No matter what hot tub you choose, you need to make sure it is easy to service. The last thing you want to do is pull the hot tub out of a deck and flip it on its side every time service is required. Ask the salesperson to show you where technicians can access vital systems (and keep these details in mind when considering where to place the hot tub in your backyard). When it comes to hot tub maintenance, there are two primary factors you need to address - filtration and disinfection.
In a hot tub, dirt can only do two things. It is either light enough to float on the surface or heavy enough to drop to the bottom. When assessing a hot tub’s filtration capabilities, but sure to ask how long it takes to filter 100 per cent of the water.
Also check to ensure the skimmer is sufficient. Does it provide enough filtration to remove debris and does it have a floating door to skim the surface of the water? Also, does it come equipped with a floor vacuum to clean the dirt off the bottom of the hot tub? If not, you will have to purchase a separate vacuum. Also ask the salesperson whether the hot tub has a suction side filter or pressure side filter. The suction side filter offers less expensive filtration, but is not as effective; it will only filter 50 per cent of the hot tub water. Conversely, pressure side filters are more expensive, but since 100 per cent of the water passes through the filter, all of it can be cleaned.
To keep your hot tub safe and pleasant to use, you will also need to disinfect the water regularly. Ideally, look for a hot tub that has an in-line chemical feeder as opposed to a floating dispenser.
While floating dispensers work well, they also need to be removed every time someone enters the hot tub. If you choose to use an ozone system, which is designed to reduce your overall chemical requirements, look for a model that uses an injection system. This technology reduces off -gassing and increases the ozone’s saturation and killing power.
If you opt for a saltwater bromine system (which uses saltwater to generate chemicals for disinfection), be prepared for a bit of a learning curve. Make sure your retailer truly understands these unique systems and embraces the technology. Once you understand the system, it will be easy to use and should make a for a very pleasant soaking experience.