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biasedhistorian

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  1. With all of the attention Master seems to be generating I thought it was a good time to post my 1st annual review of my Legacy. Functions; No problems with the functions. No jet issues. Biggest pain is resetting the radio stations when the power goes out. For the past 9 months I have left it in standard mode. The tub has a lot of bells and whistles but the wife and I seem to enjoy just floating in darkness at night to unwind. We tend to not use the lights, radio/Cd, or even jets as much anymore..perhaps this is a phase??? Energy; Oh-Boy! LOL...my annual consumption average is... Prior to the hot tub; 450 KWH After the hot tub; 895 KWH So it is safe to say that consumption has doubled. I added insulation in December. In Mass I am paying about 12 cents/KWH So the tub is costing me $54.60 "on average" a year. Add another $14-16 for all the other bullshit fees that the electric company whacks you with and it is safe to say that I am paying close to $70 per month for my Master. I hope that helps a new buyer decide what they want to do. I really like the tub and features, but as many mention, it is an energy hog. If the price is right it might make it worth it. If my math is correct I have between 3 and 4 years before I reach the price I would have paid for a 10,000 tub. Hoping I am ready for a swim spa by then!!!
  2. I may be confused...my water does foam up every few weeks but I thought that the foam is the seperation of the "gunk" from the clean stuff? I thought that was what the chemicals do and that removing the foam is part of the balancing process?
  3. I know you have a large hot tub but another option at times when you will be away is to time your water change so that you drain it and shut the juice off until your return. Works during non-freezing weather. I went away for three weeks this summer and drained it 1st. It takes around 6-7 hours to refill and warm it up again. My bill was very low in this period so the re-heat did not cost much.
  4. Defoamer is only a temporary fix...removing the foam gets rid of the nasty stuff.
  5. Had an idea kicking around my head a few weeks back. Every now and then foam pops up as a concern...usually when adding a water clarifier (bright/clear + defender). Well after months of hand scooping I decided to try a more "powerful" method. I used my Dri-Vac as a Wet-Vac and put on the narrow head. It worked great! Ten minutes of holding it in a corner just above the water and all of the foam was sucked out of the tub. It was so effective that since I went this route I have not had any film or that brown stuff along the waterline. The best part is because foam is water it reverts to liquid inside the vac- so you can fit a whole lot of foam in there before it fills up. Hope that helps some folks- Still tubbin in my Master Yak
  6. If you fill it up through the filter hole that should also avoid air lock. I have filled three times this way and so far I have not had an issue.
  7. Okydoky...time for the six month review Electrical usage dropped under 1000kwh for the first time in May. Monthly usage was 726kwh. The usage same time last year was 358kwh. Consumption for June actually rose to 840kwh but we also run a basement dehumidifier from this period through the summer. So in short it appears that my ad hoc insulation has helped control waste. Mechanical/electrical issues: Well so far all is working fine. No leaks observed. Plenty of power. Radio works great. The speakers work fine unless the kids start one of numerous water fights and fill them with water. I changed the water this past month and found that easy to do, nice to have a small pump. Was careful to fill it by putting the hose directly in the filter hole and I have yet to experiance any air bubble issues. I timed the water change around the recent heat wave in new England and figured the wife would enjoy a refreshing 75 degrees of cool water...not. Plan on trying it at about 85 degrees for the summer so the kids will use it more for a pool. Now I just have to finish building the screen room around before the bugs get us. Overall I am happy with the product and would continue to recommend it as a starter tub.
  8. Question; My tub is on a conrete patio that has a slight decline so that water runs away from the house. If I wanted to level my tub by lifting it about 1.5 inches on one side would supports along the corners be sufficient or would it require continous support all along the bottom of the frame? Happy Tubbin'
  9. Month 4... 1170kwh. Usage same time last year was 377kwh. The good news is that the insulation seems to be helping. The usage was nearly identical (1166kwh) to our 1st tub bill in November. February is the coldest month for us in Ma. I think it would have been lower if the family had not used it daily during school vacation week. This was the 1st week off that I have ever taken where I did not take the family somewhere. We had the snow for local snow shoe trails and hot cider with a few hours hitting the tub to warm us back up. Heck, my three kids were in the thing for 3 -4 hours a few times. From a mechanical standpoint..I thought it might have a small leak because it seemed to go down a half inch a week. I changed that theory when I saw the kids dump several gallons of water out during a splash fight! I have yet to change the water out but it has remained nice and clear. No electrical or audio issues. One design note that I do not like...the minimum filter line is a tad high in the tub IMHO. As a result you cannot let the tub get more than a inch or two lower than your normal level before water cannot reach the filter. Would have been nice to have that line two inches lower. Continuing to maintain it in standard mode at 96 degrees, moving it to 98-99 degrees prior to use.
  10. Three month update and review; No mechanical issues to report. Stereo and lights are working fine. Water quality is good. I battle with a little foam now and then but nothing crazy. 3rd month electric bill for the house is 1235kwh. Usage same time last year was 377kwh. This is my 1st full month with the insulation added. Though January is colder than December my bill came down 210kwh so there is hope that the energy usage is getting more under control. When I do a water swap in a month or so I plan on insulating the bottom of the tub, right now there is little there and a hole from where the intial repairs were made. All in all wish the energy was a bit better but still enjoying my 1st tub!
