24 Hr Circulation pumps

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24 Hr Circulation pumps

Circulation pumps also called “Hush Pumps”, and “Silent Flow” pumps are sold as an advantage and often as an upgrade on Hot Tubs.

The Pitch is that they are small efficient pumps that clean your water 24 hrs. a day and are quiet and efficient to run.
It’s usually about a $500 upgrade and in my opinion, they are not as good a the alternative which is a high flow circ system.
  • Although they use a small amount of power they run 24hrs a day whereas the high flow pump only has to run about 4 hrs a day to clean the same amount of water both systems use similar amount a power per day.
  • They wear out more quickly because they run all the time.
  • The tiny energy savings against the increased cost of replacement parts make them more expensive over the long run.
  • They can only filter so much water a day. if you have a heavy bather load or a party or busy weekend of hot tubbing it can take them a while to recover whereas with a high flow system you can change how many hours the pump runs! So after a party, you can throw it on 24 hr mode (or any other amount) and it will filter up to 6 times more water than a circ pump can over the 24hr period.
  • Circ pumps are also low flow and this means you need to be very regimented with filter cleaning, if the filter gets too dirty they go into flow error easily, the hi flow systems don’t unless you are truly negligent.
  • The new anti vibration mounting systems make the good hi flow 2-speed pumps almost as quiet as the Hush pumps, there is very little difference.
I’m not a fan of these systems I think they are sold to add margin into a deal or added value perception. It’s all marketing spin.
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32 Comments
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  1. Reply
    Derek P. March 28, 2018 at 6:01 am
    3.7
    Informative Article
    90
    Share Worthy
    70
    Unbiased
    60
    Biased
    60
    Would You Refer Chris?
    90

    I am just getting started with trying to figure out what hot tub is best for me and stumbled onto your awesome site.

    I live in Boise, ID and only have space for a small tub for my wife and I. I had back surgery last Nov and am doing great, but my doc suggested a spa with powerful jets to keep my hamstrings/back/shoulder muscles loose and relaxed. Also, I’m 6’3, but I have a small patio space under a pergola where I have to fit a smaller tub.

    Have not wet tested anything yet, but am interested in the Jacuzzi J315, Artesian Santa Cruz, American Whirlpool 261 or 451, or Marquis Rendevous or Spirit if it will fit.

    It is overwhelming and I don’t want to make a decision I’ll regret since this is a lot of money for us. Trying to stay under $7k.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      admin March 28, 2018 at 9:38 am

      From a strictly build standpoint the only two I would have on my radar are the artesian or the Marquis. both are very similar in construction, insulation, and parts list.

      The artesian looks like it eeks it out on performance but hard to say without wet testing.

      The real issue is the shoulder jetting in both tubs, the Artesian has nothing for the big upper shoulder and neck muscles you need a good reverse moulded jet area and you cant have those little piss any jets you need the good hi flow jets to move enough water to really give you long-term upper shoulder and neck improvement.

  2. Reply
    Amy Perez March 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Chris….I’ve decided your straight forward info is my best advice. Thank you for the time you put into this site. Recently purchased TS 8.25 @ home expo in Kalamazoo MI. Sales guy was pretty right on….was NOT planning on buying a tub that day! Seems to be a great store in Grand Rapids where this purchase was through. Something we’ve talked about for years. I’m confident, based on your videos/info, that we made the right decision. Except…the circ pump. Why add that to a tub that’s otherwise so well built if it isn’t the best thing? Can we just remove it and follow your advice?
    Thanks so much for any advice/thoughts!

    Amy P.

    • Reply
      admin March 21, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      If you have issues with it you can retrofit it back to a high flow system.

      The reason they offer it as an option is that so many of the brands out there that sell on the strength of their marketing use these systems so most manufacturers offer them as an option to be competitive.

      Email me if you need any help

    • Reply
      Amy Perez March 20, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      PS…. had the most difficult time deciding between that and the 8.2. Especially now I see that is your favorite and your personal hot tub. We are a family of six, went with the 8.25 for more legroom in the well, and the fact that second time buyers don’t usually go with the lounger. Wasn’t sure about floating up. I wish you were my neighbor or a personal friend! I so want to do everything right when we get it.

