Heated Royal Swimming Pools Over the Course of History  

by Pool Builders on 02-22-2013 in Articles

There was a time, not too many generations past, when only wealthy people could afford to build, keep and maintain a swimming pool. So back then in places like Europe it was primarily people like royalty that had swimming pools on their estates. So then just what was the level of technology that these royal swimming pools had in them to heat the water?

To answer that question one would have to go back centuries, back to ancient Rome with some of the first royal swimming pools were built. It was the Romans who first developed the technology to heat the cold water that flowed out of the nearby mountains and it was surprisingly basic in form.

Those early Roman heated pools were built up on top of stone platforms that sat on top of pillars. Slaves would then gather wood to stoke stove fires under the slabs, and it actually did a pretty good job of hitting them. Even so, while it did work there was obviously plenty of room for improvement, so over the course of time, as the centuries passed by, changes were made.

The next royal swimming pools were built in 18th-century England, and by then slavery had been abolished but new technologies had been developed. For example by then rudimentary plumbing had come about as had ironworks to build the tanks to be used as boilers that in turn were in turn put to use heating their swimming pools.

Fast Forward to Modern Times

Over time more improvements were made, and one of them is that swimming pools became more affordable. So by the early 1900s while there were royal swimming pools, and there always will be, more people began to have them built. Even so, the best improvement up to then was a gas heater that did a more efficient job of heating, but there was still room for improvement.

Improvement came in the form of electricity that was safer and more efficient for heating and back then the relatively low-cost of the petroleum that is used to generate electricity made it more affordable when factored for inflation. So for decades more, until energy prices began to shoot up this was the preferred technology for heating pools.

Enter the Modern Solar Age

It's the rising cost of energy along with the realization that new technologies needed to be developed and put to use that has led to the advent of the age of solar energy. Solar systems that are now being used to heat all kinds of pools, including royal swimming pools that can be decidedly low-tech. Take solar pool covers as a a fine example.

As the future unfolds though, more efficient and cost effective ways of manufacturing photovoltaic solar cells will eventually phase out these types of passive systems. When that day comes, once again electricity will be the preferred method for heating pools. But when that day comes it will be carbon friendly, guilt free electricity that costs absolutely nothing to generate.

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