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When the temperatures climb, day after day with no relief, there are many activities that begin to take place in air-conditioned environments. Still, for many, the summer indicates one very important activity: swimming. Jumping in and out of a pool, racing towards the diving board, and getting your laps in for the days’ worth of exercise are fun pastimes for many individuals. But what happens when mobility is restricted and an individual is no longer able to safely enter or exit a pool of their own strength?
Purpose of a Pool Lift
For those disabled or elderly adults who still enjoy the sport of swimming or need to utilize pools for rehabilitative water exercises that ease the stress of regular routines, pool lifts are an essential piece of equipment for the safety of the user. Many users of a pool lift will encounter the difficulty of weight-bearing activities due to arthritis, injuries and disabilities, or weight issues. Wheelchair-restricted individuals may also need access to pools or spas for therapeutic or recreational activities, so pool lifts are essential for safe entrances or exits from the water.
Pool Lift Laws
In 2010, the Department of Justice published an updated regulation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that adopted specific accessibility requirements for a number of types of recreational facilities, including swimming pools, wading pools, and spas. Two years later, the Department created a new guide to instruct businesses that had any of these types of pools about new regulations that would be required to be met by 2013.
These requirements outline the prohibition of discrimination of disabilities in public areas, such as barriers preventing any individual from entering or exiting public swimming or wading pools or spas. The ADA provided a detailed guide for both pre-existing and newly constructed businesses that must be followed today. Therefore, any public pool or spa area will have a lift nearby for use as needed.
How Actuators Work in Pool Lifts
There are various types of pool lift applications, ranging from simple manual slings to remote-controlled automatic lifts. However, in recent years, many pool owners and businesses have begun to opt for automatic pool lifts due to their safety benefits and ease of use.
Electric linear actuators are easily integrated into pool lift applications: the rotational force of the motor is transferred into linear motion, pushing and pulling loads via a control system and handset’s instruction. Both the user and the individual helping the user in and out of the pool can control the actuator’s movements. Typically, electric actuation is smooth and the system has a low noise output, so the user is both safe and comfortable during the application’s use.
Due to the aquatic environment, it is an absolute necessity for the entire actuation system to be waterproof. Linear actuators can be sealed to the customized level of protection that this application needs, which means an IP66 rating or higher is required for pool lifts.
Types of Pool Lifts
- Platform Lifts
Platform lifts are the right choice for those that desire to maintain the aesthetics of the pool area while still offering a safe way for those in need to enter and exit the pool with dignity and ease. These ramps generally take up minimal space and can lift and lower very high weight levels, are quiet when operated and stable at all times. They can also include multiple handset controls and rechargeable and backup batteries so there is never worry regarding power failure or loss.
- Portable Lifts
Portable pool lifts are self-operable from the deck and the water and do not require an anchored position so it can easily be moved as needed. While portable lifts are not capable of handling the same high weight loads that a platform pool lift can, they are still able to lift significant weights.
Many of these movable lifts are fully-sealed by a casing that maximizes corrosion protection to prevent any rust buildup on the pool’s deck, as well as protect the machine from weather-related damage over time. These transportable lifts can be easily stored out of site when not in use.
- Anchored Lifts
Anchored lifts are generally the most popular pool lift option due to their stability and range of motion and are designed for in-ground pools and spas where there is solid concrete to anchor the unit to completely. Many of these lifts are self-operable from the deck and the water so users can enter and exit the pool without help. Generally, secured pool lifts are not capable of handling the same high weight loads that the platform lift can, but they are still capable of lifting significant weights. However, some models can lift upwards of 500 lbs. Many of these lifts also utilize 360-degree swing technology for easy loading and unloading.
Some of these lifts include accessories such as stabilizing or transfer bars, flip-down armrests, footrests and headrests to significantly improve the user’s stability and comfort while in use. Seatbelts are also optional add-ons.
Anchored lifts are commonly seen beside public pools throughout the United States due those new ADA laws that came into effect in January of 2013.
What TiMOTION Can Offer
TiMOTION offers high quality, customizable electric linear actuator systems, some of are being used within various pool lift applications. We offer IP ratings and specifications that will easily integrate into your lift projects as well as other applications that may need linear motion.
In fact, TiMOTION has updated our products to have stainless steel components and hardware that have been salt-spray tested to ensure the system will hold up against harsh pool chemicals such as chlorine and coastal climates. We also offer a UV protection coating for the housing of the actuator, and these customizable options allow the lift to stay outdoors year-round without corrosion or damage. We also offer the TH24 handset device, which has IP67 protection, meaning it can be submersed at one meter for thirty minutes and will still operate normally.
Our global presence also provides easy and quick communication from our sales offices all over the world, so we can get your project started faster! For more information, check out our website or contact your local sales team.