How Long Do Hot Tub Covers Last?

  • By: John Parker
  • Last Updated: November 20, 2022

A hot tub cover can last anything from just 2-3 years if it is poor quality and is exposed to the elements constantly being rained on, snowed on, frozen and battered by the wind. But given the right conditions, care by hot tub owners and quality it could last 10 years or more. On average, a hot tub cover lasts between 4 to 7 years if outdoors.

A replacement hot tub cover is not an inconsiderable purchase as it can cost many hundreds of dollars. But it is something that a hot tub owner needs to budget for occasionally and in many cases, the cost only works out at around $1 a week over its life – so not so bad when you look at it that way.

Having a good, well-insulated hot tub cover will save more than $1 a week in energy costs on your monthly electric bill by trapping warm air and minimizing heat loss.

how long do hot tub covers last
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Table of Contents

How long should a hot tub cover last?

Naturally how long a hot tub cover or spa cover will last depends on a few factors such as:

Is the hot tub inside or outside?

Outside a hot tub cover will have to cope with extremes of weather in all likelihood. If the hot tub is inside or perhaps under a shelter it will be exposed to much less stress.

If outside, is it in the sun for much of the day?

The sun’s ultra-violet light is a big factor in how long a hot tub cover will last. UV light breaks down plastics (including vinyl) and will also rot the stitching. So if your hot tub is situated where it will constantly be in sunlight during summer that will lower the lifespan quite considerably.

If outside, do you live somewhere with very low winter temperatures?

If you live in an area with a temperate climate, where temperatures rarely, if ever, drop below freezing so that snow and other extremes of weather are unlikely to affect the hot tub it will, unsurprisingly, last longer. If the hot tub cover is constantly being frozen then it will deteriorate quickly.

If indoors

My first hot tub, when I lived in the UK, was in a conservatory (glass-enclosed garden room). It never even got wet let alone froze so it had a gentle life. I sold the hot tub with the cover before I left the UK after I had owned it for 8 years and, to be honest, it still looked like a new hot tub cover.

The quality of the hot tub cover

All hot tub covers are not created equal. Some are made using heavy-duty materials while others are much more flimsy with weak stitching and poor quality zippers.

Clearly, a well-made cover will last longer than a poor-quality one but that is hardly rocket science to work out.

When to replace and where to buy a new hot tub cover

If you have tried to patch your old hot tub’s cover or dry it out when it becomes waterlogged but nothing seems to make any difference it is probably time to bite the bullet and buy a new hot tub cover.

Many hot tub owners take the opportunity to buy thicker hot tub covers

If you want to obtain expert advice and buy a qood quality cover for your hot tub with free delivery to many US states you should contact Florida Spa Covers.

Florida Spa Covers can supply custom hot tub covers to your specification or by giving them the make and model of your hot tub they can supply one made specifically for it. Check out Florida Spa Covers website.

You can also buy replacement hot tub covers on Amazon – various are available to choose from.

Why do hot tub covers fail?

Without a doubt, the biggest killer of hot tub covers is UV radiation from the sun. It can severely damage the vinyl making it more likely to crack and split. You can use a UV protecting spray on the upper surfaces of the cover from time to time to help reduce this damage from UV radiation.

Hot tub chemicals inevitably affect the hot tub covers over time. Chlorine and other chemicals can give off strong chemical vapors that can be quite harsh on the materials that hot tub covers are made from. It is a good idea to remove the cover and wash it down with fresh water to remove any chemicals from time to time.

Misuse is another big reason why hot tub covers can fail, particularly if they are slid off of the hot tub and allowed to land heavily on the ground. This can cause damage to the edges and corners. Using a hot tub lifter can solve this.

Damage can occur if the hot tub is outside during storms etc when high winds can cause falling debris or tree branches to fall on the hot tub cover. Also being constantly exposed to cold weather, snow and ice will cause failures in time.

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I bought Swim University’s Hot Tub Maintenance Course a while after I bought my first hot tub and was struggling with maintaining it. It was money very well spent and it has paid for itself many times over the years as I have saved by not needing to use as many chemicals as I did previously.

