What is the ClearLift™ automatic swim spa cover and is it worth it? (Cost, pros, cons and more)

One thing you’ll need to consider when buying a swim spa is the cover. In this article, we review the ClearLift™ automatic swim spa cover to help you decide if it’s right for you.

ClearLift motorised swim spa cover

Most conventional swim spa covers are heavy and awkward to lift, that’s where an automatic or motorised cover comes in.

These motorised systems do the heavy lifting for you. With the turn of a key or flick of a switch, they can lift the cover-up and off the swim spa in 30 to 40 seconds.

There are a few different types of automatic swim spa covers or cover lifters, and depending on the type of swim spa you have and how it’s installed, some will work better than others.

In this article, we review the ClearLift™ automated swim spa cover. ClearLift™ was launched in 2023 and is available exclusively on select Vortex™ swim spas from Spa World in New Zealand.

We'll cover:

Watch: ClearLift™ automatic cover

What is an automatic or automated swim spa or pool cover?

An automatic swim spa cover is a device designed to cover and uncover a swim spa or pool automatically.

It is typically made of durable materials like vinyl and is operated by a motorised mechanism.

The cover can be controlled with the push of a button, the turn of a key, or a remote control – allowing the user to open or close the cover as needed easily.

The automated system helps to protect the swim spa from debris, leaves, and other contaminants, as well as helps to maintain the water temperature and conserve energy.

What types of automatic covers are there for swim spas?

There are several types of automatic swim spa covers available on the market.

Some common types include:

1. Retractable Covers: These covers are typically made of materials like vinyl or PVC and are mounted on a roller system. With the push of a button or remote control, the cover rolls up into a housing at one end of the swim spa, leaving the water exposed.

2. Sliding Covers: Sliding covers have multiple interlocking panels that slide horizontally to cover or uncover the swim spa. They are often made of rigid materials like aluminium or polycarbonate and can be operated manually or automatically.

3. Folding Covers: Folding covers are made up of multiple sections that fold onto themselves to cover or uncover the spa. They can be made of materials like vinyl or PVC and can be operated manually or automatically.

4. Floating Covers: These covers are made of lightweight materials and float on the surface of the water. They can be manually or automatically deployed and provide a thermal barrier to help retain heat and reduce evaporation.

5. Custom-built cover: It is possible to have an automatic cover that’s custom-built to suit your swim spa. For example, this hydraulic cover was designed to perfectly fit this inground Vortex™ Aqualap™ Swim Spa.

Be aware that whatever automatic cover or cover lifter you choose, it will most likely be an extra cost in addition to the price of your swim spa. Also, not all automatic cover lifters work with all swim spas. Some are only designed to suit particular brands or models of swim spas.

For example, the ClearLift™ motorised cover we review below is only compatible with Vortex™ Aquagym Max™, Aqualap™ and Hydrozone™ Swim Spas and is not retrofittable on swim spas manufactured before November 2024.

Back to top

Clearlift automatic swim spa cover

What is the ClearLift™ automated swim spa cover?

ClearLift™ is a patent-pending motorised system designed to easily lift heavy swim spa covers on and off.

The unit has a cover and frame attached to the swim spa. Clearlift™ is connected to the swim spa’s control system and is operated via a key that turns it on and off.

ClearLift™ was launched in New Zealand in 2023 and is the first of its kind for swim spas – being a fully retractable system that lifts and folds the cover completely out of the way to one side of the spa. Unlike other cover lifters, ClearLift™ does not obstruct the view to or from the swim spa. Other products are either positioned above the spa like a pergola, rolled back into a bulky housing unit at one end of the spa, or folded off to the side – blocking views, sun and light.

Please note: At this stage, ClearLift™ can only be used with select Vortex Swim Spas, and only on models manufactured after November 2023. You will also need to purchase the ClearLift™ with your swim spa. You cannot buy it separately or install it on a previously purchased Vortex™ swim spa.

In summary, ClearLift™ is:

  • An automatic, motorised cover lifting system for swim spas
  • A revolutionary patent-pending design
  • Operated via a one-turn smart key system that activates the cover lifter
  • The cover moves discreetly out of the way and doesn’t block your view
  • Available exclusively as an upgrade on select Vortex™ Swim Spas

Back to top

How does ClearLift™ work?

