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Hot tub recommendations?

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  • Jul 31st, 2020 10:32 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2018
815 posts
844 upvotes

Hot tub recommendations?

Looking for a hot tub, 5-6 people with lounger, two pumps, what do you guys recommend? Also how energy efficient are new hot tubs as well as how maintenance intensive? Recommended brands?

Thank you
33 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15492 posts
12701 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Very happy with our Arctic Spa.
Not cheap ... but well made
And here in Canada, specifically designed to withstand our super cold Winters
(Tub will not freeze if the power goes out ... for days. Cannot be said of many other tubs)

Your expenses are:
Purchase, Electrical Set Up, and Initial Chemicals etc
Expect $ 10 to $ 15 K for a 5/6 person tub from Arctic Spa
$ 1000 for electrical
And a few hundred to get yourself started chemically

After that maintenance etc is pretty cheap
All in ... electricity & chemicals runs us about $ 1 a day annually
And we run our tub year round

As to seating ... go for as many jets as you can afford
Jets are far more important than other do dads (sound system, many lights etc)
Also we are not fans of loungers
One tends to float off them with the water movement ... more than lay in them
So we personally find them useless
Much prefer to sit with multi jets getting a massage
(Every seat in our tub delivers a different experience / jet pattern ... as well as elevation ... so good for the whole family too )

Whatever you do ... go to a showroom to see all the models
Learn all their differences
And TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
That’s the best way to determine what it is you want / like
(How we decided a lounger was definitely not for us )

No regrets

Our hot tub has been a great investment
Far better than a swimming pool
We use it year round
And in the summer ... we adjust the temp ... so it’s a hot tub some of the time
And a refreshing splash pool on the hottest days in the summer
(Arctic Spa has the widest expanse of temp settings ... you can self adjust ... not just a few presets from the factory)

Best time to buy ...
Spring & Fall Homeshows
And around The Ex
Dealers always have booths at all these events with special promos on
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2004
2759 posts
1014 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: Very happy with our Arctic Spa.
Not cheap ... but well made
And here in Canada, specifically designed to withstand our super cold Winters
(Tub will not freeze if the power goes out ... for days. Cannot be said of many other tubs)

Your expenses are:
Purchase, Electrical Set Up, and Initial Chemicals etc
Expect $ 10 to $ 15 K for a 5/6 person tub from Arctic Spa
$ 1000 for electrical
And a few hundred to get yourself started chemically

After that maintenance etc is pretty cheap
All in ... electricity & chemicals runs us about $ 1 a day annually
And we run our tub year round

As to seating ... go for as many jets as you can afford
Jets are far more important than other do dads (sound system, many lights etc)
Also we are not fans of loungers
One tends to float off them with the water movement ... more than lay in them
So we personally find them useless
Much prefer to sit with multi jets getting a massage
(Every seat in our tub delivers a different experience / jet pattern ... as well as elevation ... so good for the whole family too )

Whatever you do ... go to a showroom to see all the models
Learn all their differences
And TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
That’s the best way to determine what it is you want / like
(How we decided a lounger was definitely not for us )

No regrets

Our hot tub has been a great investment
Far better than a swimming pool
We use it year round
And in the summer ... we adjust the temp ... so it’s a hot tub some of the time
And a refreshing splash pool on the hottest days in the summer
(Arctic Spa has the widest expanse of temp settings ... you can self adjust ... not just a few presets from the factory)

Best time to buy ...
Spring & Fall Homeshows
And around The Ex
Dealers always have booths at all these events with special promos on
We’re always looking at hot tubs, so this is great info thanks.

Though, out of curiosity, can you actually try before you buy??
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15492 posts
12701 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Yup, Arctic Spa invites all Customers serious about signing on the dotted line to come in for a soak.
Can even be after hours, if you don’t want to necessarily be in the showroom exposed to every other Customer in the place.
They even encouraged us to bring our kids (or friends).
The greatest advantage was also that there were various models available ... so easy to compare features ... in real use.
They sold us our tub that day (finalized our deal)
And our friends ... they purchased one too ... not long afterwards
(Our fault, going in they were curious ... not necessarily buying )
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2003
1561 posts
99 upvotes
Is there any negotiation in the sale, or does one pretty much pay sticker price?

You seem to have done your research - are you able to give us a quick summary of why Arctic Spa and not Beachcomber or any of the other big companies I see advertised?

