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Thread: In Ground Vs Above Ground Spa

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    In Ground Vs Above Ground Spa

    Hello--First Time Post-so hello TFP

    We are buying a 10 year old home in Scottsdale, AZ. We have so many pool questions.
    The pool has no heater and the filter seems like it should be replaced. We would like to add an outdoor therapeutic spa. We want lots of jets to work out the aches and pains.
    Can you get an inground spa with powerful jets? Or How would you dress up an above ground spa to make it fit in to the backyard? Can TFP help us with the process by giving your opinion on whether we should keep the spa separate from the pool or incorporate it into the pool? Should we tear up the pool and start from scratch? This is the time to make the big decisions because we also will be getting bids to replace the concrete decking. This will be a winter home, so containing costs of heating the pool and spa in the winter is a priority. Probably not too much summer time use.
    13K gal, vinyl, 1 HP pump, DE filter, AG,

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Re: In Ground Vs Above Ground Spa

    I would recommend this forum and add pictures of your pool area.
    swimming-pool-and-spa-build-and-repair-f3.html
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: In Ground Vs Above Ground Spa

    It is possible, but quite expensive, to add a spa that shares plumbing to an existing pool. On the other hand it is very easy to add a spa to a new pool.

    One way to dress up an above ground spa is to build a stone or paver block wall around it. This can work really well if you have a slope or an existing wall for it to tie into.

    Tearing up the pool and starting from scratch gets very expensive, but it gives you all kinds of options that you wouldn't have otherwise.

    You have a lot of choices to make. I am sure we can give you all kinds of advice, but you need to tell us more about your budget and the layout of the pool area and what is important to you and what isn't.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Chasville's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Coastal Plain, NC
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    Re: In Ground Vs Above Ground Spa

    If you have the money to do what you want, then do what you want.
    1st question -- Do you like the pool as is? Or are there things about it that if you could do it over again you would do it differently?
    If you have the money to have what you really want, then do it.

    A spa above ground is going to be noisier than an inground spa.
    An inground spa is going to be a pain to service should there be a problem.
    No matter what you do, you will want to be sure the spa is well insulated against the earth and/or against the outside air since you will probably want the spa to be warmer than the ground and/or the outside air.

    Do you want to descend into the spa? or walk up into the spa?

    My pool -- in NC -- has two "jets" at the steps that are connected to venturies that draw air to create bubbled spa like water jets.
    These are a noisy waste. I have plugged the venturies with some closed cell foam, when greatly reduces the noise. The only good these offer are sonic indicators when its time to backwash the filter because the flow has been restricted enough that you don't hardly hear the popping and gurgling.

    If I had both, the pool water would be cooler than the spa water, so I would use separate plumbing and not mix the water.
    If I had a spa, I'd probably use bath salts in it, which I wouldn't want in my pool, so again, I'd keep the pumbing separate.

    What's the purpose of the pool? if just to lounge around in, and have friends over to lounge around it, then make a big spa and have only the one thing.

    On the other hand, it might be neat to have a spa with near bath water in it to use after having swam around for an hour.
    Or, after having sat and relaxed in the spa, to "cool" off in the pool.

    Things to think about.
    21k IG : Hayward Perflex EC65A DE Filter + 1.4 THP Northstar pump : Aquabot Turbo T2 : DelZone Eclipse-4 Ozonator : Floatron Ionizer : Some chlorine
    Pool cover an elephant can stand on. Painted concrete base or shell, with fiberglass upper side walls, and plastic/vinyl rim. Concrete deck.

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