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Spa Buyer's Questions and Answers

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Havenmade Inc.

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What is the best insulation used for spas? How beneficial is a spa?
Is it better to have the spa outside or indoors? What is all this about ISO 9001 certified?
Is any plumbing required for my spa? What about comfort and ergonomics? Aren't all spas about the same?
Isn't a gas heater a good idea to use on a spa? Doesn't it save on energy costs? I have been told by a salesman that "barrier free seating" is better than ergonomic seating. What is "barrier free seating"?
I heard that taking care of a spa is difficult. Do I have to be a chemical "scientist" to take care of the water? I have been told not to buy a spa with a lounger. Is it true that a lounger is not good in a spa?
How often do I need to drain and refill the spa? I have seen spas with all sorts of different jet configurations. What is a standard jet configuration?
How long do filters last? How often are they replaced and how much do they cost to replace? What is the most important thing to look for in spa construction?
Why are your spa so quiet while they run? Even the big two pump models with a full air injector (blower)? I have never heard spas so quiet when every thing is running. All I can hear is the water splashing around. Is there any independent not-for-profit organization that fairly and equally tests spas, one brand against another? Does anyone actually test spas like that?
I have owned a spa before, and it had a 25 Sq. Ft. filter. I had no problems with it. Why do some spas have more than one filter or huge filters of 120 Square feet, while other manufacturers are still using only regular size spa filters? If that is the case, how is a potential spa buyer able to choose a good product?
How much does it cost to operate a good spa? What about a referral from a friend who owns a spa?
I don't see how the thermal sealed insulation method is better than full foam. It sure sounds like having a cabinet full of "insulation" is better than a layered insulation technique. How can thermal sealed be more electrically efficient than fully foamed spas? What about all those athletes or celebrities using different brands of spas. When you see a famous athlete sitting in a spa shouldn't a person assume that the spa is a good one? 
If full foam is not as energy efficient, then why do most major spa manufacturers recommend full foam and sell it as the best? Where did the idea for the tiny 24 hour circulation pump come from?
What about warranty? I have heard that full foam keeps the plumbing pipes from rattling around and keeps the plumbing from leaking because it doesn't shake the glue joints on the jets.
How do I know the control system is reliable? I read an advertisement that says they guarantee the most efficient spas. What is that all about?
What about repairs on leaks in the fully foamed spas versus the thermal pane? What are the best questions I can ask a salesperson to determine if they know anything?
How is the water temperature set and controlled? Look! I just want a spa. I don't want to spend my spare time searching for the best models. How can I shorten the search?
What about children and spas?  Is there a safety issue with children?  What about older retired people? How much should I pay for a good spa?
I see so many jets on spas these days. How many jets do I really need?
I would like to buy a spa from The Spa Specialist. How is it possible for you to deliver the spas and service them in case of a warranty problem?
Question What is the best insulation used for spas?
Answer The Best insulation for a spa is Thermal Sealed or sometimes called thermal lock, thermal pane or air tight. This method has the maximum amount of efficiency without letting cold air into the spa's equipment area. 
(Beware! There are only a few ways to make a true thermally sealed spa. Some manufactures call their spa thermal pane, when actually they are vented and expensive to operate.)

Independent studies done by two universities ( Colorado and Arizona State Universities 1996) have found that using the waste heat generated by the equipment and transferring it into the spa's water is more efficient than filling the spa's cabinet with foam. Here is an excerpt from the report.  "a fully insulated spa {full foam} makes no attempt to recover and use waste heat."  (Tong and Rogers 1996). "...the performance of an insulating system which makes use of a thermal barrier, generated by waste heat rejected from the motors and pumps, in an enclosed air cavity around the tub is superior to a system which simply insulates the tub directly." Click and Read

(We have seen some fully foamed spa companies attach tubing around the motors to capture some of the spa motor heat. This still a long way from full energy capture!)

When the equipment compartment on any spa is vented, the heat energy of the motors is lost forever. If you use your spa three times a week for one hour; that's one-half hour with the jet pumps on and one half-hour soaking with the low speed filter pump running.

Each 3 BHP/2HP continuous pump (high speed)  emits approximately 1504 watts of equivalent heat. With two pumps that is 3008 watts of electrical energy the spa's heater does not have to produce.

3008 watts X 3 hours = 9.024 KWH 
If your electric cost is 10 cents per KWH, that is approximately $0.90 per week of lost energy from just the operation of the high speed jet pumps! Add the savings from the low speed filtering, and you are easily saving a buck. That is one reason why true thermal pane spas can save $10 per month less, on the average, to operate than any comparably equipped fully foamed spa. The more you use the spa, the less each use costs you versus. the standard vented fully foamed spa designs.

In many spas some of the heat energy is captured by the warmth in the vented room, but most heat is lost. The more foam between the spa water and the equipment, the more energy is lost. This is called isolated equipment.  It is similar to taking your home's heater and putting it outside with all the warm air ducts exposed to the outside cold air.

(For the engineering types; the above take into account the mechanical heat and the frictional heat that all pumps create and the cold air that eliminates that energy. READ )

Exposing the equipment to the outside air through the vents causes thermal stress to the plumbing. The air can be as cold as 10, 20, 30, or 45 degrees F. below zero, and the water inside the pipes is the spa temperature over 100 F. degrees. This can equate to a temperature difference on the plumbing as much as 110 to 145 degrees; cold on the outside and hot on the inside. This stresses the PVC, the glue joints, the unions and valves. Heat expands things, while cold contracts. Hot on the inside and cold on the outside! This is why vented spas develop leaks at a much higher rate compared to thermally sealed spas.

When a vented spa is without electrical power for even a few hours at below zero, the water inside the equipment will start to freeze. This is an extremely unfortunate experience! The warranties on all spas are void if you let your spa freeze. Water expands as it freezes, breaking parts.

The smartest thing to do is buy a spa with the maximum amount of freeze resistance (and energy efficiency). With a thermal pane spa, closed cabinet,the water in the spa vessel acts like a huge hot water bottle, and keeps the equipment and plumbing warm for days.
Now that Haven Spas have the DAIT system for automatic adjustable insulation, we are way ahead of the rest. 

For a complete and very interesting booklet on spas and spa construction, order the book "How Spas Are Made" Call 1-888-478 2224. If you are serious about buying a spa, you can not afford to not read it!! It is now revised and expanded to 1999 standards. Only $9.95 plus shipping and handling of $2 Call now if no answer just leave your credit card number expiration date, name address and zip code. 
We have an expanded Internet version available now for $6.95. You can get it in HTML that you can read with you  browser Netscape, or Internet explorer, of if you prefer in a Microsoft Word format Windows or Macintosh. This book is written in plain terms that anyone can understand. It is easy to read. The common comments we get is "I couldn't put it down!"

