Hot Tub Arbor Family

Essential Hot Tubs 20-Jet Arbor Hot Tub Review

The 20-Jet Arbor, manufactured by Essential Hot Tubs is one of your best choices for a luxurious spa unit that will fit perfectly inside your home. If you’re living in the United States, you’ll have no issues at all with the order and the delivery of this product.

As of 2018, it’s shipping abroad is a bit complicated but for domestic users, getting it at your front door will be a piece of cake. This “home oasis”, which is in my opinion is it’s best description, has everything you’re looking for in terms of quality, energy efficiency, ease of use and durability.

Plug and Play all season hot tub that seats 6 people. Featuring 20 Stainless Steel Jets and manufactured in the USA.

Very little can go wrong with this hot tub. It comes with a well backed pedigree due to the reputation of its manufacturer and the use of high-end materials.

The Plug and Play connection and setup of the Arbor Hot Tub makes it an extremely user friendly option. Use your existing 110V outlet to simply plug in and run your hot tub. If you decide in the future to run a separate 240V line, you can easily convert the Arbor to a 240V electrical unit if desired. This will significantly speed up the process of heating the inside the hot tub, which will pay dividends during the cold winter months.

The usability and features of the SS115220400 Arbor makes it one of the top products on the market at the moment but let’s get into some more detail about the product and it’s manufacturer first.

Essential Hot Tubs Arbor-20 Review

"The Plug and Play connection and setup of the Arbor Hot Tub makes it an extremely user-friendly option."
Jim B.
Engineer

Table of Contents

Product Manufacturer

Essential Hot Tubs are manufactured in Pennsylvania, USA and come from the same factory as some of the leading Hot Tub brands in the industry. Since they share product design and technology with other high end models, Essential Hot Tubs have leapfrogged to the forefront of high quality direct to consumer models including the rotomolded Arbor 20-Jet Hot Tub.

Essential Hot Tubs have leapfrogged to the forefront of high quality direct to consumer models including the rotomolded Arbor 20-Jet Hot Tub.

Hot tub shells are more commonly made from acrylic that is formed over a mold. Acrylic has an aesthetically pleasing quality when finished and sufficient durability. However, newer technologies developed around rotating molds with injected plastic resin has proved suitable for manufacturing hot tub shells and body. Rotationally molded hot tubs have a smoothly formed surface and a dull matte finish. The granite resin is highly durable and very low maintenance. The hot tub itself is uniquely light weight as a result of using this forming technology.

In addition to the many advantages of rotationally molded resin, the quality colored granite grey or cobblestone resin features a fully insulated interior.  Your hot tub will be able to retain optimum heat levels without straining your electricity bill. 

Since hot tubs tend to be bulky, reducing weight makes life a lot easier when it comes to transportation, delivery and maneuvering it to your patio or yard for final placement and installation. The Arbor, having a cylindrical shape, can also be rolled much easier than traditional square shaped hot tubs.

Technical Details

Seating Capacity

The hot tub can easily hold 5 or 6 people who will feel totally comfortable inside. I don’t find this feature as something crucial when it comes to hot tubs as it is more of a private unit. It’s rarely being used by more than 2 people.

Essential Hot Tubs Arbor

However, if you’re planning a summer party with some of your friends, don’t hesitate to call over 4 to 5 guests to get into the tub.

The circular seating plan is very open concept and features ergonomically molded forms for the perfect amount of comfort and relaxation.

Water Capacity

The water capacity of the Essential Hot Tubs Arbor 20-Jet is 250 gallons, which equates to approximately 946 liters of water. It’s the standard amount of water capacity for a hot tub unit with this size and seating capacity.

I don’t think it will cause any issues with water bills as long as you’re using it reasonably. To calculate the number of baths to take before changing the water divide 250 by 3. And then divide this number by the number of bathers you’ll have each day. The result is the number of days after which you’ll have to change the water inside and give it a proper clean through.

Example: 250:3 = ~83. And you take 2 bathers each day, which means 83:2 = 41,5. If you bathe 2 times a day, this means every 41-42 days you’ll have to change the water and fill another 250 gallons of fresh water inside. In summary, with regular use for two people, expect to change the water approximately every month and a half.

Dimensions

The dimensions of the hot tub in inches are 80.5″ x 80.5″ x 34.5″. I find it a very suitable size for a bathroom of moderate size. You can even place the SS115220400 Arbor in your garden or on your patio deck, as long as you have a good shelter for it. Since it is reasonably compact and light weight (without water), it has the added bonus of being quite versatile and does not necessarily have to remain in a permanent location.

Since the Arbor has a circular profile, it effectively has an outside diameter of 80.5″ and a height of 34.5″. The inside dimensions are slightly less but still quite voluminous.

Arbor 20-Jet Hot Tub Dimensions:
80.5″ x 80.5″ x 34.5″

Essential Hot Tubs Arbor Top View

Pump

Since all Essential Hot Tubs are expertly designed, they are equipped with ample pump capacity to circulate the water and power the numerous jets. The hot tub has 1 pump rated at 1.5 HP, which makes it a very energy-efficient unit, considering its size and price range. The pump has 2 speeds and 2 peak HP.

