How to Buy a Spa
Most people love the idea of owning a spa but fears about maintenance and installation keep them from actually buying one. But there is no reason to let such fears prevent you from owning the spa of your dreams. The National Spa and Pool Institute advises consumers to shop around before investing in a spa. Ask pertinent questions, explore your options, and make sure you are getting the spa best suited for your family s needs.
A self contained or portable spa is constructed with the electrical, filtration and heating systems contained in the spa cabinet or exterior. They are usually installed above ground but many spa owners prefer to surround them with a deck, which results in a more attractive, built in appearance. Self contained unites are the choice of many spa owners because they can be moved and reinstalled at a new location. Portable self contained spas usually require no external plumbing, excavation or electrical work. Non self contained spas are installed in the ground, like a swimming pool, and may be part of a pool spa combination. The electrical, heating and filtration systems are located away from the spa unit.
When shopping for a spa it is important to analyze how you will use it. If you have a large family or plan to use it for entertaining, a large model with plenty of seating would be preferable. However, if you are seeking a spa for relaxation a smaller spa with comfortable seating and lots of massage jets might be more suitable.
Accessories such as covers, deck surrounds, enclosures, special lighting and audio DVD features can be selected to customize the spa to your individual needs. The National Spa & Pool in Chickasaw Alabama recommends that spa owners purchase and use a locking safety cover. Alarm systems are also available to offer another level of protection.
When shopping for a spa, look for dealers who display strong knowledge of the various models and who are experienced with delivery and setup. Ask how long the company has been in business and call your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints listed regarding the company.
Reputable dealers will be happy to show you all of their affiliations and refer you to customers and manufacturers who will provide references. If the dealer seems high pressure, inexperienced or is offering a price that seems to good to be true, you would be wise to proceed with caution.
Do not take anything for granted. Get a detailed contract that includes a description of all equipment, the set up date, and explanation of shipping and delivery charges, specifics about any service after sale and a copy of the warranty. Do not sign the contract or put any money down until you understand everything and feel comfortable.
In ground spas can be placed in an outside deck, sunk into a cement floor or installed partially underground and surrounded by a wood or tile deck. Installation of in ground spas requires plumbing, electrical and sometimes, gas work. And you may need to get a permit. Your dealer can usually arrange for all of these services or you can work with private contractors of your choosing. An inground spa is more costly than a portable unit but it may also add to the resale value of your home.
Your Dealer can answer any concerns you may have about the weight of a spa but most exert less stress per square foot that a refrigerator or a large fish tank.. Spas are heated by electricity, natural gas or propane. Portable models are usually heated using eclectic heaters ranging from .5KW to 11.5KW. The higher the wattage of your heater., the quicker your spa will heat up. All spa heaters have a thermostat control. In ground spas may also use an electric, or gas heating system. Gas heaters are more expensive initially but will cost less to run over time.
Make sure the spa you select has balanced filtration system and ask if the filters are top loaded for easier access. Some systems offer an automatic cleanup cycle after you leave the spa. Discuss with the dealer how to estimate your monthly operation cost. Are the controls user friendly and easy to adjust? look for a spa that is totally insulated with components that are tested and backed by the manufacturer warranty. Make sure the heater, surface/ structure, components, title and skirt are included in the warranty. Compare manufacturers warranties before your buy.
Just as there are different prices ranges for cars, and appliances, there are wide price differences among spas. You can expect to pay from $2,500 to $9,000 depending on whether you choose a basic model or a higher end luxury unit with a host of extras. Most major manufactures offer prices and styles to fit the needs of different consumers. Do not allow an aggressive salesman to buy you into a luxury spa you can not afford when a mid range unit fits your needs just fine.
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