Inground Pool Slides: Costs, Types, Safety
If we've learned anything during our many years in the swimming pool industry, it's this:
Kids LOVE swimming pools, no matter the type, size, or cost.
Throw in a couple of pool toys, and they won't get out for the rest of the summer.
Add a pool slide, and the pool practically becomes Disneyland.
There's no denying that a pool slide can take the pool's fun meter from 99 to 110, but how much does a pool slide cost? What pool slide types should you consider, and what's the best inground pool slide for your family?
As fiberglass pool manufacturers, we get asked questions about pool slides all the time. To help you plan your swimming pool project, we're going to break down the common pool slide types, offer some pool slide cost estimates, and answer the most frequently asked questions.
Let's start with the most common question:
How Deep Does the Pool Need to Be for a Pool Slide?
How deep your pool must be will depend on the size of your slide. For example, if the slide is meant for small children, the pool depth can be shallower. If the pool slide is for users 48 inches or taller, you'll need a deeper pool.
Pro tip: Manufacturers of pool slides provide these specifications to make it easy.
If you're just trying to get a basic idea of how deep your pool has to be for a slide, the minimum requirements are as follows:
- For smaller slides: If the distance between the end of the slide and the water is 3 inches or less, the water must only be 2 feet deep.
- For larger slides that accommodate people 48 inches or taller: The water must be at least 3 feet, with some companies requiring deeper.
- Slides that do not decelerate the slider: The depth of the water should be 11 ½ feet.
- Slides that have twists and level out, slowing the slider: 3 to 4 foot water depth at landing is adequate.
Are Pool Slides Safe?
Discussing the depth of the pool and the steepness of the slide leads us into pool slide safety.
While it's essential to make sure that the water is deep enough for the slide that you want, there are other key safety factors to consider.
First, you'll always need to ensure that the nuts, bolts, and screws are tightened around the pool slide.
You'll also need to make sure that non-slip mats or materials have been installed on the ground around the pool slide and on the steps and slide rails.
Pool Slide Safety Guidelines
Your pool slide is going to offer countless hours of fun, but to ensure the continued safety of everyone, you should establish these pool slide rules from the start:
- No playing or roughhousing around the pool slide
- Only use the slide when there are two or more people at the pool
- Do not go down the slide until the path at the bottom is clear of other swimmers
- Feet first is the only position that you should go down a pool slide
- Avoid alcohol use while enjoying the pool slide
- One person down the slide at a time
Note: It's also important to limit who can use the slide. Those who suffer from heart conditions, are pregnant, elderly, or are over the weight limit should not use the slide.
Can You Get a Pool Slide Later?
It is possible to add a pool slide after the pool's installation, though it will be challenging if you haven't plumbed for it. This is because most pool slides use the pool's water supply, which is transferred through a hose that travels up the ladder to the top of the slide.
Pro tip: If you're strongly considering a pool slide during your pool's construction but aren't yet ready for the expense, ask your pool builder to plumb for the slide anyway.
Types of Pool Slides
There are three main categories of pool slides, each offering a different look and set of features. They include:
Straight Leg Pool Slide
The Straight Leg pool slide is straight at the top with a curve at the end. You can choose between an open or closed stairway leading up to the slide (closed is safer for children). It can range from 8 to 12 feet tall, and its simple design makes it a good option for smaller pools.
Molded Slide Leg Pool Slide
A molded slide leg pool slide typically has a right or left curve at the end, making it a little more fun. Most come with closed stairways and require a shallower water depth at 42 inches.
Elephant Leg Pool Slide
If you're going for next-level pool slide fun, then the Elephant Leg option might be for you. You'll get to choose between the G-force pattern or X-stream.
- G-force - A circular 360-degree design that's about 9 feet tall.
- X-stream - Has a much bigger drop at the top and leads into a right or left curve at the end. These are about 14 feet tall.
Each of these slide designs will have varying weight capacities, depending on the manufacturer.
Note: To make sure the slide will fit by the pool, you should measure the area in which you want the slide to go before choosing a design.
How Much Does a Pool Slide Cost?
Pool slides can range in price depending on the design. For a prefabricated slide with a ladder, you might spend $4,000 or more on average after installation. If you shop for a pool slide online, you'll likely find that most pool slides have price tag of $1,000 to $3,500 and up, with smaller pool slides usually being cheaper.
You can even spend as much as $10,000 to more than $20,000 for large, intricate pool slides.
Want a custom pool slide surrounded by rocks with fun twists and turns? Something like that could cost you up to $100,000.
Note: Make sure to consider liability insurance costs. For more elaborate pool slides, you might expect as much as $1,000 annually.
What's the Best Inground Pool Slide for You?
Every family and has different needs, and so does every inground pool. Some very shallow pools can't accommodate slides that require a deep end, while other pools can work with any slide.
Remember, if your pool does not go deeper than 2 feet, you'll be limited to smaller slides. If your pool is at least 3 feet deep, you can get a slide for users 48 inches and taller, depending on the slide and how high it is above the water.
If you're shopping for a smaller slide for young children, consider that they will soon outgrow it and won't be able to use it for longer than a few years. If teens, friends, and neighbors of all ages enjoy sliding down into the pool, you might want to upgrade to something bigger.
If the safety of your children is your primary concern, any slide made with child safety in mind might make a great option.
Keep in mind that you can always upgrade to a bigger slide later, provided you have the plumbing ready and the space to install one.
Before you go, here's a summary of points to consider while shopping for an inground pool slide:
- Will the pool slide fit next to your pool?
- Does the pool slide offer safety features for children or other users?
- Is the pool slide price within your budget?
- Can you afford increased costs in your liability insurance?
- Who will be using the slide?
- Can you provide the close supervision that children need on a pool slide?
- Will your children follow the pool slide safety rules?
- How high above the water's surface will the slide be installed?
Have any other questions about pool slides? Feel free to ask in the comments!
At River Pools, we manufacture world-class fiberglass pools for customers across North America. If you are interested in getting a fiberglass pool for your home, feel free to browse our fiberglass pool designs, try out our pool pricing calculator, or request custom pricing using the button below.
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