Buying a hot tub can be an exciting yet daunting experience, especially if it’s your first time. To help you navigate the process and make an informed decision, Hot Tub Owner HQ has compiled a list of 23 crucial things you need to know before purchasing a hot tub. These insights are based on personal experiences and feedback from hot tub owners who shared their tips, regrets, and frustrations. Let’s dive in!
What To Consider When Buying a Hot Tub
- Understand the main aspects: Before stepping into a hot tub showroom, familiarize yourself with essential questions such as how to get the best price, where to place the hot tub, how to get power to it, the ongoing costs of ownership, and how to maintain it. Having a basic understanding of these factors will empower you during the buying process.
- Consider the types: Hot tubs come in various types, including inflatable, in-ground (permanent), and portable (wood frame and acrylic shell). Within each category, there are different price levels to suit different budgets and lifestyle needs.
- Is buying used an option? Absolutely! Purchasing a used hot tub can save you money, but it’s important to be aware of potential challenges. Be prepared for additional costs such as moving expenses, checking the breaker panel, electrical work, and possible repairs.
- Do you need a concrete slab? While a concrete slab is an ideal surface for a hot tub, it’s not the only option. Hot tubs can be placed on pavers or wooden decks, provided they can support the weight. Waiting at least 30 days after pouring concrete is essential to ensure its stability.
- Alternative surfaces: Hot tubs can be placed on pavers or wooden decks, depending on your preference and existing structures. Concrete and alternative surface options are discussed in greater detail in a linked article.
- Are saltwater hot tubs better? Saltwater hot tubs are gaining popularity due to their gentleness on the skin, reduced chemical usage, and longer intervals between water changes. Retrofitting a regular hot tub to a saltwater system is also possible with a conversion kit.
- Best hot tub for the money: The best hot tub for the money depends on your budget and preferences. Well-known brands like Jacuzzi, Sundance, Master Spas, and HotSpring Spas offer quality options. If you’re on a budget, Essential Hot Tubs provide affordable and reliable choices.
- Best time to buy: The last few months of the year are ideal for purchasing a hot tub, as it aligns with the industry’s slow season and the need to make room for next year’s models. During this time, dealers are more likely to negotiate or offer additional incentives.
- What is a good price? The average price for a hot tub that fits 4-8 people is around $7,000. However, prices vary based on the quality and features desired. Entry-level hot tubs start at $2,000, while luxury models can range up to $18,000.
- Most reliable hot tub brand: Jacuzzi, Sundance, Master Spas, and HotSpring Spas are reputable and reliable hot tub brands. Personal experiences and feedback from other hot tub owners indicate their satisfaction with these brands.
- Difference between a hot tub and a Jacuzzi: Jacuzzi is a well-known brand of hot tubs, often used interchangeably with the term “hot tub.” While Jacuzzi specializes in hot tubs, they also manufacture bathtubs and other jetted tubs.
- Negotiating hot tub prices: When purchasing a hot tub, the initial price is a significant factor to consider. The price of hot tubs can vary widely based on factors such as brand, size, features, and quality. It’s essential to research and compare prices from different retailers and manufacturers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
- Are Costco hot tubs any good? Costco sells a few different and lesser-known brands of hot tubs, including Aquaterra, Divine Hot Tubs, Evolution Spas, and OC Hot Tubs. The customer reviews for these brands on the Costco website generally range between 3 and 4.5 stars. While some models from OC Hot Tubs have lower ratings, other brands have better reviews and more of them. It’s important to note that none of the brands sold at Costco have a listed page with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Delivery times for hot tubs purchased from Costco typically range from 6 to 8 weeks.
- Are hot tubs expensive to maintain? Hot tub maintenance costs can vary depending on factors such as water quality, usage frequency, and the specific chemicals and filters required. In a typical year, you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars on expenses such as sanitizer (chlorine or bromine), shock treatment, pH-adjusting chemicals, alkalinity adjusters, calcium hardness adjusters, and periodic filter replacements. Additionally, you may need to change the water every 3-4 months, which can range from 300-600 gallons. These maintenance costs do not include electricity expenses.
