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Everything you need to know before buying a hot tub

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For centuries, cultures worldwide have prized the therapeutic benefits of bathing in heated water. Today, the modern hot tub provides that same soothing tradition of relaxation right in your home.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about hot tubs: from the history of hot tubs to choosing the right model, managing costs, maintaining them, and understanding warranties. Immerse yourself in this comprehensive guide to make your hot tub ownership journey confident, smooth, and informed. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Modern hot tubs provide therapeutic benefits like relaxation and pain relief through warm, jetted water. Models range from intimate 2-person to spacious 6+ person.
  • Key components to look for when buying a hot tub include a durable shell, good insulation, adjustable jets, an energy-efficient pump and heater, and user-friendly controls.
  • When choosing a hot tub, consider the number of people, features, costs, warranty, intended use and available space to select the right model.
  • With proper installation, maintenance and care, a quality hot tub can provide homeowners with years of hydrotherapy, entertainment and lifestyle benefits.

A brief history of hot tubs

The practice of soaking in heated therapeutic baths dates back over 4,000 years to ancient Persian times. Natural hot springs were prized for their perceived healing properties. Wooden barrel tubs introduced hydrotherapy to 19th-century Europe and America. 

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photo source: ShutterStock

As hot tub popularity grew in the 20th century, European manufacturers, especially in Scandinavia and the Baltic region with plentiful wood resources, became industry leaders. The British were introduced to hot tubs through European holiday travel. 

Seeing benefits like stress relief and joint pain management, demand rose among British consumers. Domestic manufacturers emerged to meet this demand in the 1970s to ‘80s. Today, over a million UK households incorporate a hot tub into their home lifestyle.

Anatomy of a hot tub: Common components and features

A hot tub is much more than just a tub filled with hot water. Modern hot tubs consist of a carefully engineered system of components that work together to create a soothing, hydrotherapeutic experience. Understanding the anatomy of a hot tub will help you select a well-constructed model tailored to your relaxation needs.

Jets 

Hot tub jets are adjustable nozzles designed for hydrotherapy massage in hot tubs. Strategically placed jets offer customisable relaxation, targeting areas like the lower back or feet. For durability, it’s essential to opt for quality materials, with stainless steel being a top choice due to its corrosion resistance.

Pump

A pump is a vital component that circulates water through a hot tub’s plumbing system and powers the jets. While some hot tub manufacturers opt for multiple independent pumps (one for each jet group), this design approach costs more to operate since each additional pump requires more energy to run. 

Contrary to claims that multiple pumps are more energy-efficient, the opposite is true where having just one hardworking pump is the most economical solution, i.e., similar to RotoSpa’s innovative single-pump system, making it the most energy-efficient and cost-effective option available in the UK market!

Heater 

The heater maintains the hot tub’s water temperature. Modern heaters often use electric heating elements with energy-saving insulation. Some utilise heat pumps or gas heaters. High-quality insulation around the tub minimises heat loss. Efficient heating systems allow you to enjoy the tub quickly without excessive energy bills. 

Filter 

A hot tub filter is another crucial component that helps keep the water clean and clear. It works by trapping dirt, debris, and contaminants as the water circulates through the filter cartridges. 

Most of the time, high-quality hot tub filters are designed with durable construction and high flow rates to maximise filtration efficiency. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of the filter cartridges are essential to ensure optimal water quality and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.

Controls 

Essential hot tub controls allow you to activate jets, set temperature, run filtration cycles, and manage lighting. Advanced hot tubs integrate high-tech control panels or even WiFi or app connectivity for the ultimate convenience in controlling every setting. 

Many modern hot tubs also incorporate energy-saving features within these controls to reduce operating costs and promote eco-friendliness. These may include sleep timers that automatically lower temperatures during periods of non-use, as well as digital touchpads that provide precise temperature control and efficient programming of filtration cycles.

What to look for when buying a hot tub?

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Before buying a hot tub, you must determine the ideal size based on your preferences. Given the diverse range of sizes and features available in the market, pinpointing the perfect model demands thoughtful consideration. 

