Mistakes to Avoid when buying hot tub

Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Hot Tub

Hot Tubs


October 1, 2021

Acquiring a hot tub is a major undertaking and you want to make the best choice. Buying the right hot tub for your family results in years of luxurious and enjoyable soaking. Buying the wrong hot tub can be costly, disappointing and irritating. So how can you make sure you get the product that’s right for you? The following is a list of the common mistakes to avoid when buying a hot tub.

  • Making a decision based on the initial cost of the hot tub: A hot tub is a long-term investment. It’s important to consider short-term costs (purchase price, delivery costs) and long-term costs (cost to run, maintain and repair). Some less expensive hot tubs are made from inferior materials and equipment and, over time, will result in higher operation and repair costs. Some hot tubs are made to last many years with little need for repair. 
  • Forgetting to account for installation: The cost of installing a new hot tub includes delivery, electrical hook-up, a base (concrete, gravel, a deck), accessories (cover, steps, cover lifter) and chemicals. These costs must be factored into your budget. 
  • Forgetting to examine the reasons for your purchase: There are many different makes and models of hot tubs, each with a unique combination of features. If you’re clear why you’re buying a spa, your choice of features/model/make will be simplified. Are you purchasing for pain relief, relaxation and/or to entertain and connect. 
  • Not considering location: Proper placement is essential to getting the most enjoyment out of your hot tub. Imagine purchasing a spa and having it delivered only to discover that it really doesn’t fit in your backyard. Measure the available area and only consider hot tubs that fit within those requirements. Make sure there is room to enter and exit the tub. Plan to put it close enough to your home to enjoy in the winter months. Don’t forget to consider privacy. You may want to add a screen and/or fence. 
  • Underestimating maintenance requirements: You’ll need to use chemicals to keep your hot tub clean and balanced and occasionally drain and refill your spa. Don’t have the time for a lot of maintenance? Choose a spa with a great filtration system. It’ll keep your water crystal-clear and reduce the amount of maintenance and chemicals required.
  • Forgetting to examine the features: Hot tubs come with many features. Consider your specific needs and what features address them. Think about jet placement, seat contour and fit. Are the jets adjustable? Make sure they target your trouble spots. Look for jets that mimic the shape of your back (wider at the top and bottom, thinner through the middle). Quality spas allow the user to control the water flow and pressure which delivers a better spa experience. Look for a medically designed spa if you suffer from severe pain or are looking for a place to recover from sports and stressful living. 
  • Failing to check the Insulation and Structure: Make sure that the hot tub has proper insulation and can withstand the climate in your area. The best insulation for the Alberta climate will be the MAAX Spas Northern Exposure Insulation, the world’s first engineered and patented insulation, making their hot tubs the most energy-efficient on the market. They use their eco-friendly BlueMAAX® insulation made from recycled fibers which are mold and mildew resistant and fire retardant. Notably, MAAX Spas Northern Exposure Insulation was created in partnership with 3M Thinsulate™ in which they include a copper lining to reflect radiant heat from the pumps back into the hot tub, as well as the Thinsulate™ lining to keep your hot tub nice and warm. You will also want to ensure that the shell is strong and comes with a warranty. If warranty is important to you, look for steel-framed spas like American Whirlpool and Vita Spas with lifetime steel warranties. These are corrosion-free, 40% lighter and 250% stronger than typical wood-framed spas. In Alberta, our unique weather of freeze and thaw limits the lifespan of wood-framed spas and can cause cracking, mildew and molding. Steel immediately gives you 15 years more life to your spa.  Check that the cabinet is durable and impervious to various weather conditions such as extreme heat, cold or UV rays. Examine the spa to see if it has support beams that extend from the lip of the hot tub and the seat to the floor. The underside of the hot tub needs to be well sealed so moisture, pests, and rodents don’t get into your insulation and plumbing. Ask your dealer for a spec sheet to see specifics on the tub you’re considering. Look for Appliance Grade hot tubs with an ABS pan base. 
  • Failing to examine the warranty: Take time to review and compare different manufacturers’ warranties. A warranty should cover all of the necessary parts and labour to replace those parts. Be sure that limitations and exclusions are made clear. Look for a full warranty, meaning you don’t have to cover any of the cost of repairs during the warranty period, rather than a prorated warranty, which provides less coverage the older your hot tub is. Take the time to read the fine print. Beware of buying extended protection plans, sometimes called service contracts or protection policies. Ask who will do the warranty work, your dealer or a third party. Will your warranty cover fixes at home, or will it need to be shipped back to the manufacturer?
  • Neglecting to test the hot tub: Taking a look at the showroom model may not be enough to make a good decision. Ask your dealer if you can“wet test” your choice can sit in the spa you like and feel the seats. A comfortable spa is one you will use often. This helps you get a sense of the capacity and functions of your chosen tub. Sit in the seats. Turn on the jets. Can you adjust the flow and direction? Can you reach the controls with ease? Does it feel cramped? Are the seats comfortable? Are the headrests in the right spot?
  • Not choosing a reputable dealer: When buying a hot tub, it’s important to consider who you’re buying from. How long have they been in business? What is their reputation? Do they service what they sell? Products sold online and at home shows may look like a great deal but often don’t involve delivery and service. A highly experienced, in-house service department is a must. A supportive team that trains you on spa care and maintenance is essential.

Buying a hot tub is exciting! Beware of the common mistakes made by buyers. Pay attention to the details. You want to end up with a quality spa that meets your unique needs, fits your budget and provides value for years.

Thinking of purchasing a hot tub? Need a dealer that can provide information, training, advice and service your hot tub? The experts at RnR Hot Tubs and Spas are here to help. As a proud distributor of MAAX Spas, American Whirlpool, Vita Spa, and more, we’re the spa shop for you. Owned by service professionals with over 30 years of experience, we help make your hot tub purchase exceptional. Please call 403-203-0860 to set up an appointment.

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