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Should You Add a Spa to your Pool? Pros and Cons

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Should You Add a Spa to your Pool? Pros and Cons of Adding a Spa

If you’re considering adding a spa to your swimming pool, you’re not alone. Many people are opting for this type of installation these days. But before you make any decisions, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when making your decision.

Pros of Adding a Spa

If you’re considering adding on a spa, there are several things you should take into account. Here are some pros of adding a spa that will help you make your decision:

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  • One pro is that spas can be very relaxing. Soaking in hot water can help to relieve muscle tension and pain. It can also be a great way to wind down after a long day.
  • Another pro is that hot tubs and spas can be used for social gatherings. They provide a great space for people to relax and chat. You can even host parties or events around your spa.
  • One of the best things about spas is that you can use them all year round. In the winter, they’re a great way to stay warm while you enjoy the outdoors. In the summer, they provide a refreshing way to cool down after a long day in the sun.
  • Finally, spas and hot tubs can add value to your home. If you ever decide to sell your home, adding a spa on to your pool may make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Cons of Adding a Spa

Conversely, if you’re on the fence and are wondering if there are any drawbacks to adding a spa, here is what you should know:

  • One con is the cost. Inground pools and spas can be very expensive, the price is going up and if you’re not careful, you can end up spending a lot of money on one.
  • Another con is the maintenance. Inground spas require a lot of upkeep and if you’re not prepared to do this, you’ll quickly become frustrated with your purchase.
  • Finally, inground spas can take up a lot of space and if you have a small yard, this may not be the best option for you.

What You Should Think About When Considering Adding On a Spa

Ultimately, one of the biggest considerations is cost. Spas are expensive, and pools are even more so. A jackhammer makes a poor eraser though, so if you are considering adding on a spa to your pool at so point, it’s often cheaper to add a spa at the same time. This is because the pool builder can do both installations at once, which saves on labor costs.

How much does a spa cost?

It really depends on the make and model of spa that you’re looking at. Inground spas are generally more expensive than hot tubs are. The price of a hot tub usually ranges from about $5,000 to $10,000. Usually, inground spas range anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 or more.

If you’re looking for a high-end spa with all the bells and whistles, you can expect to pay closer to $15,000. But if you’re just looking for something to relax in after a long day, you can find models for as little as $10,000.

Other Cost Considerations

Of course, the cost of a spa isn’t just the upfront cost itself. You also have to factor in things like installation costs and ongoing maintenance costs. So it’s important to do your research before you make any decisions.

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Another important consideration is installation time. Most hot tubs can be installed in a single day while an inground spa is going to definitely take longer. If you don’t relish the thought of having a crew come back to install one at a later date and disrupt your yard, the most opportune time to install a spa is during your pool construction.

Finally, there’s the question of maintenance. Spas require just as much maintenance as pools do if not more. While they are a great way to relax and unwind, they also come with a few costs. Let’s take a look at what is involved with maintaining a spa.

Spas require some chemicals to keep the water clean and safe for soaking. These can include chlorine, bromine, and PH balancers. Depending on the size of your pool and spa, you may need to purchase these chemicals in bulk. You will also need to regularly clean your filters to prevent dirt and debris from clogging them. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may need to replace them every few months.

Spas vs Hot Tub? This is the question many home owners ultimately will ask themselves at some point.
Spas vs Hot Tub? This is the question many home owners ultimately will ask themselves at some point.

Inground Spa vs Hot Tub – Which is Best?

For those pool owners wishing they had purchased a spa too, a hot tub becomes an appealing option. When it comes to choosing an inground spa or a hot tub, it can be difficult to decide which is the best choice to make. Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it really depends on your specific needs and wants. Let’s compare and contrast them for a moment so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!

  • In-ground spas are generally larger and more luxurious than hot tubs. They are also inground, so they can be a great addition to your backyard landscape. However, inground spas are also more expensive to install and maintain than hot tubs.
  • Hot tubs are less expensive than inground spas and they are easier to install. Hot tubs are also portable, so you can take them with you if you move. However, hot tubs are not as large as inground spas and they don’t offer the same luxury features.

