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Everything posted by ratchett

  1. Might have better luck in the hottub water chemistry section - https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/forum/13-hot-tub-water-chemistry/
  2. First time I purged, I made the mistake of not testing chlorine first (ozonator had burned off almost all FC prior to my first time purging). Now I always add a bit of extra chlorine 30 minutes before I start to purge. Additionally, unlike the instructions, I dilute the gel in a cup of hot water before adding to the tub. Then I run my jets for 20 minutes, then turn off for 10 while cleaning the scum. Run jets for another 20, then off for 10. Repeat 4-5x times in a row until nothing new comes out of plumbing, and then I drain the spa. You'll be surprised how much comes out on the second and third jet cycles
  3. Granular Dichlor chlorine is acidic and will pull pH down over time. Low pH is acidic and causes irreversible damage when left untreated, high pH causes scale which is reversible damage. My dealer has me boosting pH when it's lower than 7.5, and letting it settle back down naturally with granular chlorine usage.
  4. That sounds like a purge cleaner, but purges aren't all created equal. This blogger took to the task of testing a few different leading purge products to see how they stack up (essentially he used the scientific method to test each cleaner head to head - the theory being that if the one product is effective, a subsequent purge with a different product should release no additional biofilm). You can read up on his results here - https://rvdoug.com/hot-tub-maintenance/ That generally sounds like the idea. Check your pH and chlorine levels. I usually add a bit of extra chlorine before purging to ensure things are working. When I purge, I run the jets for a while, then turn off the jets and clean any scum at the water level before it has a chance to harden. Then I would run the jets again for a while, clean the water line again. Repeat several times until almost nothing new comes out of the plumbing, then drain and refill. But I'm OCD about keeping my spa clean (to the point where I literally invented a powertool to turbocharge my filter cleaning routine.... still beta-testing the design, not available for sale yet lol).
  5. Boom, we found out what's happening to the chlorine 🙂 I would not set your filter cycle to run 24/7. Maybe consider adding a circulation pump to your tub, but I wouldn't bother with all that. Just leave things how they are set up, talk to your dealer and see what they advise for filter cycles and such. Yeah, I figured that would be the case. And your dealer is correct in most cases your system should help reduce the amount of water changes you need to make in the future.... once things are fully clean/balanced/sanitized in your tub. However this is still a new spa, you will likely bang your head against the wall multiple times trying to get water chemistry in line. If you have a warm spell for a few days within the next 1-2 weeks, it might be worth draining and refilling before the cold winter season. You don't need to wait a full 2-3 months before your first water refill. Not saying you are absolutely required to do this, but just saying if you don't you'll likely end up dumping a ton of chemicals in your water to keep things balanced/sanitized over the next few months ending up with a nasty soup of chemicals including those pulled out of the plumbing as things neutralize and balance internally. You can do this, but just know this won't be normal and isn't needed once things are fully balanced/sanitized internally and filled with fresh clean water. Just my $0.02
  6. Few things to consider..... New hottubs are filthy things from factory assembly and testing (the water used in testing is often reused in the factory for a week or more before they change it - just imagine what's floating around in THAT water lol). Lots of nasty stuff festers in the plumbing between assembly and delivery days. Pretty much every new hottub needs a ton of extra sanitizer to fully clean the inside of the spa. Biofilm and other nasty contaminates and eat up your excess free chlorine very fast. This goes back to the first point I mentioned. Currently, you may not be using enough chlorine to maintain your spa. Does your hottub have an Ozonator unit? Ozone burns off organic contaminants through oxidation (like shock) but is such a strong oxidizer that it even reacts with free chlorine. This means you can shock after use and not have to soak in a bleach bath the next day, because the ozone will burn off all the chloramines and most of the chlorine overnight. Some brands tie the ozonator to a circulation pump running 24/7 which is more effective than many budget brands who toss in an ozonator and pair it to run with the filter cycle twice a day (ozone doesn't build up in the water, so its only effective while being injected into the water) Water chemistry woes are a problem for basically everyone with a new hottub. Even the glues used in construction are acidic and will pull the pH down over time until they fully neutralize internally. Plan on draining/refilling after 1-3 months and I promise your water chemistry will be MUCH easier (note, many of us like to use a purge cleaner like AhhSome to extensively clean the internal plumbing before every drain/refill. I suggest looking into it). There are a dozen different ways to care and maintain your water. My dealer's care routine has me dosing the spa after each use with granular chlorine, and testing the pH once a month when I clean the filters and the cover. But my care routine is not compatible with every spa on the market My advice is to be careful taking advice from strangers on the internet, especially while you're still new and learning how to care for your spa. Water borne illnesses are no joke, you do NOT want to deal with Pseudomonas folliculitis (Hottub Rash). Your local CalSpa dealer should have knowledge of your hottub's configuration and your local water source - I would consult with them and take their advice for water care until you know what you're doing. (And by the same token, know that pool chemical supply dealers are in the business of selling chemicals. I would be careful taking a water sample to a pool chemical supply store for advice as I guarantee they'll sell you a bunch of chemicals you don't necessarily need)
  7. Yeah I hate to tell you - ozonators generate ozone using coronal discharge (essentially a small spark of electricity). The ozonator unit generates this spark of ozone and is then sucked into the water using something known as a mazzei injector which sucks air into the water as it passes through the "injector". This is what's creating air bubbles, not the ozonator unit. Important to note - massei injectors are known to fail and eventually start leaking. That's why many ozonators include a fresh mazzei injector with the kit.
