Make sure to look under the hood before writing a check!
It’s just what we do before buying most mechanical devices, especially when the price tag has 4 and 5 digits
I think about every car I’ve ever owned. The second thing I always did after the initial walk around was to lift the hood. I wanted to hear the engine, to see the moving parts, to know it was not about to shake itself apart. I wanted to know if there was oil all over the engine and to check the fluid levels. Then I would drive it to see how it handled and see if the front end acted squirrelly. I needed all the information I could get to make the best educated decision about whether or not to take it home. We all know, just because the body is straight, the paint in good condition, and tread on the tires, doesn’t mean it’s a good car that will give you 1000’s of miles of use. So we do our homework. Right?
Well, buying a hot tub should be no different of a buying experience. After all, most spas are made to look pretty and inviting, to include, many sellers hope their tub is attractive enough that you won’t want to look under the hood. They’re hoping your investigation questions don’t get past things like how it works, what chemicals do I use, do you have your own service department, what’s the warranty. You know, the easy to answer stuff! But what about asking questions that keep your eager salesperson on their toes?
Ask Questions like the following:
What does the bottom of the hot tub look like?
Yes, this is a great question. You’ll learn a great deal about their manufacturing process if they actually show you the bottom. You’ll learn about the care and quality that went into making the tub. Why? Some hot tubs have a piece of trash bag like plastic stapled to the bottom of the tub that holds in the cotton ball like insulation. Some have a hard candy shell like substance that acts as a barrier between the ground and the foam insulation that fills the tub. Some tubs may have a piece of plywood, which in most cases, is to act as a shield so the prospect can’t see there’s no insulation. While other hot tubs have absolutely nothing on the bottom, it’s just a wide opening that reveals all the plumbing and other components. So the reality is, if you want to know the real quality of the hot tub you’re contemplating purchasing, don’t neglect looking at the bottom. Also, don’t accept any fancy reasons why they can’t show you!
What does it look like behind the access panel?
This is important because you’ll get a glimpse inside the minds and character of those that manufactured the hot tub. You’ll be able to witness whether or not it was made to be easily serviced. The equipment area of many spas is so crowded with plumbing that it gives the service tech a headache maneuvering around the network of plastic tubing. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear a few under their breath expletives that indicate their frustration. Some equipment areas are so cramped that it requires the removal of some components just to get to the one causing the problem. This situation has the tech at your house longer than should be necessary which translates into a higher service bill, Ching, Ching.
Unwanted, non-paying tenants are also an issue for many hot tubs due to the access from underneath into the equipment area of your spa. That may not bother some folks, but I’m not partial to spiders of all types, rats, mice, carpenter ants, etc., living in my hot tub!
Unless you just won the lottery, or you have more money than sense, I encourage you to follow the above mentioned tips when shopping for your next hot tub. The overall construction of a spa will indicate how many years of use and enjoyment you’ll get from your latest purchase. Well beyond the number of jets, pump size, lights, waterfalls, and all the other glitz and glitter that go into the wow factor of hot tub manufacturing is the ground up engineering, design, and quality materials that determine the spas real world value.
Thanks for reading this post!