- How much does your electric bill go up with a hot tub? On average, most hot tub owners experience an increase of $20 to $30 per month in their electric bills. However, this can vary depending on several factors. The quality of the hot tub, insulation efficiency, heater size, and whether it operates on 110v or 220v can affect energy consumption. Hot tubs that plug into a standard wall outlet (110v) tend to be less energy efficient and may result in higher operating costs compared to models that run on 220v. Proper insulation, including a high-quality cover, can help minimize energy usage.
- Are 110v hot tubs any good? Yes, 110v hot tubs can be good options, especially for those looking for convenience and ease of installation. Some reputable brands, such as Essential Hot Tubs, offer 110v models that can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. These hot tubs often receive positive reviews and can later be upgraded to 220v for improved energy efficiency if desired. Essential Hot Tubs is a brand worth considering, and they offer a variety of models on platforms like Amazon.
- How do I maintain my hot tub? Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure your hot tub remains clean, safe, and in good working condition. Here are some essential maintenance tasks:
Regular water testing: Test the water chemistry using a reliable test kit. Maintain appropriate levels of pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) to keep the water balanced and free from bacteria.
Water balancing: Adjust the pH and alkalinity levels as needed to prevent issues like corrosion or scale buildup. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use appropriate chemicals to maintain the correct balance.
Sanitization: Regularly sanitize the water to kill bacteria and prevent the growth of algae. Chlorine or bromine is commonly used for this purpose. Follow the recommended dosage instructions and test the sanitizer levels regularly.
Shock treatment: Shocking the water periodically helps to remove contaminants and restore water clarity. This is especially important after heavy usage or when the water appears cloudy. Use a non-chlorine shock or a chlorine-based shock treatment, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Filter maintenance: Clean the hot tub filters regularly to ensure proper water circulation and filtration. Rinse the filters with a hose or use a filter cleaning solution as directed. Replace the filters as recommended by the manufacturer.
Draining and refilling: Over time, the water in the hot tub will accumulate impurities and become less balanced. Draining and refilling the hot tub every three to four months (or as recommended by the manufacturer) is necessary to maintain water quality.
Surface cleaning: Wipe down the surfaces of the hot tub regularly to remove dirt, debris, and oils. Use a non-abrasive cleaner or hot tub-specific cleaning products to avoid damaging the surface.
Cover maintenance: Clean and condition the hot tub cover regularly to prevent deterioration. Use a vinyl cleaner and conditioner to keep the cover in good condition and extend its lifespan.
Regular inspections: Periodically inspect the hot tub for any signs of damage, leaks, or malfunctioning components. Address any issues promptly to avoid further damage or costly repairs.
It’s essential to follow the specific maintenance instructions provided by the hot tub manufacturer. Additionally, consider consulting a professional or referring to the owner’s manual for detailed maintenance guidelines tailored to your specific hot tub model.
- How long does a hot tub last? The lifespan of a hot tub can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the hot tub, regular maintenance, usage patterns, and environmental conditions. On average, a well-maintained hot tub can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
Here are some factors that can affect the longevity of a hot tub:
Quality: Hot tubs manufactured with high-quality materials and components tend to have a longer lifespan. Look for reputable brands known for their durability and reliability.
Maintenance: Regular maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the lifespan of a hot tub. Proper water chemistry balance, filter cleaning, and overall care can help prevent damage and deterioration.
Usage: The frequency and intensity of hot tub usage can impact its lifespan. Excessive usage or rough handling can put more stress on the components, potentially leading to premature wear and tear.
Environmental conditions: The climate and environment where the hot tub is located can affect its longevity. Extreme temperatures, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, or harsh weather conditions can accelerate wear and aging.
Upkeep and repairs: Timely repairs and addressing any issues promptly can help prevent further damage and extend the lifespan of the hot tub.
It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and individual experiences may vary. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and care can help maximize the lifespan of your hot tub.
- Frequency of use: The more frequently a hot tub is used, the more wear and tear it experiences. Constant use can put stress on the components and shorten the overall lifespan. If you use your hot tub frequently, it’s important to follow proper maintenance and care guidelines to minimize the impact on its longevity.
