You’ll want to analyze many factors when it comes to choosing the right hot tub. Back in the early days, a hot tub was pretty much a large wooden container for hot water, and a spa was a fiberglass unit. Nowadays the two terms are used pretty much interchangeably. Of course, with the proliferation of day spas and nail spas, the term spa is used to describe different places.
Today’s top models hot tubs are sophisticated spas with ergonomically designed seats and precision hydrotherapy jets. They are outfitted with entertainment systems and control panels that allow you to adjust every aspect of your experience.
Probably the most important advice we can give you is to bring your swimsuit, bring your kids, and try out the hot tub you’re considering. Note that hot tubs are also known as spas; generally speaking, there is no physical difference between the two.
If you’re planning to buy a hydrotherapy hot tub/spa, keep in mind that it’s a very personal choice. The best way to know what model is right for you and your family is to see, feel, and test all the elements—especially the location and adjustability of the water jets.
What Are the Quality Differences Among Hot Tubs?
There is a wide range of quality among hot tubs in the marketplace, and you should know what to look for when shopping. Every aspect of a personal spa needs to be considered in your decision process.
Start by learning the manufacturer’s reputation for quality. Check out the structure and materials used to make the hot tub. Find out the particulars of the insulation and how you can reduce energy costs. Then, learn out about the construction of the shell. Get information on the pumps, pipes and plumbing you can’t see. You should know what to expect from the electronic controls and automation system that allow you to adjust all the features from the heaters and jets that warm and massage you, to the seat design, lights, and sound system that provide the ambience. You’ll find quality differences abound.
The Critical Importance of the Manufacturer
Don’t be surprised to find a wide range of prices for hot tubs. Quality varies greatly among different manufacturers. Some treat your hot tub as though it’s no more than a container of water. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A hot tub is a sophisticated household appliance you’re buying so you can relax and receive its benefits safely and in a sanitary way for years to come. Since your hot tub will impact your health, you should seriously consider differences in quality and durability. Remember, the goal for you and your family is to add enjoyment and increase your happiness.
Cutting Corners . . . or Ensuring Excellence
In order to get the purchase prices as low as possible, some manufacturers cut corners. These makers may pass some of those savings on to you. But when you buy an inexpensive spa, you’ll discover that there are reasons for its low cost. As the owner of an inexpensive hot tub, you may find that the money you save on your purchase ends up costing you bundles more in operating expenses, durability, repairs, and, bottom line, your personal satisfaction.
You absolutely must consider the lifetime cost of ownership. You may be surprised to find that saving money at the purchase time can cost you significantly more over the lifetime of your hot tub. This consideration is more important than ever—especially when it comes to energy costs. You want efficiency that delivers the comfort you deserve—without financing the power company via utility bills.
You’ll encounter pitfalls if purchase price is your major consideration. Will the company who sold your hot tub to you deliver and install it properly? Are you buying at a store with a year-round, full-service department? Or are you being left to fend for yourself?
The Reliability of Your Retailer
Another vital consideration is whether the store where you’re making your purchase has a reputation you can trust. How long the company has been in business? Can you speak with several customers, and ask them questions you’d like answered?
Also, find a retailer that offers you Warranty Service. Choose one who will answer the phone any time of year that you call. Having a reliable dealer will add greatly to your comfort of mind. If the dealer you choose has been in business for a while, there’s a good probability they will be there in the future.
Here at B&B Pool and Spa Center, we strive to earn our customers’ loyalty. As we approach our 45th anniversary of being in business, we are well aware of how important referrals and repeat business are to our business.
When we founded B&B Pool and Spa in 1972, we sought out top-quality product manufacturers, including Sundance® Spas. We earned their recognition as a Platinum Dealer, and for 18 straight years have won the Sundance® Exceptional Customer Service Award.
We are proud to be one of their Warranty Centers. We handle every aspect of hot tub ownership from sales and delivery to installation and service. We take care of everything you’ll need, including covers, chemicals, toys, and aromatherapy.
Our convenient brick-and-mortar showroom continues to demonstrate our commitment to clients. Our showroom and year-round service are two vital foundations of B&B’s commitment to provide outstanding customer care.
Original Precision Parts A Must
A number of precision parts and components go into making a top-of-the-line hot tub. There are pumps, jets, electronic controls, and heaters. Each of the dozens of valves, fittings, and attachments need to be precisely built and quality-controlled. A high volume of water under high pressure runs through the pipes, jets, pumps, and heater—so quality and precision are a must.
Quality control and assurance are absolutely essential. Some hot tub manufacturers use lower quality parts to save money. Doing so may lower their costs, while leaving you to pay a much higher lifetime cost of operation. The workmanship and precision on different hot tub components varies greatly. If you limit your search to well-known brands, you can rely on them to function smoothly. If your hot tub is made with off-brand parts, you could be stuck with a lemon and high repair costs.
The Risk of Look Alike Parts
Currently, one of the biggest factors harming the quality of hot tubs is the reliance on parts made in China. You probably won’t see the differences in quality immediately. The materials and workmanship that go into the water jets and electronic controls vary vastly. As the quality of materials goes down, the reliability of your hot tub drops rapidly.
What appears to the untrained eye as identical controls could differ in cost from a couple of hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. The truth is, you get what you pay for. With a purchase of this amount, you want to buy a hot tub that is built to last for years of enjoyment.
You certainly don’t want to risk getting a hot tub with shoddy parts and a high failure rate. If you do, you can end up having to pay for and wait for expensive repairs—year after year. You don’t want to spend your time replacing inexpensive parts like expensive jets, heaters, pumps, electronics, or connectors. And you really don’t want a spa that leaks or cracks.
The problems can be even more serious. If you can’t find the original parts to replace or repair your hot tub because the company that sold it to you is no longer in business, you may end up with a useless tub. And even if the business is still in operation, have they discontinued making the parts you need?
Superior parts inevitably last longer. And if you ever need to replace a component, you won’t be forced to replace an entire assembly. When you’re making a significant purchase such as a hot tub, choosing a recognized brand rated for durability is the best thing you can do for yourself.
If you see a far lower price, it’s likely that you’re looking at a hot tub made with inferior parts and components. If the sales person talks in roundabout ways, and avoids discussing the brand’s reputation and durability, it’s probably to distract you from uncovering its true quality. With hot tubs and hydrotherapy spas, getting a high-quality brand name is your best protection. And brand names are easy to check on the Internet; just ask for a list of the highest quality, best-selling hot tubs.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask, contact B&B. We're here to deliver top quality recreational water to you and those you love.