What can we transform in ground spa into?

bahaccaJune 24, 2012

We have an in ground spa that is built into the back of our hill. It has the fake rock look with a waterfall and grotto. It has a leak, the pumps/heater/pipes are all now almost 30 years old. We drained the spa several years ago when the leak occured. We had 2 babies at the time and didn't want to deal with the possibility of a drowning.

So now we have an unuseable spa. My husband has thought of turning it into a fountain of some sort, but with a leak, we have no idea how we'd do it.

Has anyone transformed their spa into something else? I'd love to just put in the money and fix it now that our kids are older and learning to swim, but DH wants to transform it.

Also, any idea of how much it would cost for a new pump, heater and possibly pipes if that is the leak issue? It is gas heated if that makes a difference.

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Have a pressure test done on the pipes to find the leak...and then decide what actions or options to take..My guess is your looking at a 6k ticket on the repairs if the spa surface is ok...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:23AM
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We have a 35 year old inground concrete spa at the house we just moved into this winter. It had two pumps that were non-functional (one for circulation, one for jets). Having both the pumps replaced was about $700-800 here in Oklahoma. The spa is very small, only about 6x8 foot square, and I think we had 3/4 hp or 1.0 hp pumps put in. I can't recall exactly, maybe the PB said he used 1.0 but he under powered it for 3/4? I didn't really understand all the technicalities of it.

There was a new gas heater already installed (not that we need it right now - water temp was 89 degrees yesterday with our daytime air temp about 100) but never used. When we had the pumps installed they tested the heater and all is working. I know there is some kind of leak in our plumbing, since whenever I run the circ pump for any length of time the water level drops several inches. However, we just put the hose in and run the water to keep it topped off as we use it. If we are not running the circ pump for a long time (like when we are in the hot tub for an hour or more), the water level stays fairly constant except for evaporation. We only need to run the circ pump 30 minutes a day to turn over all the water since spa is so small, and don't bother adding water until we want to get in.

Our idea was get it up and running, see if we like having it, before we decide weather to fill it in or track down the leak. Our PB said he sees a lot of people turn them into big landscaping planters by filling with soil. I imagine you'd have to somehow drill drain holes if you wanted this. I believe he said performing a leak test would run about $600, which sounded very expensive to me. Right now, I plan to keep the spa and budget for new pipes in the next few years, assuming the leak doesn't get worse, as part of a whole-backyard update to our pool and deck. If we need to remove decking to get at the pipes, that seems to be the time we would want to do it.

The spa came in handy yesterday when we came home from vacation and found the pool was green and our A/C was out in the house. 100 degrees outside and that little spa was the saving grace. In fact, I preferred it to the pool because I like my water warm, and our 38K gal pool takes a looong time to get warm enough for me.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Thanks for the rec on the leak test. SInce our house is getting so old, it seems everything is falling apart at once and I want it all fixed NOW. Too bad the bank account is making us prioritize what needs to be done first--and what I want done vs my husband are not in line with each other. Oye!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 12:24PM
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