Can I heat a swim spa with gas and 9 other questions people ask
Swim spa? What's that? We fast-track your swim spa learning curve with these 10 questions.
1. What's a swim spa?
Because swim spas have only been on the market since the late 1990s and go by many names (think swim spa, endless pool, plunge pool), this question is where pretty much every conversation about swim spas starts. A swim spa blends elements of a pool, hot tub and gym: it's a place to play, swim, soak and work out. This versatility is what makes it so special. That, and the fact that a swim spa packs it all in such a compact package.
2. How much does a swim spa cost?
The price of a swim spa varies based on manufacturer, size, features and how you have it installed. Our most popular Hydropool models will run you about $25,000 to $35,000 for the unit and basic above-ground installation.
3. How do I get a swim spa in my backyard?
Most customers have their swim spa or swim spa craned into place. (And it's a very cool thing to watch!) Even if you have room to drive a truck into your backyard, cranes are able to very gently place the swim spa on the concrete pad. A tilt truck will always drop the swim spa a small distance, which isn't recommended.
4. What size swim spa is right for me?
This question begs two more: Who will be using your swim spa? And what for? If your priority is family games of volleyball, boogie boarding or having some adult friends over for a mid-winter soak, go for a 16', 17' or 19' model. A 12' swim spa is good for one or two people to relax or do aquatic aerobics. A 14' model—our most popular for families—is well priced with room for a couple of adults and a few busy kids. Still unsure? We've put together a quick quiz to help you decide what size swim spa is right for you, too.
5. How many people can fit in a swim spa?
Capacity depends on size. Kids don't mind being in each other's personal space, so you can easily fit 6 or 7 in a 14' swim spa. There's room for one adult swimmer in the swim lane at a time, but other adults and kids can play or sit at the other end of the pool while the swim lane's in use. Choose the model that offers the number of seats you're looking for (see the next question for a breakdown by model).
6. What's the hot tub part of a swim spa like?
Hydropool's swim spas give you a true hot tub experience, and they're known for the quality of the therapeutic jets and the comfort of the seating. With a 19' combo model, you can control the temperature of the spa and the pool separately. Seating varies between Hydropool models: 12' swim spas have 3 seats, 14' swim spas have 2 seats, 16' swim spas have 3 seats, 17' swim spas have 2 seats, and 19' swim spas have 4 seats.
7. How quickly does a swim spa heat up?
A swim spa is a large body of water and uses an electric heater, so on an average fall day it'll take around 12 hours to increase the water temperature from 85 degrees to 100 degrees. Most of our customers heat their swim spa to swimming temperature in the summer and treat it like a hot tub in the fall, winter and spring. If you're looking for quick temperature changes—for example, you'd like to work out with the water at a cooler temper and then have a hot tub temperature soak an hour later—your best bet is to get a gas heater for your swim spa. (Jump to the next question for the details!)
8. Can I heat a swim spa with gas?
You sure can! The heater that comes with the unit is electric, but you can customize your swim spa by bypassing the electric heater and using a gas heater instead. If your goal is to decrease utility costs by installing a gas heater, you probably won't realize much in the way of savings since the units are so efficient. Once you factor in $2K for a new gas heater and $2K for gas hookup, you certainly won't be saving money. If your goal is to be able to heat the water quickly, however, you'll love a gas heater. The smallest gas heaters available on the market are still oversized for a swim spa, so we estimate it takes an hour to heat the water from 85 degrees to 100 degrees, turning your pool into a hot tub in almost no time.
9. What colours does a swim spa come in?
Hydropool swim spas come in two different interior finishes—high gloss and dimpled (Hydropool calls these "mist" finishes)—in colours ranging from white to grey. The most popular finish is "silver marble," with the marbling effect being more subtle than on a hot tub because there's more surface area for the pattern to cover on the larger swim spa unit. The dimpled "mist" finishes are more slippery, which is nice for users who don't want to feel like their skin is sticking to the seats. Exterior cabinets come in three colours: midnight, driftwood and black cherry. You can check out examples of the shell and cabinet colours online on each of our individual swim spa pages. For greater colour accuracy and to feel the difference between gloss and "mist," drop by our Ancaster store to see actual samples.
10. How do I get in to a swim spa?
Most of our customers install their swim spa above ground, so unless you've got a deck at the perfect height, you'll need a way to get in. You can purchase steps that go on the outside of the unit from Hydropool, but we usually recommend that people create their own way to get from ground level up to the height of the swim spa, either by building attractive steps themselves or working with a landscaper or handyman.
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