What to Know Before Buying a Hot Tub?

Deciding to buy a hot tub can be both exciting and confusing at the same time. It’s exciting because you can anticipate spending time soaking in the warm, massaging waters with family and friends. It can be confusing because you’ll be entering a new world that comes with its own language, customs, and concerns. For this reason, it’s important to educate yourself before you begin interacting and negotiating with hot tub dealerships and salespeople. It’s a good idea to understand what to know before buying a hot tub. And to help you in that endeavor, we’ve put together this list.

Plug and Play Versus Hardwired?

When it comes to electrical requirements, there are two main types of hot tubs: 110 Volt plug and play models and 220 Volt hardwired hot tubs. Plug and play hot tubs are plugged into a regular three-pronged electrical outlet found in and around your house. Hardwired hot tubs, on the other hand, require access to a GFCI protected 220 Volt outlet. If this type of outlet doesn’t already exist, you’ll need an electrician to install one. Although plug-and-play hot tubs are convenient, their reduced ability to draw power creates a drawback: when the water jets are running at high speed the water heater will stop. This won’t be a problem if you’re planning on a quick soak, but it may be bothersome if you’re hoping for longer sessions – especially in colder weather.

Inflatable, Portable or Inground?

Another distinction that will need to be made when it comes to the type of hot tub you want is whether it’s inflatable, portable or inground. Inflatable hot tubs are the most economical but will also be the most short-lived of the bunch. Portable hot tubs, despite their name, are quite large and heavy and take the middle ground of price and permanence amongst the three types. Inground hot tubs are the most permanent and expensive of them all. Choosing from them will generally depend on your budget and the permanence of your living situation.

Installation Preparations

It’s best to prepare for installation before your hot tub actually arrives. It’ll mean you’ll be able to use it much more quickly after delivery and you won’t have an empty hot tub sitting there while you get your situation in order. A hot tub that’s full of water and people can weigh several tonnes, so it needs to be placed on a level and stable surface. This could be a concrete pad, paving stones, a bed of gravel, plastic hot tubs pads, or a reinforced deck. If you’re buying a hardwired hot tub, you’ll want your electrical supply figured out, but it’s important to know you’ll likely need the electrician to connect the hot tub after it arrives, so you may want to coordinate these jobs.


Those who have never owned a hot tub before often wonder how much maintenance is required. The actual answer will depend on how much use the hot tub gets, however, a general maintenance schedule can typically be broken down into weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks. You’ll need to test the water chemistry at least once a week. The results of these simple tests will tell you if you need to add chemicals to the hot tub. This typically shouldn’t take much more than 15 minutes. Once a month you’ll want to clean the water filters. Again, this is a simple job that shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes. And every three or four months you’ll need to do a deep cleaning. This will require draining the tub, giving it a good clean, refilling it with fresh water, and rebalancing the water chemistry. This will usually take an afternoon to do the job properly.

Now that you have an idea of what you need to know before buying a hot tub, download a free buyer’s guide today.

HT Guide

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