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Question Is it better to have the spa outside or indoors?
Answer Installing a spa inside usually requires more money for the installation. That is why approximately 90% of the spas are installed outside. When a spa is placed inside a house, there have to be structural considerations. It is advisable to get an engineer to do an analysis of the structure. A four to six person spa can weigh 3,000 to 5,000 pounds. You need to allow for venting the humidity out of the spa room, as well as installing a sealed dry wall material in the walls. There are some areas where the covenants make it so the spa has to be installed inside. Please check with your building department for indoor spa building codes. The simplest indoor spa installation is a sun room with a concrete floor and windows that open. 
(See  http:/ Check out Oct. 98, Dec 98, Jan 99, Sept 2002) 
Installing a spa outside is as simple as having a concrete slab poured, and hooking up electrical. If you want an indoor feeling, you can add a gazebo or privacy fencing around the spa. If you live in a cold weather area, you may want the spa as close as possible to your house, so it is a short hop to the inside. The only time you might get cold is when you exit the spa and have a cold wind blowing on you. Otherwise you can stand outside in the cold for several minutes after exiting the water, and not feel the cold. Many people prefer an open spa, so they can sit back and have a hot soak while looking at the sky or stars.
Question Is any plumbing required for my spa?
Answer No. The only time to install plumbing to a spa is to add an external gas heater on spas operated with a generator, or solar electricity. All you normally need to do is fill or drain the spa with a hose.
Question Isn't a gas heater a good idea to use on a spa? Doesn't it save on energy costs?
Answer On a modern self-contained thermally closed spa, it is a waste of money to put a gas heater on it. A small gas heater, 55K BTU, will cost about $1,000 to $1,300 to install. Unless you have a tremendous difference between the gas cost and the electric cost, you will never recoup the cost of the gas heater. The heater will last about 10 years. You can buy a lot of electricity for the difference in cost. Remember much of the heat used in our spas is from the pump motors, making the electric heater only part of the heat.

If you own a fully foamed spa with a vented cabinet, using a full sized pump on low speed for heating and filtering, and it has a blower, a gas heater may be a good idea. Over a period of 7 years , the spa will cost you abut $1600 extra in electricity alone more than a thermally sealed spa.

I have had customers who are way up in the mountains, and have no electric service to the house. They use solar panels and gasoline or propane powered generators for electricity. This is the one of the only time I install a gas (propane) heater connected to the spa. I believe we are one of only a very few spa companies who even know how to make the conversion. 

Question I heard that taking care of a spa is difficult. Do I have to be a chemical "scientist" to take care of the water?
Answer Modern spas with a good filter system are easy to care for. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes a week if you follow a simple program. It gets easier to do your water adjustments after you learn a few water testing techniques. The test are for the Calcium Hardness, Total Alkalinity, pH, and sanitizer levels. You look in the charts for the amounts of products to put in the water. It is similar to taking care of a fish tank, only easier. We have found that people who have trouble with spas, are using an improper testing method and are getting advice from spa stores that have incompetent help. It is really very easy.

We offer our standard  Copper/Silver ionizer system with our complete spa package. This gives our customers a non-bromine non smelly wonderful water experience.  We now have an optional oxidizer system that eliminates 90% of the shock.

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Question How often do I need to drain and refill the spa?
Answer Approximately every three to six months. There is a formula that gives a good guide. The number of days between refilling equals 1/3 the gallons of the spa; divided by the number of daily bathers.  This can be extended to six to twelve months if you use The Spa Specialist Ionizer/oxidizer system.  This also makes pH balancing really easy, because we are not adding large amounts of pH affecting products.

A good spa store will have a TDS meter to test water for Total Dissolved Solids. When the TDS gets to 2500 PPM we recommend draining the spa. Using a good acid demand test on the pH will also give a good indication that the water is too old. If it takes 6 drops to go from ph 8.0 to pH of 7.4 the water is too old!  The copper/sliver ionizer gives a higher TDS reading, because of the electrical conductivity.  If you use a TDS meter, you need to get a reading in a sample that the copper and silver has been precipitated out. 

Question How long do filters last? How often are they replaced and how much do they cost to replace?
Answer The best way to get the most life out of filters is to clean them properly. If you do, you can have two or three years use out of them. The average retail cost is about $1.25 per square foot. (Sale = 1.125 per Sq. Ft.) We recommend having a spare filter so you can soak your dirty one overnight in a cleaning solution, and let it dry. (Three to six years on a set of two)

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Question Why are your spa so quiet while they run? Even the big two pump models with a full air injector (blower)? I have never heard spas so quiet when every thing is running. All I can hear is the water splashing around.
Answer There are a couple of reasons:

The nature of thermally sealed spas is such that the cabinet itself adds a level of sound proofing. Then the layers of insulation on the outer walls deadens the sound even more. Why does an expensive luxury car, sound so quiet. It is sound proofed.

The second reason is the equipment and engineering of the plumbing. In our spas, the plumbing is nonrestrictive, so the water moves easily through the system. There is no surging (shush, shush, shush sound) or cavitating as in cheap spas using too small of pipes for the pumps. We use 2 inch and 2.5 inch plumbing on all our spas. There are no diverter valves in our spas. These valves create back pressure, and makes a surging noise in the upper lip of the spa. They also cause a $300 to $400 repair job in about five years. 

Question I have owned a spa before, and it had a 25 Sq. Ft. filter. I had no problems with it. Why do some spas have more than one filter or huge filters of 120 Square feet, while other manufacturers are still using only regular size spa filters?
Answer This is an area where I have to "eat crow" because for years I could not understand why a large filter was a good idea, until I cam across a fellow from Canada who told me why.  He said that a large filter will filter better because the volume of water passing through each square inch of the filter is reduced.  This reduces the velocity and the force the pushes debris past the filter.  When I first heard that I was not believing this, until I started testing this concept.  Now we have 160 to 200 square foot filters on our Super Custom Spas with extremely pure water.  When some spa professional talks about "crystal clear spa water" I don't know if they have ever seen it.  The first thing I have been showing people who come in our store is the water in the SC Lakeshore.  It looks like liquid filtered air.

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Question How much does it cost to operate a good spa?
Answer There are several factors involved in the actual cost of spa operation. ( Most salespeople only answer one part of this question.)

Insulation: A fully foamed spa usually cost more in electricity to operate than an identically equipped true thermal pane spa. This is especially true in cold climates. The average costs should be under $20 per month in Colorado (Denver area) even with two 4.5 HP water pumps, a 2 HP an air pump and a 240 volt heater.

