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Old 09-21-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default Join me in the hot tub for some pinch and roll

I'm considering getting one. Wife is sorta ambivalent. She's not adverse to using the public ones at the resorts we visit, but will absolutely not consider a used one. I've searched all over the web, and read many reviews, mostly conflicting. Whereas someone likes their tub, others rip it apart saying it's junk.

Placement would be outside. I'm considering an open sided porch roof or awning, but that it not finalized. Whatever the situation, I'd like to be able to use it year round. Size required is small, as it would be just me and the wife using it. Sorry, we're too old and stodgy to be swingers.

So, questions:

Maintenance, is it a pain in the ***? How much does it cost per month?

What brands to avoid or seek out? Features that are must haves?

Soft tubs, worth it or a pale imitation of a real one?

Anything else I might not realize. Feel free to mock, ridicule and flame as desired.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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In my experience, you get one thinking it will be awesome, and then eventually you just stop using it. I have never bought one, but a few of my family members have done so. Ive heard the same story from them, it just loses its appeal eventually.

Thats all Ive got.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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I pretty much had a hot tub at every place I lived growing up. Including where I live now (you can see pics of the monstrosity in my build thread. Seats around 15 people )

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So, questions:
No. It's not gay if you touch dicks, as long as it's under water.
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Maintenance, is it a pain in the ***?
No, not at all. Modern units are usually very reliable as long as you take the proper steps for maintenance and make sure your water is balanced. Heating elements are what usually go out the most frequently, and we're talking like 1 every few years. Pump motors can seize depending on what style you have. My current one is a two pump system that has a dominate pump for Jets 1 and the cleaning cycle. So, it is not surprising that the pump for Jets 1 dies first seeing as it gets twice the usage.There are a lot of wear items on hot tubs. Make sure you have a complete list of items for the unit you're interested in so that you can quickly figure out what went wrong when your tub stops working.
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How much does it cost per month?
A lot less than you would think. Most modern tubs have very efficient eco/efficiency modes. Mine is ******* gigantic but because we have it in eco-mode cycle, perfect water balance and use a quality top, it's a small impact.
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What brands to avoid or seek out?
That really depends on the size. Certain brands only cater to specific types and sizes and, unfortunately, I've been out of the loop for small/personal tubs. So, I can't help much on that. There are plenty of hot tub and spa forums. Just look for the MT of them
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Features that are must haves?
Can't really get too crazy with features. Avoid any tubs that advertise tons of super spinny jets (they WILL break) or non-detachable headrests (they WILL fall off). You sound like you want something simple that works with the least amount of problems, so get something with standard jets with the least amount of movement (or make sure the jet heads are recessed, the ones that stick out WILL be caught on someone's shorts and broken) and detachable headrests because they are designed to be ripped off by your idiot friend.

Also, 4-5 filter cleaning system is a MUST. The more, the better. Make sure you keep a chart/calender of your water balance dates and your filter cleaning dates. Stick too it. It's just like car maintenance.

The last time I had a small spa UV cleaning systems were very new. So, I'm not sure on how well the new ones work using a dominate UV system over filters. My giant spa has a small UV system and it's been fine for the last 6 years. But that's all I can say on them.
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Soft tubs, worth it or a pale imitation of a real one?
**** NO. EFR > great-wall-of-turbo.
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Anything else I might not realize. Feel free to mock, ridicule and flame as desired.
Buy a banana hammock.

Hot tubs are absolutely great. Make sure it is NOT an impulse buy and make sure you are ready for the monthly tasks of water balance and system cleaning. It's rewarding work as having a hot tub is wonderful. I get off work in downtown Key West at 1am, drive 25 miles home and sit in the hot tub looking at the stars. If it wasn't for that every night I would probably be dead, or worse, N/A.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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I have no real helpful information, other than to do it! We had a hot tub when I was growing up, and I miss the **** out of that thing. If I had one today, I'd probably spend an hour in there nightly to relieve aches and pains.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
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Well... I didn't have to research for my tub as it came with the house, but it's amazing. It's a Sundance Maxxus Hot Tub Spa - Experience the Maxxus Difference
and had I known how much it was, I personally wouldn't have bought it ($12500).

Keeping clean is simple - just check Bromine and pH levels once a week, throw in some tablets or soda if needed and on't let the kids **** in it.

I love the wireless remote to control everything, including the sound system. However, mine is an '06 model - so I'm sure there's some cool wireless/bluetooth upgrades on their current lines.

