A hot tub can help your property value

But keep it clean, or you'll be in hot water

By Jared Lovrak on April 21, 2017

The simple pleasure of a warm bath taken to its most lavish extreme, we've been enjoying hot tubs all over the world since 400 B.C. The volcanic hot springs of yore have since given way to fiberglass or acrylic shells encased in synthetic wooden frames, or sometimes embedded right into your back deck. While belowground tubs are less obtrusive, aboveground tubs are much easier to maintain, providing easier access to their innards.

"If you can't access the pumps and the motors, if something does break down, you're in a world of hurt," said Dave Burke of South Sound Spas, which has been serving the area for a little over 20 years.

That's also the average lifespan of a hot tub.

"A lot of people trade them in around then even if they're still working just because of their age," Burke said.

The average hot tub can set you back anywhere from $1,500-$20,000, but spread out over two decades, it's hardly a bad investment, particularly for what it can do for your property value.

"We get a lot of calls from people who have ones that aren't working, and they want us to get them running again before they sell their houses," Burke said. "They're definitely a plus when it comes to selling a home."

Keep up on your cleaning and maintenance regimens, though. That cauldron of heated, percolating water can cause folliculitis - pus-filled blisters in all the hair follicles of your bathing suit area.

Stop screaming, it gets worse. That's just one of many illnesses and infections a bio hazardous hot tub can give you - some of which are potentially fatal.

This is more often than not a direct result of us just being nasty and lazy. Didn't shower beforehand? Answer the call of nature in the hot tub? (You know you have. Don't lie.) Relax. Smell that chlorine? That'll take care of it.

Well, yes and no. A well-maintained hot tub won't smell like much of anything. The "chlorine smell" is actually chloramine. Chlorine turns into chloramine over time as it reacts caustically to combat whatever bodily secretions get mixed with it. A burning sensation doesn't always mean the water's too hot - and chloramine can cause inflammation of the eyes and respiratory tract when you're immersed in a steam cloud full of it.

Keeping a hot tub clean is surprisingly easy. Whether you're using chlorine or natural alternatives like silver or copper ions for disinfectant, stay on schedule. Don't overdo it either, or your next soak could turn into a super villain origin story. Drain it completely every three to six months and give the shell a good scrub with some bleach and water.

And for gosh sakes, don't pee in it, you animal.

A hot tub lends a touch of opulence to even the most modest home. It's great for unwinding at the end of a hard day and hosting weekend gatherings, and it's a bit of extra motivation to prospective home buyers.

Just keep it - and yourselves - clean.