Hot Tub Buyers Guide – Everything You Need To Know
Embarking on the journey of buying a hot tub might feel like diving into uncharted waters. But fear not, we’re here to make your hot tub hunt an absolute breeze. We’ve condensed our years of wisdom into this delightful guide, so you’ll be navigating the hot tub universe like a pro in no time.
In this guide, we’ve got all the juicy details you need for your hot tub adventure.
So, go ahead, grab yourself a cuppa, and let’s jump right in.
Conducting Your Research
To kick things off, start with some good ol’ research. You’re about to make an investment in relaxation, so it’s worth making an informed decision. And remember, it’s not just about the hot tub brand but also the company you’re buying from – check those reviews! Hot tubs are a long-term commitment, so you want to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable company that’ll have your back.
Is a Hot Tub Worth It?
Absolutely! Especially if you plan to make it a regular rendezvous. Hot tubs offer hydrotherapy benefits that can work wonders for both your body and mind. Plus, they’re the perfect spot to unwind and bond with your loved ones without any distractions.
Hot Tub vs. Jacuzzi®?
Jacuzzi® is the OG brand that pioneered the hot tub game over six decades ago and is still a big player in the industry. At Concept Spa, we proudly offer Jacuzzi® alongside other top-notch brands. So, while all Jacuzzi’s® are hot tubs, not all hot tubs are Jacuzzi’s®.
Choosing the Right Hot Tub
The right hot tub for you depends on your budget, garden size, intended use, and whether you fancy some built-in speakers to play your favourite tunes. With thousands of hot tubs out there, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially online. This is where chatting with a trusted hot tub supplier comes in handy. At Concept Spa, we’re all about asking the right questions so that we can match you with your perfect hot tub. Whether it’s for hydrotherapy, relaxation, or even a commercial venture, we’ve got you covered.
Hot Tub Categories
- Hydrotherapy: If you’re seeking relief from aches and pains, consider mid-range to high-end hot tubs.
- Social/Relaxation: For leisure and relaxation, an entry-level hot tub may suffice unless you prioritise warranty and running costs.
- Commercial Use: In commercial settings, simplicity is key – no frills, no fancy extras. Less is more to minimise issues and maintenance.
Depending on which of the above three categories you fall in will influence the questions we ask you as we expertly decipher exactly what you need and want out of your hot tub. Now, it’s important to note that when most people visit our showroom, they often don’t have that much of an idea of what they’re looking for, which is why we will ask so many questions during the sales process. But not every company will do this, so it’s worth having a good understanding of what you want/ need before visiting or contacting a hot tub supplier.
Now then, before we move on I just want to highlight how incredibly important it is that you choose a hot tub that’s right for you and not just for right now, but what’s still going to be the right choice in the next 5 years. The reason I say this is that so often we have a couple come in with a set budget who are adamant that they want a hot tub that seats 8 people for that one occasion per year where they’ll have the whole family round to use the hot tub. Not only is this a massive waste of money, but for the same price, you could get something a lot smaller with a hugely upgraded massage. Okay, your family and friends might be disappointed for that one time they all come to visit… but for the remaining 364 days, you’ve got a hot tub that for the same price or sometimes even less does more for you and will cost less to run.
Click here to explore our full range of hot tubs.
What’s the Price Tag?
In our experience, the cheapest hot tubs often don’t deliver the best value. They can be pricier to run and require more maintenance. Having said that, price alone doesn’t guarantee quality, so research is your best friend. We’ve personally vetted our brands after extensive shows and supplier/ factory visits to ensure the quality of our hot tubs are top-of-the-line.
Inflatable Hot Tubs – Yay or Nay?
In the short term, inflatable hot tubs can be a budget-friendly option to dip your toes into the hot tub world. However, beware of their running costs, especially in cold weather. Frost damage can also be a real buzzkill if you decide to take them down and store them in your shed/ garage over the winter month. But for those that are a bit unsure about spending on a hard shell hot tub due to fears that you won’t use it- start with an inflatable and if you like it, then take the plunge and get yourself a proper hot tub from a reputable hot tub dealership.
The Cost of Running a Hot Tub
Owning a hot tub comes with running costs, including electricity, water, and chemicals. These costs vary depending on usage, location, size, insulation, and heater efficiency. But on average our hot tubs will use around 6-8kWs per 24 hours with average use. If you’re currently scratching your head, wondering what 6-8kWs looks like in real money then, take this as an example; at the time of writing this, the average price for kW in the U.K. is £0.29 which would be £1.74 – £2.32 per day – half the price of a cup of coffee. If running costs are a concern, then consider adding an air source heat pump for up to 50% energy savings. Check out our range of air-source heat pumps by clicking this link.
Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes, so consider your available space and how many people you’ll be soaking with. If you’re planning hot tub parties, more seats are a plus. More seats mean a wider range of massages, that’s because in most hot tubs each seat will provide the user with a different massage from the last. Targeting a variety of key muscle groups as you work your way from seat to seat. Height matters too, especially for taller and shorter users. If you’re especially tall or short, it would be worthwhile sitting in a few hot tubs first, before committing to one.
Top tip: If you think 4 people will use the hot tub regularly, it’s always worth sizing up (where possible). In this example, we would recommend going for a 5-6 person spa.
How Much Do Hot Tubs Weigh?
Empty hot tubs can weigh anywhere from 200-350kg for 2-3 person tubs to 400kg for larger 6-8 seaters. Fill them up, and you’re looking at a weight of 2000kg (2 tonnes) for the smaller ones and 2800kg (2.8 tonnes) for the bigger models.
What Are Hot Tubs Made From?
Hot tub shells can be made of vinyl, rotomolded plastic, fibreglass, or acrylic. Each has its unique characteristics and benefits.
Sheltering Your Hot Tub
It might be worth considering a hot tub gazebo or pergola to shield yourself from the predictably unpredictable British weather. Just ensure it’s wide enough to cover your hot tub without swallowing your entire garden, many of our customers will get something big enough to have a hot tub under one side with enough space for outdoor furniture under the other. Click this link to explore our range of outdoor pergolas.
Key Considerations When Buying
Here’s a checklist before you dive into the hot tub experience:
- Insulation: Well-made hot tubs with good insulation save on heating costs.
- Base: A solid base like ABS prevents unwanted garden visitors.
- Jets: More jets don’t necessarily mean a better massage.
- Pumps: Efficiency trumps sheer number when it comes to pumps and jets.
- Filtration: Filters are essential, but chemicals are still required.
- Water Purification: UV-C or ozonator systems can enhance water purity.
- Entertainment: Bluetooth® music systems and lighting options add flair.
- Water Features: A waterfall can add a soothing touch.
- Warranty: Know your warranty coverage and who’s backing it.
You can find all of our product warranties on the corresponding product page. Simply find the hot tub you like, click ‘View Product’ and scroll down to the section titled ‘More Information’ towards the bottom of the page. You’ll find a PDF document titled ‘Warranty Information’ which will relate to that specific product. Please be aware that different brands have different warranties.
Check that a trusted brand backs your purchase to fulfil your warranty, not just the hot tub dealer themselves.
Visiting a Showroom
We strongly recommend visiting showrooms when beginning your hot tub journey, this will allow you to meet the team, get a feel for the products, and even sit in them if necessary. If you can’t make it to our Llangefni showroom, our experts are just a call, email, live chat or video call away.
Click here for directions to our Anglesey-based Llangefni showroom.
Buying Your Hot Tub
Before making a purchase, research thoroughly. Some online prices may not include installation or a labour warranty. Be aware that national suppliers charge per mile for future services and repair work, which can work out to be quite costly if they’re many miles away. Reading reviews can also provide valuable insights.
Hot Tub Financing
Many reputable dealers offer finance packages to spread the cost. Keep an eye out for finance offers at hot tub retailers. We offer competitive finance rates, including 0% APR. For more details, call our sales team at 01248 723207 or click ‘View Product’ on the hot tub you like the look of and scroll down to our finance calculator. From there you’ll be able to select the finance terms and calculate the monthly costs
Hot Tub Supplies and Accessories
Once you’ve chosen your dream hot tub, consider enhancing your experience with accessories like:
- Hot Tub Cover Lifters: This will make opening and closing the cover a whole lot easier.
- Hot Tub Steps: Safety and ease of entry are crucial. Reputable dealers will provide these free of charge.
- Spa Bars & Drinks Holders: We don’t think this one needs any elaboration.
- Submersible pump: This will become your best friend, helping you to empty the hot tub in a matter of minutes.
Your hot tub should always come with a thermal cover, if your dealer/ hot tub supplier is selling this as an optional extra… then I would advise you to go somewhere else.