I'm also just starting on my hot tub research (thanks OP!)
Member
Feb 27, 2007
393 posts
213 upvotes
I wouldn't say Arctic Spa is better; just different. You do have to remember that eventually you're going to have to repair the thing, and at least with beachcomber the parts are all bog standard stuff - Balboa controls, Waterway jets, etc. With Arctic Spa everything is a one off / custom unit; so you'll pay through the nose for parts when their required.

I'd agree with everything else though - also not a lounger fan, and buy as big as you can afford. It will only reasonable hold half as many people as advertised unless you like snuggling with everyone on the tub...

Any decent shop should have a wet setup spa for you to tryout - just depends on how comfortable you are jumping in one in a showroom.

I own a beachcomber personally, but really their all the same once you move past the cheap CTC or Home Depot junk.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4371 posts
4426 upvotes
Vancouver
An outdoor hot tub is something like a new car - it's nice and shiny and fun at first, and works fine with routine maintenance for the first 5 years or so. But anything outdoors deteriorates over time. After 5 years the problems and maintenance costs will rise steadily until you decide to replace it or get rid of it (cover will need replacing, electrical and mechanical parts will start to break, plastic bits will crack, insects and rodents will go after it, etc.). Many people who initially install these hot tubs are no longer there by that time, so they never really get to that phase. But it's why potential home buyers should count a negative value for having a pre-existing hot tub. Also realize that you will be paying extra on your home insurance for it (mandatory).
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
4495 posts
1173 upvotes
On my second Beachcomber . I wore my last tub out . I use my tub everyday . In the 15 years of the tubs life . I had to replace the motors about every 4 years . The heating element 4 or 5 times . Then the tub started to develop leaks . So I just bought a new one .
<sig removed> by moderators . Yet no moderator told me they removed or why ?
Newbie
Feb 16, 2020
54 posts
16 upvotes
Windsor
I am into the 25th year now with my cheap piece of junk HD tub. It is in an enclosed in winter open in summer gazebo. To date one new cover, 3 pump shaft seal kits, one heater element and i had to replace a wire that burnt off going from a relay to the heater. Other then that which adds up to Nothing over 25 years the tub has treated me well. Used at least 5 nights a week all year long. I keep it at 105F 24/7 year around.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
12119 posts
7003 upvotes
Markham
I looked at this long time ago...no one mentioned salt water vs chemicals?
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2018
815 posts
844 upvotes
Thank you all for the information, sounds like it would be a big decision, going to add a lot of work to myself for it, plus we travel rather frequently so may be hard to justify a hot tub and traveling at the same time.

Anyone have an Artesian spa?

Also this site seems pretty decent for knowledge : https://hottubuniversity.com/
Member
Feb 27, 2007
393 posts
213 upvotes
gr8dlr wrote: I looked at this long time ago...no one mentioned salt water vs chemicals?
A salt water tub is a chlorine tub - the salt water generator simply converts Sodium Chloride to chlorine gas which is dissolved in the tub. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_water_chlorination

It's advantageous in a pool as you wind up with less chloramines; however in a tub (with it's MUCH higher bather to water ratio) you shouldn't be building them up as you should be shocking the tub once per week anyways. As the tub is also covered and not as subject to high UV bromine is also an option, which most people find similar to salt-water systems for not being irritating.

I would highly recommend anyone considering a pool or tub to read Troublefree Pools articles on pool and tub chemicals.
Member
Feb 27, 2007
393 posts
213 upvotes
superscoots wrote: Thank you all for the information, sounds like it would be a big decision, going to add a lot of work to myself for it, plus we travel rather frequently so may be hard to justify a hot tub and traveling at the same time.

Anyone have an Artesian spa?

Also this site seems pretty decent for knowledge : https://hottubuniversity.com/
Depends on how much you're traveling - shutting it down for 1-2 weeks even in the winter is pretty easy. Just have whomever is checking your house out take a walk by the tub. Longer than that and you'd likely be draining and winterizing it which isn't hard but not easy either. In the summer just drain and walk away if you your going to be gone longer than a week.

Never heard of Artesian before, when I looked I checked out Beachcomber, Arctic, Marquis, Hot Springs/Caldera, and Bullfrog. Ultimately Beachcomber gave me the best 'deal' on an Anniversary Edition Tub a few years ago. Basically the spec out a bunch of tubs features and colors and you get a 'discount' if you take it as is.

Think of a hot tub like a full size truck, nobody pays list and if you don't get 10-25% off the sticker walk out and come back later.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2018
815 posts
844 upvotes
Is this one decent or is it junk? Found at Canadian Tire but not on the website...



