You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to know that pool ladders are definitely a necessity for anyone who has a swimming pool. There are different types of ladders for in-ground pools and for above-ground pools. Ladders for these two types of pools look very different since above-ground ladders are often bulky and large, whereas in-ground ladders are almost unnoticeable. In-ground pools have ladders that are mainly used to climb out the pool, but could be used to enter the pool by stepping down the rungs into the water. Ladders for in-ground pools are usually placed in the deep end of the pool, although they may be used in more shallow areas of the pool as well. Typically, in-ground ladders have three rungs for stepping out of the pool.
Above-ground pool ladders are usually two-way ladders that are often called A-frame ladders. The swimmer must climb up the outer part of the ladder to reach a small, flat surface platform. Then, it is possible to turn around and back down the ladder into the water. A ladder is needed to get into the pool and to get out of an above-ground pool. Most ladders for this type of pool have two, three, or even four rungs on both sides.The number of rungs on the ladder depends on the depth of the pool. Some ladders for above-ground pools are sold with decks to go around the circumference of the pool. These are usually color-coordinated and fit perfectly with the pool and deck.
Most pool ladders are made of either resin that is maintenance free or from stainless steel. Although the stainless steel is powder coated to protect it from pool chemicals, chlorine can cause oxidation and rust may form. To prevent this, the chemical balance in the water must be kept at the proper levels, and chemicals should always be added at an area of the pool away from the ladder. If any rust develops and needs to be removed, a mild abrasive cleanser and a soft cloth should be used to remove it.
Ladders are sold with various types and styles of rungs that are often called treads. If a ladder is stainless steel, the customer may choose either stainless steel treads or plastic ones. Both are attached to the frame of the ladder. If the pool ladder is for an above-ground pool, a customer may prefer to buy one made of resin, which is often constructed of one solid piece for the exterior ladder, a piece for the platform, and another piece for the interior ladder. There is no chance of oxidation with resin, although the interior ladder will usually need to be filled with water to weigh it down so it won’t float. Filling with sand or bricks is not usually necessary.
There are several color selections for pool ladders for both in-ground and above-ground pools. Resin ladders can be found in tan, brown, green, or other colors. Some buyers choose ladders for above-ground pools that blend in with pool deck colors, if the pool has a deck. Other ladders that are made of stainless steel are usually left in their natural silver color, but there are around five powder-coatings that are available, including ivory, white, black, brown, and blue.
Safety is always a concern with any type of pool, and most ladders are manufactured to meet safety codes. A-frame ladders for above-ground pools have been known to trap children between the ladder and the side of the pool, so today’s ladders must meet strict codes that require some type of apparatus to be placed between the ladder and the side of the pool to avoid entrapment. Ladders may have rungs or pieces of stainless steel or resin on the sides of the interior ladder so that a swimmer cannot be trapped.