  8. I always check pH levels and toss in some extra chlorine before purging, this seems to help. Also, unlike the instructions, I run my jets for 20 minutes and then off for 10 while cleaning gunk settling on the water line. Then I run jets for another 20. Repeat cleaning and running jets over and over for 4-5+ cycles until there's *no* more gunk coming out of the plumbing.
  9. Caldera and Hotspring share many components under the hood. Hotspring's biggest claim to fame are their motomassager jets which you won't find on any other brand of spas in the industry (not even Caldera). In my opinion, Caldera's Utopia class spas are a step down from the Hotspring Highlife class spas due to several factors including the difference in framing (wood framing on Caldera spas, verses rot-free polycarbonate plastic framing on the Hotspring Highlife spas), and insulation (stuffed fiber verses spray foam insulation - stuffed fibercore is easier to remove/replace, but not as energy efficient in electrical operating costs as spray foam insulation). But Caldera Utopia spas are a step up from Hotspring Limelight spas in terms of therapeutic performance (and build quality with the nicer ABS basepan on the Utopia and Highlife class spas). I feel like Hotspring and Caldera's mid-tier spas should be fairly comparable in terms of performance and lifespan, with the biggest difference being style. Actually only Hotspring Highlife and Aquaflow spas are made in the Vista California factory. Hotspring Limelight and Hotspot spas are made in the Tijuana factory. Freshwater Salt is the best implementation of saltwater in a hottub. You get some information topside on the controller if there's an issue with the cell, and you can adjust chlorine output from the topside control panel. Plus there's a ton of documentation online to get you going. However, your Freshwater salt experience will depend a lot on your local water supply. Hard water or high phosphate levels can negatively affect the performance and must be treated on every refill. If you have city tap water which is properly balanced and not too hard or soft, you might have few issues whenever refilling. But if you have hard water, or well water then you're going to have added headaches/expenses every time you refill. Additionally, you need to watch your phosphate and pH levels to prevent burning out the salt cell too fast. They say the cells last for four months, but some people don't even get two months out of them before replacing. To me the system was too expensive to run so I opted for a more traditional care routine using an ozonator & silver mineral cartridge (my dealer's care routine has me dosing the spa with a bit of granular dichlor after each soak to keep the water sanitized). Overall I spend less than $125 a year on chemicals to keep my water clean/clear, compared to $300+ just for the salt cells (not including the salt and all other chemicals you need to balance the water so the system *works*). Note you're not stuck with any water chemistry care routine. If you don't like salt you can call your dealer and have it removed/replaced with an ozonator. Alternatively like in my case, I can easily call my dealer and have them install the freshwater salt system two years after delivery if I get bored with my setup and want a challenge haha. (NOTE - I have saltwater in my pool. Very different situation in a pool verses hottub) Lol, that's an optimistic assumption. New hottubs are filthy things from factory assembly/testing - lots of nasty stuff festers in the plumbing between assembly and delivery day. Most new owners spend weeks/months fiddling with the system before it begins to generate adequate free chlorine to keep the system sanitized. I wet-tested two hotspring freshwater salt systems and I slightly disagree. With saltwater systems, you're constantly generating additional free chlorine, maintaining between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm free chlorine. With my ozonator setup paired with the circulation pump, my system is constantly injecting ozone into the water. Ozone burns off organic contaminants through oxidation but is such a strong oxidizer that it even reacts with free chlorine. This means you can shock after use and not have to soak in a bleach bath the next day, because the ozone will burn off all the chloramines and most of the chlorine overnight. In my setup, I am dosing the spa with enough chlorine after each use to clean the water, but 23 hours later when we hop in for our next soak there's practically zero chlorine left in the