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emt1581

Why the lack of discussion/info on rotomold hot tubs??

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For the last week or so I've been looking into rotationally molded tubs as a giant step up from the inflatable tub I had been considering.  However they aren't the 100 jet $30k tubs either.  They appear to be decent entry level tubs from what I can read.  Problem is, other than a few articles which seem to be more of an advertisement than an independent review as well as the reviews from people that have bought them on places like wayfair, amazon, etc.... I've found no in-depth discussion of them on any of the hot tub forums.  Just some random comments saying how the jets weren't as powerful as the 220 tubs.  

What I can't seem to find any info on is how to repair/replace parts, especially ones NOT behind the cabinet door/panel.  Say a jet breaks...are you screwed because it's buried in foam and not accessible or are they easy to work on?  

What is customer service like if I need a repair/assistance with one of these Amazon, Wayfair, Costco, etc. tubs??  

Here's the one that seems most attractive for it's Balboa components, price, capacity and number of jets.  Hopefully there's at least one or two who will give this thread a look that can shed some light on whether it's a decent tub or not.

Essential Arbor 20 Jet

Thanks!! 

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I don't know about it being a step up in materials though. I was looking into that myself, and it doesn't seem like hot water and polyethylene plastic is the best combination for health. There are some lower priced acrylic tubs available too. I went with one of those over a rotomolded type for that reason.

 

As far as customer service goes, if you read the warranties on those, that's basically what you're saving money on. Of course, my new tub had a cracked fitting inside that connected the bubble control, as it wasn't built to be secured well enough for shipping. So I took a piece of flexible clear pvc hose with an inner diameter matching the outer diameter of the fitting, and glued it over that with the blue stuff and primer, then tightened hose clamps over it. This seems to have worked. So that's fine with me (at least I learned something about repairing pvc), because I'd rather not get into calling for service, since they basically say that if you sign for the tub then you're saying it wasn't broken when you got it, but I would have had to unwrap it from the pallet, which I needed to move it off the street on, in order to unscrew the panel and make sure nothing looked broken, but then I might have broken something else moving it at that point. So whatever. If you want to be more confident about getting it set up without any problems, get one from a dealer. They sell rotomolded ones also. I'm not saying those are necessarily toxic, and obviously if they're allowed to make tubs out of that material, then it isn't the worst material either.

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14 hours ago, wondertub said:

I don't know about it being a step up in materials though. I was looking into that myself, and it doesn't seem like hot water and polyethylene plastic is the best combination for health. There are some lower priced acrylic tubs available too. I went with one of those over a rotomolded type for that reason.

 

As far as customer service goes, if you read the warranties on those, that's basically what you're saving money on. Of course, my new tub had a cracked fitting inside that connected the bubble control, as it wasn't built to be secured well enough for shipping. So I took a piece of flexible clear pvc hose with an inner diameter matching the outer diameter of the fitting, and glued it over that with the blue stuff and primer, then tightened hose clamps over it. This seems to have worked. So that's fine with me (at least I learned something about repairing pvc), because I'd rather not get into calling for service, since they basically say that if you sign for the tub then you're saying it wasn't broken when you got it, but I would have had to unwrap it from the pallet, which I needed to move it off the street on, in order to unscrew the panel and make sure nothing looked broken, but then I might have broken something else moving it at that point. So whatever. If you want to be more confident about getting it set up without any problems, get one from a dealer. They sell rotomolded ones also. I'm not saying those are necessarily toxic, and obviously if they're allowed to make tubs out of that material, then it isn't the worst material either.

Thanks for sharing.  

 

You said you went with a lower priced acrylic tub....what make/model did you choose?

Someone suggested taking a look at this one for my needs... 

https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/pdp/cyanna-valley-spas-5-person-20-jet-spa-with-led-lights-cvas1000.html  

I don't think it's acrylic but is it a step up in quality and performance?  I just want something that'll relieve tense muscles, can fit around 4 adults and a kid, is durable and easy to maintain.  

EDIT:  I see it's made from polyethylene as well so no real improvement there if we're considering potential for toxicity.  

Thanks!!

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We went with a two person QCA tub (looks like a big bath tub). The model name varies depending on where you look it up (they're sold on various sites, hardware stores, etc). It wasn't the cheapest tub available, but was discounted at the time (well these smaller tubs don't cost proportionately less by size, yet may cost less to run).  Other than that, there's an acrylic one shaped like the kind you linked here: https://www.amazon.com/American-Spas-AM-511RS-5-Person-11-Jet/dp/B00KYA058S 

Last time I checked, there were several brands of acrylic tubs priced similarly to rotomolded ones, as far as the kind you can order online (although I was looking at smaller ones mostly). Besides the shell material, look for stainless steel or plastic jets, because I've seen a video of rusted ones on a tub sold at Costco. I didn't really want to deal with replacing any built in pillows either. Other things I wanted to avoid were full foam insulation (which can get waterlogged if there's a leak), and plug and play only power (without the option of hooking up more power, if cold weather prevents the lower power from maintaining heat without the cover on). So far this summer, the smaller tub heats up quicker than the instructions say with plug and play (at around 4 degrees per hour, compared to 1 or 2 degrees), and maintains its heat without the cover on, so I haven't had to hook up more power yet.

 

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By the way, I looked up some more info about polyethylene (related to this other topic), and it looks like the chemicals used to treat spa water can break the plastic down over time (or it could be going on continuously in other words). Maybe that's one of the main reasons inflatable ones with thinner plastic don't tend to last.

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I have considered these plug and play 110 models, but quite frankly, I just don't use my tub enough to justify more than the $300 that I spent on my Bestway Miami inflatable tub.  These would be better suited for winter use.  I am also on my 3rd season with my inflatable so, it's doing pretty well.  

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