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What Is The Perfect Pool Water Temperature?

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘cold water kills swimmers’. Well, it turns out that swimming pools should be kept at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) to ensure that the water remains safe for swimmers.

Swimming pools are usually heated using either electric heaters or gas heaters. The ideal temperature for a pool depends on its size and whether it has a salt system (see also our pool salt guide).

The ideal pool temperature varies depending on the type of pool you have. For example, a private pool should ideally be maintained between 68°F and 72°F (20°C – 22°C).

If you have a public pool, then the ideal temperature is between 65°F and 70°F (18°C – 21°C). 

In this article, we will take a close look at the perfect temperature that your pool should be, as well as the risks and consequences of having pool water that is the wrong temperature for your body.

Pool Water Temperature

Health And Fitness Benefits Of Swimming

Swimming helps people stay fit because it burns calories. In fact, swimming is one of the best exercises you can do.

It’s important to remember that swimming doesn’t burn as many calories as running does. However, it still provides plenty of benefits. Here are some of them:

  • It improves cardiovascular health. Swimming strengthens your heart and lungs. It also increases blood flow through your body. As a result, your heart becomes stronger.
  • Swimming reduces stress. If you feel stressed about anything, then take up swimming. The rhythmic movement of the water calms you down.
  • Swimming relieves depression. Some studies suggest that swimming can reduce symptoms of depression. It has been shown to improve moods in patients who suffer from mild or moderate depression.
  • Swimming can help you lose weight. Studies show that swimmers tend to weigh less than non-swimmers. They may even shed pounds during their swim season.
  • Swimming boosts self-esteem. You’ll feel good about yourself after taking part in a regular exercise routine like swimming.
  • You’ll enjoy the feeling of being able to move freely. Swimming will give you more energy.
  • Swimming can boost your immune system. Research shows that swimming can increase levels of white blood cells. White blood cells fight infections.
  • Swimming can strengthen bones. Swimming helps build strong muscles and bones. Swimming can also prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis
  • Swimming can help prevent cancer. A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that women who regularly took part in aquatic activities had lower risks for breast and colon cancers.
  • Swimming can protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that people with dementia who participated in aqua therapy were better able to recognize faces and names.
  • Swimming can improve memory. Aquatic exercise can improve brain function. This includes improving memory and concentration.
  • Swimming can relieve pain. Swimming can help ease backaches, neck pains, knee pains, and other types of aches and pains.
  • Swimming can make you happier. When you’re happy, you’re likely to be healthier.
  • Swimming can keep you healthy.
  • Swimming is fun!

Why Swimming Pool Temperature Is Important

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details about what the ideal pool temperature is, let’s first talk about why it matters.

First off, the human body needs a certain amount of energy to function properly. This energy is called the “metabolic rate.”

Metabolic rate increases when the body gets warmer. When the body gets too warm, however, the metabolic rate decreases.

What Happens If You Get Too Hot?

This means that if you swim in an environment where the water is too hot, your metabolism will slow down. As a result, you’ll feel tired and sluggish.

This can also lead to overheating. Overheating occurs when the body absorbs more than the required amount of heat from the environment.

Your body will try to cool itself by sweating, but if the sweat glands don’t work properly, then you could overheat.

When you’re overheated, you might experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, fainting, confusion, muscle cramps, seizures, or even death.

So, keeping the pool water at the right temperature is important because it helps prevent overheating.

What Happens If You Get Too Cold?

Also, the risk of drowning goes up significantly when the water is too cold.

Cold water inhibits the ability of the brain to send signals to muscles to move them, which makes it harder to escape from the water.

If you’re not sure how cold the water is, you can use a thermometer to check.

A good rule of thumb is that the water should always be at least 1 degree above the air temperature.

How Do Swimming Pools Get Too Hot?

There are two main ways that pools can become too hot:

1. Using Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are very common in swimming pools. They come in many different sizes and shapes. Some are designed to heat only one part of the pool while others can heat the entire pool.

Electric heaters (see also ‘Electric Pool Heaters Buying Guide‘) are great for heating small pools, but they aren’t suitable for large ones. Also, they require regular maintenance to ensure that they operate correctly.

2. Using Gas Heaters

Gas heaters are used primarily in larger pools. These heaters are much more efficient than electric heaters, so they don’t need to be turned on as often.

