Winterising/ Closing your swimming pool. You can do this your self of you can get a company in to do this. Average costs for a technician to come in are £150.00 – £250.00.The cost for chemicals on their own can be from £70.00 – £100 again depending on where you get them from. Internet chemicals are cheap however be sure exactly what you are buying, and if there is an issue who can you speak to. What chemicals will you need. A strong shock chlorine Sodium Hypo 14-15% on barrel of that 20kg and a Winter Algaecide, we us 2 x 5lt non copper and 1 x Sodium Hypochlorite per pool and as a rule don’t have issues at the beginning of the season. Be sure to adjust the pH of the water for the treatment to work effectively. Some use compressors to blow water out of the pool pipes, that is a personal preference. Lowering the water from the top of the pool. If you have a tile band and the water freezes it can damage the tile band. This will be apparent by cracks and tiles falling off and more important what going on behind the tile when the seal has been breeched. Liner pools do I need to lower the water. Not as a rule however there are some exceptions, i.e if you have a tile band on a gunite or cement pool around the top on the water line. However each pool is different and consult a technician for specific details as flooded suction and other variable come into play here. Back washing is always a good idea when you close down the pool it cleans the sand out for the spring. Remember seek advice on sand changes and when you do remember change the laterals as this is a common mistake. Winter cover. When this was put away it would have been folded neatly and dried…..So it is nice and clean and ready to put on the pool. A top tip is to label which end you have as typically we undo the cover and have to swap ends. Make sure all the holes for the spikes are dirt and debris free and get a standard cordless drill with a drill bit in to drill out the dirt. Top tip. We keep some of the Sodium Hypo containers and string them together under the cover. This means that when leaves drop on to the cover they dry and blow away. If not the leaves drop on to the winter debris cover and go mouldy sink through the cover and end up as mulsh on the pool floor. Pool chemicals do not guarantee the pool wont go green, however it will reduce the amount of chemicals you need to open quite significantly. The success of winterising the pool may  depend on what chemicals you are using and what’s around the pool i.e trees, the ph balance of the pool when you do it and the length the winter lasts for.  A few years ago we had such a long winter I was amazed that most of the pool were algae free. Plugging off the returns and inlets and skimmers is also an option adn these are readily available from pool suppliers and the internet. When you add them drain the water from the pool lines. Emptying the filter. Remember to open the plug on the bottom when you drain and keep it some where safe.Open the multi port and leave it between two settings releasing the pressure on the system this should be left in that position all winter. Pool Pump. There are two lugs one on the front and one in the middle traditionally, these need to be removed and stored in a safe place as does the rubber ring from the lid of the pump. Top tip. Make sure that if you have flooded suction i.e below the water line lies the plant room get some professional advice before doing this. Common questions. When the pool is being closed will the pool be cleaned also. No not unless you have agreed this. Some expect it as part of the process and leave the pool in a mess and are shocked to find the technician not cleaning it. If a technician turns up to close the pool he will do that. If the pool is dirty he may well help however closing pool are timed and they tend to get done at roughly the same time each year, so no it wont be cleaned as part of the closing down process as a rule unless agreed prior or as part of a contract. This is a guide only and any issues relating from this advice are not the responsibility of Just Pool Chemicals, if in doubt get a technician in to look at the pool. There are no short cuts with doing the work correctly or buying cheap quality chemicals resulting in issues, get good sound advice.

Can you install this I bought it on Ebay.

This is a common request for the pool technician.They may tell you that the fitting is free if they supply it and that the cost is significantly higher to install another companies product. Also not all the parts may have come with the unit, i.e reducers if you have 2 inch pipe work they may only supply inch and a half, or are you using metric.  You may get asked to be paid in advance and also asked to sign a disclaimer that if the unit does not work it is not your problem. What seemed as a saving has resulted in an issues.

I recently helped a friend install a Laars boiler. They are good strong robust boilers. They are also pretty heavy so Dom said give me a hand. The client had supplied the boiler,and it took us an hour or so to get it in position and the fittings were not quite right, however we sorted it out as all good pool technicians do. John the Gas from Urban heat connected it and all went well.

A short time passed and the client rang Dom to say there was an issue and could he sort it out. The client was informed that the supplier needed to be contacted as Dom had not supplied it his hands were tied. The supplier was not interested and suggested the client return the unit for inspection, that’s the quarter of a ton from the shed in the garden…So the moral of the story was put some money aside for when it goes wrong, as the after sales service form the internet can be intermittent

Lastly you may find that the technician says he wont install it as he is not insured, and recently a customer who spent £4000 on a boiler from the internet still has it sitting in his garage, in a box which is the down side of the purchase as the technicians are installing the boilers that they supply. The question also to be asked is who is the warranty with? The supplier will say the installer, and the installer will say how can he guarantee a product that he has not supplied, so it is worth checking.

