Hot Tub Barn

Hot Tub Buyers Guide

Your First Steps to owning a Riptide Hot Tub

A hot tub is more than a home improvment product - it's a self-improvment product. A soothing retreat that's part of your home, an intimate oasis that you share with family and friends. Most importantly, a hot tub serves as a tangible investment in your mental health, physical health, relationships and overall happiness. A place where you can unwind and truly feel your very best a place to get back to yourself.

Shopping or browsing for a hot tub should be fun. But before you purchase the first hot tub you find, take a moment to find out what you should consider before you even start your search and learn practical tips that will help you find your perfect spa.

Ask yourself the following questions before you start searching for your spa. You can download this guide as a pdf to make notes.

Initial Questions

Where would you place a hot tub in your garden?

Hot tubs are designed to fit seamlessly into your space. You'll use your spa more if you position it close to a door for convenient access.

Who do you want to share your hot tub with ?

Hot tubs are available in a variety of sizes, from tubs for just the 2 of you to tubs designed for large parties.

Do you want to relieve stress, tension, aches or pains in specific parts of your body?

Choose a spa that has jets placed in the right spots to provide the relief you need - precisely where you need it.

How often should I use my spa?

Hot tubs are designed for daily use, so look for a reliable spa that you can count on every day.

What's my spa budget?

Spas can range dramatically in price depending on the model, size, and features. You'll want to determine which features are most imortant to you as you narrow down your options to determine your target price.

Water Care

Less time for maintenance means more time to relax in your spa. Though all spas require some simple chemical maintenance, such as testing the water's PH, the process should be easy and stress-free for you. When looking at a hot tub you're interested in, ask a sales person to explain your water care options.

The 3 most common ways to maintain spa water are:

1. Traditional Chlorine - This popular type of water sanitation uses a chlorine formula especially formulated for hot tubs to cleanse impurities from the water

2. Ozone System - Known by many different names depending on the brand, these systems reduce the need for chlorine by generating a high concentration of ozone that thoroughly cleans spa water on contact.

3. Silver ions Purifiers - There are different ways to infuse the spa water with silver and copper, but once infused the silver and copper act as a bioside and stop bacteria from growing.

Features That Matter

You're looking for a spa that's cost efficient, clean and easy to use - but what about the details that make it yours? With most models, you can choose the colour of the shell in the hot tub, cabinet and cover. You can also customise your spa experience by adding entertainment systems and other accessories. Before you buy, consder what features are most important to you when making your hot tub dream a reality.

Your Perfect Massage

Above ground hot tubs and spas generally feature anywhere from 20 to 100 jets, all targeted to certian muscle groups to help you emerge from your hot tub feeling your best. When you're looking at models, look for powerful, jets that will provide the type of massage you need in the areas you need it most. Also look for targeted jet groups. Having more jets doesn't always mean you'll have the best spa. Often, having fewer jets in targeted groups will conserve energy and give a better, more focussed massage.

Water Features & Lights

Customised multi-colour lighting and soothing water features can enhance any relaxing spa experience, adding ambience to your garden. Think about how you will use your spa you are considering, allows you customise these features - so you can select the lighting and water feature based on your mood.

In-Spa entertainment

From relaxing to the soothing sounds of your favourite song to enjoying the best seat in the house when watching your favourite DVDs or TV shows. Fitting a spa mount monitor makes it easy to view and listen to your favourite shows whilst relaxing in the warm water. If this is what you are looking for, then let us know when you could come and visit us in store.

Spa Filtration

Crystal clear water is essential to the entire spa experience. Most spa filters work by capturing and removing impurities and debris in the water, but they vary by size depending on the brand and size of the hot tub. Some spas feature a dedicated circulation pump, that circulates the water quietly, and efficiently without requiring use of the jet pumps. if energy efficiency and quiet operation are important to you, choose a spa with a dedicated circulation pump.

When browsing spas, look closely at filtrations systems - keep in mind that filtration systems will vary in shape and size. Also look for spas with frequent filtration cycles. Water moving through the system constantly keeps it clean and contaminate-free.

When looking at Filtration Systems:

Make sure the filtation system is easy to access for periodic maintenance.

Look for filters that are easy-to-remove and change.

Can you see replacement filters for sale from your proposed supplier.

