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Master Spa Legacy


biasedhistorian
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As a dealer in a very cold climate, with 1000's of Master Spas in the field, I am pleased to say that there has only been a handful of occasions when a customer has been disappointed with the operating cost of their hot tub. Furthermore, the majority of those instances have been solved by some simple trouble-shooting. Most of the time, the customer inadvertantly sets their spa to FC or filter continuously, when the large jet pump runs 24-7. The accidental adjustment of the filtration cycles, even when the spa has a circ pump, can be blamed for 99% of the problems, in my opinion. Unfortunately, most customers don't read their owner's manual, and they don't realize the spa isn't supposed to do that as set by the factory. And "ECONOMY MODE" is the biggest oxymoron of them all. Most customers believe that economy mode will save them money simply because of its name! If you use your spa on a regular basis, the cooling and reheating of the spa water is "economically" emptying your wallet of your hard-earned money. Lastly, it doesn't matter what kind of spa you have if your cover is waterlogged. The insulating property of the foam is ZILTCH when it gets wet.

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I think it's cool that a lot of you Master owners love your product, but when you say you wouldn't even pay a thousand more for a different spa that's better insulated..... :huh:

How many months of double the energy usage (and that's what the original poster said he had in kwh) does it take to make up a thousand dollars?

Why not just buy the tub that doesn't need you to take it apart to make it right?

Hey......c'est la vie! Enjoy your soaking! That's all that matters.

For a lot of us it's not function of choosing to buy Master over another spa to save a buck or two even though we believe it will be more expensive to operate. It's a matter of having relied upon the advice of salesmen and our perception of their credibility as our primary source of information about spas prior to making a purchase. Then, after purchasing a spa, finding out that nearly every salesman you spoke with was just another lying salesman trying to close a deal cleverly disguised as a knowledgable professional interested in educating you and helping you make a good decision. In hindsight, the Master Spas salesman who sold me my spa was 10,000 times better salesman that the guys in the Hotspring, Jacuzzi, Emerald, Diamondback, LA Spas, and Sundance stores put together. The day I bought my Master Spa, I honestly belived that I had gotten a good deal on a premium product with superior features. Since then, I have learned that I likely would have been just as happy with several of the other brands.

I have had no problems with my Master Spa. It is very comfortable and provides me with excellent hydrotherapy. It has been very easy to maintain and I am very happy with my purchase. If I find information on here that leads me to believe that I can significantly reduce operating costs for a small investment, I'll do it in a heartbeat so that I can enjoy my purchase even more. If I were shopping for a new spa tomorrow, would I buy another Master Spa? Probably not, but also wouldn't buy from the local Hotsprings or Sundance dealers, no matter how good the product may be. I might drive down the road to try and find better dealers that carried those brands. The bottom line is that I like My Master Spa and I'll do what I can to make it even better, but I refuse to hang my head in shame just because I own it.

I suspect that people who bought there spas at big-box stores feel the same way. They might never buy one there again, because they will be more dicriminating with their next spa purchase, but they don't have to be embarrassed that they bought their tub there. They were likely just trying to avoid having to sort out the good dealers from the sales scumbags

Chris W

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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...

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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...

Very well said. You are correct that most customers are not going to easily be able to wade through the various "information" they may be given to know what is most important, what is true, what is exaggerated, etc. A second time buyer is always more informed than a someone brand new to the idea of purchasing a spa but if people come to this site forum (and the few others) before they purchase they can get some tips from other spa owners and spa professionals to know what to look for such as value of wet testing, value of a local dealer, energy usage differences, why one spa has 5 Bhp and another 2.5hp when they're really the same, differences in warranties, manufacturer reputations, tips on negotiating, etc.

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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.

My first car was a DeLorean:

jumpHIGHoggie.jpg

It looked good with my neon tank top and nuthugger shorts back in 1985.

Terminator

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Let's do some math here. You say the Legacy is using about 800 kwh of energy per month, and this is during the coldest months of winter. At .08 cents per kwh, your spa is costing you approximatly $65 a month in the winter, and that is assuming there is no other changes in your household that would contribute to the increase. Certainly, the Legacy line could be insulated better, but that isn't as dire as some people would lead you to believe.

With that being said, let me tell you a story about the Hot Spring energy guarantee. I started in this industry working for one of the largest Hot Spring dealerships in the nation. One day, I got a phone call from a customer who thought his spa was costing him more than the $30 per month that his "Energy Guarantee" promised.

It was winter time. The exact month escapes me. This customer had the power meter hooked up to his spa. Each time he got in the spa, he recorded the meter reading, the spa temp, and the time. When he got out, he recorded the meter reading, the spa temp, and the time. He did this for one month, as directed by our dealership.

