Is it a spa? Is it a swimming pool? Is it both?
A Swim Spa is sort of a middle ground or a combination of a swimming pool and hot tub. These are much smaller than an actual swimming pool but slightly bigger than a hot tub. Swim spas range from 14’ long to 19’ long and the average width is from 6’ to around 8’ in width. Swim spas are self-contained units. Which means the pumps, heating units and filters are all contained within the structure. You need to wire the spa to a 240 V, 50 amp electrical hookup, fill it up with water and you are good to go.
We use a swimming pool predominantly for working out. And a hot tub for relaxing and unwinding. A swim spa blends the elements of a swimming pool and a hot tub: you can swim in it and get your workout done and you can also soak in it and relax like you would in a hot tub.
More people nowadays are turning to swim spas rather than a full-fledged swimming pool. What to know why? Keep reading and find out!
Advantages of a spa over the pool
For those with budget or space constraints, swim spas are a wonderful option.
A swimming pool takes up a lot of space. With backyards getting smaller, you may not have the space to set up a swimming pool. A swim spa is ideal if you have some space constraints in your house.
Swim spas are a lot less expensive to purchase, set and maintain. An in-ground pool will cost you anywhere from $400 to $700 per month. Heating and running a swim spa will cost only one-fourth of that money or less! They are also much cheaper to maintain as they don’t require accessories and as many chemicals to maintain.
Swim spas are easy to install
Swim spas are easy to set up and cost you much less. A traditional swimming pool may take a few days or even weeks to install. This is because you need to completely tear up your backyard to set it up. This means no time, effort and money.
Swim spas just require a basic electrical installation to get it running on a poured concrete foundation. They can be easily transported to your space and installed in a few hours without having to rip apart your backyard. Plus, it’s less time and money.
Longer Swimming session
Most pools will stay at swimming temperature for only 3 to 6 months in a year. You can use your swim spas easily all year round! This is because they use up less water than pools and are insulated. The capacity of a pool is huge. So keeping 40,000- 50,000 litres of water at 80 degrees is impossible for a heater, especially during winters.
Lesser maintenance than pools
Admit it. Who has all the time to maintain swimming pools in tip-top condition? A swim spa is much easier to maintain. You don’t have to wipe swim spas every other week to keep the walls clean. The filters also do a much better job at filtering the water than pool filters. Since swimming pools are exposed to UV rays, they get cloudy and green very easily. Since swim spas are covered when not in use, you won’t be faced with this problem.
Fitness and relaxation in one
You can swim as long as you want at your own pace in a swim spa. These spas also come with other fitness options like exercise bars, rowing kits, cross-training and a whole lot more. Fitness enthusiasts will love it no end!
Once you are done with your fitness routine, you can relax in it too. Since they come with therapeutic massage jets, you can unwind and relax as your body gets a soothing massage. Swim spas come with jet controllers that you can control for maximum relaxation and hydrotherapy.
Is a swim spa heated?
The ideal water temperature
Swim spas of course are different from hot tubs. So you may be wondering if a swim spa is heated. The short answer is yes. But since these spas are used for exercise and fitness, the temperature is kept around 84 degrees. However, if you are looking for a warm, hot tub like soak, it can be increased to 100 degrees Faherenheit.
For a swimming experience, the ideal water temperature can be from 78 degrees to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want the water to be so warm that you start feeling hot and uncomfortable after working out for some time.
Some swimming spas come with a separate place for swimming and a separate place for a hot tub experience within the same unit. But if yours doesn’t, raising the water temperature from a soothing swimming temperature to a hot-tub warmth may take some time.
How long does it take to heat a swim spa?
Swim spas take around 4 to 6 hours for the temperature to reach the desired level.
- Keeping covers on will trap the heat inside the spa, so the water will heat up much faster.
- Having a more powerful heater will not only heat the water faster, but it will also help conserve energy and thereby reduce your electric bill.
