Planning your Swimming Pool~Questions on Hot Tubs~Size of Swimming Pool~Hot Tub Running Costs~Planning Swimming Pool Design and Build
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Pool FAQ's

Spa FAQ's
» What should I consider when choosing my pool? » Which spa's provide varied massage?
» What should I consider when choosing the size of my pool? » What are the likely running costs?
» What depth should my pool have? » Can my spa be built for all sizes?
» Is the pool going to be enclosed either immediately or at a later date? » Does pump type, pump size or the amount of pumps matter?
» What authorities do I need to notify? » Lounge seat or open plan all-seater?
» What if my ideal pool is too expensive?

Pool FAQ's

Q. What should I consider when choosing my pool?

A. Is the pool to be used by adults for serious swimming or diving, or is the pool to be used by children? 90% of bathers spend there time playing, standing or walking in the water.

Q. What should I consider when choosing the size of my pool?

A. Average family pool is 32’ x 16’, but if it’s to be used for serious swimming then a longer pool may be desirable, with perhaps a reduction in width.

Q. What depth should my pool have?

A. shallow end depth of 3’ will allow swimming by adults, 6’-6” is required for pool side diving, 7’-6” for deck level board and 10’ for springboard. If the pool is to be used as a splash, fun pool then there is some merit in having a constant depth of say 4’.

Q. Is the pool going to be enclosed either immediately or at a later date?

A. If outdoors, it should preferably face the sun and be sheltered from the wind and away from surrounding trees if possible. If close to the house it’s easier for supervision and can possibly utilise existing facilities for plant or changing rooms. Avoid Drains, overhead power lines and waterlogged ground.

Q. What authorities do I need to notify?

A. You will need to plan access for the construction equipment but planning permission is not normally required for outdoor pools. The water authority should be notified.

Q. What if my ideal pool is too expensive?

A. We have listed this important factor last, as we believe you should plan for your ideal pool. We will be pleased to design and advise costings.

If the ideal pool doesn’t fit into your budget then we can offer possible savings whilst retaining your primary desire.

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Spa FAQ's

Q. Which spa's provide varied massage?
There seems to be quite a few different types of jets around. Which are the best types and how many different types should there be in the spa to provide varied massage?

Is it better to have more jets rather than fewer jets? Do I need to look for more pumps if the spa has lots of jets?

A. Jets by definition come in three rough sizes in the industry, 1 inch, 3 inch and 5 inch, although there are larger footwell jets now being fitted in most spas it is the seat jets we will be concentrating on here.

Things to look for when viewing a tub include number of jets, size of jets and position of jets. Although people may think a tub full of 5" jets is the best thing to look for you would be wrong, all the same you don't want one with all 1" either.
Each size of jet will give the bather different hydrotherapy properties and therefore a tub offering variation on all sizes of jets is the tub to ultimately look for. Position of the jets can be a comfort and massage issue, therefore testing the tub you are interested in both dry and wet will give you the consumer the answer to both these questions as you are the one that will be using the tub. Jet positions throughout the tub to obtain a full body massage from shoulders to feet including if possible hands is again the aim however wet test to see what YOU think of the tub. As most spas have either 5 or 6 seats you are also looking for variation on jet type across the seats when it comes to the 3 and 5 inch size as you may have more than one seat with the same size of jet.

Lastly number of jets in the spa, this is of course important however the spa must be balanced correctly so the available jets do not outweigh the available pump power and effect pressure at the jets and therefore the tubs hydrotherapy. Most tubs have air venturis and diverter handles to handle power direction should the manufacturer wish to offer more jets with the same number of pumps, check pump and flow rates of the spa and compare brands for better understanding of this. Coverage on the body of one five inch jet will be greater than one three inch therefore you tend to find more clusters of one and three inch as needed on certain seats, again wet test to find out for yourself.
To sum up VARIATION, POSITION, NUMBER, look at all three factors not just one and also take note of seating variation, see the post for more info on that.

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Q. What are the likely running costs?
How can I tell what the likely running costs are going to be on different types of spa. I've been quoted everything from 8p to £2 per day in electrical running costs.

With the price of electric going the way it is this is obviously going up my shopping list.

What types of features should I be looking for to ensure that use of electric is minimised?

