How to shop for a pre-owned spa

If you’ve been shopping for a hot tub, you’ve likely considered all the benefits – health, fun, relaxation. But before you make your final purchase, it’s important to shop around, just like you would with any large purchase. While you’re checking out the size of the hot tub you want (and you have space for!), the jet configuration you like and all the other factors, you might also be wondering, “What about a pre-owned spa?”

Buying a pre-owned spa can mean you’re buying someone else’s problems. Or, it can mean you’re getting a great deal. It’s all about knowing what to look for. Here are some tips:

Watch it run

Just like you’d test drive a car before you signed on the dotted line, you’ll want to see a used spa in action before you hand over the money. Ask the owner to turn it on, and watch to make sure it’s running like it should, that it isn’t making any funny noises, etc. Speaking of noises – the hot tub should make a low, humming sound while it’s running. If you hear anything else, something isn’t right.

Check out the filter

Examine the cartridge filter. If you aren’t sure where it is, just ask the person selling the hot tub. The condition of the filter can be a good clue as to how well maintained the spa has been. Filters aren’t expensive to replace, but one that is dirty, torn, or in otherwise bad condition may mean that other spa maintenance was neglected, too. And that CAN lead to expensive repairs.

Look at the thermostat

While the hot tub is running, check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly. To be comfortably warm but safe, a hot tub should be between 100 – 104 degrees. If the thermostat isn’t working right, you won’t know what temperature the water really is. Additionally, if it isn’t showing an increase in heat, it may mean the spa heater is going out.

Following these tips can help you find a good deal on a pre-owned hot tub. Another way to get a great deal on a pre-owned tub is to purchase one from a reputable dealer like Coleman. We proudly carry certified pre-owned spas, and stand behind them. Call or stop by a showroom to learn more.


The 2019 Limelight Collection Owner’s Manual will help you understand your spa’s features, and answer questions you might have regarding spa operation, water care, and maintenance. There is also a troubleshooting section included for your convenience.  

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