Before purchasing, we urge you to check all of these points & only purchase a spa when you’re satisfied that it has ALL of these features. You’ll regret your decision if the spa is uncomfortable, noisy, it doesn’t offer good massage performance, it doesn’t last more than a few years & most importantly if it costs too much to use all year round. Normally it’s at night & in cooler months when you’ll mostly use your spa, if it’s expensive to heat all year round you’ve wasted your money. Many people think you don’t need to heat spas in the warmer months however if using the spa at night in spring & summer you’ll need to heat the water. Sadly, many people get caught out buying inferior spas so it’s important to know what you’re buying.
Structural Frame: Pressure Treated Timber, Galvanised Steel and Aluminium Frames ensure long life for spas, all of these products withstand the harsh elements as found inside spa cabinets. Stainless steel frames are generally used in cheaper spas aren’t recommended due to the fact that it will still rust, especially where welding joins & drilled holes are located. Note: The Stainless Steel frames which are used in cheap Chinese made imports are not made with Marine Grade ‘316’ Stainless Steel & will not endure the tests of time. Note: The Stainless Steel pins that are often used to secure the frame are not structurally sound and will fail in time.
Shell: The best American acrylic brands are 'Aristech' & 'Lucite', one of these must be used to make the spa shell. The fibreglass beneath the acrylic needs to be made with Vinyl Esther resin to reduce the chance of Osmosis (shell delamination) while the thickness of the shell needs to be able to withstand the pressure of water that the spa holds. Thin shells don’t last & don’t retain heat.
Plumbing: Consistent jet pressure for hydro-massage & effective filtration requires the correct plumbing be used. 50mm Kanaflex (high flow flexible & insulated plumbing) enables best performance for hydro-massage, ensuring long pump life & less noise while the spa is running. Poor quality & budget spas use PVC pipes with many glued joints which greatly increase noise & the potential for leaks (costly when repairing or replacing lost chemicals & water). PVC plumbing requires an excess of 90 degree bends which reduce jet pressure & increases back pressure on pumps, reducing pump life expectancy.
Filtration: Is one of the most important spa features & vital for your safety. If the filter system isn’t able to maintain excellent quality water for regular use there can be serious issues. When comparing filter systems, consider how easy the access to filters is, you’ll need to clean them every week & after large bather loads, also ensure the filters are large enough for the spa. Disposable filters aren’t recommended because of the ongoing replacement cost (many spa owners with disposable filters don’t replace them often enough which is not safe for spa users). Legislation in regards to the type of accepted filter systems allowed in Australia recently changed & not all brands have complied with these changes. Note: All spas sold by Simply Spas comply with ALL relevant Australian Standards & have full Australian Approvals in place.
Jets & Hydro-massage: There are many sizes & types of jets available (Hand Held, Directional, Single Swirl, Dual Spin, Variable Wave, Seven Port Pulse, Multi Massage etc). All of these jets deliver a different type of massage experience & the jet size also determines the strength of massage that’s received from the jet. It’s important that your spa has a variety of jet styles as well as sizes & that every seat in the spa has jets positioned in different locations (or you’ll get the same massage in every seat). Spas with undersized pumps tend to use a lot of small directional jets which deliver a hard flow of water to a very small area of your body, pressure from these jets quickly becomes annoying & tends to make you itchy. Note: Every jet in the spa needs to be adjustable, allowing you to shut down entire seats if they are not being used.
Ongoing Costs: Not all spas cost $1.00 per day as some sales staff will have you believe. It’s impossible to say how much a spa will cost to run as the water temperature, amount of use & location of the spa will ultimately determine this however the following points will give you a better idea of what to expect.
Insulation: Is crucial for effective heat retention, if a spa isn’t extremely well insulated it will cost a small fortune to heat & you won’t use your spa all year round. The most effective insulation for spas is 'Closed Cell Foam' which is sprayed beneath the spa shell & in some cases on the base of the spa. A thick spa shell adds to heat retention as does a good amount of insulation on the inside of the spa cabinet. The more insulation your spa has the better, ensuring affordable all year round use. Note: If the cabinet on a spa that you’re looking at purchasing is closed, ask your sales person to open it up so you can see inside the cabinet to make sure it has excellent insulation in all the areas mentioned. Spas loose just as much heat through the base & cabinet area as from the top of the spa without a properly fitted cover. A fully sealed & insulated base is crucial for retaining heat, also keeping moisture out of the cabinet area & stopping rats, mice, snakes, frogs, ants etc. from entering the cabinet area & damaging equipment.
Electric Heaters: Cost approximately 25c per kW per hour of operation (2kW Heaters = $0.50 per hour & 3kW Heaters = $0.75 / hour). All spas use electric heaters & all spa heaters use the same amount of energy to heat water. The amount of Insulation & the type of Filter Pump will have more of an impact on ongoing costs than the actual heater does however larger heaters heat quicker than small heaters, which reduces the length of time the filter pump is required to operate (i.e. a 4Kw heater will heat the same volume of water in 1/2 the time that it takes a 2Kw heater) - reducing running costs considerably.