People love a good deal. Especially a good deal on a luxury item as popular as hot tubs. Unfortunately, there are certain times in life when quality and reliability are much more important than saving a few bucks, and buying a hot tub is certainly one of those times! Hot tubs have several components which can be easily damaged by neglect and not all of them will show their weaknesses during a simple inspection.
- Transporting and setting up a used hot tub can be tricky
- Lack of use can shorten lifespan
- Hard to detect all potential flaws
Buying a new hot tub is easy: You make your decision, arrange for delivery, and pay for everything to be set up properly and arranged. If something goes wrong during setup, there is somebody to help you take care of the situation.
Buying a used hot tub is not the same case. Hot tubs are heavy, so moving and transporting them can be difficult. You will need to arrange for a large enough vehicle, as well as preparing the location to receive it, attaching plumping and electronics, cleaning, and filling it once it is setup. A hot tub installed on uneven ground will eventually shift and may crack, and any complications during setup or use will be your sole responsibility.
A hot tub that has been sitting around empty for a long time can develop several serious problems. First, if they are in sub-freezing temperatures, water remaining in pipes may expand and cause cracks in interior plumbing. Up to six gallons of water can remain in the pipes after a tub is drained and this water will freeze and expand and thaw and evaporate as temperatures change. Not only is the freezing bad for the pipes, the condensation can get into electronics and electrical connections and cause corrosion. The pumps and motor shaft can rust or lock from lack of use, and seals and gaskets may dry out causing water leakage once filled.
An empty tub stored in the sun faces additional problems. The acrylic shell is not designed to withstand direct sunlight for hours on end and will eventually begin to visibly blister. If the original owner didn’t have a good hot tub cover to protect the tub, this could be a major issue. There may also be delamination of the underside of the shell and its reinforcements which can cause leakage. Damage to the shell is usually irreparable.
The only used spas that you should ever consider purchasing are ones that are currently up and running and have only been used and operated on a perfectly flat and even surface. Even a spa that looks like it is in peak condition may be hiding serious flaws such as warping due to slightly uneven ground or electrical problems. Warped shells are often impossible to recognize through visual inspection alone but will quickly crack when relocated.