Last Updated: August 8, 2021

What Is a Plunge Pool? (Pros & Cons)

Written By: Pool Care Guide

Many homeowners now consider a swimming pool a necessity in their yards. Pools provide the perfect refreshment for you and your family, particularly on sweltering days.

However, traditional pools are dominating structures. They occupy a huge chunk of your yard and require a substantial budget to set up. What happens if you live in a smaller home and have a limited budget?

If you face such dilemmas and want to escape the heat, consider installing a plunge pool. Read on to find out whether this pool is ideal for your home.

What Is a Plunge Pool?

A plunge pool is a small pool that is less than 10 feet in width, 13 to 22 feet in length, and 4 to 8 feet deep. It’s a practical solution for homeowners who want to enjoy the benefits of a swimming pool but have little space.

Plunge pools can fit in areas where traditional pools won’t fit. You’ll find them indoors, near walls, alongside fences, and in other tight spaces.

You can refer to these pools as dipping pools, cooling down pools, or splash pools. They come in all shapes and designs. You’ll encounter rectangular, L-shaped, kidney-shaped, half-circle, round, and customized plunge pools.

How Does a Plunge Pool Work?

Plunge pools work in the same way as traditional pools. Most of them are installed in-ground, but above-ground plunge pools are starting to be popular too. They contain all the features of regular swimming pools, including the presence of filters and pumps.

Their small designs mean these pools aren’t ideal for swimming. Instead, they perform two primary functions, relaxation, and aquatic rehabilitation.

Relaxation

Most homeowners dedicate plunge pools for relaxation. It’s a place where you and your family can lounge and cool off. You can also entertain friends and allow kids to have a dip.

Homeowners can customize this pool the way they wish. You can make it a massage spot by adding massaging jets and a heater. If the pool has a wraparound bench seat, you can relax and enjoy your day.

Aquatic Rehabilitation

Plunge pools provide the ideal environment for low-impact exercises and therapeutic sessions. For you to exercise, you have to add special jets that create resistance currents. Swimming against these currents provides a good workout.

Some establishments install plunge pools near hot tubs or outdoor spas for cold-plunge therapy. Taking a cold dip after a heated workout is beneficial to the body. Some studies claim cold plunges reduce muscle inflammation and accelerate muscle recovery time.

Pros

Plunge pools are no longer a fad. They are quickly becoming a mainstay in most homes. Here is why.

They Require a Small Space

Unlike standard swimming pools, you don’t require much real estate to install a plunge pool. You can seamlessly fit this pool in any free space that is at least 8 to 10 feet.

Although homeowners install plunge pools in their front or back yards, these pools can fit indoors. They can be part of your sauna, spa, or gym.

There is no right or wrong place to install these pools. It all depends on your preferences.

They Have Therapeutic Benefits

As mentioned earlier, cold plunge pools have therapeutic effects. Plunging yourself into water that’s between 50 to 60 ˚F can be beneficial to your health.

According to a 2014 study, cold hydrotherapy can help:

  • Raise energy levels
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Minimize fatigue
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve sleep quality

Plunge pools can also help you work out. You can perform light exercises without the risk of injuries.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

These pools are less demanding to clean and maintain. Due to their tiny sizes, the amount of debris and dirt that accumulate is less.

Cleaning these pools is easy. You can use a scoop net for fishing out any leaves and impurities in the pool. Alternatively, you can use a handheld pool cleaning vacuum.

You don’t need much help in placing a small cover over the pool.

These features make a plunge pool the ideal pool for a busy person with little time for pool maintenance.

They are Economical

Plunge pools harbor less water than standard pools. You’ll incur fewer expenses in running pumps, filters, and heaters.

When it comes to disinfecting pool water, you only need a few chemicals. This is because there’s less water to treat and balance.

Low Installation Costs

You only need to clear and dig a tiny section of your yard to install a plunge pool. You won’t spend a lot on ground excavation.

Installing a plunge pool utilizes fewer materials compared to a full-size standard pool. Given their small dimensions, you will need fewer stones, concrete, fiberglass, and other construction materials.

