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Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: February 19, 2016 04:10PM
I'm asking here because just about all the hot tub forums, if not all, are ran by dealers and most replies to
questions are answered by hot tub business owners. It seems if you're not spending $10K on a tub you're
not worth their time so I'm turning to my favorite forum on the net for answers and I know y'all won't
steer me wrong

I've used an inflatable bubble spa for a year and half mainly just to see if it would do my aches and pains
any good and to see if I would actually use it. The inflatable is an energy hog, my wife says it's costing us
$40-50/month. Air isn't a very good insulator. There's no seats of any kind, just sitting on the bottom or
you slide your butt down to get your shoulders underwater and then your back isn't supported..

We've kind of narrowed it down to a Nordic. They don't have a lot bells and whistles but do have one feature
that almost no one else has and that's what they call DTS, Dual Therapy System, it had regular jets but also
one big giant whirlpool jet that gives a swirling whirlpool soak. Their price is much more reasonable,
starting at about $3000.

[www.nordichottubs.com]

I'm open to other brands also.

I seem to read a lot stories about most hot tubs being very high maintenance, not just the water but heaters,
pumps, covers, and such. Is a full on hot tub worth it or just too much of a pain in the rear?

I wet tested a Bullfrog, Jacuzzi and a Dreammaker last Fall and was not that impressed mainly because of
the depth of the seats. I'm 6'1" with a 30" inseam so my torso is quite tall. The Nordics seem to be a lot
deeper, some up to 40" sides. I've had spinal fusion, which failed, degenerative disc disease, arthritis
in my spine, two bulging discs and a partially numb left leg. I make do with OTC pain meds, a Tens unit and
a heating pad. Can't deal with hardcore pain meds and my family can't live with me when I'm on them.

I'm open to any and all recommendations and info.



Grateful11
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: jims
Date: February 19, 2016 04:22PM
We have had Hot Springs hot tubs for 30 years. We bought one new in 1986 and used it until we left that house in 2002. Used it an average of 5 times a week. In that time we replaced the cover and heater once. In 2002 we bought a one year old Hot Springs Tiger River spa. It has been on a covered patio since 2004. In that time we have had the pump rebuilt once and the cover is ready to be replaced now. It costs us about $15 a month for electricity. Water and chemicals are really a non factor. I would say to buy a name brand and stay away from the cheap HD or Lowes tubs.

jims
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 19, 2016 04:30PM
We had a Hot Spring that lasted about 11 years until I forgot to drain it properly in the winter and it froze and the inside pipes cracked and it leaks like crazy. Yep.. good insulation is important. We are thinking about replacing it , and have tacitly agreed to put the new one in our garage so it's out of the weather. Falling on an icy deck on the way to the hot tub added to our aches and pains. If I had to do it over again I would have put it under cover and gotten a model with automagical sanitation electronic gizmos.

Handled properly a hot tub is about the same maintenance as a small swimming pool. You just have to keep it clean and keep up with the chemicals. The higher end ones have awesome guarantees on heaters and pumps and whatnot, and those a pretty good. Our Hot Spring suffered a circulating pump failure at 7 years of age, and I swapped it out with an eBay used one. Despite it having leaks and being mothballed for a few years, the heater and main pump still work if I put water into it.

Tops last perhaps 5 years if it's out in the weather. Longer if not. I ended up reinforcing ours with titanium rods (yeah, weird, I know) so it lasted longer.

We chose the Hot Spring because it was well made and was the only one we found that allowed us to use Chlorine. Our family is sensitive to Bromine (asthma attacks, skin reactions, etc..).

Mrs. cbelt3's various issues means she spends a lot of time in the 2 person Jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. She's my personal mermaid ! She will relax in there for hours with her iPad mini and her Kitten and Chihuahua keeping an eye on her.
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: February 19, 2016 04:45PM
I had a tub back in the 90's that we enjoyed in the beginning and ultimately just didn't use enough to justify the cost. Ended up selling it to a guy who needed a bait well (as long as the check clears...).

Recently I had a friend who wanted a tub for his back issues and I got one off Freecycle for him. It was about 6 years old and had a thermostat issue. He threw about $150 at the problem and ended up with a nice older tub that he uses a couple times a week.

If you end up using it on a regular basis then it's worth the energy cost to run it. Some things are like kitchen gadgets, they sound great at the time (electric vegetable peelers, food dehydrators, panini makers etc) but don't pan out in day to day use. In my view a hot tub fits nicely in this category. YMMV.



- Jack D.