Whether you’re leaning towards a cosy 2-person or a more expansive 6-person variant of hot tub, you need to consider the following crucial factors below as you plan to buy your hot tub.

Assessing sizes, features, and designs

The most critical step in choosing a hot tub is determining the size and features that best fit your needs and preferences. Here’s what you may consider as you plan on buying the perfect hot tub for you:

  • Size and capacity. Decide on the number of people you intend to accommodate. Usually, 2-person compact hot tubs are intimate and space-saving, ideal for couples or those with smaller spaces. Larger models, on the other hand, can accommodate up to 6 adults, making them suitable for families or hosting friends.
  • Jet placement and therapy. Adjustable, high-performance jets are essential. Ensure they target critical areas like the back, neck, shoulders, and feet for a therapeutic experience. Some hot tubs offer specialised jet systems for full-body massage.
  • Additional features. Keep an eye out for features that enhance the hot tub experience. This includes efficient insulation systems, ozone purification for water care, and even wireless controls. Prioritise features based on your personal preferences.

Cost implications and value

When exploring hot tub options, it’s natural to consider budget-friendly 2-person models. However, if your lifestyle and preferences align more with larger, 5-6-person hot tubs, it’s worth examining the added value these models provide. 

ALSO READ: How much is a hot tub?

So, when comparing hot tub prices, look beyond the initial expense and consider factors that impact the long-term value of your investment, such as energy efficiency, comprehensive warranty coverage, and installation fees. 

As you evaluate all these, including features, efficiency, warranty coverage, and the joy it will bring to your life, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences, ensuring that your hot tub delivers the ultimate relaxation experience and creates lasting memories.

Setting up and accessorising

Once you’ve selected your hot tub, think about optimising the surrounding area. For compact hot tubs, consider:

  • Waterproof Bluetooth speakers for music.
  • Water-resistant LED lighting for ambience.
  • Insulated tumblers to prevent breakage.

For larger setups:

  • Sturdy steps for safe entry.
  • Side tables for convenience.
  • Optional spa-side umbrellas or pergolas.

Uses and benefits

Choosing a hot tub should align as well with how you plan to use it. Typically, 2-person hot tub models are ideal for solo relaxation or intimate moments, fitting smaller areas and offering a personal retreat. 

In contrast, 5- to 6-person hot tubs cater to family time, small gatherings, or social activities, while still providing therapeutic benefits. Always align your choice with your intended use to ensure maximum satisfaction. 

While various factors come into play when selecting a hot tub, the primary focus should be on how it aligns with your personal preferences and intended use. Keep your specific priorities and needs in mind to ensure you make a choice you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Financing your new hot tub

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While some may find buying a hot tub immediately affordable, paying in full straight cash, many see the benefits of financing. Investing in a tranquil hot tub experience can sometimes necessitate financing to make the purchase more manageable.

How hot tub financing works

It begins with selecting models that match your budget, followed by a discussion with a financing specialist to tailor the repayment structure. Once you’ve crafted the ideal plan, a simple application, filled with personal and financial details, will help determine eligibility, often even for 0% financing arrangements.

Exploring RotoSpa’s hot tub financing option

With our very own financing solution, as the UK’s sole hot tub manufacturer, we at RotoSpa provide flexible hot tub financing options exclusively through our stores. Our specialists are dedicated to assisting you through the process, offering tailored finance agreement options, including promotional periods with a 0% financing, crafted to accommodate your budget.

Key financing terms

Before diving into a deal, it’s essential to understand the key terms in financing:

  • APR. It stands for “Annual Percentage Rate”, which can range from promotional offers of 0% to 10% or even higher.
  • Down payment. Typically, it’s between 10% to 20% of the total hot tub price.
  • Loan length. It varies between 24 to 36 months and significantly affects monthly payment size.
  • Monthly payment. It is determined based on the loan amount, APR, and term, and it usually ranges from £80 to £300.

Benefits of low monthly payments

  • Improves affordability, spreading costs over time.
  • Allows higher-end model upgrade vs. cash purchase.
  • Prevents draining savings or high-interest debt.
  • Minimises impact on monthly cash flow.

