Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Custom-Built Hot Tubs

An Aspen Spa will cost approximately 50 to 90 cents per day, depending on the size of spa, features of the spa, and programming. Other factors make it impossible to give an exact amount, i.e. how many times a day is it used, how many people are using it, how often are chemicals added and if the cover is left open for 15 minutes, is in a sunny or shaded area, is it in the windy area. All of these items and more can affect the cost to operate any spa.

Aspen Spas are efficient, well insulated, and programmable to minimize electric cost.

Chemicals will cost approximately $12 to $15 per month to maintain clean, sanitary water. It will depend on the sanitizing system utilized, how many people use the spa, do they shower before entering the spa, etc.
A quality spa shell should be constructed with genuine Lucite acrylic and it must have a full vinyl ester first coat with reinforcing fiberglass, followed by additional coats of clean/neat resin and fiberglass.

Do not purchase a spa that uses urethane foam backing. It’s fairly new in the industry and has not proven itself, many instances of shell failure.

The spa base is the foundation of a hot tub and should be made out of recycled ABS plastic, vacuum formed to specifically fit the spa and seal the underside. This will ensure no rotting of the cabinet and also help keep any insect, rodents and other critters out of the spa cabinet.
The spa cabinet should be made out of recycled, maintenance free material. HDPE plastic will not rot, fade, twist, discolor. A spa made with it will look the same for many years to come.
Proper insulation is as important to your spa as it is to your home.  The most effective way to insulate a spa is to address insulation at all levels, spa shell, cabinet and cover.

  1. The spa shell should be sprayed with 2 lb, closed cell foam. DO NOT BUY A SPA WHICH USES ½ LB OPEN CELLED FOAM, IT HAS BASICALLY NO “R” VALUE!
  2. The back of the doors and corners should be insulated with an insulator that has a high “R” Value and will not absorb moisture.
  3. The back of the doors and corners should have a reflective foil installed on them to reflect the heat off the spa back into the spa.
  4. The spa lip, where the cabinet and shell meet should be sealed off with foam so heat will not escape.
  5. The ABS plastic spa pan/bottom should be insulated to stop the cold from coming up from underneath and have reflective foil to push the heat back up into the spa.
  6. A proper, well insulated cover with closed celled foam will keep heat from rising out of the spa.
  7. The trapped air, sealed spa and cabinet is the best insulator of all! Look at your double pane windows in your home, it is trapped air/gas.
NO, THAT IS A MYTH!  A spa that has spray foam inside the cabinet is not better for a number of reasons.

  1. The majority of that foam is ½ lb and has no “R” Value, it does nothing.
  2. That type of foam is open celled and will absorb water.
  3. When it is sprayed in, there is a heat build up as it cures and it will break down glue joints, eventually causing them to fail and leak
  4. Foam-filled cabinets are extremely difficult to repair any potential plumbing leaks. Not only can you not see them as they’re difficult to find, they are almost impossible to access.
  5. Rodents and insects will infiltrate the open-celled foam and make it a home.
  6. The real reason spa manufacturers spray the cabinet full of ½ lb foam is to hold all the plumbing lines in place because they use inferior tubing and if they do not, the lines will collapse or kink, thus reducing jet performance.
Many spa companies use horsepower pump ratings, however it is a false or misleading “marketing” horsepower rating. When a motor starts, it has a higher horsepower rating, then it drops to a continuous rating or more accurate rating.

Amp draw is a more accurate, true reading for a motor. If it states it’s a 10 amp pump, it pulls 10 amps when it running continuous duty. Same with an 8 amp or 12 amp, it is real and true and the only way to rate a motor/pump.

No, that is false and misleading. First, you have to consider the “marketing” horsepower rating and basically cut it in half. So you think it’s a 5 hp pump, but it’s actually a 2.5 hp pump. Secondly, most spas are plumbed using 2” plumbing which feeds a series of jet manifolds. 2” plumbing can only handle only a certain amount of gallons per minute through it, so if you were to install a true 5, 6 or 7hp pump onto 2” plumbing you will actually get cavitating at the pump and it will not work efficiently and be loud.

The truth is, a pump needs to be sized properly with the plumbing and the number of jets. Jets can only move so much water was well. Typically, normal spa jets move 7 , 10, 12 or 15 gallons per minute (GPM) and pushing more water out will not have much effect.