water (seriously, my bathtub on a fresh fill of water has twice as much chlorine as my hottub when we soak). There is no chlorine odor nor does our skin get dry/itchy after soaking (only time that happens is if we chlorine shock the water - then we need to wait more than 24 hours before the chlorine levels are low enough for our preferences). There's a method to the madness. Few years back if you recall they had an issue with their electronics supplier who went out of business, royally screwing over everyone who had an older highlife spa from the early 2000's (who had the old IQ Eagle control boards). From a longevity standpoint, you can't exactly guarantee replacement parts for 25 years if your parts suppliers go out of business, which is why they have opted to switch to proprietary components made in-house. This ensures they retain more control over the supply chain to prevent fiasco's like the orca/eagle IQ boards. Imagine if Gecko or Balboa went out of business (unlikely, but what if) - how many components would be obsolete and impossible replace for existing customers with spas "in the field". For weekend warriors, I get it - balboa and gecko components are easier to swap out. It's much harder for a non-authorized technician to service them due to a lack of information supplied by the vendor (Watkins sure as hell isn't going to offer firmware downloads to the public - they don't want someone to reverse engineer their intellectual property). Very valid concern and one which you shouldn't ignore. Spas should be easy to enter - you don't want to risk falling and injuring yourself. I love the lounger in my Jetsetter and would never own a spa without a lounger, but still I don't think I'd like entering from the lounger seat into the spa. Every dealer has different operating margins, thus the price will vary wildly from dealer to dealer as they are responsible for warranty labor costs, not the manufacturer. Additionally some dealers have sales reps on commission while others are on salary - I visited two different Hotspring dealers equidistant from my rural home on the Space Coast and ended up saving 20% in the process (no haggling needed, this was the dealers list price at both shops - not floor model,special order from both - same things included with both - steps, cover lifter, chemicals, free delivery, etc). The caldera dealer in your region might be smaller and the Hotspring dealer might be larger with better pricing from the manufacturer - I would get some comparable quotes and see what you think.
  10. This right here is *exactly* why I am not a fan of any continuous-feed sanitizer system (saltwater chlorine generators, floaters, etc). People get lazy thinking that the system is always working how it should. I personally prefer dosing my spa as needed and utilizing accessories to reduce my overall need for sanitizers. From my experience so far, I'm a big fan of the ozonator and silver ion cartridge setup in my 2019 Hotspring Highlife (which is compatible with the new Freshwater salt system, but I still opted NOT to use salt in my spa). Ozone burns off organic contaminants through oxidation (like shock) but is such a strong oxidizer that it even reacts with free chlorine. This means you can shock after use and not have to soak in a bleach bath the next day, because the ozone will burn off all the chloramines and most of the chlorine overnight. Silver ion inhibits reproduction of single-celled organisms and slowly destroys them. It does not eliminate the need for chlorine, but allows you to use less. I use a Hotspring rebranded Nature2 Silver Mineral cartridge in my spa. My dealer gave me an awesome cheat-sheet for these Highlife spas running this setup. Basically my care routine involves dosing the spa with granular dichlor56 sanitizer based on usage after each soak (the math for your spa would be 1 teaspoon per person per 30 minutes of soaking, always rounding up - I use a dosed sugar dispenser to dispense exactly the proper amount of chlorine in seconds). The ozonator and Silver minerals paired with the circulation pump keep my spa clean between soaks with the cover closed. The only other care/maintenance I do monthly is clean/rotate filters, and test pH (boost with baking soda if lower than 7.5 - the dichlor is acidic and pulls the pH down over time). Replace the silver mineral cartridges every 4 months and drain/refill every 8-10 months based on usage. Like I said, I have a really handy single-page cheat-sheet my dealer gave me. Shoot me a private message if you'd like to see a copy of it.
