Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

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scienceguy
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Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by scienceguy »

We just put in a very nice six person outdoor Jacuzzi (Jacuzzi brand) as part of a large renovation. We were assured that despite the fact that these things are left on all the time (with an insulated cover), they are surprisingly inexpensive in terms of electrical for maintaining the temperature. The numbers that we were told were $30-50/month.

Unfortunately our electric bill has shot up by multiple hundreds of dollars a month. I was wondering if anyone had any insight or experience with this. Currently we are keeping it at the highest temp (104) and the outdoor temp has been pretty cold and getting colder (obviously). We live in MD. But just wondering what peoples experience was with this issue. We can obviously lower the temperature, or as a last resort keep it off in the winter, but both of things sort of defeat the purpose.

Any experience/insight greatly appreciated.
HaveaNiceDay
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by HaveaNiceDay »

We are in NC and have the same size Jacuzzi, but is is about 8 years old. Ours is about $20 per month but we get very cheap electricity from TVA.
The only neighbors we have heard with higher bills are wired at 110 vs 220. 220 is cheaper. We keep ours at 104 degrees 24/7 with two 15 min cleaning cycles on 12 hour intervals.
Please excuse the typos, it is my way of showing the post is authentic....
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snackdog
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by snackdog »

We left ours on 24/7 in coastal California, where electricity is spendy, and never saw high bills. But, it never gets too cold there either.

Have you asked the salesman who assured you the cost would be low? Maybe they installed it wrong and there is an electrical gremlin?

Try turning it off at the start of the next billing cycle and see what happens to your bill.

Try installing a thermal blanket in addition to the cover.

Try lowering the temp to 80F when not in use, then pre-heating for four hours or so before use.
runner3081
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by runner3081 »

We had an above-ground Jacuzzi in Arizona for a couple of years. It was about $40-$50 per month extra. That was keeping it at 90 degrees and then turning it up to 105 or so when I wanted to use it at night or in the morning.
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Kenkat
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by Kenkat »

I have a 23 year old Coleman / Maax Spa 6 person spa. Ours runs about $50/mo. in winter I would estimate. We keep the temperature at 101 and have a 75amp dedicated 220v line for it.

Do you have bubbler or air injector features to change the whirlpool flow? I always make sure those are closed, especially during the winter, as otherwise you are constantly pulling outside air, i.e. cold air, into the system when the pumps and/or heater are running.
homebuyer6426
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by homebuyer6426 »

How much of this increase could be due to recent rises in electrical cost? I know that mine pretty much doubled the last couple years, for the same amount of power. Are you comparing just price or kilowatt hours?
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TJat
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by TJat »

scienceguy wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:30 am We just put in a very nice six person outdoor Jacuzzi (Jacuzzi brand) as part of a large renovation. We were assured that despite the fact that these things are left on all the time (with an insulated cover), they are surprisingly inexpensive in terms of electrical for maintaining the temperature. The numbers that we were told were $30-50/month.

Unfortunately our electric bill has shot up by multiple hundreds of dollars a month. I was wondering if anyone had any insight or experience with this. Currently we are keeping it at the highest temp (104) and the outdoor temp has been pretty cold and getting colder (obviously). We live in MD. But just wondering what peoples experience was with this issue. We can obviously lower the temperature, or as a last resort keep it off in the winter, but both of things sort of defeat the purpose.

Any experience/insight greatly appreciated.
I doubt it’s the heater. How long are you running your pump? That’s where the real electric usage comes into play. Our hot tub adds maybe 50-60 a month in electricity (rough estimate since we have solar).
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Why would you keep it at such a high temp 24/7? That’s your problem.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by ResearchMed »

We had an 8-person hot tub at our vacation rental, and there is no way there was that type of electricity used, given the monthly electric bills, even in the *cold* and snowy winters.

And it was kept "hot" all the time, as the guests may have wanted to use it "whenever".
And when it got heavy use, the top was off a lot while it was a people stew, so even more heating would have been needed.

All we had was an insulated cover (I suspect some foam padding or such; nothing fancy).

