What to consider when buying a hot tub

Hot tub mountain view

There are many things to think about when looking for the right hot tub for your family, from basic features such as the number of seats to more technical details such as the number of jets to the water filtration system used.

Buying a hot tub may seem like a daunting venture, which is why the team at Outdoor Living we’ve compiled our years of expertise and knowledge into this buying guide, making it easier for you to filter through all the hot tub brands and models on the market.

Main Considerations

From basic features to more in-depth technical specifications, we’re aimed to guide you through the most important considerations when buying a hot tub:

  • Number of seats
  • Number of jets
  • Number of pumps
  • Filtration system used
  • Overall size of the hot tub or spa (make sure it will fit where you want it)
  • Additional features
    • Audio systems
    • Lighting
    • Water features (waterfalls)
    • Warranty details

We recommend using the above list to guide your journey into buying your hot tub. From our experience, the research phase is the most important to ensure the final decision is not only the right one for your budget but also your family and the future.

Don’t forget that at Outdoor Living we have 2 showrooms, one in Hull and the other in Leeds, for you to pop in and see one of our friendly staff we can answer any questions you might have. Why not also look at booking a wet test to try out a hot tub before you purchase?

Frequently Asked Questions…

We often get asked the same questions from customers who are new to the hot tub world and want to know a little bit more before they decide to buy:

  1. How much should I spend on a hot tub?

We really wish we could give you a definitive answer to this question, however there are a lot of things which will affect the price of a hot tub. From experience, we can tell you that the cheapest hot tubs will not always work out as the best value as they may cost more to run or need a more rigorous cleaning regime. We recommend doing all the research you can, finding the features you can’t live without and then finding a hot tub that ticks as many boxes as possible.

Couple in hot tub
  1. What size hot tub do I need?

This question depends on how many people you want to be able to use the hot tub at any one time. If you have a small family then a 4 seat hot tub would more than likely suit your needs, however if your plan is to throw hot tub parties then you will probably need a larger one. At Outdoor Living we sell hot tubs that seat between 2 and 7 people.

  1. How many pumps and jets do I need?

There is a common misconception that the more pumps and jets that a hot tub has, the more powerful it will be. Whilst the concept of this is true, there is a limited amount of power available to the hot tub due to the electrical supply from the house to the hot tub. All the hot tubs we sell have been carefully selected to provide maximum efficiency without losing out on power or hydrotherapeutic benefit. Think of it like a car, does more wheels make it go faster? No. But a better engine does. Look at the pump quality and specification in the hot tub rather than the number of jets.

  1. What is the best hot tub purification method?

Clearray logo

All hot tub filtration systems have both good and bad points. Some of the most common filtration systems are:

Standard – Basic hot tubs use a filter to capture part contaminants in the water, however chemicals are needed to purify the water with the most common being Chlorine, Bromine tablets or granules.

CLEARRAY - A water purification system which uses a UV-C light to sanitise the water in a hot tub helping to prevent the growth of bacteria. Therefore there is an average of 40% fewer chemicals needed to sanitise the water. The UV-C light kills up to 99.9% of bacteria in the water ensuring your hot tub stays in top condition.

Ozonator - Another water purification system that kills bacteria reducing the amount of chemicals needed. The system works by creating ozone which helps breakdown contaminants in the water.

  1. How do you install a hot tub?

Before installing a hot tub, there are 3 main considerations:

  • A level solid base for it to sit on
  • An electrical supply
  • A hose pipe
Crane lifting hot tub

With regards to the base and water supply, we will cover these in our site survey to make sure everything is perfect for your new hot tub.

Depending on the hot tub you purchase you may need additional electrical work to create a 32amp supply or greater. You can read all about the details of electrics in our Hot tub Electrical Guidelines article.

Hot tubs are heavy, which is why we have special equipment such as spa dolly’s and trailers to help us move the hot tub safely into place. The hot tub is transported on its side to get it into position. We do a site survey to ensure we can get the hot tub where you would like it but we will also advise if a HIAB or crane is needed and be able to recommend suitable companies.

  1. How much will it cost to run my hot tub?

Hot tubs range in running cost depending on their size, insulation, capacity and heater. A genuine Jacuzzi® Brand Hot Tub will cost approximately £7/£10 a week to run (more in winter, less in summer) and our other hot tubs cost up to £20. However, these figures are an approximation. The cost varies depending on your use of the hot tub and the environment it is located in. If your hot tub is in the open or a cold environment and you use it a lot, it will cost more. If your hot tub is inside a building and you only use it once a week, it will cost a lot less. It is impossible to give a completely accurate figure.

  1. Should I keep my hot tub hot, or just heat it up when I want to use it?

You should keep your hot tub hot 24/7 as this will ensure it is always ready for use. It uses a lot more energy to keep heating a hot tub than it does to keep it at temperature. The only time we advise not to do this is when you may not use it for a few weeks/months. In this case we advise you to drain your hot tub to prevent bacteria growth. We perform a ‘winterise’ service to ensure your hot tub goes into hibernation safely when not in use.

  1. What is the best temperature to run my hot tub at?

As body temperature is about 37°C it will always feel warm above this temperature. Most people prefer the temperature between 38°C and 40°C depending on the outside temperature.

  1. How long will it take to heat my hot tub?

Kingston Lifestyle Hot Tub

There any many elements that affect the heating of a hot tub. Depending on the hot tub you buy it can have a heater from a 2KW to a 5KW. The hot tubs also have a range of water volumes and the time of year (winter to summer) will also affect the heating rate.

An example would be a 1,300 litre hot tub with a 2.7kw heater will take approximately 20 hours to heat. Once heated they are designed to stay hot 24/7 and the hot tub will only need to top up any heat loss. A 2.7KW heater will heat up 3 degrees every hour which means for every ½ hour you use the hot tub it will take approximately 20 minutes to get back up to temperature once you have put the insulated cover back on.

  1. How long should I stay in my hot tub?

It is recommended by some authorities that you should not spend more than 20 minutes in the hot tub at any given time. However, this is only a recommendation. If you keep hydrated and maintain your hot tub sanitation we see no reason why you cannot stay in for several hours.

  1. How long will it take to fill my hot tub?

Hot tubs are filled using a hose pipe so the filling time can vary depending on the capacity and water pressure. An average is two to three hours.

  1. How do I drain my hot tub?

Our hot tubs have a drain at the bottom or inside the front panel for you to attach a hose to drain it or simply let it drain into the garden. Alternatively, we supply submersible pumps to pump the water out much quicker.

  1. Can my baby go in the hot tub?

It is not recommended that any child under the age of 4 go in a hot tub as they cannot regulate their temperature when in water that is hot. If you want to take your child in the hot tub, we recommend dropping the temperature to at least 30°C.

If you have any further questions about your hot tub purchase, why not drop in and see us in either our Hull or Leeds showrooms.