With competitive financing, you can enjoy a luxurious new hot tub without breaking the bank.

Tips for securing the best financing deal

  • Seek pre-approval to understand repayment amounts and loan limits.
  • Factor ongoing maintenance and energy costs into your budget.
  • Choose a loan term that aligns with your financial outlook.
  • Thoroughly clarify all financing terms before committing.

The right financing terms can open the door to owning your dream hot tub. With affordable monthly payments, you can start enjoying the relaxation, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle enhancements that come with having your very own hot tub.

Understanding UK homeowners’ love for hot tubs over swimming pools

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The pursuit of relaxation and rejuvenation often makes homeowners contemplate the choice between swimming pools and hot tubs. This decision hinges on multiple factors, including costs, space availability, and personal preferences. 

For a considerable number of UK homeowners, hot tubs emerge as the clear winner, and here’s why the balance tilts in their favour.

1. Unique benefits

Hot tubs are not just about warm water and bubbles. They come with an array of distinct benefits and advantages, which include the following:

  • Holistic relaxation. Unlike pools that cater primarily to exercise enthusiasts, hot tubs are designed for relaxation. They provide a soothing sanctuary where the day’s stress and worries melt away, replaced by a sense of tranquillity and calm.
  • Therapeutic benefits. The warm water and hydromassage jets in hot tubs work in tandem to provide therapeutic relief. They ease muscle tension, boost circulation, and even help alleviate symptoms of certain health conditions such as arthritis and insomnia.
  • Year-round enjoyment. In the capricious UK climate, pools often remain dormant during chilly months. Hot tubs, on the other hand, promise year-round enjoyment, whether it’s a chilly winter evening or a balmy summer night. Their versatility makes them a preferred choice for many.
  • A hub for social interaction. Hot tubs naturally foster interaction. Whether it’s a family gathering, an intimate date night, or a casual get-together with friends, the cosy setting of a hot tub encourages conversations, bonding, and the creation of cherished memories.

2. Cost considerations

As mentioned earlier, the financial aspect is always a significant determinant, especially in the hot tub vs. pool debate. And clearly, most UK homeowners favour hot tubs as they consider both the initial and ongoing costs.

  1. Initial and ongoing costs

Swimming pools, especially in-ground versions, demand a hefty initial investment, while hot tubs are generally more affordable. 

When it comes to ongoing expenses, hot tubs also tend to be cost-effective. Operating a hot tub typically costs between £20 to £50 per month, offering savings over pools that require more significant amounts for heating, cleaning, and chemicals.

  1. Maintenance and repairs

Pools involve substantial maintenance tasks, including frequent cleaning, chemical balancing, and periodic repairs. Hot tubs, being smaller and having technologically advanced systems, often require less frequent and less intensive maintenance, which translates to time and cost savings.

3. Space and design considerations

Space is also one of the premium considerations in many UK homes. Thus, the compactness of hot tubs offers the following distinct advantages:

  1. Fit for smaller spaces

Many UK households lack the expansive outdoor spaces required for a full-sized pool. Hot tubs, with their compact designs, fit snugly into smaller gardens or patios, transforming them into relaxation havens.

  1. Tailored designs

Brands like RotoSpa and others have honed their designs to maximise comfort while optimising space. For example, the RotoSpa’s QuatroSpa, a space-saving 5- to 6-person hot tub, is designed to accommodate multiple individuals without consuming vast garden real estate.

  1. Adaptability and customisation

Hot tubs allow homeowners to tailor their garden spaces as they see fit. LED lighting can be added for ambience, steps can be incorporated for easy access, and unique designs can be chosen to suit personal aesthetics.

4. Climate considerations

The unpredictable weather patterns in the UK make hot tubs an especially advantageous choice over swimming pools. Hot tubs triumph when it comes to providing comfort across all seasons and maximising energy efficiency.

  1. Enjoyment in any weather

While pools are only functional during warmer months, hot tubs promise year-round enjoyment regardless of the UK’s changing weather. You can take a soothing soak even when it’s pouring with rain or snowing outside.

