How Long Do Hot Tubs Last?

A quality hot tub is a big investment - one that offers a consistent payoff but also requires confidence in the purchase. As you’re embarking on your hot tub buyer's journey, you might find yourself wondering, “With prices like those, exactly how long do hot tubs last?"

At Wellis USA, our hot tub experts have the answers. In this article, we'll delve into the factors that influence the lifespan of a hot tub and offer valuable tips on how to maximize its longevity. From regular maintenance and water care to the quality of materials and professional assistance, we'll explore the secrets to enjoying your hot tub for years to come.

So, whether you're a seasoned hot tub owner or contemplating your first purchase, read on to discover how to make the most of your hydrotherapy haven.

Picture of a family getting into a spa for the blog about how long do hot tubs last.

How Long Do Hot Tubs Last: Average Lifespan of Hot Tubs

Hot tubs can vary in quality, construction, and maintenance, all of which impact their longevity. On average, a well-maintained hot tub can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. However, there are several factors that influence, "How long do hot tubs last?"

Quality of Materials

Hot tubs are subjected to a unique set of environmental challenges over the course of their lifetimes, including exposure to water, temperature fluctuations, and the use of chemicals. As a result, the quality of the materials they are constructed with is critical in ensuring that the tub withstands all of these factors and more. From the shell to the cabinet to the inner workings, every part of a hot tub should be made of durable and long-lasting products.

The shell or inner surface of the hot tub, for instance, is often made from materials like acrylic, vinyl, or rotomolded plastic. High-quality acrylic is among the best of these, known for its resistance to fading, cracking, and staining. It not only maintains its visual appeal but also ensures the structural integrity of the hot tub. 

Similarly, the quality of the cabinet or exterior of the hot tub, whether made of wood, composite, or synthetic materials, plays a significant role in the tub's longevity. Durable cabinets, designed to resist weathering and UV exposure, protect the inner components from the elements, thereby extending the lifespan of the hot tub. 

Jets, pumps, and heaters made of stainless steel, copper, and other corrosion-resistant materials used in the construction of hot tubs also contribute to the overall resilience of the unit, reducing the risk of premature breakdown or leakage.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to extending the lifespan and overall performance of your hot tub. Hot tubs require their owners to stick to a schedule of care and attention to ensure they continue to function effectively and avoid premature wear and tear. N

One of the most important aspects of hot tub maintenance is water chemistry. Properly balanced water, with the correct pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels, is essential for preserving the integrity of the tub's components and preventing corrosion, scale buildup, and bacterial growth. Neglecting water chemistry can lead to damage to the pump, heater, and other internal components, ultimately shortening the hot tub's lifespan.

Cleaning and sanitizing the hot tub's surfaces, filters, and circulation system are also crucial maintenance tasks. Regularly removing debris, contaminants, and biofilm from the water and surfaces helps prevent clogs, maintain water circulation, and extend the life of the hot tub's equipment. Proper maintenance includes inspecting and servicing components like seals, gaskets, and jets to identify and address potential issues before they become major problems.

Climate

The climate in which you live has a significant impact on the lifespan and performance of a hot tub. Extreme heat, cold, or humidity can wear down components faster. 

Though hot tubs are designed to withstand a range of environmental conditions, the local climate can pose unique challenges that may either extend or shorten the tub's longevity.

Cold Weather Climates

In regions with extremely cold temperatures, hot tubs need to be well-insulated and equipped with efficient heating systems. Harsh winter conditions can strain the hot tub's components, especially if it's not adequately protected or maintained. Frequent freezing and thawing cycles can lead to freeze damage, such as cracked pipes and fittings. Proper winterization practices and insulation are critical to ensure a longer lifespan for your hot tub if you plan on leaving it unused for long periods of time in the winter. To do this: 

  • Start by balancing the water chemistry, cleaning the filters, and draining both the tub and plumbing lines
  • Use a submersible pump to remove all water, then blow out any remaining moisture in the plumbing with a wet/dry vacuum or air compressor
  • Clean and remove the jets if possible, and clean the interior and exterior
  • Securely cover the hot tub to protect it from the elements
  • Add non-toxic hot tub antifreeze to the plumbing lines, if your manufacturer recommends it
  • Turn off the power at the circuit breaker and periodically check the cover and tub throughout the winter

Warm Weather Climates

Conversely, hot and sunny climates can also have an impact on a hot tub's longevity. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and intense sunlight can cause UV damage to the tub's shell, cover, and other components, leading to fading, discoloration, and material degradation. Regular maintenance and the use of protective covers can help mitigate these effects and extend the hot tub's lifespan.

