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How an Exercise Pool Pump Works?

Swim spa exercise pools have become much more popular over the years as property prices have risen and the extra space needed for a full-sized swimming pool comes at a premium. Not only do swim spas take up much less space in your home or backyard, they allow you to enjoy the benefits of a hot tub as well. Because of their compact size, combined with the powerful water currents, it’s easy to heat the water in a swim spa exercise pool to such a degree that the water tank can double as a hot tub. You won’t be doing that with your full-sized swimming pool! And there are now dual temperature swim spa exercise pools available that allow both hot tubbing and swimming to occur at the same time. So how do swim spas work? What is it about the pump mechanism that creates a current strong enough to swim against? To learn more about how exercise pool pump works, we’ve put together an article going over swim spa exercise pool pumps and their history.

The Rise of Swim Spa Exercise Pools

Swim spa exercise pools became widely available to the general public in the early 1970s. The first models on the market were known as pressure-driven systems as they forced water through jets to create a current strong enough to hold a swimmer in place. In the early days of pressure driven swim spas, turbulence was a problem. The systems were criticized for the difficulty the swimmer encountered while trying to remain centred in the current stream. Some argued that the turbulence made the act of swimming more akin to that found in the ocean or on a windy lake rather than in a swimming pool. 

The 1980s saw an evolution in swim spa construction with the advent of what is known as volume-driven systems. These systems created a much wider current with fewer bubbles by using a paddle wheel or a set of propellers instead of water jets. And although the amount of turbulence was reduced, the footprint of the swim spa itself needed to be expanded to hold the machinery – going against the initial reason for the compact water tank in the first place.

Modern Swim Spa Pool Pump Works

Pressure driven systems have come a long way since the 1970s to combat the problems associated with turbulence and backsplash. One of the main reasons that turbulence is created by pressure driven systems is because of the rotational vortex created as the water is forced through the jet. To combat this rotation, today’s systems typically use wider jets with baffle systems to streamline the current. An additional jet, known as the buoyancy jet, is also used to provide lift for the swimmer and help keep them centred in the current. Another method to reduce the amount of turbulence is the shape of the pool end opposite of the water jets. Optimal design and engineering are able to reduce the amount of backsplash that occurs when the current hits the back wall. The result is a steady, uninterrupted current that has much less turbulence that the earlier pressure driven models.

Volume driven systems have also evolved over time to reduce the size of their footprint. The most recent innovations involve moving large, virtually bubble-free volumes of water with ever more compact and lower pressure propulsion systems. The result is a smooth, wide current that simulates swimming upstream in a river.

To learn more about swim spa exercise pools, the various types of pump systems, and how you can find one to work within your parameters, download a free buyer’s guide today.