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Hot Tubs: Pros, Cons, and Installation

Nothing quite hits the spot like a relaxing soak in a hot tub for weary, aching muscles. But is an occasional soak worth the high investment and heavy maintenance?

The Pros. The hot water, pulsating jets, and relaxing ambiance after a stressful day sound luxuriously wonderful, especially when the weather is cold. What better way to relax with a loved one than in the swirling water of your hot tub? Great alongside a pool or for entertaining, hot tubs are a common accessory in many backyards. There are also some health benefits associated with hot tubs. The hot water is beneficial for relaxing sore muscles and reducing tension that can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and other stress-related health problems. It can also bring relief to those suffering from arthritis, and can increase the blood flow through veins and arteries.

The Cons. Hot tubs are initially very expensive - beginning around $2500 before installation. Additionally, they require a high-amount of maintenance. Regular maintenance includes testing your water once a week for the proper balance of chemicals. Sometimes it is necessary to shock your water once or twice a week, adding needed levels of bromine or chlorine. You should keep your pump running continually to reduce the growth of bacteria. Chemicals cost money, along with the energy costs required to run your pump all the time. To ensure the longest life possible, your hot tub should be serviced by a professional in addition to your routine maintenance at least once or twice a year. Another note: pregnant women and children should never use a hot tub as the high temperatures can be dangerous to both.

The Installation. To correctly install your hot tub, your contractor will need to run electrical wiring for the pump, and plumbing for a water supply. He should make sure the whole unit is well-insulated and properly protected from weather extremes. You may want to consider installing a deck or other clean surface to make access easy and pleasant, especially if weather is less than desirable.

Basically, hot tubs can have many enjoyable benefits, but some of those same benefits can be enjoyed from a private Jacuzzi tub in the comfort of your bathroom, without the troublesome maintenance and electrical cost. However, you can’t reuse the water in your bathroom, so you will end up using more water in the long run. It comes down to how much you think you will use your tub, whether it is worth the investment of time and energy. You can always request a free-estimate from a certified contractor to help you make an informed decision.

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