The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers (2023)

The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers (1)There’s nothing quite as refreshing as jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. Having your own swimming pool gives you a natural gathering place for friends and family, a perfect spot to relax and unwind and a nice return on investment if and when you decide to sell your home.

Being a pool owner also means learning all about what makes for an ideal swim. If you are a new pool owner, or simply hadn’t given the matter much thought, you might not know what the ideal pool temperature is for your guests. In this post, we will explore what the experts recommend for an ideal pool temperature, along with what the minimum swimming pool temperature is, what an unheated swimming pool temperature is, what the ideal swimming pool temperature is for seniors and what the ideal outdoor pool temperature year round is. Ready to dive in (pun intended)?

What You’ll Learn:

  • Is There A Minimum Swimming Pool Temperature?
  • Are Certain Pool Temperatures Unsafe?
  • What’s The Ideal Pool Temperature For Seniors?
  • Ensure An Ideal Pool Temperature

The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers (2)

Is There A Minimum Swimming Pool Temperature?

Some of the factors to consider when determining comfortable pool temperatures is who exactly is using the pool. How old are your swimmers? Are your bathers physically fit? Are your guests swimming laps or just dipping their toes in the shallow end? One way to start thinking about the perfect pool temperature is to start with the bare minimum: what’s the coldest temperature that your pool water needs to be to be comfortable for taking a dip?

(Video) What's The PERFECT Swimming POOL TEMPERATURE? | Swim University

In some areas, you can swim virtually year-round, although in most places there are a few months when you won’t be swimming. In those places, the decision about when to open your pool for the season depends on some of the questions we posed above, plus a few other factors, including the materials used to construct the pool, the amount of wind and other weather factors in your area and the pool’s orientation to the sun.

According to the American Red Cross and the National Pool and Spa Institute, the recommended minimum swimming pool temperature for most aquatic activities should be between 83 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This range allows the body to adjust naturally to physical demands, even the minimal demands required while playfully swimming. While this range is suitable for most activities, your pool temperature should also be altered based on the number of individuals swimming and the activity they’re engaged in.

For highly competitive swimming, the American Red Cross recommends that pool water should be between 77 and 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Not surprisingly, though, the younger the swimmer, the warmer the water should be. Take first-time swimmers, for example. Preschool-aged children should be learning to swim in water that’s between 88 and 94 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas children between the ages of 3 and 5 should be swimming in water that’s between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. A good rule to follow is that as the swimmer gets older, the pool temperature should become colder.

The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers (3)

Are Certain Pool Temperatures Unsafe?

Without intervention, pool temperature depends on many previously-discussed factors, like the construction materials used to build your pool and the pool’s orientation to the sun. On any given day, your pool’s temperature can vary, rising and falling, depending on the time of day. If you don’t have a pool heater installed, it’s safe to assume that the temperature will drop at night after the water loses some of the heat it absorbed during the day. As you probably also expect, the mercury will rise again the following morning as the pool water reabsorbs that heat. Typically, swimmping pool temperature can decline about 5 percent during overnight hours, on average. If you cover your pool, though, it’s possible to reduce that heat loss by 50 percent or more.

(Video) Best Water Temperature When Swimming

Unheated pools run the risk of becoming too cold without proper maintenance during cooler months of the year. While activities like the Polar Bear Plunge have become quite the annual ritual, cold water can actually be extremely dangerous when you experience it on a more frequent basis. The National Center for Cold Water Safety states that swimmers entering water with a temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit should proceed with caution.

Because we often compare water temperatures to its air temperature equivalent, 70 degrees doesn’t seem particularly cold, where in actuality, this water temperature has the potential to be incredibly dangerous. For starters, it’s already below the temperature threshold whereby breathing begins to be affected or difficult; most people begin to experience some difficulty while breathing when the water temperature is 77 degrees. And as the water’s temperature continues to fall, your breathing—or your ability to hold your breath—becomes increasingly more difficult.

Although you may choose to not use your pool’s heater, most pools do have a heating system. While a heater is sometimes needed to maintain an ideal swimming pool temperature, water that is too warm can also have negative effects on swimmers. For starters,exposure to hot water can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps and overheating. That’s why experts urge individuals in hot tubs to stay in the water for only 10 to 15 minutes, or even less; the maximum safe water temperature for spas and hot tubs is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The Red Cross also advises that women who are pregnant and children under five should not sit in a hot tub or spa.

If you do decide to install a pool heater, there are a few options to consider, like deciding between a heat pump or a gas pool heater. Let’s discuss these two options in a little more detail.