*edit to add*
Access the playlists on your mobile device with the Bluetooth® audio
Auxiliary 3.5 mm input jack for MP3 players
USB power for your mobile device
FM Radio
Marine Grade Speakers
Sub-woofer for deep bass (select models)
6” speaker subwoofers powered by JBL® Adjacent to pillow for surround sound effect
Waterproof, JBL Quality
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:41 PM   #6
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Full_Tilt_Boogie, rthat is what I'm afraid of. Hence, asking people that actually own them.

viperormiata, thanks for that. Lots of info to digest.

I just got off the phone with a friend who has one. Top of the line Thermospa, all the options, etc. He's had it for almost 15 years. Being a scientist, he researched the hell out of it, so was able to answer a lot of questions. Unfortunately for me, most was at the high end, so out of my price range.

So, more research. Requested a couple of brochures, some price sheets, etc. We'll see what the wife thinks.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #7
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Cant you just buy a nice shower tub with jets and **** and install it in ur shower? 2x on the hot tub getting old and eventually a year or two from now collecting bird ****.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
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Actually, that is also being considered. As the downstairs bath is in the middle of a major remodeling, it's certainly an option.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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James brown celebrity hottub - Vidéo Dailymotion

I tried to imbed a video, but I failed.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:32 AM   #11
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poor ROI.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:27 PM   #12
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About 10 years ago, my parents picked up a large ~10 person used hot tub shell for free. We built a deck around it and did all the plumbing with external pump, filter, and heater. It was probably 10 years old when we got it.

They're on the lazy side in terms of proper maintenance. They've never tested the water, just made sure the bromine dispenser has tabs in it. In 10 years, they're on the third cover, second heater, and second pump motor. They use it once a week at minimum.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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Just got back from 4 hours of talking to salesmen, sitting in empty tubs, comparing models and looking at every available option.

Holy ****, there are a lot of different models. This one has more jets, but that one has jets that spin. This one has a lighted waterfall, and that one has a foot massager. Bucket, bench or lounge seating. There's a bewildering array of different combinations (any of which make a different model) of jets, lights, seating, size, color and price. Many of the features are patently retarded. Neck pillows that are marginally softer then the surrounding acrylic. Can you really tell the difference between very hard and mostly hard with your neck? $1000 for a built in Sony stereo? I can get a better and cheaper boombox from BestBuy.

Soft tubs, while cool, offer not much better pricing that a "real" hot tub. And no seats, which was a real turnoff for both me and the wife. Added to limited jets (4-6 per tub), limited heating and shorter depths meant we weren't impressed. Maybe if they weren't 90% of the price of a full size one.

Found one we really liked at the first place. Acrylic, round, nice balance of size, features and price. Went to the next place and were blown away because prices were significantly lower. Poly liners instead of acrylic, but easily $1000 less across the board. Almost pulled the trigger, but there is at least one more place in town to check out.

More questions:
Heaters. Most are stainless. Some review mentioned titanium, but I couldn't find any mention of that. Maybe only on higher end models?

Ozone systems. First place it was built in. Second place said we can put one in, but why bother. Anyone know anything about them? Do they significantly reduce chemical usage? I'm not gonna drink the water, just soak my fat *** in it.

Almost all the tubs are dual voltage, meaning they can run on 110 or 220. 110V means heater or jets, not both. 220V means both at once. I have also heard that 220V is more efficient. Any truth to that? I can run the 110V line myself. 220V I need a building permit and inspection. Well, technically I do for the 110V line as well, but I can get away with not having it. Worth the hassle of getting it done?
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:56 PM   #14
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Hmm that is weird. Maybe not in the same plug but i dont see what the problem would be for double 110s. Perhaps each pulls 20 some amps?
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:25 PM   #15
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Doctors can write a prescription for a hot tub and you won't have to pay sales tax on it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:32 PM   #16
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Really? Just how do you get that qualification?
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #17
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Really? Just how do you get that qualification?
Tell them Obama sent you.

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Old 09-23-2013, 03:58 PM   #18
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Really? Just how do you get that qualification?
If you're in for a physical/checkup whatever, I'd say, "My back has been sore lately, it seems like it feels better if I put heat on it. Do you think perhaps a hot tub would make it feel better?" And you're doctor will say, "Yeah, sounds like it will and writes a script."

When I was auditing sales taxes I ran into it on several audits with hot tubs and mattresses. When you're spending several thousand it'll save you a few hundred in taxes.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:22 PM   #19
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huh... wonder if that's why my back isn't hurting today after moving all this flag stone.. it sure was when doing it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:15 PM   #20
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Thanks for the hint. I'll try it, as I have a Dr. appt. coming up anyway.

Bought the GFCI & box online tonight. Will hit the electrical supply place later in the week. Wife says I need to get the electric in first, to avoid unfinished projects. I'll pretend it all has the proper inspections, too.

Oh, and nice title change. The first one was kinda lame.
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