Purchasing a Used Hot Tub

At Outdoor Living we often get calls from customers asking for advice as they are looking to purchase a pre-loved hot tub but don’t really know a lot about them. Buying a second-hand hot tub is a great way of spending a little less money on a hot tub and helps the environment as hot tubs are often easily scrapped when a small amount of work is needed to get them going again.

Buying a second-hand hot tub is getting more and more popular as the UK hot tub market grows and websites such as eBay offering hot tubs at low prices. At Outdoor Living we believe we are Hot Tub Specialists and as such want to offer some advice and tips to customers who want to buy a used hot tub.

What to look for…

We have collated a short list of the various things that are essential to your consideration when purchasing a second-hand hot tub as well as why it’s so important for you to consider them. We don’t want to deter customers from buying second-hand, but simply want to pass on the knowledge we have accumulated being part of the industry for over a decade.

Brand…

There is a reason Outdoor Living will not take certain brands in part-exchange. Outdoor Living have come to know a huge range of hot tub brands which means we usually have a good idea which are better and which are to avoid. Make sure you check where the hot tub is manufactured. America and Canada are usually your best options for brand manufactures, simply because those countries hot tub markets are 10 years ahead of ours and they know what works best. There are also a large number of hot tub brands out there that are no longer manufactured.

Age…

Just because a hot tub is old, does not mean it is bad. Similar to a car, it completely depends on the quality of the brand and how its previous owners have taken care of it. If the hot tub has been looked after and is kept in perfect condition then ‘bonus’, but expect to pay for this quality. The main issue you may find with age is the availability of spa parts and support for certain errors. Unfortunately, some hot tub manufacturers have moved production to China, which results in parts being almost impossible to get hold of. Technology within hot tubs has improved over the years so if you purchase an old hot tub expect to pay more when it comes to running costs.

Cabinet Condition…

The cabinet is not just there to be aesthetically pleasing, they provide an important job of insulation… so check that there is insulation there! Hot tubs usually have either a wooden or UPVC cabinet and each have things you need to check. With wood, the most common issue is rot from damp conditions. With a rotten cabinet you will find the hot tub almost impossible to move to its new home without sections falling off. UPVC cabinets do not rot however they do become brittle which means that they can easily snap or crack if not handled carefully during the hot tub move. Go for a hot tub with a cabinet in reasonable condition that will hold together and support the shell.

Shell Condition…

Hot tub shells are difficult to repair and often irreplaceable. Most are made of acrylic however continuous exposure to 30°C – 40°C temperature water with harsh chemicals means that issues will eventually rise. Blistering or de-lamination is the most common problem and unfortunately the hardest to resolve depending on the size of the blisters. If you see a hot tub with blisters it is usually best to avoid as it is very expensive and often impossible to repair. Scratches and marks are not an issue and can often be easily repaired by an acrylic specialist if you want it to look more pleasing to the eye. For obvious reasons a crack is a huge no, just walk away.

Pumps / Blowers…

After the control board (some can cost up to £1,000) the pumps are often the most expensive part of any hot tub which is why you need to know it is working properly and ensure they are easy to purchase for future reference. If a certain pump has been discontinued, then there will often be a replacement one available that has superseded it. Do your research before purchasing to ensure your parts are easy to buy if they need replacing.

Blowers on a hot tub are not always the best idea. They blow cold air into the hot tub which cools the water down and results in higher running costs as your heater has to work hard to re-heat the water. You can run any hot tub without the blower by simply unplugging it and using the remaining hot tub features as usual.

Headrests…

Headrests increase the comfort within your hot tub but are not necessary to its use. Similar to a car tyre, headrests will need replacing from time-to-time due to the exposure to harsh chemicals. If you can’t find any replacement headrests, then check out the inflatable ones Jacuzzi Direct Online Store sells… These are a perfect cheap replacement. Just make sure you remove them from the water when not in use to make them last longer and keep better condition.

Filters…

Our sister company, www.hottubfiltersdirect.co.uk is one of the largest filter distributors in the UK and you can often find your filter from here that we sell on our online store, Jacuzzi Direct. If your filter has been discontinued then you may be able to use one that still fits within the filter housing, just check the measurements or call Jacuzzi Direct and they will be able to help!

Cover Condition…

Hot tub covers need replacing every 3-4 years so add this into your costs. If a cover is waterlogged and heavy you will struggle to remove it from the hot tub, therefore it needs replacing. Damaged, old and saturated covers also contribute to heat loss and will increase the running costs of your hot tub. Jacuzzi® hot tub covers and easily be purchased online or contact ourselves for a bespoke hot tub cover.

Outdoor Living is always on hand for any help and advice and Jacuzzi Direct is available for chemicals, filters or accessories once you have bought your pre-loved hot tub. You may be surprised at the brand new hot tub you can get from Outdoor Living at similar prices to second-hand spas. All our hot tubs come with a minimum of 1 year full parts and labour warranty, cover & locks, steps, chemical starter kits, and delivery & installation to your electrical supply and base. This means that a new hot tub may be more affordable than you think!