start. Inflatable hot tubs cost as low as $300. They can also be put away when they are not in use. To learn more about the benefits of inflatable hot tubs, check out our post Inflatable Hot Tubs – Are They Right for You?

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