Common types of Glass Pool Fences and Safety Gates

If you are considering purchasing or installing a glass pool fence in Sydney, there are several things that you will need to consider before making your purchase. This article will outline some of the key things to take into consideration:

Types of glass fencing to consider

When it comes to frameless glass fencing, there are two main types that people tend to consider. In terms of popularity, they would be frameless and semi-frameless. Each of them have their own benefits.

Frameless fences

The frameless glass panels tend to be the most popular as they give a more cleaner and elegant look. They are a great addition to any pool because they allow you to have an un-obstructed view of the surrounding areas. This, coupled with stainless steel pool spigots give you a high end finish that is in a class of its own. A lot of people make the miss-conception that the cost of these panels are significantly higher than the semi-frameless option but this is not so, as the labour cost tends to be the same to install both systems. If you would like to find out more about glass fence installation, we can help!

Semi-frameless fences

Semi-frameless fences are less popular than the previous option, however also look very stylish and modern. They are a great choice for apartment blocks as they can be cheaper when done in bulk. This is because the materials cost slightly less than frameless systems, so going this option is economical when you are fencing a large section.

Pool safety gates

There are a few different types of glass gate kits that you can choose for your pool. These would be the gates that utilise the soft-closing or the self-close spring hinge systems. The soft-close pool hinges are the premium option on the market and can cost up to $400+ per pair of hinges. The most important factor to consider is that it should meet the NSW pool fence regulations. This means that the gate needs to be self-closing and the gap between the gate and the latching panel is less than 10mm wide. We offer a range of glass hinges for swimming pool gates that are both self-closing or soft-closing.

Softerclos vs Polaris soft-close hinges

There are only two soft closing hinges that are in the market at the moment that we currently recommend. These are the Softerclos and the Polaris soft-close hinges. There are benefits and drawbacks for both hinges that we will outline below.

Polaris Hinges

Polaris have been the market leader in soft-closing hinges for years. They are the premium product that is available at the moment and for good reason.

The benefits of Polaris soft-close hinges

• The materials are made of 2205 stainless steel, which does not rust, or tea stain.
• The hinges fit 12mm gates whilst standard spring-loaded hinges do not.
• Each set of Polaris hinges come with a 3-year manufacturers warranty which means that you can rest easy knowing that your investment is safe – something that you want to be assured of when you are paying for the premium product on the market.
• As mentioned above, they have been on the market for years, which means that they have been field-tested and are not a fly-by-night product.

The drawbacks of Polaris soft-close hinges

Although they are the market leader in soft closing hinges, Polaris do have a few drawbacks. They are as follows:
• They are most expensive hinges that we have found in the market
• The hinges require a gate and a hinge panel with a special cut-out, which means that you cannot fit it on existing, standard gate panels as a simple upgrade if that is what you wish to do.
• There have been several re-designs since the original hinges came out, and many believe that the quality of the first versions came out were superior to the ones that are currently on the market. Unfortunately, the older versions are not in production any more, however the current version is still far superior to its closest competitors so the hinges are still well worth the price tag.

Softerclos Hinges

Softerclos is the next best option if you are looking for hinges that soft close. Below outlines the features and drawbacks of this hinge compared to the Polaris soft close hinge alternative.

Benefits of Softerclos Hinges

• More affordable than Polaris
• Comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty
• Can fit polaris 12mm gates as well as the standard 8mm gates, so they easily be used to upgrade from the standard spring loaded hinges.

The drawbacks of Softerclos

• They are relatively new on the market, so we are unsure of how durable the hinges actually are
• They work on a combination of hydraulic and damping systems to allow the gate to soft close, and hydraulic hinges have had issues in the past
(NOTE: There has not been any issues with these hinges themselves, but a competitors hinge who uses the hydraulic system only to achieve the soft close functionality)
• They currently only come in polished finish, and work on glass to glass setups so they can’t be used if the rest of your hardware is brushed satin, or if you need to hinge off of a pole or a wall.

Spring loaded hinge systems

Spring-loaded hinges are the standard base model hinge that is currently on the market. They are compatible with the regular 12mm hinge panels and the 8mm frameless gate panels and either of the self closing latch options. They can be used to achieve the self closing mechanism that is required to meet the pool safety regulations, however there are a few things that need to be known about this product.

Benefits of using standard spring loaded hinges

• They are the most affordable solution for hinges if you are using a glass fence.
• They are common so you won’t have a problem finding them in the finish you need, and in various configurations such as glass to glass or glass to wall.

The drawbacks of spring loaded hinges

• They have a weight capacity that doesn’t allow them to hold gates larger than 8mm and be durable at the same time.
• These hinges cause the gate to self close, but it is an abrupt and aggressive close that tends to shake the gate, latching panel and the immediate panels around it.
• They are not very durable over the long term, and spring tends to loosen over time so will require periodic tensioning

Safety issues to consider when choosing a pool fence or gate

Having your own swimming pool comes with responsibly as well as the need to comply with rules and regulations that relate to safety. Having a glass pool safety gate or fence is among the local rules that one must comply with.

Protect the young children

For a pool safety gate to be effective, it requires to have a highly placed lock so that kids cannot access the swimming pool as they fumble around it. The safety gate should always be locked when no one is around to watch over them as they swim. Another thing that must be considered is a gate alarm. The gate must have an alarm that will let you know anytime your safety gate is opened. Reliable sources indicate that most cases of drowning that involve kids from one to four years of age are due to lack of protective barriers around their home swimming pools or spas.

Safety regulations

A swimming pool gives you and your family many hours of enjoyment and sweet memories. It is important to remember that it can pose a danger to young kids if you have not complied with safety regulations and rules. Your swimming pool gate isn’t a mere accessory, it is something that you require to prevent your kids from accidental falls or drowning in the swimming pool. The gate also prevents your family pets from the same accidental falls into your pool. The similar type of material can be found on shower screens
Pool safety gates, nowadays, are beyond the olden day’s chain link kind. Such fence types are usually discouraged since they come with toe-holds that children could utilize to climb.

Removed in sections

The pool gates can be safety devices as well as fashion accessories. Some people sometimes put up pool fences that they can remove in sections when they are cleaning the deck or the pool itself. In fact, such fences will make their cleaning easier, and they will finish within no time. However, just like with any kind of swimming pool device, the fence should only be removed when there are no children in attendance. We all can get distracted at times, and it is easy for the kids to get into the pool while we are not looking.

Self-locking and alarming

Another pool safety gate type is the one that comes with a self-alarming and self-locking system. It immediately closes behind you. It will latch and lock and set an alarm. This means that any time the gate is opened the alarm will sound. It will give you double protection!
Having a glass pool fence safety gate is something that all pool owners should comply with besides the installation of pool alarms.