By Alaska Stove Alaska Stove 30 Aug, 2017
As the Alaska State Fair winds down, I certainly hope that everyone is having a great time!  I would like to talk about a particular subject we get asked a lot...  Everyday we get the question, "What are your Alaska State Fair Specials on your hot tubs?" Let me start off by saying we push Master Spa and our shipping companies very hard to make sure that we are more than competitive in our local Alaskan market.  The majority of time we are hundreds, if not thousands below our competition for comparable hot tubs. We are very upfront with our pricing and always have our best foot forward.  So do we have Alaska State Fair Specials?  No, we do not.  Are we less expensive than our competition?  Yes, we usually are regardless of a "Special" they have going on.  

We encourage our customers to shop thoroughly on hot tubs, and then come see us.  When you do shop there are a number of questions that you really want to make sure an ask.

1. Where are these hot tubs manufactured?  It is important to know if these are US made or not.  Many companies outsource the product to other countries to save money, and then put the finishing touches on in the US.  Buying American made products is not only good for our economy, but gives you a better quality product rather than potentially cutting corners for savings.  Every hot tub we sell is AMERICAN MADE in Ft. Wayne Indiana.  

2. How are these hot tubs insulated?  There are a variety of options for insulation and each with their strengths and weaknesses.  It is important to do your research and make sure not only is the insulation good for our local climate, but easy to work on AFTER the warranty is up as that is when most repairs tend to occur. For instance Polyurethane foam is a structural foam and as such water does not flow through it.  To repair a leak in such a hot tub would require extensive man hours and is very difficult to ensure the quality of such a repair.  While it does insulate well, the potential cost after the warranty period could render a hot tub totalled.  These are also very susceptible to black mold if there are any leaks.  Not exactly something you want your loved ones being around.    

3. How many pumps does the hot tub have and more importantly, how much power do they have?  A 2 pump hot tub sounds great, but if they are only 2hp then it doesn't mean much.  Most of our hot tubs feature 2 and in some cases 3 pumps ranging from 4.5hp to 6hp! 

4. How much is the annual maintenance in terms of any "Special" water cleaning/filtration they have?  The last thing you want to do is find out that you have to spend $200-$1,000 per year on some specialty system to keep your water clear.  There are much more effective and less expensive ways to take care of a hot tub.  We feature one of the best, if not the best filtration system available and at a fraction of the maintenance cost of our competition.

5. Are the jets removable or interchangeable? There is a difference...  Removable jets have a tab that you line up when putting the jet back into place.  You line the tab up, push in, and then twist.  This locks the jet into place.  The issue is that these tabs break and while there is a plumbing warranty on the hot tub be sure to read the fine print.  Most companies exclude jets from that plumbing warranty and limit the time they are covered.  An interchangeable jet is actually threaded.  It threads in and threads out.  These are much more durable and can be moved at a moments notice without the worry of breakage.

6. If you are at the State Fair be sure to ask the salesperson where they are from.  Make sure you are buying from someone local and not a paid salesperson who's sole job is to sell you that hot tub and then fly away.  The same can be said for the business...  Make sure they have a location where you can physically go when you need something.  The last thing you want to have is a hot tub with nobody around to provide chemicals, advice, or service!  Make sure you as the customer are going to be taken care of.

Finally, what makes the hot tub different from everything else on the market?  What is it about that brand that nobody else has? Make sure that you are not just paying an abundance of money for a name, and that there is quality and value behind it.  

 Thank you for reading my first blog on how to shop for a hot tub. Look around, and ask lots of questions. Before you make your final decision, please come and shop us as well.  We will be happy to show you what we can do for you and why we believe we have the best product, and at the best price available.  Until next time...

Jeremy Rice
General Manager- Alaska Stove and Spa  

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