What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: 2020 HS Envoy Review  (Read 3896 times)

Sammi

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2020 HS Envoy Review
« on: September 11, 2020, 01:39:19 am »
As the title suggest this is an honest review of my HS envoy that was delivered today.

Looks - 10/10 - I went with the Driftwood exterior which matched my gray siding and gray stamped concrete patio perfectly. Couldn't be happier with the appearance. I almost bought a used Envoy that was brown and I'm super happy I didn't. That alone was worth the upcharge for going with new.

Ease of setup - 10/10. Luckily where I live we have top notch tap water. Filled it with a couple garden hoses in short order. When my dealer called me tonight to finish set up he stated I only need to add 4 cups of salt that came with the kit and 4 tablespoons of chlorine sanitizer. He had me bump the salt system setting to 10 and told me to lower every 10 days until my water doesn't look clear. Betweem 4-7 is the sweet spot. My tub was wired at exaclt noon today and it was up to 102 by 9:30 so I was able to use it first day. Dealer said I shouldn't have to add ANY chemical with the exception of some PH decreaser tomorrow. I'm really hoping that's true because that is truly low maintenance. Especially if i can start backing off the salt system setting.

Jets/Configuration - 10/10 - that being said here is my situation. It is just my wife and I and we are not entertainers. 99.95% of the time it will be just her and myself in the tub. Occasionally our daughter or son might stop by to join us but it will be rare. A few things I'd like to point out is there are 5 specific seats that all massage in a different manner. With only two people you can shut down certain jets at the jet itself and use the diverters to adjust accordingly. It is trial and error but it works.  With 4 or 5 people in the tub I anticipate I would set all diverters and jets to neutral so everyone has some decent flow, but with primarily two of us we can zero in on what we like and where. I was worried about jet power when wet testing but it can be dialed in perfectly.

Seating arrangement - 10/10. For two people there are so many options. My wife is short so the lounger wasn't perfect but she could make it work really well. The captains chair is the cat's meow. When the jets and diverters are set right there is nothing better. Followed closely by the moto-massage lounge. The next awesome seat would be the seat opposite of the captins chair and moto-massage - the corner chair. It is also extremely customizable and comfy with great flow. Finally my wife loved the other two seats with less jets because they fit her really well, where shallower, and massaged the right spots.

Sound system - 12/10. Its worth every penny. So glad I didn't scimp on it. Sounds amazing. Followed the pairing instructions and it works like a charm.

Overall impression - 10/10. I will say this - if a cpuple.os looking for a nice relaxing spa with good jet power, seating options, and the ability to have guests once in a while this is the perfect layout. It is much more spacious than a Jetsetter, but not too big. If you are looking to have 5 or more people in a tub more than 2 times a week u might be better off with a more open layout.

Water care - 10/10 but I'm 1 night in. My tub came with both the new salt system and ozone. I was told I shouldn't add any chemical going forward after tomorrow. If thats the case I'm seriously impressed.

The only Con i have is the wiring configuration. We opted to have the cover open towards our house. This meant the control panel was facing away from the house. The tub doesn't allow for an inner compartment wiring according to my electrician, so I have pvc pipe with wiring inside running from the house on top of my patio along side the tub.  I'll be honest it is really ugly. If the wiring could have gone inside the side panels starting on the house side where the cover flips to it would be so much better.

I spent 2 hours in the tub tonight and am extremely happy. I'm not even a hot tub person so that says a lot.  Please reach out if you r on the fence about models, etc

Hot Tub Forum

2020 HS Envoy Review
« on: September 11, 2020, 01:39:19 am »

Frogger

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 02:49:34 am »
Congratulations on the envoy! I'm almost "envious" of the envoy...Its my second choice spa for a lot of reasons and maybe a first choice for other reasons. The spa has a nice look for sure and you are lucky to get it so fast. I'm still waiting on my Bullfrog A8D (four months wait)...should get it next Wednesday.

