What to look for when buying a portable spa


Portable spas are extremely popular because of their versatility, portability, and affordability. Their interior design makes them the most comfortable to sit in, and their price is within range of virtually any family or individual desiring the benefits of a warm, relaxing spa and hydrotherapy massage. Because of their wide range of amenities, portable spas are most often more desirable than permanent spas.

Portable spas are above ground and can be used inside the home or out. As long as the spa can be located on a flat surface, it can be used on an inside floor, a deck or concrete area. Besides the lower pricing on portable spas, this is a feature that many consumers like.

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a portable spa:

  • Your choice — Box stores and home improvement depots that carry portable spas typically offer one or two styles in stock but most models would have to be ordered online. Buying a spa online without actually sitting in it first is like buying a new car without test driving it. You want to sit in the model you plan to purchase to make sure you are comfortable in it. (All Secard Pools locations have an array of empty and running models to “test drive” and choose from.) Viewing a running model also allows you to see the performance of the jets and filtration system. Your purchase decision will last for many years. Your new spa should have all the options you need and want to give you the best service and satisfaction.
  • Wiring — Portable spas run on either 110 or 220 volt electrical. You should decide on which type you prefer before making your purchase. 110 volt models are extremely easy to hook up and plug in to a standard household outlet just as a blow dryer would. Survey the area in which you plan on placing the spa and make sure there is an outlet near by prior to your purchase. Most 110 volt spas are outfitted with a 12 ft. cord. 220 volt models will require a licensed electrician but typically will heat faster and come equipped with larger pumps.
  • Insulation — When using your spa, you want to ensure the water temperature is easily maintained. Closed cell foam insulation should be used by the manufacture to prevent heat loss from the spa shell and hold the water temperature at a steady setting.
  • Cabinetry – Spa cabinets have come a long way over the years. Beware of any spa that is built with an outside cabinetry that is not synthetic. Wood and water do not mix and a soggy warped cabinet is the first thing to deteriorate on a spa. Additionally, the framing within the spa should be a pressure treated material.
  • Components — Check for the number of jets and their placement. If the jets are not positioned to have therapeutic value, the number of jets won’t matter. Many manufacturers think that by putting more jets in a spa it is more effective. Actually it’s quite the opposite. You want pressure in areas that need pressure and not waist it in areas that don’t. The control panel and filtration equipment should be in an easy-to-reach position. You don’t want to have to climb under the spa cabinet every time you need turn the heater on or clean the filter.
  • Size — The bigger the spa, obviously the more room. If you’re the outgoing type, get one that seats your family along with other family members or neighbors. If you are simply looking for yours and a spouse or partner’s comfort, one that seats only two or three is your best bet.
  • Comfort — The ergonomics of a spa are extremely important. Check out the contour of the interior to ensure your comfort. Does the seating feel comfortable? Is there a headrest area that fits properly. Is a pillow easily attachable? Never forget that its purpose is comfort and relaxation.

Whenever possible, here at Secard Pools, we always promote and support purchasing American made products. With American made spas, If there are problems, parts are much easier to find and less expensive. Also, make sure you understand what the warranty covers. Buying from a local dealer will ensure the warranty is enforced and there’s always an expert to answer your questions as you begin using your new spa.

Photo taken at our Orange, Ca. Secard Pools & Spas showroom

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