You have made the big decision to get that hot tub you have been dreaming about. It is a big-ticket item that you and your family will enjoy for a long time, and you want to get it right. Your first priority is to line up at the right hot tub dealer — Aqua Pools! When looking for the right model and features, do your research, read the reviews, and visit our showroom. You need a hot tub dealer who will stand behind their product and be available to provide service, supplies, and advice when you have questions. Purchasing a cheap off-brand hot tub from a big box store or a tradeshow is a decision you could regret big time. Keep reading to learn 4 things new hot tub owners need to know.
How Much Can You Expect to Pay?
Your first consideration is how much you can afford to pay for your hot tub. The more you pay, the more features, energy efficiency, and power you will have in your hot tub. Basically, there are levels of hot tubs that fall into different price points. Here is what you get in each one:
Hot Tub Ranges
Entry-Level Hot Tub
The most affordably priced, decent quality hot tub will cost in the range of $3,000-$5,000. Typically, hot tubs at this price point will be what the industry calls “plug and play.” No special wiring is required. Simply plug it into a 110V outlet, fill with water, get in and enjoy. These are a nice option for a first-time buyer who wants to “dip their toe” into the hot tub experience and find out if it is for them, without paying a lot of money. These models are lightweight, so if you move, you can take it with you! Keep in mind that their lower voltage means that it will take longer for them to heat up and that the jets may not be as powerful as higher-priced models.
Mid-Range Hot Tub
A mid-range hot tub will average around $7,000 up to $10,000. An electrician is needed to install 220v wiring. Hot tubs in this price range will come with an acrylic shell, surrounded by an attractive composite cabinet surround. You will get a higher number of jets than in an entry-level hot tub, and those jets will be more powerful. Manufacturers will offer additional features such as waterfalls, audio systems, lounge seats, and special LED lighting.
Premium-Level Hot Tub
For not too much more than the cost of a mid-range hot tub, you could purchase what is known as a premium-level hot tub. These models will cost between $8,000-$12,000 and come with additional features that you may feel are worth the extra price. Their insulation is typically better, they have more energy-efficient features, come with higher quality water care systems, and are built to last a longer period of time. Hot tubs in this price range are equipped with better heat, pump, and filtration systems. Warranty coverage may also be superior. Significantly, the cost to operate over time could be less than that of the lesser-priced options.
Luxury-Level Hot Tub
A luxury-level hot tub is exactly that. It’s the best of the best — with all the bells and whistles you can think of. The cost will be from $16,000-$20,000. You can expect a hot tub at this price point to last up to 20 years, require the lowest maintenance, and have the most energy-efficient components. The hydrotherapy jets will be the most high-tech, the shell seating the most comfortable, and the exteriors an extremely attractive addition to your backyard design.
Do the Number of Jets Really Matter?
It turns out that the number of jets your hot tub comes with should not be your primary consideration. As a matter of fact, a mid-range hot tub that comes with a gazillion jets may be a disappointment. If the jets are too numerous for the corresponding jet pumps, the amount of massage power they put out will be insufficient. Far more important than the number of jets in a hot tub is their placement and the power behind them. The reason you buy a hot tub in the first place is for its hydrotherapy benefits. You want to be able to customize your massage to target your unique needs. What you want to look at is the following:
Variety of Jets
A variety of jets is desirable, as they will give you different massage experiences. The jets should be of differing sizes and provide a variety of massage actions such as rotating, pulsating, etc.
Location of Jets
There should be a variety in the location of the jets in your hot tub as well. You want the option of jets that massage large muscle groups such as the back and shoulders. Jets that massage the legs and calves are a treat, as are smaller jets that will massage your feet.
The placement of the jets is important. The jets should follow the curve of the body and be of an appropriate size to give an effective massage.
Power Behind the Jets
Most quality hot tub manufacturers aim for 20-30 jets per jet pump. Factors that influence the power of your massage jets are the number and size of the jets, the size of the hot tub, and the placement of the jets.