- User weight and load capacity: Hot tubs have weight limits specified by the manufacturer. Exceeding the recommended weight capacity can strain the structure and components, leading to premature wear and potential damage. It’s important to adhere to the weight restrictions to ensure the longevity of your hot tub.
- Freeze protection: In regions with cold climates, it’s crucial to protect the hot tub from freezing temperatures. Freezing water can cause pipes to burst, damage the shell, and harm various components. Proper winterization and insulation measures should be taken to prevent freezing and ensure the longevity of the hot tub.
- UV exposure: Prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV rays can cause fading, discoloration, and deterioration of the hot tub’s exterior, cover, and other components. Using a UV-resistant cover and periodically applying protective treatments can help mitigate the effects of UV exposure and extend the lifespan of your hot tub.
- Chemical exposure: Some external factors, such as exposure to harsh chemicals, can impact the lifespan of a hot tub. For example, if the hot tub is located near a swimming pool with excessive chlorine levels, it can affect the integrity of the hot tub’s materials. Proper maintenance and monitoring of chemical levels are important to prevent damage and maximize the lifespan of your hot tub.
Man Converts Plane Into Airbnb With Hot Tub
Steven Northam, a semi-retired British entrepreneur, embarked on an extraordinary venture by purchasing the front end of a vintage Boeing 737-200 from eBay for $6,165. The 38-year-old visionary saw this as an opportunity to create a distinctive luxury Airbnb vacation rental. The project aimed to combine fun and quirkiness with a potential business venture.
However, acquiring a plane proved to be more challenging than a typical online purchase. Northam had to arrange for a haulage firm and a crane to transport the plane, which took nearly three months to coordinate. The aircraft was originally used by Chichester College to train future flight crew but had been neglected for over a decade, resulting in a rather dilapidated condition upon its arrival at Northam’s home in Winchester, England.
Undeterred by the plane’s sorry state, Northam embarked on an extensive renovation project, both inside and outside the aircraft, which incurred a total cost of around $18,500. The interior required a complete overhaul, as it was a time capsule from the plane’s original era. The renovation process commenced in July 2022 and spanned three months, with Northam undertaking the project single-handedly. His efforts were even documented by the crew of the Channel 4 show “George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.”
The initial step involved removing the majority of the seats, reinforcing the floor, and installing new carpeting. Northam then transformed the empty space into distinct sections, creating alcoves for beds, seating areas, and a kitchenette using stud walls. While the interior features modern technology, such as high-speed WiFi, Smart TVs, and Xboxes, Northam was careful to retain many of the plane’s original elements, including the seats with seatbelts, overhead storage lockers, and even the original restroom. To add an element of uniqueness, a glass floor was incorporated, offering a view into the cargo hold area.
One of the standout features of the renovated plane is an innovative hot tub made from the inlet cowling of a plane engine. Alongside deck chairs and space for a barbecue, this creative addition provides guests with a one-of-a-kind experience. Another highlight is the cockpit flight simulator, which captures the attention of aviation enthusiasts. Equipped with a gaming PC and a large curved monitor, the simulator allows guests to immerse themselves in a realistic flight experience. The fusion of entertainment options and distinctive features has already generated significant interest from potential Airbnb guests.
Although Northam is still awaiting planning permission from the local council to officially list the plane on Airbnb, there is already a considerable list of individuals eager to stay. The anticipated cost per night is around £150 ($185.70). Families with children have shown particular interest, but the rental is also expected to appeal to those seeking a unique venue for parties or a weekend of leisure and enjoyment.
Northam takes great pride in his remarkable accomplishment and envisions using the revenue generated from the Airbnb rental to pursue future projects. He has set his sights on transforming a truck into an armored camper van, which promises to be yet another extraordinary venture. With his passion for converting unusual spaces into fascinating accommodations, Northam’s innovative spirit continues to thrive, leaving us eagerly anticipating his next endeavor.
