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General => Hot Tub Forum => Topic started by: aug0211 on December 02, 2018, 12:22:48 pm

Title: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 02, 2018, 12:22:48 pm
Hi everyone,

First time poster here. Have read through existing threads (including the beating the dead horse portion) and would like to arm myself with a bit more information before I get out there into the show rooms.

Grew up with a Hot Spring at my parentsí place (they still have it - going strong for 15 years now). My wife and I are thinking itís time to add one at our place. We donít want to spend money just to spend it, though I am normally one to pay a bit more to have more potential/features/quality/reliability in a product. The main source of buyersí remorse that I am susceptible to is ďI wish I had added that feature!Ē With that said, our budget is in the $10-15k range (and if there is something mind blowing that is a ďmust have,Ē we can go up from there.

Our daughter has cerebral palsy and we are hopeful for potential use down the road to help her relax her muscles (high muscle tone). There will also be some assistive devices in the tub (daughter is deaf with cochlear implants, so water-proof cochlear implants will be in the tub - people use these in pools all the time, but Iíd like to consider harshness of water in the decision of chlorine vs salt). We are a four person family and entertain often, so a larger tub would be preferred.

Weíre located in Central Ohio and year-round use is a must-have for us.

Before going in to see the dealers, Iíd like to arm myself with some info so that I am not eaten alive :-) The research Iíve done so far indicates that hot tub purchasing is not too different from car purchasing, in that there are many factors that can influence pricing (product, inventory, dealer location/shipping cost, demand, etc), negotiation is to be expected, and test drives (wet tests) are a must. I generally like to have my info together ahead of time, to avoid long, drawn-out trips where dealers are selling me on whatever they have on the floor and are trying to move. Of course, on-site experience is critical but prep ahead of time is important to me.

Questions I can think of (please add your own questions and answers that I should be asking but donít even know to ask yet):

Thanks to everyone for the help!
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Spatech_tuo on December 03, 2018, 01:00:07 pm
You have a very good short list. Just be careful that you don't fall in love with any one in particular BEFORE you wet test.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Sam on December 03, 2018, 02:33:21 pm
Yep, sounds like you are are pretty prepared.  Those are all good brands.  I would personally recommend staying away from saltwater.  It sounds good in a sales pitch but everything I've seen and heard has been negative, outside of one dealer who posts here who has had great success with them.  I think there are other less expensive and more reliable ways to achieve the benefits of salt without the corrosive nature of salt.

The only other thing I would add:  While it's true that some dealers in our industry come across as the classic "used car sales" type of place, don't walk in the door assuming that they all are.  There are quite a few great, family run operations that don't play those games and truly try to sell a customer the best spa for them and start with a very fair price up front.  Not all dealers jack their price up in the hopes you don't negotiate.  I'm not suggesting that you don't try to get a better deal, more so that it may be a minimal amount at some places compared to others.

I commonly run into customers who hammer me on price and I come up with say $500 or something and they are offended because the guy down the road took $5000 off.  The truth is that the guy down the road lied to them, but sometimes it's difficult for customers to understand that.  I can pretty much assure you that any dealer saying that they are knocking $5k off the price of a hot tub is most likely feeding you b.s.  We don't have those type of margins in our industry that we could discount by that much and still stay in business.  People really want to feel like they got an amazing deal are superior shoppers. Some unscrupulous dealers prey upon that instinct.  I refuse to play that game.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 03, 2018, 08:41:11 pm
Thanks, all, for the feedback already.

We were able to see Hot Spring and Jacuzzi tubs this weekend. Weíre interested in the Grandee NXT and the Envoy NXT (canít decide if we want a lounger or the more open space - will have to wet test of course).

Also saw Jacuzzi, though we had wanted to see a 500 series (J-575), but the dealer did not have any 500s on the floor. Said he just didnít sell them because they were too pricey. We understand thereís an upcharge for aesthetics and maybe not so much for function... but weíre paying over $10k for a luxury item, so the whole thing is kind of vain if you think about it, so it doesnít seem crazy to me to say we want more lights and atmosphere to help create a relaxing environment.

Weíll go back to wet test the two NXTs and probably will wet test a 400 series Jacuzzi. I told the salesman that Iím nervous it wonít really give Jacuzzi a fair comparison, be heís trying to convince us that we wonít notice the difference.

