by Sean Griffin, December 16, 2011
Pool Slide Installation
Your swimming pool may not have been originally constructed with accessories like a diving board or a pool slide, but it’s never too late to add that extra piece of deck equipment to enhance your swimming pool experience. Swimming Pool slides are becoming ever more popular because of the numerous color and design options, ease of installation, and safety factor. If you are adamant about diving and are interested in installing dive rocks, a jumping platform, or a diving board you will want to consult with a construction expert to confirm that the pool depth and slope are equipped and safe for swimmers to take the plunge. Installing a swimming pool slide can bring years of enjoyment to kids…..and even adults!
Design options for installing swimming pool slides are infinite. With Build Your Own Slide (BYOS) options you can create your personalized and unique water feature. Slide designs are sometimes built into the surrounding landscaping which is normally done when the pool is renovated or newly constructed. Other slide installations are “stand alone”” and are mounted onto the pool decking at the base of the support legs and the climbing ladder.
Anchoring the slide and constructing the slide itself will be somewhat straight forward after following the instructions and correctly measuring out where you will be placing the slide. Before installing your pool slide, you will need to consider the water safety envelope to ensure the proper volume of water you will be sliding into. If you don’t have enough pool decking you can always extend the pool deck to create the sufficient spacing to install the pool slide. If your swimming pool deck has pavers you will need to remove them and construct a concrete base that is able to have the slide base mount to.
What most homeowners and even pool guys have complications with is discreetly supplying the water supply line to the slide. More current pool slides will be equipped to handle a higher volume of water to increase the enjoyment of the slide. The gallons of water flow per minute required are usually higher than what can be produced from a common ¾” garden hose. I have seen DIY pool owners install a water supply in almost every form. Flexable PVC plumbing and poly piping that snakes around and over the entire pool deck creating a tripping hazard and also serving as an eyesore. The correct way to ensure your slide is receiving the necessary water flow is to have the correct pipe diameter plumbed from your pool equipment underneath the decking. Forcing pool plumbing through compact earth underneath the pool deck can be trying. There are several methods that can be used. Interfab has a nice video on installing a water stub pipe that shows the return line being forced though using PVC piping and water pressure.
Safe practice when using the pool slide will ensure no one gets hurt. Avoid having multiple people standing on the slide at one time. Pay attention to the weight limit put forth by the manufacturer. Never go head first down a pool slide and always go in the sitting position. Never walk on a slide and before going down ensure the landing area is clear of other swimmers.
If you are designing your swimming pool or are thinking about having a pool constructed and don’t have the budget to work in a pool slide you can have the pool builder plumb in a designated return water supply line before the pool decking is poured. At a later date the slide installation will be that much easier. No need to try and tunnel under the existing decking!
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