For the enthusiastic swimmer, a swim spa can be a great alternative to a full sized swimming pool. Not only will it take up much less room, but it can be used all year round, including in the coldest of climates, but some people aren’t so keen on the size of a swim spa cabinet. There’s no doubt that they can be bulky and visually overpowering in a small backyard. This may be a reason why some people choose to sink their swim spa into the ground. If this appeals to you and you’re wondering how to install a swim spa inground, we’ve put together an article covering some of the things you should keep in mind to make this process easier.
Inground Swim Spa Installation Planning
Because an inground swim spa is basically a permanent installation, it’s important to have critically thought through the entire process long before it begins. Forgetting something or making a mistake can be very costly if you only realize it after the job has been completed. Catching problems during the planning process can save you time, money and stress. Don’t allow yourself to rush through this step no matter how excited you are to see the completed project!
Although prized for their compact size, swim spas can still be quite large. It’s happened more than a few times that an excited swim spa owner didn’t properly think about how it would be delivered to its final location. At best, this can lead to the swim spa sitting on your front lawn until you can figure out what to do. At worst you may be required to carry out some unplanned demolition or renovations. Many swim spas are set into place using an overhead crane. If you believe you can install it without using a crane, make sure your measurements are true.
Where you put your swim spa isn’t as simple as plopping it down in the most easily accessible area. There are many practical factors that can make one spot much more ideal than another. Keeping these in mind will ensure you’re happy with your swim spa’s location for years to come.
From a legal standpoint it’s important to understand your municipal regulations regarding easements and setbacks. Installing your swim spa closer to a property line than is allowed by law can result in an expensive relocation. Pay attention to overhead power lines as well. Placing your swim spa underneath them may not be illegal, but it will be dangerous. You’ll also want to keep in mind the swim spa’s proximity to leaf dropping, fruit shedding and pollen producing plants. Although they can provide much desired privacy they can also cause you to spend most of your free time cleaning the water. You should also appreciate the microclimate of the potential location. A spot that’s exposed to heavy gusts of wind or gets too much or too little sun may have long term consequences.
Excavation and Foundation
A contractor that specializes in excavation and/or structural engineering will need to be involved when placing the swim spa inground. You’ll need to dig a hole big enough for the unit and a few extra feet on each side to allow for any maintenance or repairs that might need to occur in the future. The hole must then be made into a waterproof vault with french drains and a sub-pump. Make sure to contact local regulators before you dig to ensure there’s no chance of severing any plumbing or gas lines buried underground. A six inch reinforced concrete pad will need to be poured to line the bottom of the hole to provide a stable and level foundation.
You will need to hire a certified and licensed electrician to install the proper electrical supply for your swim spa. You won’t be able to simply plug it into a regular electrical outlet. The electrician will also have to be on hand to connect the swim spa to the separate disconnect or power supply. Coordinating these fine details prior to installation will allow you to save time and money while creating your backyard oasis.
Now that you have a better idea of how to install an inground swim spa, download a free buyer’s guide for further information.