Featured Photo Credit: Steven Northam
Luxurious Home Featuring 50-Person Hot Tub Comes With $4.1 Million Price Tag
A remarkable California property is capturing the attention of potential buyers as it prepares to be listed this week. The residence, located in Playa Del Rey, features a colossal hot tub that is touted as one of the largest in Los Angeles and has the capacity to accommodate up to 50 individuals. With a price tag of $4.1 million, this luxurious listing offers a unique opportunity for those who envision hosting gatherings with numerous friends in a single heated pool.
The outdoor area of the property boasts not only the remarkable hot tub but also two additional pools that run parallel to the house. This clever design allows residents the option of seamlessly transitioning from the primary bedroom directly into the water with a mere leap. For those seeking a more natural aquatic experience, the beach is conveniently located a mere two blocks away.
Situated on a spacious corner double-lot spanning over 9,200 square feet, the main house showcases meticulous renovations while still retaining its original charm. Originally constructed in 1926, the property has undergone extensive updates to present a clean, modern aesthetic characterized by white walls and tasteful blue accents. Spanning two stories, the house encompasses a generous floor area of just under 4,700 square feet. It offers four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two suites with heated floors, ensuring the utmost comfort and luxury for residents and their guests.
The impressive amenities of the property extend beyond the pools. The house boasts a dedicated game room and gym, catering to those with an active lifestyle. The kitchen is equipped with a wine fridge, ideal for oenophiles and enthusiasts of fine dining experiences. Additionally, two covered garage spots are available, providing convenience and protection for residents’ vehicles. The new Simplisafe security system ensures peace of mind, while multiple office spaces cater to those who work remotely. A roof deck offers breathtaking views of the ocean, complementing the indoor-outdoor living experience that the property epitomizes. Other notable features include an electric vehicle charging station, a “meditation tub” for moments of tranquility, wood accents that add warmth and character, and automatic window treatments throughout the house.
Deb Sellers, the listing agent from Douglas Elliman, emphasized the allure of this remarkable property. She highlighted the expansive ocean views that can be enjoyed from almost every room, thanks to the thoughtful integration of sliding glass walls that seamlessly merge indoor and outdoor living spaces. Sellers also mentioned the property’s rich history, having been previously inhabited by notable sports celebrities and tech titans from the famed Silicon Beach area. Former owners include boxing champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Jeremi Gorman, the current president of worldwide advertising for Netflix, who sold the home to its present owners.
As this exceptional California compound becomes available for purchase, potential buyers have the chance to acquire a residence that redefines luxury living. With its grand hot tub, stunning pools, and a myriad of lavish features, this property promises an unparalleled lifestyle for those seeking the finest in coastal living.
Featured Photo Credit: Connie Cody Photography
6 Best Hot Tubs For Creating a Spa-Like Experience On a Budget
Hot tubs have become popular for their ability to provide stress relief and alleviate pain, but choosing the right one requires careful consideration. With their high price tags and maintenance requirements, it’s crucial to make an informed decision. Opting for a high-quality hot tub is essential to avoid issues such as leaks and unreliable heating systems.
While hot tubs can be a significant investment, experts advise against going for cheaper options. It’s a case of “you get what you pay for,” as higher-quality hot tubs offer superior craftsmanship, resulting in lower energy consumption, reduced maintenance costs, and a longer lifespan.
When selecting a hot tub, several factors should be taken into account, including the type of tub, seating capacity, water management system, size, and service requirements. Of course, your budget plays a vital role as well. In the current market, there is a wide range of hot tub options tailored to meet specific needs. Here are the best hot tubs available in 2023.
The Lifesmart LS100 is an excellent choice for most families due to its moderate size and easy maintenance. This hot tub features 9 adjustable jets and four bucket seats, accompanied by a one horsepower pump that delivers a satisfying water pressure experience. It is energy-efficient and can be plugged into a standard outlet, ensuring that utility bills remain manageable. With full foam insulation and a thermal cover, heat retention is optimized. Convenient temperature and lighting controls are within easy reach, allowing you to personalize your soaking experience while enjoying the comfort of this hot tub.
