Caring for Your Backyard

Our team at Imagine Backyard Living has over 100 years of combined experience in caring for hot tubs and spas.

8 Hot Tub Myths

There are a lot of myths surrounding hydrotherapy, from number of jets or removable jet packs, to metal frames and no insulation. Myths about hot tub ownership in particular are some of the most pervasive and inaccurate.

When Imagine Backyard Living was first starting, we realized that accurate and truthful information about hot tub ownership was nearly impossible to find. The industry was packed with small dealers and the shopping, buying and ownership experience was deplorable. In many cases, it was worse than buying a used car. Now, after five years, we have changed everything and want to debunk the biggest myths about hot tub hydrotherapy.

1. More Jets Means Better Hydrotherapy

Believe it or not, more jets do not mean a better experience. Quite the contrary, lots of jets can create an extremely uncomfortable experience, often resulting in a stinging feeling. You should always look at the type of jets used and the type of massage each jet provides. Strategically and scientifically-placed jets that provide a gentle, yet powerful, mix of air and water is the key to a quality and truly beneficial hydrotherapy experience that will provide proper pain relief, relaxation and overall wellness.

2. Having Removable Jet Packs is a Good Idea

Removable jet packs started as an intriguing idea; allow the customer to choose the jets they think they want in their tub and then allow them to move them around or change them down the road. History has proven the concept to be less than desirable. There is no way to get a consistent flow of water through temporarily plumbed jets. In order to have jet packs that can switch position, the seats themselves all have to be the same position, which is virtually straight up and down. This won’t allow for a comfortable and beneficial soaking experience.

In addition, over time the packs get calcified, making them difficult to remove and the jet backs end up having a difficult time connecting correctly to the plumbing. This further reduces jet performance.

It’s a much better idea to soak in a hot tub where every seat has been designed, engineered and manufactured to provide the right blend of heat, comfort, buoyancy, and massage to all parts of your body.

3. Salt Water Provides a Better Soaking Experience

Sadly, salt water systems are over hyped, creating confused consumers. They are complicated to operate properly, expensive to buy and maintain, have very limited warranties, corrode equipment and have no special environmental advantages. And, at the end of the day, a salt system is creating chlorine from an expensive salt cell system.

Alternatively, a system that utilizes UV-C technology will offer a solution that requires less maintenance and less chemicals and allows for an almost pure water soaking experience.

All hot tubs will require oxidation products to keep the water fresh and clean, but UV-C technology will keep your water clean using a lower amount of chemicals.

Looking for ways to improve your soaking experience? We can assure you that with the right hot tub accessories, that the idea of a salt water hot tub won’t be anywhere close to on your mind. Try incorporating hot tub accessories such as:

  • Aromatherapy spa fragrances
  • Hot tub steps and a cover
  • Optional spa stereo system

4. Hot Tubs Don’t Need Insulation

This myth is a big one. The truth is, it’s much cheaper to build a hot tub without full-foam insulation regardless of what you might hear. Would you build a home without insulating the walls and plumbing? When shopping for a hot tub, you should always look for a model that has full-foam insulation. If the dealer talks about repairing leaks, it would be pretty clear one of the reasons they don’t use full foam is because their product will leak and they want easy access to the plumbing.

When a hot tub lacks proper insulation, the heat generated by the system to keep the water warm will escape. This means that the equipment will have to work harder to generate more heat and properly distribute it throughout the water and will result in higher electrical costs. With full-foam insulation, the plumbing is fully encased in foam and remains solid in place, meaning it won’t shake and loosen during transportation to your home and every time your pumps are turned on. In addition, a fully-foamed insulated tub will provide a quiet and relaxing soaking experience.

5. What’s Under the Hood is More Important Than the Hydrotherapy

The old-adage that metal, water and electric don’t mix is in full play here. It’s actually more costly to build frames out of pressure-treated lumber. Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs and Sundance® Spas have been using pressure treated lumber for over 60 years and there has never been a frame failure due to the lumbar rotting or being infested with termites. Plus, lumber provides additional noise reduction from the cabinet, which results in a more relaxing soaking experience. Metal frames, on the other hand, will unfortunately create more noise.

The bottom line is, if the dealer is trying to confuse you with things that happen under the cabinet, like plumbing, fittings and hoses, they are simply trying to take your focus off the reason why you are investing in a hot tub to begin with – which is to get incredible hydrotherapy, relaxation and wellness.

6. It’s Acceptable for a Dealer to Use an Outside Service Company

It’s much cheaper for a dealer not to have their own service department. This allows them to deflect service calls to someone who services other dealers, putting you in line to get service. A trustworthy dealer will have their own service department staffed with factory-trained and certified technicians that focus on the product that they sell. Make sure you understand who will service your tub when it needs it, so all you have to do is get in the water and enjoy the beauty of your backyard landscape design, heat of the water and soothing massage from the hydrotherapy jets.

7. Buying a Hot Tub Without Seeing It is a Great Idea

Does it make sense to invest thousands of dollars in something you only see in pictures or based on what some highly-trained salesman tells you? Things can be made to look or sound a whole lot better when you can’t actually see it yourself. A hot tub should be viewed, sat in and even test soaked before buying – so you know what you’re getting. This is not an item that is easy to return if you don’t like it. Plus, there can be lots of expenses and heartache involved if and when you discover it’s not what you thought it would be.

8. Home Shows and “Spa Shows” Are Smart Places to Buy a Hot Tub

Home shows occur several times throughout the year. They’re great places to get ideas for what to do with your living spaces, both indoor and outdoor. What they’re not great for is purchasing a hot tub. Small, non-reputable hot tub manufacturers hire professional, highly-skilled sales closers to work these shows. They know how to pressure you into purchasing on the spot. Then, it is on to the next show, with no regard to how the product performs or the problems that will likely occur once it’s in your backyard. Plus, who is going to take care of you after you’ve purchased the spa? Who is going to coordinate delivery? Who’s going to deliver it? Most importantly, who is going to service it when you need it?

Outdoor hot tub installed into a deck.
Outdoor hot tub on a patio with potted plants.

Don’t let misleading advertising trick you into thinking a spa dealer is having a huge spa show every weekend and claiming they have tons of brands and free admission to their store. It’s not a show with major brands being represented – it’s a dealer trying to make you believe something that’s not true. There aren’t even 50 reputable spa manufacturers in the industry. If they will mislead you about something as simple as this, what else will they lie about to you? Its best to avoid purchasing at “shows” when you are being pressured. It’s a much wiser decision to take your time and go with a reputable dealer that offers recognizable brands. That way you can be assured will be taken care of you throughout the entire buying and ownership experience.

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