How To Buy A Hot Tub For Your Home

by maru | Last Updated: August 24, 2017

Today, I’ll be sharing how to buy a hot tub for your own home.

So, this came about because we just recently went on vacation to the Lake District of England, and the cottage we rented came with a hot tub. Unlike our other spa retreat dates though, this time, it wasn’t just me and Jane. We had family along and as you can imagine, it got pretty stressful at some points.

The saving grace was the hot tubbing. Imagine cool weather, soaking in a hot tub under a tree, and sipping cold prosecco… Cares and worries just bubble away!

outdoor hot tub

Unsurprisingly, Jane wanted her own hot tub at home too. And because I offered no resistance, we’ll soon be adding a hot tub to our currently evolving home spa.

We talked to the spa people about hot tubs at length and, of course, harnessed the power of Google. We’ve condensed everything we learned about the topic below, including our own experience of shopping around.

Reasons for wanting a hot tub

So, we wanted a hot tub because it was just sooo relaxing. But, other people have more serious reasons for getting one. If this is you in any of the below, you should seriously consider investing in a hot tub.

On the other hand, more fun reasons include:

7 Tips To Get Your Hot Tub Purchase Right the First Time

So here’s how you can avoid some serious buyer’s regret when you buy your hot tub.

#1 – Double check the logistics of such a purchase — space and wiring

Before checking out brands and reviews, make sure that you actually have enough room at home. Do you already have a location in mind? Consider the general size of hot tubs and allow for more space for general cleaning, drainage, repair, and maintenance.

As much as possible, get a professional electrician to install it for safety reasons and for insurance purposes. For the latter, make sure your electrician pulls a permit.

#2 – Set your ceiling budget

When making such an important purchase, it’s easy to get too excited and go over-budget. Similar to your grocery run, set your budget and keep yourself from going overboard.

If you are strapped for cash but really need a hot tub in your life, consider an inflatable hot tub.  There are many happy owners of inflatables.

If you have money to spend though and want your purchase to last for years and years, invest in the real thing and one of the better brands. It will pay you back in health benefits, and that’s priceless.

hot tub for arthritis

Once you come up with a shortlist of models and brands, ask retailers if they have incentives and rebates that you can take advantage of.

#3 – Never buy from fairs, parking lot sales, and carnivals

You want to buy your hot tub from reputable dealers. Jane and I tend to get really friendly with our retailers (and yes, even Amazon ones) as we only go for reputable companies and distributors with a good track record and great customer support.

Exhibitors at carnivals, parking lot sales, and fairs use high-pressure tactics and “amazing” deals. It’s not unheard of for buyers to lose their cash deposits or have nowhere to run to for warranties and repairs.

Here are some green flags for us: Positive honest reviews, well-known brands, money-back guarantees, refusal periods, fast and responsive customer support.

#4 – Know the expected inclusions

Your purchase should include some necessary parts and services. These include an insulating cover, delivery, some initial water care products, and product instruction.

FYI, the top 3 accessories you need for your hot tub are its cover, cover lifter, and steps.

Before letting the installers leave your premises, make sure everything works and have walked you through everything you need to know about operating and maintaining your new hot tub.

#5 – Think thrice before buying used

If somebody’s selling their hot tub, it’s most likely buyer’s regret. Maybe it’s simply a bad model and brand. Or, it could be a lemon. It could be a huge energy guzzler – especially if it’s an old model. Or, it keeps breaking down.

Whatever the case, be careful that somebody’s junk doesn’t become your junk.

#6 – Ensure that you know exact cost of operations and repairs

Know all the costs of using a hot tub regularly in your home. Consider how much you’ll be using your hot tub and do the math. A salesperson will surely downplay this amount but a realistic figure would be somewhere around $35 – $50 per month if you get the newer and more energy-efficient models. (See other costs here.)

I think Jane was afraid I’d call her out on the additional monthly expense, but if it helps with her arthritis, I’m down with it. Especially since we save up on (expensive) chiro checkups and therapies.

Jane can’t lift weights for exercise and a hot tub can double as water therapy (is how we justify the cost).

#7 – Look for an ozonator

An ozonator is a feature in hot tubs that kills bacteria and viruses using ultraviolet light. It also breaks down your body oils that get into the water so that it will stay clear and fresh for longer. With this extra feature, less chemicals (bromine or chlorine) are needed to keep the water sanitized.

If your tub has an ozonator, chances are, you’ll only need to change your spa water every 8-12 months instead of the requisite 3 months.

Ozone bulbs last for 2 years on average and cost around $75.