Dimensions: 71 x 62 x 32 inches | Capacity: Four people
The Intex 28431EP is a popular inflatable hot tub that boasts surprising features. With a spacious six-person capacity and easy assembly facilitated by the included air blower, this tub sets up in a matter of minutes. It offers 170 jets and can reach a maximum water temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite being inflatable, it provides adjustable control panels and headrests similar to traditional hot tubs. Crafted from durable puncture-resistant fiber-tech material, it offers peace of mind during relaxation, knowing that it is built to withstand regular use without the risk of bursting open.
Dimensions: 77 x 77 x 28 inches | Capacity: Four people
The Essential Hot Tubs Integrity offers a luxurious and durable spa experience. Its lightweight and portable resin construction provides strength and durability, while the low maintenance, impact resistant exterior ensures long-lasting performance. With 11 hydrotherapy jets powered by an energy efficient 2 Peak HP, 2-speed pump, you can indulge in high-speed hydrotherapy to relieve daily aches and pains. This spa is easy to set up with a standard 120V/15A household outlet, or you can choose to convert to a 240V electrical unit for maximum heater performance, recommended to be installed by a professional electrician. The quality colored granite resin and fully insulated interior keep the spa warm year-round, supported by an all-season stainless steel heater. The Integrity spa also includes a heavy-duty, insulated tapered cover with locking clips for convenient closure when not in use.
Dimensions: 71 x 71 x 30 inches | Capacity: Five people
The SaluSpa® San Francisco HydroJet Pro™ offers an affordable and portable spa experience for up to 7 people. With easy setup and no professional installation required, this spa delivers both a classy look and a relaxing hot tub experience. It includes 5 comfortable, adjustable pillows to enhance your comfort. With a maximum temperature of 104ºF (40ºC), you can enjoy relaxation while surrounded by 180 AirJet massage bubbles and 10 HydroJet spa nozzles. The spa provides 3 internal seating options, including 2 ergonomic lounges and a long bench that can accommodate couples. Each seat features targeted HydroJet nozzles for maximum relaxation. What sets this spa apart is its compatibility with the Bestway Smart Hub™ App, allowing you to control the spa from your smart device.
Dimensions: 90.5 x 90.5 x 28 inches | Capacity: Five people
Experience ultimate relaxation with the Comfort Hot Tubs 834 Series Spa. Its elegant design seamlessly blends into any setting, whether it’s a mountain house, beach city, countryside residence, residential neighborhood, or urban patio. This deluxe model features spacious and deep seating, providing a comfortable spa experience that customers rave about. With padded headrests and a lounge seating design, you and your guests will be delighted by the comfort it offers. Equipped with cutting-edge proprietary technology, this spa is sure to create lasting memories for you, your family, and friends. The hot tub features revolutionary adjustable stainless steel jets, delivering a high-pressure hydromassage to relieve stress and tension. The American Balboa control panel and heating system are built to last and provide a user-friendly experience. With excellent energy efficiency ratings, the system quickly heats the spa, ensuring a cozy environment even on the coldest winter nights. The heavy-duty insulated roll cover and premium insulation design retain heat effectively.
Dimensions: 84 x 84 x 36 inches | Capacity: Six people
Not everyone needs a large hot tub, and the Aquaspa 2-Person Hot Tub offers an intimate and cozy soaking experience. Indulge in pure relaxation with the touch of a button in this portable hot tub. Featuring 120 surrounding air jets, automatic preheating, and integrated water filtration, it offers complete tranquility. Experience powerful water circulation with the simultaneous operation of two filters, ensuring clean and pristine water. Activating the heating button initiates the filtering function. Aquaspa stands as the trusted leader in quality and enjoyment, with thousands of units sold worldwide.
Dimensions: 61 x 61 x 26 inches | Capacity: Two-three people
In conclusion, hot tubs provide a luxurious and therapeutic experience, but it’s crucial to choose wisely. Investing in a high-quality hot tub not only ensures durability but also helps save on energy and maintenance costs in the long run. Whether you opt for the Lifesmart LS100 for its reasonable price and easy maintenance, the Intex 28431EP for its quick setup and inflatable convenience, or a Comfort Hot Tubs 834 for its spaciousness and advanced features, there is a hot tub available to suit your specific needs and budget. Enjoy the relaxation and rejuvenation that hot tubs offer, creating your own personal oasis for ultimate comfort and well-being.
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