So how long is the lifespan of a typical hot tub? A quick answer is 15-20 years, however, much of this depends on quality and construction. The first and second generation hot tubs of the 1980s and early 1990s were simple, one pump models that had 5-8 jets and no bells and whistles. With little plumbing, a heater, motor, and filter, these units had very little to go wrong and almost nothing withstanding a structural failure (shell) couldn’t be replaced so it was quite common that a hot tub owner who did good maintenance would get 20 years out of it. Hot Tubs of today have become more complicated and sophisticated with upwards of 5 motors, touch controls, 100+ jets, fancy lighting, wifi, stereos, etc… These are all potential points of failure which can make repairs in some cases cost prohibitive. Furthermore, some manufacturers try to reduce costs by using lower quality, less expensive materials in order to hit certain budgets or price points. For example, a hot tub shell using cast acrylic may be reinforced with an ABS plastic rather than fiberglass backing. The ABS backed shell requires less time and material (cheaper) to make however it typically doesn’t last as long. One might only expect to get 5-10 years out of an inferior shell verses 10-20 years out of a higher quality shell that is, in most cases, fiberglass backed.
Maintenance and care can also dramatically affect the lifespan of a hot tub. If a hot tub is neglected things can go south quickly and with so much to go wrong it can be costly to repair. Neglect can be poor water maintenance (poor water quality) which can damage the equipment and harm the plastics in the hot tub over time and dramatically reduce the lifespan of the hot tub.
A good quality hot tub is still a 20 year investment. By contrast, a lower end hot tub could be a 5-10 year investment. At the end of the day you typically get what you pay for and it’s always important to note that good water maintenance is paramount to keeping your hot tub healthy for years to come. Even a Mercedes requires regularly scheduled maintenance and if neglected it will prematurely fail. For more detailed information on hot tub quality and important considerations you can visit our buyer’s guide.