Used Hot Tub

Factors to Consider with Previously Owned Spas

Buying a used hot tub or spa can be a daunting task. A professional service company or individual with specific knowledge on hot tub performance and reliability may charge up to $115 to fully inspect a tub or spa. In the end, the expense can save you a bundle.

Whether you hire a professional or scout out your own hot tub, consider the following tips to limit the risk and expense of a used hot tub or spa:

  • Be sure the hot tub or spa is fully operational. Fill it with water, set the heat pump to maximum and let it run for at least 24 hours.
  • Use a digital or oral thermometer to check the water temperature and ensure it is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Visually check and test all the support equipment: jets, blower, water diverter and intake valves.
  • Open the equipment cabinet and visually check for active leaks. A pump motor leak can usually be solved fairly easily. Leaks in the pump motor require replacement and can cost $150-250 on average. Jacuzzi® pumps can cost $400 USD or more to replace.
  • Listen to the pump motor. If it does not have a strong and steady hum, you can expect to replace the struggling pump.
  • Check the shell for cracks or delaminated areas. Older acrylic shells may have surface scoring or "checking" (small thing cracks), which is normal.
  • Cracked or damaged shell places need to be repaired, if they leak, in order to maintain the overall integrity of the hot tub or spa.
  • Have the homeowner brief you on all features and condition of the hot tub or spa. Inspect the tub to see if it is connected to an operational Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) as a main circuit breaker to the spa. If this is the case, it usually ensures the electrical integrity of the spa.
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