Buyers Assistance

I’ve been in this industry for so long and seen so many crazy things. After talking with so many people who buy the wrong tub or pay too much for a one I started HTU to help as many as I can avoid this. I spend tons of hours each week answering these and I’ve personally helped thousands in the last few years to get great deals on tubs that leave them satisfied and taken care of.

 I work for you guys and I’ll keep tearing down the spin and bad marketing out there as well as showing you which companies are playing it straight, taking care of their customers and building to last. If HTU has helped in your hunt give us a tip to help keep the content and coffee flowing, visit our funding page.

Whether you just want advice on what to buy and where to buy it in your area or if you want me to hook you up with a super star dealer nearby, this is the place to be! Don`t worry if you don`t see your submission at first, it won`t appear until I reply.

Whichever route you want to go, fill out the comment form below and I’ll get on it!

I’ve recently started a new program called Hot Tub University All-Stars which is a list of dealers that we have reviewed and approved to take care of you. We have vetted these dealers and I have visited their dealership, seen their service and made damn sure they are selling the right products and doing the right things!

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Louis
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Louis

Hello Chris-

I was looking at a hot tub called Dr Welness/Laguna Bay from a company/dealer called Rec Direct/Aqua Living.

Please let me know your thoughts if you know anything about this dealer/company and product.

Thanks,

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Laurence
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Laurence

Hi Chris, we would like to buy a hot tub (1st time) with a budget between $8000 to $10,000 (tax in, CAD). We are looking for a 6-7 person hot tub. We are considering the Jacuzzi 245 or the Jacuzzi 345. We live in Canada and the winters are very cold therefore we would need a really good insulation system. The Jacuzzi 345 costs more but I have heard that the filtration system over a year costs more with the 245 model in comparison to the 345 model. Please let me know what are your thoughts and do you have… Read more »

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admin
Admin

Hi Laurence, I would generally avoid Jacuzzi if possible but I’m not seeing many other options in your area, (Sundance is the same owners with the same issues). Jacuzzi is one of the big names in hot tubs but they spent a lot more on marketing and gimmicks than building a good hot tub. They lock you in with proprietary parts which can cost you in the long run. I’ll look for some more options in your area and send another reply if I can find something. If you do go with Jacuzzi make sure you have a good warranty… Read more »

Laurence
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Laurence

thank you very much for getting back so fast. I found a dealer in Ontario that might be able to deliver in Quebec for an Artesian Spa. From what I saw in your reviews, I think the quality of the Artesian spas are much better.

thanks again

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Mike
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Mike

Hi chris. I have been all over your site recently and greatly appreciate all the information you are providing. Many, many thanks! I live in Pittsburgh and am looking to buy a tub. Our primary reason is for the hyrdotherapy. We want something around 7 x 7 with the capacity to fit four comfortably and a fifth on occasion. After all of your reviews, i was leaning toward the Marquis Resort (Signature Series). Yesterday, a rep from ThermoSpas came to my house and pitched really hard for his Platinum series Concord. I would love to get your opinion on a… Read more »

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admin
Admin

Hi Mike, Sounds like you ran into a pretty slick sales person, so lets go over everything. These cheap perimeter insulation systems are just nonsense, they talk about trapping motor heat but you don’t need all that empty space to reuse the motor heat, the only reason not to fill the cavity is cost. 3-4x as efficient is a pipe dream, they are picking the worst of the competition to compare themselves to, talk with the Marquis dealer and they can give you realistic daily costs for the tub you are looking at. Those 5 pumps 99 jets they are… Read more »

Robert
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Robert

Hi Chris, As per your request I am writing you to request your recommendations for a hot tub. We are looking for a 7ft tub with a lounge. I am currently pricing a Hotsprings LimeLight Flair model. Can you recommend a brand/model that you would approve of in the 7 – 9k range? Thanks in advance for any help.