So, what’s the verdict? There’s no right or wrong answer, it all depends on your personal preferences and situation. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision. Either way, you’ll end up with a beautiful backyard retreat that you can enjoy for years to come.

5/5 - (14 votes)

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Hot Tubs

Hot Tubs Remain in High Demand Moving into 2022

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Hot Tubs in High Demand

It’s been an explosive two years of unprecedented growth for the hot tub and spa industry. A resurgence of consumer interest in backyard amenities such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas has seen hot tub sales jump in recent years.

More consumers than ever before are looking to install a new hot tub or spa in their backyard and the demand for them remains white-hot. According to the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, a trade association for the industry, sales of hot tubs and pools are rising across the country. In 2020, almost 45 percent of its members predicted revenue growth of 10% or more.

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“Hot tubs have been in the top 10 of ‘I want’ lists for a long time, but they’ve now moved up close to the top because some of the other things aren’t currently attainable, like travel,” says Kevin Richards, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Master Spas. “We’re seeing more people finally saying, ‘It’s really time to get a hot tub’.”

The president and CEO of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, Sabeena Hickman, is fully aware of the rising customer interest. “Hot tubs are definitely in hot demand,” she said. 

Hickman suggested a large percentage of that growth can be attributed to the quarantine conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, that demand has created another underlier for consumers to purchase a hot tub, they’re still relatively low-cost in comparison to building a swimming pool.

Rising Prices for Pools Contribute to Demand for Hot Tubs & Spas

Prices for inground pools have steadily risen over the past two years. Since 2020, the price for a swimming pool has gone up roughly 40%. Not only that, but the cost of a home with a pool has also skyrocketed in many areas of the country. While the demand for swimming pools seems to finally be equalizing to pre-pandemic levels, prices have not fallen. The fact is they’re predicted to remain high well into 2023 as builders are still facing many of the same exact issues this year they faced in 2022 and 2021.

A perfect storm of labor shortages, rising inflation, and logistical delays largely contributed to the increasing prices consumers have recently seen from builders. This is in conjunction with an unexpected Texas winter freeze in February 2021. Industry experts like Harold Evans of Orenda Technologies said this helped to exacerbate the problem by taking a large percentage of equipment and components off the market after the storm in order to facilitate emergency repair work.

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Why More Homeowners Are Installing a Hot Tub?

The market for hot tubs and spas in the United States has expanded over the past decade. In correlation with a growing number of distributors, one of the two biggest new markets for hot tub sales has been Nevada and Arkansas which are the two states most likely to have hot tubs in their home listings according to Realtor.com.

Hot Tub Sales have exploded in Nevada & Arkansas – Photo Credit: Life’s Great Spas

However, in the Northeast region of the United States, the growth has been explosive. “We’re selling more hot tubs than we ever have in our entire history,” said Jim Grammaticopolous, owner of Your Backyard Haven who says that their spa sales are way up since the beginning of the pandemic. “Pool sales have slowed over Q4 and into Q1 but hot tub sales tripled during that same timeframe”.

Adjusting for seasonality is a norm in the pool industry, however, Grammaticopolous attributes other factors such as rising costs for construction. “Some folks may be getting priced out of the market for a pool and suddenly a hot tub becomes a very appealing alternative.”

A representative for Life’s Great Spas in Malta, NY said that for their firm it’s about making the cost as feasible as possible for their dealers and for the consumer. “It’s why we aggressively price our hot tubs to make it an obtainable purchase.”

Hot Tub Availability Index – Credit: Realtor.com

Top 5 States for Hot Tub Sales in the United States

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • New York

How Big is The Market for Hot Tubs & Spas?

