As the mercury tops the 80s here in the UK, whilst many of you lucky people who live in warmer climates get this kind of weather all the time, we don’t! So, we have to make the most of it. In my case, it means “converting” my hot tub into a small swimming pool or spool as they are affectionately called. In this short article we will look at what you need to do in order to run your Hot Tub as a swimming pool or spool in the warmer months of the year.
With the inflatable crocodile and flamingo ready to go, what else do we need to consider when using our Hot Tubs as a Swimming Pool?
Turn Down the Temperature
The first thing you are going to do, which does seem pretty obvious is turn down the temperature. If you usually have your Hot Tub at 102F then you are going to want to drop it down to late 80s to make it comfortable. If it is particularly hot outside, then you can drop it down even lower than that. This is totally up to you and is personal preference.
For me, something around 91F works for us as allows the kids to stay in there for as long as they want without getting cold.
Please do remember that your Hot Tub is nowhere near the size of a swimming pool. It is also nowhere near as deep. Jumping in, bombing, diving, these are all HUGE “no nos” – If you have children, please please please remind them it is a hot tub and not really a swimming pool. The last thing you want is a trip to the accident and emergency room instead of a relaxing afternoon in your “hot tub”.
Filter & Purge Cycles
When you are heating your Hot Tub, your pump will be running on low speed or your circulation pump will be running and the filter will be in action. If the tub is not heating, it is not going to be filtering. Please make sure that you have your filter cycles set or you may need to adjust them to longer periods if you are not heating the tub. This is just to ensure that the water is being filtered and looks clear and inviting. Nobody wants a green or cloudy tub!
Hot tub chemical setups are slightly different to swimming pool ones. The levels tend to be higher or more concentrated. If you do plan to use your tub for a prolonged period of time as a swimming pool, then you can of course treat it as such chemically. This means that you can drop down the Chlorine to between 2 and 4PPM. The optional pH for a swimming pool is 7.4 so you can adjust this too.
A high pH gives you:
– poorer chlorine disinfection
– skin irritation
– lime precipitation
A low pH gives you:
– aggressive water, which damages the mechanical components like the pump and heater
– irritations of the eyes and mucous membranes
– damage to the pool liner if you have one.
The guideline pH figure is 7.2 – 7.6. To lower the pH, use sodium bisulphate; to raise it use sodium carbonate.
Are there any Design Considerations when building the Hot Tub to use as swimming pool?
To be honest, there are not. Swimming pools don’t have jets so you just don’t use them. The rest of the equipment, filter, heater, pump are the same to a certain degree. The things that you need to consider is the temperature and the chemicals, essentially the point that I have covered above.
It is much easier to use a hot tub as a pool than to try and convert your pool to be used as a hot tub!
Can I help your with your Hot Tub Design?
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Thanks - Andi
Hi, Andi here. I own Buildahottub.com and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.
Today, I've helped over 1000 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi