Are you a keen swimmer? Long for a small swimming pool in your back garden?

With a range of options available to you, how can you make an informed decision about whether a swimming pool or swim spa is best for you?

In this valuable article, we compare the benefits of the swimming pool and the swim spa, so you’re armed with the facts before you decide.

You can scroll down and read our advice here on this page. Alternatively, why not download the PDF or send yourself a link to read up on hot tub buying hints and tips later:

There’s no doubt that swimming offers many benefits to your physical and mental health.

You’re guaranteed an all-body workout with swimming, with less impact on your joints and muscles compared with exercising on the ground. Swimming is also recommended to recovering patients as a soothing way to heal wounds or following an operation. The decision to invest in a pool or swim spa is not one you’ll make lightly, so you need to know that you’ve been given a range of information before you buy.

Let us run through the main points to consider when making a pool purchase

  1. Measuring Up
  2. Purchase Costs
  3. Installation Considerations
  4. Maintenance
  5. Water Chemistry
  6. Use it all year?
  7. Swimming Technique
  8. Cover Up
  9. Running Costs
  10. Parts
  11. Additional benefits of choosing a swim spa

#1 Measuring up

When considering a pool or a swim spa, you need to think about whether your garden can handle the new addition.

A traditional small swimming pool needs between 30ft x 15ft to 40ft x 20ft, not to mention a comfortable paved area around the edge.

A swim spa however, ranges from just 12ft x 7.5ft to the largest model at 19ft x 7.5ft. You’ll still need to allow a paved or decked area around the edge of your spa, but all in all a swim spa is a great space saving option, and far more manageable space wise. For those of us who don’t have acres of land, it makes owning a pool far more accessible.

#2 Purchase Costs

Cost of a swim spaA huge consideration is the cost of purchasing your pool or spa.

An outdoor pool built by professional builders can cost tens of thousands of pounds. For an indoor pool you could be looking at hundreds of thousands. The sky really is the limit!

With a swim spa, the building and purchase of your spa is a fraction of the cost of a swimming pool, especially if installed above ground, as all that is needed is a good concrete base for it to sit on. Minimal building work is required, and no tiling involved.

With a Hydropool swim spa, the shell has a guaranteed lifespan of 5 years so you know the product has been built to last. By investing in a swim spa you know you’re getting real value for money, especially when you take into account the added technology it comes with. Not merely a hole in the ground, but a practical, high-tech machine which you can tailor to your exact and changing needs. All in all, great value for money.

#3 Installation

swim spa installationInstallation costs and how long it will take to build your pool or spa is something you need to consider.

When building a swimming pool inside or outside there are many considerations to make. You need to decide on shape, varied depth, thinking about drainage, whether you will need a vinyl lining and or moulded fibreglass base. You’ll need a specialist builder to dig out and build the foundations, plus the tiling. It’s a huge task and investment in your living and garden space. You’ll also need to consider how much water it holds and will use. Construction time can take over 2 weeks to fully complete.

For a swim spa, an above ground installation simply requires a concrete base to sit on. There are so many options available to you with a swim spa. One of the most popular is to sink the spa into the ground to avoid stepping up. This option does require hiring a digger and building foundations but a smaller space is required compared to a swimming pool. Another option is to half sink your swim spa into the ground, meaning less of a step into the spa. This option also requires digging into the ground.

You will also need to consider an electrician’s costs to install the swim spa as outdoor sockets and the correct amperage is imperative. A swim spa can be installed, filled, heated and ready to use in your garden within 2 days. A real time saver!

#4 Maintenance

swim spa maintenanceIt’s worth considering the amount of time you’ll be spending maintaining your pool or spa before you buy.

Cleaning, filtering and testing the water is paramount for pool and spa safety. With a swimming pool, you’ll need to ensure debris is regularly hoovered from the base of the pool, along with skimming for leaves and larger pieces of debris. Some pools take between 12 – 18 hours for the pump to filter the water. The filter will need to be removed regularly and cleaned, replacing as necessary. Most retailers recommend that a swimming pool is serviced twice a year. The pool skimmers will need to be cleaned several times a week to help assist with the removal of debris. If not, debris, hair and leaves will lead to the pump being clogged. The pool will also need to be vacuumed on a weekly basis along with regular tile cleaning to prevent the build up of algae. Pumps will need to be removed and cleaned thoroughly at least twice a year, checking for any parts that may need replacing. Maintaining filtration is essential to the cleanliness of your pool so ensuring all parts are working correctly is paramount.

