Chinese Manufactured Hot Tubs. 

First of all, I would just like to point out that any views expressed in this section are from my own personal experiences with Chinese manufactured hot tubs.

Chinese hot tubs have been available in the UK for a few years now and there are an ever increasing number of importers/dealers selling them, either from showrooms, on websites and on our beloved Ebay. Chinese hot tubs look rather impressive to the unsuspecting buyer, they're packed full of features, several pumps, loads of jets and quite often even a TV. They are also very cheap in comparison to the competition, the prices are so cheap that it's very easy to get carried away and think that you're getting a fantastic deal.

Well the truth of the matter is that you're not getting a good deal at all. Chinese hot tubs are miles behind the competition in terms of build quality, reliability and most worryingly, safety. The prices are cheap, because the hot tubs are cheap!

Over the past few year I've had numerous people contact me with faulty Chinese hot tubs. The first question that I usually ask a customer is, "what make is the hot tub". The response is usually either, "I'm not sure, it doesn't say" or, it's some obscure name that we've never heard of before. As soon as I realise that the owner doesn't even know the manufacturer of the hot tub it sets my alarm bells ringing and 90% of the time it's a Chinese hot tub. 

The most common problem that I encounter with Chinese hot tubs is usually something to do with the control system. The control systems on these hot tubs are of a very primitive design and have been incredibly unreliable. Most of the time, the best solution is to replace the control system with a system made by Balboa however, this is not cheap and I don't personally recommend it. The reason that I don't recommend this is because the new system will usually cost about a 1/3 of the original price of the hot tub and that once it's fitted you're still left with a poorly designed and poor quality hot tub which may not be safe. Changing the controls does not make the hot tub any better; it just allows it to work once again.

This brings me nicely onto the next common fault, leaks. In every hot tub, there are well over one hundred glued pipe joints and many fittings that are sealed with silicone. There are so many potential failure points on any hot tub that leaks are bound to occur, but couple that potential with poor build quality, bad design and poor working conditions; It's asking for trouble. I've seen countless DIY repairs made to these spas in an attempt to repair the leaks, it shouldn't really be necessary.

The most recent complaint is of the Acrylic shell becoming discoloured, blistering or de-laminating. There's no cure for these issues and it's quite simply due to a poor quality Acrylic being used.

Finally, a safety issue which doesn't even get noticed by the very people that import these spas. Pump suctions. There should be two suction points for each pump fitted to a spa, this is to help prevent entrapment of a bather, should they come into contact with a suction cover. I'm seeing hot tubs being imported with 5 pumps, and they only have 4 suctions points and a filter housing (which is a suction point). Having a pair of suctions per pump is very basic hot tub design, it's simple to understand, simple to implement and it saves lives. I can't understand why the Chinese spas cannot get this simple safety issue right and I hate to coin the phrase, "it will take a death before something is done about it".

Unfortunately, some Chinese hot tub owners that have contacted me and said that their hot tub is still under warranty but the dealer has either closed down or isn't willing to rectify the problem at all. This leaves the owners in a very difficult position.

So what should you do? Well if you haven't yet bought a hot tub and are currently looking, do your research, check to see how long the dealer has been trading, ask them where the hot tub was manufactured and most importantly, ensure that the hot tub is a well known brand. If you have already bought a Chinese hot tub and it has a fault(s), our advice would be to enquire at your local Citizens Advice Bureau for help. They will tell you the appropriate way to deal with the issue and give you advice on which steps to take next. Usually you have an obligation to allow the dealer a chance to repair the hot tub within a reasonable time period and this must be submitted in writing to the dealer. If they fail to repair or replace the hot tub within the given time, you should be within your rights to ask for a refund. Please consult the Citizens Advice Bureau and follow their instructions carefully.

Please shop carefully, learn from the mistakes of others and remember to buy a good quality known brand hot tub. Do your research and use Google effectively.

The current tactic used by the importers is to give their hot tubs an American sounding model name (e.g: California), they are also stating in the adverts that the Acrylic is made in the USA and that they come equipped with USA made Balboa controls. They do however usually fail to state where the hot tub is actually manufactured, but they make you sub-consciously believe that you are buying an American made product. Beware.

If you are considering purchasing a new hot tub and are unsure about your potential purchase please contact us for advice.

(C) Copyright 2010 - 2016 Ian Kime ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


 
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