Building a new swimming pool or hot tub is a large investment and comes with a considerable number of factors. Knowing how to compare pool company options is one of the best ways to be sure you get what you’ve always wanted without getting ripped off in the process.

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Have been dealing with problems with my hot tub since day 1. Fast forward 2 years and still no resolution. They are blaming my water, been tested twice and its fine.. they continue to give me the run around and place the blame on me. No resolutions, no offers to replace the hot tub or exchange it. I have been paying on a worthless hot tub for 2 years. Have used it less than twice. I have sent water samples, pictures and videos of the problem and in return I get its not their problem. They dont care about the customer after they have made the sale. No customer service, guess they are too good for that. I wish I had never purchased from them. See attached pics of what is in my hot tub after each purging
Ripped off here in south Louisiana. Same thing as everyone else. The salesman came and lied to me over and over about how this better pump had the Ionizer and I would never have to do anything but put 3 gallon of Clorox bleach in it each week. What a crock! So I bought the bigger one. Then I get a call from the finance division telling me my credit is so good I can get the 28' pool for the same price. Of course I did it. By the time the installer got here, summer was almost over. The installer broke my sidewalk and installed my pump too low to the ground. All fittings were permanent. Eventually, from flooding, the pump switch corroded off. I had to cut all the fittings and raise the pump and filter assemble a whole foot! Then, of course reconnect all the pipes. Everything I bought from BWP is marked up at a ridiculous amount! I found all the parts elsewhere for half their price. After paying for a couple of years, I called and learned I still owed a ridiculous amount, at 15.7%. I made a personal loan and paid that bill off quickly. What a rip off! If there is a class action lawsuit, please contact me. I have never been ripped off so badly in my life. All I wanted was a nice pool for my children and grandchildren. All I got is a never-ending nightmare.
The hot tub looks nice and well made on the showroom floor, but beware (if anything goes wrong) they will use every excuse in the book to void your warranty and blame YOU to get out of fixing it or replacing it. I purchased model: Bel Air 851B on 5-23-16, delivery date: 7-30-16. Cal Spas is refusing to warrant the spa claiming chemical abuse after reviewing a video I sent to them showing the caulking and plumbing coming apart. Numerous problems since before delivery...Had to get a police detective to get the spa that was stuck on the showroom floor, waiting to be delivered (apparently the dealer was showing my new spa to customers, instead of calling me to let me know it had arrived) because the dealer went to jail and abandoned his business. Cal Spas would not help after calling panicked numerous times. Within 2 weeks the jets were blowing out and I went back and forth by email and phone with Cal Spas (Robert ** and Karen **) to get those replaced for 7 months! Started noticing white flakes in the water within the 1st year, called a Cal Spas dealer in Utah (since we didn't have one) who refused to help and said it was hard water. Did a test to confirm it was not biofilm. Several filters broke from the bottom and ended up in the water. Reported that to the parts department, no response to several emails.Spa cabinet is deteriorating and warping. Reported that to the Utah dealer and Cal Spas in October 2017. Also reported the spa had been tripping the breaker since the summer intermittently. Utah dealer refused to repair the issue as I was too far from his store (75 miles). Spoke to Cal Spas warranty department (Marfelia **) who agreed to let me find someone else willing to do the repair. The only closest company, Brady's (60 miles away) agreed. They replaced the control box and just put screws in the panels. Cal Spas did offer to replace the panels under warranty, but was going to charge me $114 to ship them, which I still dispute because they are covered under warranty. They also charged me to ship the control box, plus I had to pay the trip charge for the repairs, even though labor is covered under the warranty.The repair did not fix the tripping issue and is now a daily occurrence, which they tried to blame on the power company at first, then the electrical work (which I had checked) and now they say maybe a new pump would help (at my expense, of course)...fact is, they have no idea what is causing this and I believe it is a stalling tactic until the warranty expires. Two weeks ago I did a water change. While cleaning the interior shell, I discovered that the sealant around ALL of the jets and the filter housing is coming off in chunks and has the consistency of putty, yet very sticky like tree sap. I tried to clean it off the best I could, but even touching it causes it to fall off. I filled the tub so it wouldn't freeze and it tripped the breaker 3 times during start-up. So, I took off the access panel to look inside for a leak.At that time I noticed all of the plumbing is full of this sealant and then suspected that was the cause of the "white flakes" I had been seeing for the last year. I talked to Brady's and Cal Spas and also sent them both a video of the issue. I was advised to do a super chlorinated flush, even though I told them I just changed the water, the stuff will not come off my shell (let alone the pipes because it is too sticky), plus it will continue to come off after the flush...I told them that I also believe the sealant that is in all the plumbing (most likely pumps, heater too) is causing it to trip. They advised that the sealant is not causing the breaker to trip (even though I was told by Brady's it could). Cal Spas asked for a photo of my pillows (which have some wear after almost 2 years-warrantied for 90 days) and now claim chemical abuse as the reason to not honor the warranty to fix the issue estimated at more than the cost of a new tub.They claim that, although I am using the right chemicals, they believe I may have used too much and that caused the plumbing to fall apart, yet they advised me 2 days prior to do a super chlorination (which I did not do). If my supposed "high use" of chemicals would cause this, why wouldn't a super chlorination? Doesn't make sense. The fact is, my water is always balanced and checked weekly or before I go in (1-2 times a week). I am very meticulous about the chemistry. I believe they are claiming this to intentionally void the warranty. I offered a water sample, but that does not stop them from claiming it could have happened "any time" within the time I have owned it. I believe Cal Spas is responsible for the manufacturing ERRORS and DEFECTS of this tub that are causing it to now fall apart.I issued a complaint against them and their response was, of course, still chemical abuse and they wanted me to provide a chemical analysis of the "white powder" (they said) that is floating in the water. Which is crazy because that "white powder" they are referring to is THEIR sealant and THEY should know what it is made of. And, now I'm curious what it is made of, too. Perhaps it is a hazardous substance that is putting my family's health at risk from being in the tub. But, as you see, yet again they are avoiding the issue and laying the responsibility on me, the consumer, to avoid warranting this hot tub. I have a video showing exactly what is happening because it is difficult to explain in writing. It can be viewed here: I would have know how shady this company and the dealer was, I never would have went with Cal Spas. This whole experience is a nightmare that just now I'm out almost $8000!