I've thought a lot about the Envoy...Moto Massage seems intriguing and I've read great things about it. I like the layout of the spa ...the lounger is good as well as the captains chair. The lighting and look of the spa is very nice.  I like the interior and exterior lighting a little more than the spa i have on order. Living in Arizona i would really LOVE the coolzone feature...i know that's an extra add on feature. I have to make do making giant ice blocks in my freezer...lol. Ahh its cheaper (almost free) than the $1500 coolzone add on by hot springs. I'd still buy it though given the opportunity...Bullfrog doesn't have that option unfortunately.  I also love the waterproof TV option by hot springs that attaches to the exterior of the tub...awesome.  I have a work around solution for that too. Hot Springs envoy does impress me so so much...but their price point (especially with the extras) is prohibitive for me.

I went with my Bullfrog A8D because I really like picking my own jets. I like the layout too and the size. They redesigned it this year and paid more attention to the foot jets. They have a "half moon" of four jets in the bottom footwell that hits every seat equally and almost head on. I think that would prevent me from giving a 10/10 score on jet placement as you have done for the envoy. I think they need more foot jets and better placement...more straight on. But that might just be nitpicking.  Its a heck of a spa!

swaney

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2020, 05:45:25 pm »
Hello Sammi
   Any updates on your Envoy?  Maintenance, lighting, etc.?
   Thank You

Frogger

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2020, 10:34:47 pm »
Hello Sammi
   Any updates on your Envoy?  Maintenance, lighting, etc.?
   Thank You

Seems like after ppl get their tubs you dont hear much from them. Actually its a good sign because they are busy enjoying them....IMMENSELY.  You soak away!

Sammi

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2020, 11:04:48 pm »
Hello Sammi
   Any updates on your Envoy?  Maintenance, lighting, etc.?
   Thank You

Yes! In it right now! (Hope I don't drop my phone)

A couple of updates - last week I decided to take my dealers advice and not add any chlorine. Thought I'd let the salt system do it's job. Well - I ended up with cloudy water after two days. Couldn't see the bottom in the morning after clean water the night before so it basically got really cloudy in about 9 hours. I contacted my dealer and they had me add 4 tablespoons of chlorine granules and run the tub. I also cleaned the main filter which was quite dirty from the tub being new with test water. After running the tub off and on most of the day my water was clean and I was able to use it that night.

Lesson learned is that after every 3 uses I need to add a tablespoon of chlorine granuales. Here's the scoop - our use has been twice daily for extended periods of time. I keep the temp at 100 so I can be in the tub longer. Dealer said after a month I shouldnt have to do to do that regardless of use. My salt output is set at 10 since day 1.  I have no issue adding some chlorine here and there and have had no issues with watwr clarity or chlorine smell since. I test the water daily and sometimes 3 times a day as I'm learning what works and what doesn't. Also - I found out a friend of mine used to sell Hot Springs spas and owns a Vanguard. The tip he gave me was to buy cheap paper filters off Amazon and use those for the main filter that runs 24/7 and just toss it after 3-4 months and replace rather than cleaning it. I bought a 3 pack for $45.  Ultimately maintenance is a breeze now that I'm understanding the water chemistry better. Basically a bit of chlorine once in a while and some PH decreaser about once a week.

I purchased a spa side table that goes on the side for drinks off Amazon. Due to the redesign of the sides I'm finding it a waste of $40. There's plenty of space to sit multiple beverages on the spa side and the spa table takes a seat away.

Lights are awesome. All colors look super cool with a wide array of adjustment. We use them for a while then turn them off to watch the stars. Turn them on to get out and then run the 10 minute clean cycle.

It was 79 this AM when I was soaking and it made me wonder how low I could set the heater for next summer when its hot out. Looks like I can go down to 80 so my hope is that next summer I can set the temp in the low 80's and use it to cool off.

I'm learning the diverters. When I get them dialed in for a specific chair I find the massage to be incredible. I've used every seat on the tub a lot. They each serve a purpose.

That being said - I was really interested in trying out an A series Bullfrog. I never did get to see one or wet test one. My local dealer couldn't get any until at least February so that was an absolute deal breaker for me as I wasn't willing to wait. The Bullfrog dealer used to sell Hot Springs and talked up and down about how much better Bullfrog was (that made me suspicious to be honest).  I have zero buyers remorse. Maybe if I det foot in a Bullfrog someday I will and I'm sure theu are fantastic, but the Envoy is checking every box for me.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:30:08 pm by Sammi »

Frogger

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 04:49:47 pm »
You shouldn't have any regrets..especially with that spa. I dont think there is a perfect spa because everyone has different likes and needs. Im really impressed with the envoy even though I have a bullfrog coming.  I wish I could have both tubs...lol. Honestly I saw the envoy after I purchased the bullfrog and had a moment of "uh oh"...i hope I made the right purchase. I dont think you can go wrong with either one. Glad you are enjoying it.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 05:04:37 pm by Frogger »

swaney

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 09:03:35 pm »
Buy cheap paper filters from amazon??  Can you elaborate on that more

Sammi

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 09:55:03 am »
Buy cheap paper filters from amazon??  Can you elaborate on that more

I don't have much to add other than my friend said cleaning the filters can be a pain. Since the main filter runs 24/7 and the other 4 only run when the jets are going the main filter needs cleaning mucb more frequently. So rather than cleaning it he recommends using a paper filter on the main and tossing it when its dirty.

I haven't put one it yet. Won't try it until my main filter needs cleaning. I have no clue of the paper filters are inferior but the logic makes sense as far as cleaning goes. 

swaney

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2020, 06:07:43 pm »
My dealer here in panama said can put the filters in the dish washer.  Not sure I would do that.

wcmorris

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2021, 12:40:54 pm »
Kind of an old post but lets see if we can resurrect.

Sammi, I'm curious how the Envoy is a year on. I just got mine last month and we've been loving it other than having issues dialing in the salt system. You mentioned adding chlorine once a week and having the system set to 10. The manual says you shouldn't add chlorine once the system is maintaining 3-5 ppm on it's own. We're you ever able to get it dialed in so you only have to use non-chlorine shock once in a while and set the output lower to like 6 or 7? How long are the salt cartridges lasting you?

I've been having a similar experience as you where I have it set to 10 and have been boosting constantly but I still find it struggles to maintain. I now just got the error where it looks like the salt cartridge needs to be replaced. My dealer charges $250 for a three pack which I refuse to play if I'm replacing them  every 1 to 2 months.

Sammi

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2021, 08:44:06 pm »
Kind of an old post but lets see if we can resurrect.

Sammi, I'm curious how the Envoy is a year on. I just got mine last month and we've been loving it other than having issues dialing in the salt system. You mentioned adding chlorine once a week and having the system set to 10. The manual says you shouldn't add chlorine once the system is maintaining 3-5 ppm on it's own. We're you ever able to get it dialed in so you only have to use non-chlorine shock once in a while and set the output lower to like 6 or 7? How long are the salt cartridges lasting you?

I've been having a similar experience as you where I have it set to 10 and have been boosting constantly but I still find it struggles to maintain. I now just got the error where it looks like the salt cartridge needs to be replaced. My dealer charges $250 for a three pack which I refuse to play if I'm replacing them  every 1 to 2 months.

First 4 months were a pain as I documented in other threads it looks like you had a chance to read. Basically the tubs sit a bit after they have been wet tested at the manufacturer before theu are shipped, sit at the dealer, and the. Installed and filled.

If I did it over again I would have filled the tub, used it for a bit, then put Ah-Some or Silk Balance Clean Start (have used it once and liked it a lot) in, and drained and refilled.

