How to Install an Inground Outdoor Swim Spa

(Updated 12/05/2022)

Installing an outdoor swim spa can completely transform your backyard.

These versatile systems can be used 365 days a year, with capabilities for relaxation, recreation, fitness, and more. If you’re looking to bring your backyard to life once again, the installation of a swim spa might be right up your alley. With any installation, you must ask yourself if you’d prefer an above-ground or in-ground installation. Although an in-ground swim spa installation can prove to be a much bigger task, the benefits can truly pay off.

To learn more about how to install an in-ground outdoor swim spa, keep reading!

What is the True Cost of an Inground Swim Spa?


piggy bank money


Your budget should always be taken into consideration when considering a large purchase. It is much easier and more convenient to plan ahead of time. That way, you can fix headaches before they happen and lower the chances of getting in over your head. So before making the jump, take a look at our True Cost of a Swim Spa guide for some quick and useful insights on how much the entire process will likely cost. Or speak with the experts at WCI Pools & Spas.

Prepare the Installation Area for Your Inground Swim Spa


backyard swim spa prep


Once you’ve found the right model for you, it’s time to bring it home and have it installed. We highly suggest that you plan your backyard installation first so that there are no surprises or delays later on.

Take into consideration:

  • Placement of the spa
  • Privacy
  • Access for delivery and installation
  • Ground preparation
  • Electrical and plumbing options
  • Landscaping
  • Bather access
  • Budget

It’s imperative that you plan a route for the delivery vehicle that will be transporting your swim spa. A Hiab or crane will likely be required for the delivery and installation of your swim spa. We suggest speaking with the experts at your swim spa store first to ensure that delivery will go smoothly and as planned.

Hire a Plumber & Electrician to Assess or Run Lines to the Inground Swim Spa


plumber electrician tools


Accessing the expert services of both an electrician and a plumber can help to ensure that this installation doesn’t damage any existing underground pipes or cables. If any pipes or cables need to be rerouted or installed, they can help you with this as well.

Before you get started, take a look at the blueprints of your property. This should give you a good idea of what you’re dealing with underground.


Excavate Where You Want to Place the Inground Swim Spa


swim spa excavation ground prep


For an in-ground swim spa installation, a cavity must be dug out for the spa to be lowered into. You can save some money here by digging it our yourself. Keep in mind, the cavity will likely need to be about 1 foot wider than the dimensions of your swim spa. This will allow the equipment to lower and place the spa effectively. This also leaves enough room for a technician to have access to your swim spa should you ever need to get it serviced.


Lay the Concrete Base for the Inground Swim Spa


pouring concrete for swim spa


Once the cavity where the swim spa will be placed has been dug out and is good to go, it’s time to lay the concrete. Approximately 6 inches (150 mm) of concrete should be laid on the bottom of the cavity, while shotcrete should be applied to the exterior walls to protect the swim spa from the sides. Shotcrete offers protection by alleviating pressure from the earth on the walls of the swim spa, thus reducing the risk of damage to the spa.

During this process, you should ensure that the underground installation area has adequate drainage.

Install the Inground Swim Spa


Hydropool siwm spa being delivered by crane - install by WCI Pools and spas serving aames and urbandale iowa



Now, it’s time to install the swim spa! Once the crane has lowered the swim spa into the ground, an electrician can install and connect all power cables. Once the gaps surrounding your swim spa have been filled with excavated earth, you can complete your installation from above. This includes laying any stones, planting flowers, installing exterior lighting, and ensuring that it is safe to operate.

A professional landscaper or home renovations company can be of use in this department if you require assistance.


Enjoy Your Inground Swim Spa Installation 


woman enjoying swim spa 


Once the installation is complete, you can fill the swim spa with water, water treatment products, power on, and enjoy! If you require any further assistance or have any questions about your in-ground outdoor swim spa, please feel free to get in touch with our experts at WCI Pools & Spas in Ames and Urbandale! We are proud to offer some of the best swim spa prices in Iowa and our experts are more than happy to help you install one in your home.