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onourway
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by onourway »

Can you post what your electric rate is, as well as current usage in kWh as well as those numbers from a month before installing the jacuzzi?
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Watty
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by Watty »

scienceguy wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:30 am Currently we are keeping it at the highest temp (104)
Even without considering the cost of electricity that is likely too hot to be safe especially if anyone ever uses it when they are alone. After being in the hot spa for a long time it is very possible to faint when you stand up to get out.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Watty wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:24 am
scienceguy wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:30 am Currently we are keeping it at the highest temp (104)
Even without considering the cost of electricity that is likely too hot to be safe especially if anyone ever uses it when they are alone. After being in the hot spa for a long time it is very possible to faint when you stand up to get out.
We had that happen to a young, fit person (25 yo marathon runner). Thankfully there were others present who could keep his head out of the water.

We find 104 (the legal limit in MA) is fine if you don't stay in too long and never do it alone.
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pshonore
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by pshonore »

HaveaNiceDay wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:36 am We are in NC and have the same size Jacuzzi, but is is about 8 years old. Ours is about $20 per month but we get very cheap electricity from TVA.
The only neighbors we have heard with higher bills are wired at 110 vs 220. 220 is cheaper. We keep ours at 104 degrees 24/7 with two 15 min cleaning cycles on 12 hour intervals.
If its a 110 plug in, you can buy a Kil-a-watt meter ($20 and up on Amazon) and measure usage for any plug in (window AC, frig, computers, etc). I wish there was an easy way to measure 220V usage for mini-splits, etc. There are energy monitors available that are installed in the main service panel and do that but cost a few hundred $. Sense and Emporia are two of many brands available
adamthesmythe
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by adamthesmythe »

HaveaNiceDay wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:36 am The only neighbors we have heard with higher bills are wired at 110 vs 220. 220 is cheaper. We keep ours at 104 degrees 24/7 with two 15 min cleaning cycles on 12 hour intervals.
Umm, the watts cost the same at 110 and 220 volts.
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enad
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by enad »

scienceguy wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:30 am We just put in a very nice six person outdoor Jacuzzi (Jacuzzi brand) as part of a large renovation. We were assured that despite the fact that these things are left on all the time (with an insulated cover), they are surprisingly inexpensive in terms of electrical for maintaining the temperature. The numbers that we were told were $30-50/month.

Unfortunately our electric bill has shot up by multiple hundreds of dollars a month. I was wondering if anyone had any insight or experience with this. Currently we are keeping it at the highest temp (104) and the outdoor temp has been pretty cold and getting colder (obviously). We live in MD. But just wondering what peoples experience was with this issue. We can obviously lower the temperature, or as a last resort keep it off in the winter, but both of things sort of defeat the purpose.

Any experience/insight greatly appreciated.
My neighbor spends $600+ weekly just to heat his pool for two weeks, starting one week before his family comes into town from the mid-west for their annual stay with him at Christmas, and he's only heating it to 85.

Can you build something around your Jacuzzi that would provide even more insulation and a larger light weight cover that is also well insulated? The only issue then would be what is your Jacuzzi sitting on and whether you could add additional insulation underneath.

How long does it take to heat the water up if the temperature is kept at 35 or 40 (to avoid freezing)?
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vineviz
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by vineviz »

enad wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:51 pm Can you build something around your Jacuzzi that would provide even more insulation and a larger light weight cover that is also well insulated? The only issue then would be what is your Jacuzzi sitting on and whether you could add additional insulation underneath.
If it turns out the heating costs are as high as the OP speculates, I’d bet most of the wasted heat is going into the ground under the jacuzzi rather than the air around it.

It might be worth verifying the specs of the thermal barrier under the tub.
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RetiredAL
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by RetiredAL »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:04 pm
HaveaNiceDay wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:36 am The only neighbors we have heard with higher bills are wired at 110 vs 220. 220 is cheaper. We keep ours at 104 degrees 24/7 with two 15 min cleaning cycles on 12 hour intervals.
Umm, the watts cost the same at 110 and 220 volts.
+1

A kilowatt is a kilowatt, regardless of the voltage sourcing that kilowatt.
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enad
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by enad »

vineviz wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:56 pm
enad wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:51 pm Can you build something around your Jacuzzi that would provide even more insulation and a larger light weight cover that is also well insulated? The only issue then would be what is your Jacuzzi sitting on and whether you could add additional insulation underneath.
If it turns out the heating costs are as high as the OP speculates, I’d bet most of the wasted heat is going into the ground under the jacuzzi rather than the air around it.

