A BUYER'S GUIDE
Here at Wessex Spas we understand how hard it can be to choose a hot tub, know what to look for and know where to start. The most important thing is that you find a hot tub that suits your needs! We have been selling spas since 2006 and have been awarded European Dealers of the Year for three successive years. We have also received multiple customer service awards. In other words, we are highly regarded within our industry for our knowledge and honesty. Below are four aspects that we think every spa buyer should consider. If you would rather talk to us directly, feel free to give us a call or come in into our showroom for a chat and a coffee.
The first thing to consider is the location that you would like the spa to go into. Think about, where the best view is, the distance from the house and how you the spa will fit into the style of your garden. This is a great starting point as you can start to think about the space you have.
Different spas require different bases. The two most common methods are concrete pads and gravel. Our Arctic Spas are fitted with ‘Forever Floors’ which allows them to be placed onto almost any surface. However cheaper spas may require concrete pads if they are not supported properly.
Spas typically run off of two power supplies, 13amp (plug and play) and 32amp (hardwired). Typically, spas running off of a 13amp supply will be limited to one pump, whereas spas running off of 32amp will have multiple pumps. Spas with five pumps may require additional power.
Delivery should be carried out by a dealership. There are two ways of delivering a spa. The first is on a trailer. The spa is placed on its side, so you will need a path that is 1.2 meters wide. The second method is to crane the spa in. However, crane prices are not included in the price.
CHOOSING A SPA
The size of spa you need depends on how many people will regularly use the spa. If four people will be using the spa regularly, but six will use it occasionally, we suggest going for a 7ft spa, which comfortably seats four, but can fit six. If you are a couple, then maybe looking for loungers may be a better option.
Think about the climate the spa is designed for. American spas are typically designed for warmer climates, British, for wet climates and Canadian for cold and damp climates. Warm climate spas are cheaper to build and buy, but will cost you more in the long run. Whereas cold climate spas are the opposite.
This relates to the jetting of the spa. A spa with loads of jets may look great in a showroom, but less jets usually means more power. If you are looking for a social spa, sticking to 25 jets per pump is a good rule. However for hydrotherapy, try to stick to around 10-15 jets per pump.
Spa’s are designed to last 10-15 years+, so having a spa that is properly built is essential for longevity. You can find spas online that look great, with all the lights and jets you could ever want. But, how is it built? Is it just a wooden frame with plastic panels? If so this is a warning sign of a product that is built for selling, not for use.
CHLORINE & BROMINE
The most common chemicals that are used within a spa are chlorine and bromine. Both essentially do the same job. However, there are subtle differences. Chlorine is stronger and is more suitable for rental properties. Bromine is a lighter alternative, which doesn’t have such a strong smell and is a lot kinder on the skin. Both of chlorine and bromine can be found in granule and tablet forms. We advise using both granules and tablets. Granules are great for quickly treating the water, whereas tablets are slow release, great for everyday use.
Salt is an alternative to using bromine/ chlorine. Our goal is to supply all of our spas in residential settings with salt systems. We prefer salt systems as there are many long term benefits to the customer. The first benefit is that they are mostly automated using a system called ‘SpaBoy’. This reduces the maintenance you have to do with the spa. The second is that salt is much kinder on the skin, which for regular use is essential to enjoying your spa. Lastly, salt systems are better for the environment, with less harmful gasses being released.
COLOURS & EXTRAS
The finish of your spa cabinet is mostly personal preference. They can be put into two categories; Classic and maintenance free. Our classic cabinets are Western Red Cedar, which is a long lasting hardwood from Canada. Our maintenance free cabinets are available in Charcoal (grey) and Sable (brown). These cabinets are composite resin and can be perfect for gardens that have a certain colour scheme. This is personal preference though.
Once you have chosen your spa it's time to think about the colour of the shell. This is mostly personal preference. However, there are a few points to consider. The first is that in Dorset we have very hard water, which can leave a white water line and by choosing a lighter colour this will not be as visible. Secondly, choose a colour that is timeless. You are going to have a spa for 10-15 years, in which time your garden will likely change.
There a many optional extras that can be fitted to our spas, from unique lighting to external speakers. Our advice is to think about what you would use regularly, and not to add extras for the sake of it. In terms of the lighting, we advise getting some ambient lighting, which is not too bright. We are more than happy to go through any extras that are available on the spas, our advice will change, depending on your unique needs.