Spa or No spa?

Gui0312

Member
Aug 29, 2021
12
Miami
We are extremely undecided on the spa , we live in Miami where is pretty much hot all year round. We’ve had a pool before but never a spa… Is it worth the money?

my wife is into the idea because it will make the pool look nicer but not so much how much use we will get from it..

those with spas, how often do you use it and do you regret getting it ? Those without do you regretting not getting one?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,975
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If you want a spa, buy one. A proper one. We have an integrated one (fiberglass pool). Have used it as a spa about 5 times in 7 years.

Spend the money on a water feature if that is what you want.
 

BigPapaSmurf

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2021
221
Magnolia, Texas
Surface
Plaster
My suggestion is to find someone, with a spa, and sit in it. I know it sounds dumb but Gunite spa’s are very different from fiberglass spa’s. My parents pool had a spa and used it all the time, my first pool had a spa and we used it 3 to 4 times a week. The pool I’m building has a therapy spa with 20 jets. I plan on using it every day I can.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,469
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
We use our gunite spa a few tines a week while the pool is open. We are probably in the spa more then the pool. We will often sit in the spa with drinks and chips at night while talking and relaxing.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,795
Bedford, TX
G,

Integrated Spas are the most oversold and underused items in all pool builds..

My pull it out of my rear guess is that about 50% of integrated spa owners love them, but that leaves the other 50% that use the spa less then 2 or 3 times a year, if that often.

Before investing in a gunite spa, I suggest that you "try one before you buy one"... Most gunite spas are not at all like standalone fiberglass spas.. But then again standalone spas do not have the same visual wow factor that a gunite spa has..

I can go out and get into my ugly standalone spa 24/7. Just take off the top and jump in.. With a gunite spa you have to plan ahead so that it can be hot when you need it. With a standalone spa it takes very little electrical energy to keep it hot.. With a gunite spa you have to heat it every time you use it.

A pool without an integrated spa does not need an automation system.. A pool with an integrated spa really needs an automation system so that you can seamlessly switch between the Pool mode and the Spa mode.

The point is... make sure you know what you are getting ahead of time and know for sure you are going to be in the 50% that love their integrated spas.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Gui0312

Member
Aug 29, 2021
12
Miami
G,

Integrated Spas are the most oversold and underused items in all pool builds..

My pull it out of my rear guess is that about 50% of integrated spa owners love them, but that leaves the other 50% that use the spa less then 2 or 3 times a year, if that often.

Before investing in a gunite spa, I suggest that you "try one before you buy one"... Most gunite spas are not at all like standalone fiberglass spas.. But then again standalone spas do not have the same visual wow factor that a gunite spa has..

I can go out and get into my ugly standalone spa 24/7. Just take off the top and jump in.. With a gunite spa you have to plan ahead so that it can be hot when you need it. With a standalone spa it takes very little electrical energy to keep it hot.. With a gunite spa you have to heat it every time you use it.

A pool without an integrated spa does not need an automation system.. A pool with an integrated spa really needs an automation system so that you can seamlessly switch between the Pool mode and the Spa mode.

The point is... make sure you know what you are getting ahead of time and know for sure you are going to be in the 50% that love their integrated spas.

Thanks,

Jim R.
When you guys mention automation, Imight as well ask. I am being supplied with a Jandy AP1400 salt system. They said I could add on the automation remote for $950.00. I notice on the Apple App Store there is a zodiac ”iaqua link” what is that supposed to work with? I much rather have a phone linked app vs an additional remote.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,795
Bedford, TX
G,

A salt system is not an automation system... Not sure what your pool builder is planning, but I'd want an automation system that includes the salt system. And no remote, just phone or PC access and control.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Gui0312

Member
Aug 29, 2021
12
Miami
G,

A salt system is not an automation system... Not sure what your pool builder is planning, but I'd want an automation system that includes the salt system. And no remote, just phone or PC access and control.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Any Jandy systems that use the phone app? Reason I mention Jandy, because its what they use..
 

an1vrsy

Bronze Supporter
Jul 10, 2018
389
Las Vegas, NV
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Pentair, Hayward and Jandy all have automation. I am sure you can go to the Jandy website and research their offerings.

In the summer, no… my wife and I do not use the spa as a spa. It is used just to sit in rather than the pool. This is our first season with the pool, filled March 1st, so I figure we’ll use it over the winter. Here in Las Vegas we will not close the pool. Because we wanted to simulate some of the features of a stand-alone spa, we plumbed 14 jets and a laydown seat. So, we love our spa and wouldn’t build a pool without one.
 

