Like other innovative home technology, pools and spas continue to benefit from improvements in the industry. This especially applies to maintenance as pools and spas require minimal care. Total automation systems can be integrated to control digital heaters, cleaners, sanitizers, lighting and covers from a hand held remote, satellite computer or even telephone.
A spa that is situated in its own private environment away from the pool can still seem connected to it, at least aesthetically. In naturalistic designs, for example, the spa often takes the form of a small pond or hot spring sequestered from the main pool. While a spa can be designed as a miniature version of the pool and placed within its perimeter, it can also assume a completely different shape and reside away from the pool.
It is best if an integrated spa is constructed of the same materials as the pool so that it doesn't appear to be an after-thought. If located off to one side, the spa should complement the pool's geometry.
Space is also one of the major considerations when planning for a new hot tub or spa. Ask this questions:
- How many people will be using the spa?
- Is it just for family, or do you plan to entertain guests?
At the end of the season, all the equipment, plumbing lines, and skimmers must be drained and winterized for freezing temperatures. The pool is pumped down to allow for the winter precipitation. Finally the winter cover is installed. In the spring, the winter cover is taken off, plumbing lines are reopened and the equipment is put back into operation.
Either woven fabrine or 16-mil vinyl water bagged or beaded lock lock-in are normally used. Another option is a winter safety cover that is put on every fall and removed in the spring. Electric covers allows you to cover the pool automatically, year round. The electric cover is about six times the cost of the safety cover. However, it creates savings on chemicals and heating costs.
The pump has the highest electrical draw and could run between $200 and $500 per season. The electrical costs for the lights, salt/chlorine generator and heater are nominal. Fuel costs for the heater could be as low as $500 and could reach thousands depending on the factors listed above.
The following are all variables that will affect chemical usage:
- condition of pool chemicals when pool is opened
- size of pool
- chemistry of tap water
- swimmer load
- quality of chemicals
- how well water is kept balanced
- length of pool season