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WHY IS A $8000 SPA BETTER THAN A $3000 SPA?
1.High Quality 5/16" Lucite Acrylic costs manufacturers $1150 EACH and as low as $850 if they are purchasing over 10,000 annually.
2. Exterior Skirting and Framework: Many spa manufacturers are using 3/4" wood to support the nearly 2000 pounds of water. That works fine as long as you leave the spa where it is. What about when you move it in 3-5 years ... after that thin wood has time to rot because it isn't treated? I have seen too many spas falling apart.
3. Jets: You can purchase cheap jets for $3 with shiny plastic that looks chrome or you can spend $60 on just one high quality jet. If they are selling a new hot tub with 50 jets for $3000 - which jet do you think it has?
4. Components - A full setup with motor and blower connected to the controller can be purchased as cheap as $250 for chinese components or $1700 for high quality american made. Which is yours?
5. Insulation - is there any foam in it? I am not talking about silver colored bubble wrap. I am talking about high density foam. A full foam or thermal foam spa can cost as much as $500 just in foam!
6. Fittings - Are the hoses clear and slid over slip barbs or are they glued, clamped and installed on ridged barb fittings? Obviously it takes more time to do it correctly.
7. Warranty - If they are selling too cheap, and offer too great of a warranty then obviously you must consider the possibility they are going out of business.
If your budget is under $3000 and you just cant afford more then maybe you should consider a used spa. There are plenty of high quality spas out there built to last 20 years. Consider Investing in a quality made older spa.
Free Spa Buyers Guide
For many consumers buying a spa is a life changing event. It is an event often accompanied by stress, when the intention is to alleviate it. There are so many producers of spas, so many sizes and models, prices and quality levels. Making it more complicated is that many spas look and feel virtually identical, even though they are not. Adding further to the confusion some manufacturers use different names to describe similar features in an attempt to make their products appear distinctive.
When confronted with so many choices, consumers often become overwhelmed. This guide will help you make a more informed decision about purchasing a spa by providing you with some basic facts. After reading this guide you will be well on your way to selecting the spa that is right for you, both practically and aesthetically.
How do I keep the water clean? Proper water maintenance is vital to the enjoyment of your spa. While some sales people will try to convince you they can sell you a chemical free spa; that is not a practical option for truly clean water.
Professional retailers and manufacturers most often recommend:
Choosing a spa with an advanced filtration system, purchasing an optional ozone purifier with your spa and using mineral purifiers in conjunction with chemical-based sanitizers. These minerals can significantly reduce the amount of chemicals such as chlorine. Maintenance procedures are not difficult, and knowledgeable retailers will provide the start-up kit and instructions. Manufacturers recommend draining and cleaning your spa 3 or 4 times per year, depending on how frequently you use it and how well you maintain your water. In most cases this simple process will only take about an hour to accomplish. The most common and proven technique is to broadcast spread one ounce of Di-Chlor Shock with no less than 45% available chlorine in the spa while all pumps are running. This should be done after each use but no more than once daily. This method will keep your spa water sparkling clear and smelling great. The negative of utilizing shock is that your ph will increase so you will also need to use half an ounce of ph decreaser after each dose of Shock.
How many of the spa jets are adjustable? Real, beneficial hydrotherapy is directly related to being able to adjust each jet where it is needed. This is the standard by which physical therapy and athletic hydrotherapy systems are judged. A common point of consumer confusion is introduced when manufacturers load up a spa with lots of inexpensive, non-adjustable, stationary jets. Look for advanced jets that feature in- built durability such as water bearing technology, which oscillates with no moving parts and so will not wear out. It doesn't make any difference how many jets a spa has if they are not properly located and plumbed to provide the correct balance of water, air and horsepower.
Is the spa full foam insulated?
All major manufacturers agree that completely filling the spa cabinet with polyurethane foam insulation significantly reduces heat loss, thus reducing heating costs. Many studies have been done on insulation and the absolute best method of insulating a spa is to foam the underside of the acrylic with 2 pound foam and the inside of the cabinet with 5 pound dense foam. This multi layering of foam with a air cushion between the layers creates a thermal insulation barrier that can provide upwards of an R-81 value. While this process adds significantly to the cost of manufacturing, research has shown that thermal foam insulation provides substantial savings to the spa owner over time. In addition to greater energy efficiency full thermal insulation locks the spa plumbing in place to support the joints when stressed as the jet pumps are turned on and off over time. Many manufacturers eliminate full foam insulation in an attempt to provide product at a lower cost. How expensive is it to operate a spa? The main cost of operating a spa is heating the water. If you have a full foam insulated spa with an insulated locking cover, the average daily cost is less than the price of a small bottle of water. You can save additional money through a thermal insulation design. In addition to the energy cost consumers should look carefully at the total cost of ownership. An advanced filtration system in conjunction with ozone will significantly reduce chemical expenses. Jets that use water as a bearing will not wear and need replacing. Also look for time saving features to reduce time spent on maintenance, thus increasing the enjoyment of your spa.
Efficient plumbing, better jets, and flow control are more important than horsepower. A lower horsepower pump in an efficient spa will produce just as much jet power as a higher horsepower pump in an inefficient spa. Many manufacturers use oversized, high horsepower pumps to compensate for poor design. Other companies employ a more cost and energy efficient system to achieve the same ends. A good rule is 4 jets per continuous duty hp rating. (A 5hp pump should have no more than 20 jets for extreme massage. For a moderate massage that same pump should have no more than 25 jets.)
How is the water temperature controlled?
