Five critical things to ask when shopping a show for a hot tub
February 6, 2020 – If you’re in the market to purchase a hot tub, that’s exciting news! If there’s one thing I’ve discovered from being in the business of wellness through hot water, it’s that regular hot tub soaking will be one of the best things you’ve ever decided to do for yourself.
Picking the right hot tub for you is key. The real determining factor that should supersede that, however, is the hot tub company from which you purchase your tub. A hot tub is NOT a commodity product that you buy and just use and head off on your merry way. You’ll want to buy from a company that’s an expert in the field and is ready and willing to be there in the future when you have questions or need service.
In the greater Puget Sound area, we are on the verge of several shows where a lot of companies rent space and show up to sell you a hot tub. It’s tempting to visit the show and visit several hot tub companies to make a decision.
This is a good time to point out that Olympic Hot Tub will not be at any of these shows. In my time manning a show booth for our company before we opted out of selling at them, it was evident that most of the companies selling at the show were doing that and only that: selling. Seldom did I hear from any hot tub shopper that they were asked about what they needed the hot tub for, how difficult it was to take care of, how much would it cost to maintain it, and who is going to be there to help you after your tub is delivered. Selling you a tub should be finding out what’s right for you, not about just a sale for them.
Here are five critical questions you should be asking when you shop for a hot tub. A good hot tub company can answer “Yes!” to all of these questions and do so without skating around any of them.
- Do you have a service department? You’d think this would be a no-brainer. If they sell a product with a warranty, they should also have the means to service and take care of it for you, right? Wrong!! You’d be astonished at the number of hot tub companies that have no service department to support you. And others don’t actually have licensed electricians as techs (a requirement in Washington state). This is another reason why buying tubs online is not a grand idea—unless you are planning to MacGyver your tub on your own if something happens that needs repair. (By the way, our Service Center is also open on Saturdays, a rarity in our industry.)
- Do you have a salt water system for your hot tub? A couple now do. However, it should be noted that Hot Spring Spas—the brand of tub we sell—is the only brand to ever bother developing a salt system integrated with the tub’s filtration and control system so it’s easy to use and automated. They have a 10-year history of integrated salt systems for hot tubs. Our FreshWater Salt System is designed to create natural chlorine out of the salt as its sanitizer—far safer and healthier than bromine. You need far less residual sanitizer in the water than normal due to its automation and monitoring of the sanitizer level. You add fewer bottled chemicals, enjoy softer water for soaking that won’t dry out your skin, and only have to change your hot tub’s water once a year! The cartridges for the system are also recyclable—far better for you and for the environment.
- Have your tubs been studied for energy efficiency by a third party? This will be a no from every brand of hot tub out there except Hot Spring. If they tell you otherwise, what else might they not be honest about? Hot Spring has documented third party testing on the energy consumption of their tubs, proving they are the most efficient out there. They give you a full rundown on how they build their tubs to maximize efficiency. There’s even an energy calculator on their site to clearly estimate your monthly operation cost based on the study results.
- How long have you carried this hot tub brand? Longevity with a brand tells you a lot of things: how solid the hot tub manufacturer is in their ability to build good products and offer warranty parts and support; the commitment of the hot tub company to show consistency and loyalty to a brand; the expertise the company will have on every aspect of the product—good knowledge to educate you on the right one to purchase, support before and after delivery, and assistance with any water care or service needs. We are very fortunate to have partnered with Hot Spring Spas 38 years ago! No other company in the Northwest has a relationship with one brand for longer. As one of their largest dealers worldwide, we have over 30,000 folks who have purchased a Hot Spring Spa from Olympic. That’s worth considering. (It’s also worth mentioning that Watkins Wellness, the manufacturer of Hot Spring Spas, just celebrated building 1.5 million hot tubs!! A true benchmark unmatched by any other hot tub manufacturer.)
- Are you locally owned and locally based? Traveling shows are the bane of our existence in the hot tub industry. They show up, try to sell you product they have with them, and disappear leaving you wondering what to do if something goes wrong with delivery or set up—and forget about service or support! Others from outside the region may buy booth space at a home show. Again, once they’re gone, what do you do when you need help? Not all hot tub companies with brick and mortar stores in Puget Sound are locally owned. Supporting your locally owned hot tub company is good for us as small business owners, good for our local economy, and good for you.
A good hot tub is not a luxury anymore. It’s something that more and more people are buying today as a way to elevate their commitment to their health and well-being. (Think of how much you’ll save on medical bills and prescriptions by soaking in hot water for just 20 minutes a day!) Since it is a significant investment—both monetarily and in your health—you deserve to have the right tub from the right company that will do right by you.
At Olympic, we’re adopting the tag “Better you. Better life.” That’s what we believe the focus of a hot tub company should be.
We’re ready to educate you, let you test soak, and find the perfect tub for you and your family. You’ll be so glad you invested in a Hot Spring Spa from Olympic Hot Tub.
Remember to visit one of our seven showrooms if you’re considering a hot tub during the show season. I promise you won’t regret it!
Author: Don Riling
Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 27 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through water.