How long do hot tubs last?

Posted by Nick Clamp in Buying on 21st January 2023

Buy a hot tub from a WhatSpa? recommended brand and look after it properly and it can last up to 25 years. You’ll no doubt have to replace a few of its parts during that time, but you won’t have to entirely replace it for decades. 

On the other hand, you’ll be lucky to get five years out of a cheap grey imported hot tub from a no-name brand.

So, when you’re buying a hot tub, remember its price tag only tells part of the story. A more expensive model might actually save you money in the long run, since top-end models can last up to four times longer than the cheapest on the market. 

Premium hot tubs have far more efficient components and insulation, meaning they tend to cost a lot less to run. But their higher quality parts are less likely to break down, meaning you’re a lot less likely to have to cough up for repairs over a top-of-the-range hot tub’s lifespan or replace it early.

Plus, a quality hot tub from a premium brand will retain its resale value better than a cheap and cheerful alternative, meaning you’re more likely to recoup some of its costs when you replace it. If you are in market for a cheaper hot tub see our post on common hot tub buying mistakes and our guide on the best inflatable hot tubs.

© AquaVia

How to make your hot tub last longer

No matter how much you end up splashing on your home spa, you can extend its lifespan by following these steps:

Keep on top of it’s chemistry

Warm, untreated water is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So, if you don’t keep your hot tub topped up with chemicals, you’ve essentially plonked a five-star bacteria hotel in your back garden. 

Neglecting your hot tub’s chemistry will not only lead to nasty problems like cloudy or foamy water – it can also damage your spa’s components. For example, if your hot tub water’s pH creeps below 7.2 or above 7.8 it will start eroding components like the heater element and the headrests.

To prevent this, test your hot tub’s pH and sanitiser level every day and its total alkalinity and total hardness every week with a hot tub test strip. Then top these chemicals up whenever needed and check the chemistry again before leaving it.

It’s also a good idea to have some hot tub shock on hand to help quickly boost your sanitiser levels back up when they dip – which tends to happen whenever you host a hot tub party and have a lot of people in your spa at once.

Keep it clean

Stick to a hot tub maintenance routine is the best thing you can do for your home spa’s longevity.

You’ll hit all the marks you need to if you:

  • Remove the filters and rinse them off with a hose (or replace them if needed) and give the topside and waterline of your spa’s acrylic shell a quick wipe down every week
  • Thoroughly clean your spa’s filters with hot tub filter cleaner and give the inside of your spa a clean (without emptying it) every month.
  • Drain your hot tub, deep clean it, and replace its water every quarter.
  • Replace its filters every year

Flush your hot tub’s lines

Over time, dirt, grime, and chemical deposits accumulate in your spa’s water lines. Hot tub flush breaks this grime down and clears it out of your spa’s plumbing, making your spa easier to clean and its chemistry easier to balance. 

Flush your spa’s lines before you drain it and replace its water each quarter to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

Get an annual service

No matter how closely you follow our hot tub maintenance schedule, there could be a leak in your spa’s pipework or the chlorine you use to sanitise your spa could have eroded away its rubber seals. Getting your hot tub serviced by a professional once a year will help ensure any potential problems get spotted before they’ve caused serious damage to your spa.

While a hot tub service will set you back a few hundred pounds, not finding out about a serious issue with your spa could set you back thousands – or send your spa to the scrap heap earlier than it needs to.

Skip your annual hot tub service and you’ll never find out about these problems, which could shave years off your spa’s lifespan. 

Prep for the season

Know you’re not going to be using your hot tub over winter? Then there’s no need to leave it running all those months, bumping up your electricity bill and wearing down its components.

Instead, you can winterise your hot tub – drain it, prepare it for a few months of sitting stagnant, and leave it turned off at the mains. Just be absolutely sure to use your hot tub’s air channel and blower system (most high-end models have one) or a shop vac to purge every drop of water from your spa’s lines. If any water is left over and turns to ice inside your spa’s components it could cause thousands of pounds worth of damage.

You should follow a similar routine to prepare your hot tub before you go on holiday if you’ll be travelling long-term. If you’re only away for a few weeks you don’t need to worry too much though: just give your spa a clean and make sure its chemistry is balanced before you head off.

Install hot tub housing

Surrounding your hot tub with housing will shield it – and you while you’re in it – from the elements. That will help protect your spa’s cover and cladding from getting worn down by the weather, extending their lifespan. Plus, your spa’s components won’t need to work as hard to maintain the temperature you set your spa at in the winter, so they’ll last longer too.

Plus, installing a summer house or pergola around your spa will transform it into your own private retreat where you can luxuriate at your leisure. And you won’t have to worry about a soak being rained off or getting sunburned while you’re in the tub.

© North Spas

The final word

Hot tubs tend to last from a few years to a few decades, depending on how good the model is. Stick to the steps we’ve laid out here and you’ll extend the lifespan of yours by years , no matter which end of the market you’ve bought from.

Be sure to pick up your free copy of WhatSpa? magazine for help narrowing down a shortlist of best buys and quickly finding the right hot tub for you.

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About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and have been actively involved in the hot tub and swim spa industry for over 20 years. I fell in love with hot tubbing in 2002 and since then have dedicated my career to helping millions of hot tub buyers to make more informed choices when navigating their buying journey.

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