Buying a hot tub, need advice

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Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Defence21 on Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:22 pm

Amazon has two hot tubs I am interested in buying, both of which get very good reviews, either on Amazon or elsewhere. Both are also lower priced, but not "plug-and-play" models. They are:

- Home and Garden 6 Person 32 Jet Spa with Stainless Jets and Ozone Included - https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01KWSXIGM/ ... KXEUJZ0LX1

- American Spas AM-630LS 5-Person 30-Jet Lounger Spa with Backlit LED Waterfall, Sterling and Smoke - https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00KYB5W80/ ... KXEUJZ0LX1

Does anyone have any hot tub experience, advice, suggestions, etc? FYI, I'm not looking to spend more than $4k, and I completely understand lower price generally means lesser quality. That said, what are some opinions on the aforementioned hot tubs?

Also, how difficult is it to set up and maintain a tub? I'm putting an addition on my house and will have my contractor run the dedicated electrical service to the general area, so I've got that covered -- but what else do I need to know? How difficult is the chemical portion? How often do you change out the water?
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Humperdink on Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:30 pm

I can't help you on your tub choices as I purchased a three-person used one a couple of years ago. BTW, a 3 person really means 2 people max. They overstate the people capacity of these things.

I can tell you the maintenance is fairly simple. The previous owner gave me a boatload of chemicals so I didn't need any of those to start. I use Leisure Time 45010 Chlorine Test Strips, 50 Count (Amazon) to test my water. I test every two days. It takes 10 seconds to execute. The test strips check for: pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and chlorine.

When I drain the tub (every 3 months or so) and then fill it up, I first get the hardness up to speed, then pH and alkalinity and finally the chlorine. I have a water well (i e not city water) for my water supply with a water softener. The soft water is too soft for my hot tub (according to the test strips) so I fill the tub from a spigot before the softener mechanism. Even then it requires adding the "Increase Hardness" powder.

You can buy chemicals to increase or decrease the above criteria (except chlorine levels). Once my water is balanced, I typically only have to add Chlorine powder every two days. And maybe some "Increase pH" powder every now and then, always relying on the test strips. My brother in law uses a floating tablet system for his chlorine. They float in a cage in the hot tub and slowly dissolve. I've not tried that system. My tub is too small to have objects floating around in it.

I also clean the filter when the tub is drained. Also you will need wipe the lint build-up on the screen inside the tub frequently. It is the water intake inside the tub to the filter. You would be surprised how much lint you will bring into the hot tub. In the winter, I use my hot tub every night. The great tension reliever.

Someone smarter than me may use a different process, but my system keeps me within the parameters of the test strip criteria.
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Defence21 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:15 am

I'm a bit relieved to hear you say maintenance is pretty simple. I've heard from pool owners that testing the water and balancing it is a royal PITA. I've always thought they were a bit dramatic about it, but still had concerns.

I assumed the number of people listed on the hot tub is a bit high, which is why I've targeted 5-6 person tubs. I figure these should be okay to fit four people.

Can you give me a rough idea of what yours costs to run in the winter?
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby ShipHockey7 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:14 am

We have a hot tub that runs on our electric throughout the winter, our electric bill goes from ~$150 in the summer to about $600 or so in the winter. So much of an increase that this year we didn't even fill it up this past winter. They're great to have, but we just don't use ours enough for it to make sense.
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Humperdink on Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:11 pm

It appears our electric bill increased $100-125/month, but our tub is not large. It is drained for the summer.
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Defence21 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:32 pm

Wow -- $450 per month in the winter? That seems outrageous. What brand do you have? I have read that you can add extra insulation. Is this true?

$100-$125 per month sounds more in line with what I was expecting.
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby ShipHockey7 on Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:46 am

Ours is an Elite Spas 8 person hot tub, it definitely increases our electric bill a substantial amount, it depends on the month, but yeah anywhere of an increase from $300-$450 a month in the winter.
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Defence21 on Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:05 pm

Thanks, Ship!
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Re: Buying a hot tub, need advice

Postby Willie Kool on Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:12 am

Obligatory:

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