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Thread: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Hi,

    Im in the market for my first tub.

    Last fall I built a 12X12 floating deck. Nothing fancy. I originally was looking to purchase a used tub. So I built the deck, thinking if I came across a deal I could take it and have a place to put it. I never found that deal. Also, after researching tubs, it seems that service after the sale is pretty vital. I then started thinking I should consider purchasing a new tub.

    I am leaning towards the Viking Heritage II, seen here. I haven't found much information about this model. Does anyone have any knowledge about this brand. It appears to be a mid level tub, which is what Im looking for.

    Will be looking to make the purchase in the next 3 months or so. I just purchased a used gazebo that will protect the tub, seen here. Im in the process of restoring the gazebo. Unfortunately, I work a second job on the weekends, so I figure it may take me 3 months or so to have it washed, sanded, stained, and reassembled.

    Are there any brands I should look to stay away from? Are there any you recommend? The spa will primarily be for relaxing and some entertaining. My only requiremnt is that it has a lounger seat. The tub will be protected from the elements, Im doing my own electrical, and Im looking to stay in the $5k -$6k range, lower if possible. Any advice would be appreciated.

    thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    I am far from an expert on Hot Tub's having just bought my first one a couple of weeks ago, Originally I was shopping in the same budget range you are considering. I had also looked at used hot tubs in the past, and it seemed most that were near enough for consideration were either over priced, in poor condition or were simply a poor fit size wise for what I wanted. Then I came across one that looked like it would do what I needed (a small tub that I could soak in to help with my back pain) on ebay only about 150 miles away. Sure it was a few years old (14 to be exact, but appears in great shape and likely spent its whole life indoors) and one revision out of date (1998 Hot Spring Jetsetter, in the first year of the style that ran until 2008), but it was also $1,000 where the current version of the same tub sells for $7000 or so. At first I was a bit concerned about all the complicated systems, maintenance, etc., but then I did some research and discovered they really are not that complicated if you understand basic electronics and electromechanical devices, plus there are step by step youtube videos for changing out all the major components for most of the major brands of hot tubs, often multiple videos on any given topic. Need to replace a circulation pump, no problem there is a video for that, need to diagnose a flashing red warning light, no problem there is a video, need to replace the out of date heater, video..... Now as you get to the more obscure, less well documented brands this task might get harder, but if you stick with any of the big names it should be fairly straight forward. Now cracks, leaks, etc. may be another matter, but these are easy enough to check for at time of purchase, particularly if you buy a tub you can see operating. On that topic of finding a good used tub, I know how hard that can be, but since winning the ebay auction on mine and before picking it up 2 weeks later (weather and schedule for the seller and myself took time to line up) I found at least 3 or 4 other potential contenders within my self imposed 175 mile shopping radius. All these others were ones I would consider less ideal, they were larger 5-8 person tubs, cost the same or more than the one I bought, etc, but could be a deal for someone else. Of these contenders none were found on ebay, instead searchtempest provided most of the leads as either craigslist, or oodle hits. So if you have the skills to safely build the deck, and do the electrical wiring, you likely could handle any of the things needed to be done to maintain the equipment on a hot tub.

    Ike

    p.s. so far on mine I have replaced the Ozonator (due to age alone) at $100, replaced the circulation pump at $170 as the old one barely ran and died within 24 hours of filling the tub, replaced one $10 spinning jet that would not spin, and I still need to replace a leaking o-ring on a diverter valve (complete replacement guts sell for $25 online). So yes there has been some expense, but even adding $300-400 onto the $1,000 purchase price, I still saved half off what this model sells for as a dealer refurb, and am at less than 1/4th the amount the new version of the same tub goes for. Really the big surprise for me is I can already tell that some of those features that I considered very important in my shopping just a couple of weeks ago, like having a lounger, seem much less important now. Sure I use it, but not as much as I expected to, spending maybe 1/3 of my time in it, and when you consider mine has 3 seats that says a lot.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Hi Ike,

    Congrats on the tub.

    Used us still an option for me. Im just not seeing much out there. Because some entertaining will be done with it, we want something pretty modern with a few bells a whistles. Theres actually a guy in Nashville,which is about 4 hrs away, called The Spa Guy. He seems to have some pretty good tubs.The only issue I have with him is the distance. His tubs appear to be very nice and are usually pretty deep like I desire. But they are priced only slightly lees than a new mid level tub. The distance means no service after the sale. And when you add the costs of transporting the tub from 200 miles away, the new local tub starts to look better and better. So this is why Im leaning towards a new mid level tub. But Im still looking for that used tub thats priced right. I probably have the skills to troubleshoot most problems that may come with a used tub. But Id prefer not to be in a situation where I have something Im constantly working on, just to save a few hundred bucks. A COUPLE of hundreds however is a different story..lol...;p

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    We have always bought Hot Springs spas. My first was in 1998, just replaced it this last year. They are very well insulated and don't use much electricity.

    They have 3 "levels" I guess you could say. Highlife are the most expensive and not in your range unless you found a used one and sometimes the dealers have used ones because they will let you trade them in. Then there are the Limelight models, I don't know about pricing on those. Their lowest priced ones are the Hot Spots. The difference is in the number and type of jets and the cabinet and spa shell finishes. The quality is all the same. I believe the Hot Spots would be in your price range. Can look at the different models online.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    They have a new even lower model line now that is RotoMolded http://www.freeflowspas.com/ at least they were recently bought out by Watkins / Hot Spring, I am not sure if they are going to integrate the names though.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    They have a new even lower model line now that is RotoMolded http://www.freeflowspas.com/ at least they were recently bought out by Watkins / Hot Spring, I am not sure if they are going to integrate the names though.
    Aha! They have changed the model line up around I see. When we were at the dealer to buy our new spa, I mistakenly thought these Rotomolded spas were the Hot Spots. I actually like these tubs, my old Classic had a similar pebbly, granite texture shell and I really liked it compared to the glossy smooth shell finish we have now. I think this would be worth looking into OP.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Unfortunately there are only 2 dealers in the Memphis metro area. Family Leisure and a small Hot Springs dealer. Did some wet testing at the Hot Springs dealer. I have to admit I was blown away by the level of customer service. In general,I usually hate sales people who work on commision. This sales guy answered every question we had and more. All this, with abosoluetly ZERO pressure to make a purchase.