  11. Pretty sure you need to press the heat button (temp up) and then immediately press the jets button (quickly, don't give the display a chance to even blink). From there you should see likely "FC" on the display - that means filter continuously. Press the jets button to change the cycle (FC, F2 for every 2 hours, F4 for 4 hours, F6, F8) then press the heat button to exit.
  12. Damnit, I typed up a whole long thing but it was erased when I hit submit reply (linked to another post in the forum which the system didn't like for some reason). Long story short, I prefer AhhSome over leisure-time jet clean. This blog is a long read, but the writer tested multiple products to see which was most effective (essentially using one product, then testing another one to see if anything *new* came out of the plumbing) - https://rvdoug.com/hot-tub-maintenance/controlling-biofilms-part-1/ No, I would not skip the purge cycle, especially with an old tub sitting for a "couple of years" - lots of nasty stuff is festering in that plumbing. The jet nozzles aren't what we care about, it's what's festering inside the plumbing we care about. Check out this forum discussion on the subject to see what the plumbing looks like before/after a purge on an old used spa @RDspaguy was flipping - https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52536-ever-wonder-what-biofilm-looks-like/
  13. Concrete stone will help transfer the resonance from the pump motors. If you're trying to dampen sound from resonance frequencies, you need to use rubber. Grab a cheap Yoga Matt, cut it to size and try shoving that under the pump to see if it helps.
  14. Yep. Bingo, found the problem. Single 50-amp breaker is the sign your electrician didn't wire up the hottub properly. All Hotspring Highlife spas use a 20amp and 30 amp breakers (one for the heater, and one for the pumps/electronics if I'm not mistaken). I'm not an expert, so I'm afraid I don't know exactly how bad it is or what damage is done. But yes, every time I see someone on the forums posting that they bought a used Hotspring hottub and they're complaining the system powers on but isn't heating or working properly, 90% of the time it's because the electrician didn't read the wiring diagram properly (which is printed and visible inside the equipment compartment for basically every hottub ever made from any manufacturer as this wiring diagram is required by law if I'm not mistaken) and tried to get creative with wiring up the spa to a 50-amp breaker like most traditional hottubs. (Funny thing I've noticed is that about 50% of the times it's a DIY weekend warrior trying to save money by wiring up the spa themselves, the other 50% of the time seems to be caused by inexperienced professional electricians assuming they can wire up the spa like a traditional hottub). Unfortunately that's the end of my expertise. I don't know if the electronics are damaged due to the improper wiring, or if it can be easily resolved by obtaining the proper breakers and wiring up the spa correctly. Hopefully no major damage is done and simply re-wiring the spa is all you need to do, but that's above my pay-grade lol. If you're in a rush, I'd call the local Hotspring dealer and ask them for an electrician referral - they might have a guy they work with frequently in your region who is familiar with these spas and can help get you fixed up.
  15. Did you also happen to take the gfci subpanel when you bought the hotspring? Or did you use a normal generic hottub subpanel? Hotspring spas require two breakers (a 20 amp and 30 amp), they are not wired to a single 50-amp breaker, so that's why I'm asking. It's a common mistake lots of people make when buying a used Hotspring Spa.