It might be worth verifying the specs of the thermal barrier under the tub.
On this you and I can agree on
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curmudgeon
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by curmudgeon »

RetiredAL wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 1:29 pm
adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:04 pm
HaveaNiceDay wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:36 am The only neighbors we have heard with higher bills are wired at 110 vs 220. 220 is cheaper. We keep ours at 104 degrees 24/7 with two 15 min cleaning cycles on 12 hour intervals.
Umm, the watts cost the same at 110 and 220 volts.
+1

A kilowatt is a kilowatt, regardless of the voltage sourcing that kilowatt.
There are actually two potential sources of greater efficiency running an electric hot tub at 220v. 1) the pump motor may run a bit more efficiently. 2) the heater can run at higher power, thus requiring less pump operation to keep the water up to temp.

In practice, if the pump is running longer for heating, it should need less time for a dedicated filter cycle. Sometimes the default filter run hours are pretty high (oriented towards a heavy use pattern); I run ours about 1/3 the default hours per day which helps lower the power use. We have "time-of-day" power rates, so I also try to have the filter run cycles in off-peak times.
Laundry_Service
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by Laundry_Service »

I don't have an answer to your question but if possible post the increase in kWh on your recent bills. Once you figure out the increase in usage call the manufacturer and ask what they think and if they have any suggestions.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by SmileyFace »

enad wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:51 pm My neighbor spends $600+ weekly just to heat his pool for two weeks, starting one week before his family comes into town from the mid-west for their annual stay with him at Christmas, and he's only heating it to 85.

I don't know how large your neighbors pool is and I am sure you know this but I will mention it anyway - it will take more energy to heat a 30,000 gallon pool to 85 than an insulated 300 gallon hot tub to 104.
RetiredAL
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by RetiredAL »

curmudgeon wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 3:48 pm
RetiredAL wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 1:29 pm
A kilowatt is a kilowatt, regardless of the voltage sourcing that kilowatt.
There are actually two potential sources of greater efficiency running an electric hot tub at 220v. 1) the pump motor may run a bit more efficiently. 2) the heater can run at higher power, thus requiring less pump operation to keep the water up to temp.

In practice, if the pump is running longer for heating, it should need less time for a dedicated filter cycle. Sometimes the default filter run hours are pretty high (oriented towards a heavy use pattern); I run ours about 1/3 the default hours per day which helps lower the power use. We have "time-of-day" power rates, so I also try to have the filter run cycles in off-peak times.
I would expect the motor efficiency differences between 120v and 240v to be near de minimis. Single phase motors just have poor efficiencies due to their inherent design. 3-phase or ECM motors are way more efficient.

You do have a point about about any extra running time to keep heater on vs regular time on for filtering.

The OP is in the mid-Atlantic area. Most of their electricity is natural gas generators. Natural gas cost is near 2x what it was a year ago and I'm sure the generator folks are passing that cost on.
MarkerFM
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by MarkerFM »

I can't help you with the cost of electricity, but I would check to see if your spa has any energy-saving modes. The one we have (at summer place so not in use during really cold weather) has the following:

Away from home: In this economy mode, the heater
will not turn on until the water temperature reaches
20°F (11°C) below the set temperature.

Standard-Beginner: In this standard mode, the heater
can heat to maintain the set temperature.

Energy saving: In this economy mode, during the peak
hours from Monday to Friday, the heater will not turn on
until the water temperature reaches 20°F (11°C) below
the set temperature. On the weekend, the temperature
will be maintained as programmed.

Super energy: In this economy mode, every day during
the peak hours, the heater will not turn on until the
water temperature reaches 20°F (11°C) below the set
temperature.

Weekender: In this economy mode, from Monday
to Friday, the heater will not turn on until the water
temperature reaches 20°F (11°C) below the set
temperature. On the weekend, the temperature will be
maintained as programmed.
Johny Fever
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Re: Cost to heat outdoor Jacuzzi in Winter

Post by Johny Fever »

We are on the shoreline of Lake Michigan in SW Michigan and we have a Nordic Crown round hot tub. It is a 220V unit and we keep it set at 104degrees...We use it almost daily year around...when we were building the new house we actually were able to measure the electrical use and it works out to about 38 dollars per month on average. Several hundred a month would mean to me that something is just wired correctly or something is out of whack. Jacuzzi is a top name brand, I would call their headquarters and tell them whats going on and see if they have an idea...and maybe call a Master Electrician and see what they might be able to shed light on.
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