1) Focusing Too Much On Initial Cost
Likely the biggest mistake that we see first time swim spa buyers make is putting too much emphasis on purchase prices without really considering each swim spa’s ongoing costs. While purchase price is definitely important, focusing solely on that can actually end up costing you a ton of money in the long term.
When purchasing a swim spa it is also important to consider its “long term costs”. These costs include:
- The cost of heating the water and running the pumps.
- The cost to maintain it and balance the water.
- The cost of potential repairs.
While you definitely need to be mindful of how much your new swim spa will cost to purchase, you also need to make sure that it is well built, uses quality parts and is as energy efficient as possible. While one swim spa might be $5000 less to purchase, it could also end up costing you $10,000 or more over its lifetime in extra energy costs and extra repair bills.
How Much Do Swim Spas Cost To Run?
How can you tell what the operational costs of a swim spa will be? Unfortunately there are many retailers that are less than honest about the operational costs of swim spas, or don’t give their quoted figures much context. This means that you will have to take what retailers say with a grain of salt and apply some logic yourself to see if what they’re saying makes sense or not. Things that you should look for include:
- The size and volume of the swim spa. Larger swim spas will naturally cost more to run as they require more water to be heated and treated.
- The number and size of the pumps. Swim spas that require larger pumps (or more pumps) to run than other swim spas will also naturally cost more as these pumps draw more energy to work. You do want to make sure that the pumps can also provide the power needed to properly run the swim jets, however, which is why we recommend wet testing your swim spa before purchasing.
- The quality and efficiency of the insulation and filtration systems. Most of the operational costs of a swim spa go towards heating the water and keeping it clean and safe to use. The better the insulation and filtration systems are, the less the swim spa will cost to run.
2) Not Properly Considering Installation Costs
Speaking of costs, another very common swim spa buying mistake is forgetting about installation costs. When buying your new swim spa, keep in mind that you will likely need to spend another few thousand dollars to have it installed. Common swim spa installation costs include:
- Delivery & craning fees
- Electrical hook-up
- A concrete pad to put the swim spa on.
When budgeting for your new swim spa, make sure that you aside some money for installing it in your backyard. To get a better idea of what your new swim spa will cost to deliver and install, talk to one of our swim spa experts.
3) Not Remembering Why You’re Buying A Swim Spa In The First Place
Buying a swim spa can be a long and sometimes confusing process. With so many different makes, models, and options available it can be tough to decide which one will best meet your needs. For this reason, we recommend that you start by defining the exact reasons why you’re buying a swim spa, before you even start looking at different models. Generally speaking, most people buy swim spas for one of these three reasons:
- They’re looking for a small pool but don’t want the hassle and expense of a traditional inground or above ground pool.
- They’re looking for a fitness pool.
- They want a flexible pool to that can be used to relax and reconnect with friends and family while also providing fun for kids.
By first defining which of these best describes your needs, you are then able to pinpoint which swim spas have the features that will best suit those needs, and filter out the swim spas that don’t.
For example, if you’re just looking to relax there is no real point buying a swim spa with a powerful swim current system. While having a powerful swimming current would be nice, it will likely cost you a few thousand dollars more than a similar swim spa with a more standard swim current system. The money you save can then be put into other options and upgrades that will further increase your enjoyment of the swim spa, or simply be saved and put towards things like installation costs.
4) Not Considering Where The Swim Spa Will Go
There is nothing worse than finding the perfect swim spa only to discover that it won’t properly fit in your backyard! Before you go shopping for swim spas, you need to figure out exactly where you’d like it to go. Measure your available area and ensure that the swim spas you’re looking at will fit within that area.
5) Underestimating The Amount Of Maintenance Required
When it comes to maintenance, not all swim spas are created equal. If you don’t have either the time or the patience for a lot of maintenance you’re going to want to pay special attention to the filtration system of the swim spas that you look at. This is because well designed filtration systems clean the water more effectively, reducing the amount of maintenance and chemicals needed to keep the swim spa water clean and clear. Poorly designed filtration systems, on the other hand, require near constant attention to run properly.
Unfortunately, standard suction side hot tub filtration systems are the industry standard for swim spas. While these systems do work in hot tubs, swim spas are simply too big for them to do a proper job. Fortunately, Hydropool swim spas are equipped with their patented Self-Cleaning filtration system. This system is able to clean all of the water in the swim spa in 45 minutes or less (compared to a standard swim spa which needs to run 12-24 hours to clean all of its water), saving you money in running costs while also keeping the water clean and clear with only minutes of weekly maintenance.
6) Not Choosing A Reputable Dealer
The last swim spa buying mistake made by some people is not buying a swim spa from an honest, reputable dealer. Poor after sales service can ruin any swim spa buying experience. When buying a swim spa it’s important to consider not only what you’re buying but also who you’re buying it from. Things to consider include:
- How long have they been in business?
- What is their reputation?
- How much experience do they have selling swim spas?
- Do they service what they sell?
Answering these sorts of questions can go a long way towards ensuring that you aren’t left disappointed by your after sales service.
Buying a swim spa can be a really exciting process and owning a swim spa can be even better! If you buy the wrong swim spa though, that excitement can quickly turn to anger and disappointment. Avoiding these 6 common swim spa buying mistakes can help ensure that you buy a swim spa that fits your needs and provides great value in both the short term and the long term.