  1. Designed for energy efficiency

Modern hot tubs, particularly those manufactured domestically in the UK, are engineered with energy efficiency as a priority. Advanced insulation coupled with eco-friendly standby heating modes ensures that running costs remain reasonable even during the coldest months.

  1. Consistent relaxation

The UK’s variable climate prevents pools from being usable year-round. But a hot tub’s warm, massaging water provides a constant escape. Hot tubs empower homeowners to de-stress and unwind anytime with a comfortable soak. By providing a consistently enjoyable soaking experience all year while keeping energy costs in check, hot tubs are purpose-built to deliver value in the UK climate.

Maximising your hot tub experience: What to do before and after your dip?

A hot tub soak can be the epitome of relaxation, serving as a haven of tranquillity that can melt away stress and rejuvenate the mind and body. Beyond its relaxation benefits, hot tubs also offer various health advantages, such as improved circulation, eased muscle tension, and reduced stress. 

However, to fully harness the benefits and optimise your hot tub experience, it is crucial to adhere to the following pre- and post-soak routines to ensure that you derive the maximum pleasure and health benefits from your hot tub sessions.

Preparing your spa

A clean, well-balanced spa is the foundation of a truly relaxing soak. Begin by fully draining and wiping the interior to remove any debris or buildup. This deep clean should be undertaken every three months or as needed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

It is also advisable to replace old filters regularly, approximately every 12 months, to improve water flow and filtration efficiency. One way to prolong filter life is to utilise two filters in rotation, alternating them every few months. This allows one filter to dry out completely while the other is in use, thereby preventing the buildup of bacteria and contaminants.

Once the spa is thoroughly cleaned and the filters are replaced, it is crucial to shock the water with a sanitising agent. This process kills bacteria and stabilises chemical levels, ensuring a safe and enjoyable soak. In this situation, photometer tests can be useful for monitoring pH and disinfectant concentrations. 

The pH should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6, while the chlorine level should be kept between 3 and 5 ppm, or bromine between 4 and 6 ppm. Maintaining balanced water chemistry in this manner prevents skin and eye irritation issues.

Preparing yourself

Being adequately hydrated is key before and after a dip to prevent overheating and dehydration. Avoid heavy meals for two to three hours prior as this can cause nausea or cramps. The warm water can quickly raise your core temperature on a full stomach. 

A quick rinse removes dirt, lotions, and oils that could contaminate the water and clog filters. It’s also important to tie up long hair and remember to moisturise skin afterwards, as the heat can dry it out. 

Opt for hand-washed swimwear over regular cotton clothing, which tends to get heavy and clingy when wet. Proper attire and cleansing will enhance comfort during your soak.

Creating the ideal experience

Set the mood for relaxation with soft music, candles, and dimmed lighting. Keep the jets on a low setting for a gentle, soothing massage rather than an intense pounding. 

Limit soaks to 10 to 15 minutes before cooling off with a drink or towel wrap to avoid overheating, which can happen quickly in hot water. Get out periodically to stretch muscles, cool down, and avoid feeling lightheaded. 

Rotate between different seats and jets for an all-over massage experience targeting various muscle groups. With the proper ambience and techniques, your home spa becomes a personal oasis.

After your session

Rinse off in the shower after use to remove chemicals that can dry out skin and hair. Stay hydrated in the hours afterwards and avoid alcohol or vigorous exercise for a few hours to give your body time to cool down and stabilise. Unwind with restful activities before bed for improved sleep quality.

ALSO READ: Enjoying your 2-person hot tub for a relaxing experience

The importance of having an energy-efficient hot tub

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With energy costs and environmental concerns on the rise, an increasing number of homeowners are considering energy-efficient hot tubs. An energy-efficient hot tub can provide significant benefits that make it a wise investment for many homeowners. 

By reducing energy waste, these models are better for the environment, save money on electricity bills, and often outperform traditional hot tub models. 

Here are the reasons why getting an energy-efficient hot tub could be an excellent decision for you.