I also came across D1 (Dimension One) last night while researching. Wow - those look interesting. Any thoughts on the brand? I understand theyíre under the same parent company as Jacuzzi. Their Bay lineup is enticing with interesting layouts. Any feedback on D1?
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Tman122 on December 04, 2018, 08:08:48 am
I also came across D1 (Dimension One) last night while researching. Wow - those look interesting. Any thoughts on the brand? I understand theyíre under the same parent company as Jacuzzi. Their Bay lineup is enticing with interesting layouts. Any feedback on D1?

As good or better than those you have listed.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: wmccall on December 04, 2018, 08:57:16 am
Hi everyone,


Thanks to everyone for the help!

Hi neighbor, welcome to the forum.   In my many years here, and even more years running a home pc repair business in Columbus,  The Hot Spring tub has been the main one i see when a customer has had it for 15 years or more.  The HS dealer here in Columbus has a great reputation as well.   We are fortunate to have to very good reputable dealers here in Columbus that are just a few hundred yards apart.  My wife and I were set to buy an HS back in 2012 as our 2nd tub, but found the Sundance Majesta from the nearby Sundance/Jacuzzi dealer fit us better. That and the fact that they let us wet test any tub in the store helped make my decision.   I think between Scioto Valley and All Season out in Hilliard you will find something you like.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: wmccall on December 04, 2018, 08:59:37 am
Thanks, all, for the feedback already.

We were able to see Hot Spring and Jacuzzi tubs this weekend. Weíre interested in the Grandee NXT and the Envoy NXT (canít decide if we want a lounger or the more open space - will have to wet test of course).

Also saw Jacuzzi, though we had wanted to see a 500 series (J-575), but the dealer did not have any 500s on the floor. Said he just didnít sell them because they were too pricey. We understand thereís an upcharge for aesthetics and maybe not so much for function... but weíre paying over $10k for a luxury item, so the whole thing is kind of vain if you think about it, so it doesnít seem crazy to me to say we want more lights and atmosphere to help create a relaxing environment.

Weíll go back to wet test the two NXTs and probably will wet test a 400 series Jacuzzi. I told the salesman that Iím nervous it wonít really give Jacuzzi a fair comparison, be heís trying to convince us that we wonít notice the difference.

I also came across D1 (Dimension One) last night while researching. Wow - those look interesting. Any thoughts on the brand? I understand theyíre under the same parent company as Jacuzzi. Their Bay lineup is enticing with interesting layouts. Any feedback on D1?

It appears you have already found All Seasons.  They have been nothing but great to me from a few years before I purchased my Majesta, they helped support me with my 2003 Dynasty tub after that dealer went under.    Good luck in your shopping.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: wmccall on December 04, 2018, 10:26:39 am
You have a very good short list. Just be careful that you don't fall in love with any one in particular BEFORE you wet test.

He is very lucky in having 2 premier dealers less than a mile apart that encourage wet testing.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Michael Russell on December 05, 2018, 07:11:20 pm
You may well have read over my thread with my experiences...

I highly recommend wet tests where you can. Ideally with both you and your wife in each. My wife was a little thrown off by the idea at first. Going into a busy store and getting in a swim suit....

It was not a bad experience at all. Most stores offered after hours, or late hour visits. 2 of the 3 we wet test had back rooms that they setup the wet tests in. One was just me in the middle of the day by my own choice as I was passing through town of a further out dealer..

All said. Find a dealer you like and trust. Make sure the tub is comfortable; its really hard to judge comfort in a dry hot tub. Make sure it will fit you long term and medical needs of your daughter.

Insulation was a big point for me. Living in Ontario I insisted on full foam insulation.

Your budget is pretty large so you should be able to get into the largest tubs with lots of jets! I avoided salt water in the end for me it came down to the advise I was hearing from most dealers was they don't see the need... After about 6 weeks with my tub now I have to agree... Maintaining the water is pretty easy.....  (ok I had some clarity issues last week but I got over that ;-)

Cheers,

Mike

Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 06, 2018, 09:28:42 am
Hi everyone,

We're getting into setting up wet tests. Pricing is the next step after/during that.

Can I get a list of ballpark ranges to expect for fair pricing on the following? I know pricing can be a big range, so I will keep that in mind. I'm just hoping to collect as many data points as possible to make sure I'm not *way* off in my discussions.

Hot Spring NXT Grandee
Hot Spring NXT Envoy
Jacuzzi J-575
D1 Amore Bay
D1 Sarena Bay

Thanks!
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Spatech_tuo on December 07, 2018, 12:00:50 am
Hi everyone,

We're getting into setting up wet tests. Pricing is the next step after/during that.

