Looking for Feedback on Condition of Roberts Hot Tubs Insulated Cover.

303Michael

Member
Jul 8, 2019
21
Denver, CO
I just took delivery of this spa cover from Roberts Hot Tubs (www.rhtubs.com). Based on at least one other thread I read when doing pre-purchase research, I decided to open up and inspect the vapor barrier, particularly since I paid for a double wrap. On one of the cores, it looks like the vapor barrier split after being sealed and they just closed it up with masking tape.

To me, this just doesn't seem up to quality. Any vapor barrier is only as good as the seal on the closure and I'm not convinced the masking tape either provide an equivalent seal or will hold up long term.

I just wanted to get some feedback here to make sure my expectations aren't way out of line.

Edit: I initially avoided naming the company so it didn't seem like I was trying to shame or pressure them and to give them a fair opportunity to respond but since they haven't replied to me after eight business days I went ahead and updated the thread.

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Do you see the double wrap?

Call and complain and see what they offer.
 

Mdragger88

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Jun 1, 2018
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I would definitely contact them - only u can decide what remedy you wish to accept - replacement or discount etc.
Hopefully they have good customer service.
 
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RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,382
Cabool, Mo
It is common to seal the plastic sheet with tape, so repairing it with tape should not be an issues as long as it has a good seal. Pretty normal from what I've seen.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
The water is a vapor, which can penetrate through materials quite easily unless they are thoroughly waterproof.

Packing tape is not a waterproof barrier.

In my opinion, it should be an unbroken waterproof seal, not a rip patched with Scotch tape.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,382
Cabool, Mo
I hear you @JamesW , it sounds a bit cheesy, but that doesn't change the fact that every cover I have cut up for the trash has taped seams. You may not feel that it is sufficient, but it is standard cover manufacturers practice. Pull the insert out of yours and you will find it taped as well.
I don't build them, just telling you what I've seen in the field.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
every cover I have cut up for the trash has taped seams.
And the reason that the cover failed is usually water intrusion causing the cover to soak up water like a sponge.

So, it makes sense that the covers that fail all have taped seams.
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
Your sample has a selection bias, which means that the sample is not a fair representation of the general population.

The bias is a failure bias, which is the opposite of a survivorship bias.

Since you are only checking covers that failed, the sample is automatically biased.

To get a proper sample, you would need a statistically significant sample size and the sample would have to include random covers including covers that failed and covers that have not failed to be able to determine if the tape results in a statistically significant difference between taped or not taped.

 
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JoyfulNoise

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Wow ... you'd think these manufacturers never heard of heat sealing plastic. There are all types of heat sealing applicators from bench top models to floor size sealers as well as hand held ones that you can zip along a piece of thermoplastic to create a freeform seal. In the electronics industry, we would routinely send out custom fabricated parts to various vendors for test and approval and we always sealed our devices using anti-static thermoplastic bags that could be purged with dry gas or evacuated and sealed. The equipment is fairly cheap ...
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
It seems like they use heat sealed plastic.

The problem seems to be that the plastic gets ripped for some reason and then the rip is just patched with packing tape instead of rewrapping it with a proper heat sealed plastic.
 

303Michael

Member
Jul 8, 2019
21
Denver, CO
It seems like they use heat sealed plastic.

The problem seems to be that the plastic gets ripped for some reason and then the rip is just patched with packing tape instead of rewrapping it with a proper heat sealed plastic.
This is correct. It looks like it was heat-sealed too tight and it just pulled apart after the sealer arm lifted while the seal was hot. I'd have to double-check the other half but I don't believe it had tape all the way across the seam. The seal was what I expected so I didn't take a photo.

I'll respectfully disagree with packing tape making an acceptable seal. It may not be uncommon but It's definitely not an appropriate method to create a vapor barrier. If the tape was sufficient then I can't see why they would bother trying to heat seal it.
 
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303Michael

Member
Jul 8, 2019
21
Denver, CO
Who did you get it from?
I bought it from Roberts Hot Tubs (www.rhtubs.com). I sent them a message on Oct. 11th and received a brief reply later that day stating they'd see what the next steps are. I followed up on Oct. 18th looking for an update and haven't heard back since.

Maybe they're working on it or maybe they're hoping I just go away. I wouldn't know.
 

dan1333

Gold Supporter
Nov 1, 2020
44
Orange, CA
You probably bought it with your credit card so don't forget you have the credit card company as an avenue to dispute any charges as well. If they're being unresponsive. Just keep in mind there's probably a time limit for that as well.
 
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