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Thread: Purchase advice please?

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Purchase advice please?

    Have any of you bought a hot tub online? And if so, would you do so again? Any advice on sellers to check-out or sellers to avoid?

    Thanks in advance!
    Leanne
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Purchase advice please?

    The biggest advantage to buying a hot tub new is having warranty support, which is useless if you don't have somebody nearby to do the work. For that reason I wouldn't recommend buying from someone who doesn't service their own tubs (online, big box/discount club, etc.). What brands are available near you?

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Purchase advice please?

    I live in an outer suburb of Minneapolis, so I am sure there are dealers available to me for most of the major brands of hot tubs at any one of a number of pool stores. To be honest though, I have begun to see pool stores in a less than rosy light. Since finding this forum and learning how to maintain my swimming pool using the BBB method, I have a hard time putting my trust in pool stores for anything. If pool stores routinely misinform their customers about their pool's chemistry in an attempt to sell the customer more chemicals, how can I trust them to not misinform me about a hot tub?

    Also, wouldn't a warranty be supported by the manufacturer rather than the retailer the spa was purchased from? For example, when my dishwasher has needed a warranty repair, I have called the manufacturer directly about the problem. In turn, they have sent out their contracted repair provider for my area. The retailer who sold me the appliance was not involved in the warranty repair process at all. Wouldn't it be the same sort of process for a warranty repair on a major brand of hot tub? Maybe it isn't and I'm making assumptions that I shouldnt be, I honestly don't know? You know how often with a first time major purchase (like your first house, your first car, your first pool, etc...) you learn so much in the first few months of ownership that you feel like you might have made a different choice if you had the situation to do over again? I would love to learn enough about the in's and out's of smart spa buying that I can avoid that feeling. If buying locally is the best way for me to avoid that feeling, then I am all for it!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Purchase advice please?

    The tubs you find online may have warranties, but it becomes a huge hassle to get them fulfilled. The manufacturers rely on local service techs, most of whom work for stores that sell a different brand, so you'll be on the bottom of the priority list. They also won't stock the parts so there'll be a constant back and forth among you, the service tech, and the manufacturer. I deal with it all the time and it's no fun for anyone involved.

    See if you can find a local Hot Springs dealer near you. IMO, it's the best you can get. There are a lot of other good ones out there: Baja, Jacuzzi, Sundance, etc. You'll get a hard sell and plenty of BS from the salesfolks, but having the service department at hand will be worth it.

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    Re: Purchase advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    If pool stores routinely misinform their customers about their pool's chemistry in an attempt to sell the customer more chemicals, how can I trust them to not misinform me about a hot tub?
    In many cases, it's not the pool stores fault as they are only repeating what they have been told or taught by the manufacturer's representative, literature, and courses. Even more frequently, there isn't much training at all and the clerks are temporary workers during the peak summer season.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Purchase advice please?

    Well, I bought a tub, and I did end up buying it locally. But I didn't buy it new! I ended up buying a used Cal Spa tub from a Hot Tub repair shop. The shop offers a warranty on the used tubs they sell, and the price for the tub wasn't bad. So I figured that by buying this inexpensive used tub, I can regard it as a "starter" or "practice" tub. If we do end up enjoying it as much as I expect we will, then in a year or two I can still afford to buy a brand new deluxe tub with all the bells and whistles I want. If we end up not using it so much, then I end up not losing much money on this tub. The tub is a 2001 8x8 foot model. It seats 6 and has many of the features I think I want in a tub like a lounge chair, shoulder jets, built in pillows, 2 pumps, 40+ jets, ozone thing-a-majigy, LED lights, and a built in radio (I have already been told not to expect much from the radio).

    So I am excited to finally have a decision made and I am looking forward to the tub's delivery tomorrow! Thanks for the advice Spishex and Chem Geek! I do appreciate it!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Purchase advice please?

    Enjoy!

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