Planning for Installation
Before your hot tub arrives, consider these factors:
- Garden Placement: Think about where it’ll sit and how it complements your garden’s aesthetic.
- Direction: Consider its orientation and privacy from neighbours.
- Space: Ensure there’s enough room to access all parts of the hot tub.
- Send your supplier pictures/ videos of the access, base and electrics or arrange a site survey to ensure the site is ready for the delivery of a hot tub.
Hot Tub Installation
Installing a hot tub is a job best left to the pros. Key considerations include:
- A solid, level base.
- A certified electrical supply.
- Access for delivery.
- Site surveys to ensure a smooth setup. Or, send your supplier pictures and access videos.
- For tricky access, a crane might be needed.
Hot Tub Electricity Requirments
Most hot tubs require power (unless they’re wood-fired), with smaller ones needing a 13-amp supply and larger ones 32 amps or more. Ensure all electrical work is carried out by a competent electrician with the relevant certification to meet legal requirements.
13-amp hot tubs are often marketed as ‘plug and play’ meaning that they can simply be plugged into an IP-rated outdoor socket using the 3-pin plug that they often come with. This isn’t something which we recommend, we would advise that you hard-wire the hot tub into a 16-amp isolator switch that has a direct feed to your mains consumer unit. Why? Because a standard 3-pin plug will get hot over time with the hot tub being on 24/7 which could eventually melt the socket.
Choosing a Base for Your Hot Tub
Your hot tub needs a solid, level foundation. While concrete is recommended, gravel, patio slabs, or block paving can also work, as long as they’re flat and level. When we say level, we mean it. An uneven base can result in irreversible damage being done to the hot tub’s shell. A reputable supplier may even refuse to install the hot tub on an uneven base. If a concrete base is the route you’re going down, then we would recommend that you make it at least 4 inches in thickness.
Can A Hot Tub Be Installed on Decking?
Yes, you can place a hot tub on decking, but ensure it can handle the weight. The rule of thumb is about 100 lbs per square foot, but in most cases, a qualified joiner can reinforce your decking if needed.
Hot Tub in a Shed?
Yes, it’s possible, but ensure your shed meets certain criteria:
- A strong base.
- Proper ventilation to prevent wood damage.
- Adequate space for maintenance and cover removal.
Setting Up Your Hot Tub
While we handle the installation for our customers, if you’ve bought from someone who isn’t setting it up for you, here are the steps:
- Place your garden hose in the tub where the filtration is located and turn on your water supply. Fill the pipework with water first to reduce the risk of trapped air in your plumbing. If you cause an airlock, your spa may show a ‘flow’ error message. Find out more in our flow error blog for help in case that happens.
- Avoid overfilling – leave space for water displacement.
- Use warm, not boiling water (above 50°C can damage the shell).
Hot tubs aren’t high maintenance as long as you grasp basic water chemistry. Costs increase with usage, but for 2-3 times a week, expect around £200 annually for chemicals and filters. For a full and comprehensive guide on hot to properly maintain your hot tub, click here.
Create a maintenance schedule based on usage, covering daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks:
- Water Maintenance: Treatments like chlorine, bromine, or oxygen.
- Filter Care: Weekly cleaning and changing the filter every 6 months.
- Interior and Exterior Cleaning + Changing Of Hot Tub Water: Regular cleaning as per usage. Generally every 1-3 months.
Leaving Your Hot Tub On
Keep your hot tub running 24/7 for optimal efficiency. It’s more energy-efficient than reheating it from cold every time. Only turn it down when not in use for extended periods, and ensure proper chemical maintenance.
Hot Tub Servicing
Book an annual service to keep your hot tub in top shape. Our 30-point service check covers repairs and replacements under warranty when necessary. Different brands have different warranties. To book an annual service with us, you can do so by filling out a contact form on our website, calling us on 01248 723207 or emailing us at [email protected].
Draining Your Hot Tub
Turn off the power, attach a garden hose to the drain spigot, and open the valve. The time it takes to fill your hot tub depends on water pressure and capacity. Or use a submersible pump, this will massively decrease the time it takes to empty your hot tub. For a detailed guide on how to change the water in your hot tub, click here.
Still feeling uncertain? Give us a shout at 01248 723207, hop on live chat, or email [email protected]. And if you’re not nearby, we can arrange a virtual appointment to showcase our fantastic hot tubs via FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom. Happy hot tubbing! 🌟
Want a bit more information regarding the electrical and delivery requirements? Download our pre-delivery guide below.