What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: What's new in the last 5-6 years?  (Read 2285 times)

Isaac-1

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What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« on: June 14, 2023, 11:02:34 pm »
I have not been on here in 5-6 years, and I am wondering if there is anything new and revolutionary in the Hot Tub world, as I am starting to give thought to replacing my 1998 Hotspring Jetsetter J with IQ-2000, which still works, and still looks fairly good (1998 was the last year Hotspring used read redwood slats on their cabinets)  as it has spent its entire life indoors, but as it ages I worry the plastic parts are becoming brittle and are getting more prone to cracking, I noticed some of this starting to occur while I was replacing the circulation pump recently.

thanks

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What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« on: June 14, 2023, 11:02:34 pm »

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2023, 05:00:27 pm »
Nothing groundbreaking but there have been improvements in my opinion.

Wi-Fi systems & Stereos have improved, better sound and better reliability from RF connected Wi-Fi and more options for remote monitoring (like Caldera or Hot Springs being able to remotely monitor your salt system for example)

Salt Systems are more readily available if you're looking for less water changes and less maintenance

More user friendly touchscreen controls are now more readily available on a lot of spas

Cabinets/colors and overall designs from some brands have come a long way, I haven't seen all the new 2023 stuff but Bullfrog and Hot Springs cabinets and overall aesthetic are very nice imo

Fabric covers, could be argued that these still only last 3-4 years so not greatly improved but they are much more pleasant to look at when the spa is closed imo

Component and general overall reliability now that we are out of the 'Covid Era' has greatly improved imo

Chiller systems, not embraced by all but I know more manufacturers are getting on board as it seems to be the latest rage among consumers, so if sitting in freezing azz cold water is your thing it will be an option moving forward for a lot of brands imo

Just a few off the top of my head, good luck!



CanadianSpaTech

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2023, 08:12:42 am »
5-6 years ago I warned NA manufacturers that Made In China/Europe hot tubs had figured out what they needed to do to break into the NA market. They are Masters at R and D (Rob and Duplicate) Gone are the no insulation, Chinese electronics low quality hot tubs they use to offer. The spas they now offer have good perimeter insulation packages, off the shelf Balboa (most) or Gecko control systems, Aristec acrylic welded Stainless steel frames (remains to be seen) screw in jets, panels that are easy to get on/off and look decent, in jet lighting and LX pumps (now used by a lot of top MFG's and have been really reliable.. IMO) and most other parts are becoming readily available.

Now in my area they are everywhere. I can count at least 6 different names they are being sold under all from the same MFG in China. Retailers are sticking an overlay on them and calling them whatever they want allowing them to have an in house brand. China don't care. More and more I am hearing from local retailers how pissed off/frustrated they are dealing with NA brand name MFG's owned by big Money Funds with shrinking profit margins and shrinking territories they are now looking at other options.

The final key is that Consumers are now willing to also look at other options and more and more are willing to overlook the Made in... stigma. Not wanting to pay the (IMO) overinflated prices of most NA made Brand name spas. I can buy an 8x8 brand name spa for 25K or I can buy a made in.. spa with a lot of the same components (pumps. packs, Wifi) for under 15K has a lot of consumers thinking... and buying.

The downside... as stated they are now everywhere here in my area and competition is heating up with so many stores carrying the exact same spas with the only difference being what models they are choosing to bring in and what name they slap on them. Good for consumers.

No I'm not Chinese and this is JMO. I have been an Independent Hot Tub Service Technician for over 20 years working on all makes and models. Just stating what I saw coming and what is now here.
As always with any spa brand be sure to vette the dealer as much as you do brand and price.










« Last Edit: June 17, 2023, 08:14:32 am by CanadianSpaTech »

Jag8

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2023, 08:04:07 am »
Canadianspatech,
“Off the shelf parts” would be the last thing I would want to hear when buying a spa. Just look how well it worked out for the titanic submersible recently. There is value in companies that engineer and innovate. 

CanadianSpaTech

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2023, 08:59:20 am »
Why would you want to have to pay WAY more for a proprietary pack when you can buy (when needed) an off the shelf Balboa pack and topside that does the same exact job made by the same exact company. Big brand name MFG's use "proprietary" parts so that you can only buy from their retail dealers at a huge mark up and they rarely have stock so you wait sometimes weeks (-25 Canada). Countless times I have encountered "proprietary" parts no longer available. I can buy off the shelf parts through my local wholesaler at wholesale prices (usually same day) and then be able to offer my customers better savings. If I have to buy through a brand name store I pay what you pay... Full Retail $$$. Might work out during the warranty period but once out of warranty you will pay way more than an off the shelf system.  2/3 of a spas lifespan is post warranty.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2023, 09:01:13 am by CanadianSpaTech »

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2023, 11:42:10 am »
Why would you want to have to pay WAY more for a proprietary pack when you can buy (when needed) an off the shelf Balboa pack and topside that does the same exact job made by the same exact company. Big brand name MFG's use "proprietary" parts so that you can only buy from their retail dealers at a huge mark up and they rarely have stock so you wait sometimes weeks (-25 Canada). Countless times I have encountered "proprietary" parts no longer available. I can buy off the shelf parts through my local wholesaler at wholesale prices (usually same day) and then be able to offer my customers better savings. If I have to buy through a brand name store I pay what you pay... Full Retail $$$. Might work out during the warranty period but once out of warranty you will pay way more than an off the shelf system.  2/3 of a spas lifespan is post warranty.

who isn't using off the shelf parts these days besides the Watkins umbrella of spas? Isn't basically everyone using Balboa or Gecko at this point for control packs, topsides, etc.

CanadianSpaTech

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2023, 07:48:42 pm »
Why would you want to have to pay WAY more for a proprietary pack when you can buy (when needed) an off the shelf Balboa pack and topside that does the same exact job made by the same exact company. Big brand name MFG's use "proprietary" parts so that you can only buy from their retail dealers at a huge mark up and they rarely have stock so you wait sometimes weeks (-25 Canada). Countless times I have encountered "proprietary" parts no longer available. I can buy off the shelf parts through my local wholesaler at wholesale prices (usually same day) and then be able to offer my customers better savings. If I have to buy through a brand name store I pay what you pay... Full Retail $$$. Might work out during the warranty period but once out of warranty you will pay way more than an off the shelf system.  2/3 of a spas lifespan is post warranty.

who isn't using off the shelf parts these days besides the Watkins umbrella of spas? Isn't basically everyone using Balboa or Gecko at this point for control packs, topsides, etc.


Add Jacuzzi/Sundance umbrella to the list. Other MFG's use Balboa/Gecko but some although they look like "off the Shelf" packs the do have proprietary programming, chips/codes and or topsides. 

Ripper238

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Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2023, 12:27:18 pm »
Its seems heat pumps that can cool are becoming a thing. People buying Hot Tubs wanting them to be cool for there kids and combat the increasing heat temps as of late.

Hot Tub Forum

Re: What's new in the last 5-6 years?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2023, 12:27:18 pm »

 

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