Choosing to invest in a hot tub is a major decision, both from a lifestyle, and financial point of view. As exciting as the process may seem, it often comes with many important questions that prospective owners should carefully consider before taking the plunge. In order to ensure complete satisfaction with your sensational new product, we compiled the following list of questions to consider before buying your own hot tub.
Where can I buy a hot tub?
Hot tubs can be bought in three different ways: online, at a big box store, and the most personal option; directly through a spa dealer.
Dealers are usually aligned with one or two different brands of hot tubs, meaning their sales are more focused on a smaller range of products. With spa dealers, clients can receive in-depth knowledge on specific brands and even individual tub models. They have their own websites where you can book consultations, and many will even provide a direct customer service line through which you can discuss your questions with them personally. Spa dealers will provide local delivery, installation, and support throughout and after your purchase.
Big Box Stores:
Hot tub options at these stores are generally wide, and oftentimes relatively cheap. Unlike at a dealer showroom, there's no option of testing the tub before making a purchase, and the personal connection between buyers and sales experts is also limited. The lower price tag comes with cheaper parts and often a shorter lifespan of the tub, with quality not always being a top priority. This increases the likelihood of product malfunction, and may actually incur more maintenance costs down the line than it originally saved.
Purchasing a tub online is easy and convenient. Various web stores offer a wide selection of hot tubs available through a one-click checkout system. But the delivery process rarely includes installation, and being left with a hot tub dumped on your front porch with no further professional support may not be desirable to prospective owners.
What is the hot tub made of?
Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes, but a lesser known fact is that they come in all different types of material too. Fiberglass-enhanced acrylic is typically considered the best choice, because of its strength and durability. ABS plastic is also commonly used in hot tubs, its long-lasting and sturdy structure makes it another ideal choice when considering your options. With proper maintenance, these materials will last you many, relaxing years.
How comfortable is it?
Ideally, you will be spending many sunny mornings and relaxing afternoons in your new hot tub, so you better make sure that the time spent is comfortable! Would you prefer a larger, deeper tub with more space to stretch out? Or something a little more compact, with a simplistic structure and just enough room to sit back and relax? How easy is it for you to access the controls, and how necessary is it for them to be within arms reach? Does the tub boast cushioned headrests, adjustable to different heights? Can you set up an appointment with a spa dealer to visit the warehouse personally and try out a few different models?
Will the tub be accessible for its users?
Your hot tub is a point of relaxation in your life, not a complication. While soaking in the water is going to be your primary goal, make sure to consider how you will get in and out of it too. This is especially important if any of the tubs new users have restricted mobility. Are the edges low enough for them to climb over, is there an added handlebar or support mechanism they can use to enter and exit the tub? If not, can you place the tub in a way where an external mechanism (like a wall or pole) can help them?
Is the hydrotherapy system suited to your needs?
Hydrotherapy is a leading reason behind purchasing hot tubs, but choosing the type most suited for your personal needs is important. How strong do you need the systems to be? A rule of thumb is that the tub's circulation system should reach the strength of one horsepower per five to eight jets. Also, make sure to check whether the jet placements suit your proportions. Will the streams hit all of the important muscle groups on your body? Can users adjust the power based on their preferences?
Air jets or water jets?
If you dream of comfortable hot tub sessions filled with lots of bubbles and light massages along your body, then air jets may be for you. If, however, you want your soaking to be accompanied by deep tissue massages and muscle stimulation in various intensities, the focused pressure of water jets is what you are looking for. Ideally, you can look for a tub that boasts a combination of the two, ensuring that every user has their needs met.
What level of cleaning and maintenance is needed?
The upkeep of your hot tub will be dependent on its design, it may range from low to high levels of maintenance requirements based on its attributes. It’s important to be realistic with yourself when considering the tubs “needs”. Generally, the more jets and the larger the surface area, the more time must be devoted to its maintenance. Will you be able to keep the tub clean, do you have the time to take regular care of it? If not, are you willing to invest in having professionals come around every so often to help you keep the product in prime condition?
Does the hot tub come with a cover?
A cover for your tub will always be a worthwhile investment. It will help reduce heat loss, a favor that will surely pay off on your electricity bill! The cover will also prevent anything not meant to be inside the hot tub, from getting in. This includes everything from natural debris to your household pet. It will greatly reduce the amount of cleaning the water needs between uses, and will leave you with a peace of mind even when you're not soaking. It’s important to clarify whether the tub's price includes its cover, or if it must (and can) be purchased separately.
Will I receive personal assistance after my purchase?
Buying a hot tub is one thing, but then comes the process of setting it up inside your own home. Will your purchase be followed up by personal assistance? Can a professional install the tub for you, and give you a run down on its operational specifics? It’s handy to have someone guide you through the process, especially if they have experience with using similar systems themselves. Feel free to ask them questions - even seemingly obvious ones - as it will pay off to have the knowledge later on.
What about the tubs warranty?
Asking about the details of your tubs warranty will be crucial down the line. It's important to clarify what it does and does not cover, and how long the scheme lasts. Tubs with acrylic linings should have a length warranty - generally around 20 years- since their inner lining cannot be replaced individually. You should also check if the warranty covers the replacement of individual parts. Sometimes, different components like the pumps or main heater will have different warranty plans.
Doing your own research and answering these questions will not only ensure a smoother purchasing process, but also increased satisfaction and many happy hours of hot tub usage for the years to come.
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