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We have owned the South Seas Spas 748L Deluxe spa by Artesian a little over a year at the time of this review. This review is my own personal opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review.
The South Seas Spas model 748L Deluxe is a 6 person hot tub with a lounger. It is 7 ft x 7 ft and 3 ft deep. Each seat is a different depth to accommodate different spa users and targets a different area. There are 48 jets including powerful 5” jets that deliver deep muscle penetration, as well as neck jets to soothe neck and shoulder pain.
The spa uses two separate pumps to circulate its 345 gallons of water through the jets and filters. Standard features include comprehensive warranty, standard spa cover, ArcticPac insulation, ABS bottom, stainless steel jets, 50 square inch filter, waterfall and LED lighting. Optional features include stereo system, upgraded LED lighting, Frog Ease in line system with Smart Chlor, ozonator, Advanced Oxidation Process, and full-foam cabinets.
We chose to go with a Java cabinet, which is like a nice dark coffee color, with a silver marble shell. The cabinet looks great on our deck next to our redwood vinyl siding and the marble shell really pops and makes the tub sparkle. It’s very inviting on a crisp cool evening.
- Lounger seat
- Standard LED lighting
- Frog@ease In-Line System with Smart Chlor
The 748L Deluxe comes with a lounger plus 5 seats at various depths. The lounger is quite comfortable although if you are short, it may not be comfortable for you. It’s actually a little deep for me, and I’m 5’6”. I’m not under water when I sit there, but it puts my neck at an awkward angle, so I tend to sit in the other seats more. I’m considering purchasing a booster so that I can enjoy the seat more. My husband loves it though. He’s about 6’ tall.
We opted for the Frog@ease In-Line System with Smart Chlor and ozonator, but did not get the stereo or upgraded LED lighting as we felt those were just more things to go wrong down the road.
The standard LED lighting is great at night. You can select a specific color, or you can set it to alternate colors every few seconds. It’s very bright but doesn’t attract bugs, which is great. We’ve also strung a set of icicle lights above the tub that we use for gentle lighting at night.
The Frog@ease In-Line System makes water care of this spa so easy for a beginner. With the built-in system, you just open the cap, insert the mineral and chlorine cartridges, relax and enjoy. You only have to change the chlorine cartridge once a month, and the mineral every 4 months when you change the water. The system self regulates for continuous clear water. Use the Frog@ease test strips to check for proper chemical levels and shock the water once a month. The system kills bacteria two ways using up to 75% less chlorine.
It really is that easy. The most difficult part for me is that we have well water and it goes through a softener before coming out the hose so we have to put a LOT of PH down and calcium increaser to balance the water upon initial filling.
(Own a hot tub without the inline system? Check out the floating Frog@ease sanitation system here!)
The ozonator is a device that generates ozone gas and injects it into the hot tub water. This helps clean impurities from the water and keep the spa running clean. We talked to the service technician at our dealership and he said he doesn’t really see the benefit of them and that actually he unplugs them on most tubs after 1 year and he’s never had a customer that noticed a change. I can’t say if this helps or not at this point, but it hasn’t caused us any problems so far.
Our hot tub does not have full foam insulation, instead it is sprayed around the shell and there is air space between the shell and cabinet. The cabinet is lined with a thin bubble insulation.
We placed our hot tub on a 10’ x 12’ deck about 3 feet off the ground just outside of our screen porch. It’s only a few feet away from the door so it’s quick and easy access in the cold winter months, and we only have to shovel a short path of snow in the winter.
Why we chose the South Seas Spa by Artesian
When we were thinking about purchasing our first hot tub, we looked at many different brands and visited a few different showrooms.
Then we found a dealer that we really trusted. I really liked what he had to say about the South Seas Spa, and perhaps more importantly, I felt like he knew what he was talking about because he sold AND serviced multiple brands of hot tubs. The dealer was a small family business. We liked working with someone who really knew the product because the guys answering the phone are also the guys out servicing the units. They know much more about their product than just what a typical salesman knows from reading a brochure. He was a dealer that I felt would be good to work with if we had problems down the road and we like to support small businesses whenever we can.
Mark at The Spa Wholesaler explained the differences between Artesian and other brands and why he recommends Artesian. Many of these are also why we chose to go with this brand.
The insulation in the South Seas Spas are not full foam, although it’s available, he doesn’t recommend it. If there’s ever a problem with the spa, repairs with full-foam are very difficult, making them more costly, and you lose that insulation when they have to rip it all out for a repair anyway. He suggested using fiberglass insulation to fill the spaces and around the pipes if we really feel we need it. This way it’s easy to remove if you need to make a repair. It has worked out well for us.
