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Home » How-Tos » What Is the Perfect Pool Temperature for Swimming?

What Is the Perfect Pool Temperature for Swimming?

Having a private swimming pool is a big deal. Not only does it give a natural sanctuary to relax, swimming pool also becomes an investment when you plan to sell the house. But having a pool means you must learn anything to make it an ideal place to swim. One thing that should come into your consideration is pool temperature.

Not many pool owner know what temperature is ideal for swimming. Especially for unheated swimming pool, it may be difficult to set the temperature into an ideal one. In fact, swimming in a pool that is too warm or too cold can cause variety of health problem ranging from dehydration to heart problems. As you do not want this to happen to you or your family, dive deeper to know the ideal temperature for your pool.

Ideal Pool Temperature for Swimming

An ideal temperature gives you comfortable swimming experience. When it comes to the perfect temperature, there are actually several standards to follow. A private swimming pool may have a different standard of ideal temperature to commercial pool. In addition, children swimmers and senior swimmers may also have different standard of temperature.

As a good pool owner, either commercial or private, it is necessary to know what kind of swimming pool that you have. Furthermore, you should also know who will use the pool. This enables you to set the right temperature for swimming in order to get the best swimming experience.

Ideal temperature for competitive swimming

According to Red Cross and FINA, a pool for competitive swimming must have a temperature somewhere between 77 degree and 82 degree F.

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While for synchronized swimming, it must be 81 degree F. The warmer water, the less density it has. It means the less friction when the swimmers move their body through the water. This standard temperature makes sure that swimmers can perform at their best, you can measure the temperature using a pool thermometer.

1. Ideal temperature for commercial pool

Public swimming pool
Public swimming pool

If you have a commercial heated pool, it is a necessity to set the pool into ideal temperature. Surely you do not want to lose customers because your pool temperature is too cold or too warm.

Most resorts and hotels keep the temperature of their pools at 82 degree to 85 degree F. This temperature is warm enough, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable swimming.

2. Ideal temperature for private pool

Private swimming pool
Private swimming pool

When it comes to private swimming pool, many owners tend to ignore the ideal standard of temperature. Either due to lack of knowledge or neglect, this should not happen. According to the National Pool and Spa Institute and the American Red Cross, the minimum temperature of swimming pool is between 83 degree and 86 degree F.

This is slightly higher than ideal temperature of commercial pool. As private pool usually has fewer number of individuals as well as fewer activity, it requires a higher temperature. This range allows your body to adjust naturally to the physical activities in the pool. This range is also suitable for most activities in your private swimming pool.

3. Ideal temperature for children

Pool filled with children
Pool filled with children

Age plays a role in determining the ideal temperature for swimming pool. According to American Red Cross, younger swimmer should get warmer water.

For instance, preschool-aged kids should be swimming in a pool at temperature between 88 degree and 94 degree F. Meanwhile children aged between 3 and 5 should get slightly lower temperature at 86 degree to 90 degree F.

4. Ideal temperature for seniors

A good rule to follow according to American Red Cross, the younger swimmer gets the warmer water. This implies the older swimmer, the cooler water. For senior swimmers with high intensity activity, the swimming pool should have cooler temperature at 83 degree to 86 degree F. Meanwhile for seniors who perform low-intensity activity should get slightly warmer water that ranges between 86 degree and 88 degree F.

It is a different story when the seniors are in therapy or rehabilitation. The pool temperature should be warmer, somewhere between 91 degree and 95 degree F. Warmer water allows muscles to become looser, which is effective to reduce body stiffness.

5. Temperature for unheated pool

Determining the ideal temperature for unheated pool is a bit tricky. The temperature often depends on many factors such as materials, air temperature, and sun exposure. In one day, temperature of your pool can rise and fall. It is dependent on the time of the day. For example, the temperature will fall at night and it will turn out to be warmer at day.

Water temperature is commonly equivalent to air temperature. The standard temperature of unheated pool can be 70 degree F. It does not seem too cold for your hands or legs. But actually, it can be dangerous to swim in such temperature as suggested by the National Center for Cold Water Safety. 

Normally, water temperature decreases around 5 percent at night. But if you cover the pool, heat loss can be reduced by 50 percent. The temperature of unheated pool is prone to drop, though, especially in certain months. Thus you cannot swim all year round for the low temperature may cause various health problems.

What If Pool Temperature Is Too Cold or Too Warm?

Swimming in a pool with ideal temperature brings variety of benefits. Aside from giving comfortable experience, ideal temperature keeps you away from several health problems. You may think it is cold water that may cause problem. In truth, both too cold and too warm water can lead to various health disorder ranging from minor to severe one.

1. Risk of too warm water

Warm water sounds nice and comforting. Soaking your body in warm pool gives relaxing sensation, thus you can stay even longer. In fact, pool with too warm water temperature can be harmful in some ways. It can cause dehydration, overheating, and muscle cramps. This explains why you must not stay in the warm water longer than 15 minutes.

Besides, water chemistry is another important thing to consider. When the water is too warm, it can be problematic to deal with pool chemicals. Not to mention algae, bacteria, and other organism grow rapidly under warm water. This may become a threat to you who swim in a pool with too warm water.

2. Risk of too cold water

While even swimming in comfortable warm water may cause hazard, it is worse when you swim in cold water.

The most obvious risk of soaking your body in too cold water is body system shock. It can also have fatal effects to heart. Swimming in cold water for too long may trigger hypothermia. Furthermore, swimmers may also experience difficulties in breathing. 

A pool with cold water slows down the chemical reactions. The demand of chlorine slows down, which means over chlorination issue may appear as the dosage is not adjusted. In addition, salt chlorine generator will not work if the temperature is below 60 degree F.

Options to Keep Your Pool Temperature Ideal

Installing a heater is the best decision to keep the water temperature ideal. This also allows you to enjoy swimming even at night when air temperature drops. There are a few options when it comes to pool heater, including heat pump and gas pool heater. Dive deeper to figure out more information about both heating system.

1. Heat pump

Swimming pool heat pump
Swimming pool heat pump (poolheatpumps.com)

Heat pump is a device that can capture and move heat from place to place. Though it is called heat pump, the device does not literally generate heat. Instead, it works together with pool pump.

As the pool pump moves the water, the liquid moves through the pump heater resulting warm water in the pool. The device works efficiently when air temperature is above 45 degree F. The cooler the air, the more energy it needs.

2. Gas pool heater

Gas pool heater

Gas pool heater is another popular heating system for swimming pool. The heater uses propane or natural gas to warm up the water. Gas pool heater is considered more efficient for private swimming pool. It is because the heater only takes shorter periods to warm up the water than heat pump. Besides, it is also energy efficient.

In short, adjusting ideal temperature for your pool is necessary. Not only have to optimize your swimming experience, but also to avoid several health issued.

It is also important to note that swimming pool may have different ideal temperature, depending on the usage and swimmers. To get perfect pool temperature, you need to know who will use the swimming pool as well as the intensity of activity.

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