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Corey
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Corey

Forgot to mention we are also looking at the Aquaterra Fairfax via Costco, appears to be made by Watkins and several of the reviewers indicate it’s very similar to the higher end of the HotSprings line. Any input would be welcome thanks

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Corey
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Corey

Hi Chris, thanks for all the info. Looking at spas, we had a HotSprings previously (came with our old house) and were initially looking at them again. Also considering Bullfrog. We are in Nashville, TN, so near factory for FourWinds (probably have ruled them out) and there are dealers for Caldera and Artesian locally. You seem to keep recommending Artesian, so we will go take a look at them. Any other input? Do you have any input on the local dealers? Thanks

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admin
Admin

Hi Corey,
The local dealer I know is down in Tullahoma, Hice’s pool and spa.
They they carry Master, have great service people and I have only heard good things from the people we send their way.

If you are sticking more local I would also go with Artesian over Caldera, Watkins or Hot Springs, I’m not familiar with the dealers there but the brand is solid. I see that the dealer isn’t primarily a hot tub retailer though so my only concern would be making sure they offer good timely service.

http://www.hicespool.com
+1 931-455-2500

garry
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garry

chris I am looking at master spa 8×8 or 8×9 I saw at hot tub show trying to decide between Michael phelps or twilight with lounger I didn’t have much time when the show was in town do you know what price is fair ? goin to call the salesman I am replacing old tub so I will needthem to deliver haul away

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Mike
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Mike

Chris, we are first time hot tub buyers with a budget of $7000 or less. Looking for a two to three person hot tub. Considering a Vita Spa 500 Series. What are your thoughts and do you have other recommendations. Thanks

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admin
Admin

Hi Mike,
I’m not a fan of Vita, the shells are thin and cradle supported, the parts are proprietary, the insulation is cheap and the plumbing isn’t clamped.
You have at least three dealers around you carrying better brands, check them out, Nordic is good entry level, Marquis and Artesian are better if you want higher performance. I don’t personally know any of the dealers so you will have to check them out yourself.

Premiere Hot Tubs – Marquis
http://www.premierehottubs.com
512-458-4772

Austin Spas and Pools – Artesian
http://www.austinhottubsandspas.com
512-335-5458

Ocean Quest Pools by Lew Akins – Marquis and Nordic
http://www.lewakins.com
254-933-8370

Dale
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Dale

Hi Chris. Enjoy you re site. My wife and i are potential first time hot tub buyers. The two closest reputable dealers sell nordic or jacuzzi. We ve narrowed it down to the nordic jubilee se or the jacuzzi j245. Any insight or comments on either? Thanks!

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admin
Admin

Hi Dale, I would go with the Nordic over the Jacuzzi, Nordic builds solid tubs with good parts, they tend to be entry level but the do it well. The biggest issue with Nordic is their insulation which is cheap poly foam and a fiber lining. Jacuzzi spends too much on marketing and doesn’t leave enough left over to build a good tub, they use proprietary parts and mid grade shells. If you want an additional option there is a Master Dealer about 80 miles from you down in Waynesville, North Carolina. The Getaway is built with many of the… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

Hi, I can’t find a list of All Star Dealers on the site. I visited Gib-San in Etobicoke to wet test a Marquis tub an Premium Wholesale in Mississauga for a Masters tub. What’s the word on these dealers? I know you favour PW in Kitchener. Are you as buoyant (😀) on the two I went to as you are on PW Kitchener?

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Andrew
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Andrew

Hey Chris, what do you think of the Afterglow Jet Package option on the Twilight Series tubs? Overprice gimmick? Or cool add-on?

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Marie-carmelle
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Marie-carmelle

Do you have any recommendation on swimspa? I am looking for a spa that will provided high intensity training power, smooth and reliable. 14 to 16 feet. Thinking to install partially sunk in.so far I have looked at hydropool and Canadian Spa. Have not been able to test other brand. Please let me know if you can help with recommendation. Thanks

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Karen
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Karen

Hi Chris: You list Coast Spas as something to talk about in your buyer’s guide but you did not write anything about the brand that was visible. Where is your Coast Spas review?

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admin
Admin

Hi Karen,
I’m actually off to see the coast factory soon and I’ll put one together off what I see there. I always want the most up to date and in depth info so I can pass it on accurately to you guys.

