Swimming in an ice-cold pool is no fun, especially if you just want to float around and chill out. Having said that, it is rumored that dark pools are hotter all year round. But is that really true?
Physics calculations on an average size pool show an increase of about 5.5 Degrees Celcius or 41.9 Degrees Fahrenheit in water temperature. Pool owners report that after lining their pools with a dark coat, their pools are around 5 to 10 degrees warmer, which is in line with calculations.
Do dark pools do indeed get hotter. A swimming pool is a huge investment, but for many of us, it is only used for less than half of the year. So it is understandable why one would want a warmer pool. Read on to find out why dark pools get hotter and more ways to warm up your pool, and you’ll never have to deal with “shrinkage” again!
I’ll also address some safety issues pertaining to dark pools and warmer pool water.
Why Do Dark Pools Get Hotter?
Dark surfaces reflect less light away from the surface, this means that the heat from the sunlight is absorbed rather than “bounced” away. So darker pool liners keep the water warmer.
This is the same principle that causes a black car to get incredibly hot while a white car can stay cool despite the sun beating down on a hot summer day.
A supplier of pool liners stated that many customers who made their pool darker reported increases upwards of 5 Degrees Celcius in this article “Does a Darker Liner make my Pool Warmer?”
What’s that? You call BS?
Well, I also found a calculation done by a member of a physics forum that addresses this exact scenario for those of you who are not easily convinced. Using dark tiles to heat a pool via absorption of solar energy.
Does that mean that lighter pools are colder? Yes, for this same reason, you will find that lighter pools do indeed stay colder all year round.
Do Dark Pools Look Better?
Why should you even care? I’ll tell you why. Your pool is a very expensive investment, and if you do it right, and take into account what other people like, you will get the best bang for your buck when it comes to your property value.
You will thank me when the time comes that you try to sell your home or re-mortgage it. A smarter-looking pool will add more value to your property than something average-looking.
Having said that,
After reading hundreds of comments on the matter of aesthetics, by far the majority agree that dark pools look better.
One comment I read on a popular pool supplier’s website went something like this:
“A dark colored pool combined with an LED light gives that million dollar look that few can resist”Lew Sanborn ‘s comment on an article by americanfiberglasspools.com
Another comment I found that stood out:
Dark colored pools are the winners for me, they look more “custom” and they dont show dirt as much as lighter colored pools do”Ken Leatherwood’s comment on an article by americanfiberglasspools.com
and another commenter named Ted said:
“Dark floored pools look awesome, they add a rich looking appearance to any back yard”Ted Carr’s comment on an article by americanfiberglasspools.com
Personally, I love darker-looking pools. Partly because it makes the pool warmer and I am still able to swim in spring and winter, but also because I like the look. To me, it looks like a deep vast ocean with endless depth and it definitely gives a real classy feel to it.
If you prefer the look of a lighter-colored pool, but would still like to warm up your water year-round, there is still hope. Let’s look at other ways to warm up your pool water.
Other ways to warm up your pool.
- Heat pump. This is an electrically powered device that takes heat from the surrounding air to warm up the water flowing through it. They are dependant on outside air temperature so the won’t make much difference in very cold climates.
- Solar mats are large mats that are placed on flat surfaces in the sun. Usually on your roof. The matt is actually one long, narrow pipe, coiled or zig-zagged into the shape of a matt and it is black in color to absorb as much heat from the sun as possible. The pool water gets heated as it’s pumped through this matt and returned into the pool.
- A Solar Cover comes in many forms. The point is that they cover the pool and prevent the evaporation of heated water. This, in turn, keeps the pool water warmed. Think of it as a greenhouse for your pool.
There you have it. I have established that dark pools stay warmer and that it looks really awesome too. I have also suggested some other ways to heat up your pool if you insist on that ugly white pool.
Let’s look at some safety considerations with regards to warmer water, as well as darker colored pools.
Safety concerns pertaining to warm swimming pools
- Sports swimming and recreational pools have different temperature guidelines. If you are exercising, hot water can cause a rapid decrease in blood pressure, which can cause dizziness and fainting. The more intense the activity, the lower the water temperature should be.
- Alae and bacteria thrive in warmer waters. Any temperature above 85°F (29°C) will cause bacteria to reproduce at rapid rates. Warmer water will require more chlorine to fight algae and bacteria.
- It is more difficult to judge the depth of a darker pool, so if you do go with a dark finish in your pool, be sure to have an underwater light installed so that anyone can establish the depth at night. You might also want to clearly identify the deep end to avoid someone injuring themselves from diving into the shallow end.
If you are convinced that a warmer pool will suit your situation better, then, by all means, go for it! Some of us who live in cooler climates would love the ability to swim all year round, and if you can’t use the pool because it is too cold for half the year, then what’s the point!?
Darker colored pools will help you to achieve this increase in temperate as well as give you a real classy look that might even increase the value of your property more than just a normal light-colored pool that is so common these days.
If you really do prefer the lighter-colored look, then you have other options for heating your pool such as solar heaters, heat pumps, and covers.
And, finally, if you have decided to go ahead and commit to the dark pool color, I looked at some safety considerations regarding warmer pool waters so that you can make a better-informed decision.
PS. What do you call a guy with no arms or legs in a swimming pool? BOB