Recommended swimming pool temperatures

swimming-pool image by Georgiy Pashin from

A proper swimming pool temperature can enhance the level of a swimmer's comfort and enjoyment of a pool, save on energy used for heating and operating, and minimise cleaning and maintenance efforts. Pool water temperatures generally range from 25.6 degrees Celsius to 27.8 degrees Celsius, although there are exceptions to this rule in recommendations for the elderly, in therapeutic applications and for other swimmers.

Competitive Use

Pools used for competitive swimming and diving, or other fitness activities, can generally be kept at a lower temperature than pools designated for other uses. The American Red Cross recommends a temperature of 25.6 degrees Celsius for competitive swimming pools. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that pools used for competition be kept between 24.4 and 27.7 degrees C and water for diving be maintained between 80 and 90 degrees.

Therapeutic Use

Young children, the elderly and therapy patients may require warmer pool temperatures of at least 26.7 degrees Celsius. ASHRAE recommends, for elderly swimmers, a water temperature of 29.4 to 32.2 degrees Celsius and an air temperature of 84 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ASHRAE indicates that pools used for therapeutic purposes be maintained at 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit with an air temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hotel and Recreational Uses

ASHRAE recommends that recreational pools be kept between 75 and 85 degrees with an air temperature maintained within the same range. Hotel pools should have temperatures between 86 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit with an air temperature between 82 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit


There are several factors that should be taken into account when deciding what the right temperature may be for a specific pool and situation. Energy costs are typically a major concern; raising temperatures by one degree Farenheit can increase energy costs an additional 10 to 30 per cent, depending upon location. There are other disadvantages to higher pool temperatures. These include a greater amount of micro-organism and algae growth (resulting in greater disinfectant and labour required), overheated swimmers, increased moisture content in the air and more bad smells as dissolved gases become less soluble.

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