Last fall we did open the sides and insert fiberglass insulation around the pipes, being careful not to restrict air flow around the pumps, on our dealer’s recommendation. I don’t know if it really was necessary, but it made me feel good. Read more about our energy costs here.
Another thing that we liked about the South Seas Spa was the shell. The shell on the Artesian spas is sturdy on its own, it doesn’t rely on bracing or full foam insulation to hold its shape and provide support.
With two pumps, you get a variety of force coming out of different jets, which combined with the various jet placements, provides even more options for a targeted massage. One pump has two speeds, perfect for a nice gentle massage in some seats. The second pump has only one speed but it’s much stronger force, really great for a deep tissue massage in the other half of the tub.
Speaking of jets, the South Seas Spas 748L deluxe model also features neck and shoulder jet massagers. One of the corner seats has two jets placed just above water level inside a collar that target your neck and shoulders. This is one feature that really drew me to this spa over other brands. You can change the position of these jets, as well as adjust their intensity. They offer a deep massage on the neck and shoulders and really help relieve the tension from sitting at a desk all day, or a rigorous workout. I don’t use these every day, but they are definitely a must-have in my book as they really helped relieve the knots.
The FrogEase In-line system was a big draw as a new hot tub owner. Once your spa is balanced, it requires a lot less effort to keep up with the spa maintenance. You don’t need to add chemicals every soak, or every week. Just set it up, balance your water, shock it and that’s it for the month. It also uses much less chemicals. Not having any experience with a hot tub before, we wanted it to be as simple as possible.
What I like about the South Seas Spas 748L by Artesian
The configuration of this tub is really great. With each seat having a different configuration of jets and seat depth, there’s something for everyone. In addition, you can adjust each individual jet. You can change the direction of the jet to hit just right, as well as adjusting the pressure coming out of each.
The availability of the neck and shoulder seat really sets this tub apart from many in my opinion. This seat sits slightly deeper to accommodate the collar that supports your neck and allows the neck and shoulder jets to be above your shoulders, in a position to target these areas.
The 220 v power supply allows this tub to run all jets on high as well as heating to keep the temperature up in the cold winter months.
I’ve mentioned this before but the Frog@ease in-line system makes maintenance and water care really easy, which is something every new hot tub owner needs!
What I don’t like about the South Seas Spas 748L
There’s not really anything I don’t like about the tub but in the spirit of a thorough review I’ve come up with a few things that could be better.
I’m not sure I would get the lounger again. I’m 5’6” tall and when I sit in the lounger, the water level is good, but it puts my neck at an angle that is uncomfortable for me. I want to get a booster seat like this one that I think would make it more comfortable for me.
I’ve said it multiple times and I’ll say it again. The Frog@ease in-line system is great and makes water care super easy. However, I did have a hard time getting used to the accompanying test strips at first.
We have a dug well, so our water is very alkaline and the colors aren’t off the test strip colors so it’s well above 8. We end up having to put in a whole bottle of PH down to bring it in line. I didn’t know this at first and I had a hart time telling if the color was on the chart or not. Also, because our water goes through a softener before the hose we have to put quite a bit of calcium increaser in.
It’s also a little hard to tell the color on the Frog@ease test strips sometimes. Especially in winter, when you’re always checking after dark. If you work, you have to basically wait until the weekend to check during daylight hours.
You might notice in the photo below that the headrest on the waterfall seat has been removed. The headrest doesn’t properly align with the water and it makes me crazy because it comes out in a weird pattern that sprays onto the cover when it’s closed. We don’t sit in this seat much, so we took the cushion off and it’s fine. I like to leave the waterfall on throughout the winter as a precaution so that water moves through the lines whenever it’s running to prevent freezing. Not sure it’s necessary, but I read that somewhere and it doesn’t hurt.
What’s the verdict?
As with everything hindsight is 20/20. If I had to go back and do it again, I would definitely stick with my decision to buy the South Seas Spas 748L Deluxe hot tub. But doing it again, I might choose a different placement.
I would have preferred to set the spa on a concrete pad and have several steps down from the house, however my husband won out on that battle and we built a deck that’s 1 step down from the house. Doing it again, I would at least build the deck independently of the foundation. Our deck is anchored to the house, and I often hear the vibration of the motors from our bedroom. He doesn’t notice it, but I do, although it’s not loud, just a very quiet hum.
There are countless benefits to owning a hot tub, but the number one reason we bought this hot tub was for its therapeutic benefits. This tub definitely lives up to our expectations.
This is a great hot tub and I would recommend anyone looking for a new hot tub to consider any of the South Seas Spas models.
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