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Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 08, 2017 04:09PM
We are thinking about getting a hot tub for our back yard. Well, I am, the wife is not yet convinced. We have a deck in the back and I would likely have the tub on a concrete bad and then extend/build the deck around it so that it is level or slightly above the deck. Electric is right on that same corner of the house so it should be very easy to add an electric box and shutoff.

My biggest question is what are the operating costs of a hot tub? We would definitely leave it on year round and use it in the winter. It gets well below freezing in Wisconsin for a good chunk of the winter.

My other question is, new ones are expensive. Would I be better off getting a high quality, but used model or a cheaper new one? I'm mechanically inclined and can fix issues on my own, not sure what parts costs might be though. I have a few friends who maintain pools proffessionally and I could ask them questions if I get stuck.



C(-)ris
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: jims
Date: May 08, 2017 04:31PM
I have had 2 hot tubs both of which are Hot Springs. I left the first one at our old house when we sold. It was bought in 85 and we sold house in 02. Never had a problem with it. The second one was bought one year old in 02 and it is still going strong. I have replace the pump once. It is on a screened in patio, and is out of the weather. I would not recommend buying one of the cheap ones at the big box stores. We live in Arkansas and use it year around. Cost of electricity is about $20 a month. Hope this helps

jims
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 08, 2017 04:56PM
insulated concrete pad, or insulated from the pad.
figure 200 -600 kw a month

unless you move to Phoenix and won't need a 4 or 5 thousand watt heater pumping out the BTU to heat up several hundred gallons of water quite so much.

there are alternatives:




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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 08, 2017 04:57PM
If there are just two of you, then don't get the 80"x80' models meant for 5-6 people. They cost more, and are costlier to run. We had a full size for years, but replaced it with a used Solana 2 person (made by Hot Spring). We are much happier with it.

We bought used from a dealer. The cost was half that of new, it had been a floor model. So I'm a big proponent of used, however be careful with private-owner Craigslist deals. They may have hidden leaks or heater problems (like running full blast to hold the temp - costing you a small fortune). I found mine online and had it delivered/setup for $120.

You will see cheaper full size spas - generally under powered, poorly insulated, fewer jets.

When we had the full-size, cost to run it was about $25/month. the new one in heavily insulated and costs about $15/month.

If you can get an ozone enabled tub, do so. No chemicals needed. Failing that, use a Nature2 SPA Stick Mineral Sanitizer. Once again, virtually no chems (I toss a tablespoon of dichlor in weekly). The stick lasts 4 months (costs $20-$25). I change water every 4 months (same time as the stick).

hope that helps.



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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 08, 2017 06:07PM
Thanks! That helps a lot. The only other thing that I have to figure out is if I need to do something about the Air conditioner. It is on that same corner of the house and would get somewhat blocked in by the extra deck and hot tub. Need to find out how much space it needs around it to breath.



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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 08, 2017 06:33PM
The house we bought three years ago came with a Hot Spring hot tub and we have been very happy with it. I think it is a six person unit and it has a bunch of bells and whistles such as led lighting and fancy jets. It also has the salt cell. We use it frequently and really enjoy it but we mostly soak and do not use the extra features. One thing I would not go without is the lid lift assist. I was told that some smaller tubs are not able to maintain temperature when open so that might be something to explore. I was also told some tubs can't run the heater and the jets at the same time so that's another thing to check out.

I have two friends who found used hot tubs in the couple hundred dollar range, transported themselves and performed minor repairs, and are now enjoying them. They don't have the led lights or massage jets but are great soaker tubs. So I think you can get an inexpensive tub if you don't need the extra features.
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: Maddog
Date: May 08, 2017 06:44PM
I am a very big fan of Hot Springs models. Definitely more expensive, clearly worth it. I have had mine for over 14 years, doing fine. Had to replace a heater along the way. I do like the ozone boost that helps keep it clean. Hardly ever use the jets, but they work fine. If this one died, I would get another.
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 08, 2017 07:46PM
....get the one with the Time Machine......



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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 08, 2017 09:52PM
We bought a Nordic Retreat MS last Nov. It's great! It's a no frills, built like a tank hot tub. I studied and looked
at everything out there for a year and a half. Hot Springs is great tubs but you will pay for them. Every Nordic
dealer I talked that carried Nordic also carried a higher end brand like Hot Springs, Sundance, Caldria, etc. we ended
up buying from a dealer that's been in business since 1981. The owner personally told me that his Sundance
line gives a lot little nitpicking problems but he carries it because customers demand something for more show.
The Nordic is one of the only companies that puts a true Whirlpool Hydrotherapy jet in all their tubs. They
use off the shelf non-proprietary parts like, US made motors, Balboa controllers and keypads.

Mine is is convertible 110/220 volt but it's on a dedicated 110 circuit and so far I see no reason to go to 220.
I can be in it for 20-30 minutes on high with air added and it might drop 1 degree sometimes 2 if it's really cold.
The heater doesn't work on high on 110 volts but a one degree drop is fine by me.

We've got about $4200 in ours, that was everything, delivery, cover, steps, setup, full set of chems, etc.
I just didn't want to be into one for $7000-10,000. Nordic isn't fancy but I wasn't looking for fancy,
I wanted hydrotherapy and reliability and got about the best warranty there is. Sorry to sound like a
Nordic salesman but I'm convinced it's the best economical hot tub out there.

[www.nordichottubs.com]

Adding a Nordic Hot Tub to the Backyard - Designing Spaces
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Grateful11




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2017 09:55PM by Grateful11.
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 09, 2017 08:35AM
Based on personal experience, I cannot encourage you enough to consider an enclosure for your hot tub. Wooden decks turn into seriously slippery places in the winter, especially when you're doing the dash from hot tub to house with wet feet. Several of us experienced nasty slips and pulled muscles from such occasions.

Whenever we get a replacement for our older Hot Springs hot tub, we will enclose the heck out of it.
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 09, 2017 09:01PM
Ours is actually in the corner of a very large carport. The wind really has to blow to get it wet. The patio tiles under ours came from Ikea.



Grateful11
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 09, 2017 09:22PM
My hot tub is surrounded by a trex deck and I have been happy with that. Sometimes I wish for some sort of enclosure but then I couldn't enjoy the stars at night. It is a trade off.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2017 11:04PM by davemchine.
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 10, 2017 01:03AM
2 words

PEOPLE SOUP!
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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 10, 2017 10:38AM
Quote
davemchine
My hot tub is surrounded by a trex deck and I have been happy with that. Sometimes I wish for some sort of enclosure but then I couldn't enjoy the stars at night. It is a trade off.

Is it level with the deck or do you still need to step into it?



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Re: Hot Tub recommendations and costs?
Posted by: PeterW
Date: May 10, 2017 12:08PM
If you recess the tub into the deck, it can be VERY difficult to access the pumps and heater if it ever needs servicing.
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