Hoping to land in hot water


Let me get one thing straight. I did not go looking for a hot tub. I didn’t know I wanted a hot tub. I had no designs on getting a hot tub. The hot tub came looking for me.

I was minding my own business when a hot tub came across my path for the low, low auction price of like $12. Probably $12.50 after tax? In my defense, who turns down a $12 hot tub? In retrospect, probably anyone with an ounce of sense.

My problem is that I tend to know people and have access to things that get us into trouble. Things like trailers and equipment that can easily lift an old, used hot tub and put it neatly onto said trailer.

Most importantly, Mr. Wonderful, and now BoyWonder, are marvelous sports who semi-happily pick up “purchased on a whim” ridiculous things like old hot tubs. Honestly, when will those two joker’s learn to say no? Clearly, this is all on them.

Right space

As it turns out, once you get a hot tub you need a perfectly flat spot for a hot tub. Who knew? Again, probably everybody who isn’t me.

So, of course, this necessitated a deck for the hot tub. You can’t just slap a hot tub down on the grass (or so I’m told). This is how the $12 hot tub ended up sitting on a much costlier deck.

Thank goodness, the WonderGuys are handy, but it’s not like wood just grows on trees. Wait?

Does it work?

Anyway, we were now quite a few dollars into the deck to hold the hot tub that we don’t even know actually works or not. Upon poking around in the guts of the tub, we realized we had some pipes with a space between them. Just open air there. That seemed … unwise. I’m not a hot tub engineer, but it seems like water is not to be trusted to not go gushing out of openings like that.

We set out to research what was supposed to be there? What was the missing link? Gear? Pipe? Pump? Gremlin? It should be noted that more than one friend voted for “Flux Capacitor” and insisted that we actually had a hot tub time machine.

I may not know much about hot tubs, but I do know I have the coolest friends.

Alas, a little internet sleuthing proved it was missing a pump. Have you priced pumps lately? They are definitely more than $12.

At this point, Mr. Wonderful noted that my “almost free hot tub” was costing considerably more than $12. Like much more. But at this point, we were in. So I ordered the pricey pump and waited.

The pump arrived on Friday. Saturday, with much enthusiasm on my part, and much less on Mr. Wonderful’s, we installed the new pump. By “we” I mean Mr. wonderful, of course. I don’t know anything about pumps.

Then came the exciting moment when we would just add water. Things went well until about the one-fourth full mark when we noticed a small leak around another pump gasket.

It should be noted that this hot tub has two pumps. When I purchase wholly unnecessary items I like to go for the most extravagant versions, thus ensuring that everything will cost more.

Hello, parts department. Small leak into pump turned into large leak when we cracked the gasket. Of course, we did. No worries, because a new gasket will only set us back a bit, but the parts have to come from California. Of course, they do.

So now we wait for a gasket, to be able to fill the tub, so we can actually hook up the electrical and see if all the other pricey parts work or if they will need replaced, one at a time, from California.

This is how you end up with a wholly unplanned hot tub at your house. This is also how an “almost free hot tub” landed us in hot water.

Or so we hope.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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