      • Reply
        Robb armstrong March 21, 2018 at 9:35 pm

        Same here….closing deal today. May I ask what sort of price? I’m at 8800

        • Amy March 22, 2018 at 2:44 am

          TS 8.25, w/cover, lift, steps, Orion lights. Delivery, etc. 9500 out the door.

        • admin March 23, 2018 at 11:43 am

          solid price great spa good job

          Happy hot tubbing

      • Reply
        admin March 21, 2018 at 9:33 pm

        We are friends 🙂

        and call or email anytime!

  3. Reply
    Robb March 10, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Glad I stumbled upon your site! Living in Ontario Canada, electricity rates are important, so finding your energy efficient must haves was great. I have looked at beachcomber, and on your recommendation have sought out a master spa dealer. I have some emails and they claim msrp on the 8.25 is 21895…plus options. He then said they had 20 to 40% off instock and floor models. This puts it into the crazy beach comber range. I’m in Sarnia, so I could look in the port Huron Michigan area too. We have a family of 6. Personally, I just like floating and visiting with firends…but my wife does have muscle issues and high tension in her neck, shoulders and back. Ni wish they made large tubs… But with the Jets really just focused on one or 2 if the seats…but I guess the margins wouldn’t be as good… And they would break less often and have much less turn over!

    • Reply
      admin March 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

      yeah so the crazy pricing is everywhere now, hot springs and Beachcomber started quoting these stupidly inflated prices the idea is if the retail is really high it must be super good, and a great deal because wow we have 40% off… bullshit all of it but it does not matter look at the features and compare the price you can buy it for but ignore the bs retail number they throw out.

      The Beachcomber and the HL line should be the same price they both have 7 or 8 of the high flow jets and no diverters or monster foot jets. but beachcomber does not build a spa with all high flow jets and big pumps and the monster jets and the diverter systems, they only build to the mid-performance end the TS tub flows more water out for the corner seat than the whole beachcomber almost.

  4. Reply
    Neil Macdonald February 17, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I have the high-end Master Spa MP LSX800. I bought it last summer. I do believe it has a circulation pump that runs 24 hours, and which is also extremely sensitive; if the filters are noti cleaned at least once a week or more, it just stops running. It is the worse feature of an otherwise good product. Has Master Spa looked at correcting this? And do I really need the filter with the weird and expensive mineral insert? There are filters the same size with no inserts.

    • Reply
      admin February 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Niel.

      Yeah, they had circ pump. its why you never hear me endorse the LSX line… They now have it available without a circ pump 🙂

      Ill email you with some solutions.

      The eco pure is all about getting rid of chlorine and bromine. breathing in that steam is bad news. I like eco pure, or nature 2 or spa frog with an enzyme like spa marvel or a mineral salt like aquafitness. super easy to manage and reliable and super low chemical.

  5. Reply
    Linda Swinney January 31, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I live in Denver, CO and have been looking at Bullfrog and Wind River Spas, made in CO. What’s your opinion of those? I went to Colorado Custom Spas.

    Thank you,
    Linda

    • Reply
      admin January 31, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Linda go back to them they also sell Artesian, it is a much better-built spa than the Bullfrog by a mile, better shell, better performance… they will try and sell you the bullfrog as a higher end only because they get a better margin on that line, its over priced and overhyped… too many goofy gimmicks.

  6. Reply
    Casey January 20, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I am looking at the Vita Spa Jolie for the family. What do you think of that model. They want $7k.

    Thank You.

    • Reply
      admin January 22, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Casey

      Not on my top list…

      I tried to look around your area but your IP comes as New Jersey or New Mexico 🙂

      email me your zip Ill see what I can find.

  7. Reply
    Jeff L. October 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    One question I left out, please advise between use of Aquafinesse and Spa Frog Ease system. Appears more people have skin issues with bromine than with chlorine?

    • Reply
      admin November 2, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      skin issues are tricky, they can have more to do with the acidity levels of the water, contaminants or sensitivities.

      Spa frog is a zinc or copper or silver ion system, similar to eco pure or any number of other systems, by them selves they help reduce chemical use but in my experience they are like all the rest, the enzyme or aqua finesse systems are different tech, the ion systems kill bacteria on contact the other inhibits bio film formation to stop culturing of bio cultures… one treats the symptom one addresses the cause.

      Aquafinesse is much better tech.

