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Variable Floor Swimming Pools

History, introduction and usage

The variable floor swimming pool has been around for half a century. It has an additional floor board on top of the 'normal' floor, which can go up and down like a lift. This additional floor board permits adapting the depth of the pool for diverse usages. Therefore, one pool to be used for a number of activities depending on the selected elevation of the additional floor. The pool can be transformed from a competition pool, into a paddling pool for very young children playtime, baby swim with parents, aqua-dance, water aerobics for seniors and those with mobility conditions, shallow for young children's swimming lessons, school lessons for both primary and secondary level students, since the depth of the water can be very accurately controlled, different ages and abilities can use the pool safely, water therapy (hydrotherapy requires varying water depths depending on the patients’ disability, age and training activity).

In the uppermost position the variable floor becomes a powerful safety system, as the pool itself becomes entirely covered and inaccessible.

Mechanisms for variable floor pools

There are a few methods for constructing variable floor swimming pools such as motorized, hydraulic and mechanical variable floor systems.

Motorized: The innovative and economical motorization system makes use of water hydraulic principles to move the floor and is an integral part of the floor configuration itself. When pulled back, the weight bearing column profile is included into the moving floor structure (low height) with limited extra excavation necessary. All the equipment is intended to work in water, removing the need for a dry room to hold additional machinery/cables. The whole drive system can be fixed into the floor structure before arrival on site. Safe openings in the floor examination and maintenance. The column units can be optimally located precisely where needed for a perfect sharing of the load between the actuators. This keeps the structure as light and reasonable as possible with a least number of column units necessary to hold the floor for the rated water mass.

Hydraulic: A hydraulic cylinder system with variable floor consists of a moving floor, supported by a number of hydraulic cylinders to adjust the depth of the water. A hydraulic cylinder system with variable floor is very reliable, very strong, requires little maintenance, and appropriate for large pools.

Mechanical: The lift arms connect with leading screws when closing the pool, moving up / down. The lead screws are driven by an electrical motor located outside the pool. The depth of the water can be controlled by the number of revolutions of the lead screws.

Benefits of variable floor swimming pool

A good facility is essential to the proper development of sporting opportunities for everyone from young toddlers just beginning to top level professional athletes. Variable floor for swimming pool provides the opportunity to easily increase the capacity of a pool by providing the tools to run an efficient and well organized facility. Increasing the flexibility of the pool increases the program options, thus maximizing the appeal to potential customers.

It's the solution to the impact of the cold in winter, as it maintains the pools water

temperature very well, thus quickly paying for itself with a reduction in heating and water bills.

Downsides of variable floor swimming pool

Significant additional build cost. Many of the local (Dublin) pools which have this feature, have had varying levels of problems with the reliability of the boom / floor mechanisms. Rendering the pools inflexible, often with the boom stuck in the upper position, resulting in a pool length in the region of 15 metres. This is an inconvenience for a week or two, however experience has shown that the issues, are not quickly fixed with initial resolution taking several months. Worse, it would appear that once a problem occurs, complete fix is not easy, and issue often returns within months of initial resolution.