Ever since my first full refill my spa has worked great. My cartridge after the first refill lasted me 6 months. My second cartridge is going strong after 3 months. This was after going through 5 in the first 4 months. I balance ph and alkalinity every other day, and put chlorine enhanced shock in once a week unless the spa is being used daily then twice a week. If my test strip shows low or no chlorine thats when I add. My water has been great since that first dump and I love the system now. I do think water needs to he changed 3x a year rather than once a year but we use our spa a lot. Once the water gets difficult to maintain and you feel like you are having to add a ton of chemicals it is past time to change.

wcmorris

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2021, 10:48:40 am »
Thanks for the updated. I cleaned my filters yesterday and tried to reset the salt system as the manual suggests that dirty filter can be one cause of the salt system failing. It almost immediately turned off again so I assume now that the cartridge needs to be replaced. My plan now is to do a drain and refill as you and others seemed to have good luck with this. I order ahhsome, salt cartridges, and vanishing act pillow. I'll give it a go this weekend and see what happens.

Do you try to fully balance water before activating salt system? If my second fill is anything like my first, it took weeks of adding pH down once a day before pH and Alkalinity balanced. My calcium was between 0 - 25 the entire time and has stayed steady. My dealer said salt system could be activated before all the other levels were perfect but I'm not sure I buy that. 

Sammi

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2021, 01:15:41 pm »
Thanks for the updated. I cleaned my filters yesterday and tried to reset the salt system as the manual suggests that dirty filter can be one cause of the salt system failing. It almost immediately turned off again so I assume now that the cartridge needs to be replaced. My plan now is to do a drain and refill as you and others seemed to have good luck with this. I order ahhsome, salt cartridges, and vanishing act pillow. I'll give it a go this weekend and see what happens.

Do you try to fully balance water before activating salt system? If my second fill is anything like my first, it took weeks of adding pH down once a day before pH and Alkalinity balanced. My calcium was between 0 - 25 the entire time and has stayed steady. My dealer said salt system could be activated before all the other levels were perfect but I'm not sure I buy that.

I've refilled twice now since the initial first fill. I let the water temp get to above 80 and then tested with the FreshWater test strips. I just balanced alkalinity and then 10 minutes later ph. After letting that sit I throw in a quarter cup of chlorine granuales (enhanced shock would work too) and then add 4 cups of the salt when I hits 90 degrees.

It shouldn't take weeks of adding ph down to balance. If you test 10 minutes after adding ph down it will definitely show the ph has come down. My ph always seems to run high FYI, and I'm not sure why that is. For example I can add ph down right now, test it at appropriate levels, not use the tub, and by this evening my ph will be back up. Alkalinity seems to stay stable until I actually use the tub then it drops. I've used my spa 3 times this week for 30 min each time and twice my wife was in as well. I tested my water this morning and still have ample chlorine and slightly high ph, so the salt cartridge is for sure working properly.

wcmorris

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Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2021, 02:50:43 pm »
I was planning to do a full drain/refill, but I took a water sample to my dealer and they said all my levels looked really good so they didn't think I needed to start fresh. The salt was a little high at 200 and the pH was a little might at 8.2 but everything else was perfect. They said my salt cell probably died prematurely because I was still learning the system, boosting too much, and just needed time to get a handle on how to maintain everything. Since the levels were pretty much perfect they suggested I just replace the salt cartridge, set it to a lower output and see if it now will maintain chlorine on it's own.

I added the new cartridge last night and the arrow immediately went to 12:00. The water felt and smelled the best it has been since I got the spa. Maybe they were right that I just needed to get past the learning curve. I'll have to check tonight to see if it's holding chlorine. If not, I'll add shock instead of boosting and see if I can get things working properly without boosting or increasing the output a ton. Hopefully it'll be smooth sailing from here. We'll see..

Hot Tub Forum

Re: 2020 HS Envoy Review
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2021, 02:50:43 pm »

 

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