Repairs: A spa with a tiny "24 hour circ pump" will cost an average of between $7.90 to $10.30 per month in pump replacement costs. This is usually due to the pump motor burning out when the tiny impeller gets stopped by debris. Those pumps were never intended to be used on spas. 

The average life expectancy of the main control system, and the main jet pumps are also a consideration. Several companies are now putting the least expensive and poorest quality pumps and motors (call us to find out the brand) on some of the most expensive spas. They also use underrated relays and undersized traces on the circuit boards. This is why getting the advice of a knowledgeable qualified spa repair and electronic technician is a good idea!

Spa supplies costs: A poorly designed spa uses more chemicals and more of your time to keep the water clear! That is why it is recommended to avoid gimmicks, complicated control systems, and ideas that do not work! The spas that use the most water clarifiers, shock, scum bags, spa vacuums, and bromine or chlorine all seem to have tiny pumps running the heater. Each extra filter costs approximately $4.17 per month. Each extra square foot costs more: 50 Sq. Ft. is approximately $5.20 per month

Another major factor in spa costs is exclusive parts.  If you can only get parts for your spa from a brand dealer, or from only one source, the parts are usually 2 to 5 times more expensive.  We use commonly available parts with no gimmicks.  Gimmicks are junky parts that break down, but gives the spa salesman something special to sell you.  My "favorite" (a bit of sarcasm) gimmick is dry massage pillows.  What sort of hydro (water) therapy does that do? 

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Question I don't see how the thermal sealed insulation method is better than full foam. It sure sounds like having a cabinet full of "insulation" is better than a layered insulation technique. How can thermal sealed be more electrically efficient than fully foamed spas?
Answer First of all; using between 10 to 34 inches of foam is a wasteful use of insulation and adds to the crap in our environment. The average insulation value of foam is R 7.5 per inch. The walls in your average house in Montana do not have 10 to 34 inches of foam in them. They actually have an average of 5.5 inches of dead air space created by a fiberglass batting. The R value is 19, a tremendous amount of insulation. 

In Montana and the Colorado Mountain towns, both places I am personally familiar with, the houses are made with 2 X 6's in the outer walls with 5.5 inches of fiberglass insulation. But in the roof and in the ceiling, they blow in up to 12 inches of insulation! Heat rises! Goes up! If you want to insulate something you would insulate the top more than the sides and bottom, just like the engineers who design and build houses in cold climates.

Beyond three inches of foam for insulation in a spa is unnecessary. That is R 22.5 in insulation! Someone's pulling the foam over your eyes! 

Secondly: High quality covers on top of a spa have a tapered foam core of 4 inches tapering to 2 inches. (2001 update:  we now have 5" to 3" available) Most of the heat loss in a spa is on top of the spa, (because heat rises), not on the sides and bottom. The fully foamed spa manufacturers equip their own spas with an average of 3 inches of foam in the cover, ( where the heat loss is greatest). Why do they have so much foam on the sides and bottom where heat loss is the least? 

If they believe lots of foam is the best insulation, then the cover should be at least 15 or 20 or even 30 inches thick to follow that logic.

(Why do we place blankets on top of us in bed at night? Why not just tuck a bunch of blankets on our sides and put a sheet on top?)

Lastly (but not "leastly"): When the cabinet is completely filled with foam, the equipment compartment becomes very small, and must be vented so the pumps will not overheat and quit. Venting wastes the heat coming off the pump motors, while at the same time lets in cold air, cooling the pipes, making the heater work harder. When you cool the equipment, you cool the water inside as well!

To understand how powerful foam insulation is: 
If a person holds a styrofoam cup in one hand and pours some boiling hot water in it, then places a finger in the hot water, second degree burns occur in less than a minute. (A million dollar law suit happened this way with hot coffee!!)

When less than 1/16 inch of foam can keep the cup so cool on the outside, how is it that a spa needs 10 to 34 inches of foam??? Don't buy a fully foamed spa and get burned !

The Haven thermal sealed with DAIT Level 3 is the most energy efficient spa  design that has ever evolved.  It not only insulates the water in the vessel, but it insulates the water in the pipes.  In a DAIT equipped spa, the heat that is normally wasted in most of the full foam spas is used to create a 100% thermal warm air barrier that is not dependent on depth or thickness as with foam.   If the air on the out side of a water pipe is warmer than the water inside the pipe, you have 100% insulation...That is zero heat loss!  Most of the time the cabinet air is warmer than the water. The rest of the time the temperature diferential is very small.   We also thermostatically control the internal heat of the cabinet so the pumps never over heat.

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Question If full foam is not as energy efficient, then why do most major spa manufactures recommend full foam and sell it as the best?
Answer There are two answers to that question- one is manufacturing and the other is marketing.

1/ The first major manufacturer of spas that used the full foam method did it as a cost saving method. The spas were made out of a flimsy material called Rovel, without any fiberglass backing. If you don't have to apply an expensive and time consuming material to the back, you save literally millions in manufacturing costs. The use of full foam is strictly for support, not for insulation. One person with a foam gun, in about a half an hour and the spa "structure is built". It takes about four to eight man-hours over a period of days to make a strong shell; plus the cost of the expensive fiberglass materials. Multiply that by 400,000 spas and now you know. That company is still in business and is one of the largest manufacturer of spas today, and they still have no air injectors. (I have been waiting a long time to see if they will ever put the wonderful air therapy in their spas.)  The spas were originally developed in southern California near the coast where it never gets cold, so the "intent" of the foam has little to do with cold weather insulation . 
Even though they use the least expensive manufacturing, their spas are very expensive to buy!

2/ The second reason is copycat marketing. If the big boys are selling a lot of spas with full foam, better and easier to follow suit. If you have inexperienced and unscientific sales people that do not understand the laws of physics, they can't sell against full foam. It is much easier to offer a fully foamed product and copy the sales leader and the sales "script". Just because a lot of spas are sold this way does not have any resemblance to logic in the efficiency of the spa design. It is strictly a marketing ploy!

This is a really funny concept, but there are spa manufacturers who make a good strong acrylic shell, backed with fiberglass, and still fill the cabinet with foam, just so they do not have to sell against the "big boys"!

All of this folly is at the consumer's detriment!! It cost more in spa owner's operating costs and leak repair to make spas this way!  Fully foamed sounds good at first thought, but it is so badly engineered that it verges on consumer fraud.