In coastal areas with high salt levels in the air, corrosion can also become a significant concern, affecting metal components, like jets, screws, and heaters. Proper maintenance, including rinsing the tub regularly and applying corrosion-resistant coatings, is essential in such environments.

Usage

How long do hot tubs last? Just like your car, the answer to that question depends on its usage. Hot tubs are designed to withstand regular use, but the more frequently they are used, the faster they will accumulate wear and tear. That's why it's so important to choose a reputable hot tub brand.

The mechanical and electrical components of a hot tub, including pumps, heaters, filters, and jets, are designed to endure a certain number of operating hours. The more you use the hot tub, the more quickly these components will reach their operational limits. Over time, this can lead to more frequent repairs and replacements, potentially shortening the overall lifespan of the hot tub.

Frequent hot tub use may also necessitate more diligent maintenance to ensure water chemistry remains balanced. Failing to do so can result in more rapid wear and corrosion of components due to chemical imbalances, scaling, and other water-related issues. Thus, the amount you use the hot tub may indirectly affect its lifespan by necessitating more stringent maintenance routines.

The hot tub's shell and cover can even be affected by heavy use. Frequent exposure to UV rays, chemicals, and water can lead to faster color fading and material degradation. Proper care, such as using UV protectants and cleaning the shell regularly, can help mitigate this impact.

Of course, all this isn’t to say you shouldn’t use your hot tub—just be sure you are sticking to your regular maintenance schedule.

What Can Damage a Hot Tub?

There are some specific factors that most commonly lead to hot tub damage. Let’s take a look at some of those below:

Poor Maintenance

Neglecting regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning filters, balancing water chemistry, and addressing wear and tear can lead to damage over time.

Chemical Imbalance

Incorrectly balanced water chemistry, including improper pH levels or sanitizer levels, can corrode the hot tub's components and damage its surface.

Freezing Temperatures

Exposure to freezing temperatures without proper winterization can lead to cracked pipes, damaged pumps, and other issues.

Overuse

Excessive or prolonged use of a hot tub can cause wear and tear on components and may lead to premature breakdowns.

Chemical Spills

Spilling chemicals, such as chlorine or bromine, directly onto the hot tub's surface or into the water can cause discoloration, etching, or other damage.

UV Radiation

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade and damage the hot tub's cover and acrylic shell.

Hard Water

If your water source has high mineral content, it can lead to scale buildup and clog the plumbing and jets, causing damage.

Inadequate Cover

Not using a proper, well-fitting cover exposes the hot tub to the elements, increasing the risk of damage from weather, debris, and UV rays.

Old Age

As hot tubs age, their components and systems can naturally wear down, leading to more frequent breakdowns and the need for replacement parts.

Electrical Issues

Faulty electrical connections or power surges can damage the hot tub's control systems and heating elements.

How Long Do Hot Tubs Last: 4 Tips for Taking Care of Your Spa

As we said, a well-maintained hot tub can last as long as 20 years. Let's delve into some essential tips to maximize that lifespan. 

1. Quality Matters

Invest in a high-quality hot tub from a reputable manufacturer. These spas are often built with durable materials that can withstand the test of time.

To be certain that your hot tub is of high quality, you’ll want to do your research on the manufacturers first. Check out reviews online, go to the showroom, or even contact the company to ask any questions you might have. When inspecting the hot tub itself, closely examine its construction.

Look for durable materials like acrylic or high-density polyethylene for the shell, robust cabinet materials, and well-sealed seams and connections to ensure a watertight design. Efficient insulation is another vital aspect of quality, as high-quality hot tubs often feature multi-layered insulation and full foam insulation to maintain water temperature and reduce energy costs.

Then, consider the quality of the features and technology integrated into the hot tub. High-end models often include advanced filtration systems, energy-efficient heaters, and user-friendly control panels. Additional features that enhance your experience and streamline maintenance are indicators of a high-quality hot tub. Assess the warranty provided by the manufacturer, as a comprehensive warranty signifies confidence in the product's durability. 

The level of customer support and service offered by the manufacturer is equally important. If you do go to a hot tub showroom to see the models in person, sit in the tub, and ask questions about construction and features. Some manufacturers will even let you do a test soak before you buy. 

2. Regular Maintenance and Water Care 

As we mentioned earlier, a well-maintained hot tub not only operates more efficiently but also avoids costly repairs and replacements. 

