If you are weary about spending $5000-$15000 for a brand new hot tub or simply cannot afford new tub prices then the used hot tub market can be a great entree into hot tub ownership. There are tens of thousands of used hot tubs, refurbished hot tubs, or reconditioned hot tubs available on the used market and Craigslist is one of the best resources for finding used hot tubs. Used prices can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars for a “functioning” hot tub. The savings can be great, however, there are many potential pitfalls with used hot tubs that need to be considered before making an actual purchase. Getting educated and avoiding these pitfalls as much as possible is critical and can make the difference between a good and bad used hot tub experience.
The goal of this guide is to teach you how to evaluate a used or pre-owned hot tub so that you aren’t buying someone else’s problems.
First we must understand a new hot tub’s useful life. Of course, the useful life of a hot tub will depend on the quality of the hot tub as a new hot tub built with lower quality materials and workmanship will not last as long as a premium quality hot tub but we can safely assume that the useful life is a between 10-15 years. The interesting thing about the evolution of hot tubs since they first came out is that that the useful life has decreased over time. Older hot tubs would easily last 20 or more years. The reason being is that in the 1970s and 1980s hot tubs were simple. They had around 5 jets, one motor, simple pneumatic controls, and were easier to repair. Today’s hot tubs have between 20-150 jets, as many as 6 motors, complex digital controls, water management systems, extra features such as stereos and LED lights, and, of course, they are more difficult to repair. So it’s easy to see that buying a used tub in today’s hot tub world can have more downside risk associated with it especially if it hasn’t been well taken care of.
Below are the four major considerations when purchasing a used hot tub or swim spa. You can click on each link to get a detailed explanation. Happy hunting!