Don’t Get Soaked with the Wrong Spa
How to Buy a Hot Tub (Courtesy of Hot Spring® Portable Spas and Backyard Pool & Patio)
1. Learn about the spa’s specific features, ease of use and maintenance
- When the spa is not in use, does the water always remain hot and clean?
- Do the jets and jet systems allow you to customize your hydromassage experience?
- Does the spa offer a variety of jets which are designed to specifically target certain areas of the body?
- How loud are the jets and pump?
- Does the spa offer a balanced filtration system? Is the water continuously filtered 24 hours a day to ensure clean, clear water?
- Are the filters top loaded for easy access?
- Is the heating and filtration system fully automatic with no programming required?
- Is there an automatic clean-up cycle after you exit the spa?
- Inquire about the heater—typically the most vulnerable component of any spa. Make sure corrosion will not occur.
- Is the exterior of the unit made of maintenance free materials?
- Are the controls user-friendly, easy to operate and adjust?
- Are there multiple water care system options, including an integrated salt water system?
- Are there optional features to make spa ownership easier?
- Does the spa include a tranquil water feature? Does it include a “tranquil mode?”
- Is there a lighting system? Is it multi-colored and dimmable? Is it energy efficient?
- What entertainment systems are available? Is the spa “ready” for sound or TV or does it need to be ordered that way?
- Are there a variety of cover removal systems available? Do they support a variety of installation applications and price points?
- Does the manufacturer include, at no additional charge, the G.F.C.I. protected electrical sub-panel (or G.F.C.I protected water proof receptacle for 115v models) required to meet electrical codes? Not only will this add up to an additional $350, the wrong one could be dangerous. Hot Spring® includes this item to ensure that no corners are cut with this important piece of protective equipment.
2. Learn how the spa was constructed and its energy efficiency.
- The components should be fully tested and backed by the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Make sure the spa is totally insulated, not just fully-foamed.
- Ask how to estimate your monthly operation costs. (Beware of less expensive spas which can cost in excess of $50 per month to operate).
- Are the estimated monthly spa operating costs based on documented, un-biased, third-party testing?
3. Obtain a copy of the warranty.
- Ask for a copy of the warranty and read it thoroughly. Beware of the dealer who is reluctant to provide a copy.
- What spa parts are covered under warranty and for how long? Make sure the heater, surface/structure, components, tile and skirt are included.
- How does the manufacturer’s warranty compare with other brands? Make sure there are no undesirable limitations or exclusions.
4. Obtain information on the manufacturer and the dealer to ensure they are reputable, and that you will receive quality service both during and after your spa purchase.
- Is the manufacturer ISO 9001:2008 certified?
- Has the manufacturer received any awards of excellence by the National Pool and Spa Institute or other professional trade organizations?
- Have any the spa manufacturer’s models received a Consumers Digest Best Buy award?
- How long has the manufacturer been in business?
- How long has the dealer been in business? Inquire about their service policy.
- Check the Better Business Bureau for more information. Web: http://heartofillinois.bbb.org/
Keep a list of questions that come up while shopping:
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