What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: help me narrow down my list!!  (Read 1232 times)

StBlGT

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help me narrow down my list!!
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:48:46 am »
Hello,

This is my first post, but I am a long-time lurker.  I am in the market for my first spa and I am looking to purchase sometime within the next few months.  Our out-the-door price is $10,000 (if it goes over a few hundred and we LOVE the tub, then we can swing it).  We did dry-test most of these, but haven't wet-tested any.  But, we definitely will before we buy.  I was just trying to get some expert opinions on these tubs to maybe help me cross a few off of our list.  The tubs we are interested in are all optioned out the same, and comes with all of the usual things (cover, lift, steps, chemicals, etc.) just needs tax added.  They are:

1.  Bullfrog R6 ($9,300)
2.  Hot Springs Limelight Beam ($9,900)
3.  Caldera Vanto ($7,200)
4.  Marquis V84/V94 ($7,800/$8,500)
5.  Marquis 750 ($7,800)
6.  Artesian Captiva ($9,000)
7.  Artesian South Seas 748B ($7,000)
8.  Sundance Chelsee 780 (wasn't able to get a price...any info would help!)
9.  Sundance Edison/McKinley 680 (again, no price)

That is my list.  Are these considered good prices, or even good spas?  I am in Northeast Pennsylvania, so the better insulated/energy-efficient tub the better.

Thanks for all of your help in advance.

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help me narrow down my list!!
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:48:46 am »

The Wizard of Spas

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 11:18:41 am »
First off-  All great brands.  Thus you're going to be happy with whatever you purchase.

Wet test before you cross off your list in its entirety- Comfort is your priority, as the pricing will be within your stated budget.  I was previously an Artesian Spas dealer and the Captiva (which one?  Is it the Island Elite?) is just superior (and also- quieter!) than the South Seas 748 in most ways.  I'll let the other contributors who sell the other brands speak on their behalf as they are the experts.

But in all- These are all quality, reputable brands. Good luck moving forward.

StBlGT

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 11:25:29 am »
Thank you so much for your reply.

To answer your question, no, it is not the elite.  He had an elite recently, but just sold it.  I believe he said for around $12,000.  It seemed a little out of our range, so I don't think we are going to be considering that one.

Spatech_tuo

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 12:33:29 pm »
Hello,

This is my first post, but I am a long-time lurker.  I am in the market for my first spa and I am looking to purchase sometime within the next few months.  Our out-the-door price is $10,000 (if it goes over a few hundred and we LOVE the tub, then we can swing it).  We did dry-test most of these, but haven't wet-tested any.  But, we definitely will before we buy.  I was just trying to get some expert opinions on these tubs to maybe help me cross a few off of our list.  The tubs we are interested in are all optioned out the same, and comes with all of the usual things (cover, lift, steps, chemicals, etc.) just needs tax added.  They are:

1.  Bullfrog R6 ($9,300)
2.  Hot Springs Limelight Beam ($9,900)
3.  Caldera Vanto ($7,200)
4.  Marquis V84/V94 ($7,800/$8,500)
5.  Marquis 750 ($7,800)
6.  Artesian Captiva ($9,000)
7.  Artesian South Seas 748B ($7,000)
8.  Sundance Chelsee 780 (wasn't able to get a price...any info would help!)
9.  Sundance Edison/McKinley 680 (again, no price)

That is my list.  Are these considered good prices, or even good spas?  I am in Northeast Pennsylvania, so the better insulated/energy-efficient tub the better.

Thanks for all of your help in advance.

there is nothing on that list that deserves to be crossed off so schedule some wet tests and let that be a good part of your decision making process along with which seem like a good deal, which dealers you feel will be there for you after the sale...
220, 221, whatever it takes!

StBlGT

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 02:06:41 pm »
So good to here!  Glad I am looking in the right direction for quality.

The dealers I am working with all seem to be very knowledgeable and have been around for 20-40 years.  So I feel very good about that.

I am really concerned about the tub being energy efficient.  Is there a few tubs on my list that would win out in that area compared to the others?

castletonia

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 04:02:35 pm »
All the brands you listed are good, reputable companyís.  As long as all are full foam insulation, they will all be efficient.  With Marquis and possibly Artesian, just make sure they are including full foam, itís optional.  The ones using a 24/7 circulation pump will probably be a few dollars cheaper to run than those without, but itís not going to be a big enough difference that I would make it a deciding factor.

The Wizard of Spas

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 05:56:41 pm »
I cannot think of a tub that is not efficient, when considering top tier brands, such as what you are circling around.  I also like to have my customers quantify what efficient means.  Its an exercise in expectation-setting:  What are you ok w/paying monthly?  I frame it like that b/c the variables are vast and numerous:  What time of year is it?  What temp do you like it set at?  How often are you going to use it?  How long are you using it?  So on, so forth.

Then there is how energy is priced in your local community.  So that can be a huge variable when considering how much you can expect to pay in energy, when comparing with other parts of the country. 

Furthermore- Many brands toss out numbers, but those numbers may not correlate to your model.  I've seen a price/month on energy cost tagged on countless spas in showrooms, but when you look at the fine print, it is for their smallest unit, and not the unit you may be actually considering.  So you really got to do your due diligence, unfortunately. 

