My Swimming Pool Water Is Green

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Did you know a thunderstorm can turn the water in a swimming pool green?

Well it is true, and not many pool owners know this.

When a swimming pool turns green. most pool owner reckon they have put enough chlorine in the pool.

So why has the water still turned so green?”Pool cleaning

The reason for this is during the storm the lightning has created nitrogen in the air which is a fantastic nutrient for plants, and algae loves it

Every time in a thunderstorm the sky flashes it creates more and more nitrogen in the atmosphere and when it rains this nitrogen comes down into your swimming pool.

You’re likely to have algae in your pool already that you can’t see (except under a microscope) but as they are plant life the lightning producing the nitrogen that mixes with the rain falling into your swimming pool, the algae blooms and multiplies very rapidly this is where especially after a night time thunderstorm you come out the next day to see the pool has turned green.Green pool

Algae control.

The best thing to do is after a thunderstorm, shock the pool with chlorine soon as possible (not stabilised chlorine)
Don’t let the pool turn any greener as the more algae there is the more difficult it is for the pool water to recover

Keeping your pool water balanced
Remember 3 essential rudiments to successfully maintaining clear sparkling pool water.

Number one is the Total Alkalinity Level:
Total Alkalinity (or TA for short) is the measure of water’s resistance to change in pH of water. A higher TA acts like a buffer. This needs to be between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm).
Secondly is the level of pH. The ideal range is between 7.2 -7.6.
Thirdly is proper sanitation whether you are using conventional chlorine or non-chlorine products, you cannot take too lightly the significance of good sanitation with your pool water.
Keep the sanitiser at a consistent level and this will greatly reduce the algae population also use a specific algaecide to help keep the algae at bay.
When maintaining the pool remember to brush the walls down as algae tend to cling to the walls. The filter should take care of the rest.

By keeping these 3 items right, your pool water will stay off a green pool after a thunderstorm and under normal conditions as well as keeping your pool water sparkling and clear.

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)

 

Pool Safety: How to Help Your Baby Get Comfortable in the Water

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Young children can get tired quite quickly when playing in the swimmimg pool, even when they are good at swimming. Here’s some good advice from Poolgear plus

Pool Safety: How to Help Your Baby Get Comfortable in the Water

Also read:
The dangers of children, swimming pools, and ponds… It only takes a moment’s distraction.

Wildlife Watch

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Occasionally during a pool installation or perhaps renovating a swimming pool, it’s surprising how much wildlife strays onto the work area.Pool baby bird

Everything ceases on all pool building activity or at least slows down not to frighten a wildlife critter that has wondered onto the construction site. If it’s not frogs or toads that decided to take a dive into the pool, it’s a male pheasant and his lady friend announcing that “we” are on his patch, or as in this video a Lost Baby Bird , found next to the swimming pool renovation in Stroud Gloucestershire, looking a little worse for wear, that took us about a hour out of our time to nurse back to health so it could fly back to its family of House Martins.

Our latest little fellow to attach itself to us as seen in this video is a Wild Baby Bunnyswimming pool baby bunny . We think it see’s us as security, and that no predators will come calling while he or she stays around us (we have noticed a cat comes to have a nose at what we are doing every so often, the customer says they think its a feral cat, so the bunny will have to watch out when we are not onsite building the swimming pool, mind you bunny is fast moving so I think he has a sporting chance.

15 Reasons why exercise pools are good for you

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15 Reasons why an exercise pool is good for you in more ways than one

By John Cox

What do you want a swimming pool for?

Is the pool just to swim in?  To splash around, games,snorkelling etc? SwimmingThese days you can have a much smaller swimming pool installed than the traditional medium to large size pools (one of the largest domestic pool sizes 20ft x 40ft and 8ft deep)

The good thing about smaller pools is they can be fitted with a counter current, so you can have the option of swimming against a jet of water for as long as you want, in effect turning the pool into an exercise pool.

