How Much Does It Cost to Run a Hot Tub? - Backyard Boss
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How Much Does It Cost to Run a Hot Tub?

One of the best ways to relax your muscles or have a nice romantic night is to spend some time in your own hot tub. There are so many benefits to owning a home spa however often times the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining one can deter people from investing in it.

But it is possible to plan ahead for these expenses and be prepared so that you can enjoy the benefits of owning a home spa without having to stress about the costs of purchasing and running it.

Aside from the initial cost of purchasing the unit, there are many other factors to consider, some of which can incur one-off costs and some of which result in ongoing costs that are associated with operating the thing. Each of these factors can be known and understood in advance so that it makes owning a home spa more affordable.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the costs associated with owning and running a hot tub and how they can be managed.

One off-Costs and Factors

Aside from the initial cost of purchasing it, there are other one-off costs that are also associated with owning the home spa. These can include costs such as preparing a site for the large unit, electrical connections, water lines, and others.

Initial Cost of Purchase

hand with calculator and bills. symbolic photo for revenue, profit, taxes and costing

The initial cost of purchasing a hot tub is generally the tag price that you might see when you are browsing in a store or online. However, there are other factors that contribute to this initial purchasing cost that you might need to account for.

Primarily, when considering the tag price do not forget to consider the increase in price once the tax is added to the tag value. This can result in a significant increase in the price, especially if you live in an area that charges a higher percentage of tax.

Secondly, many other additional features or conditions are often not included in the original tag price so it is important to research and be prepared for those as well. For instance, if you live in a colder climate area then your hot tub might require extra insulation in order to keep the water warm.

The tag price might only include a standard level of insulation and the extra insulation can cost extra. In order to prevent this from surprising you, conduct additional research on the type of home spa and its features that you require. It is better to be aware of any additional costs prior to making a purchase decision.

Preparing the Site

Just like a regular pool, a hot tub also requires a strong and sturdy base. The unit requires a strong, stable, and leveled foundation to rest on. This means that you either require a concrete slab or base or a strong deck in order to have the correct site to place your home spa.

If you already have one of these then you will incur no additional costs. However, if you do not then you will need to be prepared to spend some additional money on building a deck or concrete leveling. These costs can vary depending on how extravagant you would like your deck or how simple you make it.  You can make this deck yourself as well to save on costs or consider a location where you already have a leveled concrete base in your backyard.

Electrical Connections and Water Lines

Electrical panel at a assembly line factory. Controls and switches.

Another prerequisite that is required when purchasing a home spa is to ensure that the site where you would like to place your tub is equipped with an electrical connection and water lines.

These connections are a one-time cost however they can be quite costly. So it is better to plan ahead and look for lower-cost alternatives or you can schedule in these one-time costs over a period of time such that they do not become a burden all at once.

Ongoing Costs

Ongoing costs associated with owning a hot tub are generally those related to running and maintaining the hot tub. These costs generally include the costs of water, chemicals, heating, maintenance, and cleaning.

Water and Chemical Costs

After you have purchased your home spa and you are ready to start relaxing, you need to fill it up with water and ensure that it is ready to use. Filling up the hot tub with water is not a one-time deal. The water needs to be changed and the tub needs to be cleaned in order to ensure that it is well maintained, works properly and to prevent any damage. These cleaners and other substances can be bought at any home store or online for $10-$30 each, depending on the brand.

The cost of the water used to fill your home spa will affect your per month water bill depending on the frequency of use, the frequency of water changes as well as the size of your tub. It is understood that the bigger the unit the more water it will require which means the cost of using the spa will be higher.

In addition to the water costs, there are also costs for chemicals that are required in order to sanitize and balance the water. These include chemicals such as chlorine and bromine which can be purchased as needed and depends mainly on how often the hot tub is used.


Young heating engineers in the boiler room for heating

One of the major on-going costs of owning a home spa is the cost of heating, especially during the winter. The cost of heating the unit depends on several factors such as the price measured in kilowatt-hours, how often you use the spa, the temperature to which you heat the tub as well as insulation and climate factors.

If you use the tub frequently the energy costs will be higher per year, similarly the higher you keep the temperature the higher the cost to heat up the tub will be. However, you can make sure to invest in an energy-efficient unit to cut down this cost.

In addition to this, you can cut down the energy costs of heating by being a smart user, such as using a circuit timer to time the heating element and prevent it from constantly running. In the event of using the timer the heat will only run every so often which will maintain your desired temperature without the expense of a high heating bill.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Aside from the water and chemicals, hot tubs also come with built-in filters that need to be replaced every so often. The filters need to be replaced in order to ensure the hot tub continues to function properly.

These filters need to be replaced every year or two. In order to ensure the longevity of your hot tub filters, you should clean them every time you drain and refill your home spa. By cleaning the filters, it will only extend the life of them but also ensure that your home spa continues to run efficiently.


Although the costs associated to maintain and operate a hot tub can seem quite daunting or expensive, once you are aware of the different cost you can plan ahead to make them more manageable. There are two main different types of costs which are one-off costs and ongoing costs. In this article we looked at some different ongoing and one-off costs that you can encounter. We hope this was helpful in providing you a better idea of the costs associated with owning and running a home spa and if you think you’re ready to make the leap, check out our hot tub buying guide for the best options!