When it comes to buying a hot tub, we’d all just love to fast forward past the decision-making to our first long, luxurious soak—but this is a major purchase, and it’s important to make the right choice. In this article we take you through 5 common mistakes first-time hot tub buyers make and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Buying cheap
The sticker price on that $3000 or $4000 hot tub is actually a little white lie. Over time most inexpensive hot tubs will cost an extra $4000 or $5000 in hydro bills, chemicals and service calls. For example, an inexpensive hot tub can cost you $2 a day to operate, while an energy efficient hot tub can cost 50 cents a day. A hot tub with high quality insulation, a triple-layer shell, a quality cabinet, a high quality cover to retain heat, a dedicated filtration pump, and an efficient plumbing and jet system will cost more up front but less over time. (Hydropool hot tubs even use waste heat produced by the motor to heat the water!) The bottom line? It’s a mistake to buy a hot tub based on price alone. Invest in a quality product from a reputable dealer and you’ll save time and money in the long run.
Mistake #2: Forgetting about maintenance
Maintenance is a pain—and you bought a hot tub to relax, not do a lot of work. Don’t make the mistake of buying a hot tub that requires a lot of chemicals. Instead, look for a self-cleaning model—one that filters water from both the top and bottom of the tub and uses a pressure side filter to clean 100 per cent of the water in 15 minutes. (Suction side filters take up to four hours to do the same thing.) Since you’ll be draining and cleaning your hot tub on occasion, look for a hot tub that makes draining easy.
Mistake #3: Not testing out the tub
The sales guy might say the seats are comfortable and the jets are amazing, but he’s not you. It’s a mistake to not try out a hot tub you’re thinking of buying. (Make sure you invite anyone who will be using the hot tub regularly along, too.) Sit in the seats. Are they contoured for comfort? Try out the jets. Do they hit your ahhhh spots? If not, can you adjust the flow and direction of the water? Can you easily reach the controls? How are the noise levels? Don’t be shy. Try before you buy.
Mistake #4: Putting it in the wrong place
Never buy a hot tub without knowing exactly where it will go. Will your tub get flooded during a storm because it’s in a low lying area? If it will be supported by a deck, has a structural engineer given the green light? How will the tub influence or interfere with existing activities and traffic patterns in your yard? How close is it to sources of water and electricity? And how close is it to the house? Everyone loves a wintertime soak but will hate a frozen trek to get to the tub.
Mistake #5: Not considering the warranty
A shell structure warranty can last anywhere from one to 10 years. It warrants against water loss due to defects in the hot tub shell. A shell surface warranty lasts between one and five years and warrants the interior surface of the hot tub against blistering, peeling, cracking and delamination. A leak warranty is usually in effect for one to three years. It warrants against water loss due to defects in the fittings and plumbing lines. An equipment warranty lasts one to three years on average, and warrants the hot tub electronics and pumps against breakdown. Look for a full warranty, meaning you don’t have to cover any of the cost of repairs during the warranty period, rather than a prorated warranty, which provides less coverage the older your hot tub is. Also ask who will do the warranty work. There's more accountability and a better paper trail if the warranty work is done by the dealer you bought the hot tub from, not a third party.
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