Do you need to keep the water constantly heated?
This completely depends on your usage. If you intend to use your spa almost every day, it makes sense to keep the water at your ideal constant temperature allowing the cover and insulation to help with energy efficiency. Using the cover when not in use will also help maintain the constant spa temperature and reduce dependence on the heater.
On the other hand, if you only plan to use your spa occasionally, you can turn off the heater and heat the water before use. During winter, if you are not going to be using your swim spa, drain the water entirely and switch off the heat. Otherwise, the unheated water will freeze and you run the risk of freezing and ergo damaging your spa.
- Endless Pools
- Arctic Spa
- PDC Swim Spas
Hydropool Swim Spas
Hydropool Swim spas started as a swimming pool company, then they ventured into the hot tubs industry. Today they are into manufacturing swim spas in the US and Canada. They have 5 lines of swim spas. AquaPlay, AquaTrainer, ExecutiveTrainer, AquaSport and ExecutiveSport. In all, there are 14 models that you can personalize.
Features and Specifications:
- You can customize your own swim spa online.
- Fits comfortably in smaller spaces.
- The length of the spas ranges from 12 to 19 feet. So it is comfortable for fitness as well as relaxation.
- Features spa-like jets to create currents are located in the front from you when you are swimming. You can adjust the strength of the current.
- It is compatible with the smartphone app (I Command) which allows you to check and change the temperature, water care and filtration settings, remotely.
- No need to use chemicals.
- You can use saltwater which is gentler on the skin and swimsuit.
- The fitness kit helps you up your fitness game.
- Very easy to maintain.
- It comes with a self-cleaning system which can filter 100 percent of the water in just 45 minutes.
- It has an impressive range for senior and older users.
- Comes in a variety of sizes suitable for every space.
- A bit smaller than other swim spas
- More geared towards exercise than hot tub style relaxation.
With a bunch of customizable and design options, you will definitely hit on something you will love. It is a pool, hot tub and gym all in one. Adjustable currents can pose a challenge even for an active swimmer.
Endless Pools Swim Spas
This brand name is synonymous with “Swim Spa”. Endless Pool Spas produce customized 16-inch propeller pools. This will allow you to install a pool and even get some exercise down in the small space. You can build your own customized pool online using the “Build your endless pool” option.
The capacity of these spas ranges from 1200 to 2400 gallons.
Features and Specifications:
- You can customize various spa elements including jets and lighting.
- Strong currents are created from the 16-inch propeller which offer more challenge than jets.
- The company offers 9 portable swim spa models with 3 categories – Endless Pool Fitness Systems, Endless Pool SwimCross Exercise Systems and Endless Pool RecSport.
- Fills fast and maintains heat quite well
- It will help you meet your fitness goals.
- You can perform cross-fitness with the 4-jet current for smooth and variable resistance.
- The RecSport model allows you to perform aquatic workouts.
- A great budget pick and superb value for money.
- This may not be so much of a con. But you need to know a few spa terminologies to build your own swim spa.
- The pools can be bulky.
- Few customers have had problems with the service and technical assistance when their unit got damaged.
- There aren’t too many swim spa accessories available
If you want a swim spa that is easy to install and maintain and offers the perfect combination of fun and fitness, go for the Endless Pool Spa. Just ensure there is technical assistance nearby in case something goes wrong!
SwimEx Swim Spas
SwimEx offers a great selection of SwimSpas – there are 6 models each with a different size, capacity and usage. They make spas for residential as well as professional fiberglass swim spas. These spas feature a large paddlewheel to create wider and deeper currents than other swim spas in the market.
Specifications and features:
- The smallest model from their range is the 400 OS with a capacity of 2600 gallons. Although smaller, it can still hold several people and everyone can perform fitness.
- The largest model they make is 1000 OS with a 7700 gallons capacity and 12 hydrotherapy jets. Several people can swim alongside or lounge in the still water to relax.
