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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Hot tubs. A discussion.

    I am in the market for a 5-6 person hot tub, and wanted to tap the TRG knowledge keg.

    Any stand out brands?

    Anyone have one with a stereo built in? I'm thinking a nice bluetooth speaker, is just as good.

    Will 5-6k buy a good one?

    "I don't pretend to have all the answers, and I think there's something to be said for that" -One For The Road

    Brain dead and made of money.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2003
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    Hot tubs. A discussion.

    You might be able to get one from Costco for $5k. But if you need any type of extra service, a dealer will cost more like $8-10.

    I recently purchased a house in Snowmass. The previous owner paid a Sundance dealer $700 to remove the old tub. Right before we closed, we got 3 feet of snow and they wanted more for the snow removal. I told them to just wait till spring.

    I ended up with a Sundance Select Series Victoria. Their most energy efficient model with a lounger. Sundance and Jacuzzi brands are identical.
    I paid about $10k, but I got a year of maintenance because I had a renter.

    I didnít get speakers either. I just use a UEboom Box. But you do have to crank them up, because the tubs are pretty loud.

  3. #3
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    I have had a Calspa since 2002, one of the better made brands. Hot Springs is another highly rated brand.

    Plan on replacing the cover every 5 years or so. I use Nature II cartridge for water chemistry. Ozonator helps too but at some point it will need replaced also.

    They are worth the $$$$ IMHO, I also do shift work and getting in the tub after a long stint makes things much better. Of course a big day on the slopes, river or trail is much soothed by tub time.
    watch out for snakes

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Iíve had an Artesian spa for about 7 years now; one of my better purchases in life. The biggest difference Iíve noticed in a generic tub vs a $10-12k tub is jets. Make sure you get lots and lots of jets. Mine has somewhere in the 60-70 range split between the 5 seats. Staying at rental places with the generic tubs, they will have maybe 12-15 total in the whole thing. Makes a hudge difference.

    Ozonator is also key. I wouldnít bother with the built in stereo, seems like one more thing that can potentially go wrong, and a waterproof Bluetooth is just as good and easy to replace. And yeah, itís loud when all the jets are on.

    And like ScottyB said, expect a bit of maintenance, new cover every 5-6 years, they ainít cheap! My last one was $700, but I went for the ultra deluxe super insulated 4000 model.

    Led lighting is kinda cool sometimes.

    Pick a good spot where you can see the stars too.

    Like almost all things in life, spend more money up front and youíll have less problems down the road.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Fraggle Rock, CO
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    5,603
    I miss my hot tub. Used to go out and have coffee in the morning in it before I started my day. But, alas, we built it into the deck in the old house so we couldn't take it along when we moved.

    Seems like it was ~7k for a pretty full featured unit with lots of jets, led lights, and music. Be ready for the electric bill to jump a bit also. Ours cost at least an extra $75 a month to run during the winter.

    I'd get another one in a heartbeat if we had a good site for it in this house.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2009
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    Park City
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    Like this? Favorite way to start the day.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  7. #7
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    Nov 2002
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    Question/Comment:

    I've always found the noise of hot tub jets distracting and anything but relaxing so if an when I ever sat in one I left them off which people claim defeats the purpose - actually had a bitch of a woman go off on me at a club once for asking if we could leave the jets off while I finished soaking (I was already in the tub alone when she join me).

    So am I alone in my disdain of the jet noise or was that woman right that there is no point if you don't use the jets?
    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkiní Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    You would like the traditional Japanese hot tubs. Super retro too!

    "I don't pretend to have all the answers, and I think there's something to be said for that" -One For The Road

    Brain dead and made of money.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    4,778
    Whichever hot tub you buy, make sure to get the time machine option. Totally worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  10. #10
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    Oct 2003
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    We spent more on materials to build a concrete pad and 220V wiring for our tub than the tub cost (we did everything but the concrete truck ourselves)... but that is because the wife found a kickass used 5 person 330gal 26jet tub on the local FB group for $600 and the guy had a flat bed and 4 dudes deliver it for $100 more.

    So in 2.5 years, we've spent $250 to have a shop replace the pump and $500 on a new fancy cover when the old one got janky and the electric bill d/t hot tub rose from ~30/mo to ~90/mo.

    The pad/wiring cost more than the tub. Yearly electric + part cost as much as the tub... but only because we got a CHEAP used tub!!!

    I am thinking of adding an ozonator to the hot tub before snow gets deep.

    Best home improvement ever... fuck counters and bathrooms... hot tub!

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ View Post
    So am I alone in my disdain of the jet noise or was that woman right that there is no point if you don't use the jets?
    I love the jets. The wife doesn't. The jets stay off half the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  11. #11
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    Mine has a low and high power, you can still have a conversation on low, it's harder on high. Most better tubs will have air injection which increases the force from the jets with out greater noise. It will also cool the water a bit.

    The jets are really the heart of a hot tub, no jets and you might as well just be in a bath tub.
    watch out for snakes

  12. #12
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    Another pro tip is look for a tub with a therapeutic rating, ie more jets arranged in ways to stimulate various muscles.