When the key is turned on, one-half of the cover lifts and folds back, and then the cover folds back onto itself and is placed to one side of the spa where it is clear of your view.

ClearLift motorised pool cover for swim spas

How much does the ClearLift™ swim spa cover cost?

ClearLift™ is an additional purchase with a Vortex Swim Spa. It is only available on Vortex™ Swim Spas manufactured after November 2023.

At the time of writing, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price was (MSRP) $9,990. Check the latest prices with Spa World, the exclusive distributor of Vortex Spas in Australia and New Zealand.

Please note: You will need to purchase ClearLift™ with your swim spa. You cannot buy it separately or install it on a previously purchased Vortex™ swim spa.

What are the electrical requirements of the Clearlift swim spa cover lifter?

Clearlift™ is connected to the SpaNet™ control panel on the swim spa. There is no need for a separate electrical connection. the power comes right off the controller and no additional power supply or connection is required.

Back to top

Clearlift keypad

Top six reasons to choose a ClearLift™ motorised swim spa cover

There are several types of automatic covers available on the market; however, there is only one automatic cover for swim spas that is fully retractable – that is the ClearLift™.

Here are the main reasons why ClearLift™ is worth the investment:

  1. Completely automated. No manual handling of an 80kg cover or separate 20kg sections.
  2. Protection. The cover is safely handled and stored, so it lasts longer.
  3. Completely secure. The Key is operated for safety, so children can’t open the cover
  4. Comes installed. Other auto cover lifters can take hours to install and require special foundation construction
  5. Affordable. Fraction of the cost of the next most popular auto cover lifter solution
  6. Unobstructed views. ClearLift(™) removes the cover completely from the spa so as not to obstruct the view from the spa, and can still have fun jumping into the spa.
  7. It’s fast. It takes about one minute to lift the cover clear from the swim spa.

Consideration: Not recommended for installation into a deck or pit. It will require special consideration to avoid pinch points and to leave room for the lifter to operate.

Back to top

What to consider when installing and using ClearLift™ (FAQs, installation info, and more)

Can I walk on the ClearLift™ cover?

We don’t recommend walking or standing on the spa cover as it is not designed to support a person's weight. Walking on the cover could cause damage and compromise its ability to insulate and protect the spa.

Do I have to take the key out every time I use the ClearLift™ cover?

Yes. Considerable safety features make this product incredibly unique and desirable. Taking the key out every time you use the ClearLIft™ cover ensures safety because it prevents unsupervised children from getting into the water.

Do I have to take the key out every time I use the ClearLift™ cover?

Yes. Considerable safety features make this product incredibly unique and desirable. Taking the key out every time you use the ClearLIft™ cover ensures safety because it prevents unsupervised children from getting into the water.

Do I need to use the cover locks on my ClearLift™ cover?

We recommend using the cover locks every time you close the spa cover. Once again, this helps to keep kids and pets out of the water. Cover locks are especially important during high winds because they prevent the wind from putting extra pressure on the cover.

What is the obstruction detection feature and how is it beneficial?

The ClearLift cover has built-in sensors that operate similarly to an automatic garage door, so if there are any obstructions in its path while it is being operated - such as people or outdoor furniture - it will instantly stop in place as a safety measure. This means users can rest assured it is 100% safe to use and operate.

What happens if someone closes ClearLift™ while a person is in the swim spa?

The key would need to be activated and if this happens and the cover closes, the cover can be lifted open at the centre so long as the cover latches are not latched. ClearLift should only be operated by an adult. Children should be supervised when using a swim spa at all times. The ClearLift key should be in possession of an adult at all times.

Can I operate ClearLift™ when it is windy?

Do not open or close the cover in high winds, which is anything over 20 kilometres per hour. We highly recommend not removing a standard swim spa cover in winds this high because they can cause damage or injury.

If the cover is open and you are trying to close it in high winds, the cover will stop due the obstruction detector. If this occurs, there is a way to bypass the override to close the cover. Refer to your manual for instructions on how to do this and amke sure to abide by all of the safety precautions.

Can I operate ClearLift™ when it is snowing?

As with standard covers, you will need to remove all snow from the cover for it to be able to open.

What is ClearLift™ made from?

ClearLift is made of many different components and materials.

