Knowing how long a hot tub will last is important both for when you’re looking to buy one or questioning how long yours is still good for. There are many deciding factors that go into telling how long a hot tub will last, from the individual parts to the hot tub itself.
The average life of a hot tub is 5-20 years, depending on the material of the shell and how well it’s taken care of. Managing the balance of water is vital for all parts of the hot tub, but there are other maintenance tasks to be completed on a regular basis to get the most out of it.
Owning a hot tub involves quite a bit of work and skipping out on the maintenance can be detrimental. Five years is not a long time to enjoy such a costly item, but 20 years sounds like a lot better. Let’s take a look at how you can keep all the components of your hot tub in check to prolong its use.
What is the Average Lifespan of Most Hot Tubs?
The average lifespan for a hot tub is between five to 20 years. The huge gap within that range all comes down to how well-built your hot tub is and how well you take care of it.
A hot tub made with cheap materials will degrade faster and fall apart sooner. However, performing regular maintenance can drastically change how long a hot tub will last.
Pumps and Heaters
The lifespan of the pump and heater depends on the balance of your water. A well-balanced hot tub will allow the pump and heater to last roughly seven to 10 years, while poorly balanced water will greatly reduce this number.
In hot tub pumps, the first thing to deteriorate is the seal of the motor. Acidic water or high levels of sanitizer can break the seal down quickly, which will cause a leak into the motor itself. Rust will build up and eventually the motor will seize and stop working.
Basically, poorly balanced water can render a motor unusable within just a few years.
The heater of a hot tub is also sensitive to the water balance, with acidic water causing them to rust and eventually break down, much like the motor. Hard water with high calcium deposits can also build up on the surface of the heater and reduce its efficiency levels.
With regular maintenance, a hot tub cover like this one (on Amazon) can last roughly three to five years. With how important a cover is in insulating the hot tub, it is important to replace it when it has reached the end of its short lifespan.
Shell and Cabinet
The shell and outer cabinet of a hot tub can last about 20 to 30 years, depending on the material.
The longevity of hot tub jets depends on two things: the type of jet and the balance of the water. If the jets lack moving parts, they will always last longer. However, acidic water will wear down on the plastic backing that keeps the jets in place.
Hard water can cause scale to form and lead to less efficient jets. It also can cause friction between any moving parts.
Assuming that you have balanced water, the jets can last from seven to 10 years. With acidic water and moving parts, they can last for as few as three years.
In a well-maintained hot tub, a pillow can last between three and five years. It can only last about a single year in unbalanced water.
What’s the Best Way to Maintain a Hot Tub?
Taking good care of your hot tub requires careful work on a regular schedule. Here’s a breakdown of maintenance tasks and how often you should perform them.
What To Do Every Two to Three Days
The balance of water is extremely important to maintain your hot tub and get the most out of each inter-working part. Regular testing to ensure your water doesn’t become too acidic or hard should be done every two to three days.
Testing the sanitizer levels and pH levels can be done by yourself with a water testing kit (on Amazon). Alternatively, you can take a sample of your water to your local hot tub specialist.
- With the jets on and cover open, shock the hot tub every one to two weeks to allow the sanitizer to work efficiently.
- Add a scale preventer (on Amazon) to stop calcium and other minerals from building up.
- Rinse the filter with a hose every one to two weeks, depending on how often you use the hot tub.
- After rinsing the filter, check the skimmer basket for any debris.
- Check to make sure the water level is covering one-half to two-thirds of the skimmer hole for optimal water flow.
- Professionally test your water for a more in-depth and accurate water analysis. Metals and phosphates cannot be tested on a home testing kit and can build up in hot tubs.
- Vacuum the hot tub using a specialized vacuum (on Amazon) if you notice sand or other debris collecting at the bottom.
What To Do Every Three to Four Months
- Add plumbing cleaner (on Amazon) to the water, then wait an hour to let it circulate.
- Drain the hot tub to get rid of fine particles and the plumber cleaner.
- Clean the filters to remove dirt, body oils, and lotions.
- Add UV protectant (on Amazon) to the cover to minimize sun damage.
- Replace the filters every 12 to 18 months to prevent a decay in the fibers.
- Check the cover to assess whether it needs to be replaced.
How Can I Increase the Longevity of My Hot Tub?
- Maintaining a balanced pH between 7.2 and 7.6 is extremely important to getting the most out of every part of your hot tub.
- Use a hot tub cover during the summer months with a UV-safe cleaner and tarp the hot tub when not in use.
- Keep the water clear. Cloudy water can be an indication that something is wrong.
- Regularly replace and clean filters.
- Maintain the pumps by preventing leaks and rust build up.
Which Hot Tub Materials Last the Longest?
There are many different hot tub materials, all with different pros and cons and varying longevity.
- Acrylic hot tubs are the most durable and long lasting. You can get 20 years or more out of an acrylic hot tub, although that does come with an expensive price tag.
- Rotomolded plastic hot tubs are cheaper than acrylic ones, but they don’t retain heat as well and last roughly 10 to 20 years.
- Vinyl is the most affordable material, but vinyl hot tubs only last about five to 20 years.
- Wooden hot tubs have a luxurious aesthetic, but require they require higher maintenance. However, they can last 15 to 20 years.
When to Replace Your Hot Tub
There are two factors to look at when deciding when it’s time to replace your hot tub: the cost and the age of the hot tub itself. Spending $1,000 to repair something in your hot tub when it’s only a few years old makes sense, because there’s still a ton of life left to enjoy it.
However, if it will cost $1,000 to repair and the hot tub is close to 20 years old, then it is probably best to save the repair money and put it towards a new hot tub.