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Strong Csxi80 Evaluation


DK117
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Looks like the pump is actually ok other than the shaft seal. Unfortunately it ran so long with the seal leaking that the water got into the motor and probably ruined the bearings. Might end up replacing the whole pump/motor unit for about 260.00 The motor is more by itself...go figure. If anyone knows if there is a rebuild kit for the motor in this url I'd appreciate the info. Thanks

http://www.spapumpsandmore.com/2_speed_230v_56FR_12_0A_1110014_Spa_Pump_Motor_p/1110014.htm

Not sure how the pump could of survived when you said you ran it dry??? That won't be covered under warranty. Or you could be deceitful and say it just quit. Higher prices here we come.

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if the pump failure was caused by another warranteed problem, I would certainly expect it be fixed under warranty, and I doubt Strong could (or would) object. That said, the nice thing about doing business with a company like Costco, is they will support you if a manufacturer refuses too. I bought a piece of electronics at Costco and after 4 years, needed to get a part from manufacturer. The manufacturer was "belly up" and when I called costco for help, they told me to bring it back to the store for a full refund.

Now regarding Strong, when I called then regarding a ripped "pillow", which was clearly and specifically excluded from the warranty, they sent me a new one for free, so unless you've actually talked to them about this problem, I would assume the best regarding warranty coverage, rather than the worst!

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yeah in 2009 the warranty was only 2 years on pumps and leakage. Thank you for the suggestion though. Found a pump/motor replacement for 227 plus tax at pss. Better than dealing with pulling the tub out and dragging it back to Costco.

Like I said you had a good run. Ya got almost 5 years out of the pump. Generally a value tub will have these types of problems after 5-6 years. Some of the better value tubs will make it longer. Things like the heater, pumps and controls will be first. As the plumbing and parts get brittle you may need to replace the entire tub over the next few years when it becomes not cost effective to repair. They change the tubs so often that you may want a new one anyway. It you went the quality high end tub route for twice the money you would be stuck with it for 15-20 years.

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how easy was it to physically do the repair? Access? Standard size fittings ?

It was really easy as roger said. I however I seperated the pump and the motor initially and took the pump apart. I was hoping I could salvage the motor but it was already ruined. The impeller was pretty dificult to remove but I was able to use a couple of oil filter wrenches to remove it at the end. Even so, with the motor bad I just bought a whole new motor/pump unit and put it in. The new motor does not come with a new power cord so make sure you keep the old one and take a photo of the wiring order on the motor and on the balboa panel. All in all, less than an hour job to remove the old and replace with the new without tinkering around with the old one like I did.

In regards to your other questions access is wide open but you might need a wobble extension to be able to get the nuts that hold the motor down off. The fittings were exactly the same since I used the exact same pump/motor assembly.

Thanks Roger. I will remove the fittings and do that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The seals in your pump likely degraded from chemical exposure, standard seals don't have much of a life span in this scenario, much better if the seals were Viton.

You get what you pay for.

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  • 8 months later...

hmm, my 2012 update post deleted, but I'll give my one and only 2013 post a try. I almost forgot about this site and it took me two days to remember my password.

Anyway a few weeks ago I passed 4 years, no issues. I don't use my tub as much as when it first arrived, but it's still running like a champ.

See you next year.

DK117

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Please continue to keep us posted.

As much as you and some others seem to think some of us are against value type tubs. Your wrong, we have said all along. They are a less expensive option to a higher priced, better designed, better built, longer lasting more energy efficient tub from manufacturer with a long standing reputation of quality and customer support.

Some of us survive on value type of tubs.

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  • 11 months later...

I almost missed my year 5 update. In short all is well. I purchased a new cover this year. I'd like to get new headrests but mostly for cosmetic reasons. One of my rotating jets seems to have gone bad, but that was free from Chad at Strong years ago. I don't think I've opened the cabinet this year.

Not much to report. I'm enjoying my tub a lot less frequently than year 1 and 2. I'll have to look around for the new chemicals brand name, but I stopped using Dichlor then bleach and while more expensive I am now maybe once a week with messing with it.

While absolutely of no statistical relevance, I'm 5 years in with no problems on my Strong from Costco. Still happy with my purchase. Looks like the current version of my spa, while not a perfect match is either $1500 to $2000 more at Costco today. Maybe I got what I paid for, maybe I got a good deal as Strong (evolution) entered the market with Costco.

