Advice on the depth of my pool

Peggyg123February 20, 2012


I need some advice on the depth of our pool. I have a couple of months before they start installation of a 18' by 36 ' rectangular pool. We really would like the pool for volleyball and water sports, but still would enjoy a somewhat deep end of 6'. No diving of course. Is it possible to have 20' of shallow end before the deep grade to 6 '?


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It is possible? Yes. It's your pool.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:24AM
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Why not make the center deeper and both ends shallow for a true sports pool?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I have never been in a pool like that. That is something to think about. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Hi Peggyg123. I am in the process of building a "sports pool" 18' x 43'. The actual length of the playing area will be 38' as the shallow end of the pool will have an 18' wide set of steps. The first step that is a little over 2' wide followed by 2 more normal steps, this is to give a ledge for the little ones to play on.

Our pool will step down to 4'deep in the middle of the 38', and then to 4'6" in the "deep end". So that's 3'4"-4'-4'6".

We went with this set up for volleyball, so we can have adults on one side and kids on the other even though it's 4' at the net.

One thing that helped us decide was our living room and adjoining kitchen are about 36' x16', then if you picture it as a pool, and measure different depths on yourself with a tape measure and pretend your walking around a pool if gives you an idea of big it really is.

Most people would be "swimming" in 6' water. So your are proposing to dedicate 16' of your pool to water you have to swim or tread in, and would be difficult to play volleyball in, maybe water polo would work but it's probably to shallow for that.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I would think this is very possible. We are having a 35' x 16' (actually a little wider) pool built right now. We were originally planning to go to 6', however, my husband really wanted to keep it at 5'. Our drawing shows that if we had a 6' depth at one end, we would have had 21' until we reached the slope down to the 6' depth. Your custom design by pool builder should be able to show you the depth distance in your pool.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Yes. For sure doable.
You have a very long pool so to play sports I would do 3 feet to 4' 6" in the first 20 feet and then from there go to 6 feet deep. I believe they say the best for feel (in a gradual nice feel, where it's not an obvious drop) it is every five feet is one 6" in depth drop. so you are good. and then the last 16' you go from 4'6" to 6'.
Hint: The perfect gradual drop feet pool is 3 feet to 6 feet in 30' pool.
That's just me. I am not a pool builder or anything. But I messed up on my drop and then learned about the depth and drop ratio. I am getting a pool and was to be 15 x 30 and suppose to drop gradual from 3 to 6 feet in the 30 foot length. But then the PB didn't mention the steps took 4 feet. So now my pool is 3 to 6 feet in 26'. Which I have a nice gradual move until all of a sudden theres a horrible drop at 4' 6" to get to the 6' in only 26' length. So, remember your steps. Are you counting them. And think math. Every 5 feet in length drop 6". No more. You can drop less, but never drop not more then 6" in 5 feet length. I hope I make sense.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Hi Peggy,

We had our pool built a few years ago, and we decided to do exactly as you have. Ours is 38x18 (if I remember correctly), and we have a ton of shallow space for our volleyball games, and simply lounging. Of course, we also have a 6' deep end, and I believe the slope starts at somewhere around 22-24 feet. Either way, it's plenty of room to play, and we have absolutely no regrets. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 1:20PM
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@Peggyg123, we are contemplating putting in a pool later this year and I'm confused about pool depths. I've been told that going with a more even depth without a deep end for diving is very popular.

Do you have kids? Will they not miss being able to dive in?

We have two small boys and I'm trying to weigh out what is better - deep end for diving/jumping or more even for lounging and playing games.

Any advice you can send my way would be appreciated.

Our pool will be smaller. Rectangle but probably only 12' X 24'. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:10PM
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A 12x24 is too small for diving.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 5:53AM
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Thanks Scott - I'm adrift in an area I know nothing about. Our pool won't go in until Fall so lots of time to research.

We don't want a pool to eat up our whole yard so was thinking small but when I measured it out today I think we could go larger (12' x 24' sure is small). 14' X 28' is next size up but might even be able to go larger.

What would be the minimum size you would reco for diving? and what depth would that mean?

I'm still leaning to the more shallow depth all over - seems more practical for playing but I don't know ...

Is there a common (or popular) depth for the more shallow depth option?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:50PM
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Minimum depth is 8'. Rarely would you find a pool that allowed diving at less than 32 feet long and at least 15' wide.

Please remember, I don't build pools. There are many others that do, however.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 4:25AM
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Don't pay any attention to the following....

Do people not know what a/how to do a "shallow dive"? I can dive in 3'of water all day long. It is nice to have 15'+ to finish out the glide after the dive....if you can't do this how else do you run into the ocean and dive out into the water, you can't "run" in 3,4,5' feet, you run till about 1.5-2' then dive....

I guess i did grow up prior to the &^%%$ification of these great United States....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Just because you can dive in water that you are already in at a shallow depth doesn't make for a safe depth. Diving into a pool safely has requirements you choose to ignore. That is your choice, not mine, nor that of the millions of others that dive in without having to worry.

FWIW, diving in a sandy beach is more than a little different than diving in a concrete pool.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 4:05AM
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Go as deep as you can if you have kids or teenagers around. We went 6 1/2 and I cringe everytime I look out and the big kids are running and diving. We have told everybody no diving a 1000 times but it does not slow them down. The smaller kids like to jump off stuff and always trying to build some type of dive. I would give anything for an extra two feet now.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:50PM
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The is some really great advise in this thread. Janellee in particular, I took your words to heart when we ordered our pool last night. I still have time to change things and just wanted to run this by everyone for your wisdom.

Firstly, the main users will be adults and children in the 10-13 year age, who are good swimmers. We do entertain a bit, but the main usage will be for going down the slide, jumping off the side (not diving, more cannon ball style) floating, games such as volley ball, hoops, etc. and goofing around.

Based on the info above I decided on a 18x36 rectangular, 3.5 feet (3 feet of water) for 8 feet (platform) and then a slope to 6.5 feet (6 feet of water) at the end. We are going with the corner stairs for entry in the shallow.

We are also going with a systematic automatic pool cover. I am trying to decide between grey or charcoal for the color.

It was suggested to me to put in a pool filler which costs about 350, my pool guy commented that the only thing about that is you may not be made aware of a leak with that unless your water bill spikes.

Any suggestions, or thoughts?

The questions that come to mind are:
Should I go with 8 feet or 10 feet of a "platform" before starting the slope? Will you notice a difference in the slope with either?

Is the pool filler recommended?

Is it better to get a lighter grey cover due to fading and looking dirty?

Any thoughts or wisdom is appreciated. As all of you, I am really trying to get this right for our family.

Thanks!!, :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:03PM
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