Can I get a list of ballpark ranges to expect for fair pricing on the following? I know pricing can be a big range, so I will keep that in mind. I'm just hoping to collect as many data points as possible to make sure I'm not *way* off in my discussions.

Hot Spring NXT Grandee
Hot Spring NXT Envoy
Jacuzzi J-575
D1 Amore Bay
D1 Sarena Bay

Thanks!

What city/area are you in?
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Tman122 on December 07, 2018, 07:55:58 am
What city/area are you in?

Somewhere by Bill, ain't he a buckeye?
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Spatech_tuo on December 07, 2018, 02:23:21 pm
What city/area are you in?

Somewhere by Bill, ain't he a buckeye?

Aha, I guess I should have scrolled up.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 07, 2018, 05:15:34 pm
Sorry, yep, I'm a buckeye.

Any ballpark numbers out there?
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 09, 2018, 08:07:26 pm
Well, we wet tested four tubs today:

1. Hot Spring Grandee with ACE salt system - we both floated a ton, and fought to stay in the seats. Also realized we really want a central hub for feet if itís an open layout. We do love the exterior styling and the remote control of the NXT line, but the rest was not workable. This seemed like a no go, unfortunately. *Note: we will consider the Envoy, but cannot find one to wet test which is a must for us.

2. Bullfrog A8 - the quality was noticeably lower than the Hot Spring and tub felt small. Jet strength was not consistent across the jet packs and the control panel was all but unresponsive. Miserable to work with. This was a no go for the entire brand, unfortunately.

3. Jacuzzi 470 - this started to get better. No remote control which was a bummer, but we did not float nearly as much as in the Hot Spring. Jets did well and the speakers (option) were surprisingly a nice touch. The dual waterfalls were nice and we enjoyed the waterfall more than water spout options in the Hot Spring. Enjoyed the high-back styling. We noticed more ďdividesĒ between each seat which helped us stay put. We also liked the individual jet-level of customization for water power - big win there (and in Sundance).

4. Sundance Optima 880 - possibly the top pick from what we tested, maybe a tie with the Jacuzzi 470. The cabinet looks like itís from the 80s, which I could not get over. The no high-back styling like the Jacuzzi offers. The jets seemed better than the Jacuzzi. We did not have float issues, and again enjoyed the waterfall, though it was only a single and not double like the Jacuzzi. We did like the built in grab bars as well (potential focus for us as a family where accessibility is a concern). Excited about the scent option and bubbles as nice touches. As listed on Jacuzzi, enjoyed individual jet power customization.


Next steps:

1. We would love a Hot Spring NXT, as the exterior styling and remote control are top notch. It would probably have to be the Envoy, which we cannot wet test, so we have to wait on that most likely and see what 2019 might bring to our dealerís floor.

2. Jacuzzi 500 series is a strong contender - dealer does not have any to see, which is a concern, but after testing the 400 series, we are thinking we should have a good feel for it (does this make sense?) and just want the styling touches.

3. We are really interested in the 900 series of the Sundance spas. Specifically the 980 Kingston and Claremont. Dealer is supposed to get a 980 in next week, so weíll check it out.


Key Learnings:

1. Wet test is critical, we learned that we float. We did a full 180 on the foot hubs and now they are very attractive to us.

2. Control panel - using it while in the tub was important to test. We learned which ones were usable and which ones freak out.

3. Cool down seat - must have for us!

4. Salt water was a bit different but not massively.


Questions:

1. Any chance the salt system in the Hot Spring caused our float issues? Or is the salt level too low to impact buoyancy that much?

2. Thoughts on Sundance? Sounds like they are a step up from Jacuzzi? Are they reputable/top tier/going to last a long time/good customer service/etc?

3. Dealer mentioned that darker shells would show dirt quickly/easily and was recommending a lighter shell. We were nervous about sun glare but donít want to be fighting with water marks on a darker shell non-stop. Is the dealer right? Or full of it?

4. Pricing? I know everyone is hesitant to touch this, but Iíd love to hear whatever input might be out there. What have people paid for Jacuzzi 500 series? Sundance 900 series?

5. Other brands/tubs/recommendations to check out?
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Aquatub88 on December 09, 2018, 11:22:16 pm
Hello, I am very happy with my Envoy NXT purchase 6 months ago. We received the ACE system as part of a promo; Itís wonderful, low maintenance and you donít leave the tub smelling like chemicals.  The soft water is also a treat. I have not had a float issue at all nor has anyone in my family.  This is a great hottub backed by a great company. Ask the dealer for the stats on the water and let them explain what you were experiencing with the floating. 
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: silversun on December 10, 2018, 06:58:26 am
we purchased a sundance 880 optima last year and have been very happy with it. jets are awesome and it has everything we were looking for.

