New tub recommendations

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
Hi all,

I have a jaccuzi j330 spa i forget how old but i bought it used and had it for at least 10 years. I was going to buy a new one next year but with rising prices was thinking about doing it now.

any recommendations on brands?

what about saline hot tubs do they work well ? it would be nice not to deal with chlorine
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
It is almost impossible to compare models on line most do not list prices on line and barely any pictures or details.

Lowes at least list the prices....I assume they are lower end but does anyone know if they are any good?
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,154
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Salt water tubs & pools are chlorine tubs/pools. In a salt water tub you still need to dose with bleach for heavy bather loads etc. the salt water chlorine generator just does the heavy lifting & helps maintain residual fc lowering the amount of bleach used. They also allow you to go on vacation or be away a few days without worrying fc will go to zero.
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
Salt water tubs & pools are chlorine tubs/pools. In a salt water tub you still need to dose with bleach for heavy bather loads etc. the salt water chlorine generator just does the heavy lifting & helps maintain residual fc lowering the amount of bleach used. They also allow you to go on vacation or be away a few days without worrying fc will go to zero.
Thanks that help !..............i have to say it is hard to get information about various brands and features. The tubs all look similar to me but i'm sure the insulation and internal part vary significantly. No one publishes prices they all want to get you into the show room or a site visit. This will be my 3rd hot tub I had a used Tiger Spa which was a beast then a Jacuzzi j-335 which i have now and bought used.

I want to finally buy a new one but the hot tub dealers seem worse than used car salesman.
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
Anyone know if MyLIfe spas that are re-branded for Leslie's Pools are good? They have an acrylic series made by Sunrise Spas and "syncrylic" made by DreamMaker Spas.

Rebrands are often exactly the same or sometimes they are made to a lower spec.
 

shanebo

Well-known member
May 25, 2017
125
Southern NJ
I'm actually in the market for a new tub, too. Old tub is a Strong/Evolution from Costco that lasted 11 years, now leaking. I've been looking at Hot Spring, Caldera, and Artesian, because those are the ones available in my area for delivery within the next month or so with the features I want. All three have good local dealers with good reputations.

Spent yesterday reading online reviews and testimonials, comparisons, etc. Bottom line is that all three are thought to be good tubs and better than my old one. All three have proprietary cartridge systems that are expensive and that I probably won't use long term. To me, finish is better on the Hot Spring (a little more polished), Artesian is the most bang for your buck, and Caldera is somewhere in the middle. Gonna bring the wife and do a sit test, see which one we find most comfortable and which jets we like the best. Will probably base decision on that, since all are in similar price range. Good luck!
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yep, hot tub shopping can be a pain in the butt!! I wish they would list specs and prices but most dont and want you to come in like you said! But by all means try to do a sit in test , I know wet tests are kind of a no no these days, but to sit in and see if things are comfortable or cramped or whatever is pretty much mandatory in my book.
I went through all this last fall after my previous tub got cooked by lightning. I first got an Artesian Island series tub... nothing but problems from day one!! after about a month we finally convinced the store to come pick it up!
Ended up with a Cal Spas Cancun, it was delivered in January and has been a fantastic tub, I love everything about it! I went with the bigger size on it and even though its just me and the wife I sure like the extra room!!
Good luck with your shopping, but you might have a look at the Cal Spas if there are any around you.
 
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cranbiz

Well-known member
Feb 17, 2021
78
Wentworth, NC
And my experience with the Artesian Island series is 180 degrees different than A.O.'s. I have a Nevis and it's been absolutely flawless. Every manufacturer sometimes has a lemon.
I have a friend with an older CalSpa that can't get a fitting for the heater that's leaking. It's no longer available from the heater manufacturer and CalSpa says too bad, buy a new heater. Of course, the new heater required re-plumbing the tub.

