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    A guide to plunge pools

    Perfect for smaller spaces

    Alex | Oneflare

    Plunge pools are gaining in popularity and for good reason. They are ideal for rehabilitation and exercise, and they are perfect for homes with limited space. But, what exactly is a plunge pool? And how is it different from a traditional pool? 

    What is a plunge pool?

    The pool industry adopted the term plunge pool to identify any pool between the size of a spa and swimming pool. Pool sizes can range anywhere from four to seven metres long and are generally about two or three metres wide. The deep end of the pool usually doesn’t exceed more than 1.2 metres. Thanks to their smaller size, plunge pools won’t completely overwhelm the area you’re going to install them in (unlike what happens with bigger swimming pools). In fact, you’ll be able to accentuate the plunge pool with things like a deck or a garden to make the area even better.

    There are many plunge pool designs to choose from 

    Plunge pools come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and can be custom made to your specifications. They are typically made from fibreglass or concrete, and there are a plethora of designs available. Whether you want a round plunge pool, a rectangular one or some other fancy shape, you will have no problem finding the pool shape you want for your home.

    What are hydrotherapy plunge pools?

    A hydrotherapy plunge pool is a small swimming pool or plunge pool that also has hydrotherapy jets, meaning it doubles as a hydrotherapy spa. The jets can be used for different kinds of massages, or they can be used for swimming. When turned on, they create a current that you have to swim against. You can adjust the force of the current, depending on your swimming abilities. The plunge pool also has seats that are situated in front of the jets, so that you can get different massage effects from them.

    A plunge pool on the balcony deck on a home
    Shallow plunge pools can be put on balconies / Source: Serenity Pool Co

    Great for rehabilitation

    Water offers a tremendously helpful atmosphere for all rehabilitation efforts. Exercising in water allows for plenty of resistance, but plenty of flexibility too. The water allows for an easy, low-impact exercise that helps strengthen muscles and work out joints. It’s particularly helpful for the muscles in the abdominal and lower back regions, so water workouts can provide an incredible boost to anyone with lower back pain. Don’t forget to consult a professional before you embark on any workout regimen though. Additionally, plunge pools are great for treating osteoarthritis ailments. The pool’s water helps soothe pain and increase range of movement, providing a huge amount of relief for those suffering from inflammation and stiffness. 

    Above ground plunge pools

    If the expense of an inground plunge pool doesn’t mesh with your budget, then maybe consider an above-ground model. Made from manufactured resin that’s moulded, shaped, and prefinished, a modern above ground plunge pool is extremely safe and strong compared to older versions. Whether braced to give the walls additional strength or made from materials strong enough to do away with bracing, above ground plunge pools come in just as many varieties and shapes as inground plunge pools.

    Many homeowners also opt to instal coping at the top of their above ground pools or build a new deck to provide an entertainment area at the poolside. Installing a desk will also help you conceal the sides of the pool, integrating it more smoothly into the look of your yard. One particularly appealing advantage of above ground plunge pools is that you can conceivably take it with you whenever your next move comes around, something that’s nowhere near possible with an in-ground plunge pool.

    Contact local pool experts

    Plunge pool heating options

    One of the more popular solutions is turning to solar heating. With solar power, heat panels are attached to the home’s roof, and water is pumped through a network of tubes right underneath the panels and back into the pool. It’s very energy-efficient, and you’ll also have plenty of bells and whistles to choose from. You can use digital temperature control methods to set the temperature just where you want it and also install the panels in any one of a number of nice-looking colours. Don’t be afraid of leaks with the solar panels, either – they’re very safe for the house. 

    Another option for heating is using heat pumps. These types of pumps use electricity to work, but it’s a very efficient type of procedure – the heat energy is taken right out of the air. It’s very innovative and very cost-effective. The warm air is taken right out of the atmosphere and injected right into the pool water to heat everything up. Cool, right? 

    If you’re only going to use your pool or spa on certain, special occasions, you might want to opt for gas heating. It’s the fastest method (it’ll heat up a spa in around half an hour) and modern gas heaters are much more energy-efficient than their prior incarnations. You can even opt for a pool blanket in order to cut down on your energy consumption. They’re easy to put on and easy to remove and won’t involve the same type of maintenance these other methods do. 

    How to customise your plunge pool

    Your stock plunge pool will already look great, but you can make it look even more beautiful with a few customisations. Here are a few ideas you can use:

    An above ground plunge pool with jets on a deck
    An above ground plunge pool with jets / Source: Billabong Spas

    Tiles and interior coating

    Change the look of your plunge pool by installing new porcelain, ceramic or cement tiles of any pattern and colour of your choosing. Or, as another option, you can change the interior coating. Interior plunge-pool coatings are available in a variety of colours and textures. Choose a smooth or sand-like texture and then choose your colour. Common colour choices include sparkly blue, charcoal and black.

    Water features

    You can really add to the allure of your plunge pool by adding water features such as water jets, waterfalls and water walls.

    Pool heater

    You can comfortably enjoy your plunge pool year-round if you instal a heater. Hook up a standard pool heater, or cover your plunge pool with a solar pool cover.

    Add more seating

    Chances are that your friends and family are going to want to come and visit when they see your plunge pool. So, why not add some extra seating for them. Your plunge pool probably already has a step that will seat one or two, but you can add an extra step or even a ledge that goes around the entire pool to fit many more people.

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