The pump did fail in Jan '10 after six months & a replacement was delivered immediately. The zip did break & lid lining ripped apart, but was still usable. The 2nd pump lasted about a year to Jan '11 & then we just binned the lot again. We have not purchased another one yet, but for the price of £20 a month, (if it lasts 18 months), in my opinion it is still worth the money for this luxury. We will probably buy another one this Winter, so will keep on updating its progress.
(Update 8th July 2009)
I know you must think we are totally mad (we are), but we have just bought the new Lay-Z-Spa Premium Series, which is supposed to be the much improved model. We have also built a gazebo to keep the Spa dry and protected. My husband missed the spa so much (it helped with his bad back), so we thought we would give it another go, as 3 years had passed and for the price it was still a very cheap luxury at £349. We were told by the retailer that this unit has Japanese technology rather than Chinese, but I am not sure if this is true, as the unit still states Made in China. It is still working after 6 weeks (I am touching wood as I type). It has a new style lid which zips up and with a small inflatable center. The zip is not the easiest thing in the world to use and it will be interesting to see if this breaks before the 3 month warranty ends. However, the biggest downfall with the new unit is that it doesn't heat the water when the air jets are on, like the Series 1 did, this means that the temperature drops considerably (dropped to 34 degrees last night), so will be unusable in Autumn, unless you have your spa indoors of course. If the air was heated then this wouldn't be a problem, but the air jets use the air from outside. If a new Series 1 pump is still available with the old function, then it might be a good idea to buy one of these as well to use in the colder months. This new unit is a clever way of Bestway preventing buyers from using it in the Winter, resulting in the warranty expiring by the time buyers reinstate them for the Summer. I have not seen this model on Ebay yet, but please get in touch if you have any problems with yours. As you may or may not be aware under EU Law all electrical items have a 2 year manufacturers warranty, which has recently been highlighted in the News (Here is the link (www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/victoriaderbyshire/2009/05/that_piece_of_eu_legislation_y.html), so spread the word). It is EU Directive (1999/44/EC) and it states that "a two-year guarantee applies for the sale of all consumer goods everywhere in the EU. In some countries, this may be more, and some manufacturers also choose to offer a longer warranty period." It only needs a few Small Claims Court cases and I bet Bestway will soon sit up and listen. I know of one spa liner which has lasted 3 years, so if we get replacement pumps free for this amount of time and put up with some hassle along the way, then it is a brilliant purchase.
I bought the original Series 1 Lay-Z-Spa back in July 2006, on Ebay, from Branded Discount and had at least 8 pumps replaced. I have read that people are not cleaning the filters/replacing them and this is causing the units to fail, this is not the case here, we did everything to try and make these spas to work. My husband is a heating engineer and we are certainly not idiots. The first pump only lasted a couple of months and allowed moisture under the control panel, which is supposed to be waterproof, due to the fact that most would be sited outside & get wet during operation. This resulted in the controls not operating and the pump doing exactly what it wanted i.e. turning itself on and off at random. We phoned the Bestway Helpline who advised that we should let the pump dry out!!!! A bit difficult if it is outside in the rain. It then worked ok for a few days, but completely broke down when the display decreased in temperature to 20 degrees and would not heat the water. I received a replacement pump within a few days and all was working fine, until the next morning when I looked at the new pump and noticed it was completely dead. The replacements we were receiving didn't appear to be brand new, but refurbished, as they were scratched etc. This is a fantastic Spa when it works, but I am wondering if it is suitable for the European weather. It would ideally be suited indoors or undercover.
(Date 21st October 2006 update).
Our friends Spa purchased in September has failed within two weeks of use. Their Spa was indoors and would not heat the water. Bestway did not have any pumps in the country and they were advised that they would have to wait until the end of October '06 for a replacement, which was being shipped from China. This in my opinion was not acceptable and they should have been offered a full refund.
Our friends pump was replaced in November, so they had to wait nearly two months. I believe it is still working, but the pipes are bent due to a height difference between the pump and spa. Their center section of the spa is now also full of water and out of its 3 month warranty. They have not bought a new one as the cost is £150.00.
(Date 5th March 2007 update).
One of the seams of our inflatable lid has now come apart leaving a perfectly round hole. Bestway advised that the liner & lid only have a 3 month warranty and it is only the pump that is covered for 12 months. This is not good news as the hole was clearly a manufacturing defect or unsuitable perishable material. I am waiting to hear if I am able to get a replacement lid free of charge, due to my continuing pump problems. Bestway advised that the retailers should be notifying their customers about the short warranty on the liner, as this information is not in the manual.
(Date 9th March 2007 update).
Good news our new lid arrived today free of charge. Bestway advised not to over inflate it, not that it was anyway.
(Date 12th April 2007 update)
Well after we received our new lid. Guess what? Our pump failed again. It looks like condensation has damaged the printed circuit board yet again, even though it was covered. I phoned Bestway and they advised me to take the pump indoors to see if it would dry out. I did this, but as I thought, this didn't work. A new pump was sent within a few days, but unfortunately this one did not heat the water to 40 degrees. The display registered 40, but a reading taken with a digital thermostat stated the temperature was only 35 degrees, which is not warm enough for this season. I am still waiting for another replacement, as there are none in the country yet again. I wonder why? We were advised by Customer Services that the pump should not be used if the outside temperature is under 4 degrees. That you should turn the pump off every 8 hours for an hour and that the pump should remain covered at all times? How on earth can this be done when people work, site them outside and with our unpredictable weather, how are we suppose to judge the temperature at night.
(Date 6th May 2007 update)
A replacement pump was sent a couple of weeks later and only lasted one week. The pump turned itself off a few times, but we thought that there may have been a power cut or a cat had jumped on the buttons in the night and turned if off, but no, it stated EnD on the display, which we then found out was a new feature and not in the manual. Every 24 hours after operation the pump will hibernate. You are suppose to be able to press any button to restart it, but this did not work and although the red light was on to indicate that the water was being heated, it unfortunately was not. My husband and I were now so fed up with this Spa that I contacted Trading Standards to see what our rights were. They advised that as long as Bestway were meeting their obligation to replace the pumps, then you couldn't demand a refund from them, but you could ask for a refund from the supplier, as under the Sales of Goods Act the item is not fit for the purpose it was sold. I emailed Branded Discount and they advised that they had sold hundreds of Spas and had only received a few complaints. They agreed to a refund on the return of the Spa. Sellers are probably not receiving the complaints, as the manual states you have to contact Bestway when any problems occur. The rain has hindered us packing this item away, so we will need to wait for a dry spell.
I have also been advised by another Ebayer that when your warranty is up, you will only get an extra two weeks extended warranty, if your pump has been changed. If anyone has had a pump working for more than a year without any problems, then I would love to hear from you. I am not holding my breath!!!!
I waited a month for some decent weather and then madly decided to reinstate the spa. We turned the pump back on again and it appeared to be working. Also it was going to take ages for the Spa to dry out and we thought we would give it another try. Anyway, it didn't work, but we phoned Bestway and received a replacement within a week. This lasted a further week and then it wouldn't heat the water yet again. We were told that there was no stock until 6th August, so this was nearly another month without it. I was also told that our warranty would be extended by the amount of time we had been without a spa. My new pump arrives on the 13th August so lets see how long this one lasts.
(Date 17th January 2008 update)
Our pump is amazingly still working, but now the inflatable lid which was replaced in March is as flat as a pancake and full of water, my husband only just managed to lift it out of the spa, so we do not know what has happened to it and it would be impossible to get all of the water out. I am just going to buy a replacement.
(Date 29th January 2008 update)
The bottom section of the inflatable liner is now full of water, we assume that one of the seams has given way, as we do not use knives whilst bathing. This looks like the bitter end for our spa. £350 for just over a years use, lots of hassle and big electricity bills from persistently reheating it from cold. Is it really worth it?
(Date 26th March 2008 update)
Well we did not replace the liner as it was not worth the expense and we continued to use the spa for a few months. We thought that it might be a health hazard due to the water logged bottom section, which might not have been getting chlorinated properly. My husband has now had enough of the spa and has just cut it into pieces with a Stanley Knife and taken it to the tip. The pump is amazingly still working, so we will see if anyone wants to buy it as a spare. I will also sell the new lid and all my filters to recoup some money. I think we had very bad luck with this spa and overall it only cost us about £25 a month, plus electric etc, which is very cheap compared to the huge expense of a permanent spa. We did not pack this item away for winter as this was the whole point of buying it, so that we could sit in the garden when it was cold and look at the stars.
Sorry that this is a novel, but I thought I would write as much information as possible, so that you can make your own minds up, when deciding to buy one. I have had many other Ebayers contact me with their own pump problems.