How Long Do Hot Tubs Last? (Let’s Find Out…)

By Dillon •  Updated: 03/11/21 •  12 min read

How long do hot tubs last?

Hot tubs last for as long as 15 to 20 years or more. Inflatable hot tubs only last 3 to 5 years, whereas hard-sided hot tubs can last up to 20. But most of the durability aspects are determined by the construction quality, maintenance, and materials. To prolong a hot tub’s lifespan, proper water maintenance and protection from the elements are essential. 

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

If you need a quick repair for acrylic, fiberglass, or even tile hot tubs, I recommend this repair kit from FORTIVO.

Here’s a table showing the lifespan of hot tub components.

Hot Tub Component Lifespan
Hot Tub Shell 20 – 25 years
Hot Tub Cabinet 20 Years
Hot Tub Pump 5 – 10 Years
Hot Tub Heater 5 Years
Hot Tub Electrical 5 – 15 Years
Hot Tub Pipes 5 – 15 Years

Answering this question will allow you to find the right hot tub to serve you for years. Information about the hot tub’s lifespan will inform you of the duration you expect your spa to last. Conducting proper maintenance to the hot tub over time will also allow it to last longer.

Let’s get started!

How Long Do Hot Tubs Last?

People who wonder how long a hot tub will last should understand that the quality of design determines the service life. In most cases, hot tubs made from low-quality and cheap materials will only last for a few years compared to those constructed from high-quality materials. On the same note, the portable hot tubs that are not well maintained could only last for just a few years.

Hot tub manufacturers built the first generation of hot tubs in the ’80s and 90s with a single pump and 5 to 8 water jets. These hot tubs did not have many of the latest luxuries hot tubs come with today.

Besides, they were constructed with little plumbing works, a filter, a motor, and a heater. They were designed for precision and utilized high-quality materials in design. Owners who took good care of their hot tub could get an average of 20 years of service.

Today’s hot tubs have changed significantly in design and construction materials. They include up to five motors, fancy lighting, more than 100 jets, and touch controls. They are also designed with stereos and WIFI for an improved experience for the users.

Check out our full article on how hot tubs work for more information.

However, each of the additional elements acts as a new point of failure. Maintaining these components can be too costly for the users to bear, calling for the replacement in just a few years of use.

In other cases, the manufacturers try to reduce the costs to cope with the market competition by using low-quality materials. For instance, some manufacturers may opt to reinforce a hot tub shell with ABS plastic in place of fiberglass to meet a specific price point.

A shell from acrylic and ABS plastic reinforcement will require a much shorter time and costs than the fiberglass-reinforced acrylic shell. However, these shells will last for only 5 to ten years on average compared to the fiberglass-reinforced shells that can last for 20 years.

I cannot fail to mention the importance of hot tub maintenance when the question, “How long do hot tubs last?’ is posed. Neglecting a hot tub can reduce its lifespan significantly. It causes damage and deterioration of the individual components to the extent that their repair can prove too expensive to bear. One of the common forms of neglect is failing to maintain good water quality in the hot tub. Low water quality can damage the hot tub’s equipment and components over time and reduce its overall lifespan.

Good quality and properly maintained hot tub could go for 20 years or more. But low-quality hot tubs last for only five years or ten years at best when maintained well. I shall look at the lifespan of a hot tub’s components because they affect its lifespan uniquely. These components include:

How Long Do Hot Tub Shells Last?

Hot tub shells constructed with fiberglass can be good to use for 20 to 25 years. The construction of a hot tub with ABS plastic shells will provide a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. To prolong a hot tub shell’s lifespan, ensuring proper water chemistry is essential so no scale or other damage can occur.

The shell is a critical determinant of the hot tub’s lifespan. When the shell starts to wear out, your hot tub’s life span tends to run out fairly quickly. It’s not serviceable to repair the shell when damaged.

ABS plastic is an inferior material for use in constructing a shell. The plastic reinforcement is not as resilient as fiberglass, which explains the differences in service life between the two types of shells.

In recent years, technology has supported the development of molded shells. The shells are extremely tough and lightweight. They are also eco-friendlier and more long-lasting. The cost of buying hot tubs constructed with these types of hot tubs can be much more expensive.

However, molded fiberglass shells often last more than 25 years under proper care and maintenance. The vinyl hot tub shells can also last longer than the acrylic material, but acrylic is preferred because of cost factors.

How Long Do Hot Tub Cabinets Last?

A hot tub cabinet could last as long as 20 years if it’s properly maintained. To prolong its lifespan, ensure that the cabinet is well stained and sealed. If there are any signs of deterioration, they should be addressed immediately. Keeping the hot tub enclosed in a gazebo to protect it from the elements will also help prolong the cabinet’s good condition. 

The hot tub cabinet is also called the surround or skirt. Traditionally, the cabinet was made using cedar or redwood to promote long life. These materials were also preferred because they offered resistance to insect damage and rot, thereby prolonging the cabinet life.

Today, manufacturers balance the cost of constructing the cabinets with durability by using composites. Composite materials are usually made in the form of a mixture between plastics and wood pulp. The composite material performs better than natural wood in resisting fading and rotting.

Like any other component of the hot tub, the cabinet, too, has a lifespan. However, this can be prolonged under proper care and maintenance. The signs of deterioration include dullness and fading. The cabinet’s appearance and finish could be affected by the splattering from the sprinklers, rainfall, or moisture. As a result, the hot tub cabinet will start to look faded or stained. In extreme cases, rotting will begin to appear from the bottom.

