How To Install A Pool Slide Safely + Properly

Oftentimes when we are considering activities in a pool, we think of the patio, outdoor kitchen or maybe some simple pool games like ring toss.  However, even though your pool may not be big enough or deep enough for a diving board, you may still be able to put a slide on your pool.  In this article we will discuss how to install a pool slide, and what the best ways to plan for your slide are.  You might be surprised what is possible when you consider a slide for your backyard swimming pool.

How Does A Pool Slide Impact Homeowner Insurance?

The absolute first thing to consider when figuring out how to install a pool slide, is how will this affect my homeowner’s insurance?  Many insurance providers will make you pay extra if you have a slide on your swimming pool.  

Slides can be misused and be downright dangerous for some people.  Teenagers have been known to jump off the top of slides into the pool.  Overweight people have been known to fall through slides and get injured that way.  There’s a number of risks, and because of this the insurance industry needs to take this into consideration.

How To Install A Pool Slide Safely

All slides you should consider will be certified in two ways. First, CPSC (consumer product safety commission) and second, Safety Standard for Swimming Pool Slides, (16 CFR 1207).  Though a slide complies with safety standards don’t let this get you into a mindset that slides are inherently safe.  As we all know, people cause most of the injuries to people. Therefore, it’s important to stress safety around your swimming pool, and especially around swimming pool slides.

What To Know Before Installing A Pool Slide

The next thing to consider with how to install a pool slide is the pool size, shape, and depth.  You need to start with the local codes for swimming pools, and find out what has been adopted by your local municipality, your county, state, and so on.  Generally speaking you will have some basic code requirements which may or may not mention slides.  This is only the beginning of making sure you are compliant. Additionally, every pool slide has design criteria as well.  

First let’s start with some basic terminology. The ‘flume’ is the actual surface you sit on when sliding.  For a slide to be safely installed, the manufacturer will outline the minimum open water dimensions at the end of the flume.  These dimensions will have both a surface water dimension, length and width relative to the flume as well as depth dimensions to comply with.  Once you have the slide clearance dimensions confirmed, you can move on to the next step.

Next, there’s water demand.  Some slides will require a pump all their own to operate correctly. Although, others will need a very small trickle of water.  This again is all found in the installation manual for the slide you are considering.  Once you’ve determined how much water you’ll need, and how you’ll either add a pump or piping from your existing system, there’s the footing or base installation to consider.

backyard pool showing how to install a pool slide correctly as hanging over the pool and having proper clearances

How To Install A Pool Slide Correctly

Many times when considering how to install a pool slide, people will begin by thinking about how they will pour the slide footings into place or pour a slab to attach the slide to.  We prefer to begin with the required clearances. However, eventually you’ll need to understand how you’ll install the footings which hold the slide in place.

Many slides can be simply attached to the poured concrete deck you have already.  But most will require specific footings be poured in place to support the slide structure.  This is a good time to bring in an insured professional to complete your slide installation.

The exact requirements for every slide is different.  If you are building a large custom slide from Dolphin for example, it’ll be a very different process than putting in a Cyclone from SR Smith.  The common thread with all swimming pool slides however, is you ought to put the responsibility of a safe and legal installation on a licensed and insured pool professional.  Even though, it’s a good idea as the homeowner to stress your desire for safety and legal compliance to make sure your pool professional installs the slide correctly.

How To Install A Pool Slide Summary

Installing a pool slide will really improve your pool experience. However, there are some downsides, such as increased homeowner’s insurance. Make sure to confirm slide clearances before going too far. It’s best to use a licensed and insured pool professional for installation.