  16. Ahh, the classic MS traveling circus..... Yeah it's terrible, MasterSpas doesn't seem to care about these guys traveling the country (into other MS dealer's territory) - as long as they keep selling tubs that's all they seem to care about. And this is not new, they've been doing this for years. What I find interesting is that unlike pretty much every other name brand hottub company lists their dealers on an interactive map so you as a prospective customer can locate your nearest dealer. This is useful especially for existing customers who may have bought a home with a spa and want a dealer to service it (If I'm spending $15k on a hottub, you can bet I want the dealer's trained technicians to work on my spa if/when it needs service). Instead - MasterSpas has a form which you fill out, and then they will get back to you with a dealer to contact if there's one in your region. That makes no sense - why not list this information and let the customers find their favorite dealer in the area? Are they trying to hide their list of dealers out of embarrassment, or does it change too frequently for them to keep up with who's still selling their junk? Even worse if you use Archive.org to look at that site years ago, you'll see the owner of that site was a Master Spas authorized dealer, but he seems to completely forget mentioning that factoid to vistors coming to the site. Now he apparently offers "consulting" services where he charges a few hundred dollars to send you an affiliate link to a garbage Wish.com tub fully made in China hahaha. He's just an affiliate marketer who praises several brands while trashing those who don't pay him a commission. Absolutely, why not? Did you pay in cash money? If not call your bank - stop the payment, request a chargeback. If you have not taken delivery of the spa, you should have no problem working with your bank to cancel the order. CST covered a lot of other points. Take your time and research the local dealers in your region for all the top brands. Which dealer has been selling/servicing the same brand of spas the longest? Which has the best reputation? Also know that not every dealer charges the same price for the spa because they all work on different profit margins - some have techs on payroll while others outsource, some have sales reps on commission while others are on salary positions. In my own experience I didn't like my "nearest" hotspring dealer (big backyard makeover style store, lots of big ticket items and a sales rep on commission telling me what he thought I wanted to hear), so I found another Hotspring dealer equidistant from my rural home and ended up saving 20% in the process (same make/model/color spa, both dealers had to special order it, same things included with both spas - cover lifter, steps, 3 months chemicals, free delivery, etc). If you can cancel your order, I'd suggest checking out some other brands locally and get some prices before you commit to anything. Wet-testing is also extremely beneficial since jet horsepower numbers can be heavily inflated (horsepower basically means nothing - motor amperage ratings are more important, but this number isn't ever listed in the marketing materials). Also know that many brands build different product tiers to fit every budget - sometimes these are bells/whistle upgrades, other times the changes between product tiers include increases to product overall lifespan (essentially thicker/better materials used for construction) That said, I'd suggest the following brands might be worth considering: Jacuzzi, Sundance, Caldera, Hotspring, Marquis, Nordic, Bullfrog, Beachcomber, Cal Spas
  17. Lol, sounds like my experience in 2019 when I was shopping for a flagship spa. One local small spa dealer had a good reputation online with lots of reviews - apparently he once sold used spas at a fair price. I showed up to the address..... and it was an old gas station with the mechanic's garage converted into a "shop" with dozens of Catalina spas laying all over the place (non filled for wet-testing, natch). I got a real bad vibe about the dealer, especially after looking at the quality of the spas he had in stock. Then I laughed when I saw the prices he was quoting me - Only about a $1000 difference between what he was offering, and a 300-series Jacuzzi of equal size! Lol, reminds me of MAAX spas. Their reputation got so bad they rebranded as "American Whirlpool" 🙄
  18. Hottubs have the best lifespan when left filled with water and running. Rubber seals will dry up and crack, parts will rust, etc. I wouldn't spend too much time/effort getting that spa back operational until you know it can still hold water. Also know different leaks appear at ambient temp verses water heated to 100F. So filling and checking for leaks is only one of the steps involved in trying to resuscitate this spa (Which by the way the model is a Hotspot Solana I think)
  19. LPI Inc does indeed produce a low quality product. When examining a catalina model spa I was shocked at how thin the shell was compared to other brands I had been looking at on the same day (industrial engineer lol). For a list of all LPI brands, I suggest everyone visit https://lpiinc.com/shops (Note Hudson Bay Spas - one of HomeDepot's site brands is also on the list) Sadly as you discovered, many brands actually over-inflate their horsepower ratings (back in my car stereo days, we'd call it the ILS standard for amplifiers - if lighting strikes! Because that's the only way you'd get enough voltage to hit the rated power output for many Chinese sub amplifiers). It's to the point now where you really cannot rely on the horsepower ratings from any brand - instead the key is to research the amperage rating for each motor to calculate the true horsepower (as you have done). Sadly this information is rarely published on the official website making it very difficult to know what you're getting without inspecting the spa before delivery. Horsepower however is only one piece of the equation. There is a lot of hydrodynamics affecting the flow as the pump pushes water around the plumbing to the jets. Some brands love to just keep tossing more and more horsepower without changing any internal construction to compensate for the added pressure - this can actually negatively affect performance. Some of the larger brands in the industry utilize CAD software to assist in designing custom manifolds and angled components to reduce drag on the water as it's pumped through the system. Sadly not all brands do this - some just buy off the shelf components throw them together in a hottub and call it a day. Personally, I'm a Hotspring Highlife fanboy but there are absolutely other great brands out there. Unfortunately LPI spas is not one of them - and they do their best to obfuscate the customer by not publishing the LPI affiliation on their websites.
