Shallow end too deep?

swolk

Member
Jul 24, 2013
13
Hi everyone,

Our pool just got shotcreted and I have some concerns especially around the shallow end depth and top transition being too steep. The point was to have a diving pool (from sides and raised spa) and shallow end for sports play with fixed in-deck basketball goal. We have two young boys 8 and 10. Current height to their chins is 3'8" and 3'11". Shallow bowl was supposed to be 3'6" but it turned out to be 3'10" at the middle of bowl, and it transitions pretty aggressively after 4'. Attached is the drawing by PB and my depth measurements to waterline. I know the boys will grow, but overall my family is not very tall, I'm the tallest at 5'10". I've already raised my concerns with the PB, but honestly this project has just dragged on for months and I'm not sure if I should make a big deal out of it to get it fixed. Regarding top picture, there is no bench in front of spa in deep end, we had it removed for safety reasons. Also, we had the pool size increased a foot all around so now shallow bowl is 15' and deep end bowl in 16'.

The question is should we have them fix the shallow bowl to be 3'6" and lessen transition at top? I'm thinking 3'6" at point 7, transition to 4'6" at point 14 or 15 and steeper slope after that would be more ideal...

Thanks,
Scott

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Dirk

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#1, you should get what you want now. You'll regret it later if you don't, and your PB might huff and puff but he won't likely give a second thought to you and your pool 5 minutes after he deposits your final payment. You'll have to live with your pool forever.

If it helps, there's a lot they can do when they shoot the finish, so this might not be that big of a deal to correct. Not so much in increasing depth, or changing the slope too much, because there is rebar involved, but decreasing depth should be pretty easy.

You can determine the final water level using the skimmer as a reference, to double check your measurements. The average, optimum water level will be halfway up the skimmer opening. It's not based on the tile or the coping or really anything else. Use the skimmer for reference.

There are guidelines (and possibly building codes) that determine depth and slope position relative to a diving board, that might help you figure some of this out. But sorry, I can't point you to a resource for that. Maybe one of our builder experts can help with that aspect. @JamesW? @jimmythegreek?
 

Dirk

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This might help. James and Jimmy might confirm this is a good resource to use. It's primarily for diving boards and platforms, but I think you can interpolate some of the data for jumping off your spa or deck. Table 1 has some numbers that might be helpful.

 

swolk

Member
Jul 24, 2013
13
Thanks @Dirk ! The shallow bowl is basically 3'6" to 4'3" at about 3'10" in the middle. Just wondering for folks using shallow for sports play if this is good enough, or if it would be better to make it 3'6" for 7.5' to middle (per plan) then go from 3'6" to 4'6" for 7' to 8' for rest until starting transition down to deep end. I know some folks think 3'6" is too shallow, but based on my kids ages and heights, I think 3'6" would work best at least for half the bowl...

People have posted this: https://srsmith.com/media/47241/06-052ansi-standard.pdf, which is very useful for planning diving pool. I doubt my pool guy even bothered.

Thanks,
Scott
 

Dirk

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Looks like the PDF you linked is newer. I can't weigh in on the sports pool aspect. I wish my 3.5' shallow end was 4'. I wish my 7.5' deep end was 8'. Standing in 3.5 is fine. Swimming across it not so much. But our intended uses are probably different.
 

PoolGate

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Hard to comment on this objectively but my personal opinion is the deeper, the better. It isn't over their heads, right? My deep end is 9' I am very happy with that. 7.5' is bare minimum for diving safely. And I think "pool sports" are not going to materialize like most people envision a pool being used for organized events and everyone has their place. We have one family member (my sister) that tries to position everyone just so in the pool for specific games she wants to play and gets mad when someone doesn't comply with her orders. Since it is my pool I make a point of walking through especially when it's obvious no one cares about her stupid games. lol - I am not really upset about this its all in good fun but you get the gist. And no, her name is not "Karen"!
 

Dirk

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Also @Dirk does the 7.5' to 8' make a big difference?
No, I just meant it along the same line as PoolGate's: the deeper the better. Of course, 6" can be the difference between knocking yourself out or not. So there's that. No number, shallow or deep, is going to cover all the bases, for all the uses for all the users. You have to try and decide ahead of time what your most likely use cases are going to be, then do the best you can. That link I gave you is a guide, code in some areas, that expresses what they generally thinks works in terms of general safety. It doesn't mean if followed, no one will ever get hurt jumping into your pool. It just means they are probably less likely to. 6" deeper is going to be safer. 12" is going to be safer still. So would 12 feet deeper! You gotta draw the line somewhere. Building codes generally work most of the time for most people.

Defining your use cases off of kids' heights and activities is iffy, too. In 5 minutes they're all going to be 6" taller! And be bored with volleyball five minutes after that! Five minutes later they'll be fighting over the rules of their summer-long volley ball tournaments! Whateryagonnado?
 

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Dirk

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I should have mentioned... while deeper is better in terms of safety (and fun!), there's a flip side. Deeper means more water, more expense, more chemicals, more to heat, etc. 6" would not make a huge difference, but a difference just the same. Also, the deep end is harder to brush, or scoop things out of, than the shallow end. The deeper the pool, the harder the brushing/scooping. If you have a robot cleaner that can brush your pool for you (or boys!), then this too might be of little consequence. Just some minor points to consider...
 

Dirk

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Also, 6' to 8' depth (even less for some) is in the realm of needing to equalize your ears. If you feel pressure in your ears at depth, then you need to equalize your ears before you get to that depth. Repeatedly not doing so can lead to injury. It's not discussed on the forum (that I know of) because, I guess, it's not that big of an issue and most people don't have 8' pools, or are not at that depth for more than a second or two, if ever. But it might be something to be aware of, and learn yourself to teach your boys. It's a good skill to have, even if you don't need to do it in your pool.
 
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