  • All of the exposed wear surfaces, such as the main hubs and hinges, are made for harsh environments using marine grade 316 stainless steel
  • The lift arms are made from heavy-duty powder-coated steel
  • The frame that holds the insulating billets and forms the cover structure is powder-coated aluminium
  • The fasteners are all stainless steel
  • The zip-on billet and frame cover is made from a long-lasting UV-protected synthetic material
  • As with standard spa covers, the insulative foam billets are made from a plastic bagged styrofoam block

ClearLift™ does not use Vinyl for the outside of the cover to protect the foam billets, so will it last as long as Vinyl?

Clearlift uses a top grade, UV-protected synthetic material used on the highest-end spa covers and outdoor furniture. This high-quality material lives longer than the vinyl used in standard spa covers.

Does ClearLift™ have insulation?

The insulating properties are similar to other quality swim spa covers, however due to the significantly reduced likelihood of damage - due to the automated system, which ensures it doesn’t drag on the ground and easily rip or tear - it is much less likely to absorb water.

This means the insulating properties are far superior to other swim spa covers.

What happens when ClearLift™ is used near the sea?

All of the components are made to withstand the coastal environments found in Aus and NZ. The stainless steel hinge fittings and all other mechanical hinge fittings are made from marine grade 316 stainless steel while the actuator arms are powder-coated steel, the internal billet frame is powder-coated aluminum. The use of all of these high-quality components means.

How long can people expect the parts to last, and can they be replaced?

We’ve already tested prototypes to 6 times the typical life of a cover. If the cover skin is damaged in some way then the inner insulating material can become water logged, however these inserts can be purchased separately at a very low cost, and they can simply be replaced by the home owner because the covers are zip on / zip off.

Is the 60-Day Money Back Guarantee available on the ClearLift™ covers?

The 60-day Money Back Guarantee applies to the ClearLift™ cover as it is considered a part of the swim spa. However, it’s important to note that the ClearLift™ cover cannot be returned separately to the spa.

What is the warranty for ClearLift™ and what does it cover?

Your ClearLift™ components are warranted from the date of delivery. Electrical components, including the SpaNet™ cover controller, transformer and actuators, are covered for 1-year parts and labour, and parts only for the second year.

The ClearLift™ Cover foam is warranted for one year parts and labour and parts only for the second year.

The ClearLift™ Cover frame and mechanical components is warranted for one year parts and labour and parts only for the second year.

It’s important to note that damage caused to stitching, straps or locks due to improper use of the cover will not be covered under warranty. Disposal of any cover replaced under warranty will also be the owners responsibility.

What is the warranty for the motors?

SpaNet™ cover controller, transformer and actuators, are covered for 1-year parts and labour and parts only for the second year.

What Swim Spas will ClearLift™ work on?

At the time of filming this video ClearLift™ is currently compatible only with 2024 Aquagym Max™, Aqualap™ and Hydrozone™ Vortex™ Model swim spas with other models planned for the future.

Is ClearLift™ retrofittable on all Swim spas?

Not at the time of filming this video and potentially not for some time.

Can ClearLift™ be added after my swim spa is installed?

No, at this stage ClearLift™ cannot be added after your swim spa is installed. It needs to be purchased with your swim spa.

Can ClearLift™ be added to any swim spa?

No, at the time of filming this video ClearLift™ cannot be added to any swim spa. It is currently compatible only with 2024 Vortex™ Model swim spas.

Does the ClearLift™ work with all Spa Controllers?

No, currently, the ClearLift™ is only compatible with SpaNet™ SV2, SV3, and SV4 controllers found on Vortex™ Swim Spas.

How do I control the ClearLift™?

The ClearLift™ swim spa cover is activated by a key. When the key is turned in one direction, the ClearLift™ swim spa cover opens, providing access to the swim spa. Conversely, when the key is turned in the opposite direction, the cover closes, securely sealing the swim spa.

Does the ClearLift™ need to be calibrated?

The ClearLift should be delivered to you fully calibrated or calibrated on-site during the assembly process. In the rare occurrence you need to calibrate ClearLift, for example, when a new actuator is installed, you will need to follow the calibration steps explained in the user manual.

Can you manually lift the cover on and off?

No. If the cover latches are not latched, it can be pried open far enough for a small adult or child to slide through. If the power is out to the ClearLift, it is also out to the swim spa, making it unusable.

How much does the ClearLift™ weigh?