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Question What about warranty?
Answer There are two important things to consider: 
How long the manufacturer has been in business and what the warranty actually reads. You might get a complete copy of the actual warranty and read it before you buy! 
There are hidden pro-ration warranties. This means you will have to pay part of the warranty costs. My favorite one of these is the "we will give you every dollar you paid towards the purchase of a new one of our spas". This is for a non repairable spa. This means if your original spa was purchased at a discount against retail, you will pay full retail for your replacement. Since almost all spas are sold at less than full retail, you could pay as much a $3000 to $4000 for the warranty replacement! READ THE WARRANTY!!! 
If you see a spa with a high price tag and a seven year structure warranty, there is something seriously wrong with the spa! In this day and age, a properly made shell with Lucite, ICI , Aristech, or Mitsubishi, other quality acrylics with proper fiberglass structure, will outlast three to four times any of the Rovel or Centrex products (coextruded thermoplastic) with the 5 to 7 year structure warranty. 
There are, of course, cheap spas with a short warranty, but they cannot claim to be high end quality. I have no problem with that. If you want one of those spas, that is fine. Just don't expect a $3,000 (retail) spa to last as long as a high quality spa and don't expect it to not have shell problems.

As an example, there are really cheaply made spas (made in Southern California), that are sold at very high prices. They have a 7 year structure warranty, and a 7 year surface warranty, a five year plumbing warranty, and a five year component warranty. The spas sell for an average of $1000 more than any comparable spa and use very exclusive equipment parts. Because they use the cheapest manufacturing on the spa shells, they cannot offer more than 7 years on the spa structure or surface. They save about $300 per spa by using this method. This makes the spas $1300 overpriced compared to well made spas. Now because they have no air jets, add another $300 to the manufacturing savings.
Figuring in the cost of warranty repairs at $300 per spa, the spas are still overpriced. (By $1600 when compared to our spas) The extra $700 is profit required for the overhead of the company. Now most of that overhead is in marketing hype, not manufacturing. Their brochures and advertisements are gorgeous. They make the spas look just wonderful. Now that we are in the internet age, information age, I am wondering how long this folly will continue.
The engineering is just about the worse design there is. 

If you own one of these spas, I am sorry that you did not read this information before you bought. It is not your fault, that you fell to the marketing hype, over 20,000 people each year succumb! 
A warranty is an insurance policy built into the price of the spa.  The warranty should not be the primary reason for buying , but just one of many considerations.

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Question How do I know the control system is reliable?
Answer Look for large ampere rated sealed relays (electronically controlled switches) on the circuit board operating the equipment pumps, blowers, and heaters. The pump relays on many cheap spa controls are 20 amp and are exposed to air. These 20 amp relays will last between 7 to 10 years on a 10 amp pump. The 30 amp sealed relays last much longer. The sealed relay's contacts are kept away from oxygen, which is one-half of the burning chemical reaction. If there is no air, it is difficult to have a burning.
Look for large traces on the back of the circuit board, especially on the heater traces. The heater is often on for an hour (20 minutes on thermally sealed spas) or more each day at 22.5 amps (30 amp sealed relay switch running 22.5 amp). If the traces are not large enough, after a time the circuit board will have a hole burned where the traces are. 
Look for fuses. A spa pack without fuses is not only foolish, it can't be ETL or UL listed. In other countries look for the appropriate testing sticker 
Look for a modular design. All of the spa's components simply plug into the control box and the plumbing is easily disconnected from the equipment. This makes for quick change out of components.
Look for common parts: Spa manufacturers who have exclusive parts make it difficult for you to get a fair price on the repair/replacement parts. The most expensive parts are on spas with an "exclusive" on their parts. If you can't get the "generic" version, it is expensive!!  There really are no "generic" parts.  There are several manufacturers of qualtiy components, readily available at spa supply stores. 

Look to see how long the spa company has made their control systems. Most spa companies do not manufacture their own spa equipment pack. Find out who makes it and how long they have been making spa packs. I have found that there are a few aerospace electronic companies getting into the spa pack business after the depression of '91 in Ca. After the cold war, they needed some income, and are now in the spa business. Some of those packs are quite unusual! Some are quite good! Some were designed by idiots and are extremely difficult to repair.

There is an electronic firm in California that used to primarily be an aerospace subcontractor. They are now the most common digital spa control company. They have a patented method for switching the relays. That method is to switch them on and off when the alternating current reaches a null point. In other words, the switch turns on when it gets as close as possible to zero voltage. This will cause little, or almost no electrical arch when the points close or open. An AC line current is 60 HZ or the complete cycle from zero volts to (340 for a 240 V RMS) 170 + peak volts then zero volts down to 170 - volts peak volts and back to zero volts is 1/60 of a second. That means the relays have to be in good mechanical condition in order for the delay from "switch off" to "switch on" to be consistent. Because this zero volt switching is almost impossible to do, there seems to be a higher replacement/repair rate. As long as the switching takes place with a subdued voltage, there is less electrical arching. I have found that this method works, but there is a higher percentage of board replacements than with sealed overrated relays. However, once a good board is installed, it works for a very long time. Because of the good warranty offered by this very reputable firm, there is nothing wrong with this method of board design. We offer a brand of spas using these controls. 

There is an electronic firm in Canada that makes a really good control system. Seems like they will be moving in on the other control companies territories. We offer a brand of spas using these controls. They have very logical designs and features!  (Today 2004, these controls are far better in reliabilty and have much better safety devices.)

Check the warranty: If the spa equipment doesn't have a 2 to 5 year warranty, it probably wasn't designed to last very long. Some companies offer extended warranties, which can extend the equipment to 5 years. I recommend buying the extended warranty, if you have very little mechanical abilities.

We have found that many spa companies are using long warranty numbers with confusing and wordy warranties. They are using the warranty numbers as part of the sales presentation. The numbers may be misleading. For instance, the spa may have a 25 year (or lifetime ) shell structure warranty, but when you read the fine print, there is only 1 year of labor. Any repair to the shell other than replacing it, is all labor. 

We have seen lifetime warranties on the whole spa. The companies doing this are sleazy. Often they go out of business and show up selling the same spas with the same BS warranty, and under a different brand name. There is no warranty if the company no longer exists, or has a new corporate name. 

One of the companies we had went out of business after 40 years.  Who would have thought one of the oldest pool/spa company in existence would go away?   We do honor the warranty only for our customers, even though legally we are not the manufacturer.

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Question What about repairs on leaks in the fully foamed spas versus the thermal pane?
Answer The average costs I have seen on repairing a fully foamed spa is about $400 to $2000 (above $2000 the customer either replaces it or scraps it). Fully foamed spas can't be repaired in the winter without bringing them inside. The foam can't be applied below 70 degrees F. The spa must be dug out in a mining expedition to find the source of the leak. The more jets in the spa the longer it takes to find the leak. A fully foamed spa can be leaking from one side, with the water coming out the opposite side. The water travels through the foam, just like water traveling through a pipe. 
It is much easier to repair a spa with thermal sealed or thermal pane insulation! If the plumbing isn't imbedded deeply in foam, you can see where the water is coming from quickly and fix it right away without having to bring the spa inside or put it up on blocks. 
All it takes to get a leak in a spa is 1/ a manufacturing mistake, like a poor glue joint (it happens) 2/ someone in the spa knocks a jet loose. (How many people have children?) 3/ Having a fully foamed spa moved improperly. Since the foam is directly connected to the jets and the outer wall, if the foam is twisted or pressed on too hard, it knocks the jets loose.  This is particularly a concern on full foam spas over five years old, because the framework has settled, and moving it will jar the jets. 
A frozen full foam spa is usually an insurance claim. It simply takes too much labor to dig it all out and fix it. 