We also looked at hot springs grandee and bullfrog A8, but eliminated each for the reasons you mentioned among others. Sundance is owned by the Jacuzzi group which is a well respected company in the industry, and we've had no issues at all.

I'm not sure how a darker shell would show dirt easier than a light shell. It sounds like your dealer is not being straight with you.  besides you would want to see any dirt/grime and not cover it up because it indicates a larger problem with your water.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: mjb on December 10, 2018, 11:39:32 am
Clarification. The lighter shells do show "dirt" better - if you get any in your spa.  Making it visible for easy clean up. But the lighter shells do not show water-spots and water-line build-up from minerals and the like that exist in most water sources.  We know this first-hand when we had a dark shell in a display spa.  This spa needed extra care to keep it looking it's best.  Since then, all of our demo spas have been in platinum.
Darker shells will also be hotter when exposed to sunlight.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 10, 2018, 12:19:06 pm
Clarification. The lighter shells do show "dirt" better - if you get any in your spa.  Making it visible for easy clean up. But the lighter shells do not show water-spots and water-line build-up from minerals and the like that exist in most water sources.  We know this first-hand when we had a dark shell in a display spa.  This spa needed extra care to keep it looking it's best.  Since then, all of our demo spas have been in platinum.
Darker shells will also be hotter when exposed to sunlight.

Thank you, this was what the dealer was actually saying (and I butchered my explanation). Water spots and waterline build up from minerals (that we all have, just don't see as much on lighter shells).

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but can anyone help me out with pricing here? What's reasonable for these spas?

Also, thoughts on the 980s? We started looking at those last night and they seem to have most of the things we're looking for (and they have an updated cabinet, which was the number one issue for us with Sundance).
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: silversun on December 10, 2018, 12:35:14 pm
one thing about the 900 series is that they're significantly more shallow than the 800 series. whereas the optima and aspen measure in at 37.5 and 41 inches deep, the 900s are strangely only 34. I'm not sure if that matters to you, but I wanted seats that would easily cover my shoulders especially in the winter.
I personally don't have a problem with the looks of the cabinet, and it didn't factor into my purchase much at all. But I appreciate that everyone weighs their decision differently.

on price; I paid $11,400 for the optima in August of '17.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: BullFrogSpasMN on December 10, 2018, 02:15:18 pm
Clarification. The lighter shells do show "dirt" better - if you get any in your spa.  Making it visible for easy clean up. But the lighter shells do not show water-spots and water-line build-up from minerals and the like that exist in most water sources.  We know this first-hand when we had a dark shell in a display spa.  This spa needed extra care to keep it looking it's best.  Since then, all of our demo spas have been in platinum.
Darker shells will also be hotter when exposed to sunlight.

Thank you, this was what the dealer was actually saying (and I butchered my explanation). Water spots and waterline build up from minerals (that we all have, just don't see as much on lighter shells).

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but can anyone help me out with pricing here? What's reasonable for these spas?

Also, thoughts on the 980s? We started looking at those last night and they seem to have most of the things we're looking for (and they have an updated cabinet, which was the number one issue for us with Sundance).

Pricing varies all over the US, also other variables like: what kind of step? how far/how difficult is the delivery? what kind of cover lift? what type of water-care products are included? How far is the dealer from the manufacturer and how much is he paying for shipping, etc. etc. you get the point but generally speaking...

Optima should fall around $12,000 - $13,000
Grandee NXT should fall around $14,500 - $15,500
Envoy NXT should fall around $13,000 - $14,000

Those are the models I'm familiar with, others will have to chime in for other models, I've heard that J-550 goes for around $15k - 16k

As far as quality between Sundace and Jacuzzi I wouldn't worry, they both come off the same assembly line out of Tijuana Mexico so they'll be fairly equivalent...FYI their build quality isn't reflected in their pricing, Hot Spring a MUCH better built and insulated spa if you want the truth of it.  I have no dog in this fight so I'm not looking to start an argument, it is simply my opinion based on working in this industry for near 15 years now and seeing 'under the hood' of multiple models from each manufacturer, so again my opinion only based on my experiences.

