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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Hot Tub (UK)

Enjoying a dip in the hot tub during a chilly winter is sure to make you feel relaxed and happy. But, choosing that perfect hot tub for you and your family can be confusing, as there are too many options available online (read Amazon) as well as offline. Anyway, you don’t have to worry now, as we are here with our ultimate guide to buying a hot tub. Read on.

1. What to look for in a hot tub?

That totally depends on for what purpose, you are buying a hot tub i.e. hydrotherapy, relaxation or pleasure. Not only do hot tubs add aesthetic value to your home, they soothe your aching muscles and joints, thereby relaxing your entire body and mind. Available in various shapes, styles and sizes, hot tubs are quite in popular demand.

A hot tub requires a right place, so before buying a hot tub, you have to first choose a perfect location for it. Some people put it outdoors and some indoors, but we recommend placing it indoors. Why? Let’s compare:

Indoor Hot TubOutdoor Hot Tub
PrivacyNo privacy
Need less maintenanceNeed more maintenance due to falling leaves, dirt and other outdoor debris.
No problem of weather changesOutside weather causes inconvenience
No extra cost to build a walkawayExtra cost to build a walkaway

So now you know, why we recommend putting your hot tub indoors.

2. Types of hot tub ( 2 seater, 6 seater etc.)

Once you have made up your mind where to place your hot tub, the next thing that is important is how often it’ll be used and by how many people? Based on seating capacity, there are many options of hot tub available, ranging from smaller two people designs to eight people models. If you want the hot tub for family or hydrotherapy, then 2 seaters or 4 seaters will be the best, whereas if you want it for fun parties with your friends, then a larger capacity tub will offer a better alternative.

Once you are done with choosing 2 seaters or 6 seaters hot tub, it’s time to “wet test” your hot tub before you buy. What is a “wet test”? It’s the act of soaking in a filled hot tub before you buy it. Test the tub with everyone in your family, especially those who will be using it the most. Test the different seats available like bench seats, lounge seats, therapy seats, cool down seats etc. Just as no one buys a car without test driving it, same goes for a hot tub. However, “wet test” may not be allowed by all the dealers and you can take it as a sign that this may not be the right dealer for you.

3. Materials used in hot tubs (inflatable, wood)

We just talked about types of hot tub based on seating capacity, now let us tell you about four different types of hot tub, on the basis of materials used.

a) Inflatable Hot Tubs: Commonly built of vinyl, inflatable hot tubs can be installed easily on any surface and level, outside or indoors. During purchase, the tub is accompanied by a motor and a hose. You have to inflate the tub using the motor and fill hose, and then plug in the heater.

Plus point: Easy to transport and affordable (can cost less than $500).

Minus point: Not long-lasting as vinyl material can get damaged easily.

b) Wooden Hot Tubs: Built using redwood, oak, cypress, cedar and teak, these tubs are likened to traditional wooden wine casks. Commonly having a round design, these tubs are transported in pieces and assembled on site. Therefore, they can be moved through doorways, downstairs or upstairs to whichever location you want. The price ranges from

$3500 to $10,000.

Plus point: Aesthetic appearance, durable construction and more leg room.

Minus point: Need more maintenance and difficult to clean.

(c) Above-Ground Hot Tubs: These are constructed entirely from rotationally molded plastic that is also known as roto-mold, because it is affordable, lightweight, tough and is available in a variety of colours. Another type of above-ground hot tubs are built of stainless steel, but their expensive price makes them not so popular among the masses.

Plus point: Being portable, a roto-mold tub can be placed on top of a deck during summer and moved to the basement during winter.

Minus point: Roto-molded hot tubs are usually small in size, having a maximum of 6 seaters.

(d) In-Ground Hot Tubs: These require excavation, plumbing and electrical work during installation, therefore are the most expensive type of hot tubs. The price ranges from $14,000 to $20,000. These are manufactured using gunite and sometimes overlaying tiles are also used for decoration.

Plus point: Custom-built and aesthetic appeal.

Minus point: As in-ground tubs are permanent, you can’t take it with you if you decide to move.

