Are Balboa Hot Tubs Good?


The fact that Balboa hot tub packs are found in the majority of today’s hot tubs speaks of its quality and market demand, not to mention the top-of-the-class customer service.

It is useful to know that the Balboa manufacturer does not produce ready-made hot tubs but rather parts for hot tubs. It is a company that makes a wide range of hot tubs’ modern technology when it comes to jets, pumps, heaters, filtration systems, electronic control systems, etc. 

Their quality is also evidenced by the fact that they are a leading company producing the largest selection of premium hot tub pumps. Additionally, when compared to other manufacturers, Balboa hot tub pumps are rated as better quality and have a more extended warranty.

Moreover, Balboa Company also produces many different-sized jets suitable as a replacement for any other brand or style. When you buy a hot tub, it is essential to ensure that the hot tub parts are replaceable in case of any failures. Since Balboa produces a wide range of components designed to fit different hot tub brands, it makes them the most affordable manufacturer on the market.

Balboa is one of the largest world companies known for its trustworthy quality and performing well, offering an easy installation at the same time.

Are Balboa hot tubs expensive?

Whether Balboa hot tubs are expensive or not depends entirely on the hot tub manufacturer that uses Balboa hot tub components. Since Balboa hot tub products are not sold directly on their official website, you can find their hot tub parts at Balboa retailers or online sites. 

Balboa sells their equipment to many hot tub manufacturers, which then make some adjustments to meet their needs that make those Balboa parts more expensive than their original products. Thus, the Balboa hot tub price depends on where you buy it and what adjustments you prefer to have. It would appear that Balboa hot tub parts are found in more expensive hot tubs because they are readily available, and their replacement is less costly than others. Yet there are also those brands that make very low-pricing hot tubs even though they use balboa parts.

However, Balboa parts can prove more expensive than parts from some other manufacturers. For example, a Balboa control board costs anywhere from $200 to $650, while a Hot Spring control board can cost $250 to $500. The difference is that the first is more reliable than the latter.

Additionally, it is good to know that from recently, Balboa products can be bought on the BalboaDirect.com site. Here you can purchase genuine Balboa products without having to buy them through another distributor.

Where are Balboa hot tubs made?

The headquarters of the Balboa Company, where they produce equipment and hot tub accessories and provide customer support, is in Tustin and Valencia in California. To be precise, their renowned electronic control systems are built in Tustin, while other parts such as pumps and jets are produced in Valencia.

They are not a company that produces ready-made hot tubs but rather a hot tub components manufacturer. Balboa is the global supplier of the highest quality hot tub parts having everything from heaters, jets, pumps, wireless remote devices, control boards, water sanitation products, and white goods, apart from the hot tub shells. Their products are known worldwide as the most reliable and affordable on the market.

How many different hot tubs does Balboa have?

Balboa is a global manufacturer of a diverse quality line of hot tub parts and accessories; however, they do not produce nor sell ready-made hot tubs.

Instead, they sell their products to other manufacturers that use their equipment to make their hot tubs. For example, a significant number of today’s premium hot tub manufacturers use Balboa pumps of better quality and more extended warranty than any other brand. Additionally, many hot tub brands use Balboa jets because there is a wide range of their size and styles and provide easy and rapid replacement if necessary. 

Balboa heaters are used by reputed manufacturers such as Caldera, Sundance, Cal Spas, Marquis, Coast

Other notable hot tub brands that use Balboa equipment are the following:

  • Essential Hot Tubs
  • Clearwater
  • Catalina
  • VITA
  • Tuff Spa
  • Artesian 
  • Quality Spas Paradise Series.

 How long does it take a Balboa hot tub to heat up?

Your Balboa hot tub needs approximately four hours on average to heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

This process might seem like a long time to you, especially if you invited friends over and cannot wait to soak in. 

However, the time needed to reach a specific temperature, whether the hot tub is built of Balboa parts or not, can depend on several factors. These factors can significantly either reduce or prolong the duration of the heating process. Therefore, relying on these factors, your hot tub might take an average of between three to eight hours to warm up.

If you are keen on heating your hot tub faster, you should consider using your hot tub cover. Airtight sealed cover can remarkably reduce the time of the heating process because it prevents the heat from escaping the hot tub.

