hot tub temperature

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We're looking at getting a hot tub. Some of the ones I've look at have temperature ranges 80-100 degrees F. Is 100F hot enough (I thought they went to 102 or 104).
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:15:43 -0400, Jud McCranie

You want a tub that will go to 104. What tub are you looking at that doesn't?
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 23:11:17 GMT, Mys Terry

I thought so.

This is one: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_idC24520 under "control console" it says: "80F - 100 F temperature settings"
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wrote:

You're looking at a spa from Walmart? Save your money and buy a good one, or a used one. The ones from Walmart don't last and don't have a lot of jets.
STeve
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:24:11 -0700, "Steve B"

We've looked at several places, including four stores (haven't actually been to WalMart). I think theirs are by this company: http://www.hydrospa.com/ I'm still looking, but we do have limited funds.
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wrote:

I bought two Catalina brand spas, both with two pumps, 8x8 for $2500 each used. Good used spas can be had. Just shop around, and research the brand names, and stick with the top manufacturers.
Steve
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 21:42:55 -0400, Jud McCranie

I'm interested in what people think about things that are BY other named companies.
Isn't the reason they don't sell their cheap models under their own name is that they don't want to ruin their reputtation?
The only experience I have is with Sears, and I do believe in their case, that's not the situation. Although I live a lone and don't use my appliances much, my stove, refrigerator, dish washing and clothes washer are all 27 years old and doing fine. And the clothese washer does look, INSIDE, like a whirlpool, that I have had experience with under that name.
But Sears is different from Walmart and many other places. OTher than sears, I repeat the question in my second paragrapgh.
I'm still looking, but we do have limited

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If a company is making good money making good spas, why would they want to put out crap and make less money on the same amount of units?
Steve
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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 23:15:09 -0700, "Steve B"

What Paul said, just below. That is, they would sell a greater number of units. Almost as many of their good ones (Probably just as many, because if they didn't sell cheaper ones, someone else would anyhow.) plus the many cheaper ones they sold.
I also agree with Tony, that not all fancy features are worth having. The guy who owned my house before me and bought the appliances bought pretty much what he should have, somewhere in the middle, except for the electric stove, which I think is at the cheap end. He paid extra for the dryer that can go by how wet the clothes are, and I use that all the time.
I usually buy a car when it is 7 years old and sell it when it is 14. My current one is 11, and I was shopping for a new one about 4 years ago, to buy in 2009, and sadly, none of the new accessories interested me. I have a '95 car now that is loaded, and I've got little or nothing left to look forward to in a new car. I don't want satellite navigation. I suppose if the car has a satellite radio, I'll subscribe, but I don't want music, only call in and talk radio (and not Rush Limbaugh) and afaict, satellite doesn't have much.

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My spa guy that I bought my spas from steered me away from spas that had lots of extra things. A plain spa has far less to go wrong with it. Who needs a stereo built in when you can buy a boom box?
Steve
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I've purchased lots of products through Sears over the years, including just about all of my major appliances -- Kenmore mostly, but other name brands such as Frigidaire and Bosch as well.
Most of the appliances sold under the Kenmore name are, in fact, made by Whirlpool, or at least that has traditionally been the case; I understand Sears provided the initial start-up capital for Whirlpool and has, not surprisingly, always maintained a close working relationship with the company. It's fair to say millions of people have bought Kenmore appliances over the years and millions more will continue to do so in the future, because they're highly satisfied with the product and, just as importantly, the way Sears stands behind it. There's a strong sense of trust, respect and a true brand loyalty that is largely unmatched.
In terms of spas, it's not uncommon for a manufacturer to offer two, three or more brands that target specific groups of consumers at different price points.... much in the same way GM markets its vehicles through various divisions. Certainly the features -- and, yes, as can be expected, the quality -- will vary alongside the price. After all, you don't buy a Neon and expect it to perform like a HEMI 300C. :-)
Cheers, Paul
wrote:

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Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

