How to Set Up a Swim Spa

Swim spas are favored by those who love the privacy of swimming on their own property but don’t have the space to install a full sized swimming pool or a lap pool. The powerful and adjustable current generated by a swim spa works to keep the swimmer in place while they apply their swimming stroke. This means that the tank doesn’t need to be a whole lot longer than the swimmer’s body length. Most swim spas are less than 20 feet long and 10 feet wide which makes them ideal for compact backyards or even indoor locations. But some preparations need to be made before a swim spa is ready for installation. In this article we’ll give some tips on how to set up a swim spa with a minimum amount of difficulty.

A Stable and Level Base

You’ll need to construct a sturdy, stable and level base for the swim spa to rest upon before the delivery actually arrives. A swim spa full of water weighs far too much to simply set it down on the lawn or bare ground. The ground will eventually shift and subside which can cause the swim spa tank to crack. And while concrete pads are very popular bases for swim spa installation, they aren’t the only method of creating a base. A thick gravel bed can be used. It also comes with the added benefit of providing superior drainage. There are also many types of prefabricated plastic pads that can be fit together to create a base for a hot tub or swim spa. Reinforced decking and concrete pavers are also popular materials for a swim spa base.

Delivery Measurements

While swim spas may be known for their compact size when compared to larger pools, as they’re fully self-contained units, they can actually be quite large. You’ll need to ensure that there’s enough room for the swim spa to be transported from the delivery truck to the base. This means comparing the measurements of the swim spa with any gates, doors, overhead clearances or other obstacles that may prevent something of that size from reaching its final destination. If it doesn’t appear possible to transport the swim spa overground you may need to look into hiring a crane to lower it into place. Most swim spa dealerships are accustomed to this type of installation, so speak with them about it if you feel this might be necessary.

Service Accessibility

Even though your swim spa may be less than 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, you’ll still need to allow for extra space on the sides of the swim spa to permit access if any type of service is required in the future. It’s generally recommended that at least 3 feet of space is allotted for on every side of the swim spa to enable service access. This is especially important to remember when considering an inground swim spa or one that’s surrounded by decking.


There are very few swim spas that are considered plug and play. This means that they cannot typically run off the power provided by a regular household electrical outlet. Most swim spas require a 220 Volt/50+Amp hook up with a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker box in order to be properly powered. You’ll need the services of a ticketed electrician to install this kind of outlet as well as connect the swim spa to it once it’s arrived.

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to set up a swim spa, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.

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