Anyone have a Costco spa/hot-tub? (1 Viewer)

Cuerno Largo

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Looking at one on their site that is 1K off making it 4K.

6 person, 50 jets, 360gpm pump, 4kW heater

I have no clue about spas, but searching on the internet is getting me nowhere as far as finding good info. Just one manufacturer bashing another and nobody listing prices.
 

Cuerno Largo

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Awesome.

If you don't mind, when you get it plugged in, would you post your opinion back here?

Some pics would be nice also if you are up to it. If not, no big deal.:cheers:
 
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Looking at one on their site that is 1K off making it 4K.

6 person, 50 jets, 360gpm pump, 4kW heater

I have no clue about spas, but searching on the internet is getting me nowhere as far as finding good info. Just one manufacturer bashing another and nobody listing prices.
Where on their web site do you see $1K off? All I see is $500 off.
 
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I also am in the market for a hot tub. Looking at used and new. Do not purchase the Home Depot model. I am told and have read the reviews, the quality is seriously lacking.
 
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I am going to try to make this as nuetral as possible. I won't even mention the spa company I work for:). I work in product development for a portable spa manufacturer. Do your research before you buy any unit from a big box store (Costco, Home Depot, Sams...) Many of the manufacturers that have supplied spas to these stores have gone out of business or changed hands in the last few years and dropped service and warranty contracts. It's been a tough industry in the last 3 years. Most spa companies have dropped slaes by over 65% in that time. We have been lucky to not even be close to that number. A buddy of mine's father in law purchased a Home depot spa a year and a half ago and it had major control and pump issues within the first 6 months of it's install. I would love to hear feedback on the Costco spas.

When you do your home work look for Gecko or Balboa controls. There are a ton of other control companies out there that seem to come and go. These two have been around for along time and you WILL be able to service them. Do not shop for the highest number of jets possible! 80 percent of the time people end up soaking in thier spas on low speed. You want to sit in the spa and make sure it fits your body size and shape. Ideally you would sit in the spa wet and choose the jet layout that best suits your particular needs. (Unless your just looking for a hot bowl of water to sit in, which some people are) The stereo units and speakers on these big box spas are going to cause you problems. I have tested every marine/spa stereo on the market and depending on your climate you will be lucky to get a year or two out of them. If the speakers pop up out of the shell, run. I would recomend an Aquatic AV stereo unit or possible (data is still being collected) a JBL Black box unit (no CD, only runs Ipod, USB and radio). We have had good luck with Bose outdoor speakers.

There is no such thing as a 360 gpm pump for spas! I once had a spa salesman tell me that his pumps generated 500 gpm. His spa used the same pumps that we do, but I have over 50 pumps from different manufacturers and non performed such a number. Our $5k ultasonic flow meeter puts that pump at 185 gpm at 10 psi. Add more jets and you can increase the flow to close to 200 gpm. but you lose pressure and end up with a dog of a spa. Add diverter valves and you rob GPM further. One of the top two spa manufacturers publishes flow data for thier spas 50 gpm greater than what my flow meeter says thier spas run. (yep I had thier spa for over a year at my house). With two pumps the spa could only put out a total of 300 gpm. If the spa uses diverter valve( which I can not recomend), make sure you look over which jets wil be running when diverting water. The two competitor spas I tested did not allow all the jets to run in a single seat at any given time. I could get half the jets in each seat to run, but then would have to divert water to the other jets and lose the original ones. Kind of like not being able to lock your front axle until you unlock your rear;). Look for Aquaflow/gecko pumps. Some Waterway pumpshave good history behind them. Run from any used spa that has Vicko or GE pumps (75% failure rating).

Insulation... We fully foam. There are spa companies out there that will tell you that partial foam or some thin radiant barier is all you need, but my experience shows that a fully foamed spa will be cheaper to heat and stay warmer longer. Very few spa companies have met the new California Energy code requirements without fully foaming thier spas...and you know how crazy those Californians are. I had a sales person explain that they did not fully foam so that the heat from the pumps running would heat the whole shell and thus the water of the spa. While I have no doubt that heat transfer from pump to the water happens, how inneficient is your motor if it is generating that much heat. I want my pump to pump and my heater to heat.

Don't even get me started with chemicals for spas. There's a lot of snake oil out there. In the end it all boils down to the fact that only chlorine and bromine are approved to kill bacteria and other yucky stuff. Since sweat is basically like your body urinating, keep your chemicals in check. I hate to hear about people getting sick just because they didn't take care of thier spa water.