The market for hot tub and spa-related products was valued at $1.875 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow by 5% over the next two years. The biggest player in that space is Watkins Manufacturing which through its parent company Masco Corporation, acquired Endless Pools back in 2015. They may have found themselves best equipped to deal with the swell in demand; with the largest customer base and channels of distribution. Let’s take a closer look at who some of the largest manufacturers are:

Top Hot Tub / Spa Manufacturers

 CompanyHeadquartersEmployeesAnnual Est. Revenue
1.Masco CorporationMichigan22,000$8 Billion
2.Jacuzzi Brands LLCCalifornia4,947$1.29 Billion
3.Bullfrog International LCUtah2,694$518 Million
4.Cal SpasCalifornia300$57 Million
5.Masterspas, LLCIndiana286$40 Million
6.Dynasty SpasTennessee190$37.4 Million
7.Softub, IncCalifornia154$30 Million
8.Marquis Corp.Oregon151$29 Million
9.ThermospasConnecticut132$25 Million
10.Dimension One Spas, Inc.California160$22 Million
11.Nordic ProductsMichigan70$21 Million
12.Artesian SpasNevada132$6 Million
13.SunQest, Inc.North Carolina25$4 Million
14.Aston USATexas23$4 Million
15.Agean MarbleOhio19$3 Million
16.Medallion Swim Pool Co., IncVirginia20$2.4 Million
17.Richards Total Backyard SolutionsTexas9$2.4 Million
Top Manufacturers of Hot Tubs & Spas

Final Thoughts

One of the hottest emerging markets for hot tub and spa sales is the Asian-Pacific market. Rapid urbanization is driving much of that expansion. Hot tub and spa sales are predicted to continue their trajectory well into 2024 and will account for a large percentage of the projected $3.56 billion in growth the industry is expecting during that timeframe.

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Hot Tubs

Hot Tub Party Bus Ordered To Shut Down

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Hot Tub Party Bus Forced To Shut Down Due to Lack of Permit

The owner of one of Nashville’s famous and popular party buses, Music City Party Tub, has been ordered to stop operating a public pool without a permit, according to a complaint. The business has been operating as an alternative to traditional party buses and limo rental services.

The Tennessean reported that in a lawsuit filed last week, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville requested that the mobile tub be temporarily shut down. Next Wednesday is the date of their hearing.

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Popular Hot Tub Party Bus Operating Since 2019

According to the complaint, health regulators sent a notice to Music City Party Tub on August 11 informing them of the infraction. For the past few years the party bus has been a regular sight in Nashville’s entertainment sector, boasting that it can accommodate hot tub parties of up to six or seven people at a time.

Hot Tub Party Bus Ordered To Shut Down
Officials ordered the popular Nashville party bus to shut down due to a lack of proper permitting.

The health department claims Guy Williams visited in that month and was urged by regulators to submit pool design plans and apply for a swimming pool permit, which he did. When the trailer-mounted party tub was inspected, the inspectors told Williams a number of items needed to be fixed before it could be authorized. However, according to the lawsuit, he never returned.

The suit claims that in September 2020, health department employees saw Williams driving the party busy again and asked him about not having a pool permit. He claimed he was excluded since his hot tub lacked the “minimum volume” of a public pool by 50 gallons (190 liters).

According to the lawsuit, such exceptions do not exist. The business also has not registered with the state and has no business license, according to the complaint.

Photo Credit: Music City Party Tub

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pool Metals and Metal Staining

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Pool Metals and Metal Staining

Metals are naturally existing elements found in every place; in water, soil and stones. Metals in soil and stones dissolve in acidic rainwater, which is then carried to surface water and groundwater. Through this, the dissolved metals find their way to pools and tubs when filled. Exposure of metals to water cause staining on pool surfaces and equipment. This article discusses the techniques to control the presence of pool metals. It also discusses the different kinds of metal staining and the relevant chemicals to eliminate and hinder stains.

Pool Metals and Metal Staining

Metals in pools and hot tub water

There are 91 existing metals, but only 6 are problematic to hot tubs and pools. The 6 metals include magnesium, copper, cobalt, iron, manganese and calcium. Here we will only discuss 4 that are cobalt, copper, magnesium and iron.

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Fill water, inclusive of almost all municipal and well water supplies that fill hot tubs and pools, contains a few metals. It is advisable to test for metal concentration in source water before filling the hot tubs and pools.

