Once you have done your research and have decided upon the perfect swim spa for your needs, its time to consider how you will handle your installation. Above ground and underground models are obviously very different to install. This article will give you a brief overview on how the installation process works for both types of swim spa.
All swim spa installations are going to need a power supply, this will usually not require any extensive requiring of your property as most only require between a 20amp and 90amp waterproof power cable which can be installed by any reputable electrician. Ask the manufacture about the specific ampage requirements before fitment.
Access to the installation area is something that is often overlooked by first time owners. The are VERY heavy and are usually delivered on a flat bed truck. You need to ensure that your property can be accessed by the delivery vehicle and you also need to ensure that a crane (or forklift truck at the very least) can lift it to the installation point. Each company delivers in slightly different ways so it is advisable to ask them in advance their installation and delivery requirements.
Above Ground Installation
For obvious reasons it is much easier to install an above ground than an underground inbuilt model.
The first requirement is a firm level surface that can handle the weight. Fully laden with water can easily weigh more than one metric ton, which means stability and security is paramount.
Indoors or outdoors – most people will need to get a concrete bed laid down to install upon. Patios and garages may be strong enough to handle the weight without a concrete slab, so this may be an option for you. If you think it maybe, get a contractor out to your house to inspect it and give you an expert opinion – most reputable installers will be happy to do this for you free of charge. This being said – even if you do have a strong and level area already, a concrete slab is still recommended, they need to be set 100% level for optimum operation. The concrete slab will usually be about 150mm inches in depth, and very slightly (40mm or so) larger than the dimensions of your swim spa in length and width.
A common question people ask is “can I install above the ground floor”? Well 99% of the time the answer is no. Simply because of the weight – unless you have a purpose built property that can handle the weight of that water (if you are reading this article you probably don’t), ground floor installations are going to be your only option.
(A great trick to give an above ground swim spa an in ground appearance is to build up a decking area around it once it is installed. Get the decking installed just higher than the height of your spa. The end result is a beautiful decking area without the hassle of an in ground installation.)
In Ground Installation
In ground units are a much bigger task to install.
Firstly a cavity will need to be dug in your ground to lower your spa into. The initial cavity is usually built with about 1ft wider and longer than the dimensions of the model (this is including pumps and other extremities – not just the swimming area) to allow room for maneuvering the lifting equipment.
Be sure to check the blueprints of your property to check for where underground power cables, phone lines, water pipes etc may be hiding. Re-routing any pipes or cables will require a qualified electrician or plumber and can add significant delays to any installation project if they are not found before installation starts.
Once the cavity has been dug a concrete base should be laid down at a depth of about 150mm. Shotcrete should be applied to the exterior wall of the cavity to ensure the full weight of the earth is not directly applied to the fibreglass acrylic of your swim spa. Ensure your installation cavity has proper drainage.
It will then be lowered by crane into the cavity and wired up by an electrician. Then simply fill in the gaps around your swim spa with the excavated earth. And you are ready to add water and start using your spa.
As you can see both methods of installation are sizable tasks. Take a look at our swim spa costs page to see how much you can expect to pay for the installation. With the proper planning the installation process can be a smooth and even enjoyable experience.
How did your swim spa installation go? Do you have any advice? Do you have a question you would like answering? Leave a comment below!