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Home » Should I Buy A Pre-Owned Hot Tub – The Truth About Used Hot Tubs

Should I Buy A Pre-Owned Hot Tub – The Truth About Used Hot Tubs

Hot Tub inventory is low worldwide in 2021, that’s no secret. You’ve done your research & you know what you want. You don’t want to settle for just any hot tub and compromise on quality but maybe you aren’t finding any new models that fit your needs in stock near you. There’s one other option that not many think there’s a market for, Pre-Owned hot tubs. Is it smart to buy a pre-owned spa? Are pre-owned spas worth it? Where should you shop for pre-owned models? We’ll lay it all out for you so you’re able to decide if a used hot tub is right for you or if you should stick it out and wait for your perfect hot tub to arrive new.

How to shop for a used hot tub?

Know where you’re buying from

Most online E-commerce stores do not have a pre-owned hot tub market & same goes for big box stores.

You’ll find pre-owned spas at your local dealership. Which, in our bias opinion, we truly believe is going to be best for your hot tubbing experience. In previous articles, we’ve shed light on Why to Buy From A Hot Tub Store if you’d like to learn more about this topic. Local dealerships often have used models for sale because they have the resources to inspect, refurbish, and resell these models. It’s a great way for them to provide customers on a budget high end options. They will also have the capability to deliver and install it for you which is a huge part of your purchase experience.

Beware of Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other buy & sell platforms may also have pre-owned models for sale. However, we advise you to be very careful when shopping on these outlets. Why? Well, 99% of the time, the individuals selling these units are not spa technicians or experts. Any, even if they are, it’s probably safe to say they aren’t going to inspect & refurbish it for you. Not only that, how are you going to remove the unit from their home and deliver it to yours? Spas are very heavy & they are not easily moved. So, keep these factors in mind when shopping for a used hot tub online.

Caldera Spas Hot Spring Spas Free Flow Spas

Know your brands

There are so many brands to choose from today making it overwhelming to research them all & know which brands are high quality & which brands are not. It’s important, when shopping in the pre-owned market, that you purchase a high quality brand. This might seem obvious, but low quality brands can fall apart in transit (trust us, we’ve seen it happen), have unfixable issues, can run your electric bill up $100’s per month, among various other issues.  Low quality models have a much shorter life span so you might be investing in a unit that is only going to last you a couple more years. You may not be able to get replacement parts for low quality brands either which makes the hot tub essentially useless to you.

So, knowing your brands is crucial when shopping. Hot Spring & Caldera Spas probably have one of the highest pre-owned markets because of their high end quality & long lifespan. These brands also guarantee to make replacement parts for their hot tubs for at least 20 years. The local dealerships that sell and service Hot Spring & Caldera Spas have highly educated and trained service technicians that are able to test, inspect, and repair their brands.

The best way to know which used hot tub brands are safe to buy is by looking up the top 5 best selling hot tub brands. This list of the best spa brands is a good reference to use when shopping.

Questions to ask about used hot tub... How old is this model? What brand is this model? Was the hot tub inspected? Was anything replaced? Was this model stress tested after it was refurbished? How well did the previous home owners care for the hot tub? Were the lines purged? Are there any unfixable issues? What does it come with?

Know what questions to ask

Make sure when you’re shopping for your used hot tub to ask questions that will give you insight into how old the spa is, how the previous home owners cared for it, if there were any issues, what was repaired etc. The list below of questions to ask when shopping for a used hot tub is a great starting point.

  1. How old is this model?
  2. What brand is this model?
  3. Was the unit inspected?
  4. Was anything replaced?
  5. Was this model stress tested after it was refurbished?
  6. How well did the previous home owners care for the spa?
  7. Were the lines purged?
  8. Are there any unfixable issues?
  9. What does it come with? (you’re going to want a cover, cover lifter, filters, step, start up chemicals, sanitation system, electrical box/outlet, delivery, and warranty)
    1. Sanitation systems are extremely important. Without any ozone, UV ray, mineral or salt water system – you’re going to really struggle with water care.

Know your warranty details

Knowing your warranty details is so important. After you have your hot tub delivered to your home, you’ll likely have your electrician come out and hook it up. You’ll fill it with your hose & set up the water care system and add your chemicals. Once you turn it on, you want to test everything like your jets, lights, heater, and open and close your cover lifter. Should any issues arise after your delivery, you want to feel safe knowing the dealership you purchased it from is going to replace anything that doesn’t work at least within the first 90 days of use. Anything that is going to go wrong from the previous homeowner will likely fail within the first few months of use.

Make sure the warranty you receive from the dealership is very detailed and includes any pumps, heaters, water care systems, electronics, plumbing/leaks, and accessories. Some dealerships used hot tub warranties will include parts & labor, however, most will just include parts and charge labor.

How old is too old?

This is going to depend on the brand. If you ended up choosing a high end brand from the list of top selling hot tubs, we agree it’s safe to buy one as old as 12-15 years. Hot Spring & Caldera Spas often last an average of 25 years. Although the technology will be outdated, the operations will work just fine. You’ll get a high end experience at a price that is truly affordable for most folks. If you ended up purchasing one that did not make the list of top selling brands, 2 years could be too old depending on how cheaply made the model is. Use your best judgement on lower end name brands, but we wouldn’t recommend something older than 5-7 years.

The Truth About Used Hot Tubs

To set your ownership experience up for success: Purchase from your local dealer, buy a brand that is reputable and high end, ask the right questions, make sure you know the details of the used warranty, and don’t purchase a model older than 12-15 years as long as its a high end brand (5-7 years for lower end brands).

Used hot tubs are a great option for families on a budget that care about quality. Also, it’s great for folks who are looking to just get into hot tubbing and aren’t sure if they want to spend a lot of money on their first one. Yes, there is a market for trading in your used hot tub as well (as long as it’s a high end reputable brand). Happy Hot Tubbing!!

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