Water care is critical. Properly balancing the water chemistry by regularly testing and adjusting pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels helps prevent corrosion, scale buildup, and bacterial growth.  

Regular maintenance, including cleaning the hot tub's interior and filters, ensures that debris, contaminants, and biofilm are removed, preventing clogs and promoting efficient water circulation. Keeping the hot tub's surfaces and components clean not only extends the lifespan but also enhances the overall hot tub experience. 

Moreover, inspecting and servicing seals, gaskets, and jets as part of routine maintenance can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate into more significant problems, prolonging the hot tub's lifespan.

3. Cover It Up

A well-fitted hot tub cover acts as a protective shield against the elements. It keeps debris like leaves, twigs, and dirt out of the water, which, if left unchecked, can clog filters and put additional strain on the circulation and filtration systems. Additionally, the cover protects the hot tub's water from the harmful effects of sunlight. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to water degradation, chemical imbalances, and fading of the hot tub's shell and components. By blocking UV rays, the cover helps maintain water quality and protects the tub's aesthetic appeal.

A hot tub cover also acts as an insulator, helping to retain heat and conserve energy. It prevents heat loss, reducing the workload on the heating system and saving energy costs. Proper insulation and heat retention are essential for efficient hot tub operation, especially in cold climates, and contribute to a longer lifespan by reducing wear and tear on internal components.

4. Professional Assistance

When in doubt, or if you notice significant issues, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Seeking professional assistance can be a wise choice to enhance the longevity of your hot tub. 

These intricate systems demand regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Professionals come equipped with an in-depth knowledge of hot tub components, including pumps, heaters, filters, and electrical systems. They perform maintenance tasks with precision, ensuring each component operates optimally. Their expertise minimizes the risk of minor issues escalating into significant problems, ultimately extending your hot tub's lifespan. 

Professionals also excel in managing water chemistry, maintaining the ideal pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels necessary to prevent corrosion, scaling, and bacterial growth, which can harm internal components. 

FAQ 

Do hot tubs break down a lot?

When answering the question, "How long do hot tubs last," it's important to understand the average repair rate. However, the frequency of hot tub breakdowns can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the hot tub, its maintenance, and usage.

High-quality hot tubs that are well-maintained and used within recommended guidelines are less likely to break down frequently. Proper care, regular maintenance, and addressing issues promptly can significantly reduce the occurrence of breakdowns.

However, like any mechanical or electrical system, hot tubs may experience occasional problems, so it's important to be prepared for routine maintenance and potential repairs.

How do I keep my hot tub healthy?

To keep your hot tub healthy and in optimal condition, regular water maintenance is crucial. Employ a reliable test kit to gauge water chemistry, making adjustments to balance pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. Plan on a water replacement every three to four months to uphold water quality. Of course, don't overlook filtration. Adhere to the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning or replacing filters to ensure effective water filtration.

Utilize the recommended sanitizer like chlorine or bromine to eliminate harmful bacteria and contaminants, and use a well-fitting, insulated cover when the hot tub is not in use.

Periodic drainage and refill, checking for leaks or damage, and considering winterization in freezing climates are additional steps to maintain your hot tub. Regular lubrication of moving parts, limiting hot tub use to prevent excessive component wear and occasional professional maintenance inspections round out the best practices for long-lasting hot tub enjoyment. 

What temperature should you keep your hot tub when not in use?

When your hot tub is not in use, it's generally advisable to maintain the water temperature within the range of 85°F to 90°F (29°C to 32°C). This temperature range offers a good compromise between energy conservation and water quality. Lowering the temperature helps reduce energy consumption, leading to potential cost savings on utility bills. Plus, it still ensures the prevention of harmful bacterial growth, as temperatures above 80°F (27°C) are all that is needed for sanitization. 

Final Word: How Long Do Hot Tubs Last?

Hot tubs can provide years—between 15 and 20—of relaxation and enjoyment when properly maintained. To make your hot tub last longer, invest in quality, stay on top of maintenance, and protect it from harsh elements. 

If you’re on the hunt for a quality hot tub that is more likely to last you, your local Wellis USA dealer is a perfect place to start. As a leading hot tub manufacturer with years of experience, we are here to help you find the perfect fit for you and to make it easy to look after your hot tub so that it will last you for years to come. 

Order your hot tub for sale online, find a hot tub dealer, or contact us at  844-4-WELLIS today with any questions you might have about our hot tubs for sale! 

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