  8. Reply
    Jeff L. October 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Hi Chris thanks so much for website and volume of info inside. After a couple months of research I narrowed my choices to the MasterSpa HL7 and the MaaxSpa 471. Your previous posts and website data clearly steer me to the Master HL7. I have concerns about the differences in power of the pumps, both have 2 pumps. Maax states it has 2- 56 Frame 2-Speed 3.0 HP 6.0 bHP pumps. What is the difference between HP and bHP ratings – are the Maax 3 or 6? Master rep states the company doesn’t talk about HP anymore, only amps. I believe rep stated 3 amp pumps and stated he thought that the pumps were at least 3 HP but there is nothing in print. How do I relate one to the other ? Is this something to even be concerned about in light of the other overwhelming evidence steering me to Master rather than Maax ? I asked Master rep about brands and he stated without my using the names that they use Balboa for electronics but stated pumps were not a specific brand but can change based on their experience over time with any given pump manufacturer. Thanks so much for any advice you can provide!

    • Reply
      admin November 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      This is a great point and a big issue, rating water pumps in Hp is slippery 🙂

      The Hl spa has two 10 amp pumps.

      Ignore pump power because what really matters is if the pump power is balanced for to match the flow rate of the jetting… which you dont have a hope in hell of figuring out 🙂

      the big thing to be wary of is too many jets or too many big hi flow jets without a diverter system to concentrate the water into the seats.

      both those spas will perform very similarly

  9. Reply
    Rob Haynes October 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    We own a rental cottage that sleeps 12. We have a 6 person hot tub, that was bought for low price only. We are in the market to replace the hot tub, with one that might be able to handle the “bather load”. The hot tub is a big draw to our rental, and we want to make sure we get the right tub next – we considered a Hydropool self cleaning – but it sounds like that may not be the way to go (?) based on your review. Perhaps we should be looking at a commercial model (?) Love your site, have spent hours on it today but thought I should simply ask the question of the expert!

    • Reply
      admin November 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Rob

      go roto mould its reliable and hard to break… go minimal bells and whistles and one pump… no one cares at a rental they just wana soak and drink.

      water quality is always an issue… spilled drinks and high usage are a big problem. stay with a hi flow circ system and put the filter rate up high.

      use like spa marvel and a floating dispenser for chlorine.

      try to find a Getaway spa or a Nordic

  10. Reply
    MikeD. September 9, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Chris, love all the info you put out, thank you. Been doing a lot of reasearch on tubs, followed all your videos and have landed on the Master Twilight 6.2 over the Hot Spring Sovereign. Still had a couple questions though….. You’ve stated not to fall into the add on traps, one of them being a “hush pump”. However now they come standard on the Master tubs and I was wondering if they are still prone to the same problems like wearing out faster since they run 24/7 and not being sufficient for proper filtering? Also the vac-formed abs bottom, ( I know you say no) but the brochure states it will help retain heat. How is that since there is foam between it and the underside of the shell and heat rises….. Maybe because it keeps the tub bottom off the ground and and preventing the cold grind from sucking the heat out? Mine will be on a paver platform and have proper drainage but if it helps, is it worth the $500. Last, there is not a motor heat recovery system available on the twilight, not even as an add on…. why not? The Hot Spring still has one. Is there any aftermarket system I can get for it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

    • Reply
      admin September 10, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Hey Mike

      They are not standard on the masters, they are an add on. the local dealer might just have them in stock that way so they are standard for him…

      There is nothing wrong with the vac formed the bottom, I just don’t know if it’s worth buying I would say there is very little energy difference. The issue I have with these bases is when they try and tell you that you don’t need to prep the ground and can just throw it on the grass…

      All spas with integrated pumps reclaim the motor heat, most companies don’t even talk about it but as soon as the motors come on the heat build very quickly in the motor area and the ozone system (standard) draws the heat in through the ozone and injects the heated air into the water, You disconnect the heater on that Twilight and It will stay above 80 f from the motor heat.

