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Is Spa and Pool the Same?

January 9, 2024

When discussing water features for relaxation and leisure, it’s common to encounter terms like “spa” and “pool,” often used interchangeably. However, there are distinct differences between spas and pools, particularly in terms of design, function, and inspection requirements. In this blog, we will explore these differences, focusing on various spa types such as inground, portable, and swim spas, and their inspection standards in Australia.

What is Considered a Spa?

A spa, often referred to as a hot tub or Jacuzzi is a small pool or large tub filled with heated water and used for hydrotherapy, relaxation, or pleasure. Spas typically feature jetted water to provide massages and can be inground, portable, or part of a swim spa setup.

Can a Pool Also Be a Spa?

Yes, a pool can also incorporate a spa section, often seen in residential and commercial settings. These are typically inground pools with an attached hot tub or spa area. The spa section usually has separate heating and jet systems. Inspection of such combined structures focuses on both pool and spa safety standards.

Is a Plunge Pool a Spa?

No, a plunge pool is not a spa. Plunge pools are small, deep pools designed for cooling off rather than for swimming or hydrotherapy. Unlike spas, plunge pools do not typically feature heated water or massage jets.

What is Another Name for a Spa Pool?

A spa pool is also commonly known as a hot tub, Jacuzzi (which is actually a brand name), or therapeutic pool. Regardless of the name, the inspection and safety standards remain consistent, focusing on water quality, safety barriers, and electrical components.

Can You Add a Spa to an Existing Pool?

Yes, you can add a spa to an existing pool. This usually involves significant construction, including integrating the spa’s plumbing and heating systems with the existing pool. Inspections for such additions will focus on ensuring that both the new spa and the existing pool meet the relevant safety and quality standards.

Does a Spa Need to Be on Concrete?

Typically, a spa, especially a permanent one like an inground spa, needs a solid foundation, and concrete is a common choice. This ensures stability and supports the weight of the spa when filled with water. Portable spas may have more flexible placement options, but stability and safety remain key considerations during inspections.

Pool Inspection Spa Type Australia

In Australia, spa inspections are crucial and must adhere to Australian standards, focusing on aspects like barrier compliance (AS1926.1), electrical safety, water quality, and structural integrity. These inspections ensure that spas, whether standalone or part of a pool system, are safe and compliant with regulations.


Understanding the distinctions between spas and pools is vital for owners and inspectors alike. At Pool Safe Inspections Victoria, we provide thorough inspection services for all types of spas and pools in Melbourne, Victoria. Our expertise ensures that your relaxation space is not only enjoyable but also meets the highest safety and compliance standards.

For professional spa and pool inspection services that guarantee safety and compliance, trust Pool Safe Inspections Victoria to provide the expertise you need.

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