What is a Pool Ladder?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2019
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A pool ladder is a specialized type of access device for a swimming pool or other similar area. Pool ladders are most often made of plastic horizontal steps and vertical metal poles. A pool ladder has various uses, but many are made specifically for outfitting either above ground pools or in-ground pools.

Swimming pool ladders provide easier access for all of those individuals who want to use a pool. A swimming pool ladder can also offer added safety, since it provides more opportunities for those trying to get out of the pool, or for getting into the pool safely. An above ground pool ladder is especially helpful in providing a safe way to access this type of swimming pool. When an above ground pool does not include a swimming pool ladder, some users might attempt unsafe methods of entering the pool.

Pool ladders are often used on the sides of boats. In a maritime environment, these ladders also provide a way for individuals to access different parts of the boat more safely. Other installations that might include pool ladders can be found on cruise ships, large aquariums, and other complex entertainment environments.


When a homeowner or other responsible party is installing a swimming pool, it often makes sense to give a lot of thought to installing pool ladders. Installing some swimming pool ladders can lower the general liability of the swimming pool’s owner, in case of some kind of swimming pool accidents. Pool ladders can also help pool owners with practical aspects of maintenance.For instance, they make it easier for maintenance personnel to enter the pool when it is empty.

It is also important to give careful considerations to where swimming pool ladders should go, in order to avoid inhibiting the safe incorporation of diving boards or other installations. Those building an above ground pool should look at how a swimming pool ladder interacts with the supported pool wall. Some types of above ground swimming pools are liable to certain problems if ladders are installed on improperly supported walls. These can lead to structural failure if not properly addressed. Part of planning an above ground pool might include figuring out where to put the swimming pool ladder so that the weight of those entering the pool is being supported correctly.

Many larger swimming pools include training areas. Pool planners should also think about how swimming pool ladders will work in coodination with these training areas. For example, it’s good to plan where a pool ladder will be relative to floating buoys that may establish a “safe water” line for beginning swimmers.


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