Spa Buyers Guide

Choosing the right spa


Spa World has been Australia’s leading supplier of spas for many years. With history comes experience and we believe that we know what goes into making a great spa.

We use this experience to ensure that every spa we sell, meets our own stringent standards. By working closely with our suppliers, we can guarantee that they design and produce the best possible product, from our economy range, right through to our flagship models.

Please take some time to learn about what goes into Australia’s best range of spas:


Shell Construction


Spa shells are formed by heating a flat sheet of coloured acrylic in an oven and then drawing it into a spa mold. After forming, the acrylic sheet becomes very thin – in some places less than 1mm thick. As a result, the acrylic must be strengthened using fiberglass. Because acrylic has a very smooth surface, the first layer of fiberglass must use a special vinyl ester resin, which actually melts itself into the back of the acrylic. If this resin is not used, your spa can delaminate over time. All Spa World spas incorporate vinyl ester resin.

As an additional quality assurance measure, all Spa World spa shells are cured in a temperature and humidity controlled curing oven. If the step is missed, the spa shell may delaminate, even if vinyl ester resin has been used. Most spa companies do not have this technology in their manufacturing process.


Insulation


There are many ways to insulate a spa. Insulation is very important as it determines how much a spa will cost to operate. The simplest and most common method is to spray a layer of foam onto the spa shell. This system is cheap and easy for the manufacturer; however, it rarely provides what we believe to be adequate levels of insulation. We insist that one of the following methods is used on our range of premium spas:


Perimeter insulation


Our Vortex, O2 and Arcadia spa ranges use this method. Under this system, the cabinet of the spa is insulated instead of the shell. This ensures that excess heat from the pumps and other equipment is trapped around the spa shell, reducing heating costs. This system has the added advantage of providing noise reduction meaning a quiet nights sleep and happy neighbors. 

Full foam insulation


This is optional on our spa range. Using this method, the entire cavity between the spa shell and the cabinet is filled with foam giving additional heat retention properties. This method is often used in climates such as Scandanavia and Canada's, where temperatures can drop to 30 degrees below zero. Our experience has shown however, that the Australian climate does not suit full foam insulation has in our high summer temperatures, full foam insulation can lead to the spa overheating and being unusable. This is why we only offer this form of insulation as an option.


Plumbing


Efficient plumbing, better jets, and flow control are more important than horsepower. A lower horsepower pump in an efficient spa will produce just as much jet power as a higher horsepower pump in an inefficient spa. We work with our suppliers to ensure that all of our spas are plumbed to ensure maximum hydrotherapy benefits, whilst minimizing running costs.

Another consideration with the plumbing of a spa is the type of pipe work that is used. Most manufacturers will use a clear or braided clear tubing. We insist that our premium spa suppliers use flexible PVC pressure tubing. This type of tubing is especially designed for the hot, chemically treated water found in a spa and is guaranteed not to kink.


Water circulation / Filtration


There are basically three different methods of running the filtration in a spa.

The simplest method is to use a one-speed pump, which filters, heats and drives the water to the jets. This system uses the highest amount of power.

The second system employs a two-speed pump, which uses the pump’s lower speed to filter and heat, and the high speed to drive water to the jets. This system uses less power than a single speed pump.

The best system uses a dedicated one-speed pump to drive the jets and a smaller circulation pump to heat and filter. Not only does this method use the lowest amount of power for the highest amount of filtration, but also provides virtually silent running in heating and filtering modes. All spas within the Spa World premium spa range incorporate a circulation pump.

Control systems


The control system is the brain of your spa. It controls the temperature, filtration cycles, pumps, blower, lights and sleep modes. All of our premium spas the use the most advanced control systems available. This is ensures that controlling your spa is simple and hassle free. All Vortex, O2 and Arcadia spas utilise cutting edge, SpaNet controllers.


Skimmer boxes


There are two aspects to consider when designing the skimming system of a spa pool.

Firstly, it important that the skimmer system provides sufficient surface skimming to effectively remove contaminants from the spa’s water. As most contaminants that can make their way into a spa’s water float, the skimming of the spa’s surface is crucial in maintaining sparkling clear water. All Vortex, O2 and Arcadia spas use wide mouth weir skimmers.

The second consideration is how the skimming system is incorporated into the spa shell. Cutting the shell to install the skimming system will weaken the spa. For this reason, we insist on a molded skimmer system


Automatic sanitisation


Owning a spa shouldn’t be a hassle. All Spa World premium spas offer automatic sanitising systems which will reduce your chemical costs and the time spend keeping your spa water sparkling clean and fresh. Two types of automatic sanitising system are used.