Image
Member
Feb 27, 2007
393 posts
213 upvotes
Not an expert but I'm guessing junk. because they're only sold at CTC/HD/Wal-mart

If you're trying to stay cheap:

https://www.costco.ca/beachcomber-654-l ... 64838.html for the same price or
https://www.costco.ca/beachcomber-656-l ... 57322.html for $8499.99

although to be honest both are within a rounding error or the Anniversary Edition 578 I bought 3 years ago after you add setup, delivery, starter chems and a cover lifter. That would move you up to a Hybrid as well for better energy efficiency.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2018
815 posts
844 upvotes
von Monster wrote: Not an expert but I'm guessing junk. because they're only sold at CTC/HD/Wal-mart

If you're trying to stay cheap:

https://www.costco.ca/beachcomber-654-l ... 64838.html for the same price or
https://www.costco.ca/beachcomber-656-l ... 57322.html for $8499.99

although to be honest both are within a rounding error or the Anniversary Edition 578 I bought 3 years ago after you add setup, delivery, starter chems and a cover lifter. That would move you up to a Hybrid as well for better energy efficiency.
Thanks I pm'd you
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2003
2607 posts
924 upvotes
Nunavut
PointsHubby wrote: Very happy with our Arctic Spa.
Not cheap ... but well made
And here in Canada, specifically designed to withstand our super cold Winters
(Tub will not freeze if the power goes out ... for days. Cannot be said of many other tubs)
Again I ask to your claims... prove it rather than regurgitating their advertisements

This is all marketing hype, any hot tub worth it's name will do just fine in Canadian winters, there are plenty brands much better than Arctic Spa
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2003
2607 posts
924 upvotes
Nunavut
superscoots wrote: Thank you all for the information, sounds like it would be a big decision, going to add a lot of work to myself for it, plus we travel rather frequently so may be hard to justify a hot tub and traveling at the same time.

Anyone have an Artesian spa?

Also this site seems pretty decent for knowledge : https://hottubuniversity.com/
That site is a very good resource for knowledge, if you are serious about getting quality for your money then take note of the points he makes

Arctic are overpriced, cheap proprietary parts - repairs will cost you, and lacking on insulation despite certain other claims here

If you are looking for moderate priced and not concerned about long term, go with Costco but never buy at regular price, wait until a sale to get the price to a more acceptable price -> quality ratio, just know you are buying a cheaper quality tub, your long term running costs will be higher (repairs, electricity usage etc.)

And don't jump at the only name brand they carry, Beachcomber, it's a Costco specific model and not built to same specs as the rest of the brand.. ie if you want a Beachcomber don't buy from Costco, go to a dealer
Member
Feb 27, 2007
393 posts
213 upvotes
Eldorado wrote: Again I ask to your claims... prove it rather than regurgitating their advertisements

This is all marketing hype, any hot tub worth it's name will do just fine in Canadian winters, there are plenty brands much better than Arctic Spa
Agreed - if insulation worked the way Arctic says it does we'd all insulate our homes with and inch of fibreglass and some reflective foil. It would also make your house easier to work on too...

Get someone with an Arctic to show you the plastic circ pump sometime if you want an example of needlessly cheap parts.
Member
Nov 5, 2009
225 posts
139 upvotes
OP- if your a first responder beachcomber is offering 20% off their sale price on all of their hot tubs. You can take an anniversary edition model like the one poster but save 20%.

Also in regards to beachcomber Costco.ca tubs. These are built the same as beachcomber hot tubs in their store. They arent a lesser quality. The main difference is Costco.ca is a leep vs the stores that may sell a hybrid version of that model.

Lastly beachcomber does road shows at costcos all across canada. The road shows include more options for the same price as Costco.ca and there are more hot tubs to pick from at costco pricing. I'm not sure the road shows are happening in most provinces with that in mind I'd guess the local dealer near you would price match the promotions.

von Monster wrote: Agreed - if insulation worked the way Arctic says it does we'd all insulate our homes with and inch of fibreglass and some reflective foil. It would also make your house easier to work on too...

Get someone with an Arctic to show you the plastic circ pump sometime if you want an example of needlessly cheap parts.
That's too funny only because it's TRUE. Arctics entire sales pitch in edmonton revolves around the fact your hot tubs going to leak and you dont want insulation in your hot tub. All their ads on facebook focus on 4 access points to fix the leaks that will happen in their hot tub. IMO its extremely bizarre to trashy those who insulate when arctics only goal is to provide access points for all of the leaks they know their tubs will have.

Why would someone buy a product that's designed to fail? Why wouldn't a company focus on building a quality product that wont leak? Help the consumer with water balancing as that's ultimately the most important part to any hot tub to make sure it lasts 20 years.

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