Buying a Used Hot Tub

Why Used Hot Tubs Are Not Always a Bargain

Thinking about purchasing a used hot tub? Buyer beware!

While buying a used hot tub from a private party may be the cheapest route initially, you may find it costly in the long run. Even “Free” can be a costly adventure. Here’s what you need to know about buying used hot tubs.

One of the first problems you’ll encounter when buying a used hot tub from a private party is moving it. Not only must you remove it from the original owner’s location, you must transport it to your home. Most hot tub business’s will not move a tub from one house to another if it is not the brand they carry due to insurance and liability. You may need to rent a trailer, so keep those costs in mind when comparing the total purchase price. The weight of a hot tub can be a couple of tons, not something you can move all by yourself, you will need help.

In addition, you’ll need to install the used hot tub in your backyard. You’ll need to prepare the site with a pad, plumbing, and electrical. Most hot tubs are on a 220 Volt. The pad area for a hot tub can be concrete, packed gravel, a deck (if it can handle the weight). Site preparation is often the last thing on your mind, but it’s vital to the safety, performance, and ultimate enjoyment of your hot tub, new or used.

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Once your used hot tub is home and installed, you may need to perform a variety of repairs. At a minimum, you’ll want to clean thoroughly and decontaminate it.

There are no warranties on used hot tubs, and if they were not taken care of properly, the repair costs can be high. Warranties are not transferred from owner to owner; they only cover the original owner of the hot tub.

Older Hot tubs had cabinets made out of wood. A wood cabinet is very hard to find, most companies do not make them, and if you do find one, the cost is high. Newer Hot tubs have cabinets that are made out of a poly product; no maintenance needed.

I’ve recently seen our spa tech repair a hot tub that had been purchased used. The customer paid $1500 for the tub, thought he was getting a steal of a deal. Once he installed it at his home the problems started. After all the leaks and problems were repaired the additional cost would have purchased him a brand new hot tub with full warranties.

Keep in mind there is a reason they are giving the hot tub away. If the hot tub has been sitting around for a long period of time without being used you don’t know what you will find when you fill it up and turn it on. If it has sat over the winter without being properly winterized there could be issues caused by freezing, ie. hose’s, pumps, heaters.

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