If you’re considering getting a hot tub then you’ve probably thought about possibly purchasing one used from a site like KSL classifieds or finding a refurbished one from a dealer. In this post we wanted to walk you through some things we think you’d want to consider being buying a used or refurbished hot tub or spa.
Full Disclosure: We sell new Coast hot tubs & spas direct to consumer. Come see our new showroom in Herriman, Utah.
Let’s jump right into the main considerations you should have when considering a used or refurbished hot tub and then we’ll go into more detail on each point.
- Does it include a warranty?
- How will it be moved and who will install it?
- What payment types will they accept?
- How can you inspect the condition and perhaps find maintenance issues?
- The price
Hot Tub Warranty
New hot tubs (and some used) sold by a dealer will come with a manufacturer’s or dealer’s warranty. These are usually pretty comprehensive in their coverage and last for quite a period of time, depending on the dealer and manufacturer of course. Used hot tubs from a private seller will not come with a warranty and most will not be transferred to a new buyer. This leaves you without any protection when something goes wrong or maintenance is needed. We have heard stories of people buying a used hot tub and thinking they got a great deal only to have to spend almost the same amount having a costly repair done a few months later.
Another thing to consider is service and maintenance plans. When you buy a new hot tub you’ll typically have a chance to purchase a service plan. Different options might include water purification, cleaning and replacement or repair of parts that wear out over time.
How Will It Be Moved?
Let’s face it. Hot tubs can be really big. And really heavy. So unless you’ve got a football team on loan and a very large truck, moving the tub from the old owners home to yours could get a bit tricky. And once you get it there you’ll still need to install it. You don’t want to just plunk it down on some grass in your backyard. The area where you place your spa needs to be prepared to be a flat, stable and strong surface that can handle a lot of weight. Most decks are not built to withstand the weight of a spa. Make sure you check with a professional to check the load rating of your deck before placing a hot tub on it. An improperly placed spa can seriously injure people or cause damage to the spa itself.
Alternatively, when you purchase a new spa the cost of delivery and installation is often included in the price quoted by the dealer. Since they have a vested interest in the hot tub being delivered in perfect condition and installed in a way that makes for maximum enjoyment and reduces maintenance or other issues in the future.
When you buy a used spa you’re going to need to pay for it in cash on the spot. This can limit the size, style or type of hot tub that you could purchase. Sometimes being able to finance a tub will increase your buying power and get you the hot tub of your dreams while still being within a monthly payment you can afford. Sometimes you can even score low to zero-interest financing deals. This could also allow you to get into a new hot tub, without all the maintenance worries or other concerns of a used spa, and still be at essentially the same cost.
Before buying a used or refurbished hot tub we would recommend that you spend plenty of time inspecting everything you can. A few things you’ll want to check on:
- Cabinet: The cabinet is what protects the hot tubs sensitive inner components from the elements. Look for any cracks, leaks or discoloration that could be a sign of water damage.
- Shell: Check for any leaks, warping, cracks or scratches in the shell. Small things tend to get worse as time goes on.
- Access panel: Look through everything in detail for any evidence of water damage or leaks. Any leaks could indicate an expensive repair is in order soon. Check for pests such as beehives, snakes or rat nests that could lead to damage. Check the wiring for any corrosion and for good wire insulation and strong connections.
- Control panel: Test each of the buttons and make sure they respond as expected. Any fast clicking or chattering sounds could be damaged relays and may be expensive to repair.
- Interior framework: The interior should be free from corrosion, cracks, dents and should be regular and even.
- Pumps: Most hot tubs have separate pumps for the jets and circulation. When the spa is filled turn and make sure the circulation pump is moving water. Then turn the jets on and test their pressure. The jet pumps should provide a steady flow and a low hum. Any chattering or grinding or other sound may need to be repaired.
Those who are considering a used hot tub are usually first attracted by a low price. But that initial low price can turn out to be higher than a new model when the spa needs to be repaired a short time later. If the price is low enough it may justify the risk. But there will always be a risk, even with a really well maintained used spa. We recommend you look at both new and used options and consider the points above before purchasing your spa.
We hope you find a hot tub that gives you and your family many hours of relaxation and fun together.