I can honestly say that I never for a second thought about buying my hot tub. But I want that to be different for you, so here is my “Buying A Hot Tub Guide” to ensure you get the best hot tub for your needs.
Coming back to my statement above:
I can honestly say that I never for a second thought about buying my hot tub.
What is funny about that statement is that it wasn’t as if we had had a huge desire to buy a hot tub, there was literally a space in our newly remodelled garden that was completely sheltered, not overlooked and was a perfect hot tub size.
All right Universe, I hear you!
So off we went to our closest hot tub shop and bought a hot tub.
Seriously, that was it!
We visited one hot tub shop, the one closes to us, looked at a few, easily got upsold to one of the more expensive ones, a HotSprings Sovereign Hot Tub with a freshwater salt system to produce its own chlorine, and then waited for it to be shipped in from the States, as that is where they all come from.
So, now that we have had our hot tub for around eight years, and still use it 3 or 4 times a week, what will I do differently when I buy my next hot tub?
Let’s start with the ‘Shipping from the States’ comment I made above.
1. Where Does Your Hot Tub Come From/How Long Will It Take To Arrive?
There are two reasons that this is important, but for the first part, I am just going to talk about the length of time it takes to be delivered, and then move onto the second part in point two below.
Because our local hot tub shop was HotSprings, a USA company, all of their hot tubs are shipped from the States.
That means they take weeks or months to arrive, depending the time of year that you order and what their US stock levels are like.
In my experience and of talking to other hot tub friends, once you decide to buy a hot tub, you want it NOW, if not sooner.
Therefore, lesson one from my own hot tub buying experience would be to say shop around, ask about delivery times and most importantly, ask the questions in number 2 below!
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 1: How long will it take for your hot tub to arrive?
2. Can Anyone Else Service Or Repair Your Hot Tub
The other thing that I only discovered really after my five year warranty period had ended (a good part of the HotSprings hot tub range is their five year warranty, at least until it runs out), was that only HotSprings have the spares and can service their own hot tubs.
As I say, in the five year warranty period, which we needed to use quite a lot due to the ineffective Freshwater Salt System for chlorine production, this wasn’t a problem.
Well, the cost wasn’t a problem, but the speed of service generally was. Usually the waiting time for them to come out was weeks, and sometimes, if you happened to have a problem at peak periods, before Christmas or in the summer, it was a long wait.
Now, as I mentioned, we use the hot tub three or four times a week, so this long wait was a complete nuisance, especially when it was at Christmas, as the colder, darker nights are our favourite time of the year.
Since the warranty ended and I tried to call out other hot tub service companies, they have all said the same: “HotSprings won’t let us touch their hot tubs and won’t supply the parts, so we can’t help you.”
This leaves one choice only for a HotSprings service, paying the current call out price of £150 before they even come to your front door, and waiting the few weeks or couple of months for them to fit you into your diary.
For me, that is a major no.
It has led to me having to repair a leak in my water pump (when I would much rather pay someone to do so as I am not the most practical man in the world) simply because again, it was before Christmas, and I didn’t want to wait until the end of January for someone to come out.
A couple of hours on YouTube, buying the right gloop, two attempts and incredibly it was not leaking any longer.
However, for me, the ability to have the choice to call someone out to fix my hot tub would be a major part in my next hot tub buying experience.
In fact, my advice to you would be to start just there.
Find a local hot tub servicing company near to where you live, then call them to ask if they do repairs, how much they charge for call out, and which hot tubs they find the most reliable and the easiest to get spare parts for (and reasonably priced spare parts).
Once you know that, you can then go off in search of hot tubs that meet all of those criteria.
To me, this tip alone could make your hot tub buying and ownership experience a whole lot better than mine.
Please do me a favour, and if you follow this advice and are happy with your experience, let me know on EMAIL.
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 2: Ensure you are not restricted when it comes to hot tub servicing.
Next, let’s talk about Jets!
3. Hot Tub Jets
You might think that jets would be number one on the hot tub choosing process, but I hope you can see why I put the other items above first.
They are really important.
But jets are important too (go jets!) so let’s talk about them.
For me, the biggest and most important part about jets is to have a good selection or variety of different jets.
Some jets are good on the lower back, some for the middle back, some for the neck, and don’t forget one for the feet. I like a nice foot massage, although my wife not so much.
The point is that you want a good variety of jets, and also the ability to turn the pressure up or down on all of these jets so that you can get the right pressure fo you.
For my part, I want to be pummelled to bits by my jets, and I doubt there is a hot tub that could achieve the pressure I would like to experience.
Others in my family want a more gentle massage.
This is why it is so important that you have a choice of pressures available in your hot tub.
You want to be able to please all of the people all of the time, which, unlike in the real world, you should be able to achieve in hot tub land.
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 3: Ensure you have a good variety of hot tub jets!
4. To Cover With A Roof Or Not To Cover With A Roof, That Is The Question…
The short answer for me is a strong No!
A hot tub is, by definition, hot.
When you sit in the hot water for a while, you heat up to the same temperature as the water, so as we set ours to 38 to 39 degrees Centigrade, putting a roof on top of that would be madness to me.
Besides that, those stars won’t look at themselves, and it is hard to see them when they are hidden behind a roof.
What about if it rains?
For me, it’s a cap, and for my wife, it’s an umbrella.
You could go for the option of a cantilever parasol, which has the benefit of being able to be put up or put down, but we have never felt the need to do so.
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 4: Don’t buy a roof or cabin for your hot tub to start with. See how you get on without one. If you are like me, you will never look back!
5. Water Fountains /Features – Should You Bother?
I remember being excited about water features when looking at the various hot tubs on display, but I cannot for the life of me think why now.
If you have young children, maybe I can see the appeal, but I think even they would get bored of the water features after a few minutes of playing with them.
They either fire some water into the air slowly and back down into the hot tub, or they dribble water over the edge of the hot tub.
Either way, it isn’t worth worrying about in my experience as part of your hot tub buying process, so it will be very low down on my list of priorities when I finally decide to upgrade my current hot tub.
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 5: Don’t Sweat The Water Features
6. Water Circulation. Matters.
A hot tub is a stagnant pond of water, if you think about it.
You fill it up, it sits there, you sit in it, it stays there, then others sit in it and the water remains.
Sorry to be blunt, but it is important to pooint out what we are dealing with here.
However, the good news is that it is your stagnant pool of water and unlike the public swimming pool or gymnasium where lots of strangers get to sit in the stagnant water, you only invite people that you like into your hot tub.
Even so, you want that water to be kept as clean as is humanly possible.
And this is the reason why you want a hot tub that circulates 100% of the water 100% of the time.
If the water is constantly put through the filters, cleaned and pushed past the chlorine dispenser to freshen it up all day every day, then that is going to give you the cleanest water possible.
So asking about water circulation is vital, and obtaining a hot tub with 100% water circulation is really important.
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 6: Buy a hot tub with 100% water circulation.
7. Cup Holders
This might seem trivial, and it is, but not enough cup holders will bother you in time, I can assure you.
I have a six person hot tub with two cup holders.
Why would you do that?
Whilst there are only usually two of us in it, they are rarely in the right place for where we are sitting at any given time, so I would advise you to buy a hot tub that has enough cup holders for the number of people that are going to sit in it.
That way, there will always be a cup holder wherever you decide to sit in the hot tub.
Buying A Hot Tub Tip 7: Buy a hot tub with enough cup holders for the number of seats in the hot tub.