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Thread: Can adults swim comfortably in 36" or less depth of water in a 42" deep pool?

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    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    South Georgia
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    Can adults swim comfortably in 36" or less depth of water in a 42" deep pool?

    Hi everyone! This forum looks like a wonderful place to become pool-savvy!!

    I am a first time pool purchaser. My husband and I are in our early 60s and want something in which to do tethered swimming (like a swim-mill), doing laps in place

    What I would really love, is the ipool, which is already set up for tethered swimming, but do not want to shell out over a 1,000 bucks.

    So, I am trying to replicate this...looking for the smallest pool possible, with 45" - 48" depth, as there are no children or other family members involved. However, I see that the 48" depth pools start at 15' or 16' round, which is bigger than what I would like. I did see a 14' x 48" on Walmart site but it is out of stock everywhere!

    There is a 14x42" Proseries, (which is still bigger than desired), but am wondering if adults can comfortably swim in 36" depth or less of water?

    If anyone knows of a much less expensive version of the ipool or another small pool with a nice depth, I would appreciate it very much! Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    near London, UK
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    Re: Can adults swim comfortably in 36" or less depth of water in a 42" deep pool?

    Hi Narnia

    We kind of had the opposite problem - we wanted a very shallow pool for the kids but this limited us to a 12' diameter.

    Our pool is just 32" deep to the top, perfect depth for our toddlers but not so good for swimming! Breaststroke is just about possible but crawl etc. is impossible without hitting the bottom. I can just about swim in a continuous circle but it's not too kind on my back, plan is to get a 15' or 18' pool once the kids have grown a few inches!

    Something to bear in mind is that small, shallow pools get a lot of splash-out as the ripples have less space & water volume to dissipate in.

    If you are planning to use a small pool for actual swimming (which creates a lot of ripples!) you will need a generous freeboard i.e. the water level needs to be a good few inches lower from the top of the liner. Effectively this means that the usable depth of a small pool is less (when compared to a larger pool) so I would suggest that 48" is probably the absolute minimum pool depth for proper swimming

    Here in the UK we can get smaller deep pools no problem (maybe because our backyards are usually tiny!) 12' 48" deep is a very popular size - Have a look on the UK websites of Amazon/Ebay etc. (e.g. use amazon.co.uk instead of amazon.com) many sellers will ship to USA but watch out for shipping & import costs!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    Re: Can adults swim comfortably in 36" or less depth of water in a 42" deep pool?

    Yes, 3 feet is plenty deep for lap swimming. Even lap swimming in place. It's not so good for diving or doing cannonballs.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Jul 2014
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    Re: Can adults swim comfortably in 36" or less depth of water in a 42" deep pool?

    There is a 14x42" Proseries.......36" depth or less of water?
    Yes, 3 feet is plenty deep for lap swimming.
    Just to clarify, I agree totally with Richard, but if you fill a very small 42" deep AG frame pool to a 36" water level I'm confident a LOT of water will slosh out onto the deck each time you swim - so the pool itself needs to be quite a bit deeper, hence my suggestion of 48"

    Problem I found with frame pools is the liner dips a good few inches around each corner/leg, and if the ground is less than perfectly level (is it ever!) you find you have a nice big outlet just above the water line for the water to splash out.

    Works well as a skimmer but not so good for my water bill

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