However, gas heaters do pose some safety concerns. To avoid any potential hazards, make sure that you follow all safety guidelines when using these types of heaters.

The Ideal Pool Temperature

Now that you know why it’s important to keep the pool water temperature within a certain range, let’s take a closer look at exactly what the ideal temperature is.

The ideal pool temperature depends on the size of the pool and the type of pool you own. There are three basic categories of pools — indoor, outdoor, and portable.

Indoor pools are typically made of concrete and have walls that surround the sides and back of the pool.

Outdoor pools are usually made of fiberglass and have no surrounding walls. Portable pools are generally smaller than other types of pools and can be moved around easily.

Indoor pools tend to be heated with electric heaters, whereas outdoor pools are usually heated with natural gas heaters.

Because these pools are indoors, they need to stay between 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

Portable pools are usually heated with propane tanks or solar panels. The ideal temperature for these pools is between 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).

Outdoor pools are usually heated with either an electric heater or a natural gas heater.

The ideal temperature for this type of pool is between 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).

When choosing your pool’s water temperature, remember that the colder the water gets, the greater the chance of someone getting into trouble.

If you want to reduce the chances of someone drowning, then make sure that the pool stays between 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) and 86 (30 degrees Celsius).

This will also help prevent people from slipping on ice.

If you live in a region where there is snowfall during the winter months, then you’ll probably want to consider installing a heater in your pool.

However, if you live somewhere like Florida, where there isn’t much snowfall, then you won’t need to worry about this problem.

How To Measure Pool Temperature

How To Measure Pool Temperature

To measure the temperature of your pool, use a thermometer. You should always check the temperature of your pool before diving into it.

You can buy thermometers online or at most hardware stores. Make sure that the thermometer has a probe that fits inside your pool (see also ‘The Best Pool Thermometer‘). Also, make sure that the thermometer is accurate.

Some thermometers are only accurate up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius), but others are accurate down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).

You can also use a digital thermometer. These devices connect directly to your computer and display the current temperature of your pool. They’re easy to use and don’t require batteries.

However, if you plan on keeping track of the temperature throughout the day, then you may want to invest in a separate thermometer for each room of your house.

How To Adjust Pool Temperature

The easiest way to adjust the temperature of your pool is by using a remote control. Most models come with a remote control so that you can adjust the temperature without having to get out of the pool.

Most remote controls allow you to set the temperature manually. To do this, press the button once to increase the temperature, twice to decrease the temperature, and hold the button until the desired temperature appears.

Some remote controls have automatic settings. To change the temperature automatically, just follow the instructions that came with the device.

If you prefer to adjust the temperature yourself, then you’ll need to know how to read a dial gauge. A dial gauge is similar to a clock face. It shows the time by displaying numbers on a dial.

A dial gauge allows you to see the exact temperature of your pool. Simply turn the dial until the number matches what you want.

If you’d rather not use a dial gauge, then you could try using a thermostat instead. Thermostats work similarly to dial gauges. Instead of turning a dial, they simply tell you when the temperature reaches a certain point.

Thermostats usually have an adjustable setting. You can choose which range you want the thermostat to monitor.

For example, you might be able to select temperatures ranging from 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).

Thermostats often come with a timer as well. This feature lets you program the thermostat to turn itself off after a certain amount of time.

For instance, you could set the timer to shut off the heat after 30 minutes. When the timer expires, the thermostat will turn itself back on again.

This feature can help prevent overheating. By shutting off the heating system while you’re away from home, you can save money on energy bills.

Before You Start Adjusting And Readjusting Pool Temperature

You should always check the temperature before you dive into adjusting it. The first thing you should do is make sure that the water is clean. Clean water is essential for keeping your pool healthy.

Next, you should ensure that there aren’t any leaks around the pump. Leaks can cause problems like mold growth and algae.

After you’ve checked everything else, you should test the temperature. To do this, you’ll need to measure the water level.

To do this, place a measuring cup under the surface of the water. Then, carefully remove the measuring cup without disturbing the water.

When you’ve done this, record the reading. Make sure that you write down the reading so that you won’t forget it later.

If the reading is too high, then you should lower the temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius).