Finally- What is the basis of the energy numbers a brand is putting out?  Is it based in the origin of manufacture?  Most brands are made in Mexico or Southern California, so that could be misleading when considering energy.  ALso- How do you compare how one brand has measured their efficiency vs another?

So- You can see how it can be convoluted.  Thus- I say that most higher-end brands are as efficient as you're going to find.  And your bills shouldn't be much more than $30/month ($1/day is usually the very top end of what you'll see, as most are a lot less).  So if I ask "How much are you willing to spend?" and it is like $30/month or more, then you're going to be fine, b/c all brands will do that, and if one brand is better than what I sell, I total up the difference for 5 years (the difference is usually w/in $1-2/month) and I'll take that difference off the total of the spa. 

If you say you're not willing to pay up to $30/month, you should not buy a spa.

Sorry- That was a ton of info.  I hope it makes sense. 

StBlGT

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 08:12:15 pm »
Thank you for that detailed response, The Wizard of Spas.  I completely understand where you are coming from.  I was just wondering if one or two were significantly better, but if all are in the same league...then no worries. 

I have no problem with $30 or so per month.  I did read threads where some said it was at $100 per month...that i would mine.  That is why i was asking.  I forget which tubs they had, but something else must have been the issue.

I really appreciate the help.  If anyone else has anything else to add...feel free!  I love reading about ones opinions on this.

StBlGT

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 10:11:48 pm »
I just have another quick question for anyone who would know.

Are circ pumps recommended or is that something you really don't need?

I just noticed the Caldera doesn't have one, and i don't even think it is an option.  I have to look at the others quick to compare.

Marco P

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 01:58:12 am »
circulation pumps filter nearly the same amount as any normal filtration cycle. however, they can be noisy, and fail often due to being run 24/7. if you really want the peace of mine, go ahead, but i wouldnt...

StBlGT

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 06:25:26 am »
Thank you for your reply.

It seems Marquis doesn't use circ pumps either.  Maybe an add-on option..not sure?  But it looks like about half of my list might not have a circ pump as an option.  I will have to call my Marquis dealer and see.

The Wizard of Spas

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 01:42:58 pm »
If I was trying to sell a circulation pump:  "Circ pumps take your filter, ozone and heater into its own loop, freeing up your first pump away from the heater bottle neck and delivering more flow.  Circulation pumps are approx. 1/2 amp and are more energy efficient.  Furthermore- The first pump, which is the heating pump when no circ pump is on a tub- gets worn down by the start-stop action, degrading its lifespan, as pump 1 is the most replaced pump on the tub.  Many say that circ pumps fail, but if you don't have one, your first pump will fail just as fast if you don't take care of the water, or if you have an inferior pump brand.  And finally- it runs 3-3.5 amps when its heating- not near as efficient."

If I was not trying to sell a circulation pump:  "Circ pumps are another part.  And another part that can fail.  Circ pumps save energy you say?  Tell me what the tangible savings are?  Circ pumps cost more b/c its not something that is just put on for free, so tell me what the charge is for the circ pump, then subtract the savings:  Are you still ahead on this deal?  Also- Why do you need a circ pump?  Is it b/c the guy who sells it?  Oh course he'd say that...." 

So on, so forth. 

I work for a manufacturer who builds tubs with and without circulation pumps.  In my opinion- and this is only me and to not besmirch anyone else, as I respect other contributors to this site highly- the circulation pump argument boils down to if the salesperson carries that on their tub or not.  I can see both ways and both have valid points.  Its really up to whatever you value in a tub.

But that is my sole opinion and isn't any better or more informed than others who are in the industry.

castletonia

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 01:51:49 pm »
Circulation pumps are not necessary.  That being said, they are quieter, more energy efficient, and since they relieve the main jet pump of its circulating duties, it should extend the life of that jet pump.

The Caldera Vanto does not have one.  If you moved up to a Paradise series Caldera, then you would get one. None of the Marquis' do and its not optional either.  I wouldn't let the circulation pump be a deciding factor at this point.  Find a few hot tubs that might work for you and dealers you can trust.  If all things equal, then I would consider the circulation pump as a possible deal breaker. 

Sam

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 02:28:16 pm »
I agree with all that is said above.  The thing that swings it in favor of having a circ pump for me is the fact that if you have an ozone or UV system, it is only functioning when the spa is filtering.  That would be 24 hours a day when you have a circ pump and as little as 4 hours per day when you don't.  Combine that with the fact that they are silent, which also means if you have a waterfall you can operate it off the circ pump and enjoy the sounds of the waterfall by itself without pump noise and the decision is easy.  I like sitting in the hot water with the jets off and the trickle of the  waterfall for part of my soaking time.

StBlGT

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Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 03:42:51 pm »
Thanks, all.

I am hopefully going tomorrow or Saturday to look at the tubs again and talk to the dealers of the Marquis and Artesian.  I am leaning towards one of those 2 right now...Bullfrog is close, but right now in 3rd.

Hot Tub Forum

Re: help me narrow down my list!!
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 03:42:51 pm »

 

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