Tests for iron and copper are easily accessible, though the majority only measures the free form of the dissolved metals. They also do not test the sequestered and complexed forms of dissolved metals. A two-phase metal test containing adequate reducing and releasing agents give better results on free, complexed and some oxidized metals.

Sources of metal contamination in the pool and hot tub water are plaster and pebble surfaces, water features, decking materials, metal equipment, galvanic corrosion, chemicals and runoff.

In addition, flagstone, marble and stone contain iron that leaches into the pool after every rainfall. Imbalanced water may cause the introduction of copper from heat exchangers found in gas-fired water heaters. Moreover, copper-based algaecides and mineral-based water treatment may be a source of pool metals. Plant fertilizers can also introduce metals when incorrectly applied or due to uncontrolled flooding. More sources of metal include irrigation methods with well water.

Preventing stains

Water Treatment

Avoid using untreated water with high metal concentration (higher than 1ppm) in hot tubs or pool. Treat the water when the metal concentration is higher than 0.2 ppm. Sediment filters (10 microns or less) eliminate the majority of the bigger oxidized particles. Use filters that have metal adsorbents to treat water, to minimize dissolved metals concentration.

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Primary Sanitizers and Stabilizers

Maintain proper concentration of primary sanitizers and other similar stabilizers to prevent organic contaminants. These include; pathogens, non-hazardous bacteria and algae minimizing the need for a copper-based algaecide.

Bonding of Metals and Water

The majority of the pool and hot tub equipment are metal-made. For example, electrolytic halogen generators, the heating core of electric heat pump, gas-fired pool and hot tub heaters, ladders, light rings and handrails.

To enhance chemical and electrical safety, install a bonding system in the hot tub or pool. The bonding system involves joining the copper wire with all the metal elements and water combined. This minimizes electric potential difference. Lack of this system, enables dissolution of pool metals, causing staining that damages the equipment. This is the process known as galvanic corrosion and can heighten due to several factors such as salt water, stray direct current as well as its power supplies. Anodes (zinc metal) reduce the damage on the equipment but don’t deal with the cause of corrosion. Test the bonding system every year, or any other time there is corrosion.

Pool & Hot Tub pH

pH is the most vital yet most ignored factor in preventing metal release in water. Low pH water (below 7) is acidic and corrosive. Acidic water dissolves metals from the pool equipment.

Improper water chemistry harms pool surfaces and machinery. Always ensure to maintain an accurate pH, alkalinity (carbonate) and calcium (hardness). If inadequate, water draws carbonate and calcium from cementitious surfaces, discharging metals into the water.

Sequestering Agents

Sequestering agents join with the dissolved pool metals to reduce oxidation hence reduces staining. They chelate the metals, not eliminate them. They require a complex modern ultra filtration system to remove sequestered metal particles as the particles are too small for the pool filtration system. Add this agent on a regular basis, as a secondary disinfection and primary sanitizer systems keep on destroying them.

Ways to reduce metal concentration in hot tubs and pool water

  • Bind the metals using polymer and water-insoluble natural adsorbents
  • Filter the water through a reverse osmosis system
  • Remove and replace a part of the water with fresh metal-free water

Removing stains from the pool and hot tub surfaces

1. Metal stain removal from the surface

2. Chelation of the dissolved metals in the water with a sequestering agent

3. Elimination of the metals from the water.

To get rid of metal pool stains, add oxalic acid, ascorbic acid and citric acid or a similar product into the pool water. An experienced pool service expert should only execute the use of Muriatic acid in the removal of metal stains as it can lead to permanent damage to the pool surface. Chelation of dissolved metals and minimizing concentrations of dissolved metal have been earlier tackled.

Figuring out the difference between metal stains and those by organic contamination can be difficult. For evaluation, establish the origin of the stain, asses the water chemistry and test the stain with either citric acid or ascorbic acid.

Note: Some organic stains, similar to those brought about by iron bacteria, vanish after treatment with ascorbic acid but return with the introduction of chlorine residuals.

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