4. Main UK hot tub makers with reviews

In the era of online shopping, buying anything online without reading reviews of other customers is impossible! So here we are listing names of the main UK hot tub makers with reviews:

Red Spas
Unit 1B Addison Road Sudbury Suffolk CO10 2YW
Sundance Spas
Roundswell Commercial Park West, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 3UA
HotSpring Spas
Watkins Distribution UK Ltd. Hotspring House, Unit 3 Little Boyton Hall, Roxwell, Essex CM1 4LN
RotoSpa UK Limited
RotoSpa UK Limited, Unit 1, 35 Boldmere Road, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, BIRMINGHAM B73 5UY
Spa Crest Europe Ltd
JGB Investment Park, Stephens Way, Goose Green, Wigan UK, WN3 6PG
Cedartree Products Ltd
Units 7 & 8, CR Bates Industrial Estate, Stokenchurch, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 3PD
Reference Link for this list : http://www.whatspa.co.uk/hot-tub-manufacturers/

5. Detailed guide to hot tub maintenance

If you want your hot tub to last long, remember maintenance is the key. It’s important not just for its mechanical well-being, but for its sanitation too and therefore for you and your family’s health. For any kind of maintenance, consistency is important. Just like a balanced diet and regular exercise is necessary for your body to function properly, regular cleanliness routine is compulsory for a hot tub to function efficiently.

Depending on the type of hot tub, maintenance rules and regulations may vary, but here we are providing you some basic tips for hot tub care, that will go with any type.

Daily Routine: Once a day

  • Spa cover: Check the hot tub cover and ensure that it fits tightly and is in good repair. An ill-fitting cover can cost a fortune due to heat and exposure, so it is always best to get a new cover as soon as there is a problem.
  • Water temperature: You need to keep the water at a certain minimum temperature, so always check the temperature, even when not in use.
  • Fallen debris: If you have an outdoor hot tub, then it’s highly advisable to check for any fallen debris in the tub, once a day.

Weekly Routine: 3 times a week

  • Sanitizer Levels: In order to keep the hot tub water in optimum condition, check and adjust the sanitizer levels. The standard level should fall between 2-5 ppm.
  • pH Balance: Always check the alkalinity and pH levels, to ensure the safety of yourself, family and friends. Generally, alkalinity should fall between 80 ppm and 120 ppm and pH levels should fall between 7.2 and 7.8.
  • Spa filters: Once a week, check the filters and see how often they need to be cleaned, depending on how often you are using the tub. However, three weeks is the maximum to clean the filters.

Monthly Routine

Once a month, Condition the spa cover by using a chemical conditioner, as the cover is the first line of defense for your tub. It will increase the lifespan of your spa cover.

Every 3 months, first drain, then clean the tub’s interior, including the jets and lastly refill the tub with fresh water.

Annual Routine

The filter should be replaced completely at least once a year.

6. Average costs to run hot tubs

You must be wondering how much it will cost you to run hot tub once you purchase it. Let us break up the total cost like this:

  • Initial buying price: $1,000-$10,000 plus $100-$400 for a hot tub cover
  • Yearly maintenance costs: $500-$800
  • Electricity costs: Anywhere from $30 to $100 per month, depending on weather, type of tub and usage

So, it translates to anywhere from around $2000 to $12000 in the first year, followed by maintenance charges of $900- $1600 per year. Additionally, average costs to run hot tubs may increase depending on other factors like, if your tub is placed outdoors or indoors, how often the tub is used, routine maintenance is done or not, installation charges, delivery charges etc.

7. Hot tub accessories you might need then detailed reviews on them and links to amazon UK if possible for them

To make your soak in the warm water even better, we’ve got a list of top 5 hot tub accessories. Have a look and choose according to your budget and requirement:

  • Aqua Quik Spa Vacuum:An easy to use vacuum, all you have to do is give the vacuum a couple of quick pumps to create the suction and you are ready to clean. You don’t have to deal with electricity, cords or hoses.
  • Spa Disc Oil & Scum Remover: Use it to remove body oils, aromatherapy oils, and scum quickly and easily. It keeps your tub clean and free of any sort of scum line. When it’s full, simply rinse it out, let it air dry and reuse it.
  • The Inflatable Spa Bar: This has to be the coolest hot tub product ever. Those who already own a hot tub, know how it feels when you dump your wine or soda in the hot tub by accident! So to avoid that, you must buy a inflatable spa bar. You can either let it float in the hot tub or hang it over the edge of the spa, both ways, it keeps all your drinks and snacks close at hand. Moreover, there is a middle chamber that functions like a wine bucket! Told ya, the coolest hot tub product ever!
  • Spa Fragrances: A spa fragrance is a must accessory if you want the ultimate relaxation session in your hot tub. Not only do these fragrances provide aromatherapy, but they also soften and moisturize your skin. Simply add 3-4 cap fulls to the spa, once you turn on the bubbles and jets. However, buy spa fragrance as per your tub type, to avoid any kind of pH level complications or damage to the tub material.
  • Spa Steps: To enjoy a safe soaking in your tub, you need to get in and out easily, for which you must have spa steps.

So, if you are planning to buy a hot tub to enjoy the luxury of relaxation in your own private place, we hope our ultimate guide helps you with it.