Hot Tub Gimmicks and How To Avoid Them
Greetings! We here at Prestige Pools and Spas strive to be a source of information for all things swimming pool and hot tub related. As a part of the education process, we try to cut through information that is laced with nonsensical"buzzwords" and double-speak that can be confusing, misleading or downright false. Below are some of the features that tend to be the most over-sold aspects, or things that are purposefully vague, or somehow presented as they are differentiated between brands when there really are no differences at all...
Ozonators have become commonplace in today's hot tub market. In its most basic form, the function of an ozonator is to produce an enriched form of oxygen (O3) that is injected into the water supply, killing organic matter (bacteria, algae, etc), reducing your overall need for sanitizing chemicals by about 20%.
The two most common types of ozone generators are Ultraviolet (UV) and Corona Discharge (CD). The names reflect the method in which they generate ozone. UV ozonators have a lifespan of 6 to 12 months before the bulb burns out, whereas CD ozonators last 12 to 24 months before the chip needs to be replaced. When that happens- regardless of which type of ozonator your hot tub is outfitted with- most people do not realized their ozonator has stopped working, nor that parts need to be replaced.
This is important as many salespeople will exaggerate the sanitizing capabilities of an ozonator in order to stress how easy their brand of spas are to maintain. Price and quality of your hot tub is irrelevant when it comes to water chemistry: You will need to learn it and their is no way around it. We promise you that there is no ozone, special filtration system or gimmicks that will allow you to not have to balance your spa's water chemistry.
Every hot tub will have a filtration system that uses polyester-based cartridges (similar to an air filter in a car) to help capture suspended impurities. The size, length, width and number will almost certainly vary between hot tub brands. It is true that there can be variations in a cartridge's ability to filter but in all there isn't too large of a difference to sway you to choose a tub based on its filtration system and technique.
Consider: As noted above, water chemistry is the primary reason your water stays clean and clear. As with an ozonator, the filtration system can help with the cleanliness of your water. But it should never be positioned as the main reason your water stays clean and should never be presented that it will reduce the amount of sanitizers you'll have to use.
Ever wonder why so many brands have shell colors that are the same or similar to each other? The secret is there are 2 major acrylic shell suppliers to the industry, so in essence hot tub manufacturers are all "shopping at the same store."
Outlier manufacturers withstanding, most major brands not only buy from these two suppliers but they also have similar shell warranties: A shell structure warranty and a shell surface warranty. Most shell structure warranties run from 10 years to lifetime, and most shell surface warranties run 3 to 7 years.
In all, its extremely rare that a spa shell will crack. In the last 15 years Prestige Pools and Spas has only had one spa shell fail on a customer and we replaced the spa, no questions asked.
Motors & Jets
Hot tub motors range in horsepower and quantity. Dual motors tend to be the most common set up on mid-range to high end spas, but smaller tubs (based on water volume) preform just fine with a single motor.
Horsepower is generally measured two ways: Brake and rated. Break horsepower (BHP) denotes the initial speed used when the motor is activated. This measurement is temporary as once the water is moving the motor throttles down to a lesser speed. This is the rated horsepower.
Whichever unit of measurement you use, motor size and quantity tell only half the story. The number of jets, their size, ability to move water and the plumbing connecting everything together all play into how well the water flows.
When motors are placed together on one side of the spa the tub is likely to have longer amounts of plumbing. Hot tubs with numerous diverter valves create bends in the plumbing that will slow down the flow rate. A high number of jets can be detrimental to the flow rate as well if not backed by either dual larger horsepowered motors or 3-5 smaller motors.
So when you consider the number of jets in a tub, understand that the number of jets doesn't really tell you anything about the feel and experience the hot tub will provide.
"I want something that is chemical-free." Sorry- But no such thing exists. Every hot tub requires a sanitizer as a part of its upkeep. Even salt systems produce chemicals to sanitize, whether it be chlorine or sodium bromide. Do not be be fooled by the salesperson who tells you your hot tub will be maintenance-free. (Check out my blog on water chemistry here.)
However, water chemistry is not an arduous process. You can monitor the water taking up only a few minutes of your time each week. Additionally- Many sanitizers on the market are very mild and virtually unnoticeable. So you're in luck if you're trying to stay away from a traditional sanitizer like chlorine.
Haggling is becoming antiquated. Customers know that there is a price they are willing to pay, and salespeople know that there is a price they're willing to accept. If you're having to pay extra for this or that, but, magically, every hot tub store is "tossing in" the same features, then that feature is not actually an extra cost at all.
Prestige Pools and Spas as a point of pride offers hot tubs at one price to make the decision making process completely on your terms. You buy when you are ready. No high-pressure salespeople, no "I'll talk to my manager" gimmicks.
Our showroom salespeople have over a combined 40 years of sales experience in the industry. Feel free to ask us about the points made above or anything else you may pertaining to new hot tub sales or anything swimming pool or hot tub related. Thanks for reading!