How Much Does It Cost to Run a Hot Tub or Spa

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Hot Tub or Spa

The appeal of a hot tub lies in its ability to offer a relaxing soak at the end of a long day. However, aside from the initial cost of purchase and installation, there are ongoing expenses that every hot tub owner should factor into their budget. Running costs for a hot tub typically range from $20 to $75 per month, which amounts to a yearly expenditure of between $240 to $900 for an average-sized hot tub. This article breaks down the various aspects contributing to the cost of operating a hot tub. 

Hot Tub Maintenance Cost Breakdown

Several factors influence how much it costs to keep a hot tub running. These include the hot tub size, the climate in which it operates, the cost of chemicals and filters, and where you live. 

Hot Tub Size

Larger hot tubs generally cost more to operate as they require more chemicals, larger filters, and higher electricity consumption. Manufacturer maintenance suggestions often provide an estimate of the expected monthly electricity cost based on the size of the hot tub. 


Hot tubs located outdoors in colder climates consume more electricity to maintain warmth. Depending on its size, a hot tub draws between 1,500 and 6,000 watts for heating. A large hot tub in a chilly environment may require up to 7,500 watts of electricity, translating to about $20 to $30 monthly. 


Chemical additives are vital for maintaining a safe and healthy hot tub environment. They help balance the pH levels and prevent bacteria growth. These chemicals, including sodium dichlor chlorine granules, can add over $100 to your annual maintenance cost. 


Filters need to be replaced every one to two years to ensure a clean and safe hot tub environment. These replacements can cost anywhere between $15 and $120. 


Draining and cleaning your hot tub every three to four months is crucial. While you can undertake the task yourself at the cost of the water used, hiring a professional could set you back between $100 and $150. 


Hot tubs may occasionally break down and require repair. While a small crack seal may cost around $100, more extensive repairs, such as replacing a two-speed pump, could cost $1,000 or more. 

Additional Costs to Consider

Hot Tub Control Panel

For owners of older hot tubs, upgrading the water care system or control panel might be necessary. Depending on your hot tub model, this cost can range from $200 to $700. 


With hot tubs holding between 300 and 450 gallons of water, the cost of water might seem negligible but can add up if you refill the tub multiple times a year. 

Site Preparation 

Your hot tub should be installed on level ground with a proper foundation, ideally on a concrete slab or patio. Installation costs can be considerable if you need to prepare such a space. 

DIY vs. Professional Installation 

Professional hot tub installation typically costs between $650 and $6,000. Opting for a DIY installation can save you on labor costs. However, you'll still need to cover the cost of the hot tub itself, ranging from $2,000 to $25,000, plus any electrical work and additional features. 


Enhancing the hot tub experience with add-ons can also incur extra costs. A concrete slab might cost between $3,600 and $7,200, a pergola around $4,015, an outdoor home theater projector approximately $350, and a plunge pool could reach up to $20,000. 

Tips to Reduce Running Costs

Here are a few strategies to save money when operating your hot tub: 

  • Keep the lid on when not in use to reduce heat loss and conserve energy. 
  • Regularly check the thermostat to avoid overheating and wasting electricity. 
  • Maintain your hot tub regularly to prevent expensive repairs and cleanings. 
  • Look for off-season deals to find more affordable or energy-efficient units. 
  • Rather than turning off your hot tub completely, keep it at a lower but easily adjustable temperature. If you plan to be away for an extended period, consider shutting it off completely. 


In summary, owning a hot tub does come with ongoing expenses. Understanding these costs will ensure that your relaxing soak remains a pleasure rather than a financial burden.