Are you thinking of buying a hot tub? A hot tub can bring you, your family and friends many years of enjoyment and relaxation. But it is an investment that takes quite a bit of consideration and research before taking the plunge, so to speak.
Before you decide which hot tub is right for you, you may be wondering, “What should I be aware of when I buy a hot tub?” You may even be asking yourself, “What are some of the pitfalls of owning a hot tub?” or “What mistakes to hot tub buyers make?”
There are many factors to consider as you take your first steps towards purchasing a hot tub. To help take the stress out of researching, we’ve compiled five common buyer mistakes, so you can avoid them. By understanding some of the mistakes people make, you can breeze into hot tub ownership feeling knowledgeable and prepared.
Disclaimer - In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Jacuzzi Group. You can see the list of the brand owners at the bottom of this article. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.
1. Focusing on the Hot Tub Price Tag
A lot of people regularly make the mistake of buying or not buying a hot tub due to the initial price. While it may be tempting to seek out the most economical brands and models, it’s important to remember that a hot tub is a long-term investment and oftentimes price equates to quality, craftsmanship and durability of the product.
Yes, a $5,000 hot tub seems a lot more reasonable than a $14,000 hot tub — initially. However, you may end up spending the difference or more in maintenance or repairs of a value hot tub from a less reliable brand. Industry studies of hot tub buyers clearly show first time buyers focusing on price whereas people who have owned a spa before are focusing on quality, experience provided by the jets, and ease of maintenance.
The more you research, the more you’ll discover that innovation, design, jetting, equipment, materials, manufacturing, energy efficient features and much more factor into the development of a high-quality long-lasting hot tub.
The higher-quality hot tub may have a higher price tag from the get-go. However, that brand and model will likely be equipped with features that will allow the hot tub to run with lower operating costs and for loner periods of time between maintenance or needed repairs. You may be thinking that you can’t afford a higher quality hot tub brand or model, but many hot tub brands offer financing as a solution.
It’s a good idea to speak with a local hot tub dealer to see about financing options. This way, you can get the hot tub you really want versus sacrificing your wants and selecting a less expensive model that may not be the hot tub that can serve you best for years to come.
Rather than choosing a hot tub that doesn’t check all the boxes on your wish list, keep in mind financing can allow you to get the hot tub of your dreams — one that will provide years of enjoyment and relaxation well into the future.
2. Underestimating the Maintenance of a Hot Tub
Before becoming a hot tub owner, you may ask yourself, “How much maintenance does my hot tub need?” or “How often do I need to maintain my hot tub?”
It’s important to have answers to these questions before making a purchase. Just like a car, boat, house, or other large investment, your hot tub will require regular and essential maintenance to keep it in great working condition. However, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that some hot tub brands, particularly high quality and reliable ones, require less maintenance than you may think.
Personal hot tub maintenance varies based on what hot tub brand and model you purchase and how often you use it. Hot tub maintenance can span between daily, weekly, quarterly, bi-monthly, and yearly chores. It entirely depends on the brand and model you’re considering.
In general, here’s a summary of what you can expect over the course of a year:
Daily: Test water (dip a test strip into water and read colors) and add chemicals if needed
Weekly: Clean filter
Every three months: Drain and refill hot tub water
Yearly: Replace filter
If you don’t manage the basic personal maintenance, you could end up with water quality issues, blocked jets and other problems.
When shopping for a hot tub, ask the local dealer exactly what maintenance is required for the specific model you desire. You may also want to ask, “How often should I expect to do maintenance on my hot tub?” or “What are the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks I’ll need to do to keep my hot tub in the best condition?”
After speaking with a retailer, you should have the knowledge to make a confident decision about the type of hot tub you want and exactly what it will require of you to maintain it. At the end of the day it, hot tub maintenance should be straightforward and stress-free.
The climate you are in, how well you maintain your hot tub, and the quality of parts will determine how much attention the hot tub will need from a professional.
Servicing, which also falls under maintenance, is another factor to keep in mind. A bi-annual hot tub service by a qualified dealer or repairman is a good rule of thumb to keep your hot tub running its best.
Maintenance should not be viewed as a burden, but rather as an investment to the wellbeing of your hot tub. The better it is cared for on a regular basis, the less problems (and thus cost) it may potentially have in the long run.
It is recommended to speak to your local hot tub dealer about the detailed maintenance for your specific make and model hot tub to find out exactly what you will need to do.
3. Not Doing Enough Research
You may ask, “How much research do I need to do before buying a hot tub?” If you want to buy with absolute confidence, putting time aside to read articles and watch videos is time well spent.
Why Do People Buy a Hot Tub before Researching?
Yes, there are consumers that buy sight unseen or seemingly on a whim without doing much pre-purchase research. However, it is generally best to have as much knowledge as possible about the product before buying, particularly in the case of a higher-priced ticket item. Some of the reasons people may buy before researching could include:
Buying based on appearance - The design may tick the boxes for you, but is the quality of the hot tub as good as it looks?
