Getting the Most Out of Your Spa Pools: Usage Tips and Guidelines

Spa pools also referred to as hot tubs or whirlpools, offer a delightful fusion of relaxation, therapeutic benefits, and indulgence. These specially designed pools combine the soothing properties of warm water, hydrotherapy jets, and a luxurious atmosphere to create an oasis of tranquility and rejuvenation. Found in high-end resorts, spas, and even private residences, spa pools provide a range of benefits for both the body and mind.

From stress reduction and muscle relaxation to improved circulation and pain relief, the experience of immersing oneself in a spa pool is truly a treat for the senses. In this article, we will explore the allure of spa pools, delve into their health benefits, and discover the various features and considerations that make them a coveted addition to any wellness-oriented lifestyle.

spa pools

Benefits of Spa Pools

Spa pools offer many benefits for health, wellness, and lifestyle. Some of the benefits are:

  • Relaxation: Spa pools can help reduce stress, relieve muscle tension, improve sleep quality, and promote mental well-being. The warm water, massage jets, and soothing sounds create a relaxing environment that can calm the mind and body.
  • Hydrotherapy: Spa pools can also provide therapeutic benefits for various conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. The water buoyancy reduces the pressure on the joints and muscles, while the heat improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation. The jets can target specific areas of the body and stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
  • Exercise: Spa pools can also be used for low-impact exercises, such as swimming, aqua aerobics, resistance training, and stretching. Exercise in water can improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. Some spa pools have features that allow users to swim against a current or adjust the water resistance for different levels of intensity.
  • Entertainment: Spa pools can also be a source of fun and enjoyment for family and friends. They can be used for socializing, playing games, hosting parties, or simply relaxing together. Some spa pools have features that enhance the entertainment value, such as lights, music, waterfalls, and fountains.

Types of Spa Pools

Spa pools can be classified into different types based on their size, shape, function, and installation. Some of the common types are:

  • Hot tubs: Hot tubs are small spa pools that typically accommodate 2 to 6 people. They are usually round or oval in shape and have a depth of about 3 feet. They are filled with hot water (usually between 100°F to 104°F) and have jets that provide massage and hydrotherapy. Hot tubs are often portable and can be placed indoors or outdoors.
  • Swim spas: Swim spas are larger spa pools that combine the features of a hot tub and a swimming pool. They usually accommodate 4 to 12 people and have a depth of about 4 to 5 feet. They have two sections: one for relaxation and hydrotherapy with jets and seats, and one for exercise with a current or resistance system that allows users to swim in place. Swim spas can be installed indoors or outdoors.
  • Plunge pools: Plunge pools are small spa pools that are designed for cooling off after a sauna or a hot tub session. They usually accommodate 2 to 4 people and have a depth of about 4 feet. They are filled with cold water (usually between 50°F to 60°F) and have no jets or heating system. Plunge pools are often installed next to hot tubs or saunas as part of a spa circuit.
  • Spool: Spool is a term that combines spa and pool. It refers to a small spa pool that is larger than a hot tub but smaller than a swim spa. It usually accommodates 4 to 8 people and has a depth of about 4 feet. It has jets and seats for relaxation and hydrotherapy, but no current or resistance system for exercise. Spools can be installed indoors or outdoors.

Cost of Spa Pools

The cost of spa pools depends on various factors, such as the type, size, features, installation and maintenance of the spa pool. The table below shows some approximate ranges of costs for different types of spa pools.

Hot tub2 to 6 peopleJets, seats, lightsPortable or fixedChemicals, filters, covers$3,000 to $15,000
Swim spa4 to 12 peopleJets, seats, lights, current or resistance systemFixedChemicals, filters, covers$15,000 to $40,000
Plunge pool2 to 4 peopleNo jets or heating systemFixedChemicals, filters$10,000 to $20,000
Spool4 to 8 peopleJets, seats, lightsFixedChemicals, filters, covers$10,000 to $25,000

How do I maintain my spa pool?

