What is a Plunge Pool? The Good, Bad and Ugly.

What is a Plunge Pool answer

If someone suggested a plunge pool to you, you might be wondering, what is a plunge pool? Well, it’s far from your traditional pool. While the “traditional” pool is defined differently around the world, the average pool size is fairly consistent. Typical pools range anywhere from 14 to 20 feet wide and 28 to 40 feet long. 

What do you do when you want to cool off in a pool, but you don’t have the space to build a traditional pool or you don’t want to sacrifice your yard area? You build a plunge pool of course.  There are multiple names for a plunge pool, but the basic concept is a smaller pool than normal being around 4 to 5′ feet deep.

Who is a Plunge Pool Right For?

  • You want to enjoy the pool by yourself or 1-2 people (no big pool parties)
  • You don’t want to make a big investment (money is tight)
  • You’re in a hurry for a nice pool (don’t want to wait 1-2 years)

When a Plunge Pool Is Wrong For You?

  • You want a pool to host big family or friend gatherings (8 – 15 people)
  • You’re willing and able to spend the average pool price for your region
  • You’re in no rush to get your pool and want control over the design

What is a Plunge Pool Considered by Region?

Oddly enough, pools in New England tend to be much larger than pools in places like Phoenix.  Likewise pools in New England tend to be deeper, often having a diving spot with or without a board. Whereas pools in Phoenix tend to be shallower maxing out at 5′ allowing the swimmers to play volleyball or simply stand in the water with a drink in their hands escaping the desert heat. 

LIke anything pool-related, if you want to find information on how these have been designed into landscapes and backyards, look to Australia.  Australia is the silicon valley of swimming pools.  Just about every finish, feature and innovation related to swimming pools begins down under and plunge pools are no different. 

One company, Plungie, boasts being “the biggest supplier of pools to the building industry”.  Their pools are precast concrete.  Made in a similar way as a septic tank or manhole these are cast in a premade form and once they’ve fully cured they are ready for installation. 

What Is a Plunge Pool Benefits? Install and Price.

Precast pools like this are getting more and more popular in the USA as people recognize the convenience of installation and lower cost associated when compared to traditional shotcrete or cast in place construction methods. At the time of this article, Plungie was selling their smallest plunge pool of 12 feet x 7 feet for $15,990 + delivery and installation. This is a dramatically lower investment than the average price of an inground pool.

what is a plunge pool example
Courtesy of Plungie.com

In Arizona, a plunge pool is often called a spool which as you might have guessed is a portmanteau combining pool and spa.  Generally a large spa or a small pool, it is large enough to cool off in, but small enough to heat in the cool desert nights to enjoy as a spa.  There are many small backyards in the metro Phoenix and Tucson areas and these spools make a great addition often combined with waterfalls and other features you find on pools in the southwest. 

How Affordable Can a Plunge Pool Be?

The least expensive plunge pool of all is the recent trend of the stock tank pool.  This is literally using a large stock tank just like those used on farms for watering livestock and either filling it for each use (water waster!) or modified to allow for filtration systems to create a fully functional plunge pool.  Think of a galvanized metal tank.  Not the solution for everyone, but as we always say in relation to pools of any type…”Water is better than no water!”

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