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Latest Articles on Help Center in Pools, Spas and Plumbing Supplies

How to Choose a Pool Company

Building a new swimming pool or hot tub is a large investment and comes with a considerable number of factors. Knowing how to compare pool company options is one of the best ways to be sure you get what you’ve always wanted without getting ripped off in the process.

How to Choose the Right Swimming Pool Contractor

Make a Plan for Installing a Pool

Before contacting a pool and hot tub installation company, do a bit of homework and have a plan for what you’d like the company to price out. Did you want it above ground with a deck? Or perhaps in- ground swimming with a built-in spa and water feature? Are you considering a lap pool or one with a large sun bathing platform?

Plan around Your Geography

Remember to take into account the geography and weather conditions in your area. Some pool styles are better suited to different climates. For example, if you are going to heat your swimming pool or home spa on a regular basis, larger ones will be much more expensive to heat. An above ground pool heater will work differently than in-ground options.

Check Out the Local Builders

The internet is a great place to do some easy research on what types of builders operate in your area. You’ll want to do more extensive research later, but if you notice a company is followed by a bad reputation even on a casual search, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and strike them from your list early on.

See what the companies specialize in and you’ll have a good idea of what works best for your home. Are the companies building above ground pools? Gunite? Fiberglass? See what they build and get more ideas about the style you’re considering.

Do Some Reading on Pool Parts

There are components to a new build that you need to have at least a basic awareness of before you contact builders. Read through some websites and guides to learn about the different types of filters, chlorination devices, pumps, skimmers, solar pool heaters, hot tub spa options and more. Without knowing the pieces of the pool, it would be hard to have a good discussion with a builder.

