So let’s say you are dreaming of your very own swimming pool, but every time you peer into your backyard, all you see is a small, cramped space. Dreams dashed, right? Not necessarily. One of the hottest trends in swimming pools is the plunge pool, which are perfect for back yards where real estate is at a premium and a traditional, full-size swimming pool simply isn’t an option.

In this article, we will give you a complete overview of Plunge Pools and help you decide if it’s time to make one the centerpiece of your backyard oasis.

What is a Plunge Pool?

In the past, in order to have a swimming pool, a homeowner had to have a backyard that could accommodate a pretty sizeable structure. Even putting in a smaller-sized pool could mean taking up a minimum of 500-600 square feet between the pool and surrounding landscaping.

A lot of homeowners either don’t have a backyard big enough, or can’t spare that much space.

The solution is the Plunge Pool, which is basically “Honey I Shrunk the Swimming Pool”. Sitting in between a hot tub and a full-sized pool from a size standpoint, a Plunge Pool can fit in even the smallest of backyards. Most Plunge Pools are 20 feet or shorter in length, 8 feet or less in width and five feet or smaller in depth with a flat bottom.

That size gives a homeowner options about placement. A small backyard, a side yard, or even a large indoor sunroom might be the perfect spot for a Plunge Pool.

Advantages of a Plunge Pool

Now, admittedly, you are not going to train for the Olympics or have a 20-person water volleyball game in a Plunge Pool. But a pool that size can still provide plenty of health benefits and fun times.

A Plunge Pool is the perfect place for aquatic rehabilitation or exercise. Install jacuzzi jets for a rejuvenating massage or put in swim jets and get a great resistance workout. Hydrotherapy and low-impact water aerobics performed in a Plunge Pool can provide lasting health benefits.

And while its small size precludes some activities, you can still have some great water time in your Plunge Pool. If nothing else, it’s a great place to cool off after a hard day at work, or, if you spring for optional heaters, can be awesome on a cold winter day.

But one of the biggest advantages might be cost. Their smaller size means a purchase price and installation costs that can be as smaller half that of a traditional pool. Also, a smaller pool means a smaller maintenance and chemical budget and lower utility bills.

How much does a Plunge Pool Cost?

So if a Plunge Pool can be less than half the size of the regular pool, then does it stand to reason that it can be less than half the cost?

Well, yes and no.

As a general rule, the smaller the size of a Plunge Pool means less cost. The fiberglass pool shell will be less expensive than a full size pool and there should be less excavation, backfill and landscaping. A 30 to 40-foot Leisure Pools swimming pool, such as “The Infinity” or “The Icon,” can easily require an investment of over $70,000.  Of course, you are also talking about installing a pool that has an 8-foot deep end and more than 20,000 gallons of water for you to enjoy. Consider that your plunge pool will be under 20 feet and use only 1,200 gallons of water.  Big difference – and you’ll see a big difference in price as a result.

However, a big part of the cost of installing a pool can come from extras that you can add. Do you want to add lighting? How about a water feature such as a “The Cascade” or The Serenity? Do you want to heat your pool so you can use it year-round? How about an expanded patio or an outdoor kitchen?  All of these can add significantly to the cost of your pool. Also, the size and makeup of your backyard could potentially add to the cost of installation.

Your Leisure Pools dealer can help you put together a package for your pool that can fit within your budget.

Can a Plunge Pool be DIY?

Because of the small size of Plunge Pools, this is a question that comes up a lot.

The answer is yes, it’s technically possible, but definitely not recommended.

There are a lot of factors that are involved in installing an in-ground fiberglass pool, from digging to leveling to plumbing to backfilling to a hundred other things. Your Leisure Pools dealer has professional pool installers on their staff who often have decades of experience in pool installation. They know where and how deep to dig, how to make sure that the pool doesn’t leak and what permits are necessary in your area.

Also, many manufacturers require that you use a certified installer or builder.  Not doing so could void the warranties that are offered.

And, while installing a small pool may seem easy, remember that you still need to cut into your pool to install a skimmer, returns and possibly main drains.  You need to be sure that your pool allows for clean and safe circulation of water.  Your pool professional understands what is required and how to properly set up the plumbing and electrical connections.

When using your plunge pool, there may be opportunities to use additional returns to push out water for additional comfort and display. Another option is to replace those returns with spa jets for an even stronger spray and elevate your hydrotherapy results.

Also remember that your pool should be kept safe.  Be sure to discuss how to best accomplish this, whether it be a fence around your yard, or the use of a pool cover or even an automatic pool cover for even greater safety and security.

So while you might be tempted to try to attempt the project on your own, you will definitely be better off letting a professional handle it.

Leisure Pools Plunge Pools

Leisure Pools offers two models of Plunge Pools, one of which should be perfect for your backyard.

Leisure Pools Fiji Plunge fiberglass swimming pool with flat bottom

The Fiji Plunge is a traditional Plunge Pool – small, almost square and compact enough to fit in almost any space. This pool offers a flat bottom floor and generous entry/exit steps along one side. There’s also a wide bench that is the perfect spot for spa jets. And at 9’ 6”, you can easily install swim jets and get a perfect swim workout.

The Palladium Plunge is meant for somewhat larger spaces. It comes in two lengths – 16 feet and 20 feet – and is perfect for a long, narrow back yard. At one end are entry/exit steps and two seats. At the other end is a wrap-around bench. In between is a flat bottom to accommodate the 5-foot depth.

Leisure Pools also offers several pools that while not necessarily classified as a Plunge Pool, can definitely be the right choice for smaller spaces. Check out our blog post on Small Backyard Pools for Small Spaces That Are Big Fun.

Is a Plunge Pool right for you?

Obviously, most of the same questions that one would consider if installing a full-size pool also apply to a Plunge Pool.

But there are a couple of considerations that homeowners thinking about a Plunge Pool also want to keep in mind:

  • As we said earlier, smaller backyards can sometimes mean more difficult installations. Tighter spaces can be difficult to dig out and landscape. Your Leisure Pools dealer will be able to give you an idea of any special challenges your back yard might present.
  • Unlike a traditional pool, Plunge Pools have no shallow end. It’s a consistent depth throughout the entire pool. If you have young children in the house that aren’t good swimmers, a Plunge Pool might not be the best option.
  • Most importantly, you need to do an honest evaluation of how you and your family plans on enjoying and using a pool.   If you are thinking of using a plunge pool to relax after a long run, then perhaps the Fiji Plunge is the right pool for you with the addition of spa jets to help soothe your muscles and provide faster recovery. If you plan on enjoying wonderful evenings in your pool with your spouse or friends, then the Palladium Plunge may be a better option for you as it offers a more creative design with unique seating and a little more room for movement.

Review all your options on the Leisure Pools “Styles” page and then pick up your phone and talk to your local Leisure Pools dealer.  Your dealer can provide you with more insights and suggestions along with a free estimate so that you can get closer to enjoying your well-deserved “Life of Leisure.”