Plunge pools, a growing trend in the realm of aquatic wellness, offer a unique and invigorating experience that combines the benefits of cold water immersion with the convenience of a compact and stylish design. These small, deep pools are designed specifically for quick dips and rejuvenation, providing a refreshing contrast to the surrounding environment.
Originally popularized in luxury resorts and spas, plunge pools are now becoming increasingly popular in residential settings, allowing individuals to create their own personal oasis of relaxation. In this article, we will explore the allure of plunge pools, their therapeutic effects, design considerations, and the ways in which they can enhance both physical and mental well-being, all within the comfort of your own home.
What is a plunge pool?
A plunge pool, or a dipping pool, is a pool that is usually only slightly bigger than a hot tub, measuring anywhere from 4 to 7 meters long, 2 to 3 meters wide, and typically around 1.2 to 1.8 meters deep. They are around 50% smaller than regular pools on average.
Plunge pools can be installed inground or above ground, and they can be made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. They have a pump, a filter, and a sanitation system that work similarly to regular pools, but they use less water, chemicals, and energy.
Plunge pools can come in various shapes and designs to suit different preferences and settings. They can also have additional features such as seating, lighting, or water jets.
How does a plunge pool work?
A plunge pool works in much the same way as a traditional swimming pool but on a smaller scale. The pump pulls water from the skimmer and the main drains, then pushes it through the filter to remove dirt and debris. The water then goes through the sanitation system, which can be chlorine-based, bromine-based, or salt-based, to kill bacteria and algae. The water then returns to the pool through the return jets.
The main difference between a plunge pool and a regular pool is that a plunge pool is not designed for swimming or exercising. It is mainly used for relaxing, cooling off, or socializing. Some people also use plunge pools for hydrotherapy or contrast therapy, which involves alternating between hot and cold water to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.
The benefits of plunge pools
Plunge pools have several advantages over traditional swimming pools, such as:
- They require less space: Plunge pools can fit into smaller areas where regular pools cannot be installed, such as narrow backyards or courtyards.
- They are cheaper to install: Plunge pools use fewer materials and less labor for installation, so they can cost as little as half of what a regular pool would cost.
- They are cheaper to maintain: Plunge pools use less water, chemicals, and energy than regular pools, so they have lower operating costs and environmental impact.
- They are easier to heat: Plunge pools can be heated faster and more efficiently than regular pools, which can extend their usage season and comfort level.
- They allow for more customization: Plunge pools can be tailored to suit different tastes and needs, such as adding jets, lights, or waterfalls.
The drawbacks of plunge pools
Plunge pools also have some disadvantages compared to traditional swimming pools, such as:
- They are not suitable for swimming or exercising: Plunge pools are too small and shallow for swimming laps or doing water aerobics. They are mainly meant for soaking or lounging.
- They may not add much value to your property: Plunge pools may not appeal to potential buyers who prefer larger or deeper pools. They may also not increase your home’s resale value as much as regular pools would.
- They may not be compatible with some local codes or regulations: Plunge pools may not meet some local requirements for pool safety or construction. You may need to check with your local authorities before installing one.
Ready to take the plunge?
Plunge pools are a great option for people who want a pool that is easy to install, maintain and enjoy. They are ideal for small spaces, low budgets, and simple lifestyles. However, they are not for everyone. If you want a pool that is large enough for swimming or exercising, or that adds more value to your property, you may want to consider a traditional swimming pool instead.
What is the difference between a plunge pool and a hot tub?
A plunge pool and a hot tub are different in several ways, but the main difference is the water temperature. Hot tubs are heated to a temperature of around 100-104 degrees, which makes them perfect for relaxing sore muscles. Plunge pools are filled with cold water and therefore have a more refreshing effect on the body.
Another difference is the depth and size. Plunge pools are deeper and larger than hot tubs, which allows for more movement and wading. The average depth of a plunge pool ranges from 4 to 6 feet, while the average depth of a hot tub ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 feet. The average size of a plunge pool ranges from 13 x 6 feet to 23 x 13 feet, while the average size of a hot tub ranges from 6 x 6 feet to 8 x 8 feet.
There are also other differences in terms of features, costs, maintenance, installation, location, safety, versatility, and environmental impact.
How much does a plunge pool cost?
The cost of a plunge pool depends on the size, material, and installation method, but the national average is about $20,000. A plunge pool is cheaper than a standard inground pool, which can cost around $60,000. The price range of a plunge pool can vary from $10,000 to $50,000.
Some of the factors that affect the plunge pool cost are:
- The size and shape of the pool: Larger and more customized pools will cost more than smaller and simpler ones.
- The type and material of the pool: Plunge pools can be inground or above ground, and they can be made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. Concrete pools are more durable but more expensive than fiberglass or vinyl pools.
- The location and installation of the pool: Plunge pools require site preparation and excavation, which can add to the labor and material costs. The pool location may also affect the permit fees and utility connections.
- The features and accessories of the pool: Plunge pools can have additional features such as heating, jets, lighting, or waterfalls, which can increase operating and maintenance costs.