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Thinking about a hot tub. Where should I start?

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  • Dec 7th, 2017 3:41 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
728 posts
131 upvotes
Oshawa

Thinking about a hot tub. Where should I start?

Hey Folks....


Thinking about putting a hot tub in. Likely not until next summer but thought I would start reading and educating myself. The tub will be for 4 people (2 kids 2 adults). I have a decent spot right outside the master bedroom door to our deck. The tub will be on the ground...

Trying to educate myself on true cost of ownership... Sizing, jets, pumps, heaters etc.. What should I be looking for in a tub? One issue I foresee, I have been told you need to drain and fill the tub every 3-4 months? I am on a well and this means I will likely need to get a truck in to fill it. Whats the running rate for a tub worth of water?

Installation should not be a problem. It will be right behind my garage and my fuse panel is in the garage. A little pony panel and big breaker and I can run it to where it needs to be. I plan on putting in a cement pad for it likely. Again easy enough...

Any input is appreciated!

Thanks!
27 replies
Member
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Jan 14, 2007
407 posts
68 upvotes
GTA North
Go for a tub which is well insulated. I went Beachcomber 580 SE Hybrid after much research. Bigger is better. Kids will grow.
Options: I love the foot massage feature on ours as do the kids. Built in lights are nice, waterfall ok, stereo is nice (all extras included in Special Edition) but I find I can get along just fine with Bluetooth speaker as I don't need to bring my phone outside. Wet test the ones you are interested in.

You suggest you will place it outside your bedroom. This is good if you don't mind people coming through your room to use the tub (maybe there is other access) don't have others using tub while you sleep (kids will get older).

Hydro cost an extra maybe $40 per month running without any turn-down in temp at 102 all the time and always filter running. Also run all year. and gets used probably at least 5 times a week.

Water I change twice a year. Can't comment on cost of trucked in water but its approx 1700L and takes under an hour to fill with garden hose. Clean filter every two weeks (I have an extra and just swap it every other time).

Chemicals: I use chlorine pucks which lasts about 7 days because I got tired of trying to maintain it daily. Also shock and PH plus seem to keep it in balance once a week.

Sounds like you have the right idea for the foundation and running the Hydro.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
728 posts
131 upvotes
Oshawa
IMHIP2 wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 2:54 pm
Go for a tub which is well insulated. I went Beachcomber 580 SE Hybrid after much research. Bigger is better. Kids will grow.
Thanks for the info.....

Any idea how to tell they are insulated well? That seems like it would be the biggest factor affecting cost of ownership... The few that I have peeked at all seem to advertise how good they are... Hell my Ford F150 I drive has adds telling me is Very fuel efficient.. At least with fuel efficiency I can compare a number.

We do have other access to the deck/tub. There is also a kitchen entrance another 15' away.. Everyone gets to use that door :-) Foot massage sounds wonderful. I am at the gym a fair bit the last few years, between that and running I am in continuous pain.. Looking forward to a tub.

Any reason you leave yours set to 102 all the time? Just for ease of use, always ready to go?

You also say bigger is better... I wonder how much size impacts cost of operation?

Thanks again for the input!
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13280 posts
711 upvotes
Go to a shop and try them...

To be honest, we had zero interest in a hot tub. Then we saw the swim spas. They are twice as long and deeper...so it became something for us to consider as we would get far more use out of it as a family. We happily put our kids out there throughout the winter! We can also swim against it for exercise...
Member
User avatar
Jan 14, 2007
407 posts
68 upvotes
GTA North
Insulation is easy to see, just look inside as there are two schools of thought.

1. Spray foam the entire inside including the plumbing to the jets (we choose this one)
Pros - great insulation and thus cost to operate is lower, spray foam holds everything in place and less likely to leak due to movement of plumbing
Con - no access to repair leaking plumbing thus higher cost to repair
2. Insulate but leave access to repair the plumbing to the jets
Pro - easy access for repair and thus cheaper to repair,
Con - less insulation and thus higher operating costs, hoses will move and more likely come loose and leak

We always leave it at 102 so it is always ready to go (that and I can't be bothered to figure out how to make it cycle on/off and for what times, don't think the savings would be that much whereas waiting for an hour (might be less) to get up to temp would be a pain) I don't think the cost is much different for larger, maybe $10 month. Just like any appliance, there are Kw/h ratings to help you compare. Units among the same manufacturer should be comparable. I know ours is costing about what the rating showed which really surprised me as I figured it would be more.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2003
2061 posts
472 upvotes
Nunavut
IMHIP2 wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 2:54 pm
Go for a tub which is well insulated. I went Beachcomber 580 SE Hybrid after much research. Bigger is better. Kids will grow.
Options: I love the foot massage feature on ours as do the kids. Built in lights are nice, waterfall ok, stereo is nice (all extras included in Special Edition) but I find I can get along just fine with Bluetooth speaker as I don't need to bring my phone outside. Wet test the ones you are interested in.

