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Swim Spas: Big fun for small backyards

Do you like the idea of owning a swimming pool, but hate the prospect of sacrificing precious backyard space? If so, you might be an ideal candidate for a swim spa.

Typically smaller than a swimming pool and larger than a hot tub, a swim spa is a compact, feature-filled way to enjoy the fun and cardiovascular exercise that a full size pool provides, but in an easily maintained package.

There are three common swim spa size categories:

  • 12 – 16 Feet
  • 17 – 18 Feet
  • 19 – 21 Feet

How a swim spa works

Most swim spas resembled large hot tubs, and in fact can be used in that capacity. They feature heat controls, multiple jets and molded seats for comfort.  The difference lies in the propulsion system, which creates a current you can continuously swim against. Just like a treadmill allows you to run in place. There are three types of propulsion  systems used by swim spa manufacturers today: jet propulsion, rotating paddle-wheels and propeller. For homes that have an existing swimming pool, current-producing swimming machines can be added to provide the experience of swimming in place.


The maintenance requirements associated with owning a traditional swimming pool may also act as a deterrent for some homeowners.  However, swim spas are easier to maintain.  In fact, many of the swim spas on the market today are self-cleaning! Their reduced size means that even when there are maintenance tasks to perform, they take far less time.

This video by Hydropool demonstrates the self-cleaning technology available in certain types of swim spas.

There is also the fact that they are typically covered when not in use. This prevents leaves and other debris from contaminating the water. Hate the thought of opening and closing a pool in spring and fall? Many swim spas, such as Arctic Spas’ All Weather Pool can be used all year long.

Placement and Portability

Due to their compact size, swim spas can be installed indoors or out, above ground, partially in-ground, or completely in-ground. It all depends upon the model you select.

Aboveground versions are comparatively easy to install. There’s no digging involved. Your supplier will have it craned into place, and then it’s pretty much ready to go.

If ever you decide to move, the fiberglass floor of a self contained swim spa means that it can move with you.

Year-round Enjoyment

The true benefit of a swim spa is the fact that it really can be enjoyed all year long, even in Canada’s colder climates. Your swim spa can be positioned in close proximity to the house, enclosed or even installed indoors. Just image having your own indoor pool!

Here is a look at the Arctic Spas version of the swim spa, which they call an All Weather Pool

When you purchase a swim spa, you receive the fun of a pool and the relaxation and social enjoyment of a hot tub all in one.

To speak with a professional about purchasing your own swim spa, visit the Hot Tubs and Spas section here on

Feature image source: Brady’s Pool & Spa Care

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