Build a List of Possible Companies

When you’re ready to pull the trigger on the new swimming pool, take your time and build a list of possible builders. Gather the names of companies from recommendations from friends and neighbors. Neighborhood forums might have posts about good and bad experiences with companies. Local area internet searches can bring up more options as well. You can even swing by a home with a new one under construction to ask the homeowner about the company who is doing the work.

Investigate the Builders

Before getting any bids, investigate the builders more carefully. With so many review and rating websites available, you can find information about builders easily. Check websites for reviews and customer experiences. Look for pool and hot tub ratings. Check to see how long the companies have been in business and what their track record is with issues and complaints.

Avoid builders without a history of doing business – they may be scam or a fly-by-night company that gets a deposit, digs a hole and leaves you with a huge mess. You don’t necessarily have to eliminate companies that have made mistakes in the past. If you can find evidence that the company handled the mistake appropriately, it might be a sign of a company with a long history of many successes and a professionally-managed issue or two along the way.

Get Estimates

Schedule estimates within a few days of each other so that you can make easy comparisons. Anticipate a different sales pitch from each builder that focuses on different building techniques and equipment. Since you’ve already familiarized yourself with these, you should be able to see through jargon to understand what the company is offering. Gather information, but don’t be enticed into signing a contract during the estimate.

Make a Rational Decision

This is a big investment and companies will try hard to get your business. Look past fancy software programs or hard sell tactics to what the reviews have to say when you compare hot tub and pool companies.

Look for what the company is actually offering. Compare hot tubs, pool options, spa options and every component of the build. Make a choice based on what you want in your backyard and how much you feel you can trust the builder to deliver those elements. You can haggle and ask builders to match other offers during the decision-making process.

Get It in Writing

Anything discussed, agreed to or decided between you and the salesperson should be in writing. This includes and freebies or extra services the salesman promises. If it’s not in your written contact, you can’t count on getting it. Push to have everything in writing and review the contract carefully before signing.

One thing to be sure you see written in your contract is appropriate payment terms. The pool company will request a large deposit and additional payments throughout the build. Arrange the payments, if possible, so that you pay as little as possible upfront and the remainder of payments after each stage is complete. Your final payment should not be made until the entire project is completed in its entirety. This keeps the company motivated to please you and finish the project in a timely manner.

Enjoy Your Swimming Pool

Finally, you can relax and enjoy the process of building and then eventually swimming in your new pool. If you’ve done your homework, checked the reviews, and stayed diligent about the contract and process, you should have no doubts about your pool and hot tub quality and can focus entirely on having fun.

How to Clean a Pool or Spa

A swimming pool or spa will need to be cleaned on a weekly basis during the swimming season. This cleaning process ensures the water is clean and safe for swimming activities. While some choose to outsource the cleaning to a swimming pool service, you can easily clean it yourself as part of your weekly home maintenance.

Use the Skimmer

Remove leaves, bugs and debris from the top of your pool using a long-handled skimmer. You may choose to do this more than once per week to avoid having debris settle to the bottom of the swimming pool where it may leave stains or marks.

Scrub with a Brush

A long-handled brush will help you remove any dirt or film that has accumulated along the edges, sides or the bottom of the pool. Scrub the dirt toward the main drain for easy vacuuming.

Use Your Vacuum

Your pool’s vacuum will be one of your best tools for cleaning. Submerge the vacuum head and hose, then turn on the vacuum to filter the water.

Clear Filters

The skimmers and filters inside your pool should be cleared and cleaned at least once per week, if not more frequently. This will allow you to remove debris before it makes the filters less productive. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning the filters.

Circulate the Water

Run the pool pump to be sure that all of the water has moved through the strainer, skimmers, drains and filters. This will ensure that the water is properly cleaned by the system and that all chemicals have been properly distributed.

Test and Shock the Water

Test your pool water on a regular basis to determine what chemicals you need to add to be sure it is in excellent condition. Shock the water regularly to remove algae, dirt, bacteria and other organic materials.

A swimming pool requires regular maintenance. By taking care of your pool or spa, you can relax and enjoy the water knowing that it is clean and safe for you and your family.