Portable Hot Tubs

A portable hot tub is a lovely invention. Why? Oh, my. There are so many advantages! Below we go through and we analyze all the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a portable hot tub. Sure, they are cheaper - but is the warranty as good? How about the size of the hot tub - is a portable hot tub as large as a full size tub? What about other customer reviews and opinions on portable hot tubs - what are people saying?

Advantage: Portable hot tubs don't require a GFI

A portable hot tub does not require a GFI. So, what is a GFI, you say? Well, in order to have a full sized hot tub installed, you need a GFI. A GFI is an electrical box that sits on your wall. It is like a circuit breaker or fuse box for your hot tub. You can turn off the hot tub from the GFI. The GFI converts voltage to the correct format, that your hot tub requires. Generally this is a 110 V to 220 V conversion.

Can I run my full sized hot tub without a GFI?

I have spoken with some hot tub shops, and there are some full size hot tubs you can operate without a GFI. Remember, we're not talking about portable hot tubs here - we're talking about full size. However, without a GFI, a full size hot tub generally won't run the way it's supposed to. It may have technical problems. On top of that, the energy draw will be rather large. You'll wind up spending more money on electrical bills then you would with a GFI, so it makes more sense to have a GFI installed.

How much does a GFI cost?

Generally, to have an electrician come to your home and install a GFI will run you about $1200.

Advantage: Portable hot tub does not require a concrete slab

A full sized hot tub will also require you to pour concrete. You need a firm base for a full sized tub, and the base must be level. This means you have to hire a local concrete contractor to come to your home, and pour a slab of concrete where you wish to put your tub. Generally, you'll place your tub on level ground in the backyard. Some people put their tubs on the deck, however if you are putting in a full size tub, we don't recommend this. Why? Because the water run off will damage the deck. If you are putting in a portable tub, you can hook up a hose to the water exit line and run the water off anywhere. Some full sized tubs may also let you do this. Check the instructions or product details if ordering a full size, so you can determine how you will drain the hot tub.

A portable hot tub will not require a concrete slab to be put down, because you can setup the tub anywhere. And a portable tub is usually smaller as well. What a lot of people do is put their portable hot tub outside in the summer, and when it starts to get cold they take it apart and put it indoors.

Disadvantage: Portable hot tubs can take longer to heat up

A portable hot tub plugs directly into the wall (advantage), but due to the fact that they run off 110V, they take longer to heat up then their 220V cousins. With a full size tub, you can generally start the heaters and then get in within an hour or two. With a portable tub, it can take up to 24 hours to heat the tub to the temperature you like. Then, you need to tell the tub to hold that temperature, unless you want to wait every time to use the tub.

Not every portable hot tub is like this, but be sure to read the reviews before purchasing. Other customers who purchased the same tub will leave reviews to inform you of their usage of the hot tub.

Advantage: No 5-10 year payment plans

Many hot tub dealers and resellers will want to sign you up on a 5-10 year payment plan for your full sized tub purchase. This is how these dealers make money. They sign you up on a 5-10 year plan (sometimes even 20 years) and charge large amounts of interest during the term. Next thing you know, your hot tub purchase has become more like purchasing a car! One advantage a portable hot tub has over their full sized brothers, are you can generally buy one for under a thousand bucks. No payment plan required - just a one time purchase.

Disadvantage: Warranty may not be as good on portable tubs

While looking over many portable hot tubs available on the Internet, we have come to the conclusion that the warranty period is no where near as good as a full sized tub. For example, say you spend $500-$600 on a portable hot tub. You'll generally get a warranty which lasts less then a year. Some portable hot tub companies also do not have very good customer support, is what our site visitors tell us. Others have excellent support. It's important that when you click a product, before buying it, read what other site visitors and customers have said about that particular hot tub, or brand of hot tub.

On a full sized tub, you will always get a longer warranty period. Sometimes, you can warranty the tub for the life of the payment plan. We generally recommend this, as the unit should be under warranty for as long as you're paying for it.

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