Ozone


Ozone has been used for years to sanitise water in spas, swimming pools and even water bottling plants. Ozone is a safe and effective way of keeping your spa water clean. However, because ozone can deteriorate the spa pillows and cover, it must be coupled to a mixing chamber. Many manufacturers skip this step as it adds cost to the manufacturing process. All Arcadia spas are fitted with ozone systems that include mixing chambers


Ultraviolet


UV sanitisation has all of the advantages of Ozone, but without any risk of damage to spa equipment. UV systems are now mandatory on public swimming pools in many areas of the United States due to their unsurpassed ability to kill viruses and bacteria. Our Vortex and O2 spas are currently the only spas available in Australia that uses this system.


Heat Pumps


Heat pumps are a fantastic way of reducing your spa's running costs. In fact, savings of up to 73% are not uncommon. However, there's a catch. Most heat pumps available for spas now days are not actually designed to work with spas. It is vital, that in choosing a heat pump for you spa, you check that it interfaces with the spa's control system. Currently, the only spa control system available that interfaces with heat pumps, are SpaNet's SV series controllers.The SV system allows you to fully control the heat pumps operation via the spa's touch pad. It also allows you to not only heat the spa, but also cool it - great in hot climates. Lastly, the Spa Net heat pumps will go through a proper shut down process before use. This is crucial for trouble free heat pump operation.

All about spas - Frequently asked questions


How do I choose the right seating arrangement / spa shell design?


When choosing seating arrangement / spa shell design, you should consider for what purpose(s) your spa will be used. Are you looking for hydrotherapy massage? A place to get together and relax with family? Maximum seating to entertain? We have a multitude of products from different manufacturers that provide you with a wide range of seating plans that combine bench, contoured and lounge seating. With over 60 spa models and a vast range of features and options, we have the perfect hydrotherapy spa to ensure you, your family and friends, have the perfect spa for your needs.

How do I keep the water clean?


In spas fitted with an automatic sanitizing system, maintaining crystal clear water is a breeze and shouldn’t take more time than a few minutes each week. At Spa World, we offer a variety of different chemical systems and our Spa World staff can advise you on the best solution for your situation.

How often do I have to replace the water in my spa?


On average, your spa’s water should be replaced every 3-4 months. If the spa has very heavy use, this may be required more often. The use of an automatic sanitizing system will lessen the need for water changes as the spa will require less chemicals to be used.

How much does a spa cost to run?


Most retailers will tell you ‘about a dollar a day’. In many cases, this is just a guess as running costs are very dependent on the local climate, season and the amount of the use your spa is receiving. A well insulated spa with a circulation pump can actually operate for less than this amount in some situations, whilst a poorly insulated spa can cost 2 or 3 times this amount. It is best to discuss running costs with your local Spa World spa specialist.

How long can I expect my spa to last?


This is very dependent on the quality of your spa. Spas that are produced without the use of vinyl ester resins may last 5-10 years. Top quality spas can last for in excess of 20 years. The structural warranty of your spa is a reasonable indication. All Spa World premium spas have a 10 year shell structure warranty. 

What surface can the spa sit on?


Your spa needs to sit on a flat and level surface. This could be a deck, cobble stones or a concrete pad. If a deck, it must have been built to comply with Australian building standards, which will almost always be the case if it was built by a reputable builder. If cobble stones, they must be flat and level and not allow the spa to rock. If a concrete pad, it should be at least 75mm thick and ideally extend at least 100mm in each direction from the spa. 

What other considerations are there when placing my spa?


Not many. If the spa is fitted with a circulation pump, noise should not be a problem. Ensure there is good access to all sides of the spa if servicing is required, particularly on the control panel side of the spa where equipment such as pumps are usually installed. This side should have at least 600mm of clearance. 

How will the spa be delivered?


The spa will usually be delivered on it’s side. This means it can be maneuvered through gaps as narrow as 1m. In the difficult access situations, a ‘hiab’ truck or crane can be used. The cost of using a crane for delivery is often much less than you may expect.

How do I wire my spa to the house?


There are generally three different systems in use by spa manufacturers:

10 amp ‘plug in’
These spas can be plugged into a normal household socket as long it is protected by a RCD or ‘residual current device’. Because of the low power rating of a standard household socket, spas using this system generally use smaller than average pumps or heaters. They will also turn the heater off automatically when the jet pump is turned on.

15 amp ‘plug in’
This system can be used when the spa is set up so that the heater turns off when the main pump turns on. Whilst this is perfectly acceptable in warmer conditions and gives the manufacturer the ability to install larger pumps and heaters, it should be avoided if the spa is to be run in very low temperatures. It is also not possible to run a spa on this system if it has two jet pumps.

32 amp ‘hard wire’
This system allows for the heater and jet pumps to all run at the same time. It is also required on spas that operate two jet pumps. Whilst this system requires more investment than the plug in option, it does allow for a higher performance hydrotherapy spa to be chosen.
Swim spa wiring should be discussed with your local Spa World store