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Thread: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

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    Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    We moved about 8 months ago from the house that had a pool to a new house without a pool. We are starting design on what we want at the new house.

    We had the big party pool at the old house. It was nice but I don't need something that big. We just need something to get in when it is hot and float/sit in to cool down. We would also like a spa for the winter time. I'm thinking of trying to combine these two. Can it be done? We are thinking of a 10x20 ft spa in ground about 5500 gals once all the seats/steps are accounted for.

    We were in one at a resort over the winter and agreed this was "enough" pool for us. What I would want to do is keep the pool at 85-90 degrees from beginning of March to end of September and 100-105 degrees from begining of October to end of February.

    This is obviously going to require a cover. During the winter months and maybe one a little on the opening month or 2. I have no problem keeping the pool rectangular to make this easier.

    First thought was an autocover. Lots of pros on the easy to use side. But will it provide the R value needed to keep me from going broke heating the thing in the winter? No where can I find any info on R values for any of the systems on the market. Any one got any experience with these doing something similar?

    Second thought was a set of thick foam core spa style covers. Will have the R value. Assuming I can get anything I need custom made. Down side is ease of use. Was thinking of 4 10 ft long and 5 ft wide sections. Leave it off during the summer (no issue with storage), put it on during the winter. Take off 2 sections when we want to use it as a hot tub. That gets us a 10x10 tub. 2 people taking off a 10x5 section doesn't see too difficult.

    Thoughts? Experiences with something similar? I'm leaning toward this being possible with the spa style covers. But would love to hear the auto cover can get the job done and make life easier.
    Currently trying to decided what to build in the backyard in Phoenix.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    What is your location? Add it to your profile.

    It is going to cost a LOT to keep the "spool" that hot all winter even with a cover I would think.
    With the small ~500 gallon spas, it is normal to just fire up the gas heater when you want to use it (may take a hour to heat up, depends on heater size, etc) so you are not wasting money when it is not used. With a spool 10x the size of a normal spa, it would take 10 times longer to heat up. If you only were using it on the weekends, that may not matter and you could heat it up on Friday and keep it warm for the weekend and save $ during the week. But if you are going to truly want it hot all the time ... prepare for the gas bill
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    I would be researching the various types of enclosures you can get.
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    What is your location? Add it to your profile.

    It is going to cost a LOT to keep the "spool" that hot all winter even with a cover I would think.
    With the small ~500 gallon spas, it is normal to just fire up the gas heater when you want to use it (may take a hour to heat up, depends on heater size, etc) so you are not wasting money when it is not used. With a spool 10x the size of a normal spa, it would take 10 times longer to heat up. If you only were using it on the weekends, that may not matter and you could heat it up on Friday and keep it warm for the weekend and save $ during the week. But if you are going to truly want it hot all the time ... prepare for the gas bill
    It is just a goal right now. Trying to determine feasibility. Location is Phoenix. So a few days in the low 30's upper 20's worst case. We might drop the water temp down or turn it off during that time frame.
    Currently trying to decided what to build in the backyard in Phoenix.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    Well Phoenix is certainly more feasible than Minnesota
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    How is this for an ancient thread bump? I can be accused of many things but not for a lack of follow up.

    It took 3.5 years. We broke ground in November of 2013. It is still not done but the heater clicked on for the first time Sunday so I'm calling it done at this point. Most of that time was waiting on permits.

    0203170917a_HDR.jpg

    The plain old thin cover seems to be doing well enough to keep it insulated so far. It got up to 86 with just by keeping the cover on. The heater pulled it up about 3 degrees per hour with an outside temp of 80. Which is not bad since we ended up going for a heat pump instead of gas. It was too much to bring the gas line up from the alley.

    It should all be fine to keep it up to temp in the Spring and Fall. We won't know about Winter till we get there, but I'm feeling optimistic based on what I'm seeing so far to keep it in the 85degree range then. I don't think 100 degree range is going to be possible.
    Currently trying to decided what to build in the backyard in Phoenix.

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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    That turned out real nice
    Easytouch 8 automated 21.5K gal PebbleFina Sapphire Galaxy w/ Glo-Brited overflow spa, Intelliflo2 VST, CC520 Filter, IC40 SWG, 400K BTU NG Heat, Caretaker 8-port in-floor cleaner, Automatic cover.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    Thoughts? Experiences with something similar?
    Greetings. Nice spool

    FWIW, I've kept a 24k gal pool at 95 degrees all winter in Michigan this year for physiotherapy. There are tricks to make it more cost effective, but I use the phrase loosely . I have it covered (12 mil solar blanket is all) and enclosed in an Ameridome inflatable pool dome that uses a blower. My highest heat bill to date based n run time and year-over-year differential was in the neighborhood of $480., the lowest differential in Nov of about $250. And we've had lots of single digit nights in each month.

    By comparison, in AZ, depending on your electric rates, I'd expect you could have a much lower heat cost.

    Strategically right now, with below freezing nights and 40s-50s during day, my average heat loss per hour is .3 degrees (most days, more like .5 on single digit day)...so I boost/schedule 1 hr heat at lunch to get back what I've lost since am swim, 1 hr at dinner time, the run the heater from 4 am ish to 7:30 or 8 for my morning swim to get back overnight losses. So in my case that takes about 6 hours to get back up to temp, which in natural gas, costs about $8.40/day.

    My march is probably like your winter

    If you want to read more about the dome, the thread chronicling the journey is here: Anyone Have a Winter Pool Dome - Ameridome or Others?
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    Thanks!

    I love the dome just for the James Bond villain vibe its got. Plus who wouldn't want something that has an air lock! But I don't think that is quite the right option for me.

    You bring up a good point with the solar blanket. Now that I understand how the auto cover works I see I could easily add the 12 mil solar blanket on top during the winter months. It would be a minor hassle pulling it out and winding it up every time we use it. But it would not be a major hassle. We will see how it goes when we get to the end of the year.
    Currently trying to decided what to build in the backyard in Phoenix.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    A vast majority of what the solar cover does is heat retention by preventing cooling from evaporation and also radiation to the night. Your auto cover is going to also do that, so I do not think you would see a tremendous gain from adding a solar heater on your auto cover .. and not likely worth the hassle.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Spa/Pool? Looking for advice.

    I love the pool! What color is the finish? It is very pretty.

    I would not use a solar blanket with dogs (or children) around because of the risk of drowning. The auto cover alone should be fine.
    IG Gunite 20x40 pool with Pebbletec finish (Tahoe blue with luminous glass in mixed jade); Pentair DE Filter and Pump; Intellibrite LED lights; RayPac 8350 Heat and Cool Heat Pump; NPT Arctic Ice glass tile; Coverstar autocover; Cambridge Renaissance Pavers in Onyx Lite; bluestone coping.

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