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How Long Do Hot Tub Covers Last? 1

Can a hot tub cover lifter extend the life of a hot tub cover?

Using a hot tub cover lifter to remove your cover will certainly help reduce potential damage to it and will therefore make it last longer.

Many people (including me) just fold one half over the other half and then slide the hot tub cover off of the hot tub and stand it up on its end against a wall or something else. This is definitely not the best way to remove a cover and store it when the hot tub is in use. It can damage the seams and the corners of the cover over time.

There are basically three types of hot tub lifter:

Sliders/Rollers

These attach to the side of the hot tub and act as a shelf that you just slide the hot tub onto.

This is an example of a roller type – Ucedar Roller for hot tub covers

UCEDER Hot Tub Cover Lifter Removal System/Spa Cover Roller fits Vary Size, Shape and Brand of SPA,Cabinet Free Cover

Hydraulic cover lifter

These also attach to the side of hot tub covers and you slide the cover into a cradle that then lowers the cover. Good for heavy covers.

This is an example – MySpaCover Hydraulic Cover Lifter

MySpaCover Hydraulic Cover Lifter

Pivot mount lifters

These have two cover lifters support that attaches to each side of the hot tub. They swivel down and you fold the cover over their central pole. These then pivot to lift the cover upwards and to the side. They are good for thicker covers.

This is an example from ZOMOFEW Spa Cover Lifts

ZOMOFEW Spa Cover Lifts - Pivot Top Mount Spa & Hot Tub Cover Lift Removal System Reinforced Brackets with 3 Hook Towel Rack Fits Most Spas & Hot Tubs

Why is my hot tub cover getting heavy?

The most likely explanation for your hot tub cover getting heavy is that the foam core is becoming waterlogged when it rains.

My hot tub cover does this and can actually accumulate quite a substantial amount of water inside which sloshes around when I lift the lid. Fortunately, we only get rain for a few months each year where I live.

It is also possible, if there are holes in the underside of the cover, for water to get inside due to the evaporation of the hot tub water.

When this happens a hot tub cover can become so heavy that, if you are not careful when opening it, there is a good chance that it may break.

How do you fix a waterlogged hot tub cover?

The only way I have found to remove the water is to drill a few small holes in strategic places on the underside of the cover which allows the water to slowly drain away. I still have to occasionally move the cover around to get the worst of the water out through the small holes I have drilled, particularly after heavy rain.

Another method, assuming the cover has zippers, is to unzip them and lift the cover to make the water run out of the unzipped opening.

Perhaps the most efficient way to dry it out completely is, on a sunny day, to lay the hot tub cover on a paved surface, undo the zippers and remove the foam core. This can then dry out completely in the sun and warm air before putting it back

If the foam core becomes too waterlogged then the hot tub cover’s ability to insulate will be lowered. So the hot tub water will cool quicker and your electricity bill will increase as the hot tub heater works harder to keep the temperature up.

Your best course of action may be to consider replacing the cover’s insulating foam. See below.

Can you repair a hot tub cover

Can you repair a hot tub cover?

This depends on how damaged the cover is but yes, you can to some degree. My wife successfully repaired our cover 2 years ago after a few of the seams came apart and it is still holding up well.

If it is a small tear in the vinyl then you can stick a patch over it. Vinyl repair kits are available in many home improvement stores. Follow the instructions on the kit for best results as you will want the repair to be waterproof.

I live in an area that is very popular with wind and kite surfers. A friend of mine took his old hot tub cover to a local company that repairs sails and kites and they made a completely new cover using the old one as a pattern. They did a very good job and quite economically too.

Can you replace the foam in a hot tub cover?

You can certainly replace the foam core in a hot tub cover quite easily.

You should buy foam insulation with a high density and insulation rating. Obviously you will need to measure the dimensions of the old insulating foam. You can cut it yourself quite easily or request the supplier you use to cut it to size for you.

In most good quality hot tub covers the core is wrapped/sealed in a plastic vapor barrier which allows moisture out but not in. If you can, cover the new foam in some of this vapor barrier and seal it with a good foam sealer, then all the better.

Also read: How often to shock a hot tub

Wearing an Apple Watch in a hot tub