What is the Perfect Pool Temperature?
Different Temperatures Are Needed For Different Situations
While winter is still in full swing, spring and summer are just around the corner. If you are a pool owner, that means you are inching closer and closer to being able to use your pool again. Even if you have a pool heater, the outdoor temperature may still be too cold to swim. Most pool heaters don’t work as efficiently in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
As the weather begins to warm up, people are mentally preparing for pool season. While you get your pool ready, you may start wondering what the perfect pool temperature is. This is quite a heated discussion for many pool owners and experts. After all, jumping into your pool for a relaxing and refreshing swim isn’t as fun if your pool is too cold or too warm.
There is plenty of room for debate. However, there is no one perfect pool temperature. Several factors play into how warm or cold your pool temperature should be, including:
- Size of your pool
- Materials used to make your pool
- Location of your pool
- Pool’s orientation to the sun
- The activities the pool is used for
- The age of the swimmers
- How many swimmers there will be
While there may not be one true perfect pool temperature, there are commonly accepted temperatures for certain ages and activities. Mid City Custom Pools is here to help you understand the right water temperatures for your pool.
It is important to find the right temperature for your pool. While there isn’t one temperature to rely on, it is important to understand the potential dangers of pools that are either too hot or too cold.
Many people often compare water temperatures to air temperatures. Air temperature sitting at 70 degrees F may feel perfect, but it may not be perfect for water. This temperature is entirely too cold for the human body. On the opposite end, water that is too warm also presents dangers to your body, as well.
- Too Cold: The National Center for Cold Water Safety states that you should always treat water below 70 degrees F with caution. Water below 70 degrees is already below the threshold where breathing becomes difficult. Cold water is denser than warm water, which makes it harder to move in and puts more pressure on your chest. Cold pool waters have also been proven to lead to cardiac arrest.
- Too Warm: No one wants to jump into a pool that is too cold, but you need to be careful when heating your pool. Water that’s too warm can negatively impact your body. It often causes dehydration, muscle cramps, and overheating. The highest temperature someone can sit in safely is 104 degrees F, like in a hot tub, but typically, you can only do this for about 10-15 minutes or shorter.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you don’t have a pool heater installed, the temperature of your pool will drop overnight, as it loses the heat it absorbed over the day. Covering your pool will help reduce heat loss.
Some areas in the world have temperatures that permit swimming year-round, even without a pool heater. However, most places have periods too cold for swimming. In these places, you need to pay attention to the temperature of your pool to ensure the most comfortable and safe swimming experience.
While there may not be one perfect pool temperature, the American Red Cross recommends a temperature at around 83 to 86 degrees F for leisurely swimming. At this temperature, your body can safely adjust to the physical demands while in the pool, even if those demands are light.
However, there are different cases and scenarios where a different temperature may be preferred.
For Competitive Swimming
Competitive swimming requires colder water to improve the safety of the swimmers. USA Swimming states that temperatures 78 to 82 degrees F are ideal for competitive and high-intensity swimming. Why do competitive swimmers require colder water?
As they move and work through the water, their bodies produce more natural heat than they would if they were casually swimming in the pool. Cooler water temperatures balance this out. However, you shouldn’t lower the temperature too much. As we mentioned previously, cold water is denser than warm water, which makes it harder to move through.
For Young Children
A good rule of thumb to follow is that the younger the swimmer, the warmer the water. Because of their size, children retain much less heat than adults do. This means if they jump into water that is too cold, they are more at risk of suffering the effects of cold water much faster.
The American Red Cross recommends that children’s pools should be at 80 degrees or warmer. They also recommend 84 degrees F for swim lessons for children. This helps them stay relaxed in a new environment while also keeping their muscles warm and loose. Their breathing won’t be labored, as well.
Seniors require careful consideration. As our bodies age, they become less tolerant of changes in temperature, becoming more vulnerable to both heat and cold. Pools that are too cold or too hot can cause seniors to feel uncomfortable.
For older adults, a temperature ranging from 83 to 86 degrees F presents the highest level of comfort and safety in high-intensity activities. For leisurely swimming, a temperature ranging between 86 to 88 degrees F is ideal.
One of the best ways to recover from injuries or to exercise without causing damage to joints is hydrotherapy. The buoyancy of water relieves the pressure on joints, providing you with a low impact exercise. For hydrotherapy, the pool temperature should be warmer, sitting between 90 to 95 degrees F.
The warm water soothes aching muscles, loosening them up. It relieves pressure on joints and bones. Overall, it helps reduce body stiffness and pain.
Everyone is looking to maximize their time spent with their swimming pool. This includes looking for the perfect pool temperature. However, there isn’t one temperature that works for everyone and every occasion. People of different ages and different activities require different temperatures. If you have any questions regarding the temperature of your pool, contact Mid City Custom Pools today.