Our hot tub has been broken for about 6 months. We had it installed around the same time we had our pool dug a couple summers ago, and it is my favorite part of our yard. We use it year-round and I love the heat of the water.
Unfortunately, the economy here in Arizona continues to plummet and both the swimming pool and hot tub company are bankrupt. While we had a 5 year warranty, once the company went bankrupt, the warranty no longer existed. (As a side note -- both these companies had been in business over 15 years and were well established in the community. The hot tub company even manufactured all their own tubs locally. Such a loss!)
My money saving tip for today is to marry someone handy. LOL! If my husband wasn't so handy with tools and mechanical things, our hot tub would still be broken! Instead, thanks to his skills, information on the internet, and parts from ebay -- my hot tub is working once again!
So, while it definitely helps to marry a handy person, my real tip is to do the research and try to make repairs yourself. Bo performed research on the internet and had a pretty good idea of what was wrong. He then searched ebay and found the part he believed we needed. When it arrived, he took apart the heater, replaced the bad part, and re-filled our hot tub.
Obviously, if you have no mechanical or technical skills, then a professional should be consulted. I'm grateful that my husband has auto mechanic skills from his time in the Air Force, and has hvac and electrical skills from his years in the industry. Having those skills has saved us thousands of dollars over the years.
The hot tub feels glorious! I know that it's 110 around here right now. I still like sitting in the hot tub in the evenings! And our pool is only a few steps away if it does get too hot.
(This picture is of our backyard. The hot tub is to the right. I do feel a bit spoiled when I look at how nice it is!)