Inflatable hot tub / Spa

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stevec59
stevec59 Posts: 296 Forumite
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edited 9 June 2020 at 1:03PM in I wanna buy it or do it
Hi, 
We have been thinking about getting a 'Spa' for about a year or so, basically a bubbling swimming pool, the well know one is 'Lay z spa' and there are various models, I've just found INTEX spa, some of these are very cheap (£51) but are they any good? We have paid a lot of money for Air Beds in the past only to find once out of warranty that they don't hold the air and need reflating. Obviously in the UK the weather isn't too great to use a spa.
There is also the question of running cost
Water - the one I'm looking at is 210 Gallons, I guess you fill it up once a year, empty it in the Autumn to save heating the water.
Electricity - I guess it has to be on 24/7, whilst there is water in it, if you mainly use it weekends, I guess you could turn it on Thursday, ready for Friday Morning and then off Sun / Monday, we have PV Solar Panels, so that would pay some of the cost. The tubs come with a cover to keep the heat in.
Chemicals - You need to put in chemicals, certain companies say that you Must use there chemicals, I've heard that Chemicals from elsewhere are just as good.
Are there any Forums around for Spa's that might help me?

Many Thanks,
Steve

Comments

  • theonlywayisup
    theonlywayisup Posts: 16,031 Forumite
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    edited 14 June 2020 at 1:48PM
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    I don't have any experience of inflatable hot tubs but I do have experience of hot tubs.
    Water - filling it up just once a year is not going to cut it.  A domestic hot tub should be emptied (depending on use and people in it) every 3 months or so.   You will have issues with water balance if you heat some days/times and not others.   If you heat and turn off on a certain day and leave the water in it for x days you will have an unpleasant and potentially dangerous pond of water by the time you reheat and get back in.  

    Ideally you need to keep it heated, keep the water balanced and if you decide to end the season, empty it, clean it and store it away.

    As for chemicals - the best advise I can give is to check the water (you can buy water testing strips very cheaply) every single day and top up a few basic chemicals.  Depending on your water these will be chlorine, PH increaser/reducer and total alkalinity increaser/reducer.  You do not need to buy your chemicals from your spa provider.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,323 Ambassador
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    Join one of the many owner forums on Facebook as they can answer your questions easily. I had the lazy spa for a while, spent about 20 minutes a day checking levels and doing the chemicals and I think it was costing me about £150 a month to run. 

    I gave up with it though after 3 of them failed , I suspect they suffered from being out in direct sun during a very hot summer , all my ones were replaced under warranty without any problems and I finally sold my last one new in box when we decided I couldn’t face losing another one after a few weeks. As for changing water, this depends on whether you can control your chemical levels properly and how clean you are when you use the tub, ideally if you wear anything in the tub make sure you rinse the swimming costume use no washing powder or conditioner, don’t wear any body lotion sun cream etc. 
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  • boots_babe
    boots_babe Posts: 3,237 Forumite
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    edited 26 June 2020 at 3:35PM
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    There are various groups on Facebook, of the ones I'm in the one called "Lay-Z-Spa Hot Tub Owners & Advice Group" is the busiest and I'd say most helpful.

    We got our Lay z spa last August, so glad we did! If you register online when you buy it, you get an extended 2 year warranty, instead of 1 year. 

    Running costs-wise, it can vary hugely depending on how you use it, where it's located etc. The usual advise is to leave it running 24/7, as this is cheaper than turning it on/off, as then you have to pay to heat it up again. A common practice is to leave it on constantly at around 33 degrees, then turn it up on the morning of the day you want to use it. Personally I keep mine on full temp all the time. 

    Also insulation makes a MASSIVE difference, and saves a lot on bills. We insulated ours a couple of months after buying, and not only does it now look great (as we build a wooden surround outside of the insulation) but the bills have gone down a lot too.

    Where to buy them is very difficult at the moment, Lay z spas have become the latest 'toilet paper' of the pandemic, everyone has realised they're a great idea during lockdown! Don't buy on eBay/Facebook etc as almost everyone is selling at stupid prices (as in 2 or even 3 times the RRP). Some of the big chains such as The Range and B&Q are regularly getting deliveries in still, so hang in there and you should be able to get one at a decent price.

    Good luck!
  • boots_babe
    boots_babe Posts: 3,237 Forumite
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    edited 26 June 2020 at 3:42PM
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    soolin said:
    Join one of the many owner forums on Facebook as they can answer your questions easily. I had the lazy spa for a while, spent about 20 minutes a day checking levels and doing the chemicals and I think it was costing me about £150 a month to run. 

    I gave up with it though after 3 of them failed , I suspect they suffered from being out in direct sun during a very hot summer , all my ones were replaced under warranty without any problems and I finally sold my last one new in box when we decided I couldn’t face losing another one after a few weeks. As for changing water, this depends on whether you can control your chemical levels properly and how clean you are when you use the tub, ideally if you wear anything in the tub make sure you rinse the swimming costume use no washing powder or conditioner, don’t wear any body lotion sun cream etc. 
    Hi soolin, 

    20 minutes a day sounds rather excessive, you're right that you are meant to check daily (and chemicals are definitely to be taken seriously) but it takes me 1 minute max each day. Put in the test strip, then if needs be add in whichever chemicals.

    When people are first time owners, they are often put off by the need to manage and maintain chemicals, but once you get started it soon becomes second nature and it's honestly really easy to do.

    For water changes, you should leave it no longer than 12 weeks, as even if your levels look good, at that point your water will be saturated by chemicals. 

    You're right about the sun, Lay z spa state that you must not place them in direct sun (not sure what brand yours was but I imagine the others have similar). This can cause the air inside of the inflated tub to expand, become malformed, and in the worst cases burst  :(  Most people seem to prefer having their tub inside a structure such as a shed, or pergola with a sail roof, but personally I love being in the open air looking up at the sky when I'm in. So although I have no cover over the tub, it's enclosed in a wooden surround that we built, which protects for the 23 hours a day when we aren't using it.


  • SaZ681
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    Has anyone else been having problems with John Adams who sell Intex?  I believe they are the only UK distributor for Intex. They are closed and working from home but there is a huge delay in responding to emails (which is the only way to contact them) and most Intex Pure Spa products and accessories are out of stock.  I appreciate our current COVID situation is going to cause issues.  I have a Pure Spa which is under guarantee and I have been communicating with them since June 2020.  Firstly the inflatable 'bladder' (the bit that goes into the lid) developed a leak and therefore does not remain inflated for long meaning that it doesn't keep the heat in.  So I had to purchase an outdoor mat to put over the top.  Then, probably because the inflatable bladder isn't inflated, the lid started leaking at the seams letting rain water into the hot tub.  Whenever it rains it overflows and I have to drain about 4 inches of water out before I can use it.  This is a lot of hassle and results in me not using the hot tub.  John Adams have said that the inflatable bladder and lids wont be in until March 2021 as an estimation.  This leaves me with and expensive luxury item that I cannot use without a lot of inconvenience.  After many communications and getting nowhere I have today started a complaints procedure about their slow customer service and lack of solution.  If you are thinking of buying an inflatable hot tub, I would advise you avoid the Intex brand currently. 
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