Enjoy your tubs!

DK117

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  • 1 month later...

I bought mine at about the same time that DK got his. Still have the tub, still haven't had any problems. I've been on Bromine the whole time. I haven't gotten a new cover yet, but need to soon. I'm still very happy with the tub. The cabinet hasn't shown any degradation at all - a far cry from wood panel cabinets. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I've enjoyed the spa - and the $4000 I saved - for 5 years now.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Gentlemen, it's been a while.   I finally asked the webmaster to reset my password so I could grace you all with an annual update.   I've been pretty lazy with my water chemistry resulting in a seized pump needing to be rebuilt last year.  My EZ coverlifter rusted in half.   Overall my 2009 "Costco" tub is running like a champ.  I've never had a problem with it.

There was a lot of bravado on this site in 2009 about the junk coming from Costco.  Does one tub refute those opinions?  Of course not.  Were those opinions dead wrong in my case?  Yes.

Happy Tubbing. 

DK117

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

Wanted to come back to this topic.  It has caused me to rethink the purchase of a hot tub made by Strong Spa.  I'm looking at an Essential Arbor 20 which is an economic/entry level hot tub made by Strong Spa, marketed through Amazon.  But after a few years have passed, are the points about construction still valid as it pertains to Strong or have improvements/changes been made in recent years?

Thanks!

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  • 10 months later...

I haven't been here in a very long time.  I have a Strong Csxi80 - bought at Costco in 2009.  10 years now.  Costco spas were quite a topic of debate back ten years ago.

Here's my update:  After 10 years, the pump seized up.  Since it was ten years old, I bought a replacement pump - a Waterway "Executive 56" 4Hp (12 amp/4.4 amp).  This is exactly what was in there to start with.  Considering the amount of hours on the thing, I think it did real well. Online price, $275 with another $5 for new seals for the unions.

The heater was working fine after 10 years,  but since I was in there anyway I replaced it with, again, an exact replacement - Balboa M7 5.5kW.

I'll rebuild the old pump and heater and keep them at the ready as spares.  Which I may need.... in another 10 years.  The motor is probably fine - most likely only needs new bearings.  We'll see.  Waterway still makes the same wet end pump.  It's not expensive... but they also sell all the parts.  So the wet end will be cheap.  An element for the heater is $25 at Spa Depot.  A titanium one is $15 more, but considering that the original went 10 years, I'll buy lunch with that $15 instead. 

The shell looks perfect.  No blisters, no hairline cracks, no stains.

The Balboa controller (VS-511) still works fine. 

The cabinet of this model is a plastic molded type that is, IIRC, some flavor of polyethylene.  It still looks (no exaggeration) just like new.  I do *nothing* to it except hit it with the pressure washer for maybe 1 minute total,  once a year.  No protectant, nothing.  It's the best part of the spa, as far as I'm concerned - considering the way some 10 year old wood cabinets and frames look  on spas my friends have.  Interestingly, Strong mounted the pump and controller on a piece of Trex (or the like) synthetic deck board, instead of wood.  So that hasn't deteriorated at all, either.  Wood is cheaper than Trex,  and since it's inside, no one would notice.  But they used the synthetic, which says something about Strong... or at least about them 10 years ago.

This spa was less than $5000, delivered.  I don't know what that money can buy you today, but from what I see when the various "road shows" go to Costco, the prices are a lot higher than that for anything comparable.

I'm an engineer, and I bought this because it had the Balboa spa pack, the 56 frame Waterway pump, and the synthetic cabinet.  I figured good components would be reliable.  They have been... and the design makes the thing very easy to work on.  The question marks were on the reliability of the plumbing  and how well the shell would hold up.  There haven't been any problems with either of those. 

The Csxi is not the most deluxe spa out there.  Some of the high end brands are stunning.   But the Csxi80 continues to provide great bang for the buck.  

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have had a Strong spa since May 2011, purchased from Costco. It's a great unit with an original price of 6100 including tax. Last year, both motors died, one in the spring, the other in the fall. They were fairly easy to replace. Those have been the only repair/replacements that I've had to do on the spa. The jets are great but not as powerful as my previous Calspa. I had the Calspa for 10 years before we sold the house, and had to replace both motors on that spa, as well as the heater pack. That price was 4500 but in the year 2000.

We've gone through several covers, but that's another story...covers only seem to last several years. We use our spa every morning.

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