  1. Environmental benefits

Energy-efficient hot tubs maximise efficiency by using less energy to heat and circulate water. This equates to significant environmental savings over time. These models prioritise sustainability, incorporating advanced insulation, optimised heating systems, and energy-saving modes. 

By reducing energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions, you contribute to a greener future while indulging in luxurious relaxation. Rather than focusing on potentially high energy costs, seek UK-made hot tubs with the lowest carbon footprints and cutting-edge energy-saving features. Make an environmentally conscious choice for a sustainable, guilt-free

  1. Financial savings

The energy savings of an efficient hot tub also translate into direct utility bill savings. With poorly insulated models costing up to £7 on average daily to run monthly, the costs can add up. 

An energy-efficient hot tub can cut these costs in half, saving homeowners tons of money per year due to its £1 daily operating costs (which is incredibly low). And as energy prices rise, an energy-efficient hot tub will save even more over its lifetime. The lower operating costs offset the higher upfront price of energy-efficient models.

  1. Improved performance

In addition to saving energy, energy-efficient hot tubs also work better thanks to improved insulation, heating systems, and components. Thicker foam insulation minimises heat loss from the water, so temperatures stay consistent even in cold conditions. 

High-efficiency pumps and heaters heat water rapidly and maintain temperatures while using less energy. And improved filtration keeps water cleaner. Owners can enjoy the hot tub experience without the high energy bills of standard models.

  1. Additional energy-saving tips

Proper maintenance and temperature settings can further maximise the savings of an energy-efficient hot tub. Keep filters clean, ensure proper water chemistry, and run automatic cleaning cycles to prevent scale buildup that forces heaters to work harder. Setting water temperatures to the lowest comfortable level (such as 37°C) will use the least energy.

ALSO READ: 8 smart ways of maintaining an energy-efficient hot tub

Still undecided? Here’s how RotoSpa can help!

Want to know the process of how we carefully make high-quality hot tubs? Watch this 10-minute video below to learn more about our process of making durable and eco-friendly hot tubs. 

video source: YouTube

Explore our HSG282 holiday parks and commercial hot tubs

Boost bookings at your holiday park or glamping business by offering guests luxurious RotoSpa hot tubs. Our commercial-grade, HSG282-compliant hot tubs endure heavy use at hotels and resorts worldwide. Now we bring that same quality to smaller hospitality businesses.

ALSO READ: HSG282 compliant hot tubs: Key benefits explained

Choose from a variety of sizes to suit your needs. Our 24/7 UK-based support team and FREE comprehensive training give you peace of mind. Provide an amenity that keeps guests coming back year after year!

Making your hot tub experience renewed with RotoSpa’s trade-in program

Through this program, we invite you to trade in your inflatable or acrylic hot tub, regardless of its age, condition, or manufacturer. Our experts will assess its value and provide you with a competitive trade-in allowance of up to £500 discount, which can be applied toward the purchase of your dream RotoSpa model.

The benefits of our trade-in program extend beyond mere convenience. By responsibly retiring your inflatable or acrylic hot tub, you’re actively contributing to a more sustainable future. We prioritise eco-friendly disposal methods, ensuring that your trade-in is handled with the utmost care for the environment.

At the end of the day, purchasing a hot tub is an exciting decision, but it can also feel overwhelming with so many options to consider. At RotoSpa, our goal is to simplify the process and ensure you select the perfect hot tub for your needs. So, whether you’re looking to replace an existing tub or buy your first hot tub, we’re here to help guide you every step of the way. 

Finding your perfect hot tub

Searching for your perfect hot tub can indeed feel overwhelming. At RotoSpa, we make it easy by guiding you each step of the way. Tell us about your needs, from a romantic tub for two or a family-sized model to a portable spa for the holidays. 

We’ll steer you toward the perfect size, jet type, and design features to maximise enjoyment. Try out models in person at our showroom. Our hot tub specialists will answer all your questions, ensuring you select the right hot tub for your lifestyle, budget, and outdoor setting.

Whether you are looking for a residential use or holiday rental business, we at RotoSpa will help you select the ideal hot tub for your unique needs. Hurry and contact us today and let’s make your hot tub selection journey smooth sailing!

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