In a thermal pane type of spa, the cost of a leak repair should be less than $200 and no more than $400. It is quicker to repair!  The last reports across the country (Oct. 99.  Isn't the internet wonderful for getting information!) start at $560 and go up from there for a fully foamed spa.  We have stopped repairing full foam leaks.  Every time the customers gets upset with the bill!  It is not good for our reputation to have people upset when we do a great job.  Even after we forewarn them of how much it could cost. 

Question How is the water temperature set and controlled?
Answer In a modern digital spa, the temperature is simple to set. Just press the up button and the setting goes up. Press the down button and the temperature setting goes down. Because of the electronic advances, the spa's temperature and safety controls are highly effective. Never go into a spa above 104 degrees. It can cause dizziness.

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Question What about children and spas. Is it possible to have a safety issue with children?  What about older retired people?
Answer The most important issue with children is keeping them out of the spa when adults are not present. The cover clips need to be kept locked and you must educate your children about safety. If you have particularly quick- whited toddlers, you can add an additional locking cover strap over the top of the cover.
Children love spas, so keep them safe and have a happy spa experience! You must also teach your children about the spa and the rules for using it! 
Children cannot enjoy the higher temperatures that adults enjoy. Toddlers need about 97 to 98 degrees, under ten years, no more than 100 degrees F., and above 10 years old they (healthy children) are all able to enjoy 104 degrees for a short time.

It is interesting that older people become more sensitive to heat as well.  I recommend consulting your doctor.  If you have any circulatory problems the temperature should be kept below 102.  Wehave found that our retired customers just love the silky soft  ionized water.

Question I see so many jets on spas these days. How many jets do I really need?
Answer As many as your body likes. Some spas today use diverter valves to make you think the spa has awesome therapy, when actually you can only use half of the jets at any one time. If you see a spa with up to thirty water jets and only one pump, there is something wrong with the equation. Take a look on the upper lip of the spa. Is there a handle that says something like "therapy seat" at one setting, and "lounger jets" at another setting?  READ
There is a tendency today to get number of jets confused with quality of therapy! I can remember when spas had four to six jets, a 1 Hp pump, with a 1.5 HP air blower and they worked quite well. Often the only thing missing was neck jets. 
Those spas took care of 3/4 of the therapy that a modern 3 HP pump and a 2 HP air blower give today. 
The spa industry's race to get hundreds of jets in a spa is getting ridiculous.  What I don't like is lots of cheap small 1/8 orifice jets, being used to get the numbers up.  One cyclone jets cost
The biggest spa we offer has over 60 (42 water/18 air) jets with two 5 BHP water pumps and one 2 PHP air pump. There are 42 water jets that can all operate at the same time with full pressure.  (You have to watch those sales pros with manipulating words.   A spa with a diverter/split jets system can run all the jets at the same time, but at very low pressure. In our spas,there are 18 air jets as well. There are no diverter valves at the top of the spa. Every jet in every seat can operate at the same time. You will not see diverter valves ( splitting the pump into two) on a quality spa! 
When there is more than one person in a spa it is preferable to have jets available to each and every seat all at the same time. It's nice to have all jets off for a final quiet soak at the end of the therapy session. There is not much quiet time when you have to wait your turn to get jets!  The water pump has to run longer because it is doing the work of two pumps.

Jet diverters that divide the spa into zones are antique. They were added to spas at a time when spa pumps were 3/4 to 1 horse power, and it was nice to divert the water into a "hot seat". With the advent of modern high horse power spa pumps, diverter valves are totally unnecessary and are a nuisance, and an engineering abortion when they are plumbed diverter first
As far as the number of jets you need, it is up to you. Where do you need therapy? How many people will be using your spa at one time? Are your friends or family members all wanting to have jets at the same time? You can check out the different jet patterns of our spas. It is a good idea to try the jets for yourself and take a wet test of the spas.  People  fly in  to wet test our spas, and  buy from us.

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Question How beneficial is a spa?
Answer I always like to answer that with a simple question. How many things in your life give many years of relaxation, enjoyment, romantic evenings, are good for your health, relieve pain, are legal, and cost so little as a spa? I haven't found anything else like a good spa. A good high quality spa!
Question What is all this about ISO 9001 certified?
Answer ISO 9001 Certification simply means the spa (or whatever product) is easier to approve for other countries, and that's all it means. It is all about installing systems so that a spa built on Friday will be the same qualtiy (high, mediocre, or low quality)  as the one built on Monday.  It doesn't tell you anything about the quality, the durability, the repair costs, the quality of therapy or anything other than it is built in a factory using repeatable systems.. There are some quality checks involved in ISO, but it is not the end all to the answer about quality. When the ISO certification is used as sales hype, inferring the spa is better quality, that is nonsense. Is it good to have ISO? I think so; but it is far from necessary for a high quality spa. Right now, the best spas I personally know of are not ISO 9001 certified.  My favorite example was one of  the oldest spa factories in southern California produced thousands of leaking hot tubs, right after they got the ISO 9001 certificate.  I guess they made the same mistake with precise accuracy, day after day, following their ISO systems.  The most important thing is still engineering and safety.  That superceedes all otther advertising.  Click Here

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Question What about comfort and ergonomics? Aren't all spas about the same?
Answer There are only a few truly ergonomic spas. I always recommend sitting in the spa dry first to see how the seats feel. If it is comfortable dry, it is superb when the spa is wet. Before you buy, try the spa both wet and dry! If the spa store has no dry spas, there is a reason! They do not want you to set in them dry so you can then feel how uncomfortable they are without water. 
Ergonomics is a tricky word, because some spas that tout ergonomic are uncomfortable for your particular body. I will not even begin to say that every seat in every one of our spas will fit every body. That is absurd, and that is why there are so many different seats in our different models, to fit different types of bodies. I would even go so far as to say that some people may not fit perfectly in any of our spas. Any spa company that says their spas fit every possible body is not living in the same reality as the rest of us! 
Question I have been told by a salesman that "barrier free seating" is better than ergonomic seating"?
Answer Barrier free seating, as it is touted, is non-ergonomic seating, usually uncomfortable compared to good shaped different seating height, supported seating. The marketing people who came up with that term "barrier free" were trying to combat spas with varied heights and different angled human engineered seating. A spa with a flat bottom, continuous seat that encircles the spa is the standard of the "barrier free" motif. The whole term is ridiculous since there are no walls in any spa! What should we look for? Perhaps the Great Barrier Reef?!!! Spas made from coextruded thermoplastic can't be molded into intricate details or comfortable seating. The people who make those spas coined the term 'barrier free" to make it sound like it is good. People fall for that nonsense all the time, so don't be upset if you do. Now that you know, don't buy one of those uncomfortable spas!!