Michelle
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Michelle

I recently landed the job of my dreams; managing the retail side of a well respected, “backyard design” company. Hot tubs, swim spas and BBQ Grills. Here is my issue; I am familiar with the hot tub industry, as I sold Hot Springs Spas about 7 years ago. At that time Sundance was our competitor. This is the spa we currently carry. We also carry Catalina Swim Spas. I am the sole retail person there and am overwhelmed. I have to believe 100% that I am recommending pound for pound the best product. There is no way I a can… Read more »

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Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Great site! Based on the Q/A on your site I have persuaded my husband not to consider Hot Springs. It is between Master and Marquis for him now. How about Canadian Spa Company’s Niagara – I like it (and published price too!) How do you feel about Covana roofs? Are they worth the cost? (BTW – what is the cost?) Thank you!

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Michael
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Michael

Hi Chris, we are first time buyers and live in Lincoln, Ne.. Cal, Hot Springs and Bahama are 3 lines sold that we know of. Do you have a dealer nearby Lincoln/Omaha that sells a top rated brand of tub? I am not sure we have any dealers nearby who sell any of the top brands you suggest. Also do you recommend buying a tub with a lounger or skipping that aspect?

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Steve
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Steve

Hi Chris, Just wondering if you have experience on Freestyle Hot Tubs? I have looked over your site and can’t find anything on this brand. My local pool/spa store sells this brand.

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Laura
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Laura

Hi Chris my husband and I live in Fort Wayne, IN. We want to purchase a hot tub and have looked at Bullfrog, Hot springs, Bahama spas and Marquis. We want this for primarily relaxation, and therapeutic reasons. Have looked at them but don’t no much about them. Which one would you recommend?

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mike
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mike

Hello Chris, we are first time hot tub buyers and need your help. Your site looks awesome and looks to be a great resource. What advice can you share about the Everlast Spas made by Strong Spa and sold at Sam’s Club? We understand the ” get what you pay for” thinking as well as the service support you get with buying from a place like Sams. Any and all feedback is appreciated.
Mike

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Derrill
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Derrill

Hello and thanks for all the good info. We are considering one of two 14′ swim spas, either a 14′ Catalina Monterey or a 14′ Tidal Fit EP14. I would like your detailed thoughts on these models, build quality, and which one may be best suited for Northern Arizona. Thanks, DF

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Daniel
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Daniel

Any hot tubs in mind that meet these requirements? I am looking to buy one soon.
1) meets the 5 criteria that you listed, fiber glass, non propitiate parts, etc.
2) temperature upper limit is easily hackable (preferably with changing jumpers or control panel easter egg rather then adding resisters)
3) as many submerged lights as possible
4) I don’t care about jets, in fact I would like to find a way to disable jets and bubbles
5) Nice To Have while not required: under water music/transducer speakers

Any recommendation much appreciated!

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Mario
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Mario

Hi Chris – looking at the Marquis E-series and Celebrity model (e750 & Vegas). What’s the difference between Vap-R-Lock and Full Foam. I’m not sure if full foam is an option. Also do you recommend getting the CD Ozone purification system and the 240V pump upgrade?

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Holly
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Holly

Which Master Twilight? Which options? Hi Chris – based on your recommendation, we’re getting a Master Twilight series from the dealer you recommended, but as first time tub buyers, we’re torn between several models. Do the three pump ones do a better job with jet pressure than the two pump ones? Also, we’re torn over lounger vs no lounger. We (barely) have space for a 94 inch tub, but 90% of the time it will just be two to four people using it. We can’t wet test unfortunately, and are unsure (being large (ie fat!), buoyant people) if the lounge(s)… Read more »

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Justin
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Justin

First off thanks for running this site!! There is so much miss-information out there that buying a hot tub is not fun. I just moved to Denver and want to buy a new tub. I don’t care about bells and whistles as much as reliability since I hope to be in my house for at least 8 years. I care most about shell strength, insulation, and then the other parts. I almost bought a Cal Spa, but I saw the concerns about the shell. I think I have narrowed it down to Wind River Spas (local Colorado company) or a… Read more »

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Erwin
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Erwin

Hi Chris, can you recommend a Coast dealer in my area.
I would like to see and possibly wet test the swim spas. Thx

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Ian
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Ian

Hey Chris ! Your work is amazing. I live in Quebec and you replied to another Canadian that Coast and Beachcomber would be the best Canadian hot tub brands for 2018. While they are great, they are quite expensive. I was looking at the Hydropool Serenity 6000. Their sale puts it under $8000 CAD for the Gold edition. Could you suggest other brands that would seat 5-6 people and hold up to your brutal winters ? Thanks in advance !!

