Swim Spa-Do you have one?

coolFebruary 17, 2008

I am looking at the spas that have the current in them so you can swim. I want to be able to use it year round for the exercise. Are they worth the $27,000? I have herniated discs in my back and have been told water exercise is vital to recovery. If you have one, what brand do you have and how did you set it up so you could have some privacy.

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I saw a couple models at the home show last weekend. A small yard, no kids, etc. I would have strongly considered one.

I liked the fact that they appeared very low maint.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:27AM
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The current issue of pool and spa magazine has an article about swim spas with a listing of manufacturer's and features they offer. The article provides some insight on different methods of generating the current and may help with questions to ask your local dealer. I would also recommend finding a local dealer who has one for a soak test just to make sure you like before buying. An investment such as this is like buying an automobile so make sure you are happy with the purchase.

These swim spas are just like oversized hot tubs, so all the features and benefits of a hot tub are included, plus the additional space is nice for excercising or just letting the kids play. I noticed that some manufacturer's have separate water vessels for the spa portion and the swim spa portion allowing different temperatures for each function. I thought this would be a nice feature to have if I ever upgrade to a swim spa from my current spa only.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:50AM
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I installed one in a Four Seasons Glass room we added on. It was the type run by 3 or 4 large jets, about 14' X 7'. Made by a company out of Canada. It worked but I found it hard to keep centered in the current generated and very tiring compared to actual swimming. My suggestion would be to make sure you get to swim in the type you are considering and do it more than once before you buy, otherwise it's a lot of cash for something you don't like. My wife seemed to enjoy it but it wasn't my cup of tea. Endless pools is one brand that I see get a lot a press for actual swimmers, but I believe they are a vinyl liner type over a staniless wall system. Their water stream seems a bit more user friendly, although I never actually swam in one. I installed the one I did because the sun room installer sold it to me at his cost as long as I handled everything about installing it and getting it delivered.

Given the choice to do over, I would not have done it again. But, I did not have a heath issue that I was trying to deal with. If you approach it correctly and treat it as a medical necessity, with a Doctors prescription, you may be able to write some or all of it off taxes. Check with your tax man. Good luck

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:31PM
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It's a tough pill to swallow spending 25k+ for a large bathtub. They do work well for swimming in a small space but like any above ground spa, you are not getting anything close to what you lay out in cash. For the same area, you could pop in a gunite swim spa for about the same cash and have something that will last a lot longer. All of the issues that go with above ground vessels will come with these spas and more. Typically, the swim spa pump is a 4-5 horsepower pump that, when working, works great. When it needs replaced, it is a fortune and a bit tough to find as most in that horsepower are 2-3 inch suction. The swim spa pump is usually 4" and that is not available at the local Leslies....

I built my inground with (3) 2HP Whisperflos and it moves a ton of water. 6HP in an area of about 12 sq inches. Treat it like a car. If you're comfortable with spending the $ while knowing it's lost a lot of value as soon as you leave the lot, then you should have no regrets.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 11:16PM
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The expensive model endless pool is run on hydraulic hoses that drive the paddle wheel and are really whats needed if you are a strong competitive swimmer.
The high end Badu system with 3 jets adds about 6-7k to a job depending on how long a run you have from pump to jets. This is the one repair guy is referring to.
Most dealers will arrange a test if you insist as a condition of buying from them.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 5:27PM
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GO FOR IT!!!! You will not be disappointed. We have a CPC/Viking 9 x 18 x 6ft Hydrozone 'A; fiberglass that is 6500 gal saltwater with dual badu jet current generator. We did the whole job as DIYers and saved a ton as we enjoyed doing the work ourselves. Although we still have the landscaping outside to complete, we installed the pool last summer and just finished the sunroom. It's amazing and we are really enjoying swiming everydat while looking at the snow/ice here in NC. The equipment list:
Viking/CPC 6500 gal shaphire blue fiberglass shell
0.75 HP Jandy Stealth Pump (Filtration System)
0.75 HP Hayward (booster pump)
4 HP Speck Pump - Badu Jet StreamII system
Jandy CJ250 single cart. Pool Filter
Jandy Lite2 LJ125K BTU propane gas heater
Solar heater, Aquatherm Sys w/6 panels
Hayward Phantom Pool Vac
(A) Jandy 2" Never-Lube 3-port valves (2)
(B) Jandy 2" Never-Lube 2-port valve (5)
(Ck) Jandy 2" Never-Lube Check Values valve (1)
(C) Jandy JVA 2440 Actuators (2)
Asahi 4" PVC Butterfly valve w/ flanges (2)
Auto Water-Leveler
Fiberstar Fiber Optic circumferential lighting
Jandy Control Interface  PDAP8 Aqualink
Jandy Sub-Panel Power Center (6614AP700)
Jandy Purelink 7-blade Salt Chlorine Generator
Simple fish water accent and (2) Jandy Deck Jets

Here are some resent pictures but with the blanket on...sorry.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 3:19PM
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In hind sight we did not need the boster pump or the Hayward phantom...not at all. The water stays crystal clean and we only have to use this very simple Polaris Pool Systems Pro Spa Wand to keep the spiders out (see it hiding in corner of last picture).

