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ckstou

Costco Divine Vs. Costco Evolution

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Hello All,

Although this is my first post, I've been lurking on this site for a couple of years. I love that this site is available to help anyone who asks. I know the title of my post is sure to create some (animated :) ) discussion but my intent is to get as much factual information as possible. My wife and I have decided to take the plunge and purchase our first Hot Tub. For a variety of reasons we have decided to purchase at Costco. I understand the tradeoffs and we are willing to live with them. My question is one of quality and reputation. I know that the Divine brand is made by Clearwater and the Evolution is made by Strong. Is one better than the other in terms of quality and reputation? Let's assume price was equal. Which would be the better choice? Again, my intent is to gain knowledge not to start a flame war. Thank you all in advance for your help.

ckstou

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Hello All,

Although this is my first post, I've been lurking on this site for a couple of years. I love that this site is available to help anyone who asks. I know the title of my post is sure to create some (animated :) ) discussion but my intent is to get as much factual information as possible. My wife and I have decided to take the plunge and purchase our first Hot Tub. For a variety of reasons we have decided to purchase at Costco. I understand the tradeoffs and we are willing to live with them. My question is one of quality and reputation. I know that the Divine brand is made by Clearwater and the Evolution is made by Strong. Is one better than the other in terms of quality and reputation? Let's assume price was equal. Which would be the better choice? Again, my intent is to gain knowledge not to start a flame war. Thank you all in advance for your help.

ckstou

Neither has a reputation for quality.They have not been around long enough. It takes a few years for reputations to be valid. But if past history is any indication they are exactly what they are. An inexpensive option to a high quality more expensive tub. But they have a return policy.

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Hello All,

Although this is my first post, I've been lurking on this site for a couple of years. I love that this site is available to help anyone who asks. I know the title of my post is sure to create some (animated :) ) discussion but my intent is to get as much factual information as possible. My wife and I have decided to take the plunge and purchase our first Hot Tub. For a variety of reasons we have decided to purchase at Costco. I understand the tradeoffs and we are willing to live with them. My question is one of quality and reputation. I know that the Divine brand is made by Clearwater and the Evolution is made by Strong. Is one better than the other in terms of quality and reputation? Let's assume price was equal. Which would be the better choice? Again, my intent is to gain knowledge not to start a flame war. Thank you all in advance for your help.

ckstou

Neither has a reputation for quality.They have not been around long enough. It takes a few years for reputations to be valid. But if past history is any indication they are exactly what they are. An inexpensive option to a high quality more expensive tub. But they have a return policy.

Roger that's not true clearwater has been around since 1976. Whether or not they make a good tub I have no idea as I've never seen one. The only strong spa that I have seen is the durasport series and those are not made very well but are priced accordingly usually around the 3k mark. Why not have a look at freeflow or nordic. They are in the same price range but make higher quality tubs available trough their dealer network

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Hello All,

Although this is my first post, I've been lurking on this site for a couple of years. I love that this site is available to help anyone who asks. I know the title of my post is sure to create some (animated :) ) discussion but my intent is to get as much factual information as possible. My wife and I have decided to take the plunge and purchase our first Hot Tub. For a variety of reasons we have decided to purchase at Costco. I understand the tradeoffs and we are willing to live with them. My question is one of quality and reputation. I know that the Divine brand is made by Clearwater and the Evolution is made by Strong. Is one better than the other in terms of quality and reputation? Let's assume price was equal. Which would be the better choice? Again, my intent is to gain knowledge not to start a flame war. Thank you all in advance for your help.

ckstou

Neither has a reputation for quality.They have not been around long enough. It takes a few years for reputations to be valid. But if past history is any indication they are exactly what they are. An inexpensive option to a high quality more expensive tub. But they have a return policy.

Roger that's not true clearwater has been around since 1976. Whether or not they make a good tub I have no idea as I've never seen one. The only strong spa that I have seen is the durasport series and those are not made very well but are priced accordingly usually around the 3k mark. Why not have a look at freeflow or nordic. They are in the same price range but make higher quality tubs available trough their dealer network

But I'll gaurentee Clearwater sells a tub to Costco that is manufactured specifically to meet Costco's price demands. So even if Clearwwater has been around for a while the tubs they sell to Costco haven't. Strong has made tubs for a few years also but same thing.

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Matt,

I agree with Roger in this case. Time and time again, we have seen tub manufacturers specifically make a line of tubs engineered to meet lower price points for sale through big box merchants, warehouse stores, etc. I recall many manufacturers over the years come out with cheapened product specifically geared to that market segment. Some examples:

Fort Wayne Pools (now Master Spas)- Had a line of significantly cheapened tubs sold through the now defunct Home Quarters back in the early to mid 1990's. This is the earliest known example that I know of with deliberately cheapened tubs through a mass merchant.

Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath- Just about every tech has serviced the Jacuzzi "Echo Series" hot tubs sold through Home Depot in the late 90's and into the early 2000's. These tubs were really cheapened dramatically as compared to the standard lines sold through dealers in a move coldly calculated to get suckers to buy based solely on the reputation of the Jacuzzi name.

Savannah Spas- A creation of Maax Spas that pushed Jacuzzi out of Home Depot. I'd even suggest that the build quality was better than the Echo Series Jacuzzi tubs, but certainly below the quality of their regular tubs.

I'm sure there are other examples, but these examples show that time in the business is not a guarantee of quality or anything else. It seems like all the manufacturers are willing to prostitute themselves in order to play in the low end segment.

John

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Matt,

I agree with Roger in this case. Time and time again, we have seen tub manufacturers specifically make a line of tubs engineered to meet lower price points for sale through big box merchants, warehouse stores, etc. I recall many manufacturers over the years come out with cheapened product specifically geared to that market segment. Some examples:

Fort Wayne Pools (now Master Spas)- Had a line of significantly cheapened tubs sold through the now defunct Home Quarters back in the early to mid 1990's. This is the earliest known example that I know of with deliberately cheapened tubs through a mass merchant.

Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath- Just about every tech has serviced the Jacuzzi "Echo Series" hot tubs sold through Home Depot in the late 90's and into the early 2000's. These tubs were really cheapened dramatically as compared to the standard lines sold through dealers in a move coldly calculated to get suckers to buy based solely on the reputation of the Jacuzzi name.

Savannah Spas- A creation of Maax Spas that pushed Jacuzzi out of Home Depot. I'd even suggest that the build quality was better than the Echo Series Jacuzzi tubs, but certainly below the quality of their regular tubs.

I'm sure there are other examples, but these examples show that time in the business is not a guarantee of quality or anything else. It seems like all the manufacturers are willing to prostitute themselves in order to play in the low end segment.

John

And over the phone the manufacturer will tell you there's no difference even though a trained eye can see it. Things like wimpier frame wood, economy series controllers, pumps, heaters, less insulation, poor workmanship in the plumbing and fiber glassing of the acrylic and who knows what else that's not noticeable. I know Balboa makes jets that cost 8 bucks each and virtually the same size jet that cost 30 bucks and about 3 series of jets in between. Same holds true for Waterway, Gecko and Hyrdoquip.

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Costco does sell some fully foamed plug and play types in the $3k range that do well but they are straight forward rotationally molded spas. When you start getting into that $6k to 8k range thats a differnt story to most spa pros and you can find many good options at spa dealers in that range so ther respnses are about what I'd expect.

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I have no idea the quality of either was just pointing out clearwater had been around for awhile. I'm sure they do cheapen out their tubs in ways that consumers would never no about. Now that i looked at those tubs they are selling for 6k ad up. You would be a fool to drop that much on a tub from costco. There are lots of options in that pricerangetht would be better options. The to-1040 is listed for 8k. That opens up brands like some hot springs, caldera or jacuzzi. If you want to stay underthe 6k look at a nordic.

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There are loads of options out there at 5-6K including the Costco option. You get the return policy at Costco and you get support from a dealer. Whichever is important to you. There are a few folks that have been floating around on this and other boards that have the Strong option but I have not seen any Costco Clearwater owners. The problem with the owners on these boards is they are new owners and they love their tubs. Not a real good way to gain any longevity or quality data.

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I have been working with, and have been familiar with Clearwater Spas since the mid eighties, and they rely much more on the preception of quality than the actual presence of it.

For example, they use terminology like "Synthetic support pillars" in reality, PVC sewr pipe used for seat supports.

They keep samples of spa shell cross sections that have expanded steel in them, leading consumers to think the entire shell is reinforced, when in fact, it isn't. Typical premium shell thickness is less than 3/16", the "sample" is over a half inch thick.

Thousands of their premium line spas 2002-2008 grew huge seat lumps from the shells collapsing around the "pillars" because they weren't thick enough to survive without the support of full foam.

That's how they build their "good stuff". Goodness knows what their cheapend down stuff looks like.

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TO ckstou: Although this is a 5 year old thread, I found it while researching spa brands as we are just now looking to replace ours. I have read quite a few comments about all the brands but all I can say is that we purchased a spa from Home Depot in 1998!!! and we are still using it!!! Not sure about all the pro & cons but that was a 24 jet lower end spa we purchased (w. promotion) for $1100!!! After 20 years, we are still using it... so I am interested in why some people are talking about 5-7 or at the most, 10 years durability...for spas that can cost as high as $7000!  I find it ridiculous!

Edited by Julia17
spelling error

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I'm with you Julia....I'm looking too, and can't find advice worth a damn....I had redwood tubs ( one after another), and next bought a used shell for $100 and totally re-outfitted it (new pump, controller, heater, plumbing etc.) for $1000...Prices on these new are NUTS

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