New tasteless sig coming soon!
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: February 19, 2016 04:56PM
Be honest about the size you need. Our first tub was the standard 80x80 and could seat 4-5 people. I can count the number of times there were more than two of us in it. That is a lot of extra water to heat. When we replaced it, I bought a smaller tub, a Solana (made by Hot Springs) which seats two and fits in a corner. This tub is highly insulated and costs little to keep heated. It also has a nice jet that tracks up and down the spine.

Finally, after talking to a couple tub repairers, we made two additional decisions. First, we purchased a used tub from a dealer. It came with a warranty, was completely refurbished and was several thousand dollars less than the same tub new. You honestly could not tell the difference between it and a new one.

Nest, we forgo bromine and chlorine for the main water treatment. We are using a Nature2 Spa Stick with one-two tablespoons of SpaChlor after each use. I flush and refill it once every four months as well. Another option to cut down on the chemicals is to use an ozone generator. I really enjoy not having the chemicals clinging to me after every use.

Hope that helps.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: davemchine
Date: February 19, 2016 04:56PM
The house I'm in now came with a Hot Springs hot tub and I have really enjoyed it. I have had two back surgeries and too many injuries to list. The hot tub is not a cure all but it certainly helps! Mine is a salt system so I just put in more salt periodically.

Before I bought this house I was looking at tubs to purchase. One thing I noticed is that many tubs can either run the heater or the jets but not both at the same time. So if you run the jets the water can cool down pretty fast. My tub can run both at the same time. Something to check. Also, Filters can be expensive and my fist set only lasted a year (with regular cleaning).
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: pdq
Date: February 19, 2016 05:26PM
I'm a bit of a do-it-yourselfer and bought a local kit that has a ~6 ft diameter redwood cylinder made out of staves, surrounded by three vinyl-covered metal rings, and has a vinyl liner. The nice thing about it is that it's a good 4+ feet deep, so you can really soak. It's around 600 gallons. You can go wild with jets in such a situation, but we have three main ones and redwood seats.

We've had it for nearly twenty years. I've had to replace the vinyl liner twice, the pump motor once, and the heater twice. With the most recent makeover, I added an ozonator which has kept the water cleaner and clearer, I think. I don't run the tub all year long.

It takes some maintenance. I would keep it outdoors (which I think is what you have planned) or the chlorine/bromine smell will get into your house. Ours is actually on a screen porch, next to an exterior wall, with the pump and heater located inside in a cabinet. The vinyl liner is a bit of a pain (vinyl seems to have a limited lifespan under these conditions, and it's a pain to replace), but I guess it's better than leaks.

The only other thing I'd say is that, as noted above, there is an energy cost, and so you might save money by spending more up front (for a nat-gas heater, for instance, or better insulation.)
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 19, 2016 05:44PM
BTW, air is an excellent insulator - that's why double-pained windows are so energy efficient compared to single-paned windows.



It is what it is.
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: p8712
Date: February 19, 2016 08:26PM
Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: February 19, 2016 08:40PM
Quote
p8712
Buy an inflatable, see if you actually use it?

Sorry but I guess you didn't read my first post.











Grateful11
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: rz
Date: February 19, 2016 09:08PM
I had a hot tub (don't remember the brand) at our old house. We moved 12 years ago. Lived there for 9 years, used it maybe 50 times in those 9 years. Had issues with the heater a couple of times. Then, one day it almost caught fire. Some sort of electrical problem. I turned it off and never turned it back on. When we sold the house, we just said it didn't work and we weren't going to fix it.

We now have a Jacuzzi tub in our spare bathroom. Probably used the Jacuzzi part a couple dozen times in 12 years. Last year, the switch broke, and now won't turn off. So we unplugged it. We'll eventually get it fixed.
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: Surfrider
Date: February 20, 2016 10:24AM
Hot Springs spa here, worked for many years.

Finally couldn't find anyone who would work on it. Living in the country has that disadvantage.

Loved my spa though.
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: vision63
Date: February 20, 2016 12:56PM
Alls I know is I can only sit in 'em for so long before I feel like I'm cooking.
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Re: Need info from hot tub owners and former owners
Posted by: flightdelayedagain
Date: February 20, 2016 04:41PM
We bought a 4 person hot tub 9 years ago from Strong Spas for about 7K. Never had any issues so far with it. Our sons use it more than wife and I. Low maintenance, we drain it out and clean it 2 to 3 times per year. A good cover makes a big difference in heat loss. We keep the temp turned down most of the time until we know we will be using it - takes about 3 to 4 hours to get it back up to temp depending on the season obviously.
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