Most quality spas have sophisticated digital thermostatic controls. These highly reliable modern systems are capable of keeping the spa water within1 degree of any temperature you select. While this is important for comfort, it is also important for safety. You should pay particular attention to the control system if you have children who will be using the spa. Better control systems have safety locks and digital readouts combined with automatic cut off should there be any obstruction to water flow. A good indicator of the control systems quality is to read and compare manufacturers warranties.
What should I consider for the control panel?
Not every spa control panel has the same ease of command, so test a control panel to verify it gives you the type of precision control you desire to fully enjoy your spa experience. Balboa is the top of the line control systems in my opinion and their EL8000 is so sophisticated you can connect a nextel phone to it so the manufacturer can troubleshoot it. You can also tell it when you are going out of town or just using it sporadically. Features way beyond competitors. What about the warranty? This is one of the most crucial areas in the spa industry. Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind: A product warranty is a performance and reliability agreement between you and the manufacturer. Make sure you read the manufacturers warranty before buying, and compare coverage with other spas you are considering. Most quality spas will have at least 2-5 year warranties on parts, plumbing and labor without any service call charges. Is the spa installed indoors or outdoors? A spa can be installed indoors or outdoors, although over 90% are installed outdoors. The two main considerations for installing a spa indoors are: will it fit through the door, and is the structural strength of the flooring adequate? Most importantly an indoor spa must have adequate and substantial ventilation. A typical 3-person spa weighs approximately 2000 pounds when filled. The recommended foundations are concrete pad of 4 inches or thicker; or wood decking with a concrete foundation. Will I have to install plumbing for my new spa? No. All above-ground portable spas are filled with water using a garden hose. Check the spa can be conveniently and easily emptied. Do I choose a synthetic or wood cabinet? All cabinets used to be wood. A recent development in the spa industry is synthetic wood cabinets, which are now provided by many top-notch spa manufacturers. This product extends the new look of a spas surround, and eliminates the maintenance associated with wood cabinets. Synthetic wood cabinets are durable and UV-resistant, providing your spa with exquisite beauty for years to come. What do I need to consider before purchasing a spa? Consider wet testing a spa before purchasing. This means getting into a spa with water in it. All reputable spa dealers maintain filled demonstration models just for this purpose. Look for and verify that the seats provide lumbar support. When sitting in any seat, the water should reach at least shoulder level. If it does not, you will not get full hydrotherapeutic value. Lean your head back against the pillows. Make sure you do not have to hyperextend your neck to rest your head. If the spa has a lounge seat, make sure it is deep enough to keep you in the seat. Take notice of the alignment of jets with your muscles. Make sure they are massaging muscle tissue and not your spine. How convenient are the controls to use when you are seated in the spa? Stay in the spa with the jets on for at least 15 minutes. At the end of that time you will know whether the seating and jet arrangements are truly comfortable.
How much should I spend on a spa?
Quality spas are available in a wide range of prices. Just like cars, spa prices reflect features, materials and workmanship. The information in this consumer guide will help you determine the best spa for your needs based on value and performance. No matter which brand of spa you finally choose, we want you to be an informed consumer and have a satisfying spa experience. If taken care of properly, a hot tub can be a great addition to any home. You need to make sure that it is taken care of to ensure that you get the most enjoyment from it while following safety guidelines to protect your health and safety. The chemical levels in the water of the hot tub need to be checked regularly to ensure that they are correctly balanced.When you are filling the tub with water the first time you need to set up the chemicals that are activated in hot water. Then you can add the other hot tub chemicals in. You need to drain and refill your hot tub every two to three months. Depending on place and usages there may be more attention needed than that. When you refill the spa you need to make sure that you are putting in the required hot tub chemicals each time to balance the new water. When you are adding these chemicals to the water there are around six different spa chemicals that have to be used.
Weekly Care of a Hot Tub.
Checking your hot tub weekly involves testing the PH, alkalinity and Bromine levels in the tub. To keep the water safe and keep proper levels you may need to add multiple tablets on a weekly basis. There is a great product called scumballs which are used for keeping the ring around the water line off the tub, but they should not be used when there are people in the tub. There may be quite a few chemicals needed to ensure the appropriate chemical balance in your hot tub, and the more you use the tub the more you may need to check to make sure the levels are correct.
Daily Care of Chemicals in a Hot Tub
Spa water filters need to be checked daily when they are in use. They need to be put on low speed for an hour a day to keep the motors working (even when they are not being used). Make sure that when the tub is not in use there is an appropriate amount of bromine tablets in the floater; don't forget to remove these when the tub has people in it. You need to keep the Scumballs in the tub at all times when it is not being used. You will also need to let the Ozonator run for at least three hours a day on low speed if the hot tub has one.
There are a lot of chemicals that you are going to need for the hot tub to make the water safe. When you are picking up the chemicals it is better to look around and check prices so you can get and keep extra chemicals at home to minimize your shopping trips. When looking around you may notice that the best prices you can get are off the internet or local dealers instead of a regular store. If you spend some time and money stocking up on hot tub spa chemicals you will save in the long run from having maintenance bills.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christopher_W_Smith
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American Association of People With Disabilities
American Chiropractic Association
American Nursery and Landscaping Association
American Physical Therapy Association
America's Top Hot Tubs and Spas
Aquatic Physical Therapy Association
Arthritis Foundation Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
Better Homes & Gardens
Deck & Landscape Deck Industry Association
Family Education Web site
Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association
National Association of Home Builders
National Sleep Foundation
Pool & Spa Living Magazine
Swimming Pool Buyer's Guide
Woman's Day Gardening & Deck Designs
Women's Sports Foundation