Here is a checklist of things to consider when shopping for a spa:
- Is the unit in my price range?
- How is the seating configured?
- Am I comfortable when I sit in it?
- Am I able to move around easily?
- Is there lumbar support for my back?
- Is the spa proper size for my needs?
- How many people will use the spa at a given time?
- Do the jets and jet system allow me to customize my hydro massage experience?
- Is the jetting laid out with consideration for my needs?
- Is the water continuously filtered 24 hours a day to ensure clean, clear water?
- Are the filters top-loaded for easy access?
- Is the heating and filtering system fully automatic with no programming required?
- Is there an automatic clean-up cycle after you exit the spa?
- Are the controls user friendly, easy to operate and adjust?
- How loud are the pumps and jet system?
- Does it have a locking childproof safety cover?
- Are there optional features to make spa ownership easier?
- Does the unit have enough insulation?
- Make sure the spa is totally insulated! What color schemes can the unit be purchased in, and do they have one that pleases me?
- What are my responsibilities before installation of my spa?
- Who is going to service my spa?
- What are the electrical specifications of the spa?
- Ask how to estimate your monthly operation costs. (Beware of less expensive spas which can cost $50 or more per month to operate).
- Obtain information on the manufacturer and the dealer to ensure you will receive quality service both during and after your spa purchase.
Obtain a copy of the WARRANTY and read it thoroughly.
- Does the unit come with a warranty or a guarantee? There is a big difference!
- Are the components fully tested and backed by the manufacturer's warranty? Beware of the dealer who is reluctant to provide a copy.
- What spa parts are covered under warranty and for how long?
- Make sure the heater, surface/structure, components, tile and skirt are included.
- How does the manufacturer's warranty compare with other brands?
- Make sure there are no undesirable limitations or exclusions. How long has the manufacturer been in business?
- How long has the dealer been in business?
- Will the dealer provide the installation and service assistance you need?
- Inquire about their service policy...who performs there service & how experienced are they?
Finally, what should you look for in the company you decide to purchase your spa from? Many companies are selling spas these days, and while competition is healthy for business, it can be disastrous for the un-informed consumer.
Many firms are selling spas as a sideline and are not really knowledgeable about the workings or servicing of their products. Mass merchandisers are also getting into the spa business, and while they sometimes may sell spas rather cheaply, they offer no real in house warranty or backup service on the products they carry. You'll find the newspapers full of "dirt cheap spa bargains," but you must be very wary of such seemingly "good deals." When purchasing a product like this you definitely "get what you pay for."
Watch out for companies that offer you incredible prices and deals and then forget you ever existed once you have made your purchase! Check references, company awards, trade affiliations and try to get recommendations from some friends who have spas and are happy with the company they chose.