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Thread: When is water too cold for taking a dive?

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    Join Date
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    When is water too cold for taking a dive?

    My IG pool has two return jets on the shallow end that are about 3 ft below the water surface. My PB advised that they would need to be blown out and plugged like the rest of the returns to winterize. That means I have to take one more dip this fall.

    I'm familiar with the 60 degree water temp rule, but just dipping my toes into the current 72 degree water is making me nervous about being able to stand it at 60 degrees (I've seen stories about the polar bear divers but I'm not one of those people)!

    Anyone have any experience in cool or cold water? I'm sure I will be working VERY quickly but at what temp does it get really uncomfortable -- or even dangerous?
    16x30, 12,500 gal. IG gunite/plaster with 60% quartz; Hayward TriStar 1.5 hp 2 speed pump & .75 hp booster pump; SmartPure ozone generator; Hayward C6060 SwimClear Microban cartridge filter; Hayward Ecommand HPC-4Controller; Pentair chlorine feeder; Polaris 280 robo vac. All installed Aug. 2014. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: When is water too cold for taking a dive?

    You can do it, but your time in the water will be very limited.

    The difference between your skin temp and the water temp will determine your heat loss. It only takes a few minutes for your core temp to be dragged down to dangerous levels with that much heat loss. You can calculate it, for a more exact working time frame.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: When is water too cold for taking a dive?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Cold tolerance to the water varies among individuals and their overall health, especially heart and circulatory condition. Most people I know in these parts will not get into a pool unless the water temperature is at or above 80F whereas many athletes will jump into a plunge pool with water temps in the 50's F and remain there for around 10-15 minutes after a good workout (doing this is supposed to help mitigate muscle soreness). There are also those that live along the US Pacific coast or the North Atlantic coast who will take a dip in the ocean, despite water temps in the upper 50's to low 60's - it's what they're used to.

    My personal low temp limit for getting into the pool is a water temp around 65F, though I definitely prefer it to be warmer. When I'm in the water at that temperature, I'm doing laps at a rather rapid rate, so I do warm up a bit after several minutes. I remain in the water for around 30 minutes.

    The biggest risk of immersing yourself in cold water is hypothermia. Obviously, the colder the water, the sooner hypothermia can set in. However, a person's risk of hypothermia at any given water temperature increases with age.

    Let's explore a couple of options that may eliminate the need to immerse yourself into the water. How deep is your pool? If you drain the water below the return lines and can stand in the pool at that water level and comfortably access the return lines, you could wear water-proof waders as do fly fishermen who fish in cold water. Another option is a wet or dry diving suit - though that may be an expensive option for such limited use.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: When is water too cold for taking a dive?

    I say go for it. Enjoy.

    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: When is water too cold for taking a dive?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    Let's explore a couple of options that may eliminate the need to immerse yourself into the water. How deep is your pool? If you drain the water below the return lines and can stand in the pool at that water level and comfortably access the return lines, you could wear water-proof waders as do fly fishermen who fish in cold water. Another option is a wet or dry diving suit - though that may be an expensive option for such limited use.
    Very informative reply, BoDarville, and a great tip on the waders! The two lower returns are 3 ft below the surface and 6" off the floor (total 3.5 ft deep). I plan to drain the water down 7" to get below the skimmer, so that would leave me in 2.5' to 3' of water. I've got a friend that's an avid duck hunter so he's probably got a pair of waders I can use. I may have to drain down a little further than I originally planned to get the jets within arms reach, but a very good option.
    16x30, 12,500 gal. IG gunite/plaster with 60% quartz; Hayward TriStar 1.5 hp 2 speed pump & .75 hp booster pump; SmartPure ozone generator; Hayward C6060 SwimClear Microban cartridge filter; Hayward Ecommand HPC-4Controller; Pentair chlorine feeder; Polaris 280 robo vac. All installed Aug. 2014. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Kinglangon63's Avatar
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    Re: When is water too cold for taking a dive?

    I use a fishing suit with the boots, no problems at all
    18' x 30' Completely Automated Fox Pool
    2 Pentair Intelliflo VS pumps
    Pentair 250 HD Heater
    Pentair Cartridge Filter & IC 20 Chlorinator
    Intellitouch i10 Automation & Sheer Descent x 3

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