View Full Version : Gutters or No Gutters

June 9th, 2007, 06:35 PM
I am designing a 25 yard lap pool for back yard. The pool will be 12 feet wide and 75 feet long. As of now, I am not sure whether to add gutters to eliminate the waves when I swim. I know the gutters will be great, but the addition is very expensive. I am considering not adding the gutters and instead putting the floating lanes dividers which will break the waves. I am not sure if the floating lane lines are enough, especially in such a narrow pool. Does anyone have any experience which could help?

June 9th, 2007, 07:38 PM
Lane lines won't really help, IMO. All those waves have to go somewhere. If you put in gutters it will really minimize the waves.

Have you thought about a deck-level overflow system? It seems like this might be cheaper than built-in gutters.

June 9th, 2007, 10:25 PM
A guy from our swim team has such a pool in his house: 25 yards long, starting block at one end, backstroke flags, pace clock, etc. I'm looking at photos of it right now and I'd guess it's 10 to 12 feet wide.

He left out the gutters and went with the lane-line idea. The lane lines are positioned about a foot from each side of the pool. They work very well. I've circle-swum in the pool with three other people and the waves weren't a problem.

Anna Lea

June 10th, 2007, 12:04 AM
I'd try to make it wide enough for three lanes so you sould swim in middle lane. It wouldn't be that much more expensive would it? because I mean all they have to do is dig a little bit more.

June 10th, 2007, 09:24 AM

June 10th, 2007, 09:30 AM
I am designing a 25 yard lap pool for back yard.... Does anyone have any experience which could help?

lane lines vs. gutters (or deck level overflow)?

Depends... is it an outdoor pool w/ no cover or enclosure?
How much time do you want to spend swimming vs. cleaning?

Gutters will reduce your cleaning time a whole bunch since most debris that floats (especially leaves, grass clippings, etc) will wash into the gutter before it becomes water logged and sinks.

Lane lines are going to block floating debris from getting to the skimmer ports too (if you go that "less expensive" route).

In my opinion it is a "pay me now or pay me later" deal.


June 10th, 2007, 10:58 AM
I'm in the construction business (architect)...and recently went over costs for a rim flow pool detail.
It's the same theory as the overflow pool which involves gutters.

That said...it was quite expensive to create the overflow due to costs of pumps ...etc.
We were talking about $750 per running foot. A gutter system may incur a very similar expense depending on what part of the country you live in.

Maybe price out the gutters for the ends of the pool only?
If you're the only person swimming in it...chances are, the wave action will be kept in check.
In that case...you may just wind up doing a few skimmers and call it a day.
Your idea of installing two lane lines will be the most cost effective way.

This was the pool we wound up building ($175G later)...when the water spills over the edge...it looks like sculpture.

June 10th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Are you building the pool yourself? It is easy to put a gutter system to cut down waves, I have done it myself when I built my swim schools. It does not have to be pretty but has to work. Really easy if you build in concrete. If you do not mind cost have a look here



June 12th, 2007, 07:49 PM
I have a backyard 16yard pool that's about 8-13 feet wide (one swimming lane). No gutters, no overflow. It's sloshy!

While I put in anchors to be able to hang laneropes, they would interfere with the automatic pool vac and would not allow the skimmers to collect surface crud. Since the backyard is all used up with pool, there is nowhere left to store a pool cover or lanerope reels anyhow.

Best use of my pool is to float on with a cold beverage. Second best is for slower non-freestyle swimming, drills, and kicking. I have used it for morning swims when our "big pool" is closed in August in the past; it WAS nice to just walk out the door to get at least a little exercise before work.

June 12th, 2007, 09:07 PM
Hi there,
I have an indoor lap pool. 25 yards long by 8 feet wide. It ranges from 4 feet deep at each end, to 6 feet in the middle, because I wanted at least one part that was over my head.

First of all, I absolutely LOVE it. It is heavenly to walk down the yard to swim in the morning. It feels decadent and amazing.

That being said, there are significant waves. We do not have gutters, or lane lines. Even with the waves, if we had it to do over, I'm not sure that I would have added either. I am an open water swimmer so the waves are actually good for me in terms of my practice.

I do have to remember that my times in my own pool are slower than when I am at team practice. It takes some reminding, and also means that what I'm training for really matters. If I were a sprinter, maybe less waves would be more important to me.

When folks from my team come over, it can really kick the butts of even the strongest swimmers. That's great for me because it means I know if I can do a 7000 straight in there, it's almost--but never quite--as good as an open water practice. With 12 feet, you might have a little more room to work with, but with 8 feet, I know I would feel constrained if we tried to put lane lines in there.

The thing that I also love about it, and which has been an unexpected benefit, is that the pool really is great for our entire family. My son and his friends love it because while they can't stand, there's always a wall nearby.

I'm assuming yours is outdoor. Mine is indoor, which means the added bonus of also being able to do run workouts in the pool when it's too cold to run outside. There's also nothing quite like a family swim on Christmas Day in New England.

It also means we're not confronting the cleaning issues it sounds like you might have with lane lines.

What kind of cover are you planning on using? We have an electric retractable cover that really ensures us feeling safe with kids/animals around. Not cheap, but worth the peace of mind, and really easy to use.

One other thing I would recommend, although it sounds like you are doing the work yourself??, is that you talk with all of your subs about whether or not your project will be used to showcase their work. In our case, we got things like free radiant heating in the floors, which we had opted out of because of the expense, because the company felt like the project was so good for them professionally.

Just in case you want to see what my pool looks like as you embark on your project, here's a link to it on our architect's site.


Good luck! And feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

June 12th, 2007, 11:51 PM
This was the pool we wound up building ($175G later)...when the water spills over the edge...it looks like sculpture.

Really cool pool, quicksilver. Thanks for sharing the photos.

June 13th, 2007, 10:12 AM
You're welcome.

This pool was the coolest. The gutter detail gives the illusion that the water is hovering alongside the stone terrace.

June 13th, 2007, 10:21 AM
Lucky for me I have a small back yard, else I'd be thinking, "how can I sneak that by Ellen?"... :)

Skip Montanaro

June 13th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Lucky for me I have a small back yard, else I'd be thinking, "how can I sneak that by Ellen?"... :)

Skip Montanaro

Just noticed you are from Evanston Il, a few great swimmers came from Evanston.
Richard Hanley 5th 100m 1956 Olympics, Melbourne Australia.

June 13th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Yes, but I'm not one of them. ;)


June 13th, 2007, 12:57 PM
I'd definitely go with a negative-edge system (which would be similar to a gutter in a conventional pool). Basically the water falls over the side into a lower collecting pool beneath, which then takes it to the filter. Many pools here in the PHX area have them. The hotel I stayed at in Cabo had 4-5 pools like this, and since they were on a hillside, you would think the water flowed right into the Pacific.

I just have what I call a play-pool in my backyard, maybe 20-25 feet long at the longest end. Good enough to practice my breast pullouts, but not a heck of alot more (I've scraped my feet on the stones when I've tried doing flip turns). When I have the waterfall running, it really pushes me across the pool. When I try to swim in it, I mostly do breast, and I can definitely feel it when I'm approaching the end. I do have an in-floor cleaning system, which takes care of most debris, together with the normal skimmer.

If I could do it all over again (maybe someday), I'd splurge and get something longer that I could do a real workout in (at least 20 yards)....and definitely a hot tub.