How does a swim spa work: The most-asked swim spa questions

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Apr 29, 2024

Questions come with anyone buying a swim spa. While they have been around since the 1980s, they haven’t become so known that people understand every aspect about them. And even for those who do know a lot about them, ongoing engineering changes mean swim spas don’t stay the same as the years go by.

That’s why we wanted to write this article. It’s a rapid-fire answer sheet of everything you need to know about swim spas if you're a possible swim spa buyer (if you’re brand-new to swim spas, you can always start here with “What is a swim spa?”)

We are asked frequently all sorts of swim spa questions at Hydropool, so we wanted to give you all sorts of swim spa answers. Here they are! Hopefully, they’ll help you make up your mind if a swim spa is right for you.



How much do swim spas cost?

Swim spa prices range from $20,000 to $50,000 Cdn. Hydropool is unusual in that if you want to purchase a swim spa and see the price beforehand, you can go to our website for prices in Canadian dollars, for each model we have.

How much is an installed swim spa?

That swim spa doesn’t include everything though. A more real answer is that Hydropool most customers end up spending between $30,000 and $70,000. You need a cement pad and electrical work done, plus delivery and landscaping.  

How large is a swim spa?

Smaller ones are about seven-feet by 12-feet. You need that space for a proper swimming area. Larger ones can go up to 27 feet long, but those include attached hot tubs.

The eight feet width is fairly consistent across different manufacturers. Lengths vary. So 12 feet to 27 feet, with stops everywhere in-between, at 13 feet, 14, 15 … you get it. Top sellers are usually in the 14-foot range.

Are there monthly costs for swim spas?

Yes. We estimate about $60 a month for all ongoing costs – your energy costs, cleaning your water, changing your water. 

A swim spa can come with a hot tub, such as this Hydropool AquaSport 19DTAX. For more on it, click here

How much is a swim spa and hot tub combo?

These usually start around $50,000 Cdn. (our least expensive model, is the AquaSport 19DTAX), plus installation costs. You can also get a separate hot tub and a swim spa, which might seem obvious but many people don’t think about it as an option. The options for layous can help make better use of your space. 

Can you swim in a swim spa?

Yes. The swim experience is pretty awesome. Swim spas use either jets or propellers to create a current into that is strong enough to keep you from reaching the opposite side. You can swim any swim stroke in a swim spa.

You can do a lot more than swim in a swim spa though. Try this article for more water exercises: “A Complete Guide to Swim Spa Exercise.”

How deep are swim spas?

Most swim spas are around 52 inches deep, or well over a meter. You can get deeper models if you’re so inclined but most people find 52 inches is deep enough to swim in. Just like the length and width, the depth is required, so you have sufficient space to swim in.

Can you put a swim spa in the ground?

Yes. But it requires a bit of work and additional cost. You need to build a cement structure around the hot tub and underneath it that both supports it and allows a couple of feet of access around the entire model. This is for future servicing. Each one of these is unique, and you’re best off talking to a dealer to figure out your details if you go this route. One perk: You don’t need stairs to get in it anymore.

Can you finance a swim spa?

Yes. This is the kind of thing best discussed with a local dealer though, as rate will vary depending on where you are. Here’s where to find Hydropool’s.

Do swim spas work in the winter?

Yes! It’s one of the best perks. Like a hot tub, and unlike most pools, a swim spa can work year-around. 

Can you put a swim spa on a deck?

No. Well, you could, put it wouldn’t be supported for long. All of Hydropool’s swim spas need to go on a concrete pad, because only that is strong enough to support the weight of a full swim spa. Before you buy any swim spa, make sure you’re able to install a pad according to the specific swim spa’s specifications.

Can you put a swim spa on pavers?

No, you can’t, for the same reason outlined above. You need a concrete pad to take the weight properly.

Are swim spas heated?

Yes. You’re able to adjust the temperature with most swim spas. And as an added perk, most people keep them at a lower temperature than hot tubs, for example, because of the tendency to move around in them more. Of course, when you’re ready to relax, you are still able to set the temperature at hot tub heat (such as 100F or over). How hot is a swim spa? They can generally go up to 104F. 

Can a swim spa be used a hot tub?

Absolutely. In fact, we think people tend to end up using more as hot tubs than as swim spas. A swim spa can take the place of a pool, while costing less, or it can take the place of a hot tub, while offering more. But with seats, massage capabilities and the ability to raise the heat to 104F, a swim spa can do everything a hot tub can.

How long do swim spas last?

Swim spas can last up to 20 years, if well-maintained. Taking care of your water will take care of most of your parts, and it’s the best thing you can do for your swim spa.

Are swim spas also hot tubs?

Most of them are. Some are designed almost entirely for swimming or as exercise pools. But most are designed to allow seating for at least four, as well as provide a swimming pool-style area.

How much, does it and how big: The most common swim spa questions

Whether in person or by email, we are asked dozens of questions on a daily basis at Hydropool. That’s why we put together this list of many of the top questions we get, in the hope of giving you good, real answers that help you decide whether a swim spa is right for you. We don’t just tell you the price, we tell you the entire cost, because we’re trying to be as clear as we possibly can for you. 

We hope this helped you with your questions on swim spas. If there’s any we missed or you still have more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a local retailer.

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