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Thread: Which used spa to choose?

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    Which used spa to choose?

    Several people I know are having their homes foreclosed on, and thus I have a chance to buy one of many cheap (sub $200) hot tubs/spas for my new place.

    Most of these are 5-6 person units, and all have minor issues. Which one would you choose and why?

    #1 - New heater and electronics a year ago. The pump in this one (a 1.5hp Hayward) seized up last fall and it's been sitting drained ever since. I can most likely buy a pump motor for around $100, so this spa would total $300 in parts. Cover, cabinet and everything else is reportedly fine.

    #2 - Original heater and pump from 2002, but they reportedly work fine. This is just the shell and the guts. I'd need to buy a cover and build a cabinet/deck for it. Spa is $100. Figuring the lumber to build the rest would run me about another $200ish.

    #3 - The best looking one, only 2 years old. This is also the biggest one, an 8 people tub at 8 foot x 7 foot x 4 foot deep. Cabinet is a beautiful rosewood, had something like 32 jets. Nice cover. Very nice looking. The problem? Heater hasn't worked in a year. Could be the heater, could be something electronic.

    I'm looking for the best overall value, though I'm sure I'll be putting some money into this both for maintenance and for energy. Luckily, I have a 220 line already out there (is a slab that was once housing a shed the guy used for welding) and I've got both a pickup truck and trailer, so the "hard part" is making the choice and then making it right.

    Any feedback on which you would buy?

    Denis
    Clearwater, Florida

    12,000 gallon kidney shaped gunite pool
    Pentair Whisperflo 3/4HP Pump
    Pentair CCP420 420sq/ft Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Intellibrite 5G 120V Pool Light

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    #3. Heater elements are usually not too expensive, it that's what it is. It could also be a relay on a board, hi-limit tripped, or temp sensor gone bad. The worst is the board, a couple three hundred or so.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by denisbaldwin
    Several people I know are having their homes foreclosed on, and thus I have a chance to buy one of many cheap (sub $200) hot tubs/spas for my new place.

    Most of these are 5-6 person units, and all have minor issues. Which one would you choose and why?

    #1 - New heater and electronics a year ago. The pump in this one (a 1.5hp Hayward) seized up last fall and it's been sitting drained ever since. I can most likely buy a pump motor for around $100, so this spa would total $300 in parts. Cover, cabinet and everything else is reportedly fine.

    #2 - Original heater and pump from 2002, but they reportedly work fine. This is just the shell and the guts. I'd need to buy a cover and build a cabinet/deck for it. Spa is $100. Figuring the lumber to build the rest would run me about another $200ish.

    #3 - The best looking one, only 2 years old. This is also the biggest one, an 8 people tub at 8 foot x 7 foot x 4 foot deep. Cabinet is a beautiful rosewood, had something like 32 jets. Nice cover. Very nice looking. The problem? Heater hasn't worked in a year. Could be the heater, could be something electronic.

    I'm looking for the best overall value, though I'm sure I'll be putting some money into this both for maintenance and for energy. Luckily, I have a 220 line already out there (is a slab that was once housing a shed the guy used for welding) and I've got both a pickup truck and trailer, so the "hard part" is making the choice and then making it right.

    Any feedback on which you would buy?

    Denis
    I'm almost thinking #1 just because the heater is new. Is it possible to upgrade to a dual pump setup for a hot tub like that with a little plumbing work? That seems like it would be ideal.

    Depending on your setup #2 would be pretty good too, a drop into a deck configuration would be nice.

    I'm in the same boat as you, looking for a used hot tub.

    Any idea how much it would cost to ship from there to me in MT? You could by 2 and sell me one! ;->
    Richard
    Temecula, CA
    28,000 Gal. In-Ground plaster and tile, Total Control AutoPilot with SC-60 SWG and PH control, Pentair EasyTouch 8, EasyTouch Wireless Remote, Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump, Intellibrite lighting, Pentair Quad 100, Solar heating, Pentair Mastertemp 400 Gas Heater, The Pool Cleaner 4x, Aquabot Turbo T2 Robotic Cleaner, Water feature spillover from SPA.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    Denis-

    I can't help you choose which one is right for you, but I do have an observation. I have seen several spas that have been drained and the Fiberglas starts to "crack". I would assume that you are seeing these in person, but I would look and make sure that there are no cracks present in whichever one you settle on. Our climates are similar, and I've seen this often enough to comment!

    Good luck!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Denis-
    I have seen several spas that have been drained and the Fiberglas starts to "crack".
    Definitely something to consider! All of these I've either seen drained or still are full of water and will need to drain. Since they're all friends of friends, I've had first hand experiences with every unit listed at some point or another.

    From what my old neighbor went through, I definitely don't want one that's cracked. He had a hairline crack then ended up expanding and filled his whole sunroom with water. It wasn't pretty!

    I'm almost considering dropping an extra 600-1000 on something "like new" so I have more jets, more efficiency, etc.etc. but I doubt I'll use it more than once or twice a week and I don't think the wife would clear the extra cheddar for something she doesn't deem "necessary".

    Denis
    Clearwater, Florida

    12,000 gallon kidney shaped gunite pool
    Pentair Whisperflo 3/4HP Pump
    Pentair CCP420 420sq/ft Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Intellibrite 5G 120V Pool Light

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rocklin, Ca
    Posts
    467

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    I would consider number 3, however, you didn't mention how much you can get it for.

    What is the current rating on the 220 circuit that will be supplying the tub? Many 'full size' tubs require 50A and some like mine require 60A.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Guest

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by denisbaldwin
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Denis-
    I have seen several spas that have been drained and the Fiberglas starts to "crack".
    I'm almost considering dropping an extra 600-1000 on something "like new" so I have more jets, more efficiency, etc.etc. but I doubt I'll use it more than once or twice a week and I don't think the wife would clear the extra cheddar for something she doesn't deem "necessary".

    Denis
    Why do they always think it has to be "necessary" in order to have it Are 56 pairs of shoes "necessary" They are to them, but a nice, enjoyable spa, or a '69 Camaro just never seems to clear the same parameters as another new outfit (that oughta start a little trouble!).

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    1,358

    Re: Which used spa to choose?

    Having had three spas in 23 years, working our way up with each I'd go with the spa with the most jets and pumps to drive them. My spa, going on eight years old, has a small low flow circulation/filter pump that we run 24/7 for very little electric use and two 5 hp pumps for each set of jets, right side and left side. Each side can be run alone or both together, or not at all. The heater is connected only through the circulation/filter pump. The jets also have venturi action that can be that are variable, on, off, and in between. They really make the jets feel stronger.

    I certainly agree about the cracking in an empty spa. Can you go look at the boo-koos of jets spa and operate some of the functions? If it is only the heater malfunctioning you will still be able to operate the other functions.

    I had to replace the circuit board on mine. No problem I thought and not too expensive. But the company sent me the wrong one and I couldn't figure out how to install it. (My hobby, for years, was hacking all kinds of computer appliances, hardware and software, so it should have been an easy job. Just needed the proper part though.)

    The heater on my spa looks to be easily user replaceable.

    Look at the condition of the cover. On thing that happens to them is they begin to collect water and become really heavy. They aren't very cheap. I'm sure they can be somewhat revived but I have always had to replace them every 6-7 years as a couple of friends have broken the insulation in them "helping" me by cleaning the cover. 303 Space protectant can do a good job of reviving a faded, sun baked cover and protecting it from elements. If the spa is only two years old cover should be in good shape unless someone has broken the foam insulation.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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