Through electricity, heat pumps capture heat and move it from place to place inside your pool. Contrary to what this device’s name might indicate, this pump doesn’t actually generate heat. Instead, as the pool pump moves around the water, the water moves through the filter and the pump’s heater. One thing to consider is that the heat pumps work most efficiently when the outside temperature remains above 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the pump pulls in air from outside, the cooler the air outside, the more energy must be used to convert chilly air to hot air. Finally, while heat pumps cost more than gas pool heaters, they are typically more cost-effective, as they are more efficient over time.

(Video) What Is The Perfect Swimming Pool Temperature

Gas pool heaters are the more popular option for heating pools, but they aren’t necessarily the most energy-efficient. This type of heater uses natural gas or propane, and as the pump moves through the pool’s water, the water passes through a filter and then the heater. Because this heater is most often used for heating pools quickly and for shorter periods of time, this option is ideal for families that don’t use their pool on a regular basis.

The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers (4)

What’s The Ideal Pool Temperature For Seniors?

The rule we mentioned earlier (the older a child swimmer is, the cooler the pool should get) flips if the swimmer is an elder. For older adults engaging in moderate to high-intensity activity, the pool water should range between 83 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. For the same aged adults engaging in low-intensity activity, the water should be slightly warmer, ranging between 86 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, for adults engaging in therapy and rehabilitation, an ideal pool temperature is much warmer, between 91 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, as warmer temperatures allow for muscles to become looser and for the body’s stiffness bereduced.

With the correct awareness, training and support, aquatics can be one of the more beneficial forms of exercise for adults or sernios, especially those suffering from physical conditions such as arthritis. The goal for aquatic programmingfor older individuals with arthritis is to decrease the pain and increase the individual’s range of motion. For this type of activity, the pool water should be slightly warmer than what the individual is used to, randing from 84 or 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers (5)

(Video) Optimum Swimming Pool Temperatures

Ensure An Ideal Pool Temperature

There you have it: the ideal outdoor pool temperature ranges from between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of activity and the age of the swimmer. If you are planning to teach swimming lessons outdoors to small children, the most conducive temperature for teaching is slightly warmer, ranging from 83 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Given these temperature ranges, most families kick-off pool season in April. Especially in southern states, including in Texas, it’s not surprising to see families in their pools on weekends or after school during this time of year. But because other states don’t experience such warm weather as early as Texas residents do, the most typical month to start swimming season across the country is May.

What if you are doing all that you should to maintain an ideal pool temperature, but things don’t seem quite right? You might have a few problems with your pool heater. If your heater either doesn’t turn on or won’t stay on, try cleaning your filter and turning your thermostat up. If your filter is clogged, the low pressure might result in the heater shutting itself off. If you have a gas heater, make sure the shut-off valve is on so that the heater is getting the fuel it needs to operate. If you have an electric unit, check to make sure there is no corrosion around the terminals and that your connections are tight.

If your heater will turn on but doesn’t seem to be adequately heating your pool, you might have either a dirty filter or a timer that’s not set correctly. Again, a clogged filter can prevent the heater from coming on or can shut it off before it’s done its job. Just as we instructed above, remove all debris from your filter and then turn the heater on to a high enough temperature that the heater comes back on. If your timer is the problem, try resetting it so it runs for a longer period of time. While you are at it, ensure that your system valves are turned in such a way that they go through your heater. Last, but certainly not least, if you have a new heater that isn’t working properly, double check to make sure that you purchased the right-sized heater for your pool.

ABC Can Help Keep Your Pool Looking And Working Great

Having a pool in your backyard can be a great feature, but all pool owners know a lot of work is involved. If you have a pool, you should be keeping up with maintenance, safety precautions, especially with small children and of course, ensuring the water’s temperature is comfortable for everyone. It’s one thing when everything is working fine, but something else entirely when things aren’t quite right and you are not sure what to do about it. Luckily, ABC Home & Commercial Services has a team of experts that are equipped and ready to assist you with any of your pool service needs. Whether you need a pool repair, are considering replastering a pool or if you are ready to outsource your cleaning to the pros, we’ve got you covered.Let ABC take care of the work so you can enjoy the warm, summer days with your family, relaxing poolside.

(Video) Is There A Perfect Swimming Technique For Triathlon? | Swim Like A Triathlete


The Ideal Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers? ›

Despite this, the average pool temperature, which is said to be ideal for all, is between 77-82°F. These temperatures are low enough to prevent bacteria from growing, but also warm enough to take the chill off.

What temperature should swimmers swim in a pool? ›

Most multi-purpose pools incorporating lap, recreational, and water fitness swimmers across the country are typically kept at a higher temperature, between 83 and 86 degrees, though some programs will bring temperatures up to 90 degrees for small children.

