Chinese Hot tub woes.

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After having a Spaform Grand Canyon for 11 years it was in need of repair and at around £950 to have two pump replaced a cheap Hot Tub on ebay looked  a good buy, who was I kidding ,except myself.
We went along to the showroom and asked to see one, they didnt have one on display but could show me one still in the wrapping. The alarm bells should have rung when we saw one that had been returned because there was no insulation on the spa shell.

We had a look at the one still in the wrapping  and decided to place an order.
I  received a delivery date of up to four weeks, then had an email to inform me they had one in  stock so could deliver any time, but the Hot Tub would have the speakers in the side not the 'pop up type' I was happy at this so long as it was the same specification. 
They delivered and the following day I paid the balance. I arranged for the electrician to carry out instalation (they require a PARTP certificate if outside in the garden, please dont connect yourself you get fined £5000)

It was then my troubles started, I noticed the spa shell had only 1 to 2 mm of insulation, (the Spaform had 50mm of spray foam) One of the internal stainless support brackets was damaged, the fibre glass base wasnt insulated and had a nasty crack in the same corner as the damaged bracket. We used the spa and the 'bluetooth function' to play some music from the phone. At around 2.30am I got up to go to the loo (as most 55 year old males do) ALL THE PUMPS WERE GOING FULL GUNS on the Hot Tub!!!!!!!!.
I went outside to turn them off, only to find I was completely 'locked' out of the control panel, only by switching off at the mains isolator and turning back on could I do anything. I must mention that I had set the Hot Tub system ----Time, cleaning cycle and the pre-heat cycle--- ( the instructions said 23 hours 59 mins,,my control panel would only let me set to a maximum of 19 hour 50 mins)

I went to see the supplier, they offered me a control panel to fit myself, ( you cant fit them yourself as they are covered under PARTP regulation and would invalidate your warrenty)
Any way I asked for a refund as I was sure the Hot tub wasnt of merchantable quality, the supplier refused, I contacted my credit card company and asked for a refund under section 75 of the consumer and credit card act 1974.
They asked me to get an independent assessment, here it is:
*********************************************************************************************************
Following your telephone call to our office and our immediate site visit please find the following;
We were asked by yourself to attend site as per the instruction from your card provider, in order
to prepare a third party report based upon our observations made whilst on site relating to your
hot tub.
We were specifically asked to confirm the origins or country of manufacture of the said hot tub
and note any further information relating to the overall condition of the hot tub.
We note that the hot tub was purchased and delivered late October 2013 by a third party.
Please note photgraphic evidence is available if required.
Observation report.
On Wednesday 11th December 2013 we attended the above address at your specific request in
order to provide the relevant information required as detailed above. Here are our observations;
In our professional opinion the hot tub we saw is indeed of Chinese origin.
The nature of the build of the hot tub and the type of low quality plant and equipment such
as the hydrotherapy pumps, topside control, ozoninator and main motherboard are
consistent with those found in the hot tubs made within China.
Further more the actual build of the hot tub itself is very specific to the Chinese market.
The topside control and motherboard are generally only found on the low quality hot tubs
imported from China.
 
 
We also noted other issues which we feel are relevant to your purchase;
1. The steel box section sub frame which provides important support for both the hull/shell and the cabinet is very poorly spot welded in most places. The actual spot welding procedure has caused parts of the subframe to be burnt away – providing weak spots and limiting its support characteristics.
2. Brackets attached to both the sub frame and the base of the hot tub, have been broken off in places and have been poorly spot welded.
3. There is a high level of corrosion along the weld located all the way along the sub frame.
4. Timber battons which are located along the perimeter of the hot tub appear to have been hacked away from the main framework assembly – possibly in order to gain access to a faulty component. Although the battons have been replaced they don’t appear integral or as strong as the originals.
5. There is cabinet damage to one corner of the spa which would appear consistent with damage which can occur during the delivery.
6. You mentioned that the base was ABS – it appears to be GRP not ABS and has a severe fracture in the area near to the cabinet damage – which would appear consistent with damage that may occur during the delivery.
7. Although the spa was full of water, we noted an area located in the footwell of the spa which appeared to be showing signs of shell delamination! (This is highly irregular for a spa of this age).
In our professional opinion this spa is definitely Chinese and we feel is not of merchantable quality.
We should point out that on the website, references are made to the acrylic being manufactured in the USA by Lucite tm, unfortunately there is no obvious way we can confirm this.
I trust this report meets your specific requirements and look forward to being of further service to you.
Yours faithfully
*********************************************************************************************************

Pretty conclusive I would say,
 I also contacted another Hot Tub supplier,  he told me to ask the supplier for the CE certificate and harmanisation codes for import into the EU,, within 24 I was offered a full refund.
I now have received  a full refund and I shall be persuing the credit card company for the cost of the report.

I have received my electric bill for november,
in september it was £65.00
in october  it was £55
in november with the chinese hot tub it shot up to £125.00
and for the first two weeks in december it is currently at £95.00

You decide if you want a cheap hot tub and a large electricity bill or an expensive hot tub and a small electricity bill.
I belive chinese hot tubs should be banned in the EU until they meet a minimum standard of insulation.
 
 
Following your telephone call to our office and our immediate site visit please find the following;
We were asked by yourself to attend site as per the instruction from your card provider, in order
to prepare a third party reposrt based upon our observations made whilst on site relating to your
hot tub.
We were specifically asked to confirm the origins or country of manufacture of the said hot tub
and note any further information relating to the overall condition of the hot tub.
We note that the hot tub was purchased and delivered late October 2013 by a third party.
Please note photgraphic evidence is available if required.
Observation report.
On Wednesday 11th December 2013 we attended the above address at your specific request in
order to provide the relevant information required as detailed above. Here are our observations;
In our professional opinion the hot tub we saw is indeed of Chinese origin.
The nature of the build of the hot tub and the type of low quality plant and equipment such
as the hydrotherapy pumps, topside control, ozoninator and main motherboard are
consistent with those found in the hot tubs made within China.
Further more the actual build of the hot tub itself is very specific to the Chinese market.
The topside control and motherboard are generally only found on the low quality hot tubs
imported from China.
 
 
We also noted other issues which we feel are relevant to your purchase;
1. The steel box section sub frame which provides important support for both the hull/shell and the cabinet is very poorly spot welded in most places. The actual spot welding procedure has caused parts of the subframe to be burnt away – providing weak spots and limiting its support characteristics.
2. Brackets attached to both the sub frame and the base of the hot tub, have been broken off in places and have been poorly spot welded.
3. There is a high level of corrosion along the weld located all the way along the sub frame.
4. Timber battons which are located along the perimeter of the hot tub appear to have been hacked away from the main framework assembly – possibly in order to gain access to a faulty component. Although the battons have been replaced they don’t appear integral or as strong as the originals.
5. There is cabinet damage to one corner of the spa which would appear consistent with damage which can occur during the delivery.
6. You mentioned that the base was ABS – it appears to be GRP not ABS and has a severe fracture in the area near to the cabinet damage – which would appear consistent with damage that may occur during the delivery.
7. Although the spa was full of water, we noted an area located in the footwell of the spa which appeared to be showing signs of shell delamination! (This is highly irregular for a spa of this age).
In our professional opinion this spa is definitely Chinese and we feel is not of merchantable quality.
We should point out that on the website, references are made to the acrylic being manufactured in the USA by Lucite tm, unfortunately there is no obvious way we can confirm this.
I trust this report meets your specific requirements and look forward to being of further service to you.
Yours faithfully
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