Hot Tubs 101
It might feel like there is a lot to learn about hot tubs. The following frequently asked questions regarding pricing, installation, maintenance, and more is a great place to start.
Hot Tubs 101
How much does a hot tub cost? The simple answer is: it depends. A bare-bones rotationally-molded hot tub, at the absolute lowest end of the spectrum, can cost around $3,400. At the other end, the best portable hot tubs commercially available can exceed $18,000. The reason is due to the broad range of sizes, features, materials, designs and performance.
$3,400-$6,000. Usually rotationally-molded with the cabinet and shell all one piece, entry level hot tubs may be durable, but it won’t have the shiny appearance and smooth feel of acrylic. Options are scaled back, with few or no lights, small, weak jets, a simplistic design with basic controls.
$5,500-$9,500. The lower price on a value-priced hot tub does come with trade-offs. Some will have enticing features but poor performance, and vice versa. A spa in this price range may feature a glossy acrylic shell and multicolored lighting or a high jet count, but less powerful jets or louder motors.
$9,00-$15,00. On a premium spa you’ll see advanced engineering and robust features for long-lasting owner satisfaction. These spas don’t come every feature available, but they are designed for the hot tub owner who wants a nice hot tub and the option to add premium upgrades.
Here are some features you might ﬁnd on a premium hot tub:
- Energy efﬁcient, multi-layered insulation
- Water care option for reduced need of chemical cleaning agents
- A large number of jets, run by a powerful motor
- Easy-to-use control systems
- Comfortable interior with well-designed seating
$=11,000+. Aimed at the customer who wants the ultimate personal wellness accessory, this level of hot tub usually comes equipped with top-tier features and comes with the most extensive warranty protection. The price covers great design, low running costs, maximum comfort, minimal maintenance, the best massage jets and efﬁcient operation.
Luxury spas are likely to have:
- The best water care options
- The best construction for the best durability
- The best and most advanced jets
- The best energy efﬁciency = lower utility bills
- Advanced control options
- Strongest warranties from ﬁve to ten years
Pricing can also vary based on warranty, ongoing service and customer location. Here’s a quick guide to how major features can aﬀect a hot tub’s price. Here are other factors that impact cost:
Size – The bigger the hot tub, the bigger the price tag (generally). Larger hot tubs require more materials to build and require larger pumps to power their jets. They also take up more space in delivery trucks and on showroom ﬂoors. What size hot tub you need depends on how you’re looking to use it. A more intimate spa is great for individuals or couples, or for therapeutic uses. For family, a more spacious hot tub likely makes more sense.
Features – A hot tub’s features will aﬀect its price too. Spas can come with both functional and cosmetic features such as advanced jet systems, powerful, silent pumps, wireless controls, entertainment options and premium water care systems that reduce the need for chemicals. In addition, top-tier hot tubs often come standard with multicolored lighting and beautiful waterfalls. Simply put, more features = higher price.
If you expect many guests, a state-of-the-art built-in audio entertainment system and colored lighting might be important. If you’re looking for single-person hydrotherapy, powerful, varied jets would be a better choice.
Time & Material – Lower-end hot tubs are typically made of rotationally-molded plastic. These spas are easier to transport and cost less to produce but there are trade-oﬀs. Rotationally-molded plastic is not as strong, nor does it insulate as well as more expensive acrylic-based hot tubs. Better tubs may also have extra layers of insulation which adds structural strength and can keep down running costs over the years. The exterior of the hot tub is also important with higher-end tubs weathering the elements better than cheaper options. In a nutshell, investing in quality materials protects your investment and can actually save you money too.
Design – Design is another element that aﬀects price. In many lower-end hot tubs, a user will struggle to not constantly ﬂoat to the surface, or must squat with their feet on the bottom. Higher-end spas on the other hand are designed with ergonomic seats that keep users optimally located during hydromassage sessions. Control panels will be placed within arm’s length and seats will be arranged to ﬁt the maximum number of occupants comfortably. The aesthetic design is also more appealing, better serving as a backyard’s centerpiece with inviting colors, textures, shapes, lines and interior and exterior lighting. A good hot tub is more than just an amusement, it’s part of its owner’s lifestyle.
Performance – Though low-end spas might have many jets, their pumps are likely underpowered, providing a less intense and less satisfying hydrotherapy experience. The best hot tubs include quiet yet powerful circulation pumps, which move water through the ﬁlters and the heater. Cheaper hot tubs will struggle to maintain water pressure and heat at the same time unlike more expensive one which can easily power jets while maintaining temperature and even run an entertainment system. High-end spas are engineered to be more eﬃciently in terms of insulation and protecting interior components. Performance ultimately aﬀects how much you enjoy your hot tub over the years, so keep that in mind.