  20. I'm sure it's a pretty standard lens. I think it shouldn't be too hard to buy a replacement lens and swap them out
  21. Is this an inflatable spa? You might have more luck over here - https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/forum/28-inflatable-hot-tubs/ However, pulled from some quick google-fu... Source - https://support.bestwayaftersales.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/E02-Error-Code-Troubleshooting.pdf I think It could also be a dirty filter - those filters are extremely small for the size of the spa. Try cleaning/replacing the filter (or just removing it) and see if that clears the issue
  22. Your hottub doesn't have any lighting whatsoever? Now I'm curious, what brand doesn't install lights in their spa? I can't imagine soaking in my hottub at night without underwater illumination (seriously, I'd freak out knowing all the snakes and frogs I have running around my yard at night.....) The risk of shocking yourself is extremely high. I would not install any hardwired lighting under the water line due to the high risk of electrical shock if/when something failed (like a seal). This would not be covered under any insurance policy and you would be liable for any injuries or death resulting from modifying the spa (imagine a child playing in the water and something happening - you would be 100% liable) They sell battery powered pool lights all over the internet including amazon. Even Ryobi sells a kickass 18v floating pool light with bluetooth speakers, although it's a bit too big for hottubs) Something like this is only $18 for a two pack, and have suction cups so you can submerge them under water. They won't be high quality and last forever (I'd remove when not using the tub), but they would be a million times safer to use without the risk of electrical shock
  23. Most hottub manuals are useless and don't contain much info of any value to people in your situation. Aside from a bunch of warnings and such, the only thing they'll really tell you is how to operate the topside control panel and which knobs are used controlling which jets in the spa (like the diverter valve and air valves). There normally isn't too much about water chemistry or troubleshooting aside from the basics. Fortunately there are only a few brands which use proprietary parts, and yours isn't one of them. Your spa likely uses very industry standard off-the-shelf components with the only special parts being the exterior cabinet design and to a lesser extent, the shell design (lots of brands but not all use the same thermoforming molds for the shell haha) Instead of hunting for a useless owners manual. I suggest you start by grabbing your camera and photographing the spa, specifically remove the access panel and photograph the wiring diagram, then snap some photos of the equipment and control board (try to get some close up shots of anything which looks suspect - like burned electrical marks). Then start a new post, tell us what you know, and what you've done so far. "not working" can mean a lot of things. The more info you give, the better chance someone can get you started in the right direction. Are you comfortable using a multimeter to test electrical wiring? I'm sure the guys will have you test some stuff to see if you're getting voltage or continuity where needed. If you're not comfortable using a multimeter, It might be worth calling in a general spa technician to perform some diagnostics and give you the rundown of what it'll take to get your spa fixed up and running again.
  24. I wouldn't do that - you're trying to remove this stuff from the water. I use a few paper towels and a pair of gloves, scoop up the scum and throw it into a trash bag immediately (try not to gag at how nasty the scum can be haha) Run the pumps for 20 minutes. Then turn off the pumps, let the foam/water settle and then clean off the scum. Turn pumps back on for 20 minutes to purge again. Repeat until after a 4th or 5th time, no scum settles at the water line after running the jets for 20 minutes. That's a topic for another thread, I'd post that in the water chemistry section. Loaded question with lots of variables. In my experience with Ahhsome - the better I purge, the less chemicals I need to keep the water clean when I'm not using the spa for a week or two. Purge your spa every time you drain/refill, and you shouldn't have too many problems. Good luck!
