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Everything You Need To Know About Plunge Pools in New Zealand

With our backyards becoming smaller these days, spa pool manufacturers have developed a new range to suit, known as plunge pools. Plunge pools are larger than your typical therapeutic spa pool but take up less room than a traditional inground swimming pool. Where swimming pools are usually just an open area, most plunge pools also have seating similar to what you would find in a normal spa, so that you can be seated comfortably and spend some time cooling off in the warmer months.



A plunge pool is traditionally a deep, cool body of water into which you plunge your body to refresh and revitalise. Inspired by something you would find at the base of a waterfall in middle of a rain forest. The beauty of most plunge pools these days is that you can also heat the water, just like a spa pool or swim spa. Especially in the New Zealand winter, this means you’ll get much more use out of it than a traditional backyard swimming pool, which most people simply forget about throughout the cooler months.

Plunge pools, just like spa pools and swim spas, are designed these days to be a part of your everyday life. They’re built to require a minimal footprint so you can integrate them with your outdoor living areas. Once any body of water is part of your daily space, you’ll find your family will naturally gather around the inviting atmosphere and tranquility that moving water creates.


Exploring nature in New Zealand is ideal; plunging into a cool pool after a morning run, or relaxing after a day on the snowfields in 38degrees of therapy is the best way to finish any day.


Healthy family time:

Do you struggle to keep your kids of technology these days? Imagine if they raced home from school and jumped in the plunge pool. Jumping and splashing around and even trying some easy swim strokes, they’ll use up excess energy while you sit alongside with a cup of coffee. You may even be tempted to hop in yourself and try a few stretches in the warm water or go for a brisk walk against the jet stream. After some healthy outdoor fun, everyone will be ready for dinner on the deck and bed.

Backyard exercise:

With a plunge pool just outside your back door, no doubt you’ll be more likely to exercise than go for a run or to the gym. The 2 swim jets at the open end of our plunge pools, provide a light resistance for aquatic stretch and flexibility movement and walking or running against the jet stream can be a great leg and cardio workout like wading through the water at the beach.

Mobility in older years:

If you’re finding it difficult to exercise or even walk for long enough to get a cardio benefit, a Sapphire plunge pool may help. We’ve designed the wide steps of myWatersedge SERIES for safer assisted entry and additional grab rails can also be helpful mounted on the nearby decking. The buoyancy of the surrounding water will give weightless support to compromised and aching joints and muscles, allowing movement that would otherwise be difficult without floatation.


Rehabilitation of damaged tissue and bone will also benefit from the mild, supported exercise that can be achieved within the safety of a plunge pool. The precise temperature control that is provided by the digital touchpad communicating with Sapphire’s sophisticated heating systems, means that a comfortable exercise environment can be preset and ready when you are.


Here in New Zealand, a high quality plunge pool is priced from around $25,000 + delivery and installation. Sapphire Spas use the same quality of equipment in our entry level plunge pools as we do in our premium swim spa range. The plunge pool range is only cheaper because it has less jets and less running gear than the highly jetted swim spas with 4 dedicated pumps and more efficient inbuilt heating systems.



You need to also factor in installation cost when deciding on the best pool for your home. Plunge pools are manufactured as a self contained unit so it’s quite realistic for the only other costs to be craning it onto your prepared concrete slab and an electrician to connect the power.

Don’t forget to allow for all the added costs of involved when buying a swimming pool or inground plunge pool or concrete tank plunge pool. Before your pool is installed you’ll pay for excavation, plumbing, electrical, paving, solar heating and maybe turf or decking to landscape the area.


There’s no doubt that a beautifully landscaped inground pool is a stunning feature in many homes across New Zealand, but have you ever considered adding a smaller plunge pool beside your swimming pool? I’m sure your swimming pool will get a lot of use throughout the summer months, but why not enjoy your outdoor entertaining space in winter too with a fire pit and hot plunge pool?



For homes with limited backyard space, Sapphire plunge pools require a much smaller footprint than a typical inground swimming pool and offer the best of both worlds; allow your plunge pool to cool for summer then heat it up throughout the winter months with an economical external heat pump teamed with the best insulation system available in the market today.

