How Does an Endless Pool Work?


Swimming Endlessly

  • Although swimming is a great form of exercise, swimming in one direction endlessly would normally require a rather large pool or an ocean. However, one invention offers the option of swimming in place for as long as you want--right in your own backyard. This article will describe how an Endless Pool operates.


  • The Endless Pool was invented in the 1980s by James Murdock. He wanted to make a less pricey version of another machine called the SwimEx, which currently costs $4,000 more than the Endless Pool, according to They both offer different features and operate with different mechanics, but the purpose of each machine is the same: the ability to gain all the health benefits of swimming laps without having to install an Olympic-size pool in your backyard.

How the Endless Pool Works

  • The Endless Pool achieves this through a special propelling system that can measure anywhere from 7 to 10 feet long and up to 6 feet deep. The pool shoots out a current of water in the front end that's designed to go around your body but offers varying resistance levels, depending on the speed setting. The current is wider than your body and deeper than your swimming stroke, so you are sure to get resistance. The 16-inch propeller is driven by a hydraulic motor powerful enough to cycle 5,000 gallons of water per minute. According to the Endless Pool website, it's like swimming in a river.

    When the water is pushed toward the back of the endless pool, it drops down into a receded channel that has two special grills at either corner. When the current pushes the water past your body and into the recessions, the water funnels toward the front of the pool. There are special dividers in the front corners of the pool that channel the water toward a fan at the base. Additional channeling dividers help the fan guide the water straight up into the hydraulic pump, which starts the process all over again.

Alternate Versions

  • Other versions of the Endless Pool add options to the swimming experience. The Swim Spa has the additional "spa" feature that offers hot water and extra seating, while still carrying the Endless Pool function. The Fastlane Pool is an Endless Pool above ground with no special landscaping or the construction hassles of an in-ground installation. It was modeled after the original demonstration unit.

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