Maintaining a swim spa couldn’t be easier. Just a few simple steps each week will keep your spa in excellent condition. Simple water chemistry checks each week are all you need to perform with a swim spa. Hydropool models clean 100% of the water every 45 minutes through the patented Self-Clean function, reassuring you and your family that the swim spa water is consistently safe to swim in. The Hydropool swim spa is the only swim spa in the world to offer this unique function saving you vast amounts of time. Cleaning the filter every month in a specialised solution is recommended along with emptying a refilling ever 8 weeks or so depending on how much you use it. It is also recommended that you service your swim spa twice a year to check all parts are working correctly and that the filters are cleaned, replaced and maintained.

#5 Water Chemistry

Which-Hot-Tub-tip-5Be aware that both swimming pools and swim spas require regular water chemistry testing to ensure the water has the right balance of cleansing agents.

The chemicals will need to be tested, balanced and tested again before the pool or spa can be used. The time you spend testing the water in a pool and a spa will be roughly the same, but with a swim spa, the worry about the cleanliness is reduced due to the reassuring patented Self-Clean function, with the water running through the filters every 45 minutes.

#6 Want to use all year?

You’ll also need to consider how often you think you’ll be using your pool or spa.

With an outdoor pool, especially in our British climate, you may find that your usage is limited mainly to the summer time, even then, only on hot days!
The good news is that with a swim spa, you’re not constrained by the weather in the same way. A swim spa can be used 365 days of the year, enabling you to enjoy your spa through rain showers, snow and sun. The temperature can be easily controlled to suit your needs and having the option to use it whenever you like offers much better value for money in the long run. The last thing you want is your pool standing empty and not being used. Another benefit is that an outdoor swim spa can be covered by a gazebo or similar structure, helping to preserve it from the elements and offer a swim that is truly uninterrupted by the elements.

#7 Swimming Technique

Consider how you wish to use your pool before you buy. Are you using it for fitness or fun?

With a small pool, it’s likely that to swim a kilometre you’ll have to interrupt your swim to turn over 100 times. That’s a lot of time spent turning! With a swim spa, you’re constantly swimming against an adjustable current thus eradicating the need to turn.

Swim Spa Technique

You’re guaranteed a more constant and uninterrupted workout with a swim spa. It makes them a great choice for athletes in training, those recovering from illness or operations. With the AquaPro Personal Swim and Training Control you can personalise your swim with a 10 speed levels, giving you a workout tailored to your ability.

#8 Pool Covers

Keeping your pool or spa covered is essential to keep out dirt and debris as well as keeping the heat in.

Don’t forget to consider the cost of a good quality cover for your pool or spa when factoring in the price. Some pool covers can work out to be a large expense and one that will need to be replaced over time. A quality insulated tapered hardcover for a swim spa is an vital purchase and the costs vary depending on the size of the spa. Do not underestimate the value of buying a quality cover. You’ll save hundreds of pounds a year with a good cover that guards against unnecessary heat loss. Hydropool insulated hard covers are heavy duty, trapping the heat in and cold out.

#9 Running Costs

A careful consideration when purchasing a swimming pool or spa is the running costs.

With a swimming pool, depending on whether it is indoor or outdoor, and whether you shut it down for part of the year can cost thousands a year to run. With a Hydropool swim spa, none of the heat is wasted through the heat exchange technology and Nasa inspired insulation so you’re confident that it’s not wasting unnecessary energy. For just a few pounds a day you can enjoy your swim spa all year round.

#10 Parts

swim spa partsThinking about the costs of replacement parts is a major consideration for pool or spa owners.

Your pool lining may need to be replaced in time or re-concreted, whereas with a swim spa, the shell is designed to last, and guaranteed for 5 years. You’ll also need to consider the lifespan of a pump, which with the correct maintenance swim spas and their components will last for years to come.

All Hydropool products come with a 10 year structural guarantee. Another bonus is that when you want to change out your swim spa for the latest model this can easily be done as it is not a permanent fixture. Regular maintenance by a professional can ensure that your swimming pool or swim spa is in tip top condition and serves you for years to come.

Additional Spa Benefits

We know swim spas provide you with so many benefits. Many that a traditional swimming pool cannot offer such as:

  1. Massage Jets – with optimised hydraulics Hydropool targetted jets soothe away the day for a full body massaging experience.
  2. Fitness Extras – you can turn your spa into an aquatic gym with the added extras available. Tethers, aquatic jogging, wall mounted exercise bars, step and rowing machine can be added to your spa, along with the wave pool to entertain the kids.
  3. Water features – the unique Hydrofall Pillows provide waterfall jets helping to relieve stress and tension.
  4. Fragrance DispensersDream Scents on demand give you a true aromatherapy experience.
  5. Audio – HydroSurround Sound speakers using Bluetooth technology.

The only downside is that you’ll not be able to dive in!