Sand change do I need one….

Sand changes, some people do it every three to four years. So have never done it. Also its not just the sand that needs changing. I change many filters that have had a sand change and this has been done in the last two years. However they did not change the laterals which are plastic fingers in the bottom of the filter at the same time. This is essential as when they wear down all that sand has to come out and you start again.  It is worth getting the variations on laterals as I went to change the sand on a filter that was three years old only to find it was a much older model that needed the older laterals, not really three years old more like ten. I could not tell from the outside.

Painting my pool is it a good idea.

It could seem to be at the time as it is in expensive, looks good as it brightens up the pool and is fast. The down side is that you were probably painting the pool as it was looking a bit grey and needed some tlc. The reason it was looking down may have been its way of telling you it needed a refurb. Paint may need to be redone every two ish years as it starts to fall of. A common feature is when selling a house paint the pool so it looks good. When a customer is buying a house quite often I will get asked to go along. Recently in Chichester the £100 of paint cost £3000.00 to be removed and the noise and mess was a nightmare. The customer was OK and luckily no one lived in the sea side area in the week.

Aware house buyers are taking pool specialist to see their intended property and we often give them a figure of what it will cost to put right which they immediately double as a negotiating tool.

 

Copings

Can I reuse the coping’s I have and just reset them. Possibly you can however, when lifting, cleaning and relaying they may crack, or break while doing that refurbishment. Also it not just the coping’s, what’s underneath is also important that that is taken care of or the work will be in vain.

Hydraulic Safety Covers

Hydraulic safety covers cover the pool so children, pets, deer, horses and late night swimmers cant get in to your pool. We have health and safety for everything in the UK except for around your pool. In France there is no health and safety except around your pool. So A Hydraulic safety cover is a good idea.

These covers are not cheap however there are three good suppliers all with benefits and price tags.

Essentially they operate like a car brake , press and fluid moves around, there is not electricity at the pool side. The plant room houses the motor which pumps out the fluid and moves the cover. You can have one for a new pool, add it below the coping’s or edging,add one on top behind the coping’s and they can even cover Roman ends. If a pool is an unusual shape blowers can bee added to assist.

Costs for the average pool probably £9500.00 -£18000.00, make sure that the pool company has installed these before as subcontracting to a third party is not unusual. Check the warranty and who it is with as many pool companies go bust and where do you stand. Beware of imported eastern European similar covers in respect to the warranty. See one that has been on a pool for at least 5 years if you can.

These covers can be in a box at the end of a pool or dug in to the ground. Make sure who is building the pit and it should have a drain away for water to drain. Think about the pool you have, the age and what impact digging a large hole at the end of the pool will have and is it strong enough to support the existing pool. Am I going to interfere with the existing plumbing and do I have to re route? all these are vitally important. Is my pool in a water table?

Do not be shocked to be asked for a minimum of 50% deposit. Many covers have been ordered and not collected leaving the pool companies with a headache. 

 

Heat pumps..

Heat pumps. There are many on the market Calorex being the old market favourite, maybe a little expensive however it did what it said on the tin. However when imports started arriving they were left standing re price.

These imports may not quite deliver what they say they can and it is vitally important that you know who to speak to when and if there are issues. we deal with two companies that check the unit and if its not fixable send a replacement after the second visit, as they are that reliable. I did visit a customer who had bought a unit for twice the cost of  UK supplied unit and he wanted us to get it working. Not speaking Chinese this was an issues. His pool company had bought some with the idea of making some easy money and did not think through the idea as when there were issues what would they do..

The other aspect of heat pumps especially older ones is that you can get them re-gassed. However if they are too old then that gas is not available and you may just have to replace the unit. The unit will also have to be disposed correctly as the gas is not people or climate friendly. If you invite apool person out to your property establish if there is a cost in advance and get a confirmation email.

Top Tip

Work out the volume of your pool before adding chemicals as this is important.Make sure one person is maintaining the pool and keep records if possible.

Adding chemicals

Adding chemicals to a pool is simple, remember, add the chemicals slowly. When adding pool chemicals the effect can alter the Ph and therefore wait some time before retesting. Some say about two hours as a guide. Also a top tip is only add half what you need and then the rest after you test as adding chemicals is easier than removing water from the pool. However when you have done this a few times it gets easier.