Our portable plunge pools are finished with handcrafted, natural canadian cedar cabinetry which is beautiful in it’s own right. They simply need to be crane lifted onto a reinforced 150mm thick concrete slab then connected to a power supply.

Especially in winter, even solar heating on a swimming pool will struggle to raise the temperature of the large body of water to a warm enough temperature throughout the winter months. Highly efficient electric heating is available for plunge pools in a few different sizes; 5.5kw, 8.8kw & 12kw. You can choose the most appropriate size for the volume of water you wish to heat. All of these heat pumps will deliver more efficient heating than the internal heater supplied with your plunge pool, but the higher the kw output, the faster your plunge pool will heat or cool. These systems can simply be plumbed into the heat pump ready pipework within the cabinet then plugged into your central control system.

As our plunge pools are supplied with a protective hardcover (IMAGE: HEATLOCK+ HARDCOVER maximum heat retention for reduced heating costs), they are easier to keep clean than a swimming pool which can collect fallen leaves and dust and dirt from surrounding outdoor areas. The smaller volume of water in a plunge pool also won’t need as much effort to maintain water quality, even if a swimming pool is salt chlorinated.

You can find smaller backyard pools for sale, known as plunge or lap pools, but they’re typically not insulated and are difficult to heat or cool due to the large body of water.

As concrete pools are built onsite, the construction is a much more involved and lengthy process which is not under the strict control of a purpose built factory. The manufacturing process of a plunge pool at Sapphire Spas is carefully watched it passes through the hands of our qualified tradesmen, until it’s ready to be delivered directly to your home.

Once settled on the prepared structural concrete slab, your new plunge pool is ready to fill and enjoy. If you wish, you can add decking and landscape surrounds at a later date.


Concrete and fiberglass plunge pools are built in either circular or rectangular shapes and are available in many sizes from 2.5m - 4.8m. Sapphire Spas moulded acrylic plunge pools provide more options with sizes ranging from 4.0m - 6.0m in length x 2.3m wide x 1.3m deep. The 6.0m long pool is quite generous in size with more than enough room for a family to spend time together jumping and splashing around and relaxing in the seated spa end. If you’re looking for a larger pool than this, you’ll need to consider installing an inground swimming pool, but you’re not likely to find one with the same powerful swim jets or customised spa massage seats.

myWatersedgeSERIES is available in 4.0m, 5.0m & 6.0m. This is a very simple shape with wide entry steps and seating one end and swim jets in a large pool area at the other.

myWorkoutSERIES of plunge pools are manufactured at 4.5m, 5.0m & 6.0m in length. This model is more similar to our higher priced swim spas which are more built for massage.

myWorkout has a single lounger and 3 moulded massage seats at the spa end and still the large pool area at the swim jet end. myWorkout plunge pools have an ideal number of massage jets to allow you to get the most out of the pumps that are availble in this specification of pool.


What you can expect from Sapphire Spas

At Sapphire Spas, our plunge pools are powered with two pumps; one runs the two swim jets and 1 is dedicated to filtering your pool to maintain water clarity. Our full 3Hp swim jet pump and highly efficient plumbing give the highest pressure possible through the two jets at the swim end of your pool.

All of our plunge pools are made to be ‘heat pump ready’, which means we prepare pipes within the cabinet should you wish to add a heat & cool pump in the future. As a manufacturer we recommend the addition of an 8.8kw heat & cool pump for efficient heating and cooling of the body of water in your plunge pool.

These pools are available in different sizes and shapes to suit the area available in your home and what you intend to use your plunge pool for. Round plunge pools are great for socialising as they have seating around the sides for multiple people to relax, chat and even enjoy a massage. Square and rectangular shaped plunge pools may have a seated area at one end with an open pool at the other. Self contained acrylic moulded portable plunge pools have an added feature of swim jets at the pool end as they’re based on the more expensive swim spas which are built with multiple pumps, swim jets and hydrotherapy jets. Plunge is the entry level pool, in this case, with minimal equipment within the portable cabinet.