The ‘swimming against a counter-current’ is better known as “Resistance swimming” you can also do Water-Aerobics (or as it’s called by the flashy name of Aqua-Aerobics) in the pool. (Most swimming pool installers in the UK can offer advice, help and send you information about exercise pools).Exercise

Here is a list of 15 benefit’s that a small pool with a counter current can offer you from the fitness and health factors too installing the swimming pool:

  1. The enjoyment of a gentle or challenging swim
  2. You feel fit.
  3. You don’t feel as tired as you use too.
  4. You have bundles of energy, able to get things done without feeling knackered (please excuse)
  5. You are much more healthy and able to withstand the odd virus bug much better
  6. You stop aching so much and you are able to do many more tasks in the day
  7. The exercise pool is a compact size and is ideal if you do not have room
  8. The dimensions of an exercise pool need only be 3.9m Long x 2.4m Wide x 1.15m Deep (12 ft x 8 ft x 3ft 6″ in depth)
  9. There is less material to excavate and remove
  10. The build times for an exercise pool are faster
  11. You use less water (So low costs in water bills
  12. There less chemicals to use as opposed to a traditional swimming pool
  13. Your heating costs are much lower
  14. There is less of your time in used up in cleaning and maintaining the pool
  15. A pool enclosure, because of the smaller size of the pool the enclosure would be less expensive.pool enclosures-1

These exercise pool can be built on site to your specifications or purchased as a one piece pool and installed into most locations by any good local swimming pool installer covering the Gloucester Hereford Monmouthshire Cardiff Bristol and Bath UK

Happy swimming
By John Cox Email us for more info

Above ground liner pools

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An above ground liner swimming pool is a less expensive way of having a pool in your back garden

Prices can range from £79.00 – £199.00 – for the Intex type out of ground plastic pools to the budget wooden above ground pool which start from around £4,002.00 and up to £11,500 for a more sturdy larger timber frame lined pools. These wooden pools can be constructed with a decking surround to look like an in-ground liner swimming pool

Above ground pools are an economic alternative to a conventional in ground type of liner swimming pool. A low cost above ground pool can be installed as a DIY project and with advice from your local pool installers in Swansea Cardiff Chepstow Gloucester Bristol areas. Osprey Pools travel as far as London Hampshire Surry Sussex Kent and Essex, UK

  • They can be installed to look like an in the ground pool by constructing a timber frame covered with decking to the same level.
  • You can also use some of the space beneath the decking as storage for your equipment and toys.
  • Build a small changing room.Above ground swimming poolAbove ground pools

Above ground liner pools are a good option for a low budget and can be installed as a DIY project with advice from your local swimming pool installer We supply most areas in the uk including Swansea Bridgend Cardiff Monmouth Chepstow and Bristol or the above ground pool can be supplied and installed for you… again we cover Uk regions of London Kent and Essex Bath Gloucester Hampshire Swindon around Somerset Devon and Cornwall. For more information on in-ground or out of ground liner swimming pool click here or you can call 01600 861 851 Above ground pool prices for mobile phone users click here

Building a swimming pool on a budget

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Building a swimming pool on a budget.

DIY Pools: These pools are a popular and cheaper way to build your very own private swimming pool. However you need to be aware of the pitfalls at the beginning, during and at the end of your pool build.

Swimming pool location

Where to locate your swimming pool?

Finding a place in your garden to build your swimming pool.

Above ground swimming pools

A hexagon shape above ground pool in Monmouth

If you like dabbling in DIY, you could start with building your own above ground pool. These come in kit form with an instruction manual and DVD on how to build your pool.

Above ground swimming pool: If you have some general knowledge of construction then building a swimming pool yourself can be relatively easy, and depending on how much experience you have you could buy and build a wooden above ground pool. These again are in kit form. This Fun-pool can be sited on level firm ground or lawn.

In ground wooden pools

Another above ground swimming pool made to look like its an in-ground pool near Monmouth

Another type of pool the Eco pool and Premier needs to be installed on a strong concrete base, laid on virgin subsoil, don’t be tempted to cut corners and install the pool straight off the subsoil without a concrete base. Now if you don’t want your wooden pool to look like an above ground pool then another way to build the pool is partially in the ground and build timber decking around the pool to make it look like an in-ground pool.

liner-pool

In-ground pool near completion, just outside Monmouth

swimming pool maintenance

Same in-ground pool completed.

In-ground swimming pools: Swimming pools that are installed in the ground are a different specification altogether, and very different to the wooden pool design. These in-ground swimming pools come in kits either with wall panels or without the panels. The pool kit without the panels use concrete blocks to build the walls. These pools are more complex to construct than their above ground counterparts. If you have a reasonable knowledge of construction then you should be able to build the pool yourself, but there are many factors and pitfalls to be aware of as building a swimming pool is not the same as building a BBQ, a house, or an extension, so it may be best to seek advice before and during construction from a swimming pool builder who supplied you the pool kit or look on the internet.

