Chapter 6 Topics

6-D: How Old Is It?

(the most common and most irrelevant question we hear)

Which of the above couples is in better condition?

The age of a hot tub doesn’t matter as much as you think.  Unlike cars, which get better every year as technology advances, sometimes older hot tub models are actually better-built, perform better and will last longer than newer ones.  The condition is much more important than the age. 

The condition, overall health and longevity of a hot tub largely depend on three things: 

1.How Well It’s Made

This has to do with engineering, workmanship, quality of materials and the kind of equipment it has.  There can be big differences between brands and models. These pages explain in more detail: (3-C: Does Quality Matter?4-D: Engineering/Workmanship); (4-E: Equipment); (4-F: Quality of Materials).

You’ll likely be better off with a 25-year-old Calspas than a brand-new Canadian Spas (a Canadian company that imports tubs from China).  That’s because Calspas are way better built, and they can last up to ten times longer. I’m not slamming the competition, because we sell both brands.  I’m just giving you all the information so you know there’s a big difference.

2. How Well It’s Been Cared For 

Some hot tubs have been well cared for and properly maintained (correct water balance, frequently serviced, shielded from the elements, protected from rodent invasion, kept clean, etc.), while others have been neglected.

A well-maintained, well-kept older hot tub in a gentle environment will be in better condition and last way longer than a neglected newer one in an aggressive environment.

3. What Repairs, Improvements and/or Upgrades Have Been Made?

Repairs, replacements, upgrades and ongoing upkeep can fix and/or avoid problems and improve its performance, reliability and longevity. 

An older hot tub with newer/upgraded equipment can run like new, while a newer one with original/lower grade equipment may run poorly and be at risk of failing soon.

Real-Life Examples:

At the time of this writing, we currently have in-stock a 3-year-old Infinity Spa (bought at Costco) that’s on its last legs.  Even if we fix what’s not working now, it will still likely only last another 2-3 years before it’s done for good.  These are “disposable” hot tubs with a very short lifespan.

We also have a 30-year-old Beachcomber in stock that’s still in great shape and will easily be good to go for another 10+ years. 

So don’t ask “How old is it?” Rather, ask, “What condition is it in?  How healthy is it overall?  What work has been done to it?  How many years does it have left?”  Because that’s what really matters.