What is a Swim Spa?
Learn about the types of swim spas, as well as the cost and maintenance requirements for these pools.
A swim spa allows you to enjoy the health benefits of swimming without requiring space for a full-sized lap pool in your backyard. Instead of swimming a longer distance, you swim against a current in the water, which is completely adjustable based on your own fitness level and needs. Like a regular spa, these units are completely self-contained and free standing, making them much easier to install and maintain. They can also be used indoors or out, so you can continue training even through the winter months if you have an indoor place to install the swim spa.
Types of Swim Spas
There are many companies offering swim spas today as the concept has taken hold and gained in popularity. You can find models that are pretty enough to become a focal point for your outdoor space and others designed to be installed in the ground. Most swim spas are made of fiberglass, steel or acrylic and are covered with a vinyl liner. Some will come with the option of converting to a hot tub, by including seating and whirlpool jets. Typical swim spas measure about 14-15 feet long and 6-7 feet wide. Depth usually runs between three and six feet. Keep in mind that deeper models will also cost more to heat.
Uses for Swim Spas
In addition to fitness training, swim spas provide a number of other uses. First, these pools can work without the current for a fun splash zone for the entire family. Because of the size and depth, a swim spa is also an excellent place for water exercise like aerobics and jogging in place. Working out in the water provides a low impact opportunity for people of all fitness levels to build strength and endurance. A swim spa is also a good choice for water therapy sessions for those who suffer with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Cost and Installation
Most swim spas come in kits that allow homeowners to install the spa themselves. However, most take some time and knowledge of basic tools to install correctly. In ground models will usually require the help of a professional contractor to excavate and level the ground for installation. The cost of a swim spa is comparable to the cost of an in ground fiberglass pool, with prices running from $20,000 to $30,000, depending on the type of pool you purchase and the area in which you live.
Like other pools, a swim spa will need to be properly maintained to keep the water safe and clean. Most companies will sell the pump, heater and filter along with the pool as a package deal. Because the pool is smaller than the average backyard pool, maintenance is generally easier and the pool stays heated fairly efficiently.
A swim spa can be a good choice for people who want to swim at home but don't have the space for a full-sized pool. These spas come in an assortment of styles and sizes so you can find the one that will meet your needs best.