Exercise Swimming Pool

Exercise swimming pool

Labour: By employing outside labour to build your swimming pool you can oversee the pool build yourself. Again I would suggest you employ the services of a swimming pool installer to advice you on everything from the location of the pool, the methods of construction, what pitfalls to look out for, the pool plumbing system, advice on surrounds and landscaping through to commissioning your swimming pool. All the above options come with instruction manuals and DVDs to help you build your pool, but more help and information on building your own pool on a budget visit our website and contact us with your query.

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)

Bristol Cardiff Raglan Newport

How to make hosepipe bans a thing of the past

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The article “How to make hosepipe bans a thing of the past” has moved to http://www.ospreypools.co.uk/blog/rainwater-harvesting/

Swimming pool heating cost

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What does it cost to heat a swimming pool?

There is no simple answer to this question there are numerous variables that it is not possible to give the best response so I will try to explain why it is so not easy to work out the cost of heating a swimming pool and make a comparison of the different methods of pool heating.swimming- exercise

First thing is to know how much heat you need to put in to your swimming pool to heat it up and therefore work out the cost. There are units of measurement for how many kilowatts (kw) of energy it takes to raise the temperature of fixed volume of swimming pool water.

Here is an example:
Say a 8,000 litre pool will need about 150 kilowatts of energy to raise the temperature of heat exchangerwater (from the tap) from 10°C to 25°C (pool water).

So if your electricity tariff was say set at 8p per kw/hr (Kilowatts per hour) then it will cost £12.00 (150(kw’s) X. 0.08p (pence) = 12 (£’s)

150 x 0.08 = 12

However with this example, the assumption is the swimming pool water looses no heat at all. Actually the swimming pool water loses heat not only while you are heating the water but as soon as the heater gets the water to the required temperature it begins to lose the heat and the heater has to work constantly to replenish that lost heat. There are countless ways a swimming pool can lose heat and the speed at which it loses heat depends on several factors:

Oil heaterSwimming pools can lose heat through the pool walls. The largest quantity of heat is lost from the pools surface area through evaporation and convection. The wind speed over your pool can have a huge affect on heat loss as well

Colder air temperatures cools the pool water. A swimming pool kept at very high temperatures will lose heat at twice the speed of a swimming pool held at lower temperatures against a background (ambient) temperature of say 20°C. So, the higher the temperatures are the quicker the heat loss. You can cut the cost of heating by turning the temperature on the pool heater thermostat down.

A pool without a cover loses more heat than a pool with one. A heat retention cover will cut down on heat loss. A solar cover on a good day will actually warm the water through solar gainHeat loss

On the point of heat loss through air movement across the pool a pool dome or enclosure can have a large influence on heat loss and big savings on the cost of heating a pool

The ambient air temperature at which the heat pump uses to heat the swimming pool can fluctuate day by day, season to season.

The amount of sunshine needed to warm the solar panels to heat the pool water also fluctuates season to season

In simple terms, you are really trying to heat a volume of water that is exposed to the elements, (wind cold etc) so the heating of a swimming pool is about “replacing the heat” that the pool water loses.replaced-liner-2
A heater’s thermostat senses when your pool water temperature drops by a degree (1°C) and the thermostat switches the heating on until the desired temperature that you’ve set the pool water is reached.
Assume your pool temperature drops by 1 degree centigrade every night and by the morning your heater has to get the pool water back up to the temperature that you’ve set at for the heating the pool water to stay at that level until the evening and then overnight it drops 1 degree C again.
An approximation at best scenario but it’s a simply illustration. Let us assume the swimming season is from May to say September, roughly about 135 days.

This table below shows

  • The volume of water in a swimming pool
  • The pools size
  • How much heat input in kilowatts is (kw) needed every day
  • And the amount of heat (kw) required for the season (as above assuming approx 135 days for a season)
Water Volume (approx) Pool size Heat needed per day (kw) Heat required for every season (kw)
8,000 litres (1,760 Gals) 12ft Round 9.3 1256
16,000 litres (3,520 Gals) 15ft Round 18.6 2512
25,000 litres (5,450 Gals) 18ft Round 29.1 3925
40,000 litres (8,800 Gals) 12 x 24ft 46.5 6280
64,000 litres (14,100 Gals) 15 x 30ft 74.4 10048
100,000 litres (21,990 Gals) 20 x 40ft 116 15700

These are approximate figures of the amount of heat you will have to put in to your swimming pool.
The figures above are based on a 1°C loss in temperature per day.
On colder nights it may be more heat loss, on warmer days it may be less.Maintaining a swimming pool

The table below show a list of  how much individual heating systems use in kilowatts  and the possible cost (depending on your tariff for electricity, and fluctuations in heating oil & gas prices) to put in different amounts of heat using diverse types of heater. The costs are based on assumptions shown below the table.