Honestly. any of the tubs you are looking at will serve you well. Pick the one that momma fits in and likes best. Her opinion is really the only one that matters. :ROFLMAO: While they all have the @ease system, you certainly can just not use it and go with the Bleach-Dichlor method. I'm only using it because my dealer gave my 12 smart chlor cartridges and 4 mineral cartridges with my purchase. I won't be continuing on with them when they are gone.
 

shanebo

Well-known member
May 25, 2017
125
Southern NJ
It is really annoying how everything is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, such that you can't really compare the brands. Salt vs. Frog. Footblaster vs. Motomassage. 1-2 large pumps vs. several smaller pumps. Specialized electrical panel vs. standard 50 amp breaker. Captain chairs vs. bench seating. Lighting packages, jet configurations, waterfall options, etc. Every brand has a special feature and every other brand has a comparable feature (with a different name, of course) that's either better for reason x or worse for reason y, depending on who you talk to. The only consensus I've had from dealers is (1) circulation pumps are generally a good thing (although I question how something running 24/7, even in the summer, is such a good thing ...); (2) built-in sound systems will eventually fail; and (3) everything they offer is far better than my old Costco spa. That's why its so important to find a good dealer you trust and select a spa that you'll be comfortable in.
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
Yep, hot tub shopping can be a pain in the butt!! I wish they would list specs and prices but most dont and want you to come in like you said! But by all means try to do a sit in test , I know wet tests are kind of a no no these days, but to sit in and see if things are comfortable or cramped or whatever is pretty much mandatory in my book.
I went through all this last fall after my previous tub got cooked by lightning. I first got an Artesian Island series tub... nothing but problems from day one!! after about a month we finally convinced the store to come pick it up!
Ended up with a Cal Spas Cancun, it was delivered in January and has been a fantastic tub, I love everything about it! I went with the bigger size on it and even though its just me and the wife I sure like the extra room!!
Good luck with your shopping, but you might have a look at the Cal Spas if there are any around you.
Yep, hot tub shopping can be a pain in the butt!! I wish they would list specs and prices but most dont and want you to come in like you said! But by all means try to do a sit in test , I know wet tests are kind of a no no these days, but to sit in and see if things are comfortable or cramped or whatever is pretty much mandatory in my book.
I went through all this last fall after my previous tub got cooked by lightning. I first got an Artesian Island series tub... nothing but problems from day one!! after about a month we finally convinced the store to come pick it up!
Ended up with a Cal Spas Cancun, it was delivered in January and has been a fantastic tub, I love everything about it! I went with the bigger size on it and even though its just me and the wife I sure like the extra room!!
Good luck with your shopping, but you might have a look at the Cal Spas if there are any around you.


If you don't mind me asking what is the ball park price you paid? I looked it up the cancun looks nice i would probably go a size smaller.

They all seem like you are dealing with this guy


used car salesman.jpg
 
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A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It is really annoying how everything is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, such that you can't really compare the brands. Salt vs. Frog. Footblaster vs. Motomassage. 1-2 large pumps vs. several smaller pumps. Specialized electrical panel vs. standard 50 amp breaker. Captain chairs vs. bench seating. Lighting packages, jet configurations, waterfall options, etc. Every brand has a special feature and every other brand has a comparable feature (with a different name, of course) that's either better for reason x or worse for reason y, depending on who you talk to. The only consensus I've had from dealers is (1) circulation pumps are generally a good thing (although I question how something running 24/7, even in the summer, is such a good thing ...); (2) built-in sound systems will eventually fail; and (3) everything they offer is far better than my old Costco spa. That's why its so important to find a good dealer you trust and select a spa that you'll be comfortable in.
And I am not a fan of the 24/7/365 circulating pump!
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
It is really annoying how everything is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, such that you can't really compare the brands. Salt vs. Frog. Footblaster vs. Motomassage. 1-2 large pumps vs. several smaller pumps. Specialized electrical panel vs. standard 50 amp breaker. Captain chairs vs. bench seating. Lighting packages, jet configurations, waterfall options, etc. Every brand has a special feature and every other brand has a comparable feature (with a different name, of course) that's either better for reason x or worse for reason y, depending on who you talk to. The only consensus I've had from dealers is (1) circulation pumps are generally a good thing (although I question how something running 24/7, even in the summer, is such a good thing ...); (2) built-in sound systems will eventually fail; and (3) everything they offer is far better than my old Costco spa. That's why its so important to find a good dealer you trust and select a spa that you'll be comfortable in.
Yeah the radios do not make sense anyway most people already have an outdoor wifi controlled system already or just use a portble blutooth; I definitely want two jet pumps and a circulation pump
 