Failure to treat the hot tub cabinet can result in it falling apart. This could start happening in just 3 to 4 years of service. However, proper maintenance of the cabinet can prolong its lifespan to an average of ten to fifteen years. Experts recommend maintaining the hot tub cabinet at an interval of 3 to 4 months by adequately cleaning and treating it with the right method. Doing so will help prolong their lifespan further so you can continue to enjoy bathing in your hot tub.

Another component of a hot tub cabinet is insulation. To read more on hot tub insulation, check out our full article on the subject!

If you have a wood cabinet and need to reseal the wood, I recommend the Rain Guard Water Sealer.

How Long Do Hot Tub Pumps Last?

A hot tub pump can last for 5 to 10 years. However, the mileage can vary significantly depending on usage. A pump could last for only two years, while others can go for as long as 20 years of service. To prolong a spa pump’s lifespan, ensure that the water is maintained correctly and the spa is not being overused.

There are a few measures I can take to prolong the life of a hot tub pump. Among them, I can extend the pump’s life by maintaining the hot tub water with the correct chemical balance.

Balanced water ensures that minerals are in a state of balance to prevent the pump’s scale build-up and corrosion. I can also care for the pump by keeping off debris and dirt from the hot tub water.

The problem with the debris and dirt is the blockage to the blades or the filters. If any of these components are blocked, the pump is forced to work extra hard in pumping the water, causing wear and tear. As a result, the lifespan of the hot tub pump can decrease significantly.

If you’re having problems with your hot tub pump, check out our full article hot tub pumps not working for more information.

How Long Do Hot Tub Heaters Last?

Typically, a hot tub heater will last for 5 years. One way to tell that the heater is starting to malfunction is taking longer than usual to heat the hot tub water. Fortunately, a heater may not require complete replacement when it starts to malfunction. It has various components that can be inspected individually to determine the cause of the problem. However, if the heater needs to be replaced, it’s easy to do so.

The heater is one of the reasons I enjoy the pleasurable experience of a hot tub. Without proper maintenance, the heater could start to malfunction or even fail in the long run.

Like any other hot tub component, I can prolong the heater by circulating the water regularly, cleaning the hot tub thoroughly, and maintaining the proper water chemistry.

Maintaining the hot tub helps to keep the hot tub running with efficiency. When you start experiencing problems with your heater in five years, you should consider purchasing a new one because there are high chances that it has reached the end of its lifespan. But many heaters may go beyond this lifespan without presenting a problem.

If your hot tub is not heating properly, check out our full article on hot tub heating problems for more information.

Our recommendation for an immersible heating element is the LIVEBAY Immersion Water Heater if you need one to help heat your hot tub.

How Long Do Hot Tub Electrical Components Last?

A hot tub’s electrical components can last between 5 and 15 years. The electrical components include the heater, switches, transformer, sensors, fuses, and a circuit board. The failure of one part can make the entire system malfunction. To prolong the electrical system’s lifespan, ensure that the hot tub is wired correctly and maintained.

None of the electrical components has a similar lifespan to the others. Besides, the cause of failure is also different. This is why it is difficult to determine how long a hot tub’s electrical components can last.

Experts advise that it can take 1 to 3 years before any electrical components can start showing a problem. This is especially true when the system is handled correctly. When minor issues are replaced as they arise, the electrical system can last for many years.

If you require a multimeter to test any of the components in your hot tub, I recommend the AstroAI Digital Multimeter.

How Long Do Hot Tub Pipes Last?

Typically, hot tub pipes and plumbing can last between 5 to 15 years. However, this depends on exposure to the sunlight, materials, and water quality, which affect the hot tub pipes’ lifespan. To prolong the hot tub pipes and plumbing lifespan, ensuring good water quality is essential.

There are specific measures you can take to prolong the life of the hot tub pipes. For instance, you are advised to clean the pipes by adding good quality cleaner to remove the gunk that accumulates in the pipes over time.

Hot tub leaks can happen to the pipes and plumbing over time; thankfully, small leaks can be quickly fixed. However, replacing the piping in a hot tub could be required when it starts to degrade, especially at the sections embedded on the shell. In most cases, the pipework’s degradation indicates the end of the hot tub lifespan if it cannot be properly repaired.

Check out our full article on how to drain and flush your hot tub pipes for more information.

For cleaning your hot tub piping, I recommend the Oh Yuk solution.

If you’re having leaking problems with your hot tub pipes and you can’t easily reach the problem, I recommend using Seal A Leak from SpaChoice.

How Long Do Hot Tubs Last: Conclusion

how long do hot tubs last

I have looked at the various components of the hot tub and the duration they can take. Most of these components can be serviced or replaced when they stop functioning correctly, depending on the damage’s nature and extent.

The replacement and servicing of the various hot tub components help prolong the hot tub’s overall lifespan. You can also extend the hot tub’s individual components’ lifespan by carrying out regular maintenance measures. Low-quality hot tubs can last between 5 and 10 years on average, while high-quality hot tubs will last for even more than 20 years.

Check out this great article from backyardoasis.com about how to identify a quality hot tub.

I hope you found this article on how long do hot tubs last helpful.

Thanks for visiting spatoolkit.com

Dillon

I'm Dillon, creator of SpaToolKit.com. During the day I'm a software developer for an engineering company. At night I enjoy sitting in my hot tub and relaxing. My hope is that Spa Tool Kit will be a place where you can find the best information on hot tubs, spa equipment, setups, parts, and accessories. Let's get started!