Zero-entry pools, also known as beach-entry pools or walk-in pools, are a style of swimming pool that is characterized by their sloping entrance. Unlike traditional pools, zero-entry pools replace bulky stairs and ladders with a slope, creating a seamless transition between land and water.
Zero-entry pools are often referred to as beach pools because they replicate the feeling of being at the beach. Many pool owners choose to enhance this effect by surrounding the pool with pebbles or sand. Other water features like rocks or a waterfall are commonly added, too.
Benefits of Zero-Entry Pools
The zero entry-pool style offers various aesthetic and functional benefits:
- It’s a unique and attractive pool style that creates a beach atmosphere
- The slope makes it easier for anyone with limited mobility to get into the pool
- The slope provides a shallow area for young children to play in
- The slope is also a great ledge for sunbathing, or for anyone who wants to feel the cool pool water without fully submerging themselves
Disadvantages of Zero-Entry Pools
Zero-entry pools aren’t suitable for everyone. Make sure you’ve considered the cons before you press ahead with the project.
- Zero-entry pools require more space and therefore aren’t suitable for smaller yards.
- Local pets or wildlife might take advantage of the natural entry to play in or drink from your pool.
- Zero-entry pools may cost more to build and maintain than regular pools.
Is My Yard Suitable for a Zero-Entry Pool?
Zero-entry pools require more backyard space than regular pools. This is because the slope will need to be built onto the side of the pool. According to the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, the slope for zero-entry pools at a private residence cannot exceed a 1:7 slope ratio. So, for every seven feet in distance, the pool can have no more than one foot in depth. Commercial pools and pools designed to be ADA-compliant have differing ratio requirements.
However, there is another solution. You can reduce the slope length by only having a partial slope. Instead of extending all the way to reach the bottom of the pool, a partial slope cuts off at a certain point, forming a step to deeper water.
What is the cost of building a zero-entry pool?
The cost of building a zero-entry pool depends on several factors, such as the size, shape, material, and design of the pool. According to some sources, the average cost of constructing a zero-entry pool ranges from $50 to $125 per square foot.
This means that for an average 14’ x 28’ pool, the zero-entry feature could add $19,600 to $54,600 to the total cost of the pool. However, this is only an estimate and the actual cost may vary depending on your location, contractor, and preferences.
Some of the benefits of a zero-entry pool are that it creates a beach-like atmosphere, it makes it easier for anyone with limited mobility to get into the pool, it provides a shallow area for young children to play in, and it is also a great ledge for sunbathing or relaxing.
Some of the disadvantages are that it requires more space and therefore isn’t suitable for smaller yards, it may attract local pets or wildlife to your pool, and it may cost more to build and maintain than regular pools.
If you are interested in building a zero-entry pool, you should consult with a professional pool builder who can provide you with a detailed quote and design based on your specific needs and budget. You can also check out some examples of zero-entry pools here to get some inspiration.
What are some materials used to build zero-entry pools?
Some of the materials used to build zero-entry pools are:
- Concrete: This is the most common material for zero-entry pools, as it allows for a lot of customization and durability. Concrete pools can be finished with various materials, such as flagstone, pebbles, or decorative concrete, to create a natural look. Concrete pools are also resistant to algae and stains, but they require more maintenance and may crack over time.
- Fiberglass: This is another option for zero-entry pools, as fiberglass pools come in pre-molded shapes and sizes that can include a sloped entry. Fiberglass pools are easy to install, as they are delivered in one piece and placed in a prepared hole. Fiberglass pools are also smooth, non-porous, and less prone to algae growth, but they have limited design options and may fade or crack over time.
- Vinyl: This is not a suitable material for zero-entry pools, as vinyl liners cannot accommodate the slope of the entry. Vinyl pools are made of steel or polymer panels that are lined with a vinyl sheet. Vinyl pools are cheaper and easier to install than concrete or fiberglass pools, but they have less durability and require frequent liner replacement.
How do I maintain my zero-entry pool?
Maintaining a zero-entry pool is similar to maintaining a regular pool, but it may require some extra attention and care. Here are some tips on how to keep your zero-entry pool clean and safe:
- Get rid of floating debris: Debris such as leaves, twigs, insects, or dirt can clog the filter of your pool and affect the water quality. Use a skimmer net or a pool vacuum to remove any floating debris from the surface of the pool, especially from the shallow area of the slope.
- Killing the germs: To eliminate the germs from your pool, you need to shock the pool regularly with chlorine or other sanitizers. Shocking the pool means adding a high dose of chlorine to kill any bacteria, algae, or organic matter that may be present in the water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much and how often to shock your pool, depending on the size and type of your pool.
- Use brushes to scrub the pool: Even with regular shock, some algae or dirt may stick to the walls or floor of your pool, especially on the slope where the water is shallow and stagnant. Use a pool brush to scrub the pool surfaces at least once a week, paying attention to any corners or crevices where algae may grow. Rinse the brush after each use to prevent the spreading of the algae.
- Clean the pool filter: The pool filter is responsible for trapping any debris or impurities that may enter your pool. Over time, the filter may get clogged or dirty, reducing its efficiency and increasing the risk of contamination. You should clean your pool filter at least once a month, or more often if you notice a decrease in water pressure or clarity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your filter, depending on whether it is a cartridge, sand, or diatomaceous earth (DE) filter.
- Balancing the pool water: Balancing the pool water means keeping the pH, alkalinity, hardness, and chlorine levels within the recommended ranges. These levels affect the comfort, safety, and appearance of your pool water. You should test your pool water at least once a week using a test kit or strips, and adjust the levels as needed using chemicals or additives. The ideal ranges for each parameter are:
- pH: 7.2 to 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Hardness: 200 to 400 ppm
- Chlorine: 1 to 3 ppm
- A pool cover is life-saving: A pool cover is a great way to protect your pool from debris, evaporation, heat loss, and unwanted access. A pool cover can also reduce the amount of chemicals and maintenance needed for your pool, as it keeps the water cleaner and more stable. You should cover your pool whenever it is not in use, especially during the night or when you are away for a long time.
- Changing the filter: Even with regular cleaning, your pool filter will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. A worn-out filter can cause poor water circulation, cloudy water, algae growth, and equipment damage. You should change your filter at least once a year, or more often if you notice signs of deterioration or damage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to replace your filter safely and correctly.
- Pool leaks are a big no-no: A pool leak can cause serious problems for your pool and your property. A leak can waste water, increase your utility bills, damage your pool structure and equipment, and even cause soil erosion or foundation issues. You should check your pool for leaks regularly by monitoring the water level, performing a bucket test, or using dye test kits. If you suspect a leak in your pool, you should contact a professional pool repair service as soon as possible.
I hope these tips help you maintain your zero-entry pool in good condition.