Is 82 degrees warm for a pool? ›

Pool water temperatures typically run between 78 and 82 degrees. Any cooler than 78 and you may come out of the pool shivering. Any warmer than 82 and you may feel like you're taking a bath. So you could say that 78 degrees is the minimum swimming pool temperature and anything over 82 degrees could be too warm.

Is 75 too cold to swim? ›

Most lap swimmers like the water temperature to be somewhere between 75-80 degrees. Being active by swimming laps will cause the body to heat up fairly quickly.

Is 80 degrees hot enough to swim? ›

If you are swimming for fitness, cooler temperatures of 78 to 84 degrees are recommended. Note: The ideal air temperature for these activities is 78-80 degrees; never higher than 82 degrees. The more aerobic the activity, the lower the air temperature needs to be.

Is 90 degrees warm for a pool? ›

While pools should be never above 95 degrees, anywhere in the 90-92 degree range creates a comfortable, yet therapeutically warm environment for older swimmers or infants and toddlers learning how to swim.

What does 70 degree water feel like? ›

70F (21C) Water feels quite cold to most people.

What does 80 degree pool feel like? ›

Anything above 82 degrees will begin to feel like bath water. However, 80 degrees is generally warm and cool enough for all to enjoy. Of course, you should keep in mind that each degree the temperature rises results in increased energy costs of 10 to 30 percent.

Is 77 degree pool water too cold? ›

Depending on its purpose, competitive swimmers would prefer a cooler water temperature, whereas young children and senior citizens would benefit more so from warmer temperatures. Despite this, the average pool temperature, which is said to be ideal for all, is between 77-82°F.

Why does 75 degree water feel cold? ›

It takes 4 times the energy to heat up water than to heat air. Water also "feels" colder because water is a more efficent medium than air to cool our body down. A 65 degree afternoon is refreshing, but you can get hypothermia in a few hours of swimming in 65 degree water!

Can you get hypothermia swimming in 70 degree water? ›

Hypothermia is one of the greatest dangers when you go out on the water. It is usually thought of a cold-weather or cold-water condition; but it can occur at temperatures well above freezing, even in waters as warm as 80°.

How long can you stay in 75 degree water? ›

Expected Survival Time in Cold Water
Water TemperatureExhaustion or Unconsciousness inExpected Survival Time
70–80° F (21–27° C)3–12 hours3 hours – indefinitely
60–70° F (16–21° C)2–7 hours2–40 hours
50–60° F (10–16° C)1–2 hours1–6 hours
40–50° F (4–10° C)30–60 minutes1–3 hours
2 more rows

Is 80 degrees too cold for a pool? ›

Many recreational pool temperatures are kept around 80 degrees, but children are happiest when the water temperature is closer to their natural body temperature. Ideally, this is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When you're playing in the water with your children, stay on the lookout for any signs of distress.

Is 80 degree pool too cold for baby? ›

In general, 82°F–86°F (28°C–30°C) is comfortable for recreational swimming for children. Babies are more comfortable when the water is on the warmer side of this temperature range.

Can you overheat in a swimming pool? ›

Yes, heat exhaustion can occur after long periods of exercise. So, if you are exercising a lot in the pool you can have it! Heat disorders are a group of physically related illnesses caused by prolonged exposure to hot temperatures, restricted fluid intake, or failure of temperature regulating mechanisms of the body.

How cold do pools get in Florida? ›

An unheated pool will stay generally at about the average outdoor temperature, which may be as low as 53°F in north Florida in winter. For the typical user, comfortable pool water temperatures are 78°F to 82°F in spring and fall and 76°F to 78°F in winter.

How much water does a pool lose in 90 degree weather? ›

The differential that occurs between the pool water temperature and the air temperature on late summer nights causes water to evaporate at an accelerated rate. In some cases you might see a water level difference of 1-3 inches overnight. Depending on the size of your pool, that can be over 500 gallons of water loss!

Is it safe to swim in 71 degree water? ›

Don't Swim if Your Pool Water Is Below 70 Degrees

According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, water temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit should be treated with caution. The “perfect” temperature for a swimming pool tends to range between 77 and 82 degrees. The average is somewhere around 79 degrees.

How long does it take to get hypothermia in 70 degree water? ›

In water temperatures from 70-80 degrees, exhaustion or unconsciousness can set in within 3-12 hours; 60-70 degrees, 2-7 hours, and in water from 50-60 degrees, you could be unconscious in 1-2 hours.