One important aspect to our pool is that it is really a pool as it is 6 feet deep end-to-end with a little seat at the step end. There is lots of room to swim for 2 people with kids with or without the Badu on. As to the Badu, it was not as big a deal to install as I had thought (or feared) and it intergrated into my remote Jandy PDA hand-held controler without issue. My pump is about 12 feet away outside the window also now enclosed. A small pool to enjoy daily is very doable...it just takes tons of personal research and planning. I wish you wellness and fun in your venture. If I can help just ask. So many here did the same for me. ;o) I'm off to swim now.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 4:04PM
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That's a nice little set up. There's that beast of a pump too.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Thank-you. The larger pump is the Jandy not the Badu...it surprised me also how small the Badu pump is. While the 4" inch PVC lines were more difficult to install, only because of the large 4" butterfly cut-off values, the little pump has been a wonderful system and a fab performance. We can turn the two jets in multipal directions left-right and up-down, as well as regulate the amount of air-flow intake to make it as hard or not as we want to swim....it's sincerely wonderful and amazing.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 11:07AM
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I just wanted to give another endorsement to Viking Hydrozone. We are rebuilding our home after losing our original house to Hurricane Katrina. We wanted a pool that would be built up off of the ground, at our first floor level (12 ft above grade). We got the 5ft deep Hydrozone (#E) and are very, very happy with the size. We also have the Badu package and a 4 function remote control that operates the heater, lights, cascade, etc. I will post photos once the cascade is tiled. The pool guy got everything started up today for the first time. We expect to move in in about 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:19AM
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Auburn Girl
I love your sunroom and swim spa. I live in Western NC and am hoping to build a sunroom and spa some time. Did you follow a plan for the sunroom or was it build for you? What about the pool?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 6:17PM
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Very nice indoor pool.

I was going to add a Riverflow systems current generator to mine but my builder was against it. I also looked closely at the endless pools "niche system". In the end, it came time to excavate and I did not install any current/swim system. Now I am going with the portable battery powered system and see how much I use it. My pool lays out great for this. I have since met a custom pool builder here in Houston who specialized in these types of pools. He was very knowledgeable but I'm going try it out before I go and spend the bucks to remodel and install it.

I say get it.....

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:00PM
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I read the first post and wanted to let everyone know that Endless Pools does make a 1 piece portable swim spa along with a steel panel vinyl pool. It is not a paddlewheel but a hydraulically powered 16" horizontally mounted propeller. There are 52 different speed settings, via remote control, so it is definitely gentle enough for a novice swimmer but more than strong enough for competitive athletes. Top speed in a Fastlane/Endless Pool creates a current consistent with a 58 second 100yd pace.

Just wanted to share so the OP knows that there are other vessel options with Endless Pools.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 4:12PM
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Ron Natalie

I've had an EP for several years in my basement. I've also got a conventional spa. Even though my wife likes to keep the EP warmer than most exercise swimmers, it's well below where I like to keep the spa.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 7:10AM
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Auburn girl, what a fantastic sunroom and spa. I am thinking of doing a pool/swim spa and am thinking about enclosing it. Were there particular resources you found helpful? What did you use as flooring?

Thanks for posting the pictures, very inspiring!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 8:36PM
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Been looking at the Swim Spa by Endless Pools for a couple of years now. Whenever I get the cash, I will definitely go this direction. I would put it on a concrete backyard deck, but would have to lift it over a 4 foot iron fence to get into my yard. Great thread, hope more owners add to it...helpful to know all the pros and cons.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 3:39PM
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I have installed and swam in almost every brand of manufactured swim spa and endless pool and even a few custom swim spas. As a pool installer I have comments about each brand but just be sure to consider:

total cost
installation requirements cost
thermal efficiency (very important for year round use)
length of time product has existed
repair options should there be a problem

A swim spa is not something to cheap out on and the entry level models that I have installed were almost scary to fill. The amount of outwards pressure on these (especially above ground units) is amazing and I have seen more than a few require total replacement from the walls bowing, bending or failing.

As a contractor there is too much risk for these high risk and relatively new products for me since most can not be repaired if they suffer a structural failing. I now endorse the concept of building a custom swim spa using concrete instead of pre-fab fiberglass units and defer customers from buying pre made swim spas but that is just my personal experience in this industry. You have less limitations of desin, the price is not too much different and the quality is worlds higher.

Though a custom built swim spa is more expensive than a pre-fab model there is also no huge delivery and installation charges and should the tub need repair then there are many repair options available.

Here is a link that might be useful: Custom spas

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 1:27PM
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