Hot tubs are big ticket items, and pre-owned can be a good way to get your toes wet for cheap. Want to try a spa but aren’t sure if you want to invest long-term? Are you handy and looking for project? Chances are, there is a used hot tub for sale near you, somewhere between like-new and beyond repair.
Many spa dealers take older spas as trade-ins. They clean them up and sell them for a profit, much like buying a used car from a lot. Spa dealers often fix cosmetic and equipment issues, maybe even including a warranty for those repairs. They often replace the cover, filters and deep clean the tub when they receive it, so you don’t have to. With the parts and labour the dealer adds, they charge way more than if you did the work yourself.
Sale by Owner
Shopping for used hot tubs for sale online classified ads is much cheaper than a dealer. You can often find nice hot tubs for sale locally from moving owners, forced to sell their spa. Since they don’t come with a warranty, problems if something suddenly fails are your burden. Do a complete check and see about having a service tech look over the spa before purchase. Cheap or free hot tubs are plentiful, although you get what you pay for. You will have to invest a lot of time and money into a fixer-upper. If too many critical parts are bad, you will have to pay a service tech for the labour.
Keep an eye out for dripping and puddles while in the equipment area. A cracked union, filter lock ring or other obvious leak are simple repairs. If you cannot see the source of the leak, look for dark or discoloured foam. Leaks from mystery locations in fully foamed spas are difficult to fix. Take a hard pass. Ask the owner about how the hot tub has been used. Has it been stored empty for long periods of time? Stored over long, cold winters? Kept full of water without power? Even after draining, up to 6 gallons of water can remain in the pipes, pump and heater.