cranbiz

Well-known member
Feb 17, 2021
78
Wentworth, NC
It is really annoying how everything is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, such that you can't really compare the brands. Salt vs. Frog. Footblaster vs. Motomassage. 1-2 large pumps vs. several smaller pumps. Specialized electrical panel vs. standard 50 amp breaker. Captain chairs vs. bench seating. Lighting packages, jet configurations, waterfall options, etc. Every brand has a special feature and every other brand has a comparable feature (with a different name, of course) that's either better for reason x or worse for reason y, depending on who you talk to. The only consensus I've had from dealers is (1) circulation pumps are generally a good thing (although I question how something running 24/7, even in the summer, is such a good thing ...); (2) built-in sound systems will eventually fail; and (3) everything they offer is far better than my old Costco spa. That's why its so important to find a good dealer you trust and select a spa that you'll be comfortable in.
You can't expect one manufacturer to call their features the same as another's. How could they pitch their system as superior?

OK, Joking aside now.

Most have some sort of Foot Blaster, they all work the same way. Personally, I'm not crazy about the Foot Blaster. In my Nevis, it doesn't take up space but other models from multiple manufacturers have Foot Domes which contain the Foot Blasters. Some people like them, some don't. My feelings are they are something to trip over and while provide intense massage, it's too intense for me. The Motomassage is unique to Hot Springs and has nothing to do with Foot Blasters. Motomassage is an in seat massage unit and seems like a useful option. There are many positive reviews on them. Personally, I don't know because the Hot Springs dealer I tried to visit blew me off. I don't know why my money wasn't as good as someone else's but whatever. Salt Vs Frog. Eh, both are proprietary systems, both are expensive to run and both provide proper sanitation. Some like the salt system, they say the water seems softer. They might be right. In short, both those systems do the same thing, at a greater cost than traditional methods, but at a greater convenience.

IMHO, circulation pumps are a good thing. 24/7 is a bit of a misnomer. They are available 24/7 but in actuality, only run when the heater is needed. More pumps are not necessarily better. In my tub, 4 seats are plumbed to the 6HP pump. It does deliver good performance and massage. One seat and the Foot Blaster is plumbed to the other, 3HP pump. Again, plenty of performance. The seat does have much larger jets for a deep massage. To me, the equipment is set up right. Others may not think so which is why wet testing is absolutely a necessity.

Get the best insulated tub you can find. Full Foam is preferred over any perimeter style insulation. A n acrylic over fiberglass shell that is self supporting would be high on my list, I believe all 3 brands you are looking at have both of these features.

Depending on what the dealer sells, they could be right. An Artesian, Caldera, Hot Springs and even the CalSpa are better built tubs than your old Cosco tub. Some other brands are not any better. I wouldn't replace your Costco tub with a Maxx, Vita, American Whirlpool, Master, etc. A good dealer, with an in house service department is crucial. However, YOU need to feel good about them. If you are uncomfortable with them, trust your gut and visit another dealer.
 
