As the topic says, I like to ponder cheap ways to do expensive things. My lasted idea is how to make a Spa.
This one is a way to get all the benefits of a Stand-Alone(SA) spa, with the easier maintenance of a built in spa. Basically, you just get a SA spa and add some extra piping so the water can circulate between the spa and pool. This does involve a lot of plumbing and valves though. I drew a diagram of this, but in my diagram, both the ABG Pool and Spa are buried so the pump and heater are moved out of the spa housing and would be put up near the rest of the pool equip.
In this pic the spa pump is either off or just recirculating the water. The pool pump does any filtering that needs to be done. The elec. heater is the heater from the spa. It could supplement the solar heat and/or gas heater(not shown).
Build your own vinyl lined Spa. This idea would use the some plumbing and all of that as a "real" spa, but instead of buying the spa you basically build your own. I've put plenty of thought into this one and have some questions too. First, is there a problem using vinyl for a spa? If there is, this whole idea is out the window, if not, read on.
I'm thinking buy the smallest Intex pool they make(8' I think) and cut a big hole in the bottom. This pool will be the upper wall and seat liner. You will need another small Intex pool for the footwell area. Just cut the wall out of this pool and use it as the lower wall(under the seat). Then(an here's another question, how??) you would have to join the pieces together. The best I've been able to come up with is to leave a large overlap and use a lot of some type of glue(PVC, vinyl, contact cement) to hold them together. I was even thinking to fold the overlap over after it's been glued and sew it(like they do
with camper canvas).
Another simple option would be to use a plain intex pool and make PVC and plastic or netted fabric stuff to make a bench that goes around the pool. This would be much less likely to leak.
Then, you would do you own plumbing using spa jets and flanges(like normal Intex pools) to go through the walls. Another idea I had was to use shower heads or just plain pipe as jets. The shower heads would require you to make little PVC wells to they would sit flush with the walls, but it might be worth it. The reason for the shower heads is flow rates. Most jets need 10-20 gpm per jet while a showerhead may only need 1.5-4 gpm. Using showerhead's would also give you many options to different styles. The questions... Would 2.5 GPM through a showerhead provide any noticeable jet action? Would a blower add more power to these?
Thanks for your input,