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Are portable hot tubs worth buying?

Are portable hot tubs worth buying? The answer is a resounding yes. And let's explain why we think that.

Are portable hot tubs worth buying? The answer is a resounding yes. And let's explain why we think that.

For us, vacation usually means a nice resort. Warm sunny days by the pool, waves crashing on the beach and let's not forget the highlights: a nice long soak in the jacuzzi at the end of the day, and maybe another in the evening. And maybe one to start the day. And maybe another before or after lunch. Well, you get the point. We love hot tubs and hot water.

So it's a little ironic that, as much as we love hot tubs, we've never brought the experience into our home. We've talked about it many times over the years, and probably never more than in 2020, when both kids were home for an extended period. But we always wonder: would the hot tub experience lose its magic if we had access to one on demand? And then there's the expense and commitment of building an in-ground spa. And if we were going to spend the money to build a traditional hot tub, why not add the pool too? And that's where the conversation always ended in a dead end.

If you're seriously considering a spa or haven't warmed to the idea of ​​a portable hot tub (inflatable or rigid), stay with me here and see where we land.

Are portable hot tubs worth it?

This year we decided to seriously explore the concept. Early in our research, we realized, once again, that we were not prepared to commit to a permanent or buried solution for the same reasons mentioned above, but for several different reasons. So we started looking for more portable or temporary alternatives that still provided the experience we were looking for. We considered some inflatable options as a way to test the waters (no pun intended), but decided that a rigid hot tub might be the perfect solution. Unlike inflatable hot tubs, hard shell hot tubs offer a more permanent feel that blends more naturally into the garden and landscape, while allowing for easy setup and relocation for those inevitable times when we're ready to go. change the things. But there are plenty of good inflatable hot tubs available, in case it's the right choice for you.

Why we chose the MSpa portable spa

After a long search and many discussions, we decided on MSpa Global and their new Oslo spa model for several reasons.

Ease of installation and use

After watching a video we found online, installation seemed pretty easy, with no major construction or tools required. Sometimes things seem easier than they are, but that was not the case here. In just a couple of hours, the area was prepared, the hot tub was set up and filled with water.

Because it was so cold when we put it all together, it took us about 72 hours to heat the hot tub to our preferred temperature of 104 degrees. I'm sure some heat is lost due to the cold weather; However, the heater can maintain the maximum temperature for consistently hot water.

The black frame matched our backyard setting perfectly.

One of our concerns about a portable hot tub was creating an eyesore in a manicured backyard. We didn't want it to be the focal point. So the rigid black frame matched perfectly with the background of the garage that we had stained black a few years ago. Our first concern was dispelled.

MSpa had all the features we were looking for and more.

It seats four people comfortably. There are LED lights integrated into the spa liner. The bubble jets and water jets are no louder than a regular hot tub (and we find that sound very relaxing). The heater doesn't seem to be using much energy, but we haven't seen the effect on our monthly statement. And it has an ozonator that works a couple of hours a day and helps keep the water clean and purified. It also comes with a built-in energy saving timer.

An easy-to-use digital control panel

The digital control panel is very intuitive and easy to use. While reading the owner's manual is always a good idea (and we've done it several times), you can operate the control panel without it.

Was it difficult to install and configure?

The design is intuitive and surprisingly easy to install. The hot tub needs to sit on a flat, firm surface, and we were lucky that the previous owners of our house had poured a concrete pad and had the electrical wiring for a hot tub that they had owned at some point.

Preparing the area

Since we already had a concrete pad installed, we just needed to remove the gravel and clean the surface. The hot tub comes with a bottom foam mat that sits on top of the concrete pad.

Frame installation

The frame is assembled very easily. Although there are no heavy parts, it does require two people to assemble. There are four corner posts that the four side walls easily slide onto. That's all for the structure.

Installation of siding

The siding then goes in and the four corners of the siding are attached to the four corner posts. Four plastic rails then slide over the frame and hold the liner in place. The rails give it a finished look and the only tool we needed was a screwdriver to fix a screw in each corner.

Hose connection

Four hoses easily connect to the heating unit. All you have to do is screw the hoses to the fittings and you're done. So when we say it was easy, we really mean easy.

How much work is it to maintain a hot tub?

The hassle of daily maintenance and water chemistry is what worried us the most, thinking it might take away from the fun. The first house we bought had an in-ground pool. Trying to balance the chemicals was a never-ending job and we never figured it out. It seemed like every time we came home from a trip; The pool had turned dark green. But today it is much easier than then. And with the Oslo model we are only talking about managing and heating 224 gallons of water to 104 degrees.

Aside from managing chemicals, the only real maintenance is running the ozonator several times a day and cleaning the easy-on/off filter cartridge (comes with two filter cartridges) once a week.

How do you handle chemicals?

We have a great pool store nearby and they completely take the guesswork out of water chemistry and the maintenance process. We took five minutes to set up an account with them and now, once a week, we fill a small bottle with hot tub water, take it to the pool store, they run it through their analyzer and it tells us exactly how much of the chemicals what do we need. It's as simple as that. You can also check this one from the corresponding list. So far we have only had to add chlorine and alkali and have had no problems with hard water.

How much does it cost to heat a portable hot tub?

Energy costs were another concern. Our hot tub hasn't been running for an entire month, so we haven't seen our energy costs since we installed and used it. However, based on the many estimates we saw during our research, none of the energy cost estimates were above $50 per month, and several were lower. The number of gallons of water you are heating, how hot you keep your hot tub water, and how cold the weather and outside air temperature are all influence how much it will cost per month to heat your hot tub. And it comes with an inflatable liner and insulated cover that really make a difference.

Was it a good decision to get a spa?

When we started using the jacuzzi, a few things surprised us:

First of all, its square shape comfortably fits four people.

Second, we weren't sure that a small heater would be powerful enough to keep the water temperature at 104 degrees, which is what we like, especially during the winter. And since we never know when we want to take a bath, we keep the water temperature at 104 degrees. No need to worry here. It does the job.

Third, we weren't sure the bubbles and jets were strong enough to provide a satisfactory bath. The water jets provide a pleasant massage and the bubble jets are relaxing; There is no need to worry here either.

Fourthly, we were worried that the hot tub might be an eyesore and distract from the rest of the garden. Again, no need to worry here. It integrates perfectly.

And lastly, we didn't know how durable the hot tub would be and were worried that it might be a one-season hot tub. But based on the quality and durability of the product, our last concern also disappeared.

Hardly a day goes by without us devoting a few minutes of our schedule to a relaxing bath that seems to relieve much of the normal stress of the daily routine. And just for a minute or two, we go into vacation mode.


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