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Pilates H20 XP1. Our family had been looking for a spa for a year or so and it was so confusing for the average Joe to tell the difference between the middle grade spas. I looked at Hot Springs, Tiger River, Sundance, Diamante, and others as well. Obviously Hot Springs and Tiger River are very nice spas and I would love to have one, but for 10-15k I just don’t see the justification. Not impressed at all by the Sundance spas. My neighbor has a newer Jacuzzi and it is very nice but all the local dealers are out of business. So anyway, I called Costco and asked them what their return policy was on this spa and it is unlimited. Really how can you lose as a consumer with a deal like that? I order the spa and 3 weeks later it arrived. Curbside delivery is total BS not too many people have the equipment to move a spa into their backyard not to mention the xp1 at almost 8x8 is a big spa. Of course for $250 you can get” white glove” delivery and they will put it in your backyard. I got the green glove delivery with the drivers and my neighbors help, it was in my back yard. After filling and electrical hook ups we were off and running. The spa is very nice looking. We got the cobalt with the mahogany cabinet. My neighbor’s wife says its on steroids compared to their Jacuzzi.
Time for the good. It has 5 pumps, 3 GE water pumps, 1 blower and a 24 hour circ pump. The main pump is 2 speed and the other two are single speed and control the Captains chairs. I have found this works really well. The Captains chair pumps work separately from each other and the main pump, so if I get in by myself I can turn on the pump for the Captains chair I want to sit in and no other jets are on. These chairs really are the highlight of this spa. They have sequencer that has been pre programmed with six different massages settings. It somehow controls the flow of water to individual jets in the chair depending on the setting. My explanation is not doing it justice, all I can tell you is it gives you a really nice massage, and works unlike any other jet configuration I have seen in a spa. The jets are super strong and if I open them full, they can blow me out of the seat.
The shell is made from GE Geloy Acrylic. The GE website states that this is one of their best acrylics, and from Gulf Coast web site and other references, Gulf Coast is one of the few manufactures that can vacuum mold this acrylic. Shell thickness is approx ¼”. 1/8” actual acrylic and the rest shell backing, not sure if that is fiberglass or some other acrylic. It measures the same as my neighbors Jacuzzi, but much thicker than our friends fair bought Master spa. Gulf Coast warrantees this shell for life if you buy the spa direct, 5 years from Costco. The shell mold quality is probably a second from high end guys like Hot Springs or Sundance, difficult to tell whether some of what I consider to be slight defects are ergonomics in the shell design though. I know in my travels as a construction company estimator, I have seen what Sundance and Hot Springs consider seconds in peoples backyards and in some cases unless they point the defect out to you, you would never find it. I am sill considering sending it back for this reason though. The spa pack is in.xm. The installation is very clean and access is right in front. I have no idea of the quality and it would be great to hear if any regulars like nloty have had any experiences with in.xm products. I can tell you from my experience so far they work fine. Since this is our first spa, I have no other first hand experiences to judge it against, I can tell you the heater and insulation combo work great for us. Example, a week ago my wife did not put the cover on thinking I was going to shock it, I fell asleep and woke up at 3 am and realized the cover was not on, thinking the spa was probably like 90 degrees by then, I went out to put the cover on, it was 103, and that is what it was set on. We do live in California and I don’t want you guys in Minnesota to give me crap but it was 52 that night. The pumps automatically shut off after 20 minutes as a safety reminder unless you keep them on, so thankfully they were not running that whole time. Last night, my wife and kids got in, I like 103 which it was set on, she likes 102 so I turned it down a notch, after they got out 30 min later it was still 103. Last night was 55 and raining. Seems pretty good to me. The filtration is adequate and the ozonator really helps with water quality. Gulf Coast says non chlorine products only.
Construction is 2x2 with a ¼” abs base. I do not understand why manufacturers would not use 2x4s or at least 2x3 but this is still the same construction as Sundance. The spa uses a combination of foam and cabinet insulation, instead of full foam. With 92 jets there is a complete maze on the underside. If it was full foam, I am convinced there would be no way to correctly work on this spa. On the topside the main control panel works well and is easy to configure, digging deeper the panel reveals my spa # which is in the low 20’s so there is not very many out there. When talking to customer support, the rep told me this spa had been out for 6 months, so the sales on these I would consider slow. The remote is a nice feature and works well but can be confusing for some as most buttons control 2 or 3 functions, much like your AVR control for your home theater. The stereo w/ subwoofer work well but the sound is not nearly as clean or powerful as the Hot Springs. Still very nice for a backyard player. The waterfalls are useless as far as I am concerned, but the kids like them, I would much rather have a smooth waterfall like the one on my neighbors’ Jacuzzi. The spa led light does the job and has soothing colors.
Now for the bad, two days after I got the spa I noticed a small leak, 1 drip every 2 or 3 seconds. It was right in the center of the spa, possibly the ozonator or a close jet. Looking at the maze I thought how is anyone going to get to this even if you could, working on it would be extremely difficult. So I called customer support and he said no problem they will send the parts and I would be contacted by the service tech shortly after the parts arrived in about 1 week and quote “ we will have you up and running in no time” that was on August 20. The parts arrived yesterday September 21st! Their only saving grace was I kept an eye on the leak and after 4 or 5 days it stopped. I am thinking some part had to seat or something not sure, but it stopped. The tech never told me so drain the spa or quit using it and with the Costco warrantee if figured what the heck. Still kind of concerning I got the spa quicker than the parts for the leaking spa. The person I spoke to at the 24/7 support # was super nice, friendly and answered quickly.
I have no reason to think Gulf Coast is going anywhere and they certainly aren’t hiding from anyone the way they answer the phone, so for now I am keeping this spa and for $7,600 into my backyard, the quality of the shell and pumps, I got a fair deal. Time will tell.
If anyone has any questions or if any regulars want pump #s or any other specific info let me know.
Oh yea the hard plastic massage balls are good for the adults but keep them in check with the kids.
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