No, it is not necessary, however, it is slightly more efficient, thus cheaper to operate. A 24-hour circulating pump is a low amp pump and a low flow pump. If you are not using a low amp circulating pump, you will be using a larger pump on low speed to filter and heat the spa. Through smart, efficient programming, you can make the larger pump be more efficient and only cost slightly more to maintain your spa.
When searching for a spa, you want a hot tub which is easy to program, allowing you change how the spa maintains heat, the length of filter cycles, how frequently ozone is produced, and adjustable clean up cycles. How frequently you use a spa changes with the season and life activities, so make sure it’s adaptable to your lifestyle.
A quality spa should have freeze protection built into the controls. Ideally, dual protection. An example would be if the spa drops 20 degrees below the set temperature, the heater and low speed on pump 1 should turn on to heat the water and keep water moving. There should also be protection if the spa drops down to 40 degrees, the heater and pump 1 should turn on.
Adjustable jets allow you to turn off and on individual jets. Not only does it allow you to turn off jets you don’t want on at certain times, it allows you to control the power of the other jets, turning some jets off, slightly increase pressure on other jets.
One seat in a spa cannot be everything to everybody, therefore you will want a spa with varying seat heights, varying jet patterns to target different parts of the body, and varying jet sizes to give different feels and effects in the spa. You will find yourself moving around the spa, going from seat to seat, massaging different parts of your body.
Ozone is basically O3. It takes oxygen, adds a molecule to make it 03, which then acts as an oxidizer. The ozone attacks organics in spa water, sweat, oils, lotions, anything we introduce to the water. Yes, it should be standard on a hot tub and if not you should be able to add it to your hot tub when ordering it. You can maintain clear and clear water without ozone, you will however use more oxidizing shock.
Regular filtering cycles are great for maintaining clean water, but a spa with a “clean up” cycle is ideal since when we use a spa, we introduce sweat, oils, and other organics into the spa water. A clean up cycle is a smart function of a spa pack that will know you used the spa and it will run an extra filtering cycle to start cleaning up the water.
Lighting effects are a must in today’s spas. A main LED colored light is helpful for getting in and out of the spa, but if you want to enhance your spa experience a multiple point LED systems are preferred.
A proper spa cover is extremely important! While the hot tub might be insulated well, heat wants to rise and the cover helps retain heat most of all. It also keeps debris, dirt, leaves, branches, etc, out of the hot tub.
First, always check with your local electrical codes for exact specifications.  In general, Aspen Spas require a 40 to 50 amp GFCI disconnect to be installed out near the hot tubs.  It’s a 4 wire system, so you will need 2 hot feeds, a neutral and a ground.
Yes, it is always recommended a fully-qualified electrician prepares the electric needs for a hot tub. This will help ensure the electric is completed per local electrical codes.
No, a hot tub is NOT permanently attached to a water supply. It is filled from your outside hose spigot.
On most Aspen Spa models, there is an external drain fitting installed on low, on the outside of the spa cabinet. When the spa was installed, you were given a black adaptor fitting that attaches to your hose, which then attaches to the drain installed on the outside of the spa cabinet.
A hot tub needs to be installed on a solid, level base that can handle the combined weight of the spa, water and people, which can weigh between 4000 lb to 6750 lb. A 4” concrete slab is preferred, however a reinforced deck or concrete/brick pavers can work as well, but ensure the installed materials can support the combined weight of the spa, people and water. If you are pouring new concrete for a spa, pour it level, so the spa does not have to be shimmed the day of delivery. Shimming is possible, but it has to encompass the entire base of the spa, not just the perimeter, plus additional cost may incur.
Most companies utilize a Spa Dolly when delivering a spa. It allows the trailer to detach from the truck and be wheeled around flat to the back yard. It also has a cart attachment that allows for the spa to be turned on its side, thus able to pass through 42” gates. Naturally, the ground needs to be solid and cannot be too hilly, nor can it roll down or up steps.
Aspen Spas weigh between 700 lb and 1000 lb. Add the weight of water and people for structural weight requirements.
Only a select number of spas can fit through a normal door. Remember, it’s not simply the width of the spa when it’s on its side, there is the height to factor as well. Plus, many times there are steps leading up to the door. There are smaller hot tubs like the Aspen Quattro that will fit through some doors, but in general, most spas are bigger than a normal door opening.
Hot tubs are big, bulky and have considerable weight, therefore it’s necessary to have a clear, adequate pathway to the hot tub location. You need to factor in the ground conditions, gates, fences, overhead obstructions, hills, steps, bushes, trees – anything that would prevent a clear path to the desired location.
Yes, hot tubs can be installed inside. However, you will need to make sure there is adequate access to the room -basically how will the spa get indoors? You will also need to ensure the floor construction is suitable and can handle the combined weight of the spa, water and people. It would be best to have a non-slip floor since there will always be water splashed out. If installed in an enclosed room, with no fresh outside air, you will also want to have some sort of ventilation in the room to prevent mildew or mold. Finally, there will need to be clear access on 2 sides of the hot tub.
Yes, however there are numerous factors you need to consider. How will there be access to the equipment (pumps, packs, ozonators, etc)? If I have a multiple point lighting system, how will I access a LED harness if it ever were to fail? The biggest issue with installing a spa in a 4-sided pit is drainage. Rain water can fill a pit, flood the spa equipment, thus void any warranty, so you must ask: is there proper drainage in the spa pit? If the desire is to have a more “built-in” looking hot tub, it is the recommendation of Aspen to build a 3-sided pit, not 4-sided. Therefore the open side can have access to the spa equipment, drainage is not an issue and worst case scenario the spa can be slid out to the open side for access to the entire spa.

