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Thread: Level Spa

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    Level Spa

    We are working with the pool builder to design our pool in southeast texas, and ran across a picture of a level spa that we really liked. Our pool builder is suggesting against it because he said we would be heating the whole pool with this design, resulting in costly heating bills. I just wanted to get some feedback, and see what yall think.
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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Level Spa

    It appears from the photo that water travels throughout the spa and pool. If the spa was elevated slightly above the pool, you wouldn't be heating the pool. With this photo, you're certainly heating the pool. Why not put the coping around the spa at the same level as the pool coping. That would give you essentially the same visual effect, but water is then seperated. You would then have to create a small waterfall on the spa if you wanted to keep the chemical balance a one-process rather than seperate balancing between both the spa and pool. Hope that helps.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Level Spa

    I really liked the look of having the coping around the spa under the water. I will probably only heat the spa when we are going to use it, so I didn't think it would be a issue. With it being under water, it may never heat up to where I want it in a short amount of time.

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    Re: Level Spa

    To me it looks like the spa coping is out of the water just barely. Look at the bottom corner of the spa it looks out of the water and the coping is just wet from possibly the pool running.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    Re: Level Spa

    This was the actual picture I showed the builder, and more of what I had in mind.
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    Re: Level Spa

    I would like an inset spa as well, mostly because I want an auto-cover that will cover both pool and spa. I have a bunch of inspiration photos saved on my other computer, I'll see if I can get them transfered over.

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Level Spa

    I recognize the second pic, I believe the owner built almost all of that pool himself, I'd send him a message directly, I'm sure he'd answer your questions.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

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    Re: Level Spa

    Indeed, that is Lershac's pool. I have been following his build.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/new-b...31828-200.html

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    Re: Level Spa

    I just PM'ed him to ask how his was working out. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

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    Re: Level Spa

    I always thought that the only time these type of spas are at higher temperature than the pool, is when the heater/controls is put into spa mode, which would divert all the heat flow to the spa, and if the heater is sized large enough, wouldn't take much longer then 20-30minutes.
    Just my two cents...
    24' round x 54" Tahitian (Sharkline), 1.5HP Sta-rite Pump, 22" 250lb. sand filter with Zeo-best media, Hayward H250FDN heater, Del Clear Ozonator, SWG or Rola-Chem feeder, not sure?, Trident Automatic Pool Cleaner, 100Watt Nightlighter, Underwater light show and fountain, 2" Hard Plumbed.
    Wishin Isa Swimmin!

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    Re: Level Spa

    My pool and spa set up is very similar to Lershac's pool. The water level of the spa is the same or just slightly above or below the level of the pool, depending on recent rains or lack thereof.

    In spa mode I do NOT heat my pool. The valves to the pool are shut off completely and only the spa gets circulation. There is very little spillage into the pool in spa mode.

    It does not take long at all to heat up the spa. IIRC last year during a light freeze, the water temp went from say 50 to 100 in about 45 minutes. My spa is about 7 X 10 and normal depth.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Level Spa

    Would it be hard to keep the spa hot in the winter with that few inches of cold water coming in from the pool? I will probably never heat up the whole pool due to the cost. I think his has to be level with the pool, or the top of the plaster wall that separates the two will be exposed. Can you post a pic of your spa?

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    Re: Level Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by redfro
    Would it be hard to keep the spa hot in the winter with that few inches of cold water coming in from the pool? I will probably never heat up the whole pool due to the cost. I think his has to be level with the pool, or the top of the plaster wall that separates the two will be exposed. Can you post a pic of your spa?
    Nothing is coming in from the pool in spa mode. That's true if my spa water is slightly below (1/4 inch?), at, or slightly above (1/4 inch?) the level of the pool. Look at Lershac's picture and that's pretty much exactly what I have. The key is to have the normal water level of the pool exactly even with the top of the spa. That's the way my pool was designed.

    When I push the Spa button on my Easytouch remote it shuts off the suction from the pool skimmers and the pool drain and takes 100% of the water from the two drains in the spa. It also shuts off the returns to the pool so that 100% of the water is returned to the spa. Even if the pool/spa water is a little high due to recent rains, the cross over of water into the pool while in spa mode is not significant such that I'm heating the pool in a meaningful way. And if I ever noticed that it was a problem it wouldn't take long to drain the 1/4 inch of water from the pool to make it level with the top of the spa. Note that I have an overflow drain at the top of my tile and just below the coping so that my water can never get much higher than about 1/4 inch over the top of the spa.