A. Running costs of a spa come down to mainly a few things, insulation of the shell and plumbing, you charge per Kwh and efficiency of the cover, this is a basic overview of electrical running costs. Other running costs include chemical costs which are affected by filter and ozone efficiency.

Firstly electrical costs, this can be broken down into efficiency of the heater and heat loss through the shell and cover. Things to look out for here are thickness of hard cover and ability to clip down the cover to avoid winds lifting the cover off the spa. Heat losses through the shell will depend on thickness of insulation on the shell, if the plumbing that can be foamed is foamed and how many layers of insulation the manufacturer uses. Added to this the density of the foam can vary considerably from 0.5 to 2lb the higher the figure the more dense and therefore better insulation rating for the same thickness sprayed. Bases which vary between manufacturers are designed primarily to keep out moisture from the frame of the tub rather than stop heat escaping as by definition heat rises, but a base on the spa will help. Make sure figures given by manufacturers state in what way the tub has been used to obtain these results, i.e. temp of tub water, ambient temp, usage per day, Kwh cost etc. only then can you make a comparison across different manufacturers. It is highly possible your usage will differ from the tested norm anyway so try to factor this in and be honest with yourself.
Chemical costs can vary significantly due to usage of the tub and therefore no definitive answer can be given on costs, however a tub with a higher filtration capacity will in the main keep cleaner water used with the same amount of chemicals. Ozone fitted on a tub will help aid the chemicals and therefore means less chemicals are used to maintain the tub, NB. As per BISHTA guidelines chemicals should always be used alongside a tub fitted with ozone regardless of what anyone tells you.
The way ozone is plumbed on a tub can vary the effectiveness depending on how long the ozone is being injected for in a 24hr period and how long the ozone has to break down wastes before it reaches the tub and off gases as ozone by definition does not reside in the tub water like chemicals do.

I would recommend speaking directly to a dealer regarding the above to better understand how different manufacturers build there spas.

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Can my spa be built for all sizes?
I am 6'5" tall and my wife is only 5'2". To complicate matters even more we have 2 small kids so I am severely outnumbered by the vertically challenged!

What should we be looking for to make sure that the spa that we buy suits all of us...obviously I don't want to have half of my body sticking out of the water but my wife doesn't want to wear a snorkel for fear of drowning. Help!

A. In my experience I would always recommend some variation in seating levels. Not only due to heights of bathers but also to accommodate variation in seasons. I for one do not need to be fully immersed in hot weather or if I have been in a tub for a length of time I appreciate being able to lift my arms and shoulders out. I would suggest wet testing for at least 30 minutes a time to understand what I mean.

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Does pump type, pump size or the amount of pumps matter?
I want a spa which is powerful enough to give me a vibrant massage as I suffer from back pain. How many pumps should I be looking for or is there anything else that comes into play to determine how powerful the jets are?

Are more pumps better than less pumps? How many jets can 1 pump power sufficiently? Does pump size matter? Does the type of jets matter


The BISHTA Committee has recently discussed the confusion in the marketplace over horsepower claims for pumps on hot tubs. While the industry norm is around 2hp, claims of ratings up to as much as 10hp can be found on some manufacturers' literature, with the implication for the customer that higher ratings must be better. The BISHTA Committee is aware that these claims and the literature that contains them originates from America and is expressed on a different basis from UK practice, and has urged all members to prepare their own explanatory material to interpret these figures in commonly understood terms.

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Q. Lounge seat or open plan all-seater?
What are the pros and cons of buying either a spa with a lounge seat or one with a more open-plan all-seat style. What should I be looking for in either option?

A. If you haven't wet tested a spa before then you may not be able to make a determination without doing so. A spa without lounge will usually give you more seating positions as seats are located on all sides of the tub facing inwards, whereas a lounge will take up one side of the tub where 2-3 seats would normally be located. Having said this, spas with loungers usually have enough seats anyway to accommodate most sizes of families. The lounge design itself is important and I would recommend if you are able to wet test the lounge then do so. If the lounge is too flat you will float out, too curved and it will not be comfortable or follow your body's natural contours. When testing think where the jets hit you when in the lounge, are there foot rests, arm rests and headrest?
To lounge or not to lounge is a question only you can answer as this is pure consumer preference.

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