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    5 Unique & Interesting Pool Features

    November 29, 2017
    Larry Andersen

    franks five favorite pool features

    After a recent holiday feast, I found myself staring out the window at my neighbor's lonely pool, reflecting on the swimming season and envisioning what next year's swim season will bring. Whether the cranberries were left out a little too long and started to ferment, or the leftover turkey had a bit more tryptophan than the average gobbler, I rebuilt my pool in my mind as if it were the future.

    I challenged my soppy brain to think of five features that would make my pool more interesting and unique. And while my mind quickly wandered to some alien society where pools levitated in any space and fly itself back to some remote storage unit when not in use, I made a rule that these five features had to be based in or close to reality.

    Fireplace in the Pool

    I think this idea came from some Rich & Famous TV show - having a fireplace in the pool would be awesome. Two of the best things to enjoy on a summer evening, sitting in the pool and around the fire, could be accomplished at once. What could possibly be better than that? And these things exist in a few different forms with the most popular type being a fireplace that is built into a recessed area at one end of the pool, but the bricks keep the actual fireplace dry for nice, even burning. The great thing about this type of feature is, it can be built in the pool years after the pool was installed, but of course, you'll pay for it dearly.

    conversation (fire)pit in a pool

    Another type of fireplace I thought was interesting was a floating fire pit type of unit. Whether something weighs this thing down or it's anchored to the pool bottom somehow is beyond me, but if it is a free-floating type of fireplace, imagine the wicked games of "Marco Polo" that could ensue.

    firepit in pool

    Me: "Marco!"

    You: "Polo!"

    Me: "Marco!"

    You: "Polo."

    Me: "Ma, ma... ma hair's on fire!"

    You: "Polo! Stop, drop and roll!"

    Of course the fireplace that is actually underwater in the pool would be a wildcard for every swimmer, bather and pool game participant. Why someone thought this was a good idea is beyond me, but even I think it looks like a bad idea. However, I think it's worth noting that this is indeed out there.

    Glass Pool Walls

    This is the type of feature you see at a zoo, where the cute little seals swim about and you can watch them through the glass walls. Sometimes the seals even come up to the glass and kiss your daughter while her nose is smudged up against the glass wall.

    glass wall infinity edge pool

    While I always wondered secretly how the glass stands up to all that pressure and force from the water, this would be great to have in the backyard. And believe it or not, this type of feature is available for residential use. One company who does this is called Hammerhead. They're the ones who make those glass underwater tunnels where you walk through schools of sharks and such, praying the crack you see above you is only a superficial scratch in the glass.

    hammerhead glass tunnel

    Well, you can get glass paneled walls for your pool and do your best polar bear impersonation (easier for some of us than others) and dance about underwater as the neighbors watch you in your natural summertime habitat. If I had the dough, I'd love to put in a few glass walls into my pool, but since I don't, I'll just try to convince my neighbor.

    glass wall and brick pool with waterfall

    Waterfall Curtain

    We're not talking just some ordinary pool fountain for the beauty and sound it provides. This is about a waterfall producing an solid, even sheet of water flowing into your pool. The cascading water almost looks like glass, and you can walk through or place your arm through it and the water splits around you but stays even.

    glass water wall on pool

    I don't know how they make these things work like this without some sort of magic or sorcery, but I kinda want one if for nothing more than displaying the football game on it while in the pool on a Sunday night.

    Custom Pool Slide

    With choices for fiberglass pool slides increasing and prices are more affordable, pool slides are definitely becoming more commonplace throughout suburbia. However, this is not about common, normal everyday pool stuff. This is about the unique and interesting! Shown below is the BYOS or Build your own Slide by Inter-Fab, surrounded by a spa and cascades to the pool.

    InterFab BYOS custom pool slide

    Imagine having a slide that starts at a high point of your home, like a dormer or bedroom patio door and swirls and dips all the way to your pool. It doesn't even have to be that dramatic to be awesome. Of course, when you build your own, there's nothing more unique than that.

    In-Floor Pool Cleaning System

    During the summer months, the only words I hear from my neighbor are swear words when he's out cleaning the pool. And it seems he's always cleaning the pool. I can't help but to wonder how frustrating that must be to clean the pool more than he uses it.

    For his sake, and for the entire neighborhood, I started thinking how it would be pretty cool to have an automatic pool cleaner that actually cleaned automatically, like he doesn't have to touch a single thing. Intrigued by the entrepreneurial possibilities of this idea, I started doing some research, and wouldn't you know there's already such a thing. Zodiac calls it the Caretaker in-floor pool cleaning system which is showcased here:

    paramount water valveLike the glass pool walls, one might believe this type of pool cleaner works on pure sorcery, but its design makes a lot of sense. On the return pipe, a rotating valve is attached to 5 or 6 pipes, each pipe leading to a bank of 2-4 in-floor pop-up jets. The jets pop-up and spray water sequentially, one after the other, to push dirt and leaves to drains and skimmers.

    This type of pool cleaning system can greatly reduce the time and effort of regular pool cleaning and maintenance. I only wish I thought of it first, or at least before I built my own pool.

    Swimming pools are awesome! Modern pool systems can do almost anything these days. I could go on to list more cool pool features, but let's just leave it at five for today ~

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!


    Larry Andersen
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