How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Swim Spa?
With the introduction of lockdowns, stay at home orders and the closing of public gyms, many people are investing in home exercise equipment. Swim spas are very popular because they don’t require a lot of space and they can be run all year round. But after the initial expenditure, how much does it cost to maintain a swim spa? The actual answer is highly variable because it’ll depend on the model type and size of swim spa that you buy, where in the country you live, how much it gets used, how it gets used on top of many other things. To allow you to create some sort of estimate on how much your swim spa will cost you to install and run, we invite you to consider these influences.
The Swim Spa Base
The installation of a swim spa requires some preparations. It isn’t possible to simply unload it off the truck and turn it on. A swim spa full of water and people can weigh several tonnes, so creating a stable and level surface for it to sit on is imperative. This is often done by removing the top layer of grass (if present) and leveling the ground in preparation for a concrete pad. As long as they’re stable and level, it’s also possible to lay down concrete paving blocks instead of pouring a fresh concrete pad. Other popular bases are beds of gravel or prefabricated swim spa pads.
You’ll also need to install a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected 220 volt 50 amp circuit (some larger swim spa models may require a 60, 80 or 90 amp circuit) with an emergency disconnect switch located at least 10 feet away from the swim spa itself. This requires a certified electrician and isn’t a DIY job. You’ll also need the electrician on hand after the swim spa is delivered so they can hook it up – also not a DIY job.
If there’s a clear pathway from the road to the ultimate location of your swim spa, it may be possible for the delivery team to simply wheel it into place. However, certain circumstances may prevent this and require the services of a crane. If a crane is needed it will most certainly increase your installation costs. Although delivery costs are often included in the retail price of a swim spa, very seldom will crane services also be included. Speak to your dealer about the logistics of delivery to determine the most suitable option for you.
Once your swim spa is installed, your largest cost will likely be the electricity needed to keep the water heated. Obviously, more so if you’re using it in the winter. It may seem somewhat contrary to common sense, but keeping the water heater running often uses less electricity than turning it off after each use. Maintaining a constant water temperature will use less energy than allowing the water temperature to fall and then bringing it back up when needed. By using a swim spa cover whenever the tank isn’t being used, you can retain large amounts of heat and reduce your reliance on the water heater.
Water Current Generation
After water heating, water current generation is your next biggest consumer of electricity. Obviously the more you swim, the more electricity will be used. That said, if you live in an area that has peak hour pricing for electricity, you may be able to make significant savings by timing your swim spa usage to coincide with lower priced times.
The chemicals needed to keep your water clean aren’t particularly expensive unless you don’t keep a close eye on the water chemistry balance. Test your water regularly – at least a couple times a week – more often if the swim spa is getting a lot of use. Insist that swimmers take a shower before entering the water and replace the cover whenever the swim spa isn’t being used.
To learn more about swim spa operations, download a free buyer’s guide today.