Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy
Deciding to buy a hot tub is about more than just making a purchase—it’s about making a long-term investment. Hot tubs can increase your home’s value, provide a place to relax and even offer health benefits ranging from better sleep to relief for back, knee and arthritis pain. Whatever your reasons for adding one of these massaging, relaxing and downright amazing amenities to your home, check out the following tips for finding the tub that will suit all your needs.
When considering ease of maintenance, look for a 24-hour circulation pump—it uses less wattage than a light bulb and circulates water through the filters. Next on the list? An ozonator. This device converts oxygen to ozone gas and, in turn, acts as a sanitizer, helping fight water contaminants such as bacteria that can irritate your eyes and skin. Alice Cunningham of Olympic Hot Tub Company also suggests using SilkBalance, a self-adjusting water-care formula that fights odors and allergens while helping keep water crystal clear.
Lights, camera, action
Hot tubs range from basic to elaborate models that can include waterfalls, lighting features, refrigerators and more. A basic hot tub that includes circulation, filtration and water-care features will cost about $5,000 or less and will typically seat four people. “Going larger, plus adding lighting features, waterfalls, music systems and even a TV on a high-quality hot tub will bring the cost to [approximately] $14,000,” Cunningham says. These prices, for both lower- and high-quality hot tubs, should also include a thermal cover, delivery and set-up.
Bringing your hot tub home
When you’re ready have your hot tub installed, make sure you have an area ready for it. “Bringing home the enjoyment of a spa may be easier than you expect. Set-up is simple, and there’s no need for expensive construction or plumbing lines,” says Shelli Graves of Hot Spring Spas. The main task is choosing a level site for the tub to sit. If you’re placing it on a deck, make sure the decking is reinforced to adequately support the weight and avoid buying a model that supports all of its weight on the perimeter. If you opt to put your tub somewhere other than the deck, make sure you have a concrete pad or a level patio. Or, you can use a Handi-Spa Pad, a plastic base that offers a durable surface for your hot tub. The Handi-Spa Pad boasts speedy installation and is an easy and affordable way to provide a foundation for your new hot tub.
test drive it
A hot tub isn’t something you should purchase from an Internet site; you need to be able to see how it feels, how well you fit, how the features function and how noisy it is. You don’t want to get the tub home and realize it’s so noisy you can’t carry on a conversation. Some retailers and manufacturers, such as Hot Spring Spas, have wet spas in their showrooms and invite customers in for a private test soak. “This enables the buyer to make smart decisions on what spa, seats and jets are going to comfort them while using their spa,” says Shelli Graves of Hot Spring Spas.
Be sure to check out the warranty. Look for a comprehensive, straightforward 5-year parts-and-labor guarantee. Alice Cunningham of Olympic Hot Tub Company warns of lifetime warranties. “A warranty is only as good as the dealer who is selling the hot tub,” she says. “Check references!” She adds that buyers should find out how large the manufacturing company is—including the number of locations and amount of inventory—as well as how long it has manufactured hot tubs; this will help gauge how long the company will be around in the future.