But there is always best bang for the buck. Paying more money does not mean better product at some point. Lots of high end stuffs most often just have more bells and whistles which is prone to give more troubles. Specially electronic gadgets. How many times all this bells and whistles are used routlinely?
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Hi Tony,
You've certainly raised a valid point. There are a few expensive spas out there that are, in terms of build quality, nothing more than a costly bag of poop. Clearly, some consumers are being ripped off and the manufacturer in question can get away with it because most of us are conditioned to equate quality with price. Again, you have to do your homework.
In terms of technology, I tend to believe the benefits largely work in our favour. For example, I have a bad habit of over inflating my tires in an effort to maximize my vehicle's fuel economy. Normally, it isn't a problem, except when the weather turns suddenly warmer or I'm doing a lot of high speed driving. Now, I'm almost certain I've blown two tires on my LHS because of this. My 300M Special has a tire pressure monitoring system that shows me my current tire pressure and warms me if it ever becomes dangerously low or high. Sure enough, on Friday it warned me it was too high on two of my tires, so I let a little air out. Since I wouldn't have known otherwise (I confess I was never very diligent about checking this myself), I know this system has saved my sorry butt on more than one occasion.
Cheers, Paul

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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:24:11 -0700, "Steve B"

What about the ones at Home Depot? (We haven't been there yet either.)
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wrote:

I don't like those either. I like the top manufacturers, and that then limits you to a used spa. Yes, it is attractive to get a nice shiny new one. But, what kind of parts and service department do WallyWorld and the Borg have? With brand name spas, you can always get parts. I have changed heating elements, blown fuses, pumps, and fixed hoses that have come undone. Never had to pay for a $80 per hour service man. BUT, I was able to go to the spa supplier and buy the parts.
It's hard to say which is the way to go for you. Just try to get the most/best for your money.
Hot tubs are great. I enjoy ours a lot.
Steve
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 19:05:19 -0700, "Steve B"

I'm not familiar enough with what the top brands are. I saw a ThermaSpa advertisement last night and called for information, but I don't know if they are a top brand.
There are only three people in our family, so we don't need one big enough for seven. However, I want a lounge (most have them) and the ozonator thing. Some of the lower priced ones seem to have too small of a pump and heater. I read that you want 240V and at least 40 amps.
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 22:53:13 -0400, Jud McCranie

Thermospa is an excellent brand. Even though you have 3 people to use the spa, I would recommend buying a bigger one. The operating costs are nearly the same. The big difference is comfort. Most smaller spas are not comfortable. You want one where you can really stretch out
Where do you live? Thermo Spas is in Central Connecticut, and they often have "scratch and dent " sales. They knock about 40%-60% off of brand new tubs due to minor cosmetic blemishes. And I do mean MINOR. They won't sell a Thermospas tub that has a functional defect, like a crack in the shell where it could leak. Mine has a tiny crack in the top coping near the champagne bucket. If no one points it out to you, you would never see it. That 1 inch crack saved me about $3500! They also sell off tubs that they have taken in trade. Some of those are older Thermospas, where people have traded up to a bigger model, and some are other brands.
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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:57:52 GMT, Mys Terry

I just realized that there is www.thermaspa.com (with an "a") and www.theormospas.com (with an "o"). I'm not sure which one I contacted for info.

Good idea.

I would go for that, but I'm a long way from that, on coastal Georgia.
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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 11:35:44 -0400, Jud McCranie