Salt Water doesn't have anything to do with floating, salt levels in the ocean are around 65,000 ppm salt, salt systems only put out around 2,000 ppm so it's not even close to the same 'experience'...I would always cringe when "shorter" people wanted to wet test a Grandee cause I knew there was a 80% chance they would float like crazy, there is simply nowhere to 'plant' your feet in that spa unless you are tall or have a really long torso/legs. My fav Hot Spring is the Envoy, the captains chair and lounge are really nice and you typically don't have near the floating issues of the Grandee...Good Luck!
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: aug0211 on December 10, 2018, 04:28:25 pm

Pricing varies all over the US, also other variables like: what kind of step? how far/how difficult is the delivery? what kind of cover lift? what type of water-care products are included? How far is the dealer from the manufacturer and how much is he paying for shipping, etc. etc. you get the point but generally speaking...

Optima should fall around $12,000 - $13,000
Grandee NXT should fall around $14,500 - $15,500
Envoy NXT should fall around $13,000 - $14,000

Those are the models I'm familiar with, others will have to chime in for other models, I've heard that J-550 goes for around $15k - 16k

As far as quality between Sundace and Jacuzzi I wouldn't worry, they both come off the same assembly line out of Tijuana Mexico so they'll be fairly equivalent...FYI their build quality isn't reflected in their pricing, Hot Spring a MUCH better built and insulated spa if you want the truth of it.  I have no dog in this fight so I'm not looking to start an argument, it is simply my opinion based on working in this industry for near 15 years now and seeing 'under the hood' of multiple models from each manufacturer, so again my opinion only based on my experiences.

Salt Water doesn't have anything to do with floating, salt levels in the ocean are around 65,000 ppm salt, salt systems only put out around 2,000 ppm so it's not even close to the same 'experience'...I would always cringe when "shorter" people wanted to wet test a Grandee cause I knew there was a 80% chance they would float like crazy, there is simply nowhere to 'plant' your feet in that spa unless you are tall or have a really long torso/legs. My fav Hot Spring is the Envoy, the captains chair and lounge are really nice and you typically don't have near the floating issues of the Grandee...Good Luck!

Excellent, thank you! Unfortunately, the Grandee just won't work with us because float was so severe. I'm 5' 10" (average male height) and wife is also of average female height, so I don't know if that's the issue or something else. And the fact that the dealer won't fill an Envoy for us means we can't wet test it, which is a deal breaker, I think. I didn't push hard or tell him he was losing our sale yet, but maybe I'll try that again. his response was that it would cost him $1k to fill the tub because he then has to sell it as a demo. Blah. Also, thank you for the pricing info - that is helpful to know.

one thing about the 900 series is that they're significantly more shallow than the 800 series. whereas the optima and aspen measure in at 37.5 and 41 inches deep, the 900s are strangely only 34. I'm not sure if that matters to you, but I wanted seats that would easily cover my shoulders especially in the winter.
I personally don't have a problem with the looks of the cabinet, and it didn't factor into my purchase much at all. But I appreciate that everyone weighs their decision differently.

on price; I paid $11,400 for the optima in August of '17.

This is awesome info - we will be sure to pay close attention to the depth when we wet test next week (hopefully next week). I know the cabinet seems a bit vain to comment on - in reality, they are (almost) all beautiful. We just have a particular taste, and I don't want to regret a decision this expensive down the road, so I've set the bar pretty high for meeting the criteria. Thank you, also, for the help with pricing!

Spoke with the closest D1 dealer around (1 hour 45 minutes, unfortunately) and started discussing a wet test. Fortunately, the dealer has both the Amore Bay and Sarena Bay available. Unfortunately, the dealer has two locations that are 30 minutes apart, and we have to go to each location for the wet test - ugh.

I will definitely keep this thread updated!
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Spatech_tuo on December 10, 2018, 04:29:56 pm


Questions:

1. Any chance the salt system in the Hot Spring caused our float issues? Or is the salt level too low to impact buoyancy that much?
It really should just mean that shell layout didn't work for you but another may look the same but work so don't conclude good or bad based on appearance when it comes to floating.

2. Thoughts on Sundance? Sounds like they are a step up from Jacuzzi? Are they reputable/top tier/going to last a long time/good customer service/etc?
Sundance isn't above Jacuzzi though in a certain city the Sundance dealer may overshadow the Jacuzzi dealer and make it a better product in that area.

3. Dealer mentioned that darker shells would show dirt quickly/easily and was recommending a lighter shell. We were nervous about sun glare but donít want to be fighting with water marks on a darker shell non-stop. Is the dealer right? Or full of it?
The dealer isn't wrong that some colors shows "water spotting" more than others but was this an issue you brought up or did the dealer talk this up that it should be an issue (and maybe he has a color in stock he wants to move lol). Personally I'd get the color I wanted and not worry but to each his/her own!

Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Spatech_tuo on December 10, 2018, 04:37:14 pm


Excellent, thank you! Unfortunately, the Grandee just won't work with us because float was so severe. I'm 5' 10" (average male height) and wife is also of average female height, so I don't know if that's the issue or something else. And the fact that the dealer won't fill an Envoy for us means we can't wet test it, which is a deal breaker, I think. I didn't push hard or tell him he was losing our sale yet, but maybe I'll try that again. his response was that it would cost him $1k to fill the tub because he then has to sell it as a demo. Blah. Also, thank you for the pricing info - that is helpful to know.


If the dealers are getting new model year spas they will often be replacing their wet floor models but it just depends on when the new model year starts and what spas they will be moving off the floor. It would only cost him $$ if he was going to replace a spa with the same model year spa but when the year changes he has to make a switch anyway at some point (in reality some wait awhile to make the swap). Don't hesitate to bring it up and by all means tell him how the previous wet test performed.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Roeboat on December 10, 2018, 08:43:04 pm
I Started out much like you with on-line research, went to the stores and got the brochures and the sales pitch. I really liked the Hot Spring Flair but they didn't have one for me to look at. Went to Sundance, they were just ok. The Artesian Elite Spas were really nice (Dove Canyon) but a little more then I wanted to spend ($13.5k). Went to the Jacuzzi, Marquis, Caldera dealer to check out a Marquis. They were ok. The Jacuzzi's seemed super expensive to me. After wet testing all tubs, I bought a Caldera Makena demo (on the floor about 2 months) for $8K. (on the advice from some nice dealers on this forum) We couldn't be happier, its a great spa. It has a Frog system, ozonator, and circulation pump and I am using bromine for sanitizer.

I recommend shopping around for a deal. My neighbor bought a Sundance Optima (about $12k). His water is cloudy all the time and I went over to test his water. He doesn't know if he has an ozonator or what he is using for sanitizer. All his dealer told him was it is a chlorine free spa. He has changed his water 2 times in the 6 weeks he has had it. He does not have a frog system and the two times I tested his water he was 0 chlorine/bromine. Long story short, make sure you know what your buying and have an idea of what you are going to use to keep the water clear.

Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: Roeboat on December 10, 2018, 08:46:34 pm
And maybe look for a model that has a foot ridge. I gives you a place to use your legs and feet to stay in place.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: kies1 on December 10, 2018, 09:11:53 pm
We looked at jacuzzi, Arctic spa, sun dance and hotsprings. My wife is very petit. We ended up with a hotsprings flash in their lime light series. It has a foot pod in the Center with 4 jets. My wife is quite comfortable in it. We are using bromine and water quality is no issue. We have been very happy with it. All three other brands were more money but what one ius over was the local hotsprings dealer. Make sure your not only buying a quality tub but you are dealing with a quality dealer. I think the latter of the two is just as important as the hot tub you decide on maybe more.
Title: Re: First Time Purchaser Help
Post by: bachman on December 11, 2018, 05:11:02 am
I recommend shopping around for a deal. My neighbor bought a Sundance Optima (about $12k). His water is cloudy all the time and I went over to test his water. He doesn't know if he has an ozonator or what he is using for sanitizer. All his dealer told him was it is a chlorine free spa. He has changed his water 2 times in the 6 weeks he has had it. He does not have a frog system and the two times I tested his water he was 0 chlorine/bromine. Long story short, make sure you know what your buying and have an idea of what you are going to use to keep the water clear.

Good advice and as to the second part....

Oh man, sad to see that but I'm glad you mentioned it.
Others may see that (hopefully rare) example and realize a tub is just a wee bit of homework to the set up and maintÖ and def NOT the amount of homework or drama of actual learning and shopping a $$$$$ luxury or therapy item as these in the first place. :D

Hopefully the owner gets a handle on it because it's so much easier to learn some basics and get your hands wet than to go thru a refill, they just don't know that yet. I wonder if the neighbor is impatient or the sales staff pre-sold him on a tub that "needs nothing" ? 

Mine has had a few cloudy days too but I'm learning at about 6 weeks in. TH low was it once, now I believe the ph is a tad high. I slacked a little on use and testing so it's likely our use cycle changes. Consistency is likely the key to ease.
I'm also finding the drop/vial test kit and the strips are actually proving to be quite similar and reliable on results. Happy to have that confirmation.