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Question I have been told not to buy a spa with a lounger. Is it true that a lounger is not good in a spa?
Answer In the old days, and today in some rather peculiar spas, the loungers do not work. The reason is simple. In water, the best way to float is to lay back. For most people with normal fat content in their body a lay-back lounger is a bad idea. I have seen some spa brochures with these lay back loungers. The picture depicts a really skinny woman in the lounger. The only body type that does not float in that position is one with little or no fat at all! 
The best loungers are more like lounge chairs, in which the seat back is not reclined too far and the legs are raised a little. The backs are contoured with lumbar support. 
Because there are still people who absolutely will not have a lounger, we have spas with no loungers. 
The only way I know of getting great leg therapy is in  a lounge seat
Question I have seen spas with all sorts of different jet configurations. What is a standard jet configuration?
Answer The best standard jet configuration is what I call "progressive jetting". It simply means that the jets get bigger, more powerful as they get lower in the seat or on larger muscles. Most of the jets are for the sides of the spine, instead of a pattern down the middle of the spine where there is no muscles, just bone. Doesn't that sound logical? The jets are made to follow the needs of different muscle groups. The upper jets are small and slightly pointed in the jet spray, perfect for the small neck muscles! If you go to a spa wholesale supply store and ask for neck jets, they will show you a variety of small jets! If you ask for lower back jets, they will show you the bigger jets! This has been the way for many years. Because the spa market is so competitive, there are spas with large spinning jets beating on your small neck muscles, just so they can be different and have something different to sell. There are also spas with little tiny jets pointed at your large lower back muscles. If you see big jets for the neck and small jets for the back on a spa, I suggest you try the spa out wet before you buy it. There are some people who really like big neck jets, most do not. The modern "Storm Jets" come in  a huge variety of face plates, to give strong deep pressure to the nine hole pulsator that reduces the pressure and spreads it out.

If you place jets in the middle of the spine, the best are the spinning variety, that rotate around in a circle. This feels great! If you want little tiny jets on your lower body, the only area recommended is in the two reflexology points just right and left of the sacrum. 
I also like spinning jets on the area just below the neck.

The lower lumbar area just loves to have a nice big jet pointing right on it! 
The kidney area needs smaller jets or medium adjustable or twin spinning jets.  I don't like "kidney blasters" as they are called in the spa industry.

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Question What is the most important thing to look for in spa construction?
Answer The true structure of a spa shell is the backing applied to the acrylic. If it is not strong, then the vessel with thousands of pounds of water will not last. 
There is a proven spa shell construction method that is warranted very long, built strong, and makes sense. It is called vinyl ester bonding with hand rolled fiberglass. 
The biggest problem in spa construction is getting a strong shell that doesn't crack, split, blister, discolor, or delaminate. Any type of spray on in direct contact with the acrylic is bound to have a much higher percentage of delaminations, blistering, and cracking than properly bonded fiberglass in which all of the air pockets are visibly removed. Air pockets can absorb moisture which can then start the acrylic to separate from the fiberglass.

The most important engineering concern is to keep moisture from accumulating behind the acrylic, causing the acrylic to separate from the fiberglass backing.

The most reliable method now is to etch the acrylic; then apply a synthetic waterproof bonding agent (vinyl ester) to the acrylic. This stops the water from permeating the acrylic surface. This method has now had some years to prove it is a viable and good method. The warranty on a shell structure should be at least 10 years.  The vinyl ester also makes the bond between the fiberglass and the acrylic four times stronger. 

The cheapest, by far, manufacturing method is used on some of the most expensive spas sold today. It is ABS bonded to Centrex plastic (also know by other silly names). (The clue is that you can have it in your favorite color as long as it's white.)

There are now many spas being made with ABS bonded to acrylic. This is not the best idea. The ABS is a softer plastic, and does not give structural support. It does not resurface very well, and ABS expands and contracts faster than acrylic. When the spa is exposed to sunlight or a high temperature difference, such as when filling your spa on a cold day with warm water, it causes surface cracks. Even if the spa is used normally, after 5 or so years you will get surface cracks. 
I have talked to the most knowledgeable spa shell repair person in the Denver area. He has been specializing in shell repairs since 1977. He told me that when he tries to repair an acrylic spa backed by ABS, he can't make any warranties on the repairs, because there is no support for the repair. 
If you are very careful to never expose the upper edge of this type of spa to sunlight and use only a vented skirt or non skirted cover and never fill this spa with warm water on a cold day, you may have a good result with ABS behind Acrylic, as long as you don't mind the tiny surface cracks. 
One of the worst methods is Acrylic/ABS/fiberglass.  This is the most dissimilar materials manufacturing used in spas today.  I can't even imagine why or how anyone would do this.  This is common knowledge today.  I have never seen a spas made this way without cracks in less than five years. 
The warranties are void for surface cracks, because it is not a manufacturing defect.  "of course is will crack this is normal".

All spas, including ours, will get surface cracks in about ten years of normal use, however these cracks are small, like crazing, and are relatively easy to repair.

If a spa jet breaks, it can be replaced. If the pump quits, it can be replaced. If the circuit board burns out, it too can be replaced. If the spa shell falls apart, you have nothing, nada, zilch, zero!!!

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Question Is there any independent not-for-profit organization that fairly and equally tests spas, one brand against another? Does anyone actually test spas like that?
Answer NO! There has never been any tests done like that I am aware of. The only comparison made are of features listed by the spa manufacturers and given to a well known consumer magazine. The spa manufacturers then pay many thousands of dollars to print the magazine's logo in their advertisements and brochures. The features are size, horsepower, number of jets, number of pumps, number of seats, warranty, average price, etc. The spas are never tested or even seen running side by side. All the magazine writers do is look at brochures, warranties, and average prices. 