KW required Oil Gas Electric Heat Pump
1,200 £67 £39 £119 £28
2,500 £140 £81 £249 £59
4,000 £224 £129 £398 £94
6,000 £336 £194 £597 £141
10,000 £560 £324 £995 £235
15,000 £840 £485 £1,493 £353

Cost assumptions.

(Remember these costs are an example and do not reflect the current costs of fuel)

This is an example below to give you an idea

Electricity…..………… 9.00p per kw/hr heater efficiency 92% cost per kw output 9.78p

Gas………..…………….. 2.75p per kw/hr heater efficiency 85% cost per kw output 3.24p

Oil @ 45p per litre = 4.02 p per kw/hr heater efficiency 75% cost per kw output 5.6p

Heat pump…………… 0.09p per kw/hr heater efficiency 400% cost per kw output 2.25p

Air source heat pumpAir Source Heat Pumps operate with a Co-Efficient of Performance (COP) of 3 to 1, meaning that for every kilowatt of electricity you pay for, you get 3 kilowatts of heat back out. This is at least 3 times cheaper than a standard electric pool heater.

The outcome is:

Electric pool heaterFor small pools up to about 15ft round the lower purchase cost of standard electric pool heater is fine. However if your swimming pool size is bigger than the 15ft size then this choice using a standard electric pool heater is not so economical.

In the long term a heat pump purchased and used for heating your swimming pool over 5 years, the extra cost of the initial investment should be paid back with in lower fuel costs.

Solar heating:

Solar pool heatingThe cost of solar heating panels and how efficient they are much depends on the UK weather, and what seems in the last few years like we are experiencing shorter summers (2013 being an exception although we did have a very cold spring), and how much warm sunshine we gain. If the UK was situated near Spain or North Africa then one could say it is a good idea to have, but our climate is very changeable to say the least, so as yet the jury is still our regarding solar heating.

Remember this is just a guide to give you an idea how to find out the cost to heat a swimming pool. Your actual tariffs may vary depending on which energy supplier you use

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)

Children swimming pools and ponds

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Swimming pools, ponds and children…

The dangers of children, swimming pools, and ponds… It only takes a moment’s distraction

Distraction is one of the biggest dangers when it comes to our children. We’ve all been distracted by the knock at the door, the phone call or the something important distracts you for what only seems a moment but long enough for a young child to get into trouble.

Pickpockets and burglars use distraction to relieve you of your property. The knock on the front door and someone is standing there asking you for directions, a distracting, while his mate comes through the back door and rumbles through your valuable possessions.

Perhaps the worst form of distraction is when you have children. the danger begins when there’s that the knock on the door or the phone rings. Perhaps a neighbour,  family or friends call in, or you’re doing something very important.

This is the most dangerous time when it comes to children and swimming pools or ponds for that matter.

You cannot turn your back on children for one minute when you have a pool or pond in your back garden

“Parents find two year old at bottom of pool” “We did get a heartbeat from the little boy last night, so we’re hoping,” ( WPBF-TV USA)

So what measures do you put in place to keep an eye on the little ones? Do you rely on other family i.e. Dad, older siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, or friends?

You should never ever rely on anyone but yourself, and to be honest you can’t rely on yourself either, knowing our human nature such as it is.

As a Mum or Dad “You” should always assume that you are the only person keeping an eye on what little Tommy or Lucy is up to. Never assume your other half is supervising the kids. So never make these assumptions or take this for granted.

Also never be tempted to say to someone else in the family, “Please keep any eye on the little one for me for a minute… What if that person gets distracted or drops off to sleep too? Who’s watching where the little Toddler is now? No one is

So what are the answers?

1. Well you could have to pool or pond back filled in. That would give you piece of mind

2. You could fence around the pool or pond with purpose made fencing designed for pools and ponds

3. You could install a swimming pool safety cover for a pool or safety grid for a pond (depending on the size)

4. For the swimming pool you could also install an advanced “smart” swimming pool security system. It works by creating an invisible underwater sonar net. It notifies parents or caretakers immediately if a child falls into a pool

So there are some of the actions you can take to prevent any accident happening to young children but still nothing is fool proof.