inland a bit and you'll see it.
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Hi Jud,
The truth is, as with most products, you pretty much get what you pay for so, personally, I would shy away from the low end. A hot tub is a major, long-term investment. It's not like a car that you might trade every three or four years; once in place, it will likely stay there for sometime to come.
Buy from a reputable spa dealer, not a mass merchant that knows little about the products they sell or how well they might fit your specific needs and expectations. Bear in mind, mass merchants can change manufacturers/brands at anytime, as they typically source from the lowest cost supplier and routinely put these products up for bid. Likewise, I would avoid buying from anyone that sets up a tent at the local fair ground, then pulls up the stakes to move on to the next town. I can tell you that no matter how well built your tub may be, there will be issues/problems that will arise from time to time and you will, of course, require various replacement parts (e.g., filters) over the life of the product.
Ask your friends, colleagues, neighbours, family members, whomever you know who owns a hot tub what they like and, in particular, don't like about their tub. Ask them how their dealer treated them. Was it with respect? Did the salesperson ask questions in an effort to better understand what they wanted in a tub (and actually listened to their answers), or did they simply try to push a particular model? Did they bad mouth a competing product or local dealer (always a good time to make a bee line for the door). Are they happy with the after sales service and warranty support?
Be careful not to rush into a purchase or fall victim to high-pressure sales tactics; take your time and do your homework. Try to sort through all the conflicting claims (trust me, there will be plenty). And don't put a whole lot of weight on the "we have more horsepower", "more jets", "more what have you" pitches. After all, you only want to relax in your hot tub, not have the skin literally ripped off your body. :-)
It's absolutely critical that you get inside as many tubs as you can and see how each one feels. Move from seat to seat and pay particular attention to the amount of foot room -- this is one area where a lot of tubs fall down badly. Can you comfortably stretch out without playing footsies with the person across from you? Get a sense of where the water level will be, for all family members.... we're not all built the same and you don't want to resort to snorkel kits, nor do you want the upper two-thirds of your body exposed to air.
Some of the tubs that claim to accommodate six to eight people, simply don't (what do they think we are, midgets on diets?). Take the number of gallons/litres and divide by the number of seats to get a true sense of the amount of room they offer per person. And by all means, do a "wet test"; a good dealer will be happy to arrange a time that is convenient for you to come in to their store and try out their products. These dealers know 90 per cent of their business is through referral and word of mouth, so it's in their interest to ensure you're absolutely happy with your choice.
To be helpful, here are a few things I would personally look for in a tub (this list is by no means exhaustive, but it should be sufficient to get you started):
- a good, no hassle, warranty. Pay special attention to the limitations and exclusions or "weasel words" as I like to call them. You don't want a heater, say, to fail and then have a finger pointed at you and be blamed for not properly maintaining the water (sadly, this sort of thing happens all too often).
- synthetic skirting. Real wood looks good initially, but over time it will fade, crack and become stained by water and chemicals. Synthetic skirting continues to look good year after year and requires virtually no maintenance (and since your hot tub is likely to become the focal point of your backyard or deck, good appearance is important).
- a fully foamed tub with high-density, closed cell polyurethane foam, for four good reasons: superior heat retention, structural rigidity (so the spa shell doesn't weaken under the weight of the water and the stresses of people getting in and out), quieter operation and, perhaps most importantly, to cradle and support the internal plumbing (without this support, the weight of the water in these long lines can put considerable stress on the joints and this, in turn, can increase the likelihood of leaks over time). Also, closed cell foam doesn't absorb moisture as does open cell, so it won't lose its efficiency and it won't support mould and mildew. It's more expensive, but definitely well worth it. BTW, ever heard people complain about how their spa covers become heavy over time or musty smelling? Now you know.
- an ozone system to help keep the water fresh and clear. Avoid the type that use UV lamps as they produce relatively little usable ozone. In addition, these bulbs have to be replaced when they burn out (roughly 15,000 hours or every year and half), which results in an ongoing maintenance and expense. Corona discharge systems produce far more ozone, use a fraction of the electricity and should last the life of your spa. And contrary to what some might suggest, ozone systems doesn't eliminate the need for a water sanitizer -- they're only there to help support it.
- good filtration. Perhaps one of few times when "more" truly is "better". In a hot tub, your body sloughs-off skin cells, body oils, hand creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners and other things you simply don't want to talk about. You want to get all this "stuff" out of the water as quickly as possible and that's the job of the filter. Keep in mind that during certain times of the year when there is a high amount of pollen in the air, smaller filters can clog up pretty quickly. I've purposely avoided recommending specific brands, but I should note that Hot Spring is the only hot tub that filters every single drop of water before it comes out of any jet, 100 per cent of the time ; all other hot tubs employ "by-pass" valves that allow the water in your spa to "by-pass" the filter when the jets are turned on (they simply can't force that volume of water through their filters due to their smaller size). Needless to say, it's precisely when everyone is *in* the tub and the jets are on that you want these filters to do very their best. Water filtration may or may not be all that important to you but, for me, I want my spa water to always look good and I want it to be as clean as possible at all times. Not to belabour this point, but the filters in most Hot Spring spas last seven to ten years and can be cleaned in the dishwasher; standard paper filters, by comparison, typically last two to three years and are cleaned by soaking in a chemical solution for ten to twelve hours.... a huge difference in terms of convenience and ongoing expense.
This has been a long post and I apologize for that. I guess the one thing I would like to emphasize is that you take your time, do your due diligence and speak to as many people as you can before you make your purchase. Believe me, the time you spend upfront is well worth it.
Cheers, Paul
On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 22:53:13 -0400, Jud McCranie

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