You think you’ve found the ideal home to buy. Then you look in the backyard and see a hot tub. Is that a good thing or not? Pools and hot tubs can increase the selling price of a home, says U.S. News, if they are well-maintained. But it adds maintenance and liability concerns that can affect your buying decision. The following advice will help you sort through the risks and responsibilities of hot tub ownership so ensure you’re well-educated on the topic.
If the hot tub is running, the owner has proof of repairs and maintenance, and it is secure and safe, then you could just pick up the maintenance where the owner left off. If not, you have some work to do.
If the hot tub has been sitting idle for a period of time, you’ll need to have an inspection before touching it. If it’s full of water, it could be contaminated and full of germs. If empty, the shell could be cracked due to extreme weather conditions. These situations require a professional to inspect and maintain the hot tub to get it running again.
Some cities require hot tubs and pools to be enclosed in a secure, fenced in area. If your city requires a fence and the home does not have one, you will be liable for anyone getting injured by your hot tub, and you may be fined by the city.
Every month you’ll have to deal with water testing, temperature control, chemicals to keep the water clean and maintenance of the filtration system. It may take a few weeks for you to get into the habit of maintaining your hot tub, but once you’ve figured out the routine, a few minutes each week is all you’ll need.
If you leave the hot tub on all of the time, you can expect to see a $30- to $50-dollar increase in your electric bill, says The Simple Dollar. A cheap, thin cover allows a lot of heat to escape and the water heater will kick on frequently. An insulated cover, like the ones available at HotTubWorks.com, will keep the heat in so the heater won’t have to work as hard, saving you money.
The chemicals chlorine and bromine are used to prevent the growth of algae and germs in the water. When used correctly, the risk of an infection from the water is reduced. Weekly chemical treatments are required, and will run you about $30 each month.
The Home Advisor says that typical repairs required to maintain a hot tub over its lifetime include the hot tub pump, jets, heater and electrical system, lights, shell and frame. A well-maintained hot tub will need fewer repairs, so it’s less costly to be diligent about the monthly maintenance.
Keep in mind that many of these repairs require a hot tub professional or electrician. When considering whether a hot tub is a good idea, factor in the cost of both labor and parts for a hot tub repair job.
Guest Author: Bob Yoder
Bob and his three kids love to hit the trails on their ATVs on the weekends. He spends a lot on off-roading gear.