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Author Topic: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)  (Read 14025 times)

Duffman

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It's been quite a while since my last post but I'm in need of some advice regarding a good replacement cover.

My question is simply this... Is it worth $470 for the Sunstar cover my dealer wants to sell me or can I do just as well with the $270-$300 covers available online. The guide on this site recommends at least an R-15 rating for the insulation but the Sunstar is a little lower than that. I see that SpaDepot sells DuraTherm covers with decent looking specs except there is no declaration of the R value. Other online sites have no details on their spas other than the foam thickness.

Bottom line: I don't mind paying for quality, especially if it means the cover won't get water logged and heavy for a long long time. I just don't want to pay more than I need to.

It's been 7 1/2 years very good years since I purchased my hot tub. Once again, thanks so much to those who provided such good advice and recommendations regarding the hot tub wet test report I developed back then.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

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Dr. Spa™ Ret.

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 01:09:06 pm »
Be VERY careful about the "claimed" R values some publish. This is probably the top area retailers "fudge" numbers. The important thing to look at is the EXACT TRUE thickness of the foam, and it's density. I say "EXACT TRUE thickness", because this is probably the #2 ares of "fudging". Many use "nominal" measurements (like the typical building material, a 2x4). Two pieces of foam, the same thickness and same density, will have the SAME R-value, regardless of what might be claimed.

The insulating core of almost all spa covers is EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). The insulating value of this product is very specific, and is listed below. Please note, the R-value shown is for 1 inch of thickness.

Foam Density - R-Value per inch thickness
1.0 - R-3.85
1.25 - R-4.0
1.5 - R-4.17
2.0 - R-4.35

In addition, the vinyl and poly wrap adds about another R-2 to the entire cover
If you can't sell it on eBay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

Retired (mostly) from the industry after 33 years...but still putzing around with a consumer information website, and trying to sell obsolete owners manuals

Sam

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 01:33:40 pm »


........ especially if it means the cover won't get water logged and heavy for a long long time.......


Most cover manufacturers offer an option to double wrap the foam cores.  It is usually around $40-50 retail, which is IMO worth it.  This will help prevent the foam from being waterlogged.

clover

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 02:08:20 pm »
... Is it worth $470 for the Sunstar cover my dealer wants to sell me or can I do just as well with the $270-$300 covers available online.......Bottom line: I don't mind paying for quality, especially if it means the cover won't get water logged and heavy for a long long time. I just don't want to pay more than I need to.

It's been 7 1/2 years very good years since I purchased my hot tub. Once again,
Sunstar is a good cover, but you should add all of the options, as the dealers usually do.  As for the $270 to 300 covers, you would be better off to shoot yourself in the foot.  While the price is right, it is not double wrapped and heat sealed to retard absorption, double stitched to prevent deterioration, reinforced cover locking straps, double stitched skirting made to the needed length, thickness and density of foam, all of these items vary. 

The cheaper the price, the shorter the life.  7˝ years out of your first cover was good.  Doc sells a good cover and I don't think he will let you go wrong in your selections or options.  Your dealer is ordering what he knows you need, and you can have him explain the details.  For that matter you can go to Sunstar http://www.sunstarcovers.com/index.php/covers/why-choose-sunstar and review the different things that are, or are not, in a cover.
Trying to be the unbaised voice of reason.

Duffman

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 02:30:19 pm »
Thanks everyone!

Between your responses and what I've found online, from the better business bureau to reviews to complaint boards, it seems the safe bet is to go through a dealer. Since they want repeat business I think it's reasonable to conclude they wouldn't sell a bad cover.

I ordered the Sunstar with some options. Also, by going with the dealer I don't have to cut up and throw away the old cover. They'll take it away.

clover

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 07:34:54 pm »
There are benefits, and peace of mind in your decision, while a cheaper price is interesting to all of us, there is no recourse when you take it out of the box and you can see that it is "different" than what you expected it to be.

Enjoy.
Trying to be the unbaised voice of reason.

nmchick52

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 01:52:48 pm »
Be VERY careful about the "claimed" R values some publish. This is probably the top area retailers "fudge" numbers. The important thing to look at is the EXACT TRUE thickness of the foam, and it's density. I say "EXACT TRUE thickness", because this is probably the #2 ares of "fudging". Many use "nominal" measurements (like the typical building material, a 2x4). Two pieces of foam, the same thickness and same density, will have the SAME R-value, regardless of what might be claimed.

The insulating core of almost all spa covers is EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). The insulating value of this product is very specific, and is listed below. Please note, the R-value shown is for 1 inch of thickness.

Foam Density - R-Value per inch thickness
1.0 - R-3.85
1.25 - R-4.0
1.5 - R-4.17
2.0 - R-4.35

In addition, the vinyl and poly wrap adds about another R-2 to the entire cover
I also am shopping for a new cover; mine is waterlogged after 2.5 years.  It came with the spa and I found it had only a one year warranty.  I am hoping you'll share the brand of spa cover you had that lasted 7.5 years!  If I were you, I'd just go back to that company but consider whether you need to upgrade if you didn't have double-wrapped foam core, continuous heat seal etc.  The more I research the more I find that ALL of them seem to have bad reviews.  It has made for some hesitancy on my part in making a decision, that's for sure.  Thanks!

Dr. Spa™ Ret.

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 06:37:09 pm »
When I wrote that post, the brand of cover I had, was my own. I manufactured spa covers (among other things). Currently, I'm "retired".

As far as reviews? Be careful, and take many of them more with a grain of salt. Remember, you're only hearing ONE side of the story. I had a number of "bad reviews" from customers that caused the damage themselves, yet expected it to be covered under warranty. I had a guy who cut down a tree, if fell on his hot tub, and he expected the damage to be covered under warranty. And yes, he left bad reviews and filed complaints with the BBB. Lets say a company makes 20,000 covers a year (I was doing over 50,000). I GUARANTEE you, that company will have a few bad reviews out there....but probably makes a very nice cover. Try looking for bad reviews on cars. I guarantee you, EVERY single brand has some bad reviews.

If you can't sell it on eBay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

Retired (mostly) from the industry after 33 years...but still putzing around with a consumer information website, and trying to sell obsolete owners manuals

Tman122

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 06:48:23 pm »
I have recommended both Doc's covers and Sunstar. Both have been quality.

I would take it as a compliment Doc to be compared to Sunstar.
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Dr. Spa™ Ret.

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Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 08:10:03 pm »
So would I....if I were still in the business ;-)
If you can't sell it on eBay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

Retired (mostly) from the industry after 33 years...but still putzing around with a consumer information website, and trying to sell obsolete owners manuals

Hot Tub Forum

Re: Advice for replacement cover requested (It's good to be back!)
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 08:10:03 pm »

 

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