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Can I Put a Swim Spa in My Garage?
Swim spa may not be as common as gyms but they are a great investment if you are an athlete training for an event, recovering from a muscular injury or simply needing a low impact workout. But where can you put a swim spa in your home? Can you put a swim spa in your garage?
The garage may just be the perfect place for a home swim spa as it meets all the requirements regarding space, structural integrity, privacy and ease of installation & maintenance.
7 Reasons for Putting a Swim Spa in the Garage
There are 7 great reasons why a garage is the perfect place to put an indoor swim spa.
- Space Availability: A standard 2 car garage is 24’X24’. This is enough space to accommodate one car and the swim spa.
- Floor Strength: Typically, a garage floor is 4” or more, thick slab of concrete. If in good condition it can easily take the swim spa load.
- Accessibility: It is extremely easy to deliver a swim spa to a garage with a 16’ wide door.
- Power Source: A garage will have access to a power source. Of course your electrician will need to put a breaker & wiring for the swim spa in the garage.
- Plumbing & Drainage: Generally speaking, a decent garage should have plumbing & drainage already.
- Adequate Ventilation: Honestly this could be a bit tricky as many garages do not have good ventilation. Some work may be required on this front.
- Privacy: Once the door is down your garage can be quite private. No worries about nosy neighbors peeking over the fence.
Compared to the other location options (basement, patio or deck, in the backyard) that you may be considering, your garage is more likely to fit the bill. Every garage will not meet all the requirements but the modifications required will usually be quite feasible.
A session in a swim spa will rejuvenate you both physically & mentally. But what is it that a swim spa has that a hot tub or a swimming pool does not have?
What is the Difference Between a Swim Spa and a Hot Tub?
A swim spa is much bigger than a hot tub. Sometimes twice or thrice the size. A swim spa is designed not just for sitting. There must be space for water therapy and exercise.
On the other hand, a hot tub is designed mainly for rest, relaxation and socializing. A really small hot tub can be quite intimate with a seating for just two persons. A large one may accommodate 6-8 persons for socializing with family & friends.
Want to know about putting a hot tub in your garage? Check out Hot Tub In Garage? (Helpful Information You Need To Know!).
How Is a Swim Spa Different from a Pool?
A swim spa is typically smaller than a swimming pool and comes equipped with seating and jets. It is easier to put a swim spa indoors, say in a garage. It can therefore be used in all weather conditions.
Some swimming pools may incorporate a swim spa, usually on the shallow end. However the main function of a swimming pool is to swim laps or just have fun with family & friends, not water therapy.
Spoiler Alert: Small swimming pools can be put in a garage too! Just check out my blog post Garage Swimming Pool? (Important Stuff You Need To Know!).
So, let’s get into the specifics of some of the basic requirements of putting a swim spa in a garage..
How Wide Are Swim Spas?
Swim spas are usually 8’ wide, though you can even get one that is just 7’ wide. The length can vary from 12’ to 21’. However, you do need 3’ of access space all around it. You can fit in a small swim spa in 14’X18’ space in the garage.
Compare that to an average midsize car, such as Toyota Camry, which is 6’ wide and 15’ long. Parked cars also need access space around them. So, basically a midsize car and a small swim spa have more or less the same space requirement.
This is the reason you can fit a small swim spa in a garage. A small swim spa will occupy around the same space as a midsize car.
In case the swim spa is going to be used by just one or two family members then go for a 12’ – 14’ long spa. It will be cheaper, take up less space, yet serve the purpose.
A larger swim spa (16’-18’ long), on the other hand, will comfortably allow use by 4 persons. It can be used for fitness, swimming or just relaxation.
How Thick Should Concrete Be for a Swim Spa in a Garage?
An advantage of a concrete garage floor is that it is already level. Moreover, concrete garage floor is at least 4” thick and pretty strong as it complies with the code. Most concrete garage floors have a compressive strength of 4000 psi.
A swim spa can hold between 1,500 to 2,500 gallons of water. As one gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds the weight of the water in the swim spa will be between 12,450 to 20,750 pounds. The concrete garage floor can easily handle that weight.
What Electrical Is Needed for a Swim Spa?
The combination of water and electricity in close vicinity should never be taken lightly.
You definitely need to work with a licensed electrician to make sure you have 220V / 60 AMPS of power available. You will also need to ensure that you have the required permits from the local authorities.
Since the swim spa requires more than 15 amps, it will need to be hard-wired by an electrician.
The electrician needs to visit your garage twice. First time to prepare the power cable for the swim spa and the second time to connect the power cable.
What Are The Plumbing & Drainage Requirements?
A garage must have a good drainage system. The 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) Section 309.1 stipulates that the garage floor
“shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway”.
You can find out more information on garage floor drains from my earlier blog post Simple and Easy Guide to Best Garage Floor Drain Solutions.
Plumbing for the water access may or may not be there in your existing garage. However, many homeowners have plumbing installed in their garage as they prefer to wash their cars inside the garage.
How Do You Ventilate a Garage for a Swim Spa?
When you put a swim spa in your garage proper ventilation can be a major issue. The swim spa has a lot of water at an elevated temperature. Evaporation followed by condensation on the surrounding colder surface is only natural in an indoor setting.
Therefore an effective ventilation system and sufficient dehumidification is crucial for putting a swim spa in the garage. Actually, proper ventilation in a garage is required even without a swim spa or a hot tub in it.
So if your garage lacks good ventilation and dehumidification, then take the corrective action. It is not just good for your hot tub, it is good for your garage too!
The conclusion is that there are 7 great reasons for putting an indoor swim spa in your garage!
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.