      • Reply
        MikeD September 10, 2017 at 10:42 pm

        Hey Chris, thank you for the quick and great response.
        OK, now I understand. It’s funny how the dealer wouldn’t even mention motor waste heat after I asked about it ( they even said it doesn’t have a waste heat recovery system and that it wouldn’t make a difference even if it did) when it would definitely be a positive for someone interested in their spa purchase . . I was just surprised to see an actual flex line coming off the Hot Springs motors to the ozonator and nothing like that on the Master. But like you stated if the heat is staying in the cavity between the skirt and icyene foam, it makes sense it would be drawn into the ozonator.
        So now let me ask you this, he was selling a 2017 model 6.2 tub for $7899, he stated if I went with the 2018 it would be $1500 more. However if I got the 2018 model without the circulation pump do you think it’s worth the difference in price? If I take the 2017 model with the circulation pump and when the pump eventually dies, can you remove it and bypass the plumbing like it would be on a tub without that pump? So I’m not replacing it every so many years which would obviously eat up my $1500 savings
        Sorry for all the questions, but I’m sure everybody on your site really appreciates all the information as I do.
        Thank you

        • admin September 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm

          Mike, you are singing my song….

          Sometimes the information is not right for a number of different reasons. it varies from nefarious to simple misinformation, misunderstanding, to proper full on deceit and everything in between.
          some times it is just the grey area…

          heat reclaiming systems have always existed, the motor waste heat on almost any tub with an internal pump system is quite efficient. But some companies make a point of putting a $5 pipe on it then spin it like call spa used to do and according to some guy named Mike what Hot springs are now tech regurgitating :-), some put cheap insulation in their spa and make the heat recovery the excuse of why they don’t fill the cavity and most just accept it as a given and don’t talk much about it. hell, he might have read somewhere that it’s not effective and just is not clear on that minuscule fine point for hot tubs… there are not a lot of people that know what I know LMFAO 🙂

          You can remove and replumb a circ pump system and the reality is for some people it works fine but there are really no advantages to it in my opinion so I would be loathe to spend money on it…

        • MikeD. September 11, 2017 at 8:27 pm

          Thank you once again Chris. As long as I know I can re-plum if and when the circulator pump fails I think I will get the 2017 model year tub that already has it rather than spend another $1500 on a 2018 tub without it . Too bad you’re not a dealer near me, I would watch rather get a tub from you than anyone else. Thank you again!
          MikeD.

  11. Reply
    Cam Caldwell September 9, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Chris HELP!!!!
    Here’s what I have: Brandnew in June
    Master Spa 8.25, Mast3rPur, EcoPur Charge and started the tub up with Aquafinesse (bromine) per your advice about micro-film.
    I’ve developed sever jock itch and I was told “you got it from your tub”. I’ve never had jock itch before and time line adds up. (What changed got a “hot tub”)
    Check levels every other day: actually a little obsessed about them, my water looks crystal clear all the time.
    Bromide levels approx. 3 to 4
    Ph 7.2 (but I always have to add acid or Ph down)
    Alkalinity is at least 100 I always have to add increaser too. Try to run at least 150
    Again per your advise.
    I thought with ozone, UV light,copper & zinc I’d never have any issues with sanitation.
    Bath nude again per your advise and it’s a wayyyyy better experience.
    I’m so afraid to get back in this tub thinking I’ll get jock itch again.
    I’ve been in many hot tubs in the past with no issues and I know mine is whyyyy cleaner than any cabin tub.
    Dear God Please advise!!!!
    I respect your opinion and will follow your advise, you haven’t steered us wrong. We LOVE this tub but I’m scared to death.
    Your biggest fan
    Cam

    • Reply
      Maddie M. December 15, 2017 at 12:21 am

      Dear Chris,
      Just looking for a solid performing hot tub for medical and relaxation needs. Empty nesters so a 3-4 person spa would be great.
      I am a 60+ year senior who knows nothing about hot tubs…..can you make a recommendation.

      Thank you,
      Maddie

      • Reply
        admin December 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

        You have the regular bunch of overpriced mid grade stuff but luckily you have a few good brands too.

        http://www.aquaelite.com/ They sell Nordic which is a good small spa that is well made and uses good parts, the insulation could be a bit better but its a lot better than most. They also carry Bullfrog but the shells are not great and they are way overpriced and a bit gimmicky.

        http://www.countryhomespower.com/products/Spas-and-Hot-Tubs/ these guys carry marquis, it is one of my recommended brands

        http://coloradocustomspas.com/ carry Artesian again one of my go-to brands.

    • Reply
      admin September 10, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      So bromine I never recommend and with an Eco Pur esp you need chlorine.

      shock it hard and switch to chlorine.

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