    My tub has a lounger and 5 additional seats all of which are different in jet layout.
    watch out for snakes

  13. #13
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    Jul 2014
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    I'm going to get all the jets.
    "I don't pretend to have all the answers, and I think there's something to be said for that" -One For The Road

    Brain dead and made of money.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,896
    $5-6k will put the top end brands and models out of reach (except on a screaming sale). But it puts you right in upper end of the midrange, a sweet spot for almost any product. I've owned CalSpas and been really happy with them, and your budget will put you in one of those. Salespeople will focus on all the wrong shit, no surprise there. What you want to focus on is just a few things:

    (1) number of jets matters, though the difference between 60 and 70 is irrelevant; the deployment/arrangement of those jets is what the salespeople try to pitch, but until you know what you really love in a hot tub, it's irrelevant;

    (2) motors, you want two (or more); spa motors cost a few hundred dollars and they WILL wear out, rebuilding and eventually replacing them is a maintenance item, but having two of them greatly extends their life (and the second one will probably not wear out for a good decade or more), and also gives you two zones for jets; size also matters, moving water is hard work, more hp is better; unfortunately, quality is more important than power, but there is almost no way to evaluate motor quality because everyone rebrands the motors as their own;

    (3) ozonator is good;

    (4) ease of filter removal/replacement matters but most of them are pretty easy; more filters is better than fewer but my last spa used only one and it wasn't a big deal, just needed cleaned slightly more frequently;

    Some other random advice:

    (5) when buying at a spa dealer (which I recommend) there is always room to negotiate, if not on price then on accessories, chemicals, delivery fees, filters, etc.; for accessories the ones you really need (unless you want to make your own) are steps, cover, and some version of a spa-lift (most of these are simply a bar that make it much easier to raise and lower the lid);

    (6) speaking of chemicals you don't need any of that extra crap they'll try to sell you. You need chlorine or bromine, some kind of "shock" treatment; and baking soda to adjust ph. A cheap test kit is fun, but eventually you learn to evaluate water quality on your own. And if you use chlorine and find yourself out of it on a weekend (which is pretty much the only time you run out), clorox works great in the short term.

    Have fun.
    "Judge me by the enemies I have made." -FDR

  15. #15
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    Sep 2005
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    Wasatch Back: 7000'
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    https://www.arcticspas.com/arctic-spas/frontier/
    # of pumps, jets, onzon (salt) and insulation are key. A 6 person frontier will run about $12K
    "My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police." M. Thatcher (RIP)
    "...
    Judges smoke it, even the lawyer too...So you've got to legalize it..." Peter Tosh

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KQ View Post
    Question/Comment:

    I've always found the noise of hot tub jets distracting and anything but relaxing so if an when I ever sat in one I left them off which people claim defeats the purpose - actually had a bitch of a woman go off on me at a club once for asking if we could leave the jets off while I finished soaking (I was already in the tub alone when she join me).

    So am I alone in my disdain of the jet noise or was that woman right that there is no point if you don't use the jets?
    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post

    I love the jets. The wife doesn't. The jets stay off half the time.
    My wife is the same way, She likes the jets on, but enjoys the quiet as well; so yeah, jets about half the time when the wife is in the tub.

    I do enjoy the quiet of sitting out there in a snowstorm though.

  17. #17
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    What do I need to do to get 220V to the tub area? I have a household electrical panel inside, on a wall near where I would put a tub outside. How do I determine whether it can be wired in through that panel or if something more involved is needed?

    Been thinking about getting a hot tub for a while. Just haven't done anything about it yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  18. #18
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    Sep 2005
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    50-60 amp load center (depends upon # of pumps) w/in 25' of tub.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    "My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police." M. Thatcher (RIP)
    "...
    Judges smoke it, even the lawyer too...So you've got to legalize it..." Peter Tosh

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    4,051
    Like jets, but hot tubs can be good without them.

    Why do you think they're called a "Soak n Poke"?

  20. #20
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    I just want to move somewhere really close to some hot springs.

  21. #21
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    Oct 2003
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    I think the easiest way to tell if someone has not tried to have sex in a hot tub is if they joke about it like it is a good idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    What do I need to do to get 220V to the tub area? I have a household electrical panel inside, on a wall near where I would put a tub outside. How do I determine whether it can be wired in through that panel or if something more involved is needed?

    Been thinking about getting a hot tub for a while. Just haven't done anything about it yet.
    If you have 200 amps to the house, and your house is neither a 5000sqft mcmansion with electric baseboard nor running an industrial operation of some kind that draws lots of juice, you can start with that panel, as long as it has room for another double breaker. If yo'ure not sure, ask in the PR, quite a few sparkys in here.

    A subpanel is required to comply with code in most places. Size the cable for the subpanel breaker you'll need (which depends on the spa, but if you believe in building for eventualities, wire for 60amp , copper is cheaper than redoing the job later).
    "Judge me by the enemies I have made." -FDR

  23. #23
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    I think the easiest way to tell if someone has not tried to have sex in a hot tub is if they joke about it like it is a good idea.
    Maybe pour a bottle of baby oil in first? And make sure it is not your tub.

  24. #24
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    Feb 2008
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    GFI panel, usually 50amp. I had to replace this on my setup a few years ago due to the GFI wearing out.
    watch out for snakes

  25. #25
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    Jan 2008
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    Whistler
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    I've stayed in this chalet in Fernie. I tried to dig up a photo, but can find the drive that its on.
    Quote Originally Posted by reckless toboggan View Post
    Whichever hot tub you buy, make sure to get the time machine option. Totally worth it.


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