Hot Tubs – Spas

When I built my house, I installed a Pearl whirlpool tub in my bathroom.  I purchased a Pearl tub because they licensed the Hydrotherapy pump system from Jacuzzi, but I was looking for a particular shape, like an emerald cut diamond, which Pearl manufactured.  Jacuzzi uses very large diameter water supply pipes with patented water jets, designed for therapeutic action, which moves more water and requires larger pump motors.

I found that using my bathroom whirlpool tub or taking long hot showers really helps my back pain.  I also found that it’s much easier to do my stretching exercises afterward, so I decided that I wanted to get a hot tub for my backyard.  If you don’t have a place to put a hot tub or it’s just not in your budget right now, try taking long hot showers or hot baths and do stretching exercises right after (keep in mind that heat is not recommended within the first 48 hours of injury).

I spent quite a few hours researching various hot tub manufacturers on the Internet and several web sites with information about hot tubs:

Pool & Spa News
Hot Spring My favorite conventional hot tub
Rhtubs Beautiful wood hot tubs

I decided to buy a Hot Spring spa, so I went to the local dealer on several occasions to try it out.  While I expected to feel invigorated and to enjoy the massaging effects of the water jets, I found another even better effect.  Since the hot tub is large enough to stretch out, I was able to do my exercises while in the hot tub.  I give myself chiropractic adjustments or traction by pulling my spine in opposite directions (pulling the disk apart sucks the disc material back in and reduces pressure on the nerves).  The combination of heat and buoyancy made this easier to do while in the hot tub and the result felt much more effective.  When I got out of the hot tub, I really felt great.

The Hot Spring hot tub is more expensive than other hot tubs but is substantially superior in many ways.  It seems clear to me that the Hot Spring hot tub will require less routine maintenance, be less likely to break down, cost less to operate, and has a far superior warranty.  The slightly higher price will be recovered because of reduced maintenance costs due to advanced technology and further offset by reduced operating costs. 

Some of the advantages of the Hot Spring hot tub, and the reason I decided to buy a Hot Spring, over other manufacturers are the following:

  • Warranty: Hot Spring has the best hot tub warranty that I have seen.
  • Water Heater: Hot Spring gives you a 5 year No-Fault water heater warranty no matter what you do to the water chemistry!  This is because Hot Spring uses a heat exchanger which uses a titanium element and titanium housing.  Besides using titanium, with a heat exchanger the water never touches the heating element.  There is nothing you can do to damage the heater!  One of the two problems I always hear about with hot tubs is the water heater breaking down because the water chemistry was off.  When this happens, the hot tub warranty will not cover the water heater.
  • Hot Tub Insulation: High-density closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation (the same insulating foam used in commercial freezers) provides better insulation and keeps out water (closed-cell foam is waterproof, while open-cell foam used by other manufacturers will absorb water if the hot tub leaks.  This can cause a mildew smell which may never go away).  Additionally, Hot Spring removes hot air generated by the jet pumps, so the pumps operate in a cooler environment and re-circulate that heat back into the water to save energy.  The Hot Spring hot tub is so thermally efficient that Ocean Spray Pools and Spas, the Long Island hot tub dealer for Hot Spring, provides a guarantee in writing that the largest Hot Spring hot tub will cost less than $35 per month for electricity or they will pay the difference.
  • Filtration: Hot Spring seems to have the best filtration system.  Additionally, they use a separate pump for the filtration system relieving the main jet pumps from double duty.  The filtration system does not have a bypass, so the water is being filtered 100% of the time.  Starting with some of the 2005 hot tubs, they now have a substantially improved filtration system using ceramic filters.  This is an incredibly impressive filtration system.
  • Hot Tub Drain:  Hot Spring is the only manufacturer which has a bathtub drain, which allows you to easily empty the hot tub without bailing.
  • Lighting:  Hot Spring uses LED lights that use far less energy and is rated to provide up to 100,000 hours of illumination.
  • Programming: Hot Spring uses a “set-it-and-forget-it” system which allows you to set the programming according to your preferences once.  If there is a power loss or you shut down the hot tub for several months, your preferences are set in the memory and you do not have to reprogram your hot tub.
  • Hot Spring spas are manufactured by a subsidiary of Masco Corporation, the company that also manufactures Delta faucets.  Hot Spring claims it is the only company whose hot tubs have been named a best buy each of the five times that Consumer’s Digest has rated spas.
  • I have called Hot Spring several times.  It has never taken me long to get a live person on the telephone and every time I call them, the person who answers the phone is extremely knowledgeable about their products.  They not only can explain everything about their hot tubs, but they can also explain how various parts work and why they work that way.  Additionally, they have always been very patient and have never tried to rush me off the phone.  Their customer service is a pleasure.  Go ahead, call them at 1-800-999-4688, press 2 for consumers then press 3 for a customer service representative, and ask some technical questions or questions about water chemistry.  Doris was incredibly helpful, if she answers the phone, tell her Phil Franckel at says hello.

Tip: If you buy a hot tub, make sure you get a cover removal system.  This will not only make it very easy to use your hot tub and more likely that you will, but lifting up a heavy cover can further injure your back.  These cover removal systems eliminate any strain on your back.

You can find the Hot Spring dealer near you here.  Be sure to bring a bathing suit when you try out their hot tubs.

Tax and Insurance Note for Hot Tubs:

You may be able to deduct the expense of the purchase and installation of your hot tub on your IRS and State tax returns.  For more information please see Will the IRS or Insurance Company Pay for Your Hot Tub?

You may be able to obtain insurance reimbursement for the cost of your hot tub and installation from any one of three insurance companies: 1) Health insurance; 2) Third-party liability insurance (the insurance company for the person or company you are suing, if you had an accident due to someone else’s fault); or 3) No-Fault insurance (when an injury is sustained due to the operation of a car in a No-Fault State).  For more information please see Will the IRS or Insurance Company Pay for Your Hot Tub?