  25. The dealer plays a huge role in your experience as they are usually responsible for warranty labor costs. Marquis makes some good spas, although I am a Hotspring Highlife fanboy personally. Be sure to research the dealer's online reputation - what to previous customers say about service - are they satisfied or do you read complaints about their repair techs? Also ask dealers about the warranty call-out diagnostics fees. Some dealers may give you a 5 year warranty, but only include 6-12 months free callouts before they charge to come out and even look at the spa, my hotspring dealer provides five years free callouts which does seem to be on the higher end, although I have seen some dealers include more. Industry average lifespan of a hottub seems to be 7-14 years depending on care/maintenance. A budget grade spa might see the lower end of that average, and a flagship top-tier spa might see twice those lifespans. However a lot of it depends on how you care/maintain a spa - water chemistry needs to be balanced, letting pH drift too low can cause an acid bath eating away at all the seals in your spa and excessive sanitizer usage can cause wear and tear on internal (and topside) components. Also winterizing spa, allowing air into the plumbing can cause things to rust and rubber seals to dry/shrink/crack. Are you the type of person who routinely cares for their stuff to keep them in tip-top shape, or do you prefer to buy and replace as needed? Also know, pressure-treated lumber is the industry-preferred framing material (cheap and easy to handle). However all pressure-treated lumber produced after 2002 no longer contains arsenic and is far more susceptible to rot & infestation when exposed to moisture. Spas built with PT lumber framing before 2002 have very different lifespans than spas built since. That's why you'll see many brands utilizing polycarbonate tool-grade framing on their top-tier models which brings me to my next point.... Most brands these days build multiple product tiers to fit every budget. Sometimes these changes between product tiers are bells & whistle upgrades (more jets, more power, more LED lights, etc), but sometimes there are changes under the hood to increase product lifespans. Don't expect a budget grade Jacuzzi to have the same lifespan as a top-tier flagship model. Before covid, the general rule of thumb was to wet-test a lounger before buying. Although not all dealers allow testing these days. In general loungers are built for average height and body mass for average Americans. You may have buoyancy issues if you are shorter or have a higher BMI. However if you're the type to recline on a couch, I would certainly suggest considering a lounger. You can use boosters or weighted belts to keep yourself in the lounger if you do have buoyancy issues. When shopping for my spa, I had no idea loungers existed before buying but knew I had to have one. I'm glad I did because the lounger is my favorite seat in the spa - I spend 90% of my time in it even when soaking solo. First thing to know - the saltwater systems are generating chlorine from the sodium chloride in the water. Your salt concentrations in a Hotspring are almost half that needed for a saltwater pool setup (1750ppm), and way less than the ocean (which is around 10000-35000ppm) My 2019 Jetsetter has the latest Freshwater salt compatibility built in. I can easily switch over to it if desired, however after researching, I personally have opted NOT to use it currently. (NOTE - even if your dealer installs the saltwater setup, they can easily disconnect and switch to another system if you desire in the future). Hotspring has the best saltwater system on the market with topside controls and some error reporting if the cell is not working properly (or needs to be replaced). It also has the best documentation in the industry for saltwater hottubs. However there are some cons to the Hotspring Saltwater setups from my perspective... Requires water to be balanced before system will generate chlorine - if your tap water is properly balanced and soft enough awesome you'll have few headaches getting started. If you have HARD water or well water, you're probably going to have to spend extra $$ getting the water properly balanced with things like a water softener before the system will generate adequate chlorine Expensive - the salt cells retail for around $300 for three cartridges (one year supply), and you can only purchase them from your local hotspring dealer (proprietary part, not sold online currently). To me, this sounds like a scheme by Hotspring to retain dealers by offering guaranteed residual income from customers. (By comparison, my Ozonator + Silver Mineral & chlorine setup runs about $35 a year in chemicals plus $90 for the silver mineral cartridges per year) I personally am not a fan of any continuous-feed system. I think it makes people lazy. I prefer dosing my spa with sanitizer after each use based on my usage at that time (I utilize a dosed sugar dispenser - takes me seconds to click the trigger and dispense just the right amount of granular dichlor chlorine). Bromine is an older method of sanitizing a spa - it was popular decades ago because bromine is far more stable at hottub temps. However bromine can be more harsh on the equipment compared to chlorine. These days there are many accessories and options to reduce your need for sanitizers (things like ozonators, uv lights, silver ion minerals, and enzymes) so you don't need as much chlorine to keep things sanitized. Tons of people still use bromine, but I don't. Like I said, I'm a Hotspring Highlife fanboy. I love the styling and those motomassager jets which you won't find on any other of brand of spas in the industry. But that doesn't mean avoid Marquis - they do make great spas for the price.
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