It seems that once people have opted for a British staycation with a hot tub they usually decide that they would like to purchase one for themselves so that they can then enjoy the health and relaxation benefits on a daily basis at home. With such a vast market of choice, buying the right hot tub can be a difficult task. How do you know what type of hot tub to buy, how to look after it and, ultimately, whether it’s going to be safe to use? As with any purchase, especially for a high-ticket item such as a hot tub, it’s never safe to cut corners. As the adage says – you get what you pay for. And you certainly do when it comes to a hot tub purchase. The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) is the trade association for spa and hot tub manufacturers, importers, retailers, suppliers, service/maintenance engineers and holiday venues hiring out hot tubs in the UK.
When purchasing a hot tub, BISHTA recommends that you follow a 10-point checklist:
• Make sure you know what you want the hot tub for as this may influence the equipment that you need. For instance, is it for fun, medical reasons or for relaxation? Clarify what features you will be getting regarding the number of seats, number and style of jets, entertainment systems available and the manufacturer of the control box (powerpack).
• Confirm what water treatment is required, so that you can be sure that you know how to maintain the water chemistry for the safest way to relax and enjoy yourself. Anyone that does not offer you this advice should be avoided at all costs, as they may be putting you and your family at risk.
• Some hot tubs can be plugged into a socket with a three-pin plug and may only require a 13 amp fuse, depending on the heater and pump size, so check this very carefully with the retailer/supplier. Other hot tubs need to be wired into the mains, and so you will need to ensure a qualified electrician can connect your hot tub to the mains supply. Only a Part P-registered/certified electrician should make the installation.
• Do not purchase a hot tub if the company does not undertake a site survey. Otherwise, there may be problems when the hot tub arrives. It may be too large to be moved to its location in your garden, plus it may not fit the area when it’s in position.
• Some internet providers have products that customers may believe to be from one country, but are actually from an entirely different continent, so check carefully and do not assume a name means that product is from that country!
• If you are unsure if an internet company is going to be reliable, find out where the company is based and go and visit them.
• Ask who the manufacturer of the hot tub is and check out their website to clarify where their equipment is manufactured.
• Ask to see the warranty on offer before you buy as this may vary between products and in some instances it may not be provided by the same company, which may cause difficulties. Check what arrangements there are for call-outs and servicing if anything goes wrong with your purchase, including timescales and costs.
• Before making the purchase, clarify in writing when the product is to be delivered. Genuine companies will inform you if there is going to be a delay in receiving your goods. Sometimes legitimate companies will need to wait for a full container to be shipped to the UK, while other companies may try and mislead you, so it’s always recommended to get the details in writing.
• Ask to speak with genuine satisfied customers and check customer reviews on the internet.