spa spillover vs. independent water feature

ldjdJune 23, 2011

Anyone have an opinion on a simple spa spillover vs. independent water feature?

In our bid we requested a raised spa, with a spillover into the pool. Being brand-new to pools, I didn't realize that meant that the spa spillover would be run from the general circulation of water. I mistakenly thought it meant that it would run with on/off type timer switch, and I hadn't realized that also meant the spillover wouldn't be on when the spa was on or we would lose the hot water (duh...).

Once I realized these things, I asked the PB about it, and they said that if we wanted to run a spillover type of feature independently from the circulation, we would need to buy a separate pump, and to build a water feature for that function.

Anyone have advice for us? We don't want to overcomplicate things, so we're tempted to just stick with the basic spillover.


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I would stick with the basic spillover. It's not that big of a deal IMO- you will be in pool mode most of the time- which will automatically activate the spillover when the pool pump is on. If you have the spillover on while the spa is on, you'll lose the hot water anyway. I wouldn't waste the $1500-$2000 bucks. I have a raised spa with a negative edge spillover and it hasn't bothered me one bit that the spillover isn't on when the pump is off or when I'm in spa mode.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Depends on what you want. We had the same dilemma.
I wanted the spillover, I am cheap lol.

My wife wanted a water feature that was quite audible.
After checking out some spa spillovers, we decided it would not suit her needs. She loves the sound of running water, so we put in a 3 foot sheer descent.

It was an extra $1500 and did include a separate pump.

The beauty is she can run it alone or with other features.
When it is on with the regular circulation with the built in bubblers on the sun shelf, its definitely a water full sound. Also the kids love playing in the sheer descent, it pumps roughly 90 GPM so its a real back massager too!
Money well spent in our case.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:37PM
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We just opened our new pool in April and my wife must have asked the pool guy 3 times whether the waterfall would stop when spa on. She obviously hadn't thought about it and wasn't thrilled when she realized it would. That being said, its now 2 months later and she couldn't care less. Most of time we're in the pool with waterfall running. When we're in spa, she doesn't even notice the waterfall not running. In fact, she's in there with 7 girlfriends right now, and they all seem just fine.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 9:24PM
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When you're in the spa, with the jet pump running, you won't notice that the spillover isn't spilling.
My spillover makes a pleasant sound that I wasn't expecting, just hadn't thought about it, but I do l like it.
Some friends w/o a spa have a bunch of those fountains that shoot from the deck, flush, not sticking out. When they're full blast they are so noisy that we adults can't carry on a conversation in the nearby patio, so they have to turn them way down. Supposedly they cool the pool as well, but it wasn't worth the extra $$$ to me. Our pool was technical and expensive enough.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 9:24PM
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Agree with Bosox. When the jet pump is on and the air blower is making bubbles, you won't here a spillover sound anyway.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:04PM
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To me the decision about combined or separate equipment should be based more on how you intend to use your spa. If you are in a colder climate and will use your hot tub a lot in the winter then separate equipment would be a better choice. If the time required to heat the tub in winter is not an issue then combined equipment is cheaper initially and has fewer pieces of equipment requiring service and maintenance over the years.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 9:53AM
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I really do know how to spell hear....but obviously not here.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Thanks all for the great input. We're going to stick with a basic spillover, and if we get desperate later on, we can always add a water feature.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:22PM
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