Just for example, I can build a spa with a wooden box filled with plastic wrap to hold the water, put twelve little tiny seats just big enough for skinny people to fit in with their hips touching. Then put fifty tiny jets in each seat, place the cheapest spa pumps available out of the spa parts catalog, take a simple control system with a mechanical thermostat, have no air jets at all, and come up with a prorated warranty with lots of years in which I can keep coming back and fixing the spa, while the owner is paying me to fix it under warranty. Lets put 25 years on the wooden box, 10 years on the plastic wrap, and 5 years on the cheap pumps (that usually last five years total). All I have to do is send the magazine my features and I, too, should be able print their logo if I pay many thousands of dollars. Please read the bottom of this Spa Care Tips page /aug3.html
We have proposed the SPA CHALLENGE for the last three years, with no takers.  I would love to put up a test side by side like this.

Question If that is the case, how is a potential spa buyer able to choose a good product?
Answer There is no solid answer to that! You can't go strictly by reputation, because some companies are making spas today that are no where near as good as the ones they made before 1991 or 1992, especially in Southern California after the depression of '91. Some of the spas that were not so good a few years ago are now exceptional. Some of the newer spas are really quite good. One of the most disappointing finding for me is a company from Oregon who made very fine spas has now completely changed their spas to copy the "dog dish" company from California. The spas now have full foam, Centrex shells with ABS, and tiny circ pumps. When I talked to my friend at their local store, he said they were having a lot of trouble keeping the spa's water clear on the showroom. I used to tell people what good spas they were. (They were one of the top three in quality, now are one of the worst values).

Often the older large spa companies have been bought out by large conglomerates, who's only objective is the profit margin. They will use any tactics whatsoever to market the out of date designs, with cheap shells and with a high mark up. Some of the most beautiful brochures are artistic creations of fantasy, showing a glowing report on a product that seems too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, it is!

Some of the greatest products are never appreciated by consumers because of a lack of creative marketing. Some of the poorest engineering is sold by the millions, by fantasy marketing, produced by super creative marketing masters.

I am really not telling you anything new. Most intelligent people have this figured out already. 

Question What about a referral from a friend who owns a spa?
Answer A referral is usually OK, if your friend has really compared their spa to others. Often times a spa owner will tend to defend their decision to purchase the spa they have. They don't want to seem uninformed or foolish. ( I try to be tactful with owners of poor quality spas.)

Sometimes people who have owned a poor quality spa will then tell every one not to buy a spa. "The salesman told me this was the best spa, but all I have had is problems with it". This sort of situation hurts the spa industry as a whole. I like spas! I like my customers to be satisfied. That is why I did (and still do) so much research into spa quality and manufacturing methods. I do the shopping for my store to determine what spas we would like to offer. On our Haven  spas , I participated in the design and characteristics. These have the most modern of all designs.

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Question What about all those athletes or celebrities using different brands of spas. When you see a famous athlete sitting in a spa shouldn't a person assume that the spa is a good one? 
Answer I like the use of the word assume! Any time you assume something it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me". Being an athlete or celebrity doesn't make someone an expert in unrelated subjects. What do they know about spa shell manufacturing, or pump GPM, jet manufacture or pump head pressure? It is creative master marketing to give away a spa to a popular athletic team and then pay huge modeling fees to the athletes for the photos of them in the spa. The assumption is that people will buy whatever an athlete sells them. The problem is; it works. If it didn't, marketers would not use this marketing method.

I once had a woman customer who bought a Centrex spa because a celebrity advertised it. I asked her why and she said "I know this may sound silly, but I bought it because SO AND SO advertised it on his radio program."

Because athletes have a lot of muscle, a spa they like may be too much for an average person. For instance, if you force all the water from a 2 horsepower pump into one seat, it is too much for an average person. The water pressure usually pushes them out of the seat, making it uncomfortable for most people.

Even if the spa is a great spa, an athlete's approval would not make an intelligent person buy without checking out all of the spas that are available. An intelligent person would get all the information and study it. They will go and try the spas wet and dry. They check out the company that makes the spas, talk to as many spa repair people as possible and get copies of the actual warranty (not a synopsis), read it and make sure they understand every word. 
If you are going to spend thousands of dollars, does it make sense to do some study and research? 

Question Where did the idea for the tiny 24 hour circulation pump come from?
Answer From all I have read and seen in the generation of the tiny circ pump uses, it came from one of the first spa companies to make a spa out of Rovel. The fellow was a swimming pool person. As I recall from reading old newspaper articles and company information, he developed the tub in his garage and at that time he only had a one speed swimming pool pump available. The modern two speed spa pumps were not developed then. When he tried to heat the tub with a 115 volt heater, he had to run the 16 to 17 amp jet pump for nearly 24 hours to get the water hot. The combination of 17 amps plus the 12.5 amps heater was too much for the 20 amp plug in, and it cost way too much to operate it that way. I am speculating that he must have looked around for an alternative way to heat the water, because he put a small water fountain pump on the tub to run water through the heater. These pumps are found at home garden centers for little waterfall features. The little pump was originally attached without a filter, and the main pump was operated from a timer for filtering once or twice a day . It was a creative way of using what was available at that time. For its day, it was a really cool thing to have. Now it is time to move on to more modern ways of filtering, heating, insulating, and shell structure. 
It still amazes me that the company hasn't kept up with the newer technology and gotten rid of that tiny pump that wears out so fast. 
When comparing the filtering system, the heating system, the jet system, the control system, the insulation, and the seating to our spas, it makes me wonder why anyone would buy one! 
The fact remains that they sell more of these tubs than almost any other hot tub or spa company. Marketing is such a wonder! I am hoping to change some of that! READ

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Question I have heard that full foam keeps the plumbing pipes from rattling around and keeps the plumbing from leaking because it doesn't shake the glue joints on the jets.
Answer It does keep the pipes from moving, but it doesn't really stop leaks. There have been many thousands of spas made without full foam. I personally have not seen one of those shaker leaks. I have seen leaks from a poor original glue job, from decomposing PVC, from people knocking jets loose, and from spas being moved incorrectly. Once a spa is in place and the glue joints are done correctly, it is not going to leak any more than a full foam spa glue joint done with the same care. Our spas have most of the plumbing In foam, for rigidizing, but not buried. On our Haven spas we use solid schedule 40 PVC and the modern flex, much more durable and less water restriction.
Question I read an advertisement that says they guarantee the most efficient spas. What is that all about?
Answer The advertisement is a lie and they just leave out the most important details.

That is for a 115 volt spa with one jet pump, no air injectors, and a tiny circ pump. The "energy consumption chart" is based on using the spa 6 times per week for one half hour with 15 minutes of jets then 15 minutes soaking with jets off. The temperature is set to 102 at the start.

With a 115 volt spa, you can't use it more than an average of 1/2 hour at a time. It will not stay hot with the cover off. The jets and the heater cannot operate at the same time. Because there are no air jets, the tub is missing 1/2 of its therapy. 

