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Virtual Factory Tour

Many of you have asked us how our spas are made. We are happy to provide you with this new feature to our web site. In this section, we will show you how we take a large, flat piece of Acrylic and turn it into a beautiful Discount Spas Direct Hot Tub.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your tour of the factory!


STATION # 1 - VACUUM FORMING

 

To make the shell of the spa (the inside of the spa), we put a sheet of the Acrylic into the Hydraulic Clamping Frame and place it in the Vacuum Forming Machine. We heat the sheet to 395° Fahrenheit until it is semi-molten and soft like stiff putty or clay. The molten sheet is then stretched over a vacuum mold that is the same shape as the spas' shell. As the acrylic sheet sags into the form we apply a vacuum to the underside of the sheet and it sucks it into the form which shapes the spa.

 

After it cools, it is removed and prepped to accept the spa structure.  At this point it is very weak and flexable.


STATION # 2 - FIBERGLASS & FRAMING

At this station, we put the Acrylic Skin Finish onto a holding fixture to protect it's shape and make it stronger.

We put many laminates of resin and fiberglass to achieve an overall thickness of 50 - 100% more than the industry average.  The first laminate is the most critical. It will bond the two surfaces together to make them one. It is a specialty resin called vinyl ester which bonds the two together both chemically and mechanically. It will also act as a corrosion and vapor barrier to guard against delamination and blistering.

Additional Layers of resin and fiberglass are then applied to provide greater strength and thickness to the shell.

We then brush down this first set of layers with special brushes to even out any areas that may be not covered enough...or that are too thick. This is in preparation to a final layer of resin and fiberglass.

By fiberglassing the frame to the spa shell we unitize the wood frame and spa shell to make the full support package of the above ground spa. Many spa manufacturers no longer support their spas with a frame. They simply set the spa shell in the wood cabinet and fill it full of foam. Doing this eliminates the frame and also foams over 200 - 300 plumbing parts and connections. We build a sturdy frame around the shell to provide this stability and strength. (see further steps)

Urethane foam is the best insulation material available to date; but it is a weak structural material and costs much less than the fiberglass, resin and construction that we use for our structure.



 

STATION # 3 - DRILLING & INSULATION

At our next station we trim off the edge of the spa and drill in the holes for the water & air jets, suctions, skimmers, controls, etc.
Note: There are many misconceptions as to what insulation does and what it will do for you in the portable spas application. We put one inch of insulation on the spa shell. That is the equivalent to 4 inches of fiberglass insulation or 2½ inches of high density polystyrene which is what all spa covers are made out of.  This along with the enclosure is plenty of insulation for even the coldest environments. We can also do full foam for areas that have colder climates, however this is done after the hot tub is fully tested, filled for 24 hours and certified defect free.

 

STATION #4 - PLUMBING, EQUIPMENT & WATER TEST

At our next station we install all of the plumbing & equipment to carry the water and air for therapy & relaxation.

Both water jet and air jet therapy are available on our spas; many manufacturers do not offer both types. Air jets agitate the water all around you providing general non-specific therapy & relaxation.

Water jets point to a specific area of the body and thus provide specific relaxation and therapy. Our water jets are individually adjustable for flow and intensity, giving each user a wide variety of therapy features.

 

All the tubes that carry the water from the pumps to the jets are then connected.

 

 

Every spa is completely water and function tested before it leaves, the factory. Many manufacturers only test 1 out of 10 or 20. You can see by the photo how ridiculous it would be to fully foam the underside of your spa and thus cover up this plumbing. The dead air space provides heat retention and the components generate heat up to 100 plus degrees. The only reason to full foam fill under a spa is for support instead of using a frame.

We have had our equipment manufactured by the same specialist for thirteen years per our specifications. Consistency and quality is the benchmark of excellence.

  • We use Waterway and Hayward Pumps - they have been supplying water pumps and water support devices for the pool industry longer than most, and the spa industry for the last 25 years.
  • Note that with all of the plumbing pipes and fittings that it would be very difficult to locate and repair a leak had the cabinet area been foam filled.
  • Because we manufacture and sell direct, we can custom place jets for your therapy or relaxation needs.

 

STATION # 4 - WOOD CABINET & STAINING

At this station we attach the exterior siding to the spa frame. The structural integrity of the portable spa is not dependent on the cabinet as it is with many spa manufacturers.

A very high quality of clear heart redwood is used for the siding. This is the best exterior natural wood available. Many others use red wood, i.e. western red cedar, stained fir or pine. We have been with this lumber mill for 15 years to insure a supply of this special wood material. As you may be aware, old growth redwoods are no longer allowed to be cut. The redwood that we use is from the very inside of the second and third generation tree growth. The branches were small then so, if there are any knots, they are very small and tight.

We have three standard Water Based Sealer & Stains: redwood, coastal gray wash, and natural.

For Spa Covers we have the industry standard 3-1/2" to 2-1/2" tapered cover with locks on four corners made of high density bound polystyrene foam and marine grade vinyl. We have three color options: rust, tan, and gray.


STATION # 5 SPA DETAIL & SHIPPING

Each spa is detailed and checked out for final quality assurance. 

Shipping to you is the last step of our manufacturing process. High Quality Product at a Reasonable Price plus Customer Service and Satisfaction is our Goal. That makes REAL VALUE.


Now It's on it's way to your home!

 

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