There are commonly two ways full foam, and warm air insulated.
-Good- Full Foam: The manufacturer molds a thin shell into its seating form, plumbs the jets, attaches three sides of the cabinet and then pumps foam under the shell of the tub. Many of these manufactures use the foam as the structural support of the tub’s shell. This fill foam also makes finding and fixing leaks difficult as it requires the foam to be dug away from the piping. The removal of this foam also compromises the structural support of the tub’s shell.
-Better- Warm Air Insulation: The shell is formed into its seating, then the jets are plumbed and only the underside of the shell and each individual pipe is given a layer of insulating foam. This makes it easier to service the tub. Inside the cabinet the motors (pumps) generate heat over 100°. This insulates the spa like a thermal pane window. Adding Reflex Foil Wrap inside the cabinet of a tub with this design will improve insulation in very cold climate areas.
No, there are two different kinds of shells , acrylic and a Polyblend (like a truck bed liner.) Most manufactures use acrylic because of its shiny, swirled colors . Polyblend is a little dull but much stronger (you could throw boulders into it.)
When a shell is formed into its seating arrangement it is still very flimsy until given strength. Some manufactures cut comers and just use full foam insulation for strength. A stronger shell includes a layer of abs thermoplastic backing which gives the spa great strength and long lasting durability.
No, buy a spa first on comfort then how many jets it has. If you like a hard massage, buy a spa with a lot of jets, but make sure the pumps have the proper horsepower to accommodate the jet count. Too many jets and small pumps equal no pressure.
This is called zoned plumbing. The manufacture takes a pump and sends all the power to one side of the spa or to different seating areas. So if your the only one in the spa you can enjoy all the power to one seat. Also look for MassageAir therapy valves, this adds soothing bubbles through all the jets.
This is an easy one “cost”. A lot of manufactures have cut comers to make more of a profit. They figure you are putting the spa on a flat surface so you don’t need a bottom. That’s crazy! What happens if you put it on a deck, there are gaps in the boards and critters will move in, tunneling through the foam (not good). Buy a spa with a molded ABS sealed floor.
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