- There are 99 water resistance levels, so it is accommodating of swimmers of all skills and requirements.
- They can be installed in-ground, above-ground or partially in-ground.
- Made of fiberglass which makes it non-slip.
- The wood core provides strength and insulation.
- Comes with additional features like an integrated treadmill, customized colours and an HD camera system for monitoring strokes at an added cost.
- The design tool is easy and interactive and with it, you can customize your spa like selecting the colours for the spa’s interior, tiles and cover etc
- The pricing is not listed upfront
- Underwater exercise equipment is costly
If you are looking for a swim spa with plenty of options, go for SwinEx without a second thought. With plenty of bespoke features, you can customize it to your needs. Their underwater exercise options are amazing, but they can be costly.
Arctic Spa comes with 7 customizable swim spa models: Hudson, Kingfisher, Wolverine, Ocean, Athabascan and Okanagan. You can choose one based on your needs – whether you are looking to have fun with your family, relax or get a good workout done. Depending on the model, the number of jets will also vary.
Specifications and features:
- Some of these models can be used in all climates. The Athabascan for instance is an all-weather pool with quite a bit of area to swim at 1347 capacity.
- The current in Arctic swim spas is created by high volume jets positioned at the front of the swimmer.
- The Ocean model has more features than all-weather spas. You can get 30, 40 or even up to 61 jets!
- All of these models are 14 feet 3 inches long and 4 feet 3 inches deep.
- The units are weather-resistant and some models are all-weather pools
- There are models to suit low-intensity exercises like walking. There are 2 models that feature no jets for swim currents or hydrotherapy.
- It comes with an app that allows you to control the pumps, temperature, lights and sound system.
- They are very affordable. And they will cost you only under 2 dollars to operate every day.
- Not much variety in terms of size
- Not much workout equipment available for sale.
Arctic spas may not have much in terms of size and variety. But it does have a very low running cost and the customer service is stellar. Although it doesn’t offer much variety, you can still use the custom options that are available to create the perfect spa that meets your needs and budget.
PDC Swim Spas
This is one of the best swim spas in the market with a huge range of customizable swim spas. PDC has 14 swim spa models, and there are plenty of customizable options, so you can build your ideal spa.
The size ranges from 1792 and 2700 gallons. Based on your requirement – whether you are going to use your spa for family entertainment, therapy for sore muscles and joints or a thorough and intense workout – you have numerous jet options to choose from.
Features and Specifications:
- There are 14 models from which to choose. These are divided into four lines: Summit, Vitality, Synergy, and TruSwim. You can choose between models that create the current ideal for swimming with 3 jets that is perfect for seasonal swimmers who are looking for a challenge.
- The Synergy or a TruSwim swim spa will emit cascading water spouts. The Synergy line emits up to a whopping 65 therapy jets! TruSwim gives you 6 cascading water sports and between 8 and 37 therapy jets.
- Vitality model is more for fitness offering currents to swim in and adjustable resistance for walking, running, lifting weights, or using a pulley trainer.
- There are swim spa and hot tub combos so you get both relaxation and a workout.
- All models feature underwater LED lighting, audio system and options for grip and floor mat.
- The customer service is very responsive
- There are plenty of customizable options and accessories to choose from
- There are options for all ages and abilities
- It is energy-efficient and economical in comparison
- Not many variations in size.
PDC Swim spas stand apart in the market because of the numerous customizable options, economical and energy-efficient. It will cost only $1.5 per day to use.
A swimming pool is a great option and so is a hot tub. But if you want the best of both worlds, go for a swim spa. Depending on your mood – whether you are in the mood for a great workout or you may simply want to relax and unwind – you can use the spa as a pool or a hot tub! Use with hot or cold water depending on the climate. Or go for one with separate areas for swimming and relaxing. With lesser cost and maintenance requirements, not to mention being portable and taking up less space, why go for a pool when you can buy a swim spa!