How long has the dealership been in business?
Nobody wants to deal with a “fly by night” retailer that may or may not be in business next year. If a dealership has put time and effort into building a reputable business, then their spas generally match their reputation.
Clearwater Spas has been producing, manufacturing and perfecting their spas since 1976. Poolwerx Forest Lane have been selling hot tubs for 50+ years.
Is this brand produced by a reputable manufacturer?
Just as there can be a range in commitment and quality among retailers, reputations among manufacturers vary as well. You want to make sure you’re purchasing a spa that is made by an established, reputable company with proven performance and customer satisfaction ratings.
Clearwater Spas has been the recipient of many awards including “Innovation of the year” by the Bayer Foundation for the RIM cabinets, Best of Class by poolandspa.com, and has high ratings and satisfaction from customers.
Where is the hot tub made?
Some hot tubs are made in countries known for cheap labor and few environmental regulations in order to decrease production costs. It is wise to beware of these hot tubs made outside of the U.S. and Canada where inexperienced staff translates into a much lower quality product.
Clearwater Spas are manufactured in the Woodinville, WA USA.
What is the hot tub interior made of?
Most quality hot tubs are made with acrylic. Acrylic is a hard durable plastic that is resistant to chemical and UV damage. Some cheaper hot tubs are made of rotary molded plastics, like a kayak or portable table. Ask your dealer which brands offer the best quality and which brands to steer away from.
Clearwater Spas are made from ABS backed acrylic with EcoSpray and are supported with metal reinforcements in heavy load areas. Our shells are backed by a 20 year warranty.
What is the cabinet made of?
In older spas, cabinets were often made of wood. Today, most quality cabinets are made of a durable synthetic material. The cabinet will be exposed to the elements and probably a bit of moisture and steam. If it isn’t something durable, it can lead to a lot of maintenance, fading, warping, replacement issues, and headaches.
Clearwater Spas’ award winning RIM cabinets are the ONLY frame free system on the market. They are durable, strong, long lasting and beautiful and are backed by a 20 year warranty.
What is the spa’s internal frame made of?
A lot of manufacturers still use wood to construct their frames. A few use metal. Even treated lumber or metal will not last very long out in the elements and in a humid spa environment. Look for a manufacturer that uses a composite or an ABS frame to cut back on future maintenance and repair costs.
Clearwater Spas has a frame free system, featuring PVC columns that carry all the weight. They will not rot, mold, or rust.
How is the spa insulated?
Some hot tubs are wrapped in blanket insulation. Others have cabinets that are filled with sprayed-in polyurethane foam insulation. Though spas fully filled with polyurethane retain more heat the foam also hide the plumbing making repairs and upgrades very difficult. A simple leak can result in a multi-hour repair while the tech digs through the foam searching for the cause of the problem.
Clearwater Spas features a double insulated base and a reflective thermal barrier making it 12% more energy efficient than foam filled tubsand removable side panels make repairs quick and easy.
How do the pump(s) affect hot tub performance?
Besides horsepower, the number and placement of pumps makes a difference to power and consistency of a spa’s jet performance. Pumps can also make a difference to energy efficiency and overall volume of the spa while it’s in use.
What type of water care system does it use?
There are a few types of water care systems including direct chemical application (most common), cartridge systems, ultraviolet/ozone sanitizers, and salt chlorine generators. Ozone and UV are supplemental filtration systems. These systems help the chemical systems keep the water sanitized. Salt water systems operate by converting salt compounds into chlorine. The salt can be corrosive to the pump and seals and can decrease the life of some of the spa components.
Clearwater Spas offers all the above systems as well as our revolutionary TPS (Total Purity System) that is exclusive to Clearwater and offers a near chemical-free cleaning system.
What are the jet options and how are they unique?
Most people purchase a spa for therapeutic purposes. If the hot tub has non-adjustable jets then it won’t be as useful for you.
Clearwater Spas’ jets are fully adjustable and gives you control of the water volume and air flow. We also have water diverter valves allowing you to change the flow from seat to foot jets or both.
Do you get a lot of service calls on this model/brand?
A lot of times hot tub dealers have experience with a variety of brands and sell multiple brands in their store. Ask around and find out which brands they have had the least amount of problems with. They will also have a good idea which brands are good about standing behind their warranties or which ones will use loopholes to reject warranty claims.
Clearwater Spas stands behind their spas and offers the best warranty in the business and has service techs ready if ever needed. If you do need your spa serviced, we build our spas in a way that will cut back on service time drastically keeping our customers in mind.
What does the warranty look like?
Major components of a spa often come with different warranties, so it can sometimes be difficult to compare the warranties directly. Ask which hot tub brand the dealer gets the fewest service and warranty calls on.
Clearwater Spas offers a 20 year warranty on the shell. pillar supports, floor system, and cabinet. We also offer a 5 year warranty on the plumbing parts and operating equipment. If you compare, you will find Clearwater is the best warranty in the business.
What is your history with replacement parts and are they readily available?
These are the types of things that you pay for up front. Cheaper hot tubs will usually be put together with the cheapest components that can be purchased at the time of manufacture. However, a lot of the time, the replacement parts are more expensive or not even available if you need them. More expensive quality spas will have components that are well-known, easy to find, and are trusted in the pool and spa industry.
Clearwater Spas offers great customer support and has parts readily available if ever needed. Just call us at 425-483-1877.
Is the hot tub customizable? If so, what is the turnaround time between order and delivery?
With most spas, you can you choose the color of the shell (interior) and cabinet (exterior) to match the style of your house and your personal tastes.
What is included with a spa?
Most hot tubs come nearly ready for immediate enjoyment. Just add water. You will need to ensure that you have the appropriate space and electrical source (dedicated 220/240v 30/50a circuit) and a nearby water source (hose). Our spas also come with a cover and cover lifter to easily lift the cover, as well as spa steps and three months of chemicals.
What optional accessories are available?
Most manufacturers have an array of options and accessories that can be added to your spa. These include mobile apps, sound systems, additional jets, covers, cover lifters, enhanced water care systems, as well as numerous water features and exterior and interior lights.
How can I get references from other spa customers?
It’s important to understand what other spa owners are experiencing. Look for product and company reviews on the websites of major spa brands. Also, the relationship with your local dealer will be very important during the shopping process and for maintenance needs in the future. Look for local business reviews online and feel free to ask the dealer for references from other customers.
What after-purchase services do you offer?
Once your hot tub is up and running, dealers may offer follow-up services to keep the spa in like new condition.This includes setting you up with a chemical program that ships regularly to your door and/or a maintenance program where the dealer’s technicians regularly come out to service the spa. Also you want to be sure to know that you are able to contact your local dealer for service if you need it. Are you calling someone local or is it a toll free number?
How much will delivery and installation be?
Many hot tub purchasers are unaware of potential additional costs relating to installation of a spa. An electrician, landscaper, additional labor and/or additional services may be required to deliver and install your spa. Talk to your dealer about these items so you can be prepared when you decide to purchase your hot tub. Also be clear on the delivery process as well. Are they going to bring it to the backyard and set it up or do they drop it in the front and let you do the rest?
What is the out-the-door cost?
It’s good to find out upfront what your total bill will be including tax and any other fees, additional supplies, and system upgrades before you make your purchase. Many people choose to finance their purchase through their bank or an in-store financing option.