Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas
If you’re in the market for a hot tub, there’s a good chance you’re considering all the factors regarding what this will cost you on an ongoing basis. After you figured out the initial spend on the hot tub, you’re likely asking, “how much will a hot tub actually cost me to run each month?”
At Hydropool, we want our customers to know everything they need to before they buy, which is why we wrote this article to break down the ongoing operating costs. There’s no point in dropping a hot tub in your garden if you can’t pay the monthly bills that come with it, after all.
In writing this article, it is especially important to note that in the U.K., and across Europe, energy prices have increased. Energy costs have traditionally been closer to £1 a day, for both power and cleaning when owning a hot tub.
But for 2023, a great deal has changed and that’s one of the big reasons why we wanted to write this article, so that you could have an accurate sense of what the costs are. At Hydropool we believe in answering customer questions, always, so that people can feel confident and informed when making their hot tub purchase.
The current answer to the average running cost of a hot tub in the U.K., including power and cleaning, is about £95 a month, with about £80 of that coming from the current high cost of power.
It’s important to note: This is an average. There are many factors that come into play here, which we will go over in this article and that price will vary depending on where you live.
Let’s break this down into what costs what for a better picture of your ongoing expenses once you’ve got the hot tub in place.
How Will a Hot Tub Affect My Energy Bill?
Here’s how much the average hot tub electrical bill increases in the U.K. right now with the high energy costs we all have been paying: Around £2.50 per day.
That’s the average though. We know prices for power are fluctuating regularly: Our best advice here is to speak to a local retailer for guidance on what it costs in your area and use our numbers here as a guideline only.
That’s because “How much will my power bill be affected” is one of those “but it depends” questions that keep coming up with hot tubs. Here are some of the factors that come into play:
• Where you live and the temperatures there
• The rate being charged for energy
• How the tub is built and especially how it is insulated
• How often you use the tub and for how long. These two are usually the two most significant factors that determine ongoing costs, wherever you live.
• Whether you need to run the heat all summer or can turn it down
• How often the cover is off the tub in any season, and the quality of that cover
• What size of a hot tub are you getting and what power accessories go with it
The Crucial Role Insulation Plays in Ongoing Tub Costs
You can’t control all the factors that influence ongoing costs, obviously. Some only come into play after you buy a hot tub.
When you buy a hot tub, one of the major things to understand is how the hot tub is insulated.
A few of the manufacturers that place a premium on insulation include Hot Spring, Jacuzzi, Wellis, Superior Spas, Coast, Artesian and Hydropool.
Insulation is a key point of differentiation for hot tub manufacturers. While everyone has the same goals in mind, each does this part differently, sometimes slightly, sometimes substantially.
The purpose is the same, however you do it. Insulation plays a key role in keeping your tub at a consistent temperature and ensuring your motor doesn’t have to do all the work – which helps keep your costs down.
You need enough insulation to stop heat from transferring out of your tub. You also need insulation in the right places to make the best use of the heat generated by your tub so that it works efficiently.
Sometimes more isn’t always better. What you need is enough insulation.
What does that mean? For example, your house isn’t entirely filled with insulation. If built to the proper code, its walls and attic are filled with enough insulation to help hold the air at the comfortable temperature you look for.
At a certain point, adding more doesn’t help. It can’t trap the air in any more effectively and all you’re doing is increasing costs. Your oven works in a similar way. So does your fridge or anything that must keep a set temperature. If adding more insulation fixed everything, rich people would have fridges with massive sides filled with foam. But they don’t, because there’s no need for them.
Hot tubs work in a similar fashion. They require sufficient insulation to stop heat transfer as much as possible, to trap it in place and help the hot tub stay warm without using more power.
• The California Energy Commission (CEC) sets the highest standards in the world for hot tub insulation (all Hydropool’s hot tubs are CEC certified). To read more, click here.
What is the Average Monthly Chemical Spend for a Hot Tub in the UK?
Water that sits and isn’t replaced requires a bit of effort to maintain. You could continually swap the water out of your hot tub like you do in a bath, or keep a constant flow from a hose and be draining it at the same rate, at the same time. But it’s not very practical to do that and your water costs would balloon. So hot tubs require water maintenance.
Let’s tackle the maths: It is roughly £35 for 5kg of 20g chlorine tabs. So 250 tablets for £35 is 14p per tablet and you’d use two or three a week or 12 a month.
So chlorine, your sanitizer, is £2 a month.
You will need some Ph balancer at £20 per kg and you would likely use that over three months, so £7. That means it’s about £10 a month for sanitizing.
