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  • Writer's pictureRichard Hart

Why Buy A Swim Spa?

Often people can be unsure as to whether to purchase a swim spa or a traditional swimming pool. Although they look somewhat similar, there are significant differences between the two. From overall maintenance to versatility and features, there are many considerations that you should be aware of so that you can make the right choice for your needs and lifestyle.

Reef Spas are proud to offer a wide selection of the best affordable swim spas. Below, we everything you need to know so that you can make an informed decision.

What is a Swim Spa

A swim spa is a swimming pool alternative, combining the benefits of water exercise and the therapy of a hot tub. A fraction of the cost of an in ground pool, a swim spa from Reef Spas can be installed in less than a day.

Swim spas are quickly gaining momentum in the marketplace, as they offer a range of health and lifestyle benefits and their affordability often makes them a good fit for homeowners who want both a pool for lap swimming and a hot tub for hydrotherapy.

Swim spas can also be designed with gym-like features, such as treadmill swim zones, which use jet propulsion systems for resistance, as well as peripheral fitness equipment options; making them well suited to athletes in training, physical therapy patients, fitness enthusiasts, and families.

Size and Portability Advantages

When compared to a typical swimming or lap pool, the main benefits of a fitness spa are its size and portability, as this alone gives prospective buyers more flexibility over installation, and ultimately, the entire backyard design plan.

A building permit is not required for most fitness spa installations; however, the local building code department should be contacted to ensure whether a building permit is necessary and for information on applicable bylaws (e.g. distance from property lines, buildings, fencing requirements, etc.).

In contrast, most swimming or lap pools are installed directly into the ground, making building permits necessary. Homeowners may also be required to put several safety precautions in place. For example, they may need to install self-closing, self-latching gates, which lead into the backyard, or four-sided fencing surrounding the entire pool. Each additional requirement raises installation costs and has an effect on the outdoor landscape.

The vast majority of fitness spa installations simply require the unit be placed on a solid, flat foundation, such as concrete or other decking material, that has a minimum rating of 68 kg per square meter (150 lb. per square foot). This simplifies fitness spa installation; most can be easily installed in any backyard on delivery day.

Design and options

The comfort and hydrotherapy features found in today’s fitness spas are available in many sizes with various options, colors, textures and design features. For example, key features can include incorporated therapy seats, strategically placed hydrotherapy jets and self-contained operational


For convenience, important information such as water temperature, filtration program settings, pump controls and lighting systems are displayed on the spa side control panel. Most importantly, from a homeowner’s standpoint, the majority of fitness spas feature self-contained operating systems, which eliminate the need for a dedicated backyard equipment area. This feature also

protects the equipment’s electrical components from the elements and extends the life expectancy of the unit’s operating systems, pumps, heaters and lighting.

Modern fitness spas also offer a host of standard and optional amenities, which can include cascading waterfalls, water fountains, multi colored light emitting diode (LED) lighting packages and built-in, iPod-ready, marine grade stereo systems with surround-sound speakers.

Heating and electricity consumption

A standard fitness spa comes with a 5.5-kW electric heater that is suitable for spa owners who maintain a constant operating water temperature. For owners who wish to operate the spa at cooler temperatures during the day and warmer temperatures at night, an 11-kW electric heater is recommended.

A gas heater will heat spa water at a much quicker rate than an electric heater; however, they must be set up and operated outside the spa cabinet, which complicates installation and adds safety concerns. Electrically heated spas are generally safer due to their self-contained design.

The most efficient way to operate a fitness spa—or any spa for that matter—is by maintaining a consistent water temperature. Conversely, flash heating (a term used when the owner only heats the spa prior to using it) is the most inefficient heating method and is considered poor spa maintenance.

Spas kept at a consistent operating temperature not only cost less to operate, but also promote a steady chemical dissolve rate, which, over time, saves owners even more money.

Depending on the model, most fitness spas typically operate on a 240-volt system with a 50-amp breaker. Due to the magnitude of a fitness spa, they consume a little more energy than an average spa; however, it is not a significant difference.

Most fitness spas also have an internal, self-contained electrical heating system, compared to conventional in ground spas, where the earth provides heat. An internal heating system allows owners to set and maintain their ideal water temperature.

Buy a Swim Spa Essex

Buying a hot tub is a very personal experience. It’s one of the biggest purchases you can make, aside from your house and car! With almost 20 years of industry experience, Reef Spa aims to supply the best low cost hot tubs, without compromising on design and quality.

We understand that buying a hot tub is a big investment for you and your family. That’s why our team of experts are on hand to provide the best advice to choosing the right spa that fits your budget and needs. You can also find your nearest dealer and showroom now, where they can show you all the great features Reef Spa has to offer.

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