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Understanding Hot Tub Costs

Written By Ashley Field

9 Minute Read

If you are interested in becoming a hot tub owner, you have probably asked the question, “How much does a hot tub cost?” You might have done some internet research to find the answer to this question. You may even have come across a wide range of hot tub prices and asked yourself why hot tub costs are so different.


This article is designed to break down average hot tub costs, including the price of the hot tub itself. It will also explain why there is such a vast range of hot tub prices. As you read on, you will also learn about some of the other costs associated with hot tub ownership including delivery and installation costs as well as operating costs.


Initial Hot Tub Investment

If you’re looking for the answer to the question, “How much does a hot tub cost?”, it’s important to understand that the answer to that question varies greatly based on the type of hot tub you are interested in, the brand and model, the features and upgrades of that particular model.


For example, if you are seeking a small, entry-level hot tub or an inflatable hot tub, your investment will be vastly different than if you are looking to purchase a large luxury high-performing hot tub with all the bells and whistles from a high-quality brand. The answer will yet again be different if you are planning to have a custom-built in-ground hot tub designed as part of your of backyard sanctuary or if you want to buy an inflatable hot tub.


While you may be able to purchase an inflatable hot tub for just a few hundred dollars, a custom-built in-ground hot tub may cost upwards of $25,000. The information in this article will focus on hot tub costs primarily on the portable hot tub category.


Portable hot tubs are self-contained, freestanding spas with a hard shell and cabinetry surrounding it. They are designed to complement any patio, deck, or backyard ambiance. Portable hot tubs range from entry-level to luxury. These models can vary greatly when it comes to fine craftsmanship, durable materials, high-performing jets, advanced water care management and filtration systems, unparalleled insulation and energy efficiency, and excellent warranties.


These factors may impact the initial cost of your hot tub. However, throughout the life of your hot tub ownership, you may find a high-quality luxury hot tub from a premium brand actually costs less in operating and maintenance costs because they are superior in design, equipment, and function.


That said, an entry-level hot tub may be a great choice for you if you are buying a spa for the first time. A top-notch entry-level hot tub from a reputable brand may also range in cost but you will rarely be disappointed by choosing quality over initial price. Here is an average range of costs based on hot tub categories, from entry-level to luxury:


  • Entry-Level — Hot tubs in this category can range in price from $6,500 to $10,499.
  • Mid-Level — Expect a hot tub in this category to vary in cost from $10,500 to $14,499.
  • Premium — A premium spa can cost anywhere from $14,500 to $18,499.
  • Luxury — Truly the top of the line, a luxury spa can cost $18,500 and up.

Operating Costs

Beyond the initial purchase of your hot tub, you can expect ongoing costs to operate and enjoy it. The good news that is a well-insulated, energy-efficient hot tub should not dramatically impact your electric bill. Hot tubs generally run on electricity, which powers the jets and lights as well as heats and circulates the water.


The California Energy Commission ratings state that electricity costs for hot tubs from major brands, such as Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs, can range from $10 to $21 monthly to operate. The most energy-efficient hot tubs may even bring your monthly operation costs to $15 or less. Your electrical costs will also be dependent on the kWh rates in your area as well as how often you use your hot tub.


Maintenance Costs

You may have a variety of maintenance costs such as chemicals and supplies as well as any general repairs or services that your hot tub may require over time. However, these costs will be significantly lowered with the purchase of a high-quality hot tub with well-performing systems to help make maintenance nearly hassle-free.


Your hot tub will require chemicals to be added to the water after each use and during your scheduled filtration cycles. You will likely only need to add a small amount of chlorine or bromine sanitizer and make weekly adjustments as needed. The cost of chemicals can range between $10 to $40 per month, depending on how often you use your hot tub, the time of year and climate in which it is used, and the quality of your hot tub’s water management and filtration systems.


While you may still have some maintenance costs associated with a luxury model from a high-quality brand, you can rest assured that your hot tub has been designed with the best equipment and functions that will help keep overall maintenance costs low. A top-of-the-line model from a luxury brand will also include excellent warranties that will ensure your hot tub is protected and covered in the case that it does need a repair or parts replacement. Always ask about a hot tub’s warranties before making your final decision.

hot tub install

Delivery and Installation Costs

If you’ve wondered about hot tub installation costs, these too can have a range of answers based on how you purchase your hot tub. Often, your delivery and installation costs can be rolled into the total purchase of your hot tub if you buy from an authorized spa dealer. However, these costs can also vary based on the type of hot tub that you purchase.


While most portable hot tubs are fairly easy to have placed and installed, some portable hot tubs are considered “plug and play.” These are hot tub models that only need to be plugged into a standard 110/120v outlet.


While it is recommended that they are plugged into a dedicated circuit, they generally do not require any additional electrical hook-up, like a 220/240v hot tub will. A 220/240v hot tub will require electrical hardwiring from a professional electrician. This can add to the cost of your preparation and installation.


For example, based on how your electrician charges for service calls, parts, and labor, having an outlet and circuit breaker installed can range in cost.


Home Guide published an overview of 2023 hot tub installation costs in which it states: “The average cost to install a 220v electrical outlet for a hot tub is $300 to $1,000. Hiring an electrician costs $50 to $130, plus a $100 to $200 service call fee covering the first hour of hot tub wiring installation.”


Call your electrician to get an estimate for your specific installation to get an exact idea of this cost. It’s also important to note that your electrician will also need to come out after your hot tub is delivered and installed to connect and hook it up.


In addition to a dedicated 220/240v electrical line, a 40-, 50-, or 60-amp breaker is recommended to use all your hot tub’s pumps and heaters simultaneously. You may also consider that while a 110/120v hot tub uses less power, which can help keep operating costs low, Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs that operate from a 220v/240v system are very efficient, so they do not add a significant amount to your electric bill yet you’ll still be able to enjoy powerful hydrotherapy.


Value vs. Cost

When you are weighing your options as to which hot tub is right for you, cost will likely be a major deciding factor. It’s very important to consider the overall value of this important investment. A high-quality hot tub may cost you more initially; however, it can also provide you with peace of mind that it was designed for peak performance and built to last for many years.


You could opt for a lesser-quality hot tub that has a lower initial price tag. However, be advised that a hot tub from a subpar brand may end up costing you more in operating, maintenance, repair, and service costs—not to mention the high cost of your time. It may also not end up being worth the hassle, or your stress levels, of trying to properly maintain a less-than-superior hot tub.


As you continue your research and begin shopping for a hot tub, be sure to establish a budget and determine your wish list of features. These two things can help you find the best hot tub that meets all your desires and that will provide you with soothing relaxation for many years.


Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved.


Medical disclaimer: This information is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. Please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice if you have any concerns about your current health or well-being.

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ashley fields

About The Author: Ashley Field

Director of Training, Jacuzzi Group

Ashley Field has been with Jacuzzi Group since 2016, previously having worked for Discover Financial Services and Taco Bell. When she was initially contacted about an opportunity with Jacuzzi Group, she loved the idea of building... Read Full Bio