Sorry for the long post. There are a lot of good spas out there from many different manufacturers. Do your homework and enjoy. $4k for a 6 person spa is a very good deal. The sales department would kill me, but don't rule out used spas. It's like cars, you drive them off the lot and they lose value. With spas you can run a heavy duty spa cleaner through the system and several flushes later all the nasties from the PO are gone. I have seen 1 yr old name brand spas sell for less than half of retail. Some of the spas I have seen come through Costco have been alright on most accounts. Again, let me know how things are going 6 moths after your Coscto spa is hooked up. No spa is perfect or without the possibility of having problems, even your top spa company units. Lastely it goes without saying, keep an eye on your kids if you let them in your spa.
 

Cuerno Largo

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Thanks for the inside info.

What you mentioned above is what I am talking about. It does not matter if you are looking online or looking in a store, the salesmen/website seem to give misleading info or such minimal info you can't tell.

From what I can gather through Google, The Evolution spa on Costco is made by Strong Pools and Spas.

The Majestic series is make by Cal Spas.

Any opinion on these two companies products?



One of the reasons I thought of Costco, is the return policy.
 
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Thanks for the inside info.

What you mentioned above is what I am talking about. It does not matter if you are looking online or looking in a store, the salesmen/website seem to give misleading info or such minimal info you can't tell.

From what I can gather through Google, The Evolution spa on Costco is made by Strong Pools and Spas.

The Majestic series is make by Cal Spas.

Any opinion on these two companies products?



One of the reasons I thought of Costco, is the return policy.
Cal spas makes a good product. I've never used either manufacturers spa, but have spent some time talking with Cal spa's people over the years. I've had a lot of contact with Marqui spas, Hotsprings, Sundance and a few others. We talk back and forth about products and the industry.

Like you said, the internet is full of people bashing other spas. Its funny to get on the spa review websites. Most of the sites are paid by spa companies to rate thier products. You win spa of the year by paying for it. The customer feedback forums are full of dealers pretending to be customers, spreading rumers about spas they have never used or seen for that matter. It's kind of cut throat. I had a dealer start bashing on the company I work for (not knowing I worked for them). They were telling me about the shotty product we used and plumbing configurations. All BS. I made him pop his spa door off and low and behold he was actually describing his own spa to a tee. Funny times with salesman.

The Strong Pool's spa uses their THERMO-LOK system with open air between the cabinet and the shell. No full insulation. If you are somewhere cold, i would recomend not going this route. You also don't want to go this route in very hot climates as your pumps running during a filter cycle could over heat the spa water potentially burning you or just lower the life of the pump components as they will be running in a hotter environment. The main reason that spa companies go this route instead of full insulation is cost savings. It is much cheaper to insulate a few inches around the cabinet and not fill the whole cavity. Saves them a few hundred dollars which lowers the purchase cost of the product to the consumer. In the end you will pay for the innefficiency over the life of the spa. Think of it this way, the sales pitch of pumps heating your spa water only works when the pumps are on. That is anywhere from 4-6 hours a day for a non circ pump fitted spa. The other 18 hours a day you are losing heat more readily because the spa lacks insulation. And if your power ever goes out during a cold spell, you can quickly freeze your plumbing as it is not insulated enough to last very long. When my spa was made I could do anything I wanted with it, benefit of working in R&D. I could have done the insulation either way and I went fully foamed.
 
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I have a Marqui spa that has to be 10yrs. old. Only a couple of simple problems to deal with in that time that were handled by the dealer. We use the heck out of this thing and are pleased with it's performance.
 

Trollhole

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Old post but I'll put my .02 in on this. A hot tub is only good if you use it. It's a pain to keep up with chemicals all year long. It's like owning a pool. If your lazy or one of those people that get something on a whim cause it's cool a hot tub is not for you. You will tire of it in a few years and then your stuck with something that will need constant attention.


When I bought mine 8 years ago we shopped around extensively before buying. Not every town has a reputable dealer and if you buy a quality unit the place that has to come and fix it may be hundreds of miles away. Make sure you know who will be repairing your hottub when it breaks and where they live.

We ended up with a Hot Springs spa. Dealer was in town and they have a pretty good reputation. I would consider Hot Springs as one of the better companies. We got a 7 year shell warranty and a 5 year component warranty. Not bad considering our heater went out after 4 years and was replaced no questions asked in 24hrs. It's been a good tub. No real issues with it. Uses very little power. I just wish we would use it more.
 

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