The hidden costs of a hot tub. What could a hot tub end up costing?

hidden costs of a hot tub
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How much does a hot tub cost?

A hot tub will cost you thousands upfront to buy. But the costs don’t end there. 

There are a few ongoing costs that you need to factor in. We find that if people aren’t prepared for these, they end up using the hot tub less. Or even turning it off. And we don’t want that. 

We’ve highlighted some of the main hidden costs of owning a hot tub. And allocated an average cost to go along with them (ps. these will vary but it helps give you an idea).

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What are the main hot tub running costs?

What is the energy cost of a hot tub?

You’re having the time of your life relaxing in your hot tub. And then… your first electricity bill arrives. 

Don’t panic! Hot tubs run on electricity. So your energy bill will go up. But it doesn’t have to be wildly expensive. But, there are two things you need to think about:

1. What a hot tub should cost you to run.

2. What a hot tub can cost you to run.

A well insulated, well-built, hot tub should cost no more than £30 – £40 a month. An efficient tub, with good cabinet and cover insulation will be the main factors which influence running costs. 

But, we have spoken to customers whose hot tub runnings costs exceed £100. This is usually the case with old, poorly build or badly insulated hot tubs. While they might work out cheaper up front. It’s a false economy. The running costs quickly outweigh the savings. 

It’s worth looking at the long-term running costs of a hot tub. If we take the scenario of a cheap(ish) hot tub costing £4500 upfront. With running costs of £100/month on electricity. And we compare that with a better quality hot tub costing £8000 upfront. But with monthly running costs of £35/month. We can see using the table below, that it only takes just over 4 years for the running costs to outweigh the purchase price. And this doesn’t take into account any other running costs of repairs that might occur. 

Year £4500 hot tub (£1200/year) £8000 hot tub (£420/year)
Year 1 £5700 £8420
Year 2 £6900 £8840
Year 3 £8100 £9260
Year 4 £9300 £9680
Year 5 £10,500 £10,100

How much do hot tub chemicals cost?

Hot tubs sit between 37-40 degrees. It’s the perfect temperature for bacteria to thrive. And as we don’t drain the hot tub down in between use, we need something capable of killing the bacteria. 

The two main things we need to think about are:

1. Sanitiser (Chlorine or Bromine)

2. pH (providing the right acidity/alkalinity for the sanitiser to work). 

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If you were to test your hot tub pH and Chlorine every day. The cost for the bare minimum of chemicals would be as below:

Chemical What's it for? How much do you need Average monthly cost?
Chlorine Kills bacteria 3-5mg/1000 litres £4.16/month (£19.26/1kg)
pH plus Raises pH 7.2-7.6 £3.71/month (10.62/1kg)
pH minus Lowers pH 7.2-7.6 £4.50/month (£13.50/1.5kg)
Test strips Test Chlorine/pH & TA One per test £7.17/month (£11.94 for 50)
Total = £19.54

Testing Chlorine and pH is the bare minimum you can do. But there are a couple of other things that you may need as well. We recommend using the following for optimal hot tub cleanliness:

Chemical What's it for? How much do you need Average monthly cost?
TA Plus Stabilises pH 80-150mg/1000 litres £5.11/month (£11.82/1kg)
Spa Fusion Shock treatment Weekly or after heavy usage £16.32/month (£4.08/sachet)
Filter cleaner Cleans filter cartridge Weekly £2.71/month (£16.26/500ml)
O-care Removes & prevents biofilm
Helps reduce Chlorine usage
One dose per week £19.97/month (£79.90/box)
Total = £44.11

If you add up the necessary and recommended chemicals a hot tub would cost you approx. £63.65 on month on chemicals. But, this is based on daily testing

The reality is that no one tests their home hot tub 7 days a week. You’ll probably find you test it a couple of times a week. If we say you are testing and dosing your hot tub 1/3 of what you should be then monthly running costs will be around £21.20/month.

 If you buy a hot tub from Eagle Leisure, you will be provided with a chemical starter kit. This is the easiest way to get your hands on everything. And it will help you understand what you use regularly to work out a more accurate running cost. 

What about self-cleaning hot tubs?

But wait. I’ve heard about these amazing things called self-cleaning hot tubs. So, if I get one of them I don’t need to buy chemicals right?

No. Sorry. You still do. There are ways to reduce chemical usage. But there is no way to completely eliminate it. 

Do self-cleaning hot tubs help reduce maintenance and money?

Yes. And no.

Self-cleaning hot tubs use pressurised filtration. So the filtration is faster and quicker. And this forms the basis of easy water care. Which will help you use less sanitiser. 

They also have an inline dosing system within the filtration that automatically feeds Chlorine into the hot tub so there is always sanitiser to kill the germs.

So, what’s the down side. 

You still need to use Chlorine tablets within the inline dosing system. So you aren’t eliminating the Chlorine costs. And while the dosing system feeds Chlorine it doesn’t usually test it. So you still need to test the water regularly to check that the Chlorine and pH is at the correct level (not really eliminating any costs here are we?).

The main problem with the feeder is that because it doesn’t measure the hot tub Chlorine levels before it feed it into the water, it is prone to overdosing. Not only is this expensive as you go through more Chlorine than you need. It can also damage the components of the hot tub including pillows, jets and heater elements. Which means you might end up spending more than necessary repairing and replacing parts. 

Our recommendation? Only get a self-cleaning hot tub if you have a holiday rental and are required to under HSG282. (ps. inline feeders can be retrofitted to almost any hot tub. You don’t need a new one). 

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How much does hot tub maintenance cost?

Buying a hot tub and never having to do any maintenance on it is sadly wishful thinking. It’s either going to cost you time or money.

There are 3 main types of hot tub maintenance:

1. Regular chemical maintenance (covered above)

2. Planned servicing/cleaning

3. Reactive maintenance. Uh-something has broken down. 

Hot tubs need some TLC every no and then. The chemicals can keep the water clean for so long. But eventually it’s time to drain the hot tub down and start again. Usually. This falls every 3 months or so. 

You can do this yourself. 

Or, you can get a done for your service. Hire a professional to not only drain and clean the hot tub. But carry out a service check an ensure everything is working as it should. We find that people who get regular hot tub services have less unexpected repairs. 

You don’t want to think about your hot tub breaking down. But things can go wrong. Buying a good quality hot tub will reduce the chances of this happening. But at some point you will have to pay out. Repairs can cost anywhere between £50 and thousands of pounds. The best way around this is to get regular service to avoid unexpected bills. And buy your hot tub from a supplier who is going to be around to offer a warranty on the hot tub. 

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How much does hot tub maintenance cost?

Hot tub maintenance can cost you as much as you want it to. You can either do it yourself. Or you can pay a professional to do it. Our hot tub MOT is £99/month.
Repairs can be minimised by buying a good quality hot tub with a warranty. But, you will have to spend at some point. Repairs can be anywhere between £50-upwards of £1000.

In summary

How much a hot tub can end up costing you depends on a few factors. As well as the upfront costs, you need to consider the energy costs, chemical costs and maintenance costs. 

If you buy a well insulated hot tub and you plan on doing most of the work yourself, you could be looking at a spend of around £60/month. But this could increase massively if you go for a poorly built hot tub that ends up costing you loads on energy costs and repairs. 

However, you might be thinking “I want a hot tub to relax, cleaning and servicing it myself just isn’t for me”. In that case you might have to look at getting a company in to do all of the work. For this you will need to budget approx. £150-£200 per month to encompass servicing, cleaning, chemicals and energy bills. 

So really, how much your hot tub ends up costing is largely down to you.

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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