Buying from advertisements - Does the price match the quality of the product?
Buying due to cheap price - The chances of a cheaper hot tub having higher running costs is high due to less quality materials that might have been used. Read reviews before purchasing.
Buying due to free add-ons - Everyone loves free things, but make sure the features and quality of the hot tub should take priority over a good deal.
Whether it be the features, visual desirability, specification, or price that catch your eye, we recommend that you take time to step back and do some research before making a hot tub purchase.
This will ensure you know everything you need to know about hot tub ownership and maintenance so you can maximize your enjoyment.
What Can I Learn About Hot Tubs by Doing My Research First?
Like buying a new TV or a car, you’ll likely want to know the good, the bad, and even the ugly before making the purchase.
Time devoted to understanding what costs are involved when buying and using a hot tub, reading reviews, determining issues, understanding the best options on the market, checking out how-to guides and more can be very beneficial before making a purchase. Doing so can raise your confidence, boost your trust in the salesperson as well as the brand you’re buying from, and equip you with knowledge that you can continue to use as a hot tub owner.
A highly recommended way to research a hot tub brand or model, is to schedule a wet test in a showroom. This allows you to get in your swim gear, experience a demonstration of the product, and simply kick back and relax. If you find that model isn’t ‘the one,’ you can try another.
During a wet test and a visit to the showroom, you can also gain a lot of knowledge being face-to-face with the dealer who can answer all your specific questions in person. Through their expertise, you can gain a clear understanding of how to physically use each feature and component to its full potential. This is invaluable when you get the hot tub home to your own backyard.
Through thorough research online or in a showroom, you will also be able to find out about any problems that could arise down the line, so that there are no nasty surprises.
4. Underestimating the Cost-Saving Benefits of Good Insulation
Another common mistake hot tub buyers make is underestimating the importance of good insulation. Insulation is hard to see and can be easily overlooked. However, it plays a crucial role in the overall enjoyment of your hot tub and can impact the operating costs of your hot tub.
Customers buying hot tubs online or visiting a showroom may not be shown the insulation features of the hot tub, and it’s easy to forget to ask when your eyes are drawn to the lounge seats, jets, and water features. This could lead to buying a hot tub that looks great but may take more time and money than you anticipated to maintain your desired water temperature.
It’s important to keep in mind that some hot tubs on the market may only be fitted with one layer of insulation whereas higher-end options may be fitted with multiple layers of insulation.
Quality insulation will help maintain the heat of the water longer than a hot tub with less, or less quality, insulation. Keeping your bills lower throughout your hot tub’s lifespan is dependent on insulation.
It’s a good idea to ask a salesperson, “What type of insulation does this hot tub have?” “Where is the insulation placed in this hot tub” and “How does this insulation impact the operation costs of this hot tub?”
A good hot tub brand should be able to provide you with accurate data of their running costs either from other customers, via their showrooms or through any apps that their hot tubs are compatible with.
This will enable you to actually see how much you can expect to pay per month for the specific hot tub you are looking to purchase as well as which insulation works best.
5. Assuming All Companies Offer After-Sales Support and Good Hot Tub Warranties
You may assume all hot tub companies have supportive, reliable aftercare and great warranties. However, like many industries, standards vary based on each company.
The last thing you want is to buy a hot tub and then discover the sales team is hard to reach or that warranties don’t provide much coverage or peace of mind.
To avoid this pitfall, take some time to understand the small print and make sure you buy from a company that has a reputable and reliable aftercare team.
You can do this by looking at reviews online to make sure that the brand you are interested in purchasing from has a good aftercare rating and reviews that assure you that you’ll be in great hands during your buying and installation journey and well after.
You may also want to ask some additional questions in-store or explore on the company website to help you get an idea of the service you will receive if you decide to buy. These questions may include:
What support will you provide me after I buy a hot tub?
How long will this support be available to me?
What is your aftersales team’s policy on response time to an email or phone call?
Do you charge a service fee if a maintenance or repair person needs to visit my property?
Is the hot tub warranty backed by the manufacturer?
If you like the sound of the answers you receive, you’re on the right track to buying from a business that you can feel confident in working with for all the years you have your hot tub.
We hope reading this article helps you in your hot tub purchasing journey and helps you avoid some of the common mistakes of buying and owning a hot tub. With this knowledge, you’re well on your way to finding the perfect hot tub for you.
To recap, consider these final five tips:
Think beyond the initial price of the hot tub to the ongoing operating costs
Understand the maintenance required to keep your hot tub in great working order
Spend some time researching online and visiting a retailer or showroom and your salesperson questions
Remember quality insulation will keep the hot tub warmer for longer and help lower operating costs
Ask questions that help you build a clear picture of aftersales support and warranties
Medical disclaimer: This information is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. Please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice if you have any concerns about your current health or well-being.
Disclaimer: The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Jacuzzi Group. Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved. The Jacuzzi® brand is owned by Jacuzzi Group and exclusively licensed for use to Spa World™ in Australia and New Zealand.