Sometimes it’s just not convenient to go to the gym/pool for a swim or you can’t swim outside due to the weather; that’s when an endless pool starts to sound really good. We actually installed one two years ago, as winters where we live can be long, snowy, and bitter cold. If you are tempted to look into an endless pool, here are some factors to consider in the decision.
- Price: This pool is expensive, there is no getting around this. Ours cost around $6500 at the time, but this was the model you have to construct and not the pre-fab. We also did get the upper end with a few bells and whistles. However, I believe at the high end, you should probably figure around $20,000. If price is not an issue, it is totally worth the expense, especially if you live where pools close for snow days and holidays; the pool schedule is tough for your schedule; or it is far away.
- Inside/outside: Our pool is inside and I doubt we would have installed it outside due to the limited season. Winter is when we actually get the most use out of it, as outdoor pools are closed and lakes are either too cold or frozen over. We converted our solarium into a pool house, so to speak. You could also use a garage or other enclosed structure that could be semi-heated.
- Make: We have an Endless Pool and really didn’t look at any others. I know they also make a Fastlane to install into an existing in-ground pool.
- Assembly on or off-site: If there is a chance you may move and would want to take it with you, I would recommend having the pool assembled on-site, so it can be more easily disassembled and moved if need be.
- Maintenance: The pool requires minimal maintenance. We put in a cup of clorox once a week; add water due to evaporation and splash out 3 times/year; keep it covered when not in use to keep in any humidity in; and use a UV filter to cut down on chemicals. We have yet to empty and replace the water in 2 years.
- Heating: The pool comes with an electric heater, but I know people use solar heating also. One of the advantages with the endless pool is that you can set the temperature to your comfort level and avoid the often too hot for workouts at public pools.
- Usage: My husband is a 1:10 IM swimmer. He uses the endless pool for both speed intervals and long, slow swims. It is actually a different swim than in open water or the pool, as it’s without the breaks on flip turns and push offs. This can actually provide a tougher workout in some respects. There are also multiple speed settings to meet your needs. My husband still goes to the pool for the company of working out with others and to do different drills that work better in a regular pool.
- Kids: Kids seem to love it and have a lot of fun in it. Again, if inside, can be used year round.
- Mirrors: You can get mirrors installed on the bottom. While they do add to the expense, they really help with swim technique.
- Odor: It uses very little chlorine, so there is no typical swimming pool odor.
- Skin: If your skin is affected by public pools due to chlorine and/or harsh chemicals, this pool is a dream. Literally, say goodbye to itchy, dry, irritated skin, and straw like hair. Oh, and did I mention also say goodbye to smelling of chlorine even after using special body washes!!! Your tri supporters will thank you for this…..
As I said, we are very happy with our pool after 2 years and it was the right decision for us. I think the biggest deciding factor is where you live – both in terms of climate and the distance to and convenience of the local pool. You certainly have to weigh this advantage versus the cost. Hope this helps.