Hot tub covers are now easier than ever to replace.
One of hot tub ownership’s earlier surprises is the realization that the hot tub cover seems to be getting heavier, ripped, dinged and dented or even broken or falling apart. This can happen to the best of covers within 5-7 years of hot tub use depending on many factors. Sometimes, earlier in the cover’s lifecycle, the cover life can be extended by early detection of rips and tears which can cause water to accumulate in the inside foam core. If detected early, simply patch the hole by unzipping the vinyl cover, removing the 2 foam inserts and allowing them to completely air dry, then patch the hole that allowed water to penetrate beyond the plastic vapor barrier.
If the cover needs to go out on the curb, then it can be quite daunting to get a replacement cover locally. Chances are the cover will need to be custom ordered anyways, unless ordered from the manufacturer or local dealer. Most likely, the local dealer will not offer free transport or shipping to the home, and fitting a large spa cover in a regular sized vehicle can be daunting. Many times the covers are not stocked in the appropriate shipping cartons, so damage can occur just from transporting the cover. Carrying the cover can also be cumbersome, so it is easy to order replacement spa covers online and get it delivered.
Many online hot tub cover sources offer free shipping on these otherwise expensive to ship items. This is the key to getting a low cost on a hot tub cover. Watch for hidden upsells that occur during the buying process online. Some cover dealers attempt to show cheap cover prices only to start adding back in items like quality vapor barrier at x mils thick, padded pillows to on the crease to prevent heat from escaping near the fold, tapering instead of flat cover, added this and added that.
The true online deal is obtained by viewing a quality cover that already has these items as standard, since nobody wants a cover without a vapor barrier or without a taper that will allow water to run off. The most honest deal is one where the price is advertised up front, there is free shipping, and there are no sneaky attempts at raising the price by adding in items that should be there to begin with. Comparing apples to apples will precipitate the true deal.
When ordering the cover, certain measurements need to be provided depending on the shape of the cover. If the original cover is present, simply take the measurements from the existing cover.
Specify color and shape.
Measure the length, width, diameter or other measurements that determine the cover’s shape and size.
For rounded corners on rectangular tubs, measure the cover radius which is the amount of rounding at the corners measured in inches. An easy way to measure the cover radius is with a carpenter’s square. Hold the square across the corner and read the length from the corner of the carpenter’s square to where it touches the rounding edge of the spa cover.
The skirt length just refers to how much material is left overhanging around the edges of the cover to protect the sides of the spa shell.
Note when measuring cover radius: a smaller radius leaves more material around the corners. When in doubt, round down so the cover will fit. If the radius measurement is too large, more material will be removed around the corners and the cover may then not fit and be too small.
Most online vendors will answer any questions about measuring the cover properly. Most all online vendors will not accept responsibility for the measurements that are provided them and will not pay for the return shipping, taxes or other costs associated with returning or replacing a cover. So measure carefully. It is also folly to order by spa brand and model as manufacturers change cover measurements from time to time as shell dimensions are upgraded on existing models. Some models of the same name may have three or more different cover sizes associated with them. The best way to assure a fitting cover is simply taking the time to measure.
Measure Twice, Order Once!