During usage, the 20 hydrotherapy jets positioned strategically around the inside of the hot tub do not lack power and provide a wonderful massaging action. The pump itself has long term reliability with few reported problems. 

Voltage

The standard voltage of the Essential Hot Tubs SS115220400 Arbor is 110V/15A. This is the plug and play feature that adds convenience for most people because you can just plug into an existing outlet in your home without any special upgrades or expensive electrical changes.

Since the spa is ready to use right away with a 110V connection, there is a GFCI cord included. Simply plug it into a standard 15 A outdoor outlet and your hot tub is ready to use.

Although the Arbor is uniquely qualified to run on 110 volts out of the box, it can also be setup with a 240 volt outlet if desired. This will involve running a special line and calling an electrician for hook up. There are some obvious additional costs to go this route but also some benefits that some people find are worth the added effort. 

Running on 240 V will compromise some of the energy efficiency of the hot tub but the water will get hotter at least twice as fast in comparison to the 110V setup. Expect the heater and jet pumps to run more optimally at the same time.

It wouldn’t hurt to start out with the plug and play setup and then decide at a future date if you think the cost benefit of upgrading to 240 volts would be worthwhile for your use case.

Weight

This portable oasis isn’t lightweight, I would say. The Essential Hot Tubs Arbor weighs 480 pounds (without water of course) and cannot be moved by a single person even with the help of elevation tools. If you have some strong friends it may be possible to move it to your yard after the curb side delivery. Some have had luck rolling it into place. In most cases it is advisable to look for help or pay professionals who’ll transport it to the premises where it will be installed.

Product Materials

The SS115220400 Arbor from Essential Hot Tubs is one of the best built hot tubs I’ve seen. It is clear – even if you’re not an expert in hot tub manufacturing – that everything is well made and of very high quality.

  • The hot tub is molded with a granite resin of high quality which makes it a very durable with minimal need for any maintenance.
  • The 110V connection has a GFCI cord which makes it easy to plug into a 15Amp outlet and you’re ready to go.
  • Equipped with 20 stainless steel jets, the hot tub also has a two-speed pump that make you able to regulate the rate at which air is pumped through the jets. Choose a slower speed when you’re relaxing and a higher when you need to get a more dynamic massage on your body while comfortably melting in the hot tub.
  • A Digital Control Unit allows you to change the settings of the hot tub according to your taste and current mood. By interacting with the control unit, you can turn the SS115220400 Arbor into a place of relaxation for two or into a dynamic water paradise while enjoying it with a larger group of up to 6 people.
  • 1KW/4KW stainless steel Balboa heater
    The stainless steel heater is guarded from rust and oxidation that may otherwise appear after prolonged use. This way its life expectancy is much higher than you might expect, guaranteeing trouble free usage for many years. Balboa is the leading brand in hot tub heaters so there is very little to worry about here.
  • Tapered cover with locking clips – You can use it to cover the hot tub whenever you’re not using it. The cover will protect it from the elements and will also prevent contaminants or debris from falling inside. The cover is very nice, insulated and well made but many have complained of the clips not being able to effectively secure the cover. Hopefully this will be improved by the manufacture in future releases.

Who is It Suitable For?

It would be easier to say who it isn’t suitable for. I would recommend the SS115220400 Arbor – 20 Jet, Grey Granite Hot Tub to anyone with a smaller family or especially for couples. It is not exactly a party size hot tub but something that is inconspicuous but fully capable and functional. If you are looking for relaxation and maybe hydrotherapy treatment at an affordable cost and with low maintenance, the Arbor Hot Tub is an excellent choice. It is highly rated with stellar reviews.

What makes the Essential Hot Tubs Arbor Hot Tub Unique?

These are my top highlights. I could list more (which is something that happens rarely for a hot tub) but found these features to perfectly summarize this product review.

Essential Hot Tubs Arbor Grey 
The max temperature is limited to professional standards of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. The spa heats very fast at 2 degrees per hour in a 120V circuit
  2. It can be used in cold weather areas without any problems. Using it at 240V is recommended
  3. You can change the voltage from 120V to 240V
  4. Molded with quality granite resin – you rarely see this in a hot tub
  5. It has a textured finish that helps you get in and out of the hot tub without slipping
  6. Easy to clean and maintain
  7. Preserving temperature of the water for long hours after turning off
  8. Rust-free jets made of stainless steel, as well as the Balboa heater

Final Thoughts – Is it Worth the Money?

Definitely yes

Plug and Play all season hot tub that seats 6 people. Featuring 20 Stainless Steel Jets and manufactured in the USA.

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Sources

  1. Essential Hot Tubs Owners Manual and Instructions
  2. Essential Hot Tubs Customer Service 1•800•787•6649
  3. Heating Calculator