When buying a hot tub, there are a few basics to know when you start. There are two types of hot tubs: self-contained and non self-contained. Typically, self-contained hot tubs are installed above ground and are usually portable, whereas non self-contained hot tubs are installed in-ground and are permanent. Hot tubs are usually heated using an electric or natural gas heater, though there are also submersible wood-fired heaters and solar hot water systems. Spa and the brand name Jacuzzi are often used when referring to an indoor fixture. A hot tub is almost always outdoors.
What to Look for When Buying a Hot Tub
Whether you’re looking to buy an indoor or outdoor hot tub, you will want to choose something durable and easy to maintain. Cutting corners can end up costing you in the long run, so save yourself future trouble and do some simple online research. Have some basic understanding of hot tub care and maintenance, as well as an idea of what different warranties will provide by talking to various retailers. A good resource is our blog archives, and you can always give us a call with questions.
When looking at hot tub models, there are also some questions you'll want to ask yourself:
- How many people will use the hot tub at the same time?
- How many water jets do you want? Tip: For ultimate relaxation, maximize your hot tub's potential with as many jets as you can get!
- Where will you put the tub? Inside? Outside? Patio? Bathroom? Deck? Basement? Fitness room?
- Does the area you’ve chosen have enough clearance to handle the size of the hot tub? Does the area comply with your local safety codes? Do you need any permits to place the tub in that area?
- Will the floor be able to handle the weight of the tub once it is filled and occupied? Read our article on installation to get an idea of the type of weight you need to plan for.
- Will your power supply require modification?
Depending on the space you are working with, there will be different advantages to above floor/ground level hot tub spas or in-ground sunken installations. For first-time buyers, a portable hot tub is often recommended as it is a far less risky investment. Without the worry of installation costs, above-ground hot tubs can be filled with any available water source, they do not require any special plumbing, and they are easy to install and even easier to relocate in the future.
If you choose to go with an outdoor hot tub, you may require some professional remodelling as well as proper electrical installation and pumping utilities. Chemicals, filters, and water delivery systems vary widely so be sure to discuss details with a trusted manufacturer or professional consultant. Making educated choices in the beginning will save you time, money, and unneeded stress in the future and help you get the most fun and relaxation out of your hot tub experience.