Additionally, factors like ambient air temperature, water starting temperature, the amount of water in your hot tub, etc., can either slow down or speed up the heating process. So naturally, if the starting temperature of the water is lower, it will take more time to heat up and vice versa.

The power of your heating element should not be neglected either. A bigger, stronger, higher voltage heater can save you a lot of time while warming up the water. For example, a Balboa extra 3kW heater will half the time needed to heat the water compared to others with less power. However, be advised to check before upgrading your heating system that the new heater is suitable for your type of hot tub. 

How long do Balboa hot tubs last?

How long a particular hot tub will last depends mainly on the material it is made of and how you maintain your hot tub. Balboa Company does not produce a finished product, i.e., a finished hot tub, but only equipment necessary to build one, which is almost everything apart from the acrylic shell. Therefore, the hot tub lifespan varies depending on the quality of its equipment, and it ranges from five to twenty years

Hot tub parts are not designed to last forever and need to be replaced over time. Therefore, it would be best for you to buy a slightly more expensive hot tub with a higher quality acrylic shell and Balboa-produced parts that are proven long-lasting and affordable. It is always easier and cheaper to replace a part rather than buy a whole new hot tub. A low-cost hot tub that is made of low-quality equipment is not going to last long.

On the other hand, the lifespan of your hot tub depends on regular maintenance. A well-maintained hot tub will last much longer than a hot tub that is neglected when it comes to upkeep. 

Be advised to clean your hot tub filters regularly and replace them if necessary over time, properly sanitize your water, and drain and clean your hot tub occasionally. The improper and inadequate care may cause your hot tub to break down sooner than expected.

What does SL mean on a Balboa hot tub?

SL on the Balboa hot tub stands for a “sleep mode.” When your hot tub is in sleep mode, it means that your heater will start only after the water temperature drops 20 degrees Fahrenheit below the set temperature. 

Sleep mode is a functional and energy-saving feature if you are not using your hot tub that often, especially if you are away from home for some time. The process of switching the hot tub on and off will take longer for the water to heat up and therefore consume much more electricity. On the other hand, when you leave your hot tub to operate in a sleep mode, it takes less electricity to keep your hot tub at a steady, warm temperature, nearly ready to use.  

Additionally, the sleep mode will allow the jets to operate occasionally to filter the water, keeping it clean and sanitizers distributed evenly. 

What does PR mean on Balboa hot tub?

PR on a Balboa hot tub stands for “a priming mode.”  PR is a regular function that activates when the hot tub control system is powered for the first time or after refilling your hot tub. 

A hot tub will stay in this mode for only a couple of minutes before the system starts and goes to a standard operation mode. Additionally, during this mode, no automatic function, such as heating, will turn on. 

However, if this indicator stays on longer than five minutes and the pumps are not primed during this period, you may have an airlock in your pipes or dirty filters. You need to clean or replace the filters and release the air stuck in the equipment to solve the issue. After the measures are taken, the pumps should prime as required.

Balboa hot tub how to heat?

If you want to adjust the water temperature in a hot tub that uses Balboa equipment, you can do this simply by using the control board. There are two buttons on the control board that allow you to change the water temperature. If you want to display water temperature, press the “warm” and “cool” buttons once. However, if you are going to change the temperature, you need to press a temperature button again before the display stops flashing; the temperature changes by as many degrees as you press the temperature button. When you set the desired temperature level, the display indicator will stop flashing after three seconds and begin to indicate the actual hot tub temperature.

Additionally, if you own a Balboa hot tub, you can choose which heating mode you want to use based on your preferences and how often you use your hot tub:

  • Standard (ST)
  • Economy (EC)
  • Sleep mode (SL)

While in standard mode, your hot tub will maintain the set temperature by running the pump every 30 minutes to control the water temperature and heat it if necessary. On the other hand, in economy mode, the hot tub is heated to set temperature only during filtration cycles. Lastly, when your hot tub is in sleep mode, your heater will start only after the water temperature drops 20 degrees Fahrenheit below the set temperature.

Editorial Staff

I'm Adnan Sabanovic, the guy behind Hot Tubs Report. I've had a chance to enjoy hot tubs last few years and have really become interested in owning one of them. Nearly every weekend you'll find me spending time with my family or playing sports. If I am not doing that then I'm here writing about tubs on Hot Tubs Report. This blog is a research for my first hot tub which I decided to document and share publically so others can benefit from it as well.

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