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Buying and owning a hot tub

Owning a hot tub is about as indulgent as eating a whole box of Ferrero Rocher, but how should you go about buying one? Then, once you’ve equipped your garden with one how can you ensure your hot tub remains in tip-top condition? We look into the ins and outs of owning a hot tub, to ensure you’re clued up before you splash out.

  1. Choose wisely
    Assuming you’re based in the UK, your hot tub needs to be suited to our climate. Your hot tub should be able to stand up to rain - and lots of it. As such most hot tubs sold in the UK are made of fibreglass with a metal frame and wood cladding - but you can also get durable moulded plastic versions. Visiting a showroom to see the different options is a must before taking the plunge.
  2. Cover up
    Insulation is vital for a hot tub if you want to keep the water hot without spending a fortune. Make sure any hot tub you purchase comes with a tightly fitting cover or arrange to buy one separately. Also make sure the cover is firmly in place as soon as you’ve finished your dip to save on energy costs and keep the water free of garden debris.
  3. Save up
    You can spend anything from around £3,000 for a rigid structure hot tub, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of costs. When considering a purchase remember that a solid sided hot tub will tend to cost between £1 and £1.50p a day to run depending on the manufacturer and the electricity prices in your area. It may not sound like a lot but this can quickly add up over a year or two. This figure can of course be greater or smaller depending on how often you use the hot tub and the time of year you use it. Keeping the water hot in the depths of winter would obviously cost more than it would on a balmy summer’s day.
  4. Power up
    Electricity and water are dangerous bedfellows, so the power supply for a hot tub needs to be properly established. Most hot tubs will need to be rigged up with RCD and armoured cable. The size of the cable will depend on how much power your hot tub consumes but this tends to be between 13 and 32 amps. You should always consult a qualified electrician when installing your hot tub as it should be wired into the main circuit breaker of your house.
  5. Heavy stuff
    Before deciding to pop a hot tub on a patio or decked area, bear in mind that once full of water they can weigh upwards of a tonne. Then of course you’ll need to factor in the weight of any bathers taking a dip. A six-foot concrete base should support the standard hot tub but if you’re planning a more adventurous location you should seek advice from a structural engineer.
  6. A home for your hot tub
    Most people choose to keep their hot tubs in the garden but if you have a conservatory that could be a good alternative, especially if you’re keen to use it through the winter months. One thing to remember is that a floor drain is essential, since water is bound to spill over from time to time. Also any plaster walls that form part of the conservatory will need to be painted with bathroom or kitchen paint to guard against condensation. Moisture-resistant blinds and a fan vent are also recommended if you decide to position your hot tub indoors.
  7. All change!
    A typical hot tub needs to be drained and the water replaced once every two or three months. However this can vary depending on the tub’s manufacturer, how often you use it and how well you maintain the chemical levels in the water. Remember that each time you drain the tub you’ll need to re-establish this chemical balance, so this can be a fairly involved process.
  8. Under-cover tactics
    As well as the cover you get when purchasing your hot tub, consider investing in an energy-efficient, floating, thermal blanket. These sit on the top of the water, beneath the cover to retain heat and reduce the amount of moisture that builds up on the underside of the cover. A blanket like this can noticeably extend the life of your hard cover, saving you money in the long run.
  9. Save water
    Make sure any leaks are fixed quickly to save on surplus water and also try to reduce the amount of overspill. You can do this by ensuring the jets are at the correct angle and do not send streams of water out onto the floor below. Doing both of these things will help the planet as well as keep your water bills at a minimum.
  10. Create shelter
    If you decide to place your hot tub outdoors make sure it’s in a sheltered area. Wind-exposure can lead to heat loss from the water, which increases the amount of fuel you’ll need to heat your tub. You can use privacy panels, landscaping or perhaps fencing to shelter your hot tub, assuming you don’t already keep it sheltered indoors.

How John Lewis Insurance can help

If you have a fixed hot tub, John Lewis Home Insurance can cover it under our Buildings Cover and our Accidental Damage Cover

If you have a free standing hot tub in your garden, we can cover it under our Garden Cover and our Accidental Damage Cover

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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