There does not seem to have been any major modifications to the shell designs in decades including the old pressure filter housings and even floor suctions (re-marketed as self cleaning). I noticed several Antiquated systems being used on this tub that they have rebranded as a “new and improved” way to do things when the reality is most of the stuff is obsolete tech that isn’t used in the mainstream hot tub Market anymore.
You see a lot of times manufacturers will keep an outdated system because the cost to update is too high and because a clever marketing guy can put a good spin on it and if it convinces the customer that it is new and good then all of a sudden they have what is called in marketing circles a “unique selling Point” Often times things are not really done because they are better, they are done because they are less expensive and they have a good “spin” to them which means you can make people believe in it, and if people believe it and you’re one of the only guys doing it then you have a unique selling point and that can close deals!
The first example of this is the filtration system, It is an old pressure filter systems and the “spin” Hydropool has put on it is great!! People love the sound of a “pressure filter” housing, heck it’s filtered under pressure! It must be good! The reality is almost all of the industry has moved away from this filtration system and moved on to “suction side” filtration.
There is one big difference between the two systems: On older “pressure filter” systems the water is filtered on the pressure side of the pump and on suction side filtration it is filtered on the suction side of the pump! That means that on this older pressure filter system the water goes through the pumps and through the equipment before it gets filtered!!! The accumulation of debris in the pumps and in the heater elements can cause damage and it just makes sense to filter that water prior to it going through the equipment! That is exactly why 95% of the industry abandoned these old pressure side filters decades ago and moved to suction side filtration, it filters the exact same amount of water but it does it before the debris goes through the heater and the pump.
Another pitch they use is that when you remove the filter the debris from the filter won’t fall into your hot tub water. Its silly because the debris falls into the filter housing and when you put the clean filter in and turn it on half of that debris gets blown into the tub anyway 🙂 not that it matters, the little bit of debris that falls into a hot tub or the filter canister when changing the filters gets re-trapped in a few minutes…
The next bit of misleading craziness is that they say that it is 100% filtration! This is just using a buzzword to fool you… How all filter systems really work is the water goes through a filter which cleans all the debris out of the water, then that water gets dumped back into the tub so right away it gets mixed into the unfiltered water… over time more and more water is filtered and after a few hours, there is no debris left. The only way to really have 100% filtration is to pump the water through a filter into another container, then once it is all filtered you can put it back into the hot tub… This is simply dishonest and they should not be claiming it is 100% filtration it is marketing Spin all of it…
The next issue is a big one, the whole “self-cleaning” pitch. Again when I was selling spas in the 90’s statehood and most of the industry had floor suctions that claimed to clean the debris out from the floor and “self-clean”
The two reasons they still use this tech are: First, you have to retool each shell mould to accommodate the new filter technology and get rid of the old floor suctions and that’s $10,000 + per model! Second because it is so old and no one uses it you can re-market it as “new” and claim a benefit 🙂
The reality is those “self-cleaning” floor suctions really didn’t do much! The truth is any debris small enough to get sucked into the floor suction typically was floating around in the water and caught by the filter system and anything heavy enough to actually sit in the floor is too big to go through the floor suction! Modern systems have so many jets and so much water movement and are using floor jets to stir the floor so that the debris never settles in the floor. The other reason why 95% of the industry has abandoned floor suctions is it causes a weakness in the floor both from a structural standpoint and especially from an insulation standpoint!!!
Underneath the floor of a hot tub is very little room so we’ve only got a couple of inches of insulation under there, with a floor suction you need to put a fitting in the floor and then put a pipe running under the floor. There is no insulation now where that pipes running which means you are flowing all that hot water right across the cold ground and bleeding tons of heat through conduction! Most manufacturers have gotten away from putting any plumbing under the floor of the tub for that reason, also it’s the number one source of leaks because everyone is always stepping on the floor suction and it gets loose and starts to leak.
The insulation system is simply bad tech, all you have to do is a little bit of research on mylar and reflective installations and you’ll see that there’s just nothing good about these reflective insulation systems when it comes to containing heat in a system. On a hot tub where you have all kinds of space it makes zero sense to use this cheap low r-value product except it is cheap to put in. There was all kinds of crazy hype in the 90’s with these systems in the building industry. Since then most governments in the northern US states and in Canada have either banned it as a primary insulation or put out official warnings with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Authority going so far as to state that it was the worst insulation they had tested! The reality is Mylar has an R-value of about 1 where an inch of expanded form is an R4 or 5.
On the plus side, they did, however, clamp the joints on the pressure lines which is good and the component list is Balboa and Waterways which is great!
There is just too much wrong with the construction and insulation on this tub to take it seriously, despite a great marketing campaign the reality is it is poor, outdated technology rebranded as new and it should not be on your short list.