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Underwater Benches

For spas, CH standard underwater bench depth is 2’-8”: 1’-4” from the water level to the seat and 1’-4” from seat to floor.

Pools over 2’-8” deep may also have a step or footrest at the bottom.

Benches are typically the same finish as the rest of the pool (with the possible exception of the contrasting nosing band), but it could be all ceramic tile.

Confirm that steps, handrails, and therapeutic railings comply with local codes.

The Counsilman-Hunsaker basis of design hydrotherapy jet fitting is the Waterway 210-5950 which has a 1 ½” water inlet orifice and a 7/16” air inlet orifice. The flow of a system is based on between 17 and 20 gallons per minute per fitting at 8-10 feet per second based on max flow velocity allowed by state code.  The piping design must provide for a balanced flow and the inlets should be piped in groups of up to six (6) where a 3” pipe tees into 2” legs which supply three inlets each.  The air inlet piping should be 2” up to ten (10) fittings and 3” for systems with more than 10 inlets.  The air line should be run to a remote area within 150 of the bench and turned up out of the ground above water level if possible.  In a case where a remote area cannot be accessed each jet can have its own air fitting on the adjacent deck as long as the jets share a common airline to prevent water backing into the air line when an individual jet is blocked.

Typical hydrotherapy inlet design spacing is one per three feet of underwater bench length. For spas, upper and lower jets should be designed.  For cold water hydrotherapy, just uppers should be standard design.

Oklahoma and Minnesota do not allow bench seating in pools without some sort of barrier on the deck to discourage people from using the bench seat as a means of entry and exit. Stanchion posts with a swag line or portable PVC posts will suffice.

In Nebraska, hydrotherapy jets are not allowed on any pools that are not “spas.”  A variance was applied for during design of the Kroc Center and was denied.

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