At the end of the month, he calculated the cost of operation of his spa. It came out to be $62 for that month and that was in ~1995. He called us and expected to get a refund check, as his "guarantee" said the spa would cost him only $30 per month. I called the owner to see how to proceed with the customer's refund. His reply...

"That's about average"

Confused, I asked the owner again how to proceed. He stated that the "guarantee" said "...an AVERAGE of $30 per month." Of course, the spa would cost less to run in the summer time and would average out to be about $30 per month.

Bottom line?? Any spa is going to cost money to run in the winter. Budget about $60-$70 for the cold months, and $10-$20 for the warmer months. If anyone says their spa will be less, they are not being honest with you.

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Certainly, the Legacy line could be insulated better, but that isn't as dire as some people would lead you to believe.

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.

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Certainly, the Legacy line could be insulated better, but that isn't as dire as some people would lead you to believe.

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

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Certainly, the Legacy line could be insulated better, but that isn't as dire as some people would lead you to believe.

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

Glad you like your spa...GREAT tub for the money!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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!

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  • 4 weeks later...
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!

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.

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When I ordered my hot tub from Master Spa (Down East Model 2004), I had the option whether to have it full foam or with the standard paneling at no extra cost. After listening to many opinions, I decided I wanted the full foam (hey, why not, it was free!). I believe my electric bill raises about 25-30 dollars with the hot tub on standard and using 3-4 times a week.

May be harder to work on, but I've always felt that the full foam helps supports the pipes. Four years old and no leaks.

Wish I could say the same for the jets/circuit board/ etc. :huh:

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  • 4 weeks later...
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.

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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.

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  • 2 months later...

Okydoky...time for the six month review :rolleyes:

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.

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Great to hear!! If you want to keep your water cooler in the summer-time, try using something to break the seal between the tub and the cover, like a flat piece of wood or such. It will allow more air to circulate in the tub, and it will keep it cooler!

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Okydoky...time for the six month review :rolleyes:

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.

It’s great to hear its working for you and that your ingenuity is paying off. You were very wise to revise/improve their insulation method!!!

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Okydoky...time for the six month review :rolleyes:

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.

It’s great to hear its working for you and that your ingenuity is paying off. You were very wise to revise/improve their insulation method!!!

The manufacturer was made aware of this. They are now using the same method of insulation that is in their more expensive spas! Just another reason to buy one!

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The manufacturer was made aware of this. They are now using the same method of insulation that is in their more expensive spas! Just another reason to buy one!

I'm familiar with the more expensive ones so I assumed he was improving insulation on one of those. I didn’t know it was for one of the more entry level models and wasn’t aware they had separate insulating issues from the more top of the line ones.

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  • 1 month later...

i'm getting a used master spa sometime this week and have began brainstorming ideas to add insulation, that may be removed if needed.

If you can't tell, I do not know a lot about spas nor do I really know about anything that someone who would be described as a do-it-yourself person knows about.

here's my idea...let me know about its plausibility.

could I obtain pieces of a thin insulation wrap (the kind that looks like tin foil), lay it on the ground, and spray it with the insulation foam. Let it dry, and then stuff the pieces of the foam covered insulation paper into the void corners of the spa? i didn't know if someone knew anything about these materials enough to say if it would or wouldn't work. or maybe i have the wrong idea about what the inside of a spa looks like.

just an idea, thanks,

michelle

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  • 3 months later...

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!!!

B)

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Thank you for your update.

I've been lurking on the site for a few months, just a few days after I had bought a MasterSpa H2X crosstrainer. need less to say I was having a lot of mis-givings after reading negitive post about Masterspa (I had not found this one until today).

The Tub arrived last week and is ready to go, but I will be out of town for 2 weeks so I'm holding off filling it up, yes the dealer winterized it for me.

Once things are up and running, I'll do a formal intro and than then hit the Chemistry forum with lots of questions.

I will say I was pleasently surprised with the insulation on the inside of the spa

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Thank you for your update.

I've been lurking on the site for a few months, just a few days after I had bought a MasterSpa H2X crosstrainer. need less to say I was having a lot of mis-givings after reading negitive post about Masterspa (I had not found this one until today).

The Tub arrived last week and is ready to go, but I will be out of town for 2 weeks so I'm holding off filling it up, yes the dealer winterized it for me.

Once things are up and running, I'll do a formal intro and than then hit the Chemistry forum with lots of questions.

I will say I was pleasently surprised with the insulation on the inside of the spa

Just purchased a Master Spa (Down East) Windsor STS model with the tv/sterio/dvd and seems to be working just fine. Viewing the insulation comments I will look into throwing some pink insulation in bags in the corners and maybe a bit more like that other post did. My price was right on my purchase, otherwise I would have looked around over the winter a bit more, but for a first unit I have no complaints (John Prine?).

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