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Cal-Spa Brand Review
Please note that this is a BRAND REVIEW and not model specific. There may be differences in the models and lines so this is an overview of the brand itself. For a drill down on a specific model why not try out our hot tub evaluator for the true picture on a given model
Overall Rating: B
The Cal-Spa line of hot tubs is a solid, well-built line of hot tubs. They use quality components like Balboa and Waterways and, for the most part, use the right construction methods and materials. They have a solid dealer network and have been around for many years.
The only real downside to a Cal-Spa is the insulation system they use. This issue is magnified in cold weather climates but also becomes an issue in warm climates due to the equipment being inside that high-heat environment.
- Moderately Strong Shell
- Quality Components
- Perimeter Insulation System.
- Too many models leading to delivery delays.
Click Here for a detailed report on any Cal-Spa model hot tub you are considering
Cal-Spa makes a relatively strong shell. The shell scores a 7.8 in our shell strength calculator. This calculator takes over 60 inputs including the dimensions, the weight, and materials end it gives us a result from 1 to 10. We typically like to see these numbers over eight but the shell of the Cal spa is close enough to show that it is a good, strong shell. The shell of a Cal-Spa is made from hand-rolled fibreglass which is our preferred way to make a good strong shell and, of course, the shell is the most important component of any hot tub.
Cal-Spa uses the Balboa control system which is the best spa control system available today. It is not only a very high-quality spa pack, but it is also cost-effective to repair once the warranty period has expired. For example, to replace a heater in a Balboa control system the cost would be approximately $200 whereas in many other systems the cost can easily be 4 to 5 times that. Cal spa also uses good quality 6 hp pumps which means that the pumps can easily push the amount of water needed for the jets without the danger of overheating due to them being overworked.
The other parts in a Cal-Spa hot tub or high-quality OEM parts which means that they are readily available from any sources which in turn means that future repairs will be easy and cost-effective. In addition, Cal-Spa clamps all of the plumbing lines in the hot tub reducing the potential for leaks which is a core requirement of a good hot tub
However, Cal spas used a perimeter insulation system. This is less effective than foam insulation for efficiency, especially in colder climates but it also has the secondary issue of trapping the heat of the spa inside the skirting as opposed to inside the shell of the hot tub. Because of this, the pumps of a Cal-Spa are left running in an extremely high heat environment which can shorten the life of the pumps somewhat.
Cal-Spa has a huge range of hot tubs and options to choose from which is a benefit to the buyer because it gives you many choices but also comes with a downside because, with so many models and options, it is likely you will have a longer wait time for a specific model with a given option set. This happens when a manufacturer has so many models to build and inevitably runs into production delays as they try to keep up with orders.
The Cal-Spa brand is a good, although not quite in our top tier of brands. Beware of promises made by dealers though on delivery timeframes because delays with deliveries are commonplace so get the timeframe in writing with a deposit refund if timeframes are not met.