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FnC80

Gold Supporter
Aug 23, 2017
106
Manvel, TX (Houston)
Pool Size
17700
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
We live in houston where it’s hot, but we use the integrated spa October through April 2-3 times a week. We love it. Our spa is also finished in glass beads so it’s smooth to sit on and rolled edge to lean against. Also our 500k btu heater will heat it up in no time so another thing to think about. If I had to wait an hour to use the spa I may not be as inclined to use it. Like stated above, assess how much you think you may use if and go from there. If you enjoy it you may find yourself using it more often.
 

Gui0312

Member
Aug 29, 2021
12
Miami
We live in houston where it’s hot, but we use the integrated spa October through April 2-3 times a week. We love it. Our spa is also finished in glass beads so it’s smooth to sit on and rolled edge to lean against. Also our 500k btu heater will heat it up in no time so another thing to think about. If I had to wait an hour to use the spa I may not be as inclined to use it. Like stated above, assess how much you think you may use if and go from there. If you enjoy it you may find yourself using it more often.
Thanks for the input. Question, what brand is that 500k btu heater? I can’t seam to find anything greater than 175k. What does it run for? ALSO, i checked out your pictures, seems you have a gray’ish pool! Which is what I am going for, is that French Gray by any chance from Diamond Brite? If so do you have any other pictures and do you notice any drawbacks to it or regrets? (seems like I am hi-jacking my own thread)
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,469
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
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Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Question, what brand is that 500k btu heater? I can’t seam to find anything greater than 175k.

You must be looking at heat pumps that top out around 140K BTUs.

Gas heaters go to 400K BTUs and beyond. Raypak has gas heaters in their commercial pool line at 500K and up. You just need to have sufficient gas service to feed it.


 

Gui0312

Member
Aug 29, 2021
12
Miami
You must be looking at heat pumps that top out around 140K BTUs.

Gas heaters go to 400K BTUs and beyond. Raypak has gas heaters in their commercial pool line at 500K and up. You just need to have sufficient gas service to feed it.


Yeah unfortunately I don’t have gas lines.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,469
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Plaster
Chlorine
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Yeah unfortunately I don’t have gas lines.

If you are limited to a HP then if you get a built in spa keep it small. The more water you have in a spa the slower it will heat.

A 140K BTU HP will heat a 500 gallon spa 33 degrees an hour. Double the size of the spa to 1,000 gallons and you will get only 16 degrees an hour of heat.

Also note that the HP heating capacity declines as the air temperature drops below 80F and it shuts down around 50F. So heating the spa up with a HP in the cooler winter nighst will take much longer.
 

poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
676
Seminole, FL
We are extremely undecided on the spa , we live in Miami where is pretty much hot all year round. We’ve had a pool before but never a spa… Is it worth the money?

my wife is into the idea because it will make the pool look nicer but not so much how much use we will get from it..

those with spas, how often do you use it and do you regret getting it ? Those without do you regretting not getting one?
We're in west central Florida and we use ours all winter long. Once it gets dark earlier, we watch movies. We had folks over yesterday and turned the spa on for a little while just to warm up a bit. We never set the spa to super hot, so we can sit out there as long as we want. It's also great as a warmer place for the grandbabies if desired. We'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Of course, YMMV.
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
635
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Integrated vs standalone. Check with a real estate agent about what each will do when you sell your house. Integrated spa looks 1,000 times better than someone's old used plastic spa. When my daughter bought a house with a standalone spa, one of the conditions in her purchase contract was that the spa (or in 1970's vernacular, the "hot tub") be removed. We use our spa 12 months. In winter (southeast Texas) it takes maybe 30 minutes to get to a comfortable temp, then gradually gets up to 100 or so. Our heater, though, is a Pentair Mastertemp 400. Electric heat pump would probably work well in Miami, though. In summer, my wife considers any water temp below 90 or 91 to be just too cold. It takes only 5-10 minutes to heat the spa from 87 to 92, and she's happy. Like a couple others here, overall we use the spa at least as much as the pool, probably more. Amazon Alexa for music, a chilled bottle of Prosecco, and a tube of Ritz crackers: Happy hour.
 
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Gui0312

Member
Aug 29, 2021
12
Miami
If you are limited to a HP then if you get a built in spa keep it small. The more water you have in a spa the slower it will heat.

A 140K BTU HP will heat a 500 gallon spa 33 degrees an hour. Double the size of the spa to 1,000 gallons and you will get only 16 degrees an hour of heat.

Also note that the HP heating capacity declines as the air temperature drops below 80F and it shuts down around 50F. So heating the spa up with a HP in the cooler winter nighst will take much longer.
Not sure in the water gallons but it will be a 5x9 spa approximately 3ft?
 

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