Buying a Hot Tub Spa can be a daunting and sometimes confusing experience, with different manufacturers naturally claiming their spa is the best, the following information is provided to help give you a clearer understanding of what to look for from your chosen supplier and things to consider before deciding on a particular model and specification.
Remember, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
• What is the difference between a Spa, Hot Tub and Jacuzzi?
“SPAS” The majority of spas are currently made by vacuum forming an acrylic inner shell and then reinforcing this with a specially bonded fibreglass backing, this is the most common form of construction and the better manufacturers will guarantee the interior shell for up to 7 years.
There are also rotational moulded spas made from Polypropylene based polymers, this produces a lower cost spa but does not have the high gloss finish or colour range of acrylic shells.
The origin of the word “Spa” is actually an acronym originating from battle weary, Roman legionnaires who built baths at the site of natural hot springs to heal their aching bodies. They named these bathing treatments “Sanus Per Aquam” (SPA) which translates as; “health through water.”
“HOT TUBS” are a Californian invention from the “swinging sixties” and were based on a variation of the Japanese “Ofuro” bathing tubs, being made from big old wine barrels and attached to a wood burning water boiler, they were a cheap way of creating a large steamy recreational bath for people to share.
Hot Tubs made from wood are still manufactured by specialist companies today, albeit a little more sophisticated than their predecessors, they usually have an internal liner and may have some hydro-therapy jets, or simple air injectors, but do not have the contoured seating that modern spas offer.
“JACUZZI” has almost become a generic name for Spas, as with “HOOVER” for vacuum cleaners. However, Jacuzzi® is a company that manufactures “whirlpool baths” and spas and is a protected trade mark.
Please Note: whilst many people refer to hot tubs, or spas, as jacuzzis this is not legally correct, Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jaccuzzi Inc. a U.S. based company who manufacture Hot Tub Spas and whirlpool baths (amongst other things).
We do not sell JACUZZI products in the Algarve, Portugal, or have any association with Jacuzzi Inc.
These days “Spa” and “Hot Tub” are used interchangeably to describe a hydrotherapy bath that has heated and pumped water flow, directed through jets, with contoured seating.
• Where are you going to position your spa?
You will need a firm, flat base (ideally a concrete pad about 15cm thick) on which to site the hot tub and a surrounding surface that will minimise the likelihood of dirt & grit getting in your spa, such as decking or a tiled terrace.
Measure the maximum size that you could fit in the location you have chosen, bearing in mind issues like, privacy, view from the tub and accessibility of a power supply. The water supply location is not usually a problem as a hose pipe can be used to fill your spa and this will only usually need to be done 3 or 4 times a year.
Lay out a garden hose or string to define the perimeter of your tub and think how you would like to develop the area.
We can do all this for you with a FREE site survey and can even construct your perfect spa area.
• Is the spa for bubbles and fun, for serious therapy or both?
Different spa models have varying jet configurations and equipment performance. If you are just looking for a “fun tub” then a spa with just one pump and 20 jets may be perfect. However, if serious therapy is what you are looking for then a model with a minimum of 2 pumps and at least 40 hydrotherapy jets is more likely to suit you.
We have different ranges of Spas in many different shapes and sizes to suit all requirements.
• What should I look for in the company selling me my Spa?
- Does the company have a dedicated Spa showroom with a range of products to choose from?
- Do they have a private wet test area where you can try out the spa?
- Are they well established and reputable?
- Do they have factory trained service engineers and water care professionals?
A good number of companies sell spas as a side line and are not really knowledgeable about the workings or servicing of their product, they offer no real in house warranty or backup service and while competition is healthy for business, it can be disastrous for the uninformed consumer.
Watch out for companies that offer you incredible prices and then forget you ever existed once you have made your purchase!
We have a dedicated showroom with a private wet test area and have been supplying and servicing spas on the Algarve for over 5 years, with the only BISHTA trained Spa Water Care Technicians in Portugal.
• Delivery and installation
Check that the purchase price includes delivery, installation and water care training, some companies quote only for “kerbside” delivery and leave you to sort out final positioning and how to operate your new spa.
PLEASE NOTE: You will have to employ a qualified electrician to make the final electrical connections and also install a weatherproof, exterior isolator switch about 2 metres from your spa – the supply should be protected with a 30mA RCD (Interruptor Differencial in Portugal)
Sometimes access problems mean that you may require a mobile crane to get your spa into position, change its location in the future, or, take it with you if you move house, don’t worry we can arrange this for you and it’s not as expensive as you may think.
Some of our spas are designed to fit through standard doorways, so delivery is quick, easy and FREE, as the spa can be lifted manually into position. We also have specialist spa moving equipment so that we usually do not need a crane, however, if you do need one we can arrange this on your behalf.
When we deliver your new Hot Tub we will show you the simple to follow water care routines and operational features of your new spa, we will not leave until you are 100% happy and we will re-visit when you need to change the water or if you need reassurance in the early days.
• Is your Power Supply adequate?
Unfortunately, in The Algarve, the power supply for some older homes is quite low and some larger spas require anything up to 32 amps to operate correctly.
We will be able to tell you exactly what power rating you can dedicate to your Hot Tub Spa with a quick (Free and No Obligation) survey.
Our range of Hot Tubs and Spas include some that can simply be “Plug & Play” (13 amps).
• How much does a spa cost to run?
This is a bit like asking “How long is a piece of string?” however, BISHTA (The British and Irish Hot Tub Association) state that the average 4 person spa in the U.K. costs approximately € 25.00 per month, this includes chemicals and energy costs (based on € 0.15 per KwH). Obviously factors such as the amount you use your hot tub, how well the spa is insulated and the average ambient temperature affect energy use – and with the Algarve being somewhat warmer than the U.K. you will probably find that running costs are significantly less than this.
Artesian Spas are extremely well insulated, both inside the cabinet and with a good quality rigid thermal top cover.