Sometimes minimal equipment requiring power is a positive. Especially if you’re limited on power supply due to other committments throughout your home. The larger acrylic moulded plunge pools are around 2m wide and up to 6m in length. Due to the manufacturing methods, these pool shells can not be formed any larger than this. If you’d like a bigger plunge pool, you’ll need to consider either concrete or fiberglass construction. Built to a price but still of high standard, Sapphire plunge pools are designed with 2 swim jets powered by 1 x 3Hp boost pump. This supplies enough power through the swim jets to create a playful turbulence throughout the open pool area, where kids can play and adults can enjoy an easy stretch or walk whilst supported by the bouyancy of the surrounding water. Most concrete or fiberglass plunge pools are certainly not designed for optimal hydrotherapy. Sapphire myWorkout SERIES is the best combination of full body massage combined with a pool sized end for jumping in and splashing around. Sapphire plunge pools tend to have more massage jets than most plunge pools created by swimming pool companies; they don’t really specialise in therapy jets and energy efficiency. It’s possible to swim in a plunge pool whilst assisted by a swim tether, but they’re really designed for floatation assisted rehabilitation exercise, pilates and to encourage mobility in older years.

myWatersedge SERIES ; small footprint backyard pool for splash and aqua play

We’ve designed this plunge pool to create a beach style feel in your own backyard; that’s why we’ve named it the ‘watersedge’. As you enter this pool, you can sit on the edge with just your feet hanging in, or hop in and rest on any level of the wide entry steps depending on how far in you feel like sitting. Just like at the beach, Mum’s may like to relax here in the shallow water and watch the kids play at the pool end opposite. These wide steps are perfect for toddlers to safely walk around, with Mum watching, as they’re getting used to splashing around in the water. This shallow area is perfect while they get used to putting their head under water, like in their first swimming lessons.

We first built this pool 5.0m long, and that seemed to suit most homes. But customers started to ask if we could build them a bigger one so they had more room for the kids to jump in and splash around so they could use it all summer just like backyard swimming pool, but without the hassle of installing a traditional pool in the ground. Some families had already tried setting up a cheaper blow up pool or one with a liner, but found it difficult to keep the water clean because the filtration systems weren’t very good. Dogs were also a problem because the plastic is easily punctured.

People were also asking about solar heating for these pools so they could use them in winter as well, especially in the cooler areas of New Zealand. So we worked to extend our manufacturing capabilities and created a 6.0m version of this shape so people could buy it as a half size swimming pool, for pretty much half the cost.

As we delivered these plunge pools to our customers and started to see how they were using them at home, we found that they were helping people to stay fit and active. We started to get photos and videos of families teaching their kids to swim then having a little go themselves and ending up using this swim spa / plunge pool hybrid as an exercise tool as well. Even just walking and wading through the water they felt good after being in their plunge pool because they’d stretched and moved their bodies around freely as they enjoyed easy conversation and fun together.

Listening to feedback from people who couldn’t quite squeeze a 5.0m pool into their backyard, we’ve now created the formwork so we can also build a 4.0m long version of myWatersedge. We’re hoping this will be the best solution for anyone who wants the open space of a pool but really wants to be able to stand and exercise in warm water rather than just sit in a typical 2.0x2.0m spa pool. The end result of these years of listening and responding to what our customers want; Sapphire Spas now offer myWatersedge SERIES as a 4.0m, 5.0m and 6.0m long pool.

myWorkout SERIES : Custom jetted seats and lounger with buoyant training

As we’ve been speaking with customers in our showrooms throughout New Zealand, they’ve also been saying they’d like a swimming pool area for their kids but also more massage jets for themselves, so myWorkout SERIES plunge pools have been built with a lounger, seating and extra jets at the spa end. By combining heat, water and air in myWorkout plunge pools, your body becomes almost weightless, relieving joint and muscle aches and stimulating the blood supply to aid in the recovery of damaged tissue and aching muscles.

This series of plunge pools are available 4.5m, 5.0m and also 6.0m in length so you can choose a size to fit your home and the number of people you want to have in the pool.

Contact your local Sapphire Spa store today to find a plunge pool to suit your lifestyle. We can provide a fully inclusive quote which will detail every aspect of Sapphire’s promise to deliver your chosen plunge pool, complete and ready to enjoy. We can quote & organise delivery including crane, if required or guide you through a DIY install if you wish to be more hands on with the installation.

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