What Size Hot Tub Should You Get?
How will you use it?
Now, this is an important consideration for sure. Think carefully about how your hot tub will be used. Is it for the whole family? Will you invite friends over often and use it as part of your entertainment plan? What is your primary purpose in getting a hot tub? Is it for personal hydrotherapy massage, for companionable soaks with your spouse, or to unwind after work? Buying an eight-seater hot tub when you will primarily be using it alone or just with your partner might not be for you. On the other hand, if you have a family of five, will you be so jammed in a four-seater hot tub that no one will be comfortable?
How many seats?
Consider how many seats you would like. A lounge seat is lovely, but its size does take away one regular seat. If the entire family will use the hot tub together, choose a model with more room in the footbed. Not having enough space in the footbed means your knees will be crowded together and touching, which may not be enjoyable. Will persons of above-average height use the hot tub? It turns out that smaller hot tub sizes are typically not so comfortable for tall people.
- Small-size hot tub: seats 2-4 people
- Medium-size hot tub: seats 5-6 people
- Large-size hot tub: seats 7+ people
Where to Place Your Hot Tub?
Where you place your hot tub is very important. You want it to be conveniently located of course, but there may be a few details you haven’t thought of.
Preliminary Set Up
Once your hot tub gets to your house, the delivery crew has to be able to maneuver it into its permanent position in your yard. Know your spa’s dimensions and walk through the delivery path to be sure it will fit all along the way. If a crane will be needed, that has to be planned ahead of time.
Support for the Hot Tub
The site where your hot tub sits will need to support 3,000 or more pounds. For outside locations, a concrete slab is a common choice, but gravel, pavers, and bricks are other foundation options.
Electrical and Water Source
An electrician will be required to set up the wiring for your hot tub. Your hot tub needs to be near a source of water so you can fill it with a garden hose.
Your hot tub will need to be drained several times a year, plus there could be occasional overflow, therefore it should be placed near a drain. If there is no drain nearby, one may need to be created that directs the flow of water away from the spa and its equipment.
Convenience to House
It goes without saying that if your hot tub is conveniently located, you will use it more. It might look great at the far end of your garden, but if you have to slog across the grass to get there, it might not seem so inviting. Plus, if you plan to use your hot tub in the colder seasons, you will want it near the house for easy access. Being near a bathroom is also a necessary convenience.
Room for Maintenance
A rule of thumb is to leave at least a foot of space on all sides of the hot tub so you can move around its entirety for maintenance purposes. The hot tub cover needs at least 18 inches of clearance space behind the spa. For some cover lifters, you may even need more room. Don’t forget to allow plenty of room to open the control/access panel in case repairs or service is needed at some point.
You want to use your hot tub in comfort and privacy — away from the eyes of neighbors or passersby. You may want to construct a privacy fence, pergola, or create a landscaping screen. Your hot tub will be in this chosen spot for a long time. Make sure it is located for maximum convenience and privacy.
Buying your first hot tub can be a very exciting activity. With some advance knowledge and preparation, choosing the right spa for your family and getting it positioned properly will provide you with years of enjoyment. We want to prevent you from experiencing any hot tub regret, other than perhaps not buying one sooner! When you look back on your hot tub purchase, we want you to believe you chose exactly the right one, placed it in the perfect spot, and that you have the support of your dealer, Aqua Pools, for the lifetime of your hot tub. We hope these 4 things new hot tub owners need to know have provided you with the information to make the best choice.
Aqua Pools has been in the business of installing swimming pools since 1974 and has been installing hot tubs since the 1980s. We are the premier pool builder in the Chicagoland area and have received awards of excellence for our performance and service. When you make the important decision to get a hot tub, we invite you to make us a part of that process. We are proud to carry Marquis® hot tubs at a range of price points. Become part of the Aqua Pools family. Your relationship with us will not end with the sale!