Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
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- Pamper yourself in relaxing heated water surrounded by soothing bubble jets
- Easy to operate digital control panel; automatic start/stop timer-controlled heating system
- 4-6 Person Capacity
- Inflated walls are made of TriTech material that provides ultimate durability and comfort
- Fast, easy set up - inflates using the spa's pump - NO tools needed
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From the manufacturer
Key Features :
Digital Control Panel
The Coleman SaluSpa features a Digital Control Panel with an automatic Start/Stop timer-controlled heating system. Just set the temperature you desire and activate the SaluSpa Massage System for a relaxing and comfortable spa experience.
Superior Strength and Durability
The Coleman SaluSpa leatheroid and puncture resistant exterior is made with a TriTech 3 ply reinforced material, featuring a polyester mesh core encased in two layers of PVC, for extra strength and durability.
Sturdy I-Beam Construction
The Coleman SaluSpa walls are made using I-Beam construction. This allows users to sit on the sides without the spa bending or buckling, making this product superior to others in its class.
Cushioned Air Pad Floor
The Coleman SaluSpa features a separate air pad cushioned floor which sits underneath the spa. On top of the additional comfort under foot and backside, this helps with insulation and minimizing the loss of heat through the base of the spa.
Package also includes: DVD detailing spa setup and maintenance, Heating System, Insulated Cover, Filtration System with filter cartridge - type VI, Ground Cloth, Inflation Hose, Chemical floater, Heavy-duty repair patch.
STATE RESTRICTIONS!! CANNOT SHIP TO CALIFORNIA STATE
Top customer reviews
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1. Setup is fairly easily and straightforward. Another reviewer commented that the directions are terrible, but I don’t think they are. It took about 30 minutes to get everything setup and ready to inflate, then another 10 to inflate it. I don't think the manual mentions it, but place the "insulation blanket" (which is essentially a sheet of heavy duty bubble wrap) with the bubble side face down under the hot tub (and obviously before you put water in it). This will prevent rain, snow & crud from building up in the little voids between the bubbles.
2. As another reviewer pointed out, you can buy a connection for an indoor faucet that connects to a garden house (I got one at Home Depot for $7) and allows you to fill it with warm water. This is a big time saver in that you don’t have to wait for the cold water taken from an outdoor spigot to warm up, especially if you’re chomping at the bit to use your new hot tub. According to the specs, the tub holds 254 gallons at 80% filled. There are two lines drawn on the interior wall – “min” and “max”. I believe the 80% line is the “min” line. I filled mine from my kitchen sink in approximately 4 hours. The flow rate from my sink (measured using a 5 gallon bucket and a stopwatch) was about 1 gallon/minute. I have fairly weak water pressure so others may be able to fill up faster.
3. If you don’t fill the tub using warm water, you will have to wait until the tub reaches the temperature you want. The tub can heat the water approximately 2 deg per hour. So, if you used 50 deg water from your outdoor faucet, and you want the tub at 100 deg, you have to wait 25 hours.
4. WEIGHT: Do NOT put this on your outdoor deck unless it was designed for it. It might not look like it, but a filled hot tub is incredibly heavy. Water weighs about 8.3 lb per gallon, so at 80% fill height this hot tub will weigh about 2110 lb not including the people that get in it. The specs say the “filled weight” is 2701 lb but this probably incorporates four average people and is a useful design number. Most outdoor decks are built to about 50 lb/ft^2. You probably need a deck built to 100 lb/ft^2 to hold this or any other hot tub.
5. The tub can hold four average size people.
6. ENERGY: As an engineer, I’m obsessed with how things are built and use energy. I measured the current draw when it’s operating. There are essentially four modes of operation: (1) circulating pump ON with heater ON (2) circulating pump ON with heater OFF (3) air pump ON (produced bubbles) (4) everything OFF. When I say “circulating pump” I’m referring to the pump that circulates water through the filters and through the heater. The bubbles are created by an air pump that pulls in outside air (which can be cold!) and out the little holes in the bottom of the tub. Note you can’t run the heater with the bubbles on as it shuts off automatically. When the pump and heater are ON, it pulls about 1250 watts (1.25 kW). When just the air pump is on producing bubbles, it pulls about 650 watts. Therefore, if you have the temperature set at its max of 104 deg, you may find it running all the time with the heater on. As a conservative example of cost, at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, you’re looking at it costing $4.50 per day (24 hours x 1.25 kW x 15 cents), or $135 per month. The temperature setting is everything and I would suggest keeping it at 100 deg all the time (particularly if you live in a cold climate like I do) and if you know you’re going to use it later, crank it up to 104. It will take a couple of hours to reach that. When you’re done, set it back to 100 deg. Another reviewed mentioned it only cost them about $20 month. I’m not sure how that was possible, but maybe. I’m expecting mine to cost about $100 per month in electricity.