    Glad we wet tested as we found out a 38 inch tub would be a bit over kill. We learned a 36 inch tub would be more than fine. Also found out that, although the lounger was nice, we discovered that it's actually the captain chairs that provide the feel we were looking for.


    Hot Springs is a bit above our price range. I am still considering them because I get the feeling it would probably be our last hot tub.

    Anyway I really wrote this post to emphasize, to anyone looking to purchase a tub, that wet testing is really a good thing to do. When I told the wife about wet testing she thought I was crazy. Now she feels it is a must.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey9007 View Post
    Hi,

    Im in the market for my first tub.

    Last fall I built a 12X12 floating deck. Nothing fancy. I originally was looking to purchase a used tub. So I built the deck, thinking if I came across a deal I could take it and have a place to put it. !
    Just a thought but did you build this floating deck with extra supports or whatever is needed to hold up a very heavy hot tub?
    When we had our deck built they had to know where the hot tub was going to be so they could build in the extra support.
    Just something to be aware of, y'know? Good luck with the search for the tub.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey9007 View Post
    Unfortunately there are only 2 dealers in the Memphis metro area. Family Leisure and a small Hot Springs dealer. Did some wet testing at the Hot Springs dealer. I have to admit I was blown away by the level of customer service. In general,I usually hate sales people who work on commision. This sales guy answered every question we had and more. All this, with abosoletly ZERO pressure to make a purchase.

    Glad we wet tested as we found out a 38 inch tub would be a bit over kill,as we learned a 36 inch tub would be more than fine. Also found out that, although the lounger was nice, we found that it's actually the captain chairs that provide the feel we were looking for.


    Hot Springs is a bit above our price range. I am still considering them because I get the feeling it would probably be our last hot tub.

    Anyway I really wrote this post to emphasize, to anyone looking to purchase tub, that wet testing is really a good thing to do. When I told the wife about wet testing she thought I was crazy. Now she feels it is a must.

    When I bought my first one in 1998, I went to the dealer and sat in all of them. It was pretty weird sitting in the spa with customers walking around but like you, I found I didn't really like the loungers, you just float up in them (no comments about what body type it takes to be "floaty" ).
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    I pulled the trigger today and went with the Hot Springs/Hot Spot tub. Got the Relay. Went with this tub vs the Viking. Warranty on the Viking was not as good as the Hot Springs warranty, and I was never able to find any significant amount of reviews on the Viking. But pretty much everything I read about Hot Springs was very positive.

    $6395 including delivery, chemicals, cover, and sub panel. A little bit higher than what I wanted to go, but I think I made the right call.

    thanks for all the input.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Congrats on your purchase and good luck with it ! 😎
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    congrats
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Thanks for the congrats, but now I have a few questions. I just received my pre-delivery packet from dealer. This spa requies #8 wiring, and grounding with #10. I now this isnt an 'electrical' site but I thought I'd ask.

    I plan on using 8/3 with 10 awg ground Romex. Will this be fine?

    I plan to use outdoor rated wiring for the entire run, including the interior, as I dont want any splices. Im pretty sure this shouldnt be an issue, but if you guys know something I don't, please chime in.

    My background is basically low voltage. Been in the telecommunications industry for 20 yrs. Most of my work is with 48v DC, with the rare occasional 120 VAC task. So this 240v project is a little different from what Im used to.

    thanks!

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Your 8/3 has three insulated wires (white, black, red) with a 10awg uninsulated wire? That will work fine.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    Spa is scheduled to be delivered Friday. Im running all the wire tonight but have hired an electrician to cut it into the panel. Theres one thing I dont understand.Spa will be running on a 50a circuit. Im seeing A LOT of articlels on the internet that say a 50a circuit requires #6 wire. The hot springs pre-delivery instructions say to use #8 for a run under 100ft.

    Any thoughts on this?

    UPDATE: Hot Springs spa does say #8 for the 50a circuit. But it cant be #8 Romex, as it is only rated for 40a. I will have to go with # 6/3 romex, with ground, while inside the house and then transition to Red Black White #6 individual runs, and 1 #10insulated green from attic to GFI, and then to the tub. This was a costly mistake, as I purchased wire from a supplier who has a no return policy on cash orders from people that dont have an account set up with them. I now have to go to Home Depot/Lowes and purchase wire at a higher cost, as I really want to get this done tonight. Hopefully the electrician will want to buy/barter for it.... Like I said before, this AC stuff is a whole different animal...lol...Ya live and learn. Hopefully someone will see this post before they do the same thing!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Looking to Purchase 1st Tub

    When I responded before I was guilty of just looking at the hot springs manual and their recommendations not the NEC electrical code as I didn't know you were wiring the inside of your house. I already had a cut off outside at my spa location and just wired from there to the supplied breaker panel and to the tub.

    Sorry for the erroneous information.

    The electrical code is confusing as some romex wires will have the type of conductor that is rated for 50a but when in the romex bundle has to use the 60C rating and not the 90C rating which derates the allowable amperage. I guess that's a function of the insulator?

    Anyway, even though it is costing some extra money you are doing the right thing and hopefully the electrician will buy the extra wire from you so you can get some of your money back.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

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