How cold is 80 degree water? ›

Does 80 degree water feel warm? If you are comfortable sticking your hand in cold water, it is probably about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the temperature might feel cold on your skin, the water inside the tank will be much colder than that.

Why does an 80 degree pool feel cold? ›

Water has a much higher thermal conductivity than air, which means it can absorb and transfer heat more effectively. When you enter a pool or lake with a temperature of 80 degrees, the water quickly conducts heat away from your body, making you feel cold.

How can I heat my pool faster? ›

The fastest way to heat your pool is to use a gas pool heater and a solar cover. It's like heating up your coffee in the microwave and putting a lid on it. No matter how you plan to heat your pool, you should at least have a solar cover (or liquid solar cover) to help you retain the heat.

Is 81 degrees good for a pool? ›

For personal recreational swimming pools, the ideal water temperature is generally around 81 degrees Fahrenheit. For other types of swimming pools or uses, such as exercises and competition, the temperature may vary. The best water temperature for competitive swimming is between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long can you swim in 70 degree water? ›

At a water temperature of 32.5 to 40 degrees, death may occur in 30 - 90 minutes. At a water temperature of 40 to 50 degrees, death may occur in 1 - 3 hours. At a water temperature of 50 - 60 degrees, death may occur in 1 - 6 hours. At a water temperature of 60 - 70 degrees, death may occur in 2 - 40 hours.

Does pool temperature matter? ›

Hotter days mean more swimmers and more non-living organics in the water, like sunscreen and body oils. Between these organics and the living contaminants like algae, warm water has a higher chlorine demand than cold water. Chemical reactions generally work faster at higher temperatures.

Is a 70 degree pool safe? ›

The National Center for Cold Water Safety advises against swimming in water temperatures below 70 degrees, even if you are wearing a wetsuit or drysuit. What is this? Between 60 and 70 degrees it becomes progressively more difficult to control your breathing when swimming in the water.

Are pools warmer at night? ›

In another words, water retains heat longer than air molecules as a result pool water stay warmer even at cool night similar to the hot day temperature, even though the night temperatures drop by 20 or 30 degrees from the day time temperatures.

Does 79 degree water feel cold? ›

Water Temperature of the Sea Below 26°C (79°F)

For swimming this is considered warm and would be enjoyed by all, even those who would normally suggest the water was 'to cold' for a swim.

Is cold water swimming good for arthritis? ›

Cold water swimming therapy has been shown to help with muscle and joint pain as it helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. Not only can this ease the pain associated with arthritis but it also helps with muscle soreness after physical activity.

Is it healthy to swim in very cold water? ›

Some studies showed solid evidence that cold-water swimmers often experience significant improvements in overall cardiovascular health. Cold-water immersion triggers a “shock response” that stresses the cardiovascular system and elevates the heart rate – a chief goal of high-intensity heart-healthy exercise.

What happens if you swim in really cold water? ›

Cold water can cause cold water shock and hypothermia, and can impact people of all ages and fitness, including even the most capable swimmers. These conditions can adversely affect the body's ability to function properly, thereby increasing the risk of drowning.

How long does it take to get hypothermia in 85 degree water? ›

Hypothermia Table
Water Temperature in Degrees F (Degrees C)Loss of Dexterity (with no protective clothing)Exhaustion or Unconsciousness
50 to 60 (10 to 15.5)10 to 15 min.1 to 2 hrs.
60 to 70 (15.5 to 21)30 to 40 min.2 to 7 hrs.
70 to 80 (21 to 26.5)1 to 2 hrs.2 to 12 hrs.
Over 80 (Over 26.5)2 to 12 hrs.Indefinite
3 more rows

Can you get hypothermia in 78 degree water? ›

Hypothermia becomes a risk when the water is 70 degrees or cooler.

Is it OK to swim in 74 degree water? ›

74 degrees is the ideal water temperature to wear a wetsuit, but any warmer and you may overheat. The range of 50 to 78 degrees means that there's a perfect level of warmth for using a wetsuit. Wearing a wetsuit will help keep you warm in waters as cold as 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the 120 degree rule? ›

A good rule of thumb to follow is the "120° rule." This means you should wear a wetsuit or dry suit whenever the sum of the air temperature and water temperature is equal to or less than 120°F. Warm weather does not cancel out the danger of cold water, wearing lighter clothing on a warm day increases risk.

Can you get hypothermia in 74 degree water? ›

Cold water can have the same effect, but the temperature doesn't have to be nearly as low. Hypothermia happens when the body temperature falls to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The longer you swim in cold water — especially water that's approaching 40 degrees or lower — the more at risk of hypothermia you'll be.

