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Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

I am looking at getting a second hand hot tub?

and would like to know what I should be looking for in terms of problems befor I buy it and move it? Is this advisable or not worth the head ach in the long run?

5 Answers

  • Favorite Answer


    There are several things I would look for besides the obvious leaks and cracks and what the electrical inspector (!!! by the way your really good at your copy and paste routine...why not actually really answer the question?) said, was it hooked up correctly before? Next, lets look at the wet end of the pumps (usually black) and see if there is any evidence of the seal leaking. If htere is that may mean there is some damage to the motor due to improper water balance and you will soon be buying some new pumps. Next lets look at the spa controls themselves. Look for corrossion around where the heater is hooked up. Most likely you will find some and that will also tell you that a new heater is in your future. Most spas will show corrosion after 4 years. The nice thing to think about is you can get a good new spa pack with heater and topside for around 550, and then new pumps for $350. or so. Most repairs you can easily do yourselves. Look at the cover, is it heavy? if so you will be buying an new one soon. The next thing to be thinking about is how much it will cost for having an electrician hook it all up. You should be able to find somoene competent around $40 an hour and should take no more then 3 hours. Go to Lowe's and get the wire and GFCI yourselves. So your electrician doesn't take you for a ride. We look at 2-3 used spas a week for people purchasing used spas. Feel free to ask us any questions.

  • 1 decade ago

    Used spas and hot tubs should be approached with caution. Never purchase one that does not include the Owner's Manual, Installation Instructions, or that does not have the "Mark" of a Nationally Recognized Testing Lab (NRTL) on the pump. In the US, the “CSA” mark, alone, does not meet this requirement. The CSA mark, followed by “US”, indicates the pump is listed to US Standards. (A “CE” mark is useless, its only reason for being is to show the tub meets European requirements. It is an attestation by the manufacturer, and is has not undergone an evaluation by an independent third party.)

    After you have a copy of the installation instructions in your hands, the next thing you want to see is the Permit Application and Inspection Reports from the Building Department. If the unit was installed without a permit, and without benefit of any inspections, it was probably not installed correctly. I say this because I find that most pools, spas, and hot tubs I inspect are not installed correctly on the first inspection. Even licensed electricians who do not install these products regularly seem to have a difficult time with them. (Amazing, since NEC Article 680 is the closest thing you can find in any Code to step-by-step installation instructions.)

    If the unit has not been installed correctly, and inspected, you will have no way to tell if it has been modified in any way. Once a listed piece of equipment has been modified in the field, it is no longer listed, as it has not been evaluated in its present condition. Never mix electricity, water, and poor installations. You also will not be able to tell if a poor installation has caused any damage to the spa or its electrical system.

    Play it safe, don’t rush into the purchase of a second hand death trap. If you really think you have found “just the right one”, pay an electrician to disassemble it; making sure that as he does, he is looking at the procedure as a “reverse installation”. Don’t actually pay for the unit until a qualified person has given their opinion. Even then, you must realize that it is not a guaranty that the unit is safe, or that it has not been abused.

    NEVER purchase a used spa that has not been installed by a qualified, licensed Electrical Contractor. Always find one to install it, it is not a "Do-it-Yourself" project.

    I have risked hurting the feelings of many friends who have done their own installations by not getting in their hot tubs without doing my own inspection, first. Many have thanked me latter, only one was truly insulted (his brother-in-law had installed it - incorrectly).


    Note to "Eagle": There is no difference between a "spa" and a "hot tub". You will find they share a definition in the NEC.

    What you are thinking of is a "hydromassage tub", or, what is (incorrectly) referred to as a "whirlpool tub" or "Jacuzzi", which is a Brand Name.

    The difference between spas and hot tubs, and hydromassage tubs, is the latter is installed with both a drain, and a means to refill it. Spas or hot tubs can be installed indoors, or out.

    Source(s): 2005 NEC UL WhiteBook Licensed Electrical Contractor ICC Certified Residential & Commercial Electrical Inspector ICC Certified Building Inspector Electrical Code Instructor Member: International Association of Electrical Inspectors Certified Member of the International Code Council
  • 1 decade ago

    Find out if the unit was in operation recently, if not was it properly winterized in a cold region. Look for obvious cracks and damage around bottom and corners. Look for signs of leakage on the inside where the jets come through the fiberglass. If you look hard enough, it is possible to find hot tubs for next to nothing if you are willing to remove it for the owner, the older models require quite a bit of upkeep and chemical monitoring.

  • eagle
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I would want to see it in operation before I bought it. I don't know if you mean a hot tub (small bath type) or spa (large multi-person) but I still would want to see it working properly first. Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Check craigslist, they are always on there with an unusually low price. the reason being, they are usually in a backyard setting and have to be removed. Unless you have a lot of friends and or a forklift and a flatbed truck, its next to impossible.

    But they usually work very well and its just an owner with a change of taste or ideas of expansion . If you can pull it offf its worth the effort

    motors and pumps can be replaced or repaired. I have given a lot of thought and wish I could make one work for myself. But its not happening

    good luck

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