Spa refurbish advice


Well-known member
Jul 7, 2012
Las Vegas
We are ready to start tackling our buried spa (courtesy of the previous owner).

From what I can gather, they just cut the pipes at the equipment pad and left them buried. The spa is just filled with rocks and dirt, then added concrete on top.

Since its not a spill over spa, what is everyone's opinion on how I should have the plumbing configured. I don't have gas so I will be using a heatpump for the spa heat. Separate pump? Advice?


The spa in relation to the pool. Too far to create a spillover.


Current plumbing configuration



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

Have you ever been in a gunite Spa before? I ask because they are not the same as a standalone Spa. The best thing about gunite spas is how beautiful they are when integrated into a swimming pool design. Other than that they are a little like an unwanted wart. :p

I would suggest that you would be better off going with a standalone spa that could have all the fancy features you want for what I would assume would be less money than trying to resurrect your buried one..

Good luck with your project..


Jim R.


Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
You could also make a raised edge, add a pipe under the deck and hook that to a SPA skimmer. Now you have a spillover Spa. One set of water to take care of. Also, just a connecting pipe would do it if you didn't want a raised edge.

The he advantage is one body of water to manage. Also, you ET probably will allow full automation so you can start the SPA at work, and it is ready when you get home if you have ScreenLogic. This is what I have and I really like it. If I moved, I'd get it again. My brother has a standalone--he wishes it was integrated, but he has to close his pool for the winter, so it was impractical to have it integrated.

I have a 340k BTU heater and wish it was bigger. I get about 1.25 min per degree rise. If your heat pump is 100k BTU, you could expect (very roughly) 4-5 min per degree. So if your pool was 75 deg and you wanted 100, it might take 25 degrees X 5 min or 125 min. By that time you may have lost interest in the soaking. So... you might consider a gas booster heater. That plus the heat pump might get you 1 min per degree. And you could connecte it to solar on ScreenLogic/easy touch so that you would only get gas booster heat on spa or when you wanted it.

As as a final thought, for me, small Spas are not as inviting as large spas when you have friends. An advertised 10'person spa is really a 4 person spa in my book.

Big Will

Silver Supporter
Feb 14, 2017
Las Vegas
Quick question some what off topic- when in spa mode do you have to change the output on SWG ? My current setting is 0% for spa output and 50% for pool... what should I set my spa output on


Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
I have mine set to 3% as a swag. I kee meaning to measure FC AFTER we get out. The 3% is a ratio from the pool based on gallons ratio + 1%.

If you want to dial it in, measure FC before and after use. If it remains the same, that would be a good setting.
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