The ClearLift™ adds approximately 200kg to the weight of the swim spa. Please refer to the specification sheet for your swim spa for more detailed information.

How long is ClearLift™?

The length will depend on the swim spa model that it is installed on. Please refer to the specification sheet for your swim spa for detailed information.

Will ClearLift™ work on inground swim spas?

ClearLift™ is not well-suited for use in an inground swim spa. This is primarily due to the clearance requirements needed for the movement and stacking of the cover, as well as the clearance space needed at the ends of the spa. Refer to your swim spa’s specification sheet for recommended clearances.

Can I install a ClearLift™ in a Deck?

It depends on how far the deck comes up the side of the swim spa and the design of the deck. If the deck is below the space required for the lift arms to operate and if there is space left for the cover to swing and land on the side of the swim spa, then a swim spa with ClearLift can be installed into a deck.

Do I need to consider the location of my steps when planning my installation?

Yes, you do.
Depending on whether you’ve chosen a left or right ClearLift, you will need to consider where the external step is placed, so you can comfortably access the internal steps of your swim spa. If the external step is not aligned with the internal step, it will be harder to enter and exit the swim spa.

Can I still access the swim spa control keypad when the ClearLift™ is closed?

No. ClearLift will need to be partially opened to access the keypad. You can operate or monitor your swim spa remotely using the SpaLink app and your SmartDevice if you have elected to purchase the Vortex Audio WiFi kit or the SmartLink Module.

If I have a ClearLift™ can I simply fence around my spa steps so I am not required to have a barrier or fence?

If the external step is not aligned with the internal step, it will be harder to enter and exit the swim spa.

No, the ClearLift will require a full barrier because the lift arms are on the side of the swim spa, making it climbable. Contact our Certification specialist for a free consultation or talk with your local council.

What are the electrical requirements for the ClearLift™ system?

The ClearLift system can be connected to the power output on the controller of your swim spa and does not require an independent circuit. This means that it can be connected to the same power source as your swim spa, as long as the controller has available power outputs.

It is important to note that if you have ClearLift, the Vortex Audio WiFi Kit, and a heat pump, you will need a duplicate AMP splitter. Talk to your salesperson and Spa World concierge to ensure proper installation and power requirements are met for all components.

What happens when the cover billets on ClearLift™ fill with water?

First, lets’ talk about the different parts of a swim spa cover. Cover Billets are the foam cores that are inside of the cover. The billets provide the insulation for the cover so that heat does not escape the spa.

Standard swim spa covers are made with multiple sections that are approximately 1m x 2.1m and these sections can be heavy. When removing or replacing the cover it is not uncommon for the cover to be dropped and dragged on the ground due to the weight and size. This is when the sealed bags around the billets can be damaged and start to leak.

This leaking will not only make the cover heavier, it reduces the insulation properties of the cover allowing heat to escape and driving up heating costs.

The billets in the ClearLift cover are protected with a heat sealed bag that is heavier than what is used on standard covers. Because Clearlift prevents the cover from being dragged or dropped on the ground, it reduces the likelihood of the bag being punctured and filling up with water.

In the rare event the billet bags are damaged and the billets fill with water, they are easy to replace. With a standard swim spa cover you would need to replace the entire cover, which is significantly more expensive…not just the billets.

How do you replace the billets?

The billets are replaced by unzipping the ClearLift™ outer cover, removing the old billets and interesting the new billets and then zipping the exterior cover back into place.

How are the motors replaced?

Motors are readily available for purchase if outside of warranty. If they fail outside of the warranty period, they can be purchased from Spa World. We recommend the replacement is done by a Spa World Technician.

Who sells the motors and other parts?

All parts are available through Spa World - you can find them online at shop.spaworld.com.au

How much do replacement motors cost?

At the time of filming the cost of a replacement motor aka actuator is $479 approximately.

Is there a call centre that people can reach?

Yes. We’re here to help! Contact us with any queries, or questions related to parts and service or warranty details.

In summary

ClearLift™ is the first of its kind for swim spas – being a fully retractable system that lifts and folds the cover completely out of the way to one side of the spa.

At this stage, ClearLIft™ is only available on Vortex™ swim spas manufactured after November 2023 and it cannot be installed on existing models or those produced before that date.

If you are interested in purchasing ClearLift(™) with your Vortex swim spa, please contact us for more information or visit your local Spa World showroom.

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.