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Before you go shopping you may want to think about how many people you want your hot tub to hold. Is it just the 2 of you? Do you have or plan on having a family? Do you plan on having hot tub parties with your friends/neighbours? If you think about this before you shop, you will narrow down the models to look and it will be less confusing to compare.

Here is a list of things you may want to consider when you are shopping .

Choose the ones that are important to you.

Now that you’ve decided how many people you want the tub to hold, can the number of people stated in the seating rating truly fit? If it says rated 6, where are the 6 people sitting? Count to make sure there are 6 seats and there are jets in all 6 seats.

What are the inside measurements of the tub? All the manufacturers quote the exterior measurements of the tub. The amount of space you have to sit in is determined by the interior measurements of the tub. Be sure to look at the inside area of the tub that you will actually get to use as this can vary significantly between manufacturers.

Are the seats comfortable? You can’t tell by looking so you need to get into a dry tub and sit in it. If you are not asked to do so, get in anyway. It’s the only way to tell. Don’t just sit in one seat. Try them all. Water masks the comfort of the seats. Make sure you sit in a dry tub as well as a wet one.

How deep is the tub? When you sit in the dry tub imagine it is full of water, it’s -20 degrees outside. Where would the hot water level come to on you? Right up to your chin or half way down your chest?

How deep is the footwell? When you sit in the seat are your knees at an awkward angle because the footwell is too shallow or do you feel like you are sitting in a comfy chair? How large is the footwell? Are you and your friends’ feet going to be touching each other or piled up on each other because there is so little room?

If therapeutic massage is important to you, look at the jets. How many are there? Are the jet locations and type different from seat to seat? Can you customize the jets or are they standard? Is it easy to get from seat to seat to use the different massages available? Is there something to grip onto to help you move from seat to seat?

Does the tub have all active seating? (can you run all the seats and jets in the tub at the same time at full power or do you have to move the water flow from one to the other?) Ask for a demonstration in the tub that has water.

Entry and Exit-it’s not supposed to be difficult to get in or out of your tub. Are there steps inside the tub? How do you get into the tub from the outside? What if you slip-is there something to grab on to? Does the tub come with steps or are they an extra cost? Are they study and slip resistant? What about getting into/out at night? Are there lights on the steps so you can see them easily and won’t fall?

What does it cost to run the tub on an average monthly basis in Canada? Make sure you compare Canadian costs including Canadian winter heating.

How is the spa insulated? Are there 3 insulated walls and the 4th has the equipment? Does the tub have 4WALL insulation? Is there no insulation and you are heating your spa with the heat from your pump? Would you buy a house from a contractor that recommended either no insulation or only insulating 3 walls instead of 4?

How many pumps does the tub have? What is the horsepower and why does it matter? What size pump does the tub use to keep the water circulating when you are not using it? How much is it costing to run it constantly? Listen to the tub in the showroom when the jets aren’t turned on. Can you hear the pump running? Is that what you want to hear when you are in your backyard having a barbeque with friends?

How is the plumbing of the tub designed? Does it have a lot of 90 degree turns to restrict the water flow? Are the pipes hanging loosely and more likely to come apart with the movement of the motor and the jets or are the pipes supported by insulation?

Can you keep your hot tub temperature level at all seasons or do you have to either buy summer panels or take panels off in the summer to keep your tub at the right summer temperature?

Does the tub have built in plastic pillows? How long will they last and how do you keep bacteria from growing in them?

Do I have the option of using Ultra Violet light to keep the water clean and reduce chemicals by up to 70%

Is the hot tub going to run with salt water? How am I going to deal with the City By-Laws that prohibit draining salt water into city sewer systems? Where am I going to drain the salt water when I empty the tub 4 x-a year as recommended as the salt water may destroy my grass.

What kind of warranty comes with the tub? Ask for a copy of the complete warranty including the limitations. Does the tub come with a No Fine Print Guarantee? Get it in writing.

What are the other costs aside from the price of the tub?

How much is delivery? Who delivers the tub?

When/how do I get my personal water chemistry training?

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