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Buying Guide for Swim Spas
A swim spa is a bit like the "mini me" to a lap pool, but the spa comes with additional, useful features that make it a more sound purchase. Most importantly, they are designed to create the environmental feel of a vast, open body of water with a continuously running current. Likewise, their hydrotherapy jets allow the spa to double as a hot tub.
Because swim spas promote space-saving and utility, they are a popular choice among individuals and rehab centers. Whether you're in need of a solid medium for fitness, therapy, or entertainment, a swim spa is the realistic choice.
Purchasing a Swim Spa
Depending on the type of swim spa you get, you can expect spending anywhere between $4,000-$53,000. In the end, your buying decision likely won't come down to price alone. This is because price will ultimately scale with features. After all, the old adage remains true that "you get what you buy."
Once you've narrowed down your options, the buying process will closely resemble the one below:
- The dealer will provide a response to your interest in a swim spa.
- You'll have the opportunity to perform a "test soak."
- You'll be given an initial quote.
- If the dealer is local, they will visit your residence or facility to ensure that it can support the installation of a swim spa.
- You'll be given a finalized quote.
- You provide a down payment.
- The swim spa is delivered and installed.
In this guide, we'll help you learn everything you need to know about choosing a dealer and swim spa model for your personal or business use. So, you'll make a much more sound purchase decision in the end.
CHOOSING SIZES AND TYPES
There are a number of different sizes, features, and accommodations associated with swim spas. For the sake of this guide, we'll start off easy.
When thinking in terms of size, a swim spa is generally categorized in one of three traditional length sizes. These are:
- Between 10' and 11'
- Between 12' and 18'
- Between 19' and 21'
The two primary reasons people opt for swim spas is because they're either interested in continuous swimming or resistance exercise. Larger models accommodate both of these needs while smaller models are a better fit for just resistance exercise. Keep in mind that each size comes with its own special benefits and features. We'll go over those here.
Between 10' and 11'
The smallest swim spa currently sold measures at 10 feet in length. Swim spas measuring between 10' to 11' are designed to accommodate aquatic therapy and fitness training. From a primary function standpoint, they are effective at relieving pain and promoting relaxation/relief from conditions such as back pain, muscle strain, and arthritis. They can even be used with a rowing machine or other similar exercise equipment.
Between 12' and 18'
These models tend to have multiple purposes in comparison to their smaller counterparts. Swim spas in this size range are equipped with hydrotherapy jets, making them ideal for relaxation, fun, and aquatic therapy.
They are designed to work with a wide range of equipment, even underwater treadmills. They can be installed virtually anywhere, and dealers can help you choose cabinets that will match your current decor.
Between 19' and 21'
You will likely know that you're dealing with a premium swim spa if it is roughly 20'+ in length and it is described as a "dual temperature" or "Olympic" swim spa. They could be quite deep in comparison to other swim spas, and they can typically accommodate multiple people at once. Likewise, waterfalls and fountains can be added to them to improve their visual appeal.
You'll have a number of brands to choose from when shopping for swim spas. Certain brands emphasize different features. These are some of the most common brands that produce swim spas.
ThermoSpas swim spas are highly appreciated because they offer several valuable features not found anywhere else. Their swim spas are designed to help those with physical restrictions, and the seats can even be customized and re-positioned for maximum comfort. The company makes it easy for customers to personalize their swim spas so that they don't end up paying for accessories or features they don't need.
Dynasty Spas currently produces three different swim spas, all equipped with their own unique features including its reverse pull technology, its extended spa lip, and a heavily inspected infrastructure. The inspection process that Dynasty Spas performs on its products is considered to be the most rigorous and intensive in the swim spa industry.
At the time, Cal Spas produces and supports five different types of swim spas. In each swim spa, stainless steel jets and a powerful performance pump are included. The pricier models include simplistic controls and touch screen interfaces.
Endless Pools is dedicated to designing swim spas for therapy, resistance training, fun, and relaxation. Many people who want customization out of their swim spas will likely turn to Endless Pools. The company is known for its propeller-powered current and its dual-propulsion pool. The dual-propulsion pool can support two different swimmers occupying it at once.
Dimension One is known for its quality and heavy use of recycled material. This helps Dimension One create more cost-effective swim spas that have the same quality as those from competitors. The swim spas designed by Dimension One are extremely light on energy consumption due to their urethane foam insulation.
Master Spas is an umbrella manufacturer that actually extends out to smaller brands such as Michael Phelps and H2X swim spas. Via the different sub-brands, Master Spas can offer a full range of features, benefits, and prices that accommodate all budgets.
ANALYZING THE PRICE TAG
In virtually any case, a swim spa will always be the more sound option over a lap pool. These are the primary figures associated with swim spa pricing.
Between 10' and 11':
This is typically the most affordable option. At standard price, the cost usually anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000.
Between 12' and 18':
The cost is substantially higher than that of small-range swim spas. A standard package can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $24,000.
Between 19' and 21':
This is considered top tier. These models will run from $23,000 to $53,000.
The Installation Process
Installation will make up a decent fraction of the overall swim spa cost. If the swim spa is installed with a forklift, you will likely pay roughly $200. If the swim spa is installed with a crane, you can expect to pay between $900 and $1,200.
A licensed, experienced electrician should be the one who installs the swim spa. Above-ground costs typically run from $1,500 to $2,000, and in-ground costs run anywhere between $2,000 and $4,500.
Costs for Operation
Operation costs in total are often below $2 a day. This is a steal in comparison to a lap pool which costs $8 to operate each day. To play it safe, expect to spend between $80 and $100 on operational costs for your swim spa each month. Don't forget to also factor in $10 to $20 extra for common supplies for maintenance.