Hot Tub Buying Guide

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Once you decide to invest in a hot tub, choosing the right one can seem like an overwhelming task with so many options on the market. This guide will help you make an informed and confident purchase.

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Size, Space & Location

Before shopping, determine where you are going to put your spa. The site will need to be prepared before your spa arrives, so make sure you measure the area before deciding on a hot tub size.

Most spas will be placed on a patio, porch or deck. If none of these are an option for you, your hot tub can be put just about anywhere on a portable base.

Material

Acrylic Shell

Acrylic is sleek, contemporary and durable. It can be molded into complex contoured shapes for comfortable, form-fitting seating in a large range of sizes. These spas are framed and wrapped with a synthetic or wood cabinet with the equipment contained within.

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Roto-Mold

Rotationally molded spas are constructed with the shell and cabinet as one piece, creating a very strong, durable spa with a no maintenance finish.

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For energy efficiency it is important to choose a roto-mold hot tub with a dedicated heater. Some roto-mold manufacturers cut corners by using pump heat-recovery systems rather than a heater. Heat recovery spas do not heat as rapidly, and are difficult to regulate temperature in.

Vinyl

Vinyl hot tubs are an inexpensive option with limited features. There are two types of vinyl spa: the cheap inflatable and the soft-sided spa.

Inflatable hot tubs are a temporary option for those looking to have a hot tub for one to two seasons.

Soft-sided vinyl spas made from marine grade vinyl and foam are easily moveable, but have quality equipment and a longer life span.

Seating Occupancy

If you frequently entertain, make room for a larger full-featured spa. You wouldn’t want guests to take turns in your new hot tub, and likely won’t be disappointed with the generous seating arrangement.

A couple or a single person that will be using the spa for its therapeutic purposes could be satisfied with a 2-3 person tub, especially if space is limited. Keep in mind an extra seat or two is nice for more room to stretch out and enjoy more variety in seating.

Jets

More jets in your hot tub does not mean more massage power. Adding an overabundance of jets actually leads to decreased flow for each jet. To compensate, larger, energy-wasting motors must be added to overcome this friction loss.

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Don’t fall for extravagant jet counts and gimmicky massage packs that are difficult or expensive to replace.

Cover

Spa covers are not an option, they are a necessity. Heat rises, and a quality cover will not only conserve energy and save money on electricity, but protect the hot tub from dirt, weather and unwanted visitors.

Electrical Hook Up

For non-permanent installations, Plug-and-Play connections that fit a standard 120 volt outlet are a great option.

A 240 volt electrical service results in much more rapid heating and is considered to be best for permanent installations of acrylic spas. 240V systems must be wired by a qualified electrician and require a GFCI-protected circuit and spa disconnect panel for safety.

UV Purification vs. Ozone

Ultraviolet Purification is the innovative, superior way of sanitizing your spa. Ultraviolet light targets bacteria, damaging its DNA so they cannot reproduce. UV-C purifiers do not have damaging effects or lose effectiveness over the life of the bulb.

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For many years hot tubs have used ozonators to significantly decrease the amount of chemicals needed to keep spa water sanitary. Unfortunately, while ozone gas can be an effective treatment in spas, ozonators decrease in effectiveness over time and can damage gaskets, seals, and spa covers.

Still have questions about choosing which hot tub you should buy? Ask in the comment section below!

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