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Tami
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Tami

Hi Chris, First your site is very informative – keep up the great work. We are 1st time buyers and I am looking at a MAAx Spa 881 and Hot Springs Envoy NXT. Any comments or suggestion on either or something else to be looking at?

Thanks for any help

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Brian
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Brian

Looking for an All Star Dealer in the Pittsburgh, Pa area.

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Lyndon
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Lyndon

Hey Chris, great site and thx for your time. We live in Edmonton, do you recommend any brands or dealers here locally? If not, what do u recommend we do ? We are looking for a 4-5 person tub. Thx

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Scott
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Scott

My wife and i are looking at a TidalFit DT-21 Dual Temp Fit Spa. We plan on using the Semi Inground Installation. It will be mainly used for the hot tub portion at night after work and as a small pool during the hot Las Vegas Summers. What are your thoughts on the brand and particular model. Thanks.

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Mario
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Mario

Hi Chris – your site has been very informative. I’m a first time H/T purchaser and I narrowed my search to 3 brands. Your review on the Master Spas and Marquis Spas have helped. Can you provide some insight on Sundance Spas? Specifically the 680 series McKinley.

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Pierre
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Pierre

Hi Chris,would you tell me the best made in Canada Hot Tubs brands in 2018

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Joy
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Joy

We moved to 19962 and are looking for a small hot tub to put on our screened porch. What dealer(s) do you recommend and what brands for small 3/4 person tubs?

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Larry
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Larry

Hi Chris, We thought we had our decision down to two hot tubs… the lsx 800 from Master and the epic from Marquis….then we saw the Tropic Seas which is built by Artisian. They have the balboa controls, stainless jets and because Tropic doesnt market like a Marquis or Master (thats what we were told) they are like 3 grand cheaper. My question is do you know why a company like Artisan would make a tub they sell for less that a dealer says is basically the same? Wouldnt everyone want to buy a tub like this? There has to… Read more »

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Robert
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Robert

Hi Chris,
I live in westchester county ny and looking for a small space hot tub. I come across the Canadian Spa Company Yukon for 2 people. What is your opionion on this company & tub.
Txs
Rob

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Sunny
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Sunny

Hi Chris.
I don’t see where the all-star list actually is. Could you direct me? Thanks. I’m in Asheville, NC. I see the top brands you recommend. Thanks!

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Alex
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Alex

First time hot tub buyer. Can you recommend a local dealer for me? Thanks!

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George
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George

Hi Chris
Love your site and thank you. Given principle 1 is find a great dealer, who do you recommend in my area. Would love to find someone who carries Master. Looking for a straight hot tub nothing fancy, just reliable. Thanks again.

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Chris
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Chris

Hi Chris, In the Buffalo,NY area and looking to buy a hot tub. Based on your suggestion I’ve been looking at Artesian (south seas spas line) at Poolbrite. You mention a list of dealers but I’ve yet to actually find a list, am I missing it or is it just these comments? Also, I just want to confirm that the stone/patio blocks and that poly sheet you mentioned in your video on hot tub bases is sufficient for Buffalo winters. How many inches of stone? Thanks man! You are making this process much easier for me. I don’t feel like… Read more »

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Larry
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Larry

Hello Chris. I reviewed the info on your site and although initially interested in a Dynasty SPA, I have changed my tune and found our dealer in Mishawaka, Indiana that sells Master SPA. After my visit, my wife and I have decided to go with the TS 8.35. I believe the .35 is the upgrade from the .25 as I am now getting three pumps instead of two. Add some stairs and a lift for the cover and my price is $8850. Sound about right? Anything else you can think of I should ask about before I order would be… Read more »

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Todd
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Todd

I’m looking for my first Hot Tub, and agree that the dealer is the key. Who do you trust out here? My parents have a Bullfrog and love it, what are your thoughts?