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A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Absolutely agree, go with a dealer with a good reputation and who you feel comfortable with.
My last tub had a 24/7 circulation jet and it ran 24/7/365.. it never shut off, never liked the idea of throwing electric $$ at it non stop.
I for one like the foot blaster (the Artesian never worked from day one) also the dome in the center works as a foot base to keep yourself in the seat if you have the jets on full blast. My Cal spa also has a pair of foot jets in the floor for all the main seats in addition to the blaster. It also has a cool down seat that when sitting barely covers you legs so you can cool down a bit without sitting up on the edge!
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
I'm going to check out a hotsprings flair model..... this place has 60/months same as cash not so sure on the saline system though i can imagine the chlorine generator would wear out.
Flair | In the Limelight Series of Hot Tubs by Hot Spring

WHAT DOES EVERYONE THINK ABOUT Salt Water Systems? Do they corrode parts any more than chlorine? Do the chlorine generators wear out frequently?

also going to look at a sundance bristol (780) series or chameal (880) series it has ozone/uv light/silver chlorine one model pump runs 24/7 also the circulation pump is a full size pump supposedly does'nt wear out as fast as a small pump but seems over kill; sundance offers 12/mo same zero percent but the guy says if take the same as cash the hot tub is $1800 more....By my calculations that is 16.39% interest rate. LIke i said these are used car salesman ....to be fair he said that was sundance policy almost makes me not even want to look at it.

looking at the pictures the lounger on the hot springs faces the direction i want better than the Sundance that may be a deal breaker for sundance
 
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A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm going to check out a hotsprings flair model..... this place has 60/months same as cash not so sure on the saline system though i can imagine the chlorine generator would wear out.

WHAT DOES EVERYONE THINK ABOUT Salt Water Systems?

also going to look at a sundance bristol (780) series or chameal (880) series ; sundance offers 12/mo same zero percent but the guy says if take the same as cash the hot tub is $1800 more....By my calculations that is 16.39% interest rate. LIke i said these are used car salesman ....to be fair he said that was sundance policy almost makes me not even want to look at it.
HA!! Hardly same as cash eh??
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,154
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
All swg cells have a finite life span & will need to be replaced eventually so if your tub comes with one be sure to ask it’s life expectancy in hours & look up the replacement costs/ specs.
Alot of us have the saltron mini / it just hangs over in the tub & is a separate purchase. Some tubs are able to conceal one in the filter area mine cannot as i have a built in floating weir skimmer thing. The cell is easily replaced & costs about $100. My first cell lasted over 2yrs (almost 3). I ordered a new one the same day.
I have never taken my tub’s internals apart to know for sure but the only issue i have ever had was a dab of rust on one of my jet rings - i let my fc get a bit too high for too long in relation to my cya. I corrected the situation & all but a slight speck came off & has never returned. I suspect this would have happened even if there were no salt involved.
I personally wouldn’t want to be without a salt water chlorine generator in my spa or pool. I am prepared to replace the heater sooner if necessary but in general properly maintained water chemistry should help all spas avoid premature corrosion.
 

BT

Active member
Apr 26, 2013
31
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
24
All swg cells have a finite life span & will need to be replaced eventually so if your tub comes with one be sure to ask it’s life expectancy in hours & look up the replacement costs/ specs.
Alot of us have the saltron mini / it just hangs over in the tub & is a separate purchase. Some tubs are able to conceal one in the filter area mine cannot as i have a built in floating weir skimmer thing. The cell is easily replaced & costs about $100. My first cell lasted over 2yrs (almost 3). I ordered a new one the same day.
I have never taken my tub’s internals apart to know for sure but the only issue i have ever had was a dab of rust on one of my jet rings - i let my fc get a bit too high for too long in relation to my cya. I corrected the situation & all but a slight speck came off & has never returned. I suspect this would have happened even if there were no salt involved.
I personally wouldn’t want to be without a salt water chlorine generator in my spa or pool. I am prepared to replace the heater sooner if necessary but in general properly maintained water chemistry should help all spas avoid premature corrosion.
Thanks Good information
 

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