Increase Your Home Value

Your home’s value depends on several factors. Extra features like swimming pools add value to your home.

Plunge pools are tiny, but they improve the aesthetic appeal of your yard. They can play a significant role when appraising your home.

Cons

The limited sizes of plunge pools render them unfit for certain uses. Below are some of the drawbacks.

Few Uses

The limited size of plunge pools prevents them from functioning like traditional pools. You can’t dive in and enjoy swimming laps. You can as well forget all the crazy maneuvers you perform when swimming in standard swimming pools.

Can’t Fit Many People

A plunge pool isn’t the ideal site to have pool-side fun with your kids, friends, and family. These pools require only four people to get crowded. So, if you want to host a pool party, consider doing so in a standard pool.

Its Shallow Water Can Be Dangerous

A plunge pool is shallower than a full-size swimming pool. Despite its “plunge” name, it isn’t advisable to jump into this pool. Diving into a shallow pool carries the risk of injury. You can easily hit the bottom of the pool if you aren’t cautious.

If your kids love jumping in and out of pools, it might not be a wise idea to install a plunge pool. If you must install one, you have to supervise your loved ones keenly.

Lacks a Grand Impression

Plunge pools have elegant designs but ultimately lack the grand impression of traditional swimming pools.

Neighbors, friends, and passersby might fail to notice you have a pool in your backyard. Of course, this can be demoralizing to flashy homeowners who crave attention.

Unsuitable for Large Families

Extended families that have many kids require plenty of playing space. Unfortunately, most plunge pools offer a limited playing area. Kids are unlikely to have enough room for maximum water fun.

Installing a Plunge Pool

Here are a few things you should know before installing a plunge pool.

Size and Space

The size of plunge pools varies depending on the design. Generally, the size ranges from 8x8 feet to 8x16 feet. The volume of these pools depends on the owner’s preference. But most plunge pools are 4-8 feet deep.

The limited size of this pool allows you to tuck it anywhere in your home. The more it blends with the surrounding environment, the better it looks.

Design

Plunge pools come in many shapes. You’ll find designs that are L-shaped, rectangular, circular, semi-circular, and oval, to name a few.

The most common model is rectangular. This shape allows the pool to maximize the available space fully.

Materials

Constructors often use three materials to construct plunge pools. These materials are:

  • Concrete
  • Fiberglass
  • Vinyl liner

Vinyl and fiberglass models are the cheapest, and you can install them quickly. Vinyl pools are more fragile and require regular servicing.

Although concrete models are the most expensive, they are common among homeowners. You can install them anywhere, and they will last up to 40 years. This longevity is subject to proper maintenance.

Installation Costs

Building a plunge pool is relatively cheaper than constructing a full-size traditional pool. However, purchasing and installing extra features like decks, fences, filters, pumps, and heating elements can significantly raise the installation cost.

The average cost of a plunge pool is about $25,000. Concrete pools are more expensive and can cost between $25,000 and $40,000. Installing a fiberglass model will cost you $10,000 to $25,000, while a vinyl pool costs $10,000 to $20,000.

Additional Accessories

Plunge pools are easily customizable, meaning you can add extra features to suit your needs.

For cooling off and relaxing, you can install a wraparound bench seat and massage jets. You can also go for a whirlpool effect if you desire gentle experiences.

If you prefer aesthetics, consider adding features like fountains and waterfalls.

You can install powerful jets if you intend to use the pool for aerobics or light exercises.

In-Ground vs. Over-Ground Plunge Pools

The choice between an in-ground and over-ground pool depends on the owner’s preferences. In-ground pools take longer to install compared to prefabricated pools.

For a temporary pool, an over-ground plunge pool may be the best option. Be aware; that you might incur more landscaping costs if you have an over-ground plunge pool.

Conclusion

Plunge pools offer an economical way of cooling off. Consider installing them if you have limited space and want to enjoy the benefits of a pool. These pools are relatively cheaper to install, and their maintenance costs are low.

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