You suggest you will place it outside your bedroom. This is good if you don't mind people coming through your room to use the tub (maybe there is other access) don't have others using tub while you sleep (kids will get older).

Hydro cost an extra maybe $40 per month running without any turn-down in temp at 102 all the time and always filter running. Also run all year. and gets used probably at least 5 times a week.

Water I change twice a year. Can't comment on cost of trucked in water but its approx 1700L and takes under an hour to fill with garden hose. Clean filter every two weeks (I have an extra and just swap it every other time).

Chemicals: I use chlorine pucks which lasts about 7 days because I got tired of trying to maintain it daily. Also shock and PH plus seem to keep it in balance once a week.

Sounds like you have the right idea for the foundation and running the Hydro.
Have to ask, why are you using chlorine?

Everything I've read says to use bromine in hot tubs as it's more stable at the higher temps where chlorine breaks down and isn't effective

Not saying I'm right and you are wrong, just looking for info as maybe you've read otherwise?
Member
User avatar
Jan 14, 2007
407 posts
68 upvotes
GTA North
Eldorado wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 5:28 pm
Have to ask, why are you using chlorine?

Everything I've read says to use bromine in hot tubs as it's more stable at the higher temps where chlorine breaks down and isn't effective

Not saying I'm right and you are wrong, just looking for info as maybe you've read otherwise?
I asked to switch to bromine when I was changing the water the last time but was told chlorine was much easier to maintain. I've not used bromine so don't really know which is better. Maybe I will research it again
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
2920 posts
242 upvotes
I bought the Beachcomber Hybrid tub . It`s my second tub from Beachcomber tub. The first lasted 15 years so pretty good longevity . For the life of me I can`t remember the model number . But it is a smaller tub 6 person I think . Only two to three people use it on a daily basis . Buy the tub for the people that will use it daily . Not for friends that may com over .

I`m using peroxide as sanitize . There is a learning curve as with all systems . But the use of harsh chemicals is almost at zero .
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
728 posts
131 upvotes
Oshawa
I am trying to educate myself and I appreciate the advice. Peroxide sounds interesting. I did not know it was an option. I wonder how cost of operation vs ease is for Chlorine, Bromine and Peroxide. In the end I guess I need to go talk to some shops and try and cut through their BS.

Thanks again!s
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
2920 posts
242 upvotes
Bedpan wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2017 7:09 am
I am trying to educate myself and I appreciate the advice. Peroxide sounds interesting. I did not know it was an option. I wonder how cost of operation vs ease is for Chlorine, Bromine and Peroxide. In the end I guess I need to go talk to some shops and try and cut through their BS.

Thanks again!s
I`m 9 months using hydrogen peroxide . Several co-workers are into several years of use . There is a bit of learning curve . Follow simple rules and it works great . Your skin will love you for it . Go on Kijiji search "hydrogen peroxide " there is a guy from Guelph that delivers . He is very helpful with the change over .
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
2920 posts
242 upvotes
Bedpan wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2017 7:09 am
I am trying to educate myself and I appreciate the advice. Peroxide sounds interesting. I did not know it was an option. I wonder how cost of operation vs ease is for Chlorine, Bromine and Peroxide. In the end I guess I need to go talk to some shops and try and cut through their BS.

Thanks again!s
BTW the shops will steer you away or tell you it`s not recognized in Canada as a sanitizer . They want to sell you chemicals . Hydrogen peroxide is not on their shelves . Can`t remember where in Europe it is used for tubs .
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
2171 posts
1462 upvotes
We just removed a similar hot tub last year that had been in place for 20 years, so here's some advice based on that:

1. Prepare a proper base pad. DO NOT rest it directly on the ground. A hot tub full of water is really, really heavy. If you rest it on the ground, then over years the ground will subside unevenly, tilting the tub and damaging your deck. It's very difficult to repair.

2. You'll really enjoy the warmth of the tub, especially on those cold winter days. Guess who else will enjoy it? Every little creature and critter in the outdoor environment that can break and burrow its way into your hot tub insulation. If you are going to have a hot tub outdoors, especially if it's resting on the ground, it has to be seriously armored. Don't think that a wooden skirt is any kind of a barrier to animals that can chew through anything.

3. If you have the control panel outdoors in a damp environment, it had better be in a sealed dry box, because otherwise it will be disintegrating within a few years, and you'll constantly be replacing failed electrical components.

