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How Long Does a Hot Tub Last? 7 Components, 3 Questions and Tips to Increase Longevity

When you’re thinking about investing in a hot tub, one of the big questions you probably have along with how much is it going to cost to run a hot tub is what is the average hot tub lifespan? Many people want to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth once they decide to buy one.

Statistics show that more people are planning to invest in one. Perhaps the most important stat shows hot tub sales are expected to rise over 9% by 2026. One more important stat from here also shows that the hot tub market is expected to grow by more than one billion dollars by 2025. That’s a lot of hot tubs!

If you’re planning on investing in a hot tub, you’re going to want to know how long you can expect to have it and what you can do to keep it around as long as possible. We’re going to take a look at these factors as well as the different components of hot tubs.

What Influences Hot Tub Longevity?

You and your neighbor can buy a hot tub at the same time, but the lifespan can be completely different based on two major factors.  Typically, a hot tub can last anywhere between 5 and 20 years. You may find yourself at the shorter end of that scale depending on the brand and model of spa you choose and how well you maintain it.

We all know the saying, you get what you pay for, and that is true when it comes to hot tubs. If you opt for a cheaper model, there is a greater chance that parts will break down and you won’t have your hot tub for long. If you pay a little more upfront, you can save some money in the long run when it comes to repairs. Keep this in mind as you’re shopping around.

Also, the quality of maintenance is going to influence how long you have your hot tub. If you’re lax about cleaning it and don’t pay attention when the water isn’t looking fresh, you can expect to say goodbye to your hot tub sooner than you should. Keeping up with maintenance keeps parts working correctly which will keep your hot tub around longer.

Major Components

When you’re thinking about how long your hot tub will last, you have to consider its major components. Things like the pump, heater, and cover require regular service. If you don’t keep up, you can have problems sooner than you should. Staying on top of maintenance is crucial because if one part breaks, it can damage others. Let’s take a look at seven major hot tub components and how long they typically last when taken care of properly.

Pump

Most hot tub pumps can last 7-10 years in water that is balanced and well-maintained. But, when the water is not being taken care of, that lifespan decreases. This is because the seal that protects the motor from water can break. When this happens, water can begin seeping into the motor. This causes rust and eventually, it will stop working. This is why you want to keep up on pump maintenance.

Heater

The life of your hot tub heater can also be impacted by unbalanced water because they are sensitive to water balance issues. When there is a low pH, water can cause heater elements to break down and rust. High pH or high calcium hardness in the water can lead to scale building up on the heater’s surface. This reduces the heater’s effectiveness and can impact its longevity.

Pipes

Pipes deliver water to your hot tub when you turn it on. Modern hot tubs are built with flexible PVC pipes. This allows the pipes to bend and stretch to handle the stress the hot tub jets create. After constantly turning the hot tub on and off, your pipes can become stiff and brittle. This can lead to pipes cracking and breaking. Typically, this doesn’t happen until the hot tub is 15-20 years old.

The pipes can also be impacted by the water chemistry much sooner. If your water is not chemically balanced, it can damage the pipes. You can typically spot when your hot tub has too many chemicals if the bottom of your hot tub cover looks bleached. 

Hot Tub Shell

Your hot tub shell’s shelf life is going to be determined by the quality of the shell. Ones that are higher quality can last anywhere from 10-20 years, but ones that are not made as well may only last 5-10 years.

Shell and Cabinet Life

The cabinet can also show some wear and tear over time. Cleaning the cabinet with a hose and making sure any leaks are quickly replaced can extend its longevity. Hot tub cabinets can crack or have other cosmetic issues as well. When this happens, you can call a professional to patch the cracks to be sure it is being done correctly.

Covers

Your hot tub cover is a major player when it comes to the insulation system. When your cover becomes waterlogged and heavy or begins to cup, it will not insulate your hot tub as well. Cleaning it regularly and applying a UV protectant can make it last longer. Typically, hot tub covers last around 3-5 years. 

Pillows

Hot tub pillows may only last one year if your water is poorly balanced. If your hot tub is well-maintained, you can expect them to last anywhere from 3-5 years. They are fairly inexpensive to replace.

How Long Will a Cheap Hot Tub Last?

It’s difficult to nail down exactly how long a cheap hot tub will last, but it likely won’t be long! If the parts are not made well, they’re going to need to be fixed sooner than they would if they were well-made. There have been some cases where hot tubs that were only a few years old needed major, expensive repairs. If you want to know how to buy a hot tub that will last, you don’t want to go with the cheapest model because you can likely expect costly repairs.

When Should You Fix a Hot Tub?

When you’re trying to figure out if it’s worth it to fix your hot tub, you need to consider how much you paid for it and how old it is. If you’ve had your hot tub for more than five years and paid a decent price and the repairs aren’t going to cost much, it will be worth fixing it.

But, if the repairs are going to cost nearly as much as the hot tub itself, no matter how old it is, it probably won’t be in your best interest to replace it. There is a good chance that something else may break (maybe even the same part) and you’ll end up spending more to replace the hot tub than you spent buying it in the first place.

When Should I Replace My Hot Tub?

If you’re thinking about replacing your hot tub you’ll want to consider how old your hot tub is and how much it’s going to cost to repair it. If your hot tub is old and it’s going to cost a lot to repair, you’ll want to consider replacing it. This will give you an updated model that is brand new versus an older model that you’ve spent a lot to repair.

Tips to Increase My Hot Tub’s Longevity

Besides knowing how to buy a hot tub and learning how long it will last, it’s important to know what you can do to get the most use out of it. Here are some tips:

Use a Cover

The cover will help to protect your hot tub. Be sure to use a UV-safe cleaner on it because the sun’s rays can damage it and make mildew grow. Also putting a slipcover over your spa when it’s not in use can prevent water from getting in and causing damage.

Keep Water Clear and Balanced

If your water is cloudy that’s a good indicator you have a problem that could impact your hot tub’s lifespan. Keep your water at a pH of 7.2-7.6. This can reduce the chance of acidic water eating through equipment and harming the skin. You also want to make sure that the chlorine and bromine levels are where they need to be. This can lengthen the life of your hot tub’s parts.

Replace and Clean Filters

Rinse your filters well every week when your hot tub is being used frequently. You’ll also want to soak them in a cleaner every few weeks. If your filters are clogged, they’ll be working harder to get the job done and become less efficient. This leads to dirty water.

Maintain Pumps

Check for leaking pumps because this can lead to rust and costly repairs. Fixing parts when you notice a problem will be much less expensive.

Summary

In summary, a hot tub can last anywhere between 5 and 20 years. Cheaper hot tubs typically don’t last long. Buying a better model and keeping up with maintenance can help to extend your hot tub’s lifespan. If you don’t take care of problems when they arise, your hot tub won’t last as long as it should. Many times, repairs can be less expensive if you take care of them right away instead of waiting.

You should consider fixing your hot tub when the repairs won’t be that expensive and your hot tub is not that old. If the repairs are going to cost you nearly as much as your hot tub did, you’ll want to consider replacing it. This is especially true if your hot tub is on the older side. There is a good chance that more parts could break, costing you even more money.

By keeping your water and hot tub clean, you can extend the longevity of your hot tub. Maintaining pumps and replacing and cleaning filters will also help to keep your hot tub working longer.

Contact Us

If you’re looking for a quality hot tub, contact Custom Backyard Spaces. We offer a wide variety of hot tubs in stock for delivery. Call us today at  919-444-8500 to learn more about our inventory and how a hot tub is a perfect fit for your backyard space!