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Hot Tub Construction

Your Frequently Asked Questions About How Hot Tubs Are Constructed.

What Should I Know Before I Purchase a Hot Tub?

We have this on our Important Information Page. Link to it here

What Are Circulation Pumps And Are They Important?

In order to maintain clean water, your spa will operate in circulation mode at least part of the day.  Some spas will use the low speed on the primary pump running 2 - 8 hours a day.  Other spas will use a much smaller, separate circulation pump running 8 - 24 hours a day.  Both processes can work well, however a separate circulation pump is preferable with a salt system as Bromine is produced when the spa is in circulation mode. 

What Are Diverter Valves and Therapy Zones?

Here is a very good reason to wet test a spa you are thinking about purchasing.  Unless it is an inexpensive spa with few jets you will likely discover that all the jets cannot be used all of the time!  With many brands, in fact most all, the spa you were just told can seat 6, can only provide massage to 2 - 4 of them at one time.  Virtually all spa manufacturers use Diverter Valves so that they can claim high jet counts.  They can provide good pressure to some of the jets with this Diverter Valve but, as the name suggests, they are diverting water pressure from one set of jets to another!  Bullfrog Spas is THE MAJOR EXCEPTION!  Their unique plumbing is far more efficient than that in any other hot tub, hence they use NO DIVERTER VALVES! (Click to see)

So what is a Therapy Zone?  Well, some of the more creative marketing people realized that "Diverter Valve" sounded too much like what it actually does and that doesn't sell well.  These folks came up with the new name, "Therapy Zone".  Sounds so much better, doesn't it?  It's a sophisticated Diverter Valve - and you still cannot use all of the jets all of the time, hence not everyone in your hot tub gets a massage! 

What Is A Captain's Chair?

A Captain's Chair is basically a vertical lounge.  It gives you the benefit of a lounge (largely jets on your legs and feet) without floating.  Many of our models have these type of seats, some even have 2! Visit our showroom and see what we mean!

What's The Difference Between A 48-Frame & A 56-Frame Pump?

48-Frame motors are basically pool motors, not designed for the rigors of hot tubs with their high-pressure massage jets.  Never-the-less, several of the best known hot tub manufacturers continue to use 48-Frame motors, as do discount brands.

Specifically "Frame" refers to the diameter of the armature in the motor.  Although 2 motors may have the same horsepower rating, a 56-Frame motor will be 40% larger.  It will also run cooler and last longer.  However they cost more, hence many spa companies use the cheaper 48-Frame motors knowing they will last just about as long as their warranties.  Motors run around $450 - $550, add in labor and these manufacturers & their dealers have locked in additional profits at your expense.  To make matters worse, we have found dealers telling customers their spa brands use 56-Frame motors, when they're not.


  1. Bullfrog and Marquis Spas (with the exception of their beginning, Celebrity Spas line) use 56-Frame motors exclusively.
  2. The largest manufacturer of hot tubs (And they advertise that they are the largest) uses 48-Frame motors even in their most expensive spas.
  3. The easiest way to tell the difference between a 48 Frame & 56 Frame motor is to measure the ouside diameter  of the motor.  A 48 Frame motor is approx. 5 1/2 inches, while a 56 Frame motor is about 6 1/2 inches. 

What Hot Tub Manufacturers Use Proprietary Equipment?

Some of the larger names in the industry use proprietary equipment. They will suggest their equipment is better but that's not always the case. Spa manufacturers make spas the best, equipment manufacturers make equipment the best, not the other way around.  Top hot tub equipment manufacturers actually make more equipment, hence likely invest more in their Research & Development. However, nothing is perfect, they will even have recalls! Just know that when a hot tub manufacturer uses proprietary parts, replacement parts may cost you considerably more because of this exclusivity.

Though not an exhaustive list, these manufacturers using  proprietary equipment.

  • Hot Spring®
  • Caldera®
  • Jacuzzi®
  • Sundance®
  • Dimension One®


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