At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
An inflatable swimming pool is a collapsible portable pool made from synthetic materials, especially vinyl. Vinyl, or polyvinylchloride (PVC), is a type of plastic resin created from ethylene and chlorine. Unlike a permanent in-ground swimming pool, an inflatable swimming pool may be set up during warmer weather and then deflated and stored away at the end of the season.
An inflatable swimming pool may be small enough for a baby to sit in or large enough for a big family to lounge in. Baby and toddler sized pools are usually for those three years old and under. Some of these have vinyl sun shades attached to the pool to provide some protection from sunburn. An inflatable swimming pool for older children may have various play features such as sprinklers, an inflatable slide and/or an inflatable basketball and hoop set. Children should always be closely supervised when in the pool or even when they are able to access an inflatable pool and some communities require a safety gate structure to safely surround the entire pool area.
Most inflatable swimming pools are either round or rectangular in shape and require no tools to set up. An inflatable pool is usually sold with a filter pump, chemicals for the filter and a repair kit with patches in case of an accidental puncture. Many inflatable pools may also include a foot pump to inflate the pool and a cover for the top of the pool. Some inflatable swimming pools do not get filled with air, but rather with water that is first added to the top of the side walls so that it flows down into the rest of the walls. The side walls of an inflatable pool should be strong and some of these pools may have vinyl bands around the outside walls for extra support.
A vinyl ground cloth fits around some inflatable swimming pools, and this can help limit the amount of dirt and grass tracked into the pool. An inflatable swimming pool drains when the drain plug at the bottom of the pool is pulled out. The pool’s drain plug may have valves that attach to a garden hose so that the water doesn’t puddle up underneath the pool, but rather is drained away elsewhere.