    Do you plan to have drains in your spa? If you don't then you would be heating your pool even in spa mode because you would be sucking from the pool (which is colder) and returning the water to the spa (the pool as well?) with the hot water continually flowing over the spa and into the pool. I'm assuming you have drains in your spa and that you will have jandy valves that can be positioned in a way to make sure that all of the water is sucked from and returned to the spa.

    I'm surprised your builder said what he said. The system works perfectly on my pool. We don't use the spa that often, but when I do I don't even notice an increase in my natural gas bill.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Level Spa

    Any pictures of your pool/spa HouTex?

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    Re: Level Spa

    [attachment=0:1d7sggiz]spa picture.JPG[/attachment:1d7sggiz]

    Here is a picture of my spa. The pump is on in pool mode so some of the water is returning to the spa and overflowing into the pool. This keeps the spa chlorinated with circulated water.

    If the pump was off the water would barely be over the top of the spa--right now perhaps by an 1/8 of an inch. If it was in spa mode then all of water would be coming from/to the spa. There would be very little water flowing over the spa into the pool. If the water level was slightly below the spa level there would be no water flowing into the pool in spa mode except for some minor splashing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Level Spa

    Bump: Anyone else have an inset spa?

    Finally got my files off the old laptop. Here are some inspiration that I've saved.

    This is pretty much exactly what I want for my pool.








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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Level Spa

    Just to give you some idea of actual operation of such a spa...

    Sun night it was 40 deg ambient temp, we had the spa heated to about 97, the rest of the pool was 60F. you could stick your arm over the inset bond beam (into the pool) and WOW was that water cold! We never felt it in the spa, it was toasty.

    The key is designing the whole thing so that there is only 1/8 to 1/4 inch of water over that bond beam. and getting the valving right so that in spa mode water is only drawn from the spa and only returned to the spa. Then the heat loss of water going out or in via that beam is for all intents and purposes nil (or very close to it).

    I notice in some of those pics the beam is actually raised above the level of the water and coping applied to the top. In those cases there is probably some sort of plumbing to equalize the water levels between the spa and the pool. The same applies in those cases, when the spa mode is on, the water is only taken from the spa and returned only to the spa, anything else and you will see significant water exchange between the spa and the pool (and more difficult heating of the spa because of it).
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Level Spa

    I don't think that there is coping in any of those pictures, just tile. In any case, I understand that the plumbing should be set up so that in spa mode it is only heating/recirculating the spa water, but what about other times? I assume that you would want the water to be mixed with the pool in order to keep it filtered/clean and the chemicals balanced? Water being pulled from the pool and returned to spa with the whole thing spilling over?

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    Re: Level Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by Lershac
    Just to give you some idea of actual operation of such a spa...

    Sun night it was 40 deg ambient temp, we had the spa heated to about 97, the rest of the pool was 60F. you could stick your arm over the inset bond beam (into the pool) and WOW was that water cold! We never felt it in the spa, it was toasty.

    The key is designing the whole thing so that there is only 1/8 to 1/4 inch of water over that bond beam. and getting the valving right so that in spa mode water is only drawn from the spa and only returned to the spa. Then the heat loss of water going out or in via that beam is for all intents and purposes nil (or very close to it).

    I notice in some of those pics the beam is actually raised above the level of the water and coping applied to the top. In those cases there is probably some sort of plumbing to equalize the water levels between the spa and the pool. The same applies in those cases, when the spa mode is on, the water is only taken from the spa and returned only to the spa, anything else and you will see significant water exchange between the spa and the pool (and more difficult heating of the spa because of it).
    That's exactly how my spa works. I was in on Sat. night with similar temperatures and got the same result. My water has been slightly above the top of the spa due to recent rains. The pool was freezing and there was very little mixing of the hot water from the spa with the cold water of the pool. However, my earlier recollection of taking 45 minutes to go from the low 50s to 100 was a little off. It took about 1.5 hours for my spa to get that hot. You see very little warming in the first 30 minutes then it starts to kick in when you hit about 75 degrees or so and then it goes up fairly fast.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Level Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by EarlKann
    I don't think that there is coping in any of those pictures, just tile. In any case, I understand that the plumbing should be set up so that in spa mode it is only heating/recirculating the spa water, but what about other times? I assume that you would want the water to be mixed with the pool in order to keep it filtered/clean and the chemicals balanced? Water being pulled from the pool and returned to spa with the whole thing spilling over?
    That's how mine works. You need to return some water to the spa while the pump is in pool mode for circulation and to chlorinate the spa water.

    Also, when the pump is off the water balances out between the spa and the pool so that they are at the same level, even if the water is lower than the top of the spa. Lershac mentions this in his latest post. I'm not quite sure how it works--but it does.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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