Operating Costs

Because spas require electifcity to power the jets,  heat and circulate the water, new hot tub owners generally see an increase in their electricity bill after installing their spa. So how much will it cost you to run your hot tub? That depends on the type of spa you buy, ambient temperature in your area, the temperature of the water, frequency of use and the cost of electricity where you live, but it can range from as little as a few pounds per week to much more. It's important that you understand how the hot tub you choose is designed to keep operating costs low.

to help minimise these costs, many spa manufacturers produce more energy-efficient hot tubs than ever before.

When you're searching for a spa, look for energy-efficient features like:

High levels of insulation on spa shell and inside cabinet

A high density spa cover that seals completely

Energy-efficient water circulation pump

Jets and controls designed for the realities of use

Heaters to maximise heat-to-water transfer

Monthly Energy Cost Calculator

Use Hot Tub Barn's energy calculator to determine a rough estimate of what a Riptide hot tub would cost you per month based on the size of the spa, mean ambient temperature and your local rate per kilowatt hour. Leading the industry in energy efficient design, Riptide Energy Plus features that keep operationg costs low. 

Finding a good supplier

With hundreds of hot tub models available from a variety of companies, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when beginning to search for the right hot tub. So instead of trying to select a model right off the bat, narrow down your search to a supplier you trust first, then select a model. 

Look for a Company with a record of succes

When you begin researching spas brands, look at the company history. While some dealers come and go with products that may not last, the most successful hot tub sellers offer decades of reliable products, innovative ideas and long-lasting warranties for their products.

Read Customer Reviews

Look for customer reviews online and on specific websites. You want to select a supplier with a commitment to transparency and accountability for the product they build. When a brand openly engages, listens and responds to customer feedback, you can feel more assured that you will receive quality support after you buy. Customer reviews give you valuable first-person insights about hot tub ownership. See Hot Tub Barn Reviews

Call or Visit Local Dealers

A local dealer can help you find a hot tub that fits your needs and answer your questions you have about spas. Look for a dealer that is close and convenient to your home, with a knowledgeable service department and friendly staff hwo help their customers before, during and after their hot tub purchase. See our showroom locations.

Try a Test Soak

Many official dealers will let you try products in store. Ask your local dealer for details.

Selecting a Model 

After researching spas online and browsing them in person, you're almost ready to unwind in your own. Maybe you've even tried a test soak and experienced a comfortable spa first hand, Hopefully, a few models stood out to you.

Once you've narrowed down your choices to a single brand or two, answer the following questions and think about a hot tub in terms of what matters to you. use your answers to help you eventually select the specific spa model that's right for you.

 What size hot tub do I want?

Do I plan to use the hot tub for personal relaxation or entertaining?

On average, how many people will be using my hot tub?

Where can I place my hot tub outside to make it easily accessible?

Do the jets and other features fit my needs?

Where do I need to relieve the tension in my body with massage jets?

Do I want a lounge seat in my spa?

Do I want a water feature or an entertainment system in my spa?

Do I want a chlorine, ozone and/or silver ions water care system for my spa?

How will I pay for my hot tub?

What i s my budget for a new hot tub?

How much will owning a hot tub cost me monthly?

How to Avoid common Hot Tub Mistakes

1. Not accounting for size and space - 
Be sure to take measurements of the space you would like to place your spa, as well as of the path you will use to install it. From a patio to a garden, taking simple measurements ahead of time will make installation easy when the time comes, giving you more time to enjoy your new spa.

2. Underestimating the value of an energy efficient spa - 
Energy efficient spas will save you money in the long run, keeping your energy bill lower even during cold winter months. Be sure to speak to a sales person and consider more energy efficient models.

3. Neglecting to maintain your Spa - 
Like a car or pool, a hot tub requires regular maintenace to function at its absolute best. Learn everything you can about the simple, quick spa maintenance that you will do yourself, like checking the chemical balance. Also keep up with your dealership for offers, services and support.

4. Avoid DIY installation of the tub itself -
Unless you're a trained professinal, you probably want to avoid installing your new hot tub yourself. A certified dealer will make sure the plumbing and electric elements of your new spa are installed correctly and functioning optimally, which can save you money in repairs down the road. Additionally, certified dealers are trained to safely lift and move spas.


At the end of the day, a hot tub is one of the most tangible, rewarding purchases you can make for yourself, your friends and family. Relaxing in a spa is a simple way to rid your body of stress and tension, share a joyous moment with your loved ones, or to simply take time to soak up the outdoors in the comfort of your garden. Heat, water and massage tangibly improve your mental health, physical health, relationships and overall happiness - to help you feel your best.