The cost of sanitizing and balancing your hot tub a hot tub is generally around £10 a month. Some people also buy things like vacuums to remove debris or a skimmer for ongoing cleaning, with a one-time cost of around £100.
Why Do Hot Tubs Need to be Cleaned at all?
Because everything loves warm water! When people get in the tub, chemicals like deodorant, perfume, and hairspray can get washed off bodies and into the tub. Organic matter such as dirt, leaves and bugs also can end up in there when the top is off. Algae is a plant that can grow in your tub, and fungi such as mold or mildew will also thrive in warm water conditions. All this stuff needs to get out of your tub one way or another. You clean your bathroom and kitchen sink regularly for many of the same reasons.
You require cleaning products for your tub, the same way you do for your dishes. Movement also helps your water stay fresh: Most tubs automatically circulate the water on a regular schedule (if you’ve ever been standing beside a tub and it just “comes on” this is why – it’s to engage the filters and promote cleaning).
Here’s what you need to have on hand and why:
• You will want a surface cleaner or vacuum, something to skim the water with.
• You will want test strips to check water quality once a week. A test strip will primarily monitor things like your need for chemicals such as chlorine or bromine, your water’s calcium levels which decide how hard or soft it is, alkalinity and whether your water is “in balance,” which we will explain in a second. A brand such as AquaChek makes a good test strip.
• You need chlorine or bromine, which are both chemicals to sanitize your water. This kills any algae or mold, which both love to grow in warmed water. A healthy recommended level is between 2-4 parts per million (ppm) for chlorine and 3-5 ppm bromine.
• Calcium is what typically makes your water hard or soft. Hard water feels oddly dry on your skin. Soft water feels nicer. But both can cause damage to your equipment over time if not kept in check. Around 150-300 parts per million is about right for calcium in your tub.
• pH adjusters are needed so that the water doesn’t irritate your skin. pH measures whether your water is trending towards acidity or a base. Distilled water has a pH of exactly 7. If you are over a pH of 7 your water becomes a base, and below it, it becomes an acid. Why do you need to worry about this? A hot tub generally needs a pH of between 7.2 and 7.8 to feel “right.” That’s about what the pH level of your eye is. All of this to say: There are two kinds of pH adjusters as a result, one that moves pH up and another that moves it down. You’ll want some of each.
What Is the Cost of Draining My Hot Tub?
You also need to drain and re-fill your hot tub at least every quarter. Water can take care of a lot on its own, but at some point it needs a little help to wipe everything out that’s in it. Here’s a home test of what you can do to understand the issue. Let’s say you take a glass of water and put a tablespoon of sugar in it. Then another and another. Around the fourth one, it will be obvious: you won’t be able to stir it all in. It just won’t dissolve. At that point, the only way forward is to clean the water or replace it with new water. The same thing happens to your tub. If you let it go too long the water becomes saturated.
So regular water sanitation is required, which helps keep this from happening. And the easiest way to do that is by draining.
There’s a water cost to fill up your tub. In the UK, the cost on average 1p per liter for water.
An average hot tub is 1000 liters, so it works out to £10 to fill. On one of Hydropool’s self-clean hot tubs, this could be done every six months, so the water cost would be around £2 a month, if you allow a little bit more each month for topping out from time to time.
The cost of a complete flush is around £35, as you will want to use a purge product you should use it every time you drain your spa. Some people opt to pay someone to do this work for them, and the cost is usually around £300 each time.
We included this annual cost in our monthly average maintenance bill estimate: We just want you to know where your money is going!
How Do I Find Out About What My Hot Tub Costs Are Likely To Be In My Area?
Ongoing costs are part of owning any hot tub. We want our customers at Hydropool to understand what they will be paying for once they buy a tub, all before they make any purchase.
Once you get your hot tub up and running, your expenses will include:
• ongoing power costs to run your tub’s heater and jets
• regular cleaning bills, which are needed due to changes that will happen to your water over time
• Water bills, for when you need to change the water in your hot tub
Overall monthly costs average around £95 a month in the U.K. This number is fluctuating regularly, however, due to the ongoing concerns around energy costs across all of Europe.
Given that’s the case in 2023, to get a more exact number for where you live, we recommend that you’ll want to talk to someone in your immediate area. But we hope these numbers give you a decent approximation of the costs involved as you consider making your hot tub purchase.
• Want to learn more about Hydropool? Click here.
• Ready to talk to a retailer? Find the the closest to you here.
Jon Filson is the senior content manager at Hydropool Swim Spas and Hot Tubs.