When you’ve lowered the temperature, wait until the next day to test the water again. Repeat this process until you find the perfect temperature.

Keeping Pool Temperature Costs Down

There are several ways to keep your pool costs (see also ‘Average Cost Of Pool Resurfacing‘) low. One way is to use a solar heater instead of electricity.

Solar heaters work by absorbing sunlight. They convert the sun’s rays into heat.

They don’t require much maintenance. All you have to do is change the filters every month or two.

Another option is to install an automatic filter cleaning device. These devices automatically clean the filter when they detect that it needs cleaning, and they can be used with both saltwater and freshwater pools.

A third option is to buy a timer. Timer controls allow you to set the time at which the heater turns on and off. This allows you to control how long the heater runs each day.

In addition, timers can be programmed to turn on and off at different times throughout the week. This helps you save energy while saving money.

Finally, you can use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats let you adjust the temperature according to your schedule.

For example, if you’re going to be home all day, you might want to leave the pool running all day.

However, if you’re not home, you can shut the pool off and save energy.

When Might You Want A Warmer Temperature In Your Pool?

When Might You Want A Warmer Temperature In Your Pool?

There are some situations where you may wish to have the temperature of your pool a little higher.

One situation where you might want to increase the temperature is during the winter months. During these cold months, you’ll want to warm up the water in your pool.

This will help keep your pool safe from freezing. It also prevents ice from forming on the bottom of the pool.

You should only raise the temperature by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) during the winter.

Once spring arrives, you’ll no longer need to worry about raising the temperature.

It’s important to remember that even though you’re using a heater, you still need to check the water levels every few days.

Otherwise, you could end up having a problem like a leak or an overflow.

Advantages Of A Heated Swimming Pool

There are many advantages to owning a heated swimming pool, and these include:

  • You can enjoy spending time in the sun without worrying about getting burnt.
  • A heated swimming pool allows you to swim when temperatures outside are high.
  • Heated pools provide a comfortable environment for children who might otherwise get cold easily.

When Might You Want A Cooler Temperature In Your Pool?

The opposite situation occurs during the summer months. During hot weather, you’ll want to cool down the water in your pool to prevent overheating.

To cool down the water, you should reduce the amount of time that the heater runs.

Reducing the length of time that the heater operates will result in less energy being used.

Also, you should make sure that the pump isn’t working too hard. If the pump is constantly running, it will consume more energy than necessary.

Advantages Of A Cooler Swimming Pool

There are also advantages to keeping your pool a little cooler, and these include:

  • It’s easier to control the temperature of your pool.
  • Cooler pools allow you to swim longer before needing to rest.
  • Cooler pools require less energy to heat up.
  • Your pool doesn’t overheat due to increased evaporation.

How Can I Keep My Pool Clean?

In addition to maintaining an even temperature, you also need to ensure that your pool is clean and hygienic – this will also help pumps, filters, and heaters to work more efficiently, maintaining your ideal pool temperature.

The best way to keep your pool clean is to hire a professional pool service company.

These companies usually offer regular services as well as emergency services.

Regular services include everything from changing the chemicals to cleaning the pool.

Emergency services include any repairs that may be needed.

If you decide to do it yourself, here are some tips for keeping your pool clean:

Chlorine tablets contain a lower concentration of chlorine than swimming pool bleach, and they therefore will not cause damage to your pool equipment.

Swimming pool bleach can be harmful to your pool equipment. If you accidentally spill it onto your pool equipment (see also ‘Pool Equipment Enclosure Ideas‘), it can cause permanent damage.

  • Clean your filter regularly

Filters remove dirt and debris from the water. They also help maintain the pH balance of your pool.

Filters should be cleaned at least once per week, as this helps them operate more effectively.

  • Ensure that there is enough oxygen in your pool

If there isn’t enough oxygen in your pool, then algae will grow quickly. This will affect the appearance of your pool.

  • Ensure that your pool has plenty of circulation

Circulation ensures that all parts of your pool receive enough air, and, if you don’t have enough circulation, then the water won’t circulate around the entire pool.

This means that the water won’t reach the edges of the pool where algae tend to form.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the ideal temperature for your pool can help you to make the most of this much-loved asset, and ensures that you and your family can stay safe and healthy while enjoying your pool for years to come.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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