Is 85 degrees warm for a pool? ›

Most hotels and resorts keep the temperature of their pools at a comfortable 82° to 85°F (27° to 29°C). This is warm enough for comfortable swimming and lounging. Same for most condominium units institutional and public pools.

What state is water at 80 degrees? ›

Answer and Explanation: The state of water at 80 degrees Celsius and 300 torr is a gaseous state. At these conditions, the water will be in form of a vapor. The boiling point of the water is considered as 100 degrees Celsius.

What temperature kills yeast? ›

Regardless of the type of yeast you use, if your water reaches temperatures of 120°F or more, the yeast will begin to die off. Once water temps reach 140°F or higher, that is the point where the yeast will be completely killed off.

At what temp does water burn skin? ›

Human exposure to hot water at 140°F can lead to a serious burn within 3 seconds, whereas at 120°F a serious burn takes about 10 minutes. Because thinner skin burns more quickly, children and older adults are at increased risk.

What pool temperature can you get hypothermia? ›

Most hypothermia occurs in waters cooler than 60 degrees, but it can plague more sensitive swimmers or those competitors who do longer races in 70-degree water as well.

What is a safe water temp for kids? ›

Make sure the water is no warmer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that seems cool enough may be too hot for a child. You can buy a water thermometer at any hardware store. Turn down the temperature of your water heater or install a hot water control on your faucets.

How long can a 2 year old stay in a pool? ›

Don't keep your baby in the pool water for longer than 10 minutes at first. When you get out, be sure to wrap your baby in a warm blanket or towel immediately.

Is 70 degree water too cold to swim in? ›

Any water temperature below 70 degrees should be treated with caution for those not wearing a wetsuit or drysuit, the National Center for Cold Water Safety warns. When water temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees it becomes progressively more difficult to control your breathing.

Is 70 too cold to swim? ›

No matter where you're swimming, avoiding water below 70 degrees Fahrenheit is a good rule of thumb for the average swimmer. The truth of the matter, though, is that 70 degrees is still pretty chilly. You'll probably have a better time if you wait for warmer water. In fact, you'll be safer, too.

Can you swim in 60 degree weather? ›

70 Degrees - 60 Degrees

Your breathing will be harder to maintain in this temperature, and you won't be able to hold your breath nearly as long as you would otherwise. You may not think you'll need it, but a good wetsuit will go a long way toward keeping you swimming in this kind of water.

Is it comfortable to swim in 72 degree water? ›

The average water temperature at 72 degrees Fahrenheit is just right for swimming and can feel refreshing on a hot day. However, if the ocean waters are colder than 22°C (72°F), it's still safe to enjoy swimming as long as you take precautions such as wearing sunscreen and bring along suitable clothing.

How fast do you get hypothermia in 70 degree water? ›

In water temperatures from 70-80 degrees, exhaustion or unconsciousness can set in within 3-12 hours; 60-70 degrees, 2-7 hours, and in water from 50-60 degrees, you could be unconscious in 1-2 hours.

Can you swim in Florida in 70 degree weather? ›

The National Centers for Environmental Information states that any temperature from a 90 to 65 degrees is fine for swimming, although most people feel more comfortable in the temperature from 70 to 78 degrees.

Is 70 degrees in Florida warm enough to swim? ›

But generally people will start going in for a swim when the water temperature warms up to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At 75 degrees, most people will venture in and at 80, anyone will swim comfortably.

Is 71 degree water warm enough to swim in? ›

Don't Swim if Your Pool Water Is Below 70 Degrees

According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, water temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit should be treated with caution. The “perfect” temperature for a swimming pool tends to range between 77 and 82 degrees. The average is somewhere around 79 degrees.

How cold is an unheated pool? ›

You may wish to equip your pool with a thermometer in order to better estimate temps. Guests who choose an unheated pool should not be expecting 90°f degrees. But if your pool is under 80°f, you should definitely let them know so they can be aware ahead of time.

Is 65 a good temp for swimming? ›

Just because the water is 65 degrees doesn't mean it's safe to swim in. People should treat any water temperature below 70 degrees with caution, even if they're not wearing a wetsuit or drysuit. It becomes progressively more difficult to control your breathing at 60-70 degrees Celsius waters.

How long is it safe to be in 60 degree water? ›

Expected Survival Time in Cold Water
Water TemperatureExhaustion or Unconsciousness inExpected Survival Time
70–80° F (21–27° C)3–12 hours3 hours – indefinitely
60–70° F (16–21° C)2–7 hours2–40 hours
50–60° F (10–16° C)1–2 hours1–6 hours
40–50° F (4–10° C)30–60 minutes1–3 hours
2 more rows


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