The customer is responsible for making sure there is access or creating access to the spa and internal components.

Yes, you can install a spa in a deck, however, you will need to ensure the side with the equipment is completely accessible. And if there is a multiple point LED system installed inside the spa, those lights and light harnesses must be accessible as well.

The customer is responsible for making sure there is access or creating access to the spa and internal components

If access is restricted you may need to hire a crane to set the spa and it will incur additional cost. Examples are, but not limited to, situations where there is not a clear pathway to the desired spa location or upper decks/patios.
Consult your city or county building and electrical departments to determine if a permit is needed to install a hot tub. Permits are the responsibility of the home owner.
ALWAYS SUPERVISE CHILDREN WHEN THEY ARE USING A HOT TUB. It’s best to lower the temperature down below normal body temperature. It’s not advisable to allow children under the age of 4 to use the hot tub. Also, don’t allow children to drink the water.
Absolutely! That is the best time to use a hot tub. The reason we suggest installing a hot tub closer to the house is to make it easier to get in and out during the winter. A quality, well-insulated hot tub will maintain your desired water temperature in the winter months.
It’s best to keep the spa running all the time. That may mean you have a 24-hour circulating pump or a programmable system to filter the spa daily. As far as temperature setting, it is up to you if you want to maintain your ideal spa using temperature or if you want to keep it slightly lower and raise it up when you want to use it. If you want to raise the temperature the day of use, make sure you allot enough time for it to heat up.
Yes, hot tubs can be moved in the future. Obviously, there needs to be clear access in and out of the yard. It’s always best to hire a professional with a spa dolly to move spas.
A hot tub should always include, with no additional charges, the spa itself, a cover, start up chemicals, and delivery (within the dealer’s delivery range).
There are typically a variety of features that can be added to any spa. There are certain features you will need to add when ordering the spa, i.e. stereos, volcano jets, salt systems, etc., but with any spa purchase, you can add different types of cover lifts, steps or handrails.
First, you always want to think about how many people are typically going to use the spa, this will help determine the size of the hot tubs. Secondly, think about if you want a lounger and a captain’s chair or 2 captain’s chairs. The other seats should be varying heights of bench and cool down seats.
Comfort is very important in a hot tub, so sit in the spa, try it out. When the spa is empty and the seats are comfortable, ergonomic, you know it’s going to be comfortable with water since we are all buoyant in water.
Ideally yes! This way you will know exactly what you are getting when the spa is delivered to your backyard.
Don’t overlook the footwell of a hot tubs for 2 reason. The last thing you want to do is buy a spa for 5 people, but there is only room for 3 sets of feet. So first, check out the roominess of the footwell. Secondly, check out the depth of the footwell. Make sure when you sit in the spa, your knees are at a comfortable height, not up in your chest.