If you can't use the tub for more than 1/2 hour before it cools off, the jet pressure is weak, and there is no air jet therapy, of course it cost less in electricity!!!  If is almost like having a dish full of luke warm water.

I do not know of anyone who uses their spa like that. Most use their spa for 45 minutes to an hour 3 times per week. ( I personally like lots of jet pressure and I love properly placed air jets.)

People who own those spas usually adjust their thermostat to go to 110 degrees. They get in at 110 degrees and stay until it is to cold to sit in the water. I do not recommend using this procedure to get a longer soak, because doctors have determined that 110 degree temperature is not safe.

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Question What are the best questions I can ask a salesperson to determine if they know anything?
Answer 1/ Do you know what the truly best insulation is and what evidence do you have? 
2/ Have you ever repaired a spa? Or if not: What personal experience do you have with spas that tells me you know something other than a script you have been given to sell me a spa? 
3/ Can you show me the insides of your control box? Can you explain how it works? 
4/ (For those who live in a cold winter climate) If I go on a weekend trip during December through February, and the GFCI trips and turns off the electricity on Saturday morning, what will I find upon returning on Sunday night? (This eliminates all the fully foamed spas very quickly, unless the sales person starts embellishing.)

Those questions will help alleviate a lot of nonsense, and will put you in contact with the person or persons at the store who know something. A good salesperson will never say they know something unless they do. They will always say "I don't know but I can find out for you".

I insist that the people working in our store have working knowledge of spas and can do warranty repair on our spas if necessary. If you don't know how it works, how can you sell it? 

Question Look! I just want a spa. I don't want to spend my spare time searching for the best models. How can I shorten the search?
Answer The hype and nonsense that spa buyers are subjected to makes me feel sorry for them.  Everybody has the "best " spas.  Well I got news for you  some of them are lying, to make a living.  Even if the salesperson sales the spa has a good shell, pumps, jets, filtering and , etc. ; how can you know. 

Read the book "How Spas are Made". Go shopping with knowledge. You will be able to eliminate 90% of the spas in a short time. If you have any questions about any particular spa, please call me 1 303-404-2224, or email me

Just because I offer a spa product, does not mean I have somehow lost my integrity! But, of course, I am going to tell you why I chose to offer our spas and why I can't understand why you would by anything else, becaues we have extremely loyal customers all over the United States and now in Canada and the UK. 

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Question How much should I pay for a good spa?
Answer Buy as much spa as you can afford. It is better to buy a quality spa with less features, than a 60 jets cheap spa that falls apart.
This is similar to taking your money and buying a dog that bites you and you can't get rid of it!

With that type of spa you will be buying it on the "installment plan". As each part breaks, you will be paying to install a new one.

Do not always buy at the lowest possible price! You may save money now, but the company that you buy your discounted spa from will not be able to help you when they go out of business. 
Those companies can't afford to hire competent help, so you will be faced with aggravation from poor service.

I have customers who come into my store to learn how to operate their other brands of spas, because of incompetent help.

I hear a lot of "I wish I had bought one of your spas" If they own a poor quality spa, I cant even give them a trade-in, because I can't, ethically, sell their spa to another customer.

I am hoping that you are reading this because you want quality and a good value for your money.

You can buy a poorly insulated spa and pay as much as $100 per month or more to operate it in the winter.

There are three major well known spa companies offering low quality shells at very high prices! You do not always get what you pay for when it comes to spas.

I have found that people often buy for emotional reasons, so I always recommend taking your time to purchase a spa. Look around and get a good idea what is available. 

We have full featured extremely well manufactured and engineered spas from, $3900 to $10,500 (or more with TV and CD) with complete packages. The average spa is around $8000, with a complete package worth $2400. Haven Prices

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Question I would like to buy a spa from The Spa Specialist. How is it possible for you to deliver the spas and service them in case of a warranty problem?
Answer This is one of my favorite questions! The answer is one that your local dealers do not want to hear!

We have been delivering spas across the country to satisfied customers. No problems!   We have our own truck and trailer to deliver the spas direct to your house.  Our people set them up, the same as with our local customers.  Because we eliminate a lot of the expensive marketing food chain, we can deliver the spas anywhere for less. 

In Aug. 1999 we purchased our own delivery truck for long distance deliveries.  The same people who deliver and set up for our local customers, now do the same all across the country.  We are considering getting a second truck and trailer. 

The cost of shipping spas to a local store, having them mark the spas up. Then having the local dealer deliver the spas, cost a lot more than having us bring you a new spa. 
We put back into the spas what other companies are taking out. In order for the "big spa companies" to survive with their high overheads, their quality is cut, they can't compete with us.  We are the internet spa company that traditional spas companies  are afraid of.  A much better quality product for less delivered direct.

As far as warranty service is concerned; I learned this several years ago when I was working for another spa store in Denver. While at that store, we often sold spas up in the small mountain towns, and throughout Colorado. Customers would have some warranty problems, and I would take care of them (I was the service manager). There was no warranty drive time involved, because I got on the internet and found service people in the same area as the customer's spa. With overnight shipping, I'd have the spa up and running in no time. Extremely quick service! Our policy, is if a new spa owner has any problem that causes the spa to not function, we fix it within 24 to 48 hours if possible. Our service contractors across the country are the best! You will find that this is better than the local spa stores often provide. I have heard many stories from unhappy spa owners who had to wait over three weeks to get their spa working! 

Some of our customers have arranged to have the spas delivered by their friends in the spa service business. We even offer a discount if the customer picks up the spa at the trucking depot, or can off load the spa from our truck, and delivers it themselves. We have a video showing how to move the spa.

If a customer wants to fix the spa themselves and are qualified, we offer them the warranty service money for fixing their own spa. I have found that mountain people are somewhat independent and will fix it themselves. I had a woman who had a pump problem. She sent the pump to me and I checked it out and sent a out new pump along with a gift certificate for her labor.

Because the spas are made in a totally modular fashion, there are no repairs done at the component level.  In other words almost anyone can unbolt and unplug the parts, then re-bolt and re-plug in the new parts.  The modern electronic controls tell us on the digital readout what the problem is, so sending the right parts is easy.

The other important thing is the spas themselves. The spas have offered us no major warranty problem All you have to know is how to use common wrenches.

There is one tremendous advantage to buying a spa direct from us, other than low cost for the highest quality, our customer service with phone help and email help. If you buy a spa from us and have any questions, no matter how insignificant you might think, you get prompt service over the phone from someone who is properly trained to help you. If we do not answer the phone leave a message and we will call you back in a few minutes. All toll free calls to you, and you get the help you truly need.
If you Email us, we write back in a few hours.

Our Prices for the Haven spas.  Click Here

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