Published by Matt Fichera on Sep 4 2019
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Spa or Hot Tub
The addition of a hot tub provides you a great place to unwind after a long day, adds an additional aspect to the weekend party and helps makes lasting memories throughout the years. Let’s face it though, buying a hot tub isn't something you do frequently. Researching and purchasing a hot tub can sometimes seem like a daunting task. You want to make sure that you get the spa that works the best for you while also making sure you get the best deal from the best dealer with the best warranty, the best accessories etc. etc.
However you look at it, there are many things to think through as you do research and eventually end up relaxing to the max in your new purchase. Basic things like number of seats and number of jets to more technical aspects like the type of water filtration system or the number of pumps. You’ve also got to find a location for it, possibly go with financing, understand the warranty, and many other important things.
Make the buying process easier by taking these suggestions into consideration and remember that we have many years of experience and would be happy to help in any way that we can.
What is the Motivation in Purchasing a Spa or Hot Tub?
The reason that you need to think about this is not to question legitimacy but more to start distinguishing between spa sizes, styles, prices, and features. Things that we would think would go into answering this question include: Is the spa going to be used primarily by you and at the very most one to two other people? Or maybe there will be many people in the spa all at once? Also, it’s important to make note of what the spa will be mostly used for. Is it for relaxation? Entertainment? Hydrotherapy? or a mix of these?
If hydrotherapy is a priority than maybe you’ll use placement of hydrotherapy jets, loungers, captain’s chair, neck jets or other things like these as important determining factors in your selection. Maybe you have a large family who would all be interested in using the new tub. If this is the case, than size and capacity become very important factors. Formulating answers to these questions will help you in identifying where the most value lies and will help you during the important research and buying process.
Where will the Spa be Located?
This question should be asked as it may factor into the motivation question. Sometimes specific sizes cannot fit in a pre-determined location so it is beneficial to factor this in while still early on in the process. Whether the location is inside, on a deck, in the yard, or any other place, a sturdy surface that is level will be important. Also, two major factors to think about are the need to safely access electricity for spa operation and also making sure that where the spa is placed is able to handle both the weight of the spa as well as its occupants. If the location is in the yard or somewhere uneven there may be a need to dedicate time to prepare. Manipulating or tending to a location such as cleaning up debris or grading/leveling a desired area may be very key. You should also take into account appropriate room to safely enter and exit the spa while having ample room to maneuver. Factoring this into the equation could impact how much space is cleared or leveled as well as the placement of other surrounding objects. We have many years of experience in helping to deliver and place spas and would happy to consult or answer any questions that you may have. Figuring all of this out should not be intimidating and doesn’t need to be looked at as a barrier to your purchase.
Ability to Maintain
Maintaining a spa is very important to its optimal performance and to keep it in its best conditions for many years to come. When prospecting and researching you should look at how certain spas filter the water. It is very common for a modern spa to use a pleated filter to trap grease and dirt as the water is forced through it. It’s also typical for hot tubs to have a couple different on-board water pumps. One is used for circulation and filtration while the other is dedicated to the jets and hydrotherapy. Take a look to see how easy the filter can be accessed as these need to be cleaned every couple of weeks and replaced annually. Some hot tubs use chemicals while other use an optional o-zone which sanitizes naturally thereby reducing chemical use. You should do research on the costs of all of these things including filters, o-zone, additional chemicals, and any additional maintenance costs.
Part of maintaining a hot tub is having the ability and knowledge to effectively run it to maintain cleanliness but also to keep temperatures up and costs at a manageable level. The energy efficiency of spas should be looked at closely as heat retention ability will greatly effect operational costs and your budget.
What’s the Budget?
There may be a figure that you have right off the bat or maybe there is one that you will be able to assemble after thinking and researching. At the very least, answering the previously asked questions will certainly help to set the gears in motion of establishing a budget that incorporates the cost of spa, any electrical work needed, the potential for site work to be done such as a concrete slab for the hot tub to sit on, any land grading, debris cleanup etc.
Another thing to ask yourself is if you will want things that are considered add-ons or options. This decision starts while researching what comes with the spa’s entry level price and what is extra. It may not be a bad idea to also connect this back to your original motivations to see what may take priority. An example of this would be the following: Maybe you are getting a hot tub because you host lots of family or neighborhood parties and you want to add an extra perk to these gatherings. It may be beneficial to spring for the built-in stereo for an additional cost. Or maybe you like to have a relaxing soak in the spa after a long day at work and want to make sure that the tub is exact an optimal temperature so you decide to go with the Wi-Fi and automation that allows you to get a status and set a desired temperature directly from your cell phone on the way home.
Regardless of what you choose, it would definitely be beneficial to have an understanding of all associated costs along the way so that everything is accounted for an there are no surprises. Investigate whether the dealer or manufacturer charges additional for delivery of the spa to your prepared site, see if they charge for things like any leveling work needed or any cost for additional on-site initial operation instructions. None of these things really should be charged at an additional amount but the possibility does exist.
Spa Quality and Warranty
Looking at the warranty that a company offers is a great way to gauge a company’s confidence in its craftsmanship and its products overall. If a company is providing a long term guarantee it typically shows that it genuinely cares about its customers and their experiences with the organization and brand. It would also be in your best interests to take a moment and read about the history of the spa manufacturer and to check and see if the organization offers things like a customer service department, parts consultants, or any additional services that help ensure a positive experience with the brand and its products. Does the manufacturer advertise internal quality control checks? How large is their organization and what does the buying community look like? Does the manufacturer outsource certain parts or models that may not be covered? It’s OK to do your homework by reading company and product reviews, checking the company out on social media, or using testimonials and third-party ratings. Most manufacturers will offer a 100% guarantee for a certain period of time after purchase and go to great efforts to provide quality service to all customers regardless of length of time since purchase. Really when it comes down to it, besides any retailer involved, the manufacturer is the product expert and as a potential buyer it is reassuring to know that the brand stands behind its product as well as behind you.
Buy the Dealer Prior to Buying the Hot Tub
We suggest doing business with a dealer who provides excellent customer service even after the purchase has happened. Really there should be no change in the way that you are treated. Select a dealer who has a positive track record, is trustworthy, has the ability to offer service if it’s needed as well as being able to sell you products and make suggestions as to what may be needed to ensure clean and safe water. Popular water treatments for Hot Tub water safety include Chlorine, Bromine and for more sensitive skin, there’s Oxidiser.
Avoid purchasing from a company that plans to drop the hot tub off in your driveway for you and your neighbors to wrestle in place and attempt to level. Don’t risk injuring yourself or friends. Professional spa installers should be sent to do the job and the dealership should follow up multiple times to answer questions and to be a resource for anything that is needed. Some retailers even have service divisions that would be happily consulted or called upon for any mechanical or service issues.
Selecting a spa has many factors to consider and lots of information to consider and digest. Choosing something that works for you as well as continuously maintaining your purchase and investment will help ensure that there are many fun times for many years. If there are questions about purchasing a hot tub, maintaining it, or diagnosing a problem, we would certainly be happy to help. Contact us here or give one of our retail stores a call.