  11. The stories of high energy bills on this website relative to Master spas (this past year especially for some reason) are coming from Master owners, not others out to ruin that reputation as I think you MAY be inferring here. Just to give firm numbers I found the December electric bill... Dec 2007 568 kwh Dec 2008 1445 kwh Factoring in say 50-60 kwh in household variables, I can reasonably conclude the hot tub was responsible for 800-850 kwh. Most of that month was without the added insulation so it "should" decline to a winter usage of 650-750 kwh. What hurts up here a bit is 11 cents a kwh, so going with an average of 825 kwh then December cost me about $90. Hmmmnn I actually thought it was higher than that. if the added insulation gets me a winter average of 700 kwh or about $75 then I can see how it won't be quite so bad once averaged out over the year...either way...I'M GOING HOT TUBBIN TONIGHT!!! WOOT! btw....sweet car! My 1st was a Triumph Tr-8..a v-8 in a 2200 pound wedge car...prepare for takeoff
  12. I too (the guy that started the thread as a review for my purchase) do not regret buying my Master Spa. Did I get the most economical tub out there...not even close. The December bill came in and it is still running me around $110 for the Legacy. I worked on the insulation about halfway through that cycle so I am hoping it does decrease. As stated before I think a lot of people buy these tubs not thinking of insulation as a priority. First time customers are focused on the gadgets and looks. Now would I buy another Master Spa? I would not say no. I would say that now that I have owned a hot tub, I would be looking for a lot more things in my second tub than I ever considered in the first purchase. If a higher line Master Spa met those requirements then I would buy it. In fact the only negative I can come up with is the energy usage. People should not be "embarrased" or filled with regret about their 1st purchase, not any more than your 1st car purchase...let's be fair...most people buy a second car based on their experiances of the 1st purchase. As for the review...still waiting on a 3rd energy bill, but I recal the 2nd bill being about 800 kw more than the same time last year. Now keeping it at 96 and bringing it up to 98 about three times a week. No broken parts or loss of function to report. Happy tubbing...
  13. We've got a Keys 7-person which was basically un-insulated, and our electric bill ran about $60 higher per month in the winter after it's installation (upstate NY - 13084 zip-code for weather info).. Just finished insulating it yesterday, and am curious to see what the impact is.. If you live in a cold-weather climate I'd suggest poking around under the tub to see what you've got for insulation. I added 1.5" foil-faced foam board to bottom and sides, with Reflectix applied as a "curtain" across the bottom and around the sides (inside of the 2x4 frame), and ensured air-space between the foam board and reflectix - then taped the seams between foam boards, and applied Tyvec house-wrap around the exterior before re-attaching the side pieces. Had to remove the 3/8" plywood blocking that was attached to the inside of the side pieces to get them to go back on.. Entire job took just over 8 hours, and cost around $200... Sounds like it came out great. I did the same thing yesterday, except I could not access the bottom because of the framing. I am hoping that reflective stuff does the trick, it was easy to work with. I used that on the sides and foam peanuts in garbage bags to fill up the dead areas inside the tub. Let us know the energy savings!
  14. Insulation update; So I rolled up my sleeves today and put my plan into effect. I had six bags of peanut foams and two rolls of aluminum reflective insulation (two layers a aluminum with a 5/8 inch air pocket between the layers) that claims to have 97% radiant reflection. I opened up the sides of my Master Spa and pulled off the thin insulation lining the frame (it was one layer of aluminum and another layer of white plastic with a similar air gap between the layers). I poured the foam peanuts into large garbage bags a little at a time to maximize flexibility. I was able to fill most of the cavity in the four corners and the bottom half of two of the sides with peanuts. The peanuts are blocking one set of wall vents but I left the opposite side vents untouched (little nervous about blocking all the vents). Once I formed the peanut/bags into place I popped the original insulation back in place, then went right over that with the new insulation (so I would gues that doubled it?) and there was still enough room to get the panels back into place (tight though) and screwed everything back together. My only concern at this point would be a 2-3 hole in the bottom that the repairman cut out. Instead of taping it back into place it was left unsecured and I was able to see a few feet of concrete under the unit. I can't deal with it until I do a water change...question is...will I lose a lot of heat from the bottom through heat transfer loss in the concrete? Total cost to insulate was $40 and I still have some extra reflective insulation.
  15. I am just wondering but before you purchased your spa...did you do any research ?....I am surprised that so many people buy a spa and than have things happen and come to a forum like this looking for help...doing some investigating before buying is time well spent. Sometimes people get accused of mentioning the same half of dozen or so spa makers on boards like this but the reason is rarely do these brands that get recommended again and again have the issue that you are now facing. Adding the insulation will hopefully help your problem but its not something you should have be doing for a new well made spa...I am not trying to be negative here but really just wondering what lead you to decide on this tub ?.....I am sure you will enjoy it for many years once you get the energy costs in line. Now that is a fair and balanced question. The short answer is...not really. I think a lot of 1st time buyers are not thinking of insulation as their top, or even major, concern. Not because it should not be, but because their attention is focused on the "features" of the tub and how it fits. For example I have been in my friends Cal spa several times figuring what did and did not work for me and this was in the mountains of New Hampshire and not once did I think about how insulated it was. Though it seems at this point that the Legacy line is running on the thin side for insulation there seems to be several inexpensive "fixes" for the insulation issues. Me...I am getting 6 bags of those white peanuts from my good old brother in law's shop for free, so it should improve my bill. I think you have a great question...one that could be it's own thread. I mean from the dealers perspective...is the 1st question from a customer about the insulation? The second...third question?
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