How to Read Hot Tub Product Labels and Descriptions
Buying a hot tub is a complex decision. For starters, it shouldn’t be dependent on solely looks and feel. It’s highly important to consider the investment and why you’re buying to begin with, whether it’s family time, pain relief, or another factor. Compare and contrast hot tub models to find the one that suits your life the most. Let’s cover some important hot tub details.
Reading Hot Tub Specifications
When purchasing a hot tub, it’s important to base your decision on facts that support your needs and budget. Comparing specifications between your choices will help you cut through the fluff and determine which models offer the best value for you and your family. Here’s where we will help you understand what all of those specs actually mean.
Here are the specifications for one of our popular top-of-the-line models, the Hot Spring Grandee® NXT:
Hot Spring Grandee® NXT
Seats – 7
Dimensions – 8’4″ x 7’7″ x 38″
Total Jets – 43
Water Capacity – 450 gallons
Wavemaster 9200 w/ two-speed, 2.5 continuous-duty HP.
Wavemaster 9000: one-speed, 2.5 continuous-duty HP
Wattage – 230 volts at 50 amps.
Heater – No-Fault® 4000-watt 230-volt heater.
Now we’ll look at what these specifications mean and how to use them when comparing hot tubs.
Seats – This is fairly straightforward, but it still requires some thought. Obviously, more seats means more people can participate in the enjoyment. It’s important to consider not only how many, but when. While the size of your family will establish the number of seats required on an everyday basis, you’ll also need to estimate how entertaining extended family and guests will impact that number, as well as the associated cost. With seven seats, the Grandee NXT has enough to accommodate most families with a bit of room left over for guests.
Dimensions – Hot tub dimensions and seating should be examined concurrently. For example, two hot tubs can have the same dimensions, but one might have five seats compared to the other’s six. The spa with fewer seats will feel more spacious, while the other might feel cozier when full. Make sure to consider height as well. Shorter hot tubs aren’t as convenient for easily immersing taller folks.
Jets – More doesn’t always mean better! Your hydromassage experience is affected mostly by jet positioning and design. Also, more jets requires more supply pressure from the pumps, which in turn affects the size and electrical cost of running those pumps. Make sure the jet designs deliver the type (or types) of experience you desire. Consider the difference between an open stream of water from a garden hose versus the concentration of pressure or spread of pressure provided by an adjustable spray nozzle. The same principles apply to the jets in a hot tub. For all of your choices, ask your dealer to describe the types of jets and where they’re placed.
Water Capacity – Simply put, the larger the hot tub, the greater its capacity. Knowing how many gallons a spa holds is vital to understanding how long it will take drain and refill, how much it will cost, how long it will take to change temperature, and what chemical treatments will cost. At 450 gallons, the Grandee NXT is on the upper end of water capacity.
Pumps – Pumping power determines the pressure your jets will deliver. Nothing is more frustrating than a weak jet positioned in the one spot you really need some pain relief. Pumps on the Grandee NXT have 4.5 continuous-duty horsepower. At over 1/10 a horsepower per jet, that’s more than enough to deliver strong pressure to its 43 jets. Use this ratio of power per jet as your baseline for comparison.
Wattage – Generally speaking, the higher this number, the greater the electrical consumption. But that’s not the entire story. Wattage is determined by multiplying volts by amps. Here in the U.S. a standard home electrical outlet is 110 volts, while a clothes dryer or other higher powered equipment will consume power at 220 volts. Electrical power delivered, and devices consuming power, at higher voltage is more efficient. You’ll find Plug’N’Play (110 volt) hot tubs, and those that require 220 volts and the installation of an appropriate outlet. So, in addition to the direct comparison of power consumption, you’ll have to understand the trade-offs in convenience, cost, and operational wear between 220 and 110.
Heater – The heating element on your hot tub has one seemingly simple job. That said, relative to a Plug’N’Play spa that uses 110 volts, hot tubs that use 220 volts work for less time with less strain. You should consider how this affects the time it takes to heat your tub, and the life expectancy of the heater itself.
Hopefully you feel that you now have a better understanding of hot tub specifications. If so, you’re closer to comparing your choices. At this point, it’s time to launch into hot tub ownership, maintenance, benefits and safety.
Hot Tub Statistics
The United States is home to 5.8 million hot tubs, most of which live at single-family detached residences, with a smaller percentage at condominiums and apartments. The most common hot tub is the above-ground spa featuring an acrylic shell. This type of tub usually sits on a level pad and is usually surrounded by a wooden or synthetic cabinet.
The additional statistics below will help enhance your understanding of purchase price, average installation and operation costs, and safety considerations.
Hot Tub Cost Statistics
Hot Tub Price Range by Tier
Luxury hot tubs: $9,000-$16,000 +
Premium hot tubs: $6,000-$10,000
Value-priced hot tubs: $4,000-$8,000
Entry-level hot tubs: $3,000-$5,000
Average Installation Costs – In the U.S., it costs about $157 to $490 to install a hot tub, with an average of $318. The costs will depend on hot tub location, size, and complexity of the installation. The ideal scenario involves installing the hot tub on a concrete pad in suburbia, though there are circumstances in which a crane is needed to lift the hot tub to a rooftop deck. Obviously, that’s going to cost more.
Average Monthly Electricity Cost – On average, it costs $10 to $20 a month to run a hot tub. Temperature is a huge factor. Colder locations will see higher energy costs in the winter than warmer locations, and visa versa in the summer months. Your best bet is to choose an energy-efficient hot tub with fantastic insulation and strong heaters. Hot Spring’s calculator can help you get a more accurate estimate.
Average Water Care Cost – It costs about $20 a month to care for your hot tub water, using bottle chemicals at the basic level. An upgraded water care system, like the continuously-cleaning Everfresh® Water Care System, will cost a bit more but reduce chlorine costs and save time. Top-of-the-line saltwater systems, such as the Hot Spring ACE® system, creates water cleaner from salt and also reduces the need for chemicals.
Hot Tub Benefits – The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 132 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder at least one night per week. A short soak before bed will cause your body temperature to drop after you get out of the tub, which is essential for falling into a deep sleep.
Improved Mobility – The buoyancy of water (and thus, spas) has been shown to provide relief from arthritis, swelling, pain, and stiffness. It also increases joint mobility and function. If you suffer from arthritis, talk to your doctor. While soaking in a hot tub is great for many sufferers, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
Deeper Social Connections – Spas are incredibly relaxing. Relaxation is very important to breaking down barriers and allowing bonds to form. One of the best benefits of hot tub ownership is the opportunity to nurture relationships, both existing and new.
Hot Tub Safety Facts – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends you not allow your hot tub water to exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The recommended temperature is 100 degrees. Take special care with young children and elderly people. According to recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should not allow children under five to use your hot tub.
With all of these statistics and facts in mind, we hope you feel ready to browse our hot tub models, whether online or at one of our two locations in Texas.