Maintaining your spa pool is important to keep the water clean, clear, and safe for you and your guests. Here are some basic steps you should follow to maintain your spa pool:

  • Test and balance your water weekly: Use test strips to check the chemical and mineral levels in your spa pool, such as total alkalinity, pH, chlorine or bromine, calcium hardness, and total hardness. Adjust the levels as needed by adding the appropriate chemicals, such as spa up, spa down, chlorine granules, or bromine tablets. A well-balanced spa pool should have the following ranges:
    • Total alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
    • pH: 7.2-7.8
    • Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
    • Bromine: 3-5 ppm
    • Calcium hardness: 150-250 ppm
    • Total hardness: 250-500 ppm
  • Clean your filter and cover regularly: Your filter is responsible for trapping dirt, debris, and contaminants from your spa pool water. You should rinse it with a hose every 1-2 weeks and soak it in a filter cleaner every 2-3 months. Replace your filter every year or as needed. Your cover protects your spa pool from dust, leaves, insects, and other unwanted elements. You should wipe it with a mild cleaner and a soft cloth every month and apply a vinyl protector every 3-4 months to prevent cracking and fading.
  • Drain and refill your water periodically: Over time, your spa pool water can become cloudy, foamy, or smelly due to the buildup of organic matter, oils, minerals, and chemicals. You should drain and refill your water every 3-4 months or when the total dissolved solids (TDS) level exceeds 1500 ppm. To drain your water, turn off the power to your spa pool, attach a hose to the drain valve, and open it. To refill your water, close the drain valve, fill the spa pool with fresh water from a hose, and balance the water chemistry.
  • Keep your spa pool running well: To ensure good water circulation and filtration, you should run your spa pool at least twice a day for 15-20 minutes each time. You can use an automatic timer or manually turn on the jets. You should also check the water level regularly and add more water if it falls below the skimmer. If you live in a cold climate, you should keep your spa pool heated at all times to prevent freezing and damage to the pipes and equipment.

What is the best time to use my spa pool?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different people may prefer different times to use their spa pool. However, some possible factors to consider are:

  • Your personal schedule: You may want to use your spa pool when you have some free time and no other commitments. For example, you may enjoy using your spa pool in the morning before work, in the evening after dinner, or on the weekends with your family or friends.
  • Your health and wellness goals: You may want to use your spa pool when it can help you achieve your health and wellness goals. For example, you may use your spa pool for relaxation, stress relief, pain relief, muscle recovery, sleep improvement, or exercise. Depending on your goal, you may choose a different time of day, temperature, duration, and frequency of use for your spa pool.
  • Your energy costs: You may want to use your spa pool when it can save you money on your energy bills. For example, you may use your spa pool during off-peak hours when the electricity rates are lower, or when the outdoor temperature is warmer so you don’t need to heat the water as much. You may also adjust the thermostat of your spa pool according to the season and the time of day.

How long should I stay in my spa pool?

The safe duration for spa pool use depends on several factors, such as the water temperature, your health condition, your level of hydration, and your personal preference. However, some general guidelines are:

  • Limit your spa pool use to 15 minutes at a time: This is the recommended maximum duration for spa pool use by most health authorities, as staying longer can cause overheating, dehydration, drowsiness, and fainting. If you want to use the spa pool for longer, take breaks every 15 minutes and cool off in the shower or drink some water.
  • Avoid using the spa pool if the water temperature exceeds 104°F (40°C): This is the maximum safe temperature for spa pool water, as higher temperatures can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat rash. You can use a thermometer to check the water temperature before entering the spa pool.
  • Consult your doctor before using the spa pool if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant: Some medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, and skin infections, can make you more susceptible to the effects of heat and chemicals in the spa pool water. Pregnant women should also be cautious about using the spa pool, especially in the first trimester, as high temperatures can harm the developing fetus. Your doctor can advise you on whether and how you can safely use the spa pool.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after using the spa pool: Using the spa pool can make you lose fluids through sweating and evaporation. This can lead to dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, and cramps. To prevent dehydration, drink at least 8 ounces of water before and after using the spa pool. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate you further and impair your judgment.