4. Plan on a serious increase to your budget for electricity if your tub is electrically heated. It takes a long time and a lot of energy to heat the tub up from cold to operating temperature. Once it's there, it will be burning energy constantly, especially in the winter. Or else you have to shut it down for the winter and drain everything to prevent damage from ice formation. Also don't forget the cost of chemicals, replacement filters, test kits, the labour of frequent draining and cleaning, cost of replacing the cover every few years, electrical and motor maintenance, etc..

Are you sure it's really worth it? Much as we enjoyed it, we're not going to replace ours. Maybe you know someone else whose hot tub you could use instead? :)
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
728 posts
131 upvotes
Oshawa
The Exp... All valid points. Most of which I am prepared for.. First and foremost. There is not much I cannot fix myself... I understand parts for these beasts can get expensive but at least I can cut some costs.

Regarding the base; I plan on pouring a cement base beside my deck. If by chance I stumble on a great deal in the next few weeks it will be a pea gravel base until next year.. Regardless the base I am good on.

The budget on hydro and upkeep is what I am trying to figure out along with what to look for to try and keep price down. I know these things are money pits.. That said both the wife and I enjoy them. As I am getting older my workouts leave me in pain for longer. I am not one to go soak in the tub but it does help quite a bit. A hot tub will fit our lives well I am confident.

Again I do appreciate you taking the time to add your view.

Mike
Member
User avatar
Jan 14, 2007
407 posts
68 upvotes
GTA North
pfbmgd wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 9:13 pm
I bought the Beachcomber Hybrid tub . It`s my second tub from Beachcomber tub. The first lasted 15 years so pretty good longevity . For the life of me I can`t remember the model number . But it is a smaller tub 6 person I think . Only two to three people use it on a daily basis . Buy the tub for the people that will use it daily . Not for friends that may com over .

I`m using peroxide as sanitize . There is a learning curve as with all systems . But the use of harsh chemicals is almost at zero .
I tried the smaller tub and as I'm 6'2" it became obvious if I wanted to stretch out I needed the larger one. Even though mine is an 8 person and we have had 8 in it, it's much more comfortable with 2 to 4 (and especially 1)
pfbmgd wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2017 9:23 pm
I`m 9 months using hydrogen peroxide . Several co-workers are into several years of use . There is a bit of learning curve . Follow simple rules and it works great . Your skin will love you for it . Go on Kijiji search "hydrogen peroxide " there is a guy from Guelph that delivers . He is very helpful with the change over .
I've not heard of this but it sounds like I should try this too. Sourcing peroxide 35 could be fun but will check Costco pharmacy. Transitioning from Chlorine doesn't appear to be that difficult but that might be something for the spring just in case I mess it up and need to refill
Exp315 wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2017 11:17 pm
We just removed a similar hot tub last year that had been in place for 20 years, so here's some advice based on that:
SNIP

4. Plan on a serious increase to your budget for electricity if your tub is electrically heated. It takes a long time and a lot of energy to heat the tub up from cold to operating temperature. Once it's there, it will be burning energy constantly, especially in the winter. Or else you have to shut it down for the winter and drain everything to prevent damage from ice formation. Also don't forget the cost of chemicals, replacement filters, test kits, the labour of frequent draining and cleaning, cost of replacing the cover every few years, electrical and motor maintenance, etc..

Are you sure it's really worth it? Much as we enjoyed it, we're not going to replace ours. Maybe you know someone else whose hot tub you could use instead? :)
I just checked our Hydro bills for the past year for pre hot tub vs post hot tub. The difference in consumption is consistently 250 Kw/h per month more. At avg of .14 Kw/h that works out to be $35 or $40 with tax which is what I recall the EnerGuide showed the consumption would be (this is for a Beachcomber Hybrid model)

For the money, I enjoy it!
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
2920 posts
242 upvotes
IMHIP2 wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2017 3:19 pm
I tried the smaller tub and as I'm 6'2" it became obvious if I wanted to stretch out I needed the larger one. Even though mine is an 8 person and we have had 8 in it, it's much more comfortable with 2 to 4 (and especially 1)



I've not heard of this but it sounds like I should try this too. Sourcing peroxide 35 could be fun but will check Costco pharmacy. Transitioning from Chlorine doesn't appear to be that difficult but that might be something for the spring just in case I mess it up and need to refill



I just checked our Hydro bills for the past year for pre hot tub vs post hot tub. The difference in consumption is consistently 250 Kw/h per month more. At avg of .14 Kw/h that works out to be $35 or $40 with tax which is what I recall the EnerGuide showed the consumption would be (this is for a Beachcomber Hybrid model)

For the money, I enjoy it!
Try farm stores for Hydrogen peroxide . It needs to be 35 percent . You buy it in 5 gallon jugs . Do search on Kijiji for guy from Guelph he even delivers .

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