Some of the world's best hot tub manufacturers use parts from the Balboa Water Group. But, how do they really stack up in terms of price and quality? Should you be actively seeking out, or avoiding, spas powered by Balboa hot tub technology?
In this article, we'll fill you in on the range of hot tub products offered by Balboa Water Group, including the features and specifications of some of their most widely used components. You'll also be able to find out which manufacturers are using these components, helping you to choose your next hot tub.
Our Top Choices For Balboa Hot Tub
1. Best Luxury Balboa Hot Tubs - Artesian Spas
2. Best Choice of Features and Accessories - Cal Spas
3. Best on a Budget - Essential Hot Tubs
Balboa Spas Price Points
The Balboa Water Group produces pumps, heaters, control panel systems, and other key components for several top hot tub manufacturers. Because there isn't a specific line of Balboa hot tubs per se, the purchase price depends on which components the manufacturer chooses and the other features and accessories of the hot tub.
At the cheaper end of the scale, Essential Hot Tubs offer their Integrity model for as little as $4000 which uses a Balboa spa heating system. The brand also uses quality Balboa spa heating and pump components in their mid-range units, priced around $6,000-$7,000.
If you're looking for something in the luxury end of the market, Artesian Spas Elite hot tubs are a great choice. With some of the best features on the market, including individual pump control at every seat, you can expect to pay around $14,000 for their highest spec hot tubs.
Whatever sort of hot tub you're looking for, we can help you get more specific pricing information. Click below to get personalized quotes from top hot tub dealers in your area and see how much you can save.
Although Artesian Spas do produce several lines of hot tubs, it's the tope end of their catalog that really stands out due to several factors.
The hot tubs in the Elite and Island Elite series offer supreme luxury, a highly controllable experience (thanks to the Artesian DirectFlow Personal Control System), pressure-point directed H2O PowerFlow jets, foot blaster jets, multiple LED-lit water features, and a host of optional extras and accessories.
The other real draw of Artesian spas is that, for even their larger 9-person models, the overall energy consumption is surprisingly low. The insulation system in their slimline cabinets ensures you won't be wasting much extra heat energy, even if you like your water temperature really warm.
With over 50 models in their hot tub line-up and a host of options for customization, the Cal Spa company focus just as much choice as quality. The interchangeability of Balboa hot tub parts contributes to this by allowing easy upgrades to the heater, pumps, etc on many Cal Spa models.
Even better, there's a Cal Spa to suit almost any budget. The Platinum and XSeries employ high numbers and variety of jets for a fantastic massage experience,while LED-lit waterfalls and coloured LED lighting set the scene. These fully loaded hot tubs also come pre-fitted with ozonators and other advanced watercare features which reduce the need for added chemicals.
If you're in the market for a more modest product, Cal Spas even have several 110V plug-and-play models, allowing you to save on both the purchase price and installation costs.
Essential hot tubs manage to keep their prices right down by doing as their name suggests and sticking to the essentials.
Their cheapest plug-and-play model, the 4-5 person Integrity, still uses quality parts including a Balboa heater, and can be upgraded to a 240V hard-wired version if you want more power from the jets.
Even the more expensive models from Essential hot tubs still manage to come in consistently cheaper than competing brands offering similar specifications.
Even the Syracuse 67, a classy hot tub offering 8Hp of pump power, 5 moulded seats, LED waterfall feature, ozonator-based watercare, a fitted cover, and a Bluetooth sound system, still only carries a four-figure price tag!
Strengths & Weaknesses
Although Balboa Water Group don't make their own line of hot tubs, they do produce pretty much every part needed to build one (aside from the shell body itself). In addition to the various hot tub manufacturers using Balboa hot tub parts as standard, many of these components can be used as replacement parts for the repair or upgrade of most hot tub models.
So, how do Balboa Water Group parts compare and why do so many of the best hot tubs feature Balboa hot tub technology?
Balboa spa heaters are so popular they have been estimated as being used in nearly 80% of all hot tubs. The M7 heater range is their most popular line due to the high heat output and the dual temperature sensors (one input and one output) used to control the heating system.
Balboa heating systems are also known for their build quality and a range of fitment types which makes them highly versatile. If your spa has any trouble reaching the desired water temperature, upgrading to a Balboa spa heater may well be the solution.
Pumps and Jets
Of course, Balboa's range of 50-60Hz spa pumps are almost as popular as their heater models. These come in a range of power outputs with compatible fittings, so you can upgrade your existing pump with minimal fuss.
Alongside these, why not customize your tub with the extensive range of Balboa hot tub jets. In addition to several lines high quality stainless steel jets, Balboa offer a touch of style with the Pearl Essense and Light-Up jet series. These combine coloured finishes and built-in light units to take the look of your spa to a whole new level.
Need a Hot Tub?
Although perhaps not the first thing prospective owners look at, the real reason for Balboa's dominance has a lot to do with the control systems which integrate all their components. The spa control panel can be linked by wifi to the industry leading BWA Control Systems app, allowing you to control your hot tub's settings from anywhere on the premises.
Personalized hot tub control presets are easy to configure, and you can get a readout of the current status. This makes multiple trips out to the backyard to check whether your tub is ready for a relaxing soak a thing of the past.
Lighting and Audio
Balboa hot tub equipment is not just limited to the essentials. If you're buying a spa for your house or backyard, you want to relax and enjoy the hydrotherapy massage in style. This makes the overall ambience of the hot tub more important than many people assume.
Balboa Water group have you well covered in this regard. The industry-leading Chromazon3 programmable colour lighting system not only lets you set the mood via app control but also contains so many potential light level and color combinations (literally millions) you'll never get bored of exploring them.
If you've got a little extra cash to splash, it's hard to ignore the Balboa Bluetooth Audio system. A powerful, clear sounding 120-watt amp and easy to navigate menus let you play downloaded content or stream direct from your smartphone/laptop, complete with preset equalizer settings to match any household hi-fi system.
It's hard to find fault with Balboa. Brands using their components consistently rate amongst the best hot tubs in the business. So, what do I consider their only real weakness? Essentially, it's the lack of an official in-house line of Balboa Hot Tubs.
When I review spa models from brands using Balboa Water Group tech, the weaker points of these units are invariably the elements over which BWG have no input. I'm certain that if the folks at Balboa Water Group sat down and designed their own signature range of Balboa hot tubs, using the same care and attention to detail as for their hot tub parts, the results would be quite spectacular.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, almost all hot tubs are "Balboa hot tubs" to at least some extent. Most hot tub manufacturers choose to heat and pump their spa water using Balboa technology, with their control panel systems being almost as popular.
When you're sitting in your newly purchased spa, soaking up the heat and letting the jets soothe your troubles away, the solid reputation of Balboa hot tubs is a sign you can relax completely without concerns about the quality and durability of key components.
If you're looking to buy a hot tub, don't waste hour after hour hunting for the relevant information. We can cover all that ground for you - for FREE! Simply fill out the form below stating the specific features which interest you. Local dealers will be able to see exactly what you want and send you their very best quotes.
About The Author
Full-time staff writer at wyllz.com and stay-at-home mom.