7. ENERGY TIP: Putting some kind of blanket over it during the day will vastly reduce the amount of heat loss. I stitched together two moving blankets and have been laying them over the hot tub inflatable cover when I’m not using it. I need to figure out how to put the blankets in some sort of waterproof wrapping so they can be out there in the rain and snow. Another suggestion is to find some sort of insulation (preferably waterproof) below the hot tub. The supplied “bubble wrap” liner they give you to put under it probably isn’t sufficient. Mine sits on my deck (yes, I designed my deck to support a hot tub weight) and the cold air from below is obviously sucking out some heat. This is similar to the effect on bridges where they freeze before the roads do since their underbelly is exposed and cool off faster.
8. Bubbles cool the water off fairly quickly. As mentioned it pulls in cold outside air and pumps it up through the nice warm water. It’s not ridiculously fast however, just something to keep in mind. I would estimate it cooled off from 104 deg to 100 deg in 15 minutes or so where the outside air temp was about 45 deg.
9. SOUND: It's very quiet when just the circulator pump and heater are running, like a low frequency hum. When the air pump is running it's about as loud an average vacuum cleaner. It's really not bad at all and you can have normal conversations sitting in the tub.
10. Educate yourself on the chemicals by reading about them online or going to a pool/hot tub store and speaking with someone who knows what they are talking about. After reading about them online, I went with Bromine tabs (over Chlorine). I bought some pH increaser, pH decreaser and some "Shock". And don't forget the pH testers (that also test for a number of other things). The chemicals will set you back $60-$100. Having the right pH, Bromine level, Alkalinity, etc. is imperative to keeping the water useable.
11. The filters clog up pretty quickly, so I would order a bunch of them just to have. Some people have said they wash theirs in the dishwasher. I have only rinsed my in the sink so far, but make sure you rinse them often. I’m not a chemist, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the chemicals that are added to the water work to (among other things) bind up oils. Remember, you’re essentially sitting in reusable bath water. The filters look like they get filled with a light brown sludge that must be the stuff its binded up. Keeping the filters clean is essential to keeping the tub clean and having the heat pump work effectively.
12. TIP: make sure you take a shower, and ask your guests to take a shower if possible before they get in your tub. Also, rinse your bathing suit with fresh water before you get in as detergent is usually still in the fabric and will go right in the hot tub. Eventually, you’ll see lots of detergent bubbles on the surface.
13. You don’t need a chair or cushion for the inside. When I was contemplating purchasing it, I wondered how people sat in it since there obviously weren’t built-in chairs like a real hot tub would have. The floor is cushioned enough that it is very comfortable. You CAN buy a cushion to sit on or even for your head, but you don’t NEED it. The water height is about 3’, so a normal size person (I’m 5’ 10”) can sit in it and put their rest their arms over the side.
14. ANNOYING FEATURE: This is the single complaint I have about the hot tub. The heater & pump shut off automatically after 72 hours. I assume this is a “safety” feature, although I don’t know how it makes it safer. Bottomline, you have to always check on it to make sure it’s still running. Otherwise you come home from work wanting to get in your nice warm hot tub and you find its 70 deg because you forgot to reset everything that morning and it shut off while you were at work. Super annoying! If anyone knows a hack for this, please let me know.
In summary, the tub works GREAT considering its inflatable and relatively inexpensive. I’d rate the tub 9.5/10 for value and only misses a perfect score because of the annoying feature described above.
Hope this helps!
The Coleman is a branded variant of the Lay-Z Spa, and other than color, it appears to be identical to the other Lay-Z Spa sold. However, it appears that it holds about 50 gallons more water. It plugs into 120V, which makes it extremely easy to plug and play. Just be careful what else you have on the circuit with this tub, as it *will* consume an entire 15A circuit when you take in account safety margins. I have a Kill-a-Watt connected in series so I can monitor its power consumption (more later).
The little green ovalish box is the brains of the operation. It contains the heater, a blower (which doubles as both inflator and bubble maker), and a membrane control panel. I have found it difficult to read during the day. The dark LED segments show bright white while the red is dimly lit.
The instructions are not the best. Warnings are randomly scattered all over the place, making it difficult to read. While physically using the inflator works great, the pressure gauge is not even to the right scale needed to properly measure the correct pressure required. The first marking on the gauge is 2 psi and there is no 1 psi marking! Expect it to move a couple of millimeters and not point anything in particular when you reach 1.2 psi. The main air chamber has a very nice locking connector with a high quality one way air valve, so it is not like blowing up a pool inflatable. The sides are very firm once inflation is complete.
*Pro Tip* While inflating, its very likely the keypad will auto lock before you are done. Make sure you unlock it again ahead of time, otherwise you'll spend a minute trying to figure out why the heck it won't turn off and overinflate your pool!
There is a ground pad that looks like thick bubble wrap. There is still bits of snow on the ground, and it felt warm sitting on top of it. Although the instructions mentioned nothing of this pad, I faced the flat side down and put the pool on top of it. Do this before you put in the water!
The hoses connect up nicely and it took me a couple of minutes to finish the connection. Expect it to take an hour or two to fill up the tub with your hose. I'd imagine, the warmer the water, the better. I couldn't find my sink adapter, so I just used whatever bitter cold water came out of the garden hose though.
