Should Home Depot hot tubs be in the conversation when shopping for hot tubs? Buying a specialty item like a hot tub or swim spa from a big box retailer always begs many questions. How good is the quality? How is the performance? How is the post sales support? These questions could be better addressed if one could view these spas in person, however, hot tubs sold thru Home Depot can only be purchased online which can lead to serious buyers remorse if expectations are not met.
There is other concerns such as delivery, post sales support, warranty, and returns to consider when purchasing a Home Depot hot tub. Delivery, for example, is typically curbside where the hot tub is delivered to the curb or your driveway by a freight company. These freight companies typically use a truck and lift gate and provide zero instruction on what to do with the hot tub. This is less than desirable when compared to the white glove delivery offered by specialty hot tub retailers that not only get the hot tub to the backyard and placed, they unwrap it, haul away trash, provide some level of instruction on how to fill it, maintain the chemicals in it, install accessories in some cases, and generally make you feel comfortable with a purchase that you spent $5000-$10000 dollars on.
Then there’s the concern with post sales support and warranty support. What happens if I can’t figure out my chemicals and water chemistry? What if I can’t figure out how to program it? Where do I buy filters? What if something breaks or it stops working?…..Who do I call? The bar needs to be set really low if you have these concerns and plan to purchase a Home Depot swim spa or hot tub because they aren’t setup to support specialty items like this the way a hot tub retailer might. Home Depot doesn’t have hot tub professionals on their staff, open seven days a week, to field both in person and phone call inquires with questions on how to maintain hot tub chemicals or troubleshoot problems with your hot tub. They don’t offer a wide selection of hot tubs chemicals that can be tailored to your needs. They don’t stock the various types of filter cartridges that need to be replaced in a hot tub from time to time. This particular area of concern is a big one because hot tubs have many nuances to their operation and also require onsite repair and maintenance from time to time. Buying a Home Depot hot tub gives you very little in the way of warranty support since they don’t have their own service vans, parts, and knowledgeable repair technicians on staff to come to your home and address warranty issues and repairs. With a Home Depot hot tub you typically call an 800 number and troubleshoot over the phone and parts are mailed to you to either fix it yourself or in some cases contract to a third party hot tub repair company to come out and fix it. This process can be extremely painful and frustrating to a homeowner leading to a poor ownership experience and poor customer satisfaction.
Then there is the process for returning a hot tub. What if some of the aforementioned areas of concern become so frustrating that you want them to just come pick up the darn thing and get it out of your yard? Well it’s not that simple. Home Depot and many big box retailers have a good return policy but that it requires the homeowner to typically have the hot tub or swim spa transported to a local Home Depot warehouse to process a return. This is another pain point because you would need to contract a hot tub removal or delivery company to come pick it up which can get quite expensive. What if you needed a crane to get it in or if you built it into some elaborate landscaping? These can be additional cost prohibitive barriers to returning something you aren’t happy with.
Home Depot currently carries the following brands:
- LifeSmart Spas – Rotationally molded polyethylene hot tubs that are extremely durable and convenient since they are typically 110v plug and play models. LifeSmart is a private label brand manufactured by Watkins Wellness (Hotspring Spas, Caldera Spas, Freeflow Spas, Aquaterra Spas, etc.) specifically for big box retailers and online retailers.
- AquaRest Spas – Very similar to LifeSmart Spas these, AquaRest Spas are rotomold hot tubs that offer convenient plug and play electrical connections. AquaRest Spas is a private label brand made by Dream Maker Spas (owned by Jacuzzi Brands).
- AquaLife Spas – AquaLife hot tubs are a private label brand of Strong Spas featuring a full lineup of acrylic hot tubs as well as a lineup of rotomold hot tubs.
- QCA Spas – QCA offers a full lineup of acrylic hot tubs.
- USA Spas – USA Spas is a private label of QCA Spas above offering a full lineup of acrylic hot tubs for big box and online retailers.
- American Spas – American Spas is a private label brand of California based Cal Spas. American Spas is sold through big box retailers.
- Canadian Spa Co. – Canadian Spa Company offers both swim spas and hot tubs on HomeDepot.com
- Laguna Spas – Rotationally molded hot tubs that are all plug and play.
- Tropic Spa – European hot tub brand (France) that is distributed in the United States. They are sold thru HomeDepot.com as well as other online retailers.
- Home and Garden Spas – Manufactured by LPI Inc, the makers of Dr. Wellness Spas and several other lines, Home and Garden Spas are an acrylic hot tub line targeting big box and online retailers.
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