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admin
Admin

I checked out your local area and can’t find a dealer I’m familiar with, spa and pool center over in Boise seems to be your only real option for sale, they do carry Artesian which is a great brand but they also carry Strong Spas which doesn’t have anything going for them other than their cover. I included web links for some independent service people nearby that you can talk to if you have any issues with the dealer.

https://www.prospaboise.com/
http://boisesparepair.com/

8403 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83704
spaandpoolcenter.com
+1 208-376-1514

, Sandra
Guest
, Sandra

Hi Chris.
Thank you for your website. It is very helpful. What is your opinion on refurbished hot tubs? I live in Winnipeg, Canada. Our weather can get very cold!!!
Thanks very much, Sandra

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Brian
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Brian

Hi Chris,
I am looking for a 5 person tub and most concerned with my monthly energy bill. Could you recommend a model from the master or artesian lines? Thanks!

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Chris
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Chris

Great informative site especially for new buyers. First time spa buyer. After combing through the info and some spas available around me I think I have settled on the artesian spas. Have a question, a local guy is selling tropic seas spas and if I understand artesian spas is the parent company. For $1500 in savings are they a lesser tub in build and components or are they somewhat comparable?

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Motion
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Motion

Hello Chris,
I’m thinking about purchasing a Healthy Living HL8 Spa. The dealer website says the spa comes with an upgrade circulation pump. Is this in addition to the 2-pump system or is it an actual upgrade to the circulation pump? If an upgrade, what would be considered an upgrade? Also, are there any optional features I should consider that would be worth my while?

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Motion
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Motion

Hello Chris,
I’mi in the process of considering the purchase of a Master Spa Healthy Living HL8. How do you rate this model? The dealer’s website states that it comes with a free upgrade circulation pump. Does it come with a standard circulation pump or could this mean that the dealer is adding a circulation pump to the standard 2-pump system? Any idea what the typical cost for the HL8 is?

Your website has been quite informative to say the least.

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Christine
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Christine

Hi Chris, i am so thankful i found your site. There are just too many choices and not enough facts in the hottub and swim spa market. We have owned a hottub for over 10 years. It is a very basic one so we are ready to upgrade. I am about to retire and think i would get use from a small swim spa, maybe 12-14 ft. We are not big on lots of jets and fancy waterfalls etc. We are also not looking for a swim trainer as i think we would just paddle around and maybe use a… Read more »

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Bruce J. Leavitt
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Bruce J. Leavitt

Hi Chris. thanks for helping. We live in Vermont with ever changing seasons. We have had a Sundance Cameo for 17 years. Today we saw a major break in a water line. I think it is time for a new one. Here in our county we have Shepnell that sells sundance, Allen Pool and spa who sells Hot Springs and Leisure world who sell saratoga spas. And we have the ubiquitous home depot. Any thoughts about a brend to try other than Sundance? We paid $6400 for the 6 person cameo 17 years ago. It does not owe us a… Read more »

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yvette tanious
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yvette tanious

I was looking to buy 6-8 seater hot tub. One direct from the manufacture, Thermo Spa or Caldera with the dealer being within 4 miles from me. is it OK to buy direct from the manufacture?

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Alex
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Alex

Chris – Thank you for providing this valuable that useful service. For someone in Central NY, what would be the best brand(s) to go with for overall quality, durability (with the cold winters) and ease of maintenance?

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Jim
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Jim

Chris. Thanks for all the work you put into this sight. As a first time buyer, it’s pure gold Sir! I’m an “enroute to old fart” with a beat up body. Looking for something to help with spine pain, arthritis in joints, and really tight neck and other muscles. I’m NE of Seattle and already looked at Marquis (Seattle Hot Tub), heading over to Black Pine tomorrow to look at Artesian, but based on your comments about neck therapy and the Master Spas Twilight series, I really want to take a look at those. Can’t find a dealer out here… Read more »

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