People complain about how slow 120V systems are to heat up. This is because you are physically restricted by the number of watts you can pull through a typical house plug. The tub has a two stage heater and can pull between 700 and 1200 watts. It apparently decides to use full wattage if the water is cold enough. It will switch to 2 elements after about a minute from my observation. When heating, it also runs the pump. This means only 1-2F degrees an hour of warming per hour. While they made a good effort to insulate the tub, it still is an inflatable.
The bubbles are surprisingly large for just blowing air into a holed ring in the bottom. It looks just like a typical hard tub. Just remember: the amount of power required to create the bubbles takes away from the power needed for full heating capability. My tub is not at temperature yet (57F), but as it stands now, it turns off all heating in order to make bubbles.
The heater + pump does not make much sound. Its a quiet hum, around 50 dB (or what is called a "quiet street" sound level or maybe a refrigerator hum). Obviously bubbles make a lot more noise, and there is a slight vacuum cleaner sound. But I would imagine a lot of other hot tubs have similar noise levels.
You need proper chemicals in your spa. Not putting any in because its "just you" or randomly throwing in a tablet into the floater are not good ideas. You can get sick or chemically burned. The manual is completely useless and tells you to "go to a spa store" to learn about some "chemicals". Thanks guys. Just what I need is another salesmen who will try to sell me a hard tub. Searching on the internet is not much help either, as it is full of snake oil additives, unsound science on forums, etc.
Make sure you buy a pack of test strips, as blindly adding chemicals can be very dangerous. You will want to know pH, chlorine/bromine level, and alkalinity.
For the type of chemicals, there are two routes to go: Bromine or Chlorine.
Bromine is a little bit more work but has some purported benefits. It has less odor, can be restored using a shock, etc. People in our hot tub notice little to no odor.
Read the directions, but typically one will add Sodium Bromide (granules) to bring the Bromine levels up to an initial value. After that, you will likely use a Bromine tablet in the floater (1"). You will have to apply a "shock" to convert all that Bromine into free Bromine if your granules do not also include a shock.
Pick up some pH Up and pH Down. Its cheap. When I initially filled it, my water was around 6.8 (too low). My Alkalinity is slightly low as well, and usually pH Up will boost this incidentally. Your water will be different.
You can use the bubbles to mix chemicals as needed.
Energy consumption (from Kill-A-Watt):
Standby: 5-8 Watts (electronics only)
Pump: 27 Watts
Bubbles: 650 Watts
Heater: ~700 Watts with one element, ~1200 Watts both elements (automatic)
Bubbles + Heater: Doesn't appear possible
** Update - 1 week of usage **
In the Seattle winter with 40F days, this hot tub typically takes around 24-30 hours to reach temperature from cold hose water. It burns around 40kWh of electricity to heat this water up, so the initial startup costs can be costly. (40 * $0.10 = $4.00). I also noticed that it takes a lot of energy to maintain 104F (it runs 100% of the time), and you might be looking at $90 in electricity over the month! This is likely an insulation issue.
* however * I have discovered that simply lowering the temperature a couple degrees when you are not using it makes a huge difference. Backing off the temperature, to say, 100F, practically quartered the power consumption. I should have some better numbers later, but this is the way to go. It only takes about an hour to go from 100F to 104F in the worst case, so not much is lost.
We have used it quite a few times over the week, and it was very enjoyable. The tub is soft and comfortable, much more than a fiberglass or tile tub. I actually prefer it. The surround is still very firm and has not lost inflation.
** Update - 6 months later **
The inflatable vessel has developed some problems (leaks) and I have now engaged the warranty process. I am waiting for my RMA to be approved. I could not tell you if this is normal for this hot tub or not. I got my first leak on one of the seams. It was a small hole and I easily patched it. But then another developed...then another...in each case I noticed the internal ribbing completely failed. Eventually, a large section failed and it was hard to keep up with batching all of these holes as the hot tub slowly tore itself apart. These holes developed while nobody was using the hot tub. I will keep this updated with the progress on this. If the customer support is sufficient, I am not going to dock any stars on this review.
**Update: Post Warranty**
Everyone has delt with crappy manufacturers on warranties, but this company is not one of them. I had to cut out the serial number from my tub (don't be scared) in order to get a full replacement.
The new "vessel" is working geat with no issues.
I also have a comment on temperature: while low temps create long duration of full heating cycles, I've consistently kept our tub at 102-104 in the 20F range. Extremely low temps make it work harder (almost 2 days to acclamate!) but reasonable temps will hit temperature within a day.
My biggest issue with this tub is the auto shutdown. If no key presses are hit, it will turn off in 3-4 days. Unfortunately, this is the length of our Seattle rain spells. You have to babysit the console every few days. You just need to unlock it and lock it to make it happy.
This tub features an Atmel 328. I happen to be an expert at programming these. I am considering a mod but curious if anyone is interested.. WiFi or Bluetooth 4.0 is also possible.