For most people, swim spas are still a relatively new concept. For that reason, most people have no idea what a swim spa really costs. Today, we will look at how much a swim spa will cost you in Canada, and discuss some additional costs that you will need to consider. But first, let’s talk purchase price.
So how much does a swim spa cost? Most swim spas sold in Canada will set you back between $10,000 and $50,000 CAD. Why such a wide range in pricing? What do you get in a $50,000 swim spa that you don’t get in a $10,000 swim spa? Let’s break down this range into 3 categories to find out.
Low-End Swim Spa Prices
For the most part, swim spas costing between $10,000 and $20,000 are built with cost rather than quality in mind. Most are built overseas using the cheapest materials available to keep costs low. Rather than using jets and pumps designed for use in swim spas, most instead just use parts most commonly found in cheap hot tubs, leading to a very underwhelming swimming experience.
Their filtration systems are also made for hot tubs and are not designed to efficiently clean the amount of water found in a swim spa. This leads to cloudy water and high energy bills as the filtration system has to work around the clock to clean the water.
Mid-Range Swim Spa Prices
Most swim spas found in Canada fall into the mid-range category; costing between $20,000-$35,000. These swim spas are usually made in North America (making parts easier and cheaper to source) and come with a more robust warranty. Most mid-range swim spas are also built with more equipment that is designed for swim spas. Parts like pumps, swim jets and current diverters are made specifically with swimming in mind and deliver a much better experience than low-end swim spas that only use hot tub parts.
Although better than low-end swim spas, many mid-range swim spa swim currents still lack power and smoothness. To overcome this, the manufacturer will often include a swim tether system to keep you in place and prevent you from out-swimming the current.
High-End Swim Spa Prices
Simply put, high-end swim spas offer the best swimming experience available. They utilize the highest quality parts and design to deliver a stronger, wider and smoother swimming experience then other swim spas can.
High-end swim spas are also generally larger than mid-range swim spas and include added hydrotherapy and fitness options that aren’t found in other swim spas. Some also offer dual-temperature control where you can set one side of the swim spa to a comfortable swimming temperature and the other side to a temperature more suited to hydrotherapy.
Note: With the exception of Hydropool’s Self-Cleaning swim spas, almost all mid-range and high-end swim spas still utilize hot tub filtration systems, despite using other specialized swim spas parts such as pumps and jets. Although these systems do work, they are very inefficient and increase both energy costs and the amount of maintenance needed to keep the water clear.
OTHER COSTS TO CONSIDER
The purchase price is only one part of the total cost of a swim spa, however. To understand the total cost of a swim spa you will also need to consider its installation costs and its ongoing costs.
SWIM SPA INSTALLATION COSTS
These costs can vary quite a bit depending on how you plan on installing your new swim spa. For example, installing your swim spa on a concrete pad next to your house is much more cost-effective than sinking it into the ground in the middle of your backyard and building a patio around it.
As a general rule if you’re planning on a simple above ground swim spa install on top of a concrete pad, you should budget around $3000-$5000 for your installation. This budget will cover the concrete pad as well as the electrical installation. $3000 will cover a smaller pad for a 12′-14′ swim spa that is installed close to the home’s main electrical panel, while $5000 should cover most installs where the concrete pad is larger and the electrician needs to run more wire to reach the swim spa from the main electrical panel.
More complex swim spa installations are harder to ballpark as each situation is different. No matter how you’re planning on installing the swim spa, however, you will need to make sure that you account for the concrete pad and electrical install.
When buying a swim spa it is also important to consider how much the swim spa you’re planning on buying will cost you over the long term. Picking a swim spa purely based on the purchase price can end up costing you a ton of money in the long term if it isn’t energy efficient; especially if you’re planning on using it during the colder months.
While you can never know exactly how much a given swim spa will cost you to run and maintain, there are a few things you can look for to help minimize these costs:
- How efficient is the filtration system? The faster the filters can clean the water, the less the swim spa will need to run when you’re not using it.
- Where is it made? Swim spas made in North America are generally more reliable than those made elsewhere. Their parts are also generally cheaper to ship and arrive sooner, reducing downtime if there is a problem with the swim spa in the future.
- What is included in the warranty? Some cheaper swim spas offer long warranties that look good on paper but only actually cover parts. This leaves you on the hook for the labour, the much more expensive part of most fixes.
- How well is the swim spa insulated? If you’re planning on using it into Fall and Winter, you’re going to want to make sure that your new swim spa is well insulated to reduce heating costs. Look for a swim spa that insulates both the water in the swim spa and the outer cabinet. The insulation around the cabinet traps in waste heat created by the pumps and heater, greatly increasing the energy efficiency of the swim spa as a whole.
HOW CAN YOU SAVE MONEY ON YOUR SWIM SPA?
So now that you have a better idea of what a swim spa costs, the question becomes how can you lower these costs. For some great tips on how to get the best price on the hot tub that will best suit your families needs, see our swim spa buying tips. Want some more info on swim spas, including common buying mistakes that you should avoid? Download our free swim spa buyer’s guide.