Buy A Hot Tub
If you are looking to buy a hot tub one of the best pieces of advice is to purchase from a reputable, specialist supplier.
The fact that a hot tub is a relatively expensive household purchase has attracted many firms looking to sell cheap, inferior quality products at inflated prices in order to make quick profits. Check how long the supplier has been in business and find out if they are members of any trade organisations. Do they sell other products or just hot tubs? A specialist supplier will be able to offer you the backup and service that a non-specialist cannot. Ask to see references and testimonials - but don't just look at them - check them out and ask the customers if they were satisfied with every aspect of dealing with your prospective hot tub supplier.
Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes and so do people so it is essential that you try out your hot tub for size and comfort - preferably with a wet test. Although a dry test will let you know if there are any issues regarding you physically fitting into any of the stations within the tub, you really should try out the hot tub with a wet test. This will also highlight issues such as depth - if you are very tall/very short or intend to use the hot tub with your children. The depth issue is vital if you intend to use the hot tub outdoors in colder weather as exposed shoulders quickly get cold. You will also be able to ensure that the range of hydrotherapy options offered by your unit is suitable for your needs - make sure the quantity, positions and strength of the jets are what you are looking for, preferably without the need to use a diverter. Explain where your hot tub is to be sited and make sure that the model recommended is right for your location and climate (if sited outdoors). If the hot tub is being sited indoors or outdoors near a window ensure that the pump operates quietly when on its circulating and filtering cycle.
What is the hot tub going to be used for? If you intend to use it for parties then you need to get as large a tub as you can afford and accommodate - size is important! Four people will have plenty of room in an eight-person tub but not vice versa. A professional hot tub retailer should be able to recommend the ideal model, so chat through your requirements with them.
Take your time when you buy a hot tub - do not get rushed into making an on-the-spot decision by high pressure selling techniques. Limited special offers have a curious habit of still being in place several months after you get sign up for a "This Week Only" promotional deal. A site survey should be just that - not an opportunity to practice their high pressure selling techniques in your home or gauge how much they think you can afford to pay. Ask your supplier if they have a straightforward price list.
Read as much technical information on hot tubs that you can before you visit any showrooms. Make a list of the features that you want/do not want - this way you will not get overwhelmed by technical jargon and will be able to see through any obvious sales pitches.
Check to see if they buy complete hot tubs from established manufacturers. If they make the hot tubs themselves, buying from various component manufacturers, there is plenty of opportunity for cheap, inferior parts to be used and there will no way of knowing the quality of the workmanship that has gone into the production. Try to make sure you get everything in writing to ensure that your supplier is prepared to back any claims made about the quality or performance of your hot tub.
You might get separate warranties for the hot tub shell, the shell surface, the pipework, the pump(s), ozone generator, cabinet and cover. Ask to be given a copy of the warranty to study before you buy as they can be quite complicated, with many exclusions (there may be so many get-out clauses that it makes the guarantee almost worthless). Make sure that you don't have to send faulty parts in to the manufacturer when they fail rather than someone being sent out to sort out the problem for you. There will probably be a maintenance routine that you will need to adhere to keep your warranty valid - keep a detailed record of your maintenance schedules to support any claims that you might have in the future. A well established supplier will also be more likely to still be in business in the future if and when you need to claim on your warranty, whereas some hot tub suppliers will have long ceased trading leaving you with a worthless warranty.
Ask about the installation procedure and costs. Are the suppliers going to prepare the site for you or simply dump the hot tub and leave everything up to you? Is there sufficient access to your property for the delivery vehicle? How much experience do the installation team have and are they qualified to carry out all of the necessary work (especially the electrical work)?
Before you buy a hot tub make sure you are happy with the ongoing running costs - electricity, chemicals, filters, service costs as well as the initial costs (purchase price, site preparation, delivery and installation costs)