Warranty & Service – Be careful to take note of a hot tubs warranty as not all hot tubs come with quality guarantees from their manufacturers. While up front costs may be less, a failure could see you paying for costly repairs, or even a new hot tub. A great warranty will cover the product for ﬁve to ten years after purchase, ensuring worry-free ownership. You may also ﬁnd more expensive tubs come with comprehensive service agreements from your dealer, including delivery, installation, relocation, and water-care. Simply put, the easier, quicker, and more eﬀective your hot tub is to use, the more likely you are to want to use it regularly. By keeping your water clean and safe with regular maintenance or an in-line water care system, you’ll be making sure your spa continues to be a regular, relaxing part of your everyday life.
Consult the troubleshooting guide in the back of your Hot Spring spa owner’s manual. In it you will find step-by-step instructions that help owners check for common issues. This troubleshooting process does not require any technical ability to perform.
We should be available to assist – please give us a call!
You can either download the owner’s manual for your spa or contact our Customer Service team and we can mail you a hardcopy at no charge.
I want to use a bromine floater in my spa; why do you specifically recommend against the use of a floater?
Floaters dispense chemicals into the spa water 24/7, whether they’re needed or not. When the spa is closed and the jets off, the floater will stay in one location in the spa, spilling chemicals onto the horizontal surfaces immediately below it. Because the tablet does not dissolve evenly, those bits will etch and pit the plastic shell surface, leaving a rough surface that will not be comfortable to sit on and can damage swimsuits. These rough patches cannot be sanded or removed from the shell. View Hot Spring water care products.
Hot Spring does not recommend using any type of oils or bath salts in your spa because they tend to gum up the filters and damage the electrical components in the spa. Using these products does not void the spa’s warranty, but any service needed to repair the spa because of damage caused by the use of non-approved chemicals is not covered by the warranty. Those can be expensive repairs, so we recommend checking with us before you use any new chemical or oil in your spa.
I am considering buying a spa and don't understand the difference between wiring it to be 110v or 230v. How do I decide?
The first thing is to determine what spa sizes you are considering. Some spas do not offer the option of 110v service. It also depends on how you plan to use the spa. Basically, having a spa hooked up for 230v service means that the jets and the heater can operate at the same time.
With a 110v unit, the heater will not come back on until you turn off the jets. If your new spa is going to be “party central” with several people in and out of the spa over a few hours, you might be happier with a 230v hookup. If your spa is going to be a quiet refuge for one or two people who enjoy a hot water soak with no jets, then a 110v unit might be best. Also, you need to consider whether you are installing your spa indoors or outdoors and whether you plan to use it year-round. Since many different factors go into this decision, give your dealer or Hot Spring Consumer Service team a call before you buy. We’ll be glad to provide the information you need to make the best decision for your spa enjoyment.
Developing a working relationship with your locally authorized dealer is a great way for you to protect your investment in a used spa. Your authorized Hot Spring dealer will have the factory-recommended components and water care chemicals that will extend the life of your spa. They also have the latest information from the factory regarding any component upgrades needed for older spas.
Authorized Hot Spring dealers are required by contract to deliver and provide warranted service for all new spa sales from their store. This ensures that the spa will not be damaged in transport between the dealership and your home. This also means the dealer will have the technical staff to service your spa if/when needed. If you were to buy a Hot Spring spa farther from the delivery destination, the selling dealer may charge you a trip fee for their technician to travel to your home. What you saved in the initial purchase price may not compare to what you might have to pay the dealer for their travel. Dealer travel charges, is issued, are not covered by your spa’s warranty.
This question is best asked of your child’s pediatrician or other medical professional. Small children are sometimes less tolerate of exposure to hot water, so ask your doctor before allowing young children to use a spa.
We want to buy a spa but our local city code enforcer says we need to build a barrier gate, fence or other structure. Is this true?
Hot Spring spas carry several different certifications that ensure the spa is safe to use. Some code enforcement personnel mistakenly believe that public pools and private residential spas require the same code compliance and barrier requirements. If you have questions about barrier requirements in your community or region, contact your authorized dealer to obtain the information you need. You may also call the Hot Spring Customer Service team to get help you find this information.
Yes. We can order parts directly from Watkins, the manufacturer of Hot Spring Spas. If they do not carry the original component, a replacement component of equal or better quality will be provided. We can also provide a replacement cover for your spa that fits the corners and cover locks.
Only authorized dealers may sell Hot Spring spas directly to consumers. However, Hot Spring provides warranty coverage for your spa purchase and offers the strongest warranty in the industry. We also offer a warranty on parts purchased and installed by authorized dealers.