I’m a Grandparent and I find it extremely distressing when I hear these sad stories. Heaven only knows what these parents are going through. Water is dangerous for children, adults, animals, almost everything. Water gives us life, without it we would not exist, but it will also take life from us.

Get the pool fenced off with proper type of swimming pool fencing and child proof locks, install a safety cover and security sonar

Apart from being a place of fun, a swimming pool is also a killer, so don’t take your swimming pool or pond for granted when children are around.

Also read:

Pool Safety: How to Help Your Baby Get Comfortable in the Water

 

John Cox TnISPE Osprey Pools

New swimming pool installation for Summer

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A new swimming pool for the spring and summer?

If you’re thinking about having a swimming pool built, the best time to get the ball rolling is before the warmer weather moves in, so now is as good a time as any!

Swimming poolBut first there are a few things you need to investigate so below to start you off is a short list of things to do as you will need to budget and plan your project and seek advice from a swimming pool installer (Even if you are installing the pool yourself it pays dividends to get advice from a swimming pool expert)

Swimming pool

Swimming pool installations

Before installing your swimming pool you’ll first need to know what type and shape of your swimming pool and the size of your budget.

  1. How much are you willing to spend for a swimming pool? Remember when sizing your pool to include accessories like heating, heat retention and debris cover, Roman end steps, underwater light etc, also what type of decking,  surrounds and a plant room.
  2. Are you installing the swimming pool yourself? A word of warning here. If you have no knowledge then do not attempt to build the pool yourself without some experienced help, even if you are good at Diy or you are a builder, there are a few pitfalls and potholes to be aware of and you will need advice and guidance from an experience pool installer.Pool chemicals
  3. What type of swimming pool? After you’ve considered whether it is a self build or obtaining the services of a professional to install your swimming pool, the next stage is which type of pool do you want for your budget. Now if it’s a concrete tiled pool these are more than twice as expensive than liner pools and take up to three times or more as long to build. So unless you have major bucks and time is not a problem for you then a concrete tiled or rendered and tiled pool is fine.
  4. For ease, lets assume its a liner pool that will be installed. The next thing to consider is which wall materials to use, panels or concrete blocks. Concrete blocks construction I think is better. It is a more solid construction but uses more materials. the panel pool on the other hand is easier to construct and uses less materials, the drawback is its not as stable or as strong as the concrete block method and can be more expensive to buy.pool-enclosures
  5. So you’ve chosen the type of materials you want to use. Next is the design, shape and size of the swimming pool… The design and shape first… Most swimming pools are rectangle, however if you do not like straight lines, then a kidney shape is available. You could have a random shape however once again theses will cost more and take longer to build. So next! How long? How wide? How deep do you want your pool to be? Obviously the bigger the size the longer it will take to construct. If you want your pool for looks then a reasonably large swimming pool say 14 ft x 28 ft is plenty big enough. However if you do a lot of swimming, enjoy exercising, have a tighter budget and you lack space, then consider a small size swimming pool with a counter current fitted. There is much to be saved in construction costs, build times and the future running costs with this type of swimming pool. and you can have an endless amount of time swimming against a current of water without the need to turn.
  6. Pool enclosures. One other thing is to consider to install a swimming pool undercover. The swimming season can be extended by many months or all year round by building swimming pool in a solid building or a purpose built enclosure. Planning and building control permissions may be needed for these so seek advice from your local authorities or ask the pool installer to take this role on for you.

Benefits of a pool enclosure are theses:

  1. (a)They ensure that you do not waste heat energy stored in the water from the heated water or the suns solar gain.Automatic pool cover
    b) Besides keeping the water at a comfortable temperature, the air temperature remains warm, free from draughts.
    c) In the summer you are unlikely to use the heater, and this saves you money on your heating costs. there is additional savings on the use of chemicals and water, also save you time and work keeping the pool maintained as there is less debris and bugs that enter the swimming pool. Groundwork by www.constructiongroundworks.uk/

Swimming pool liner repairs

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Swimming pool liner repairs

By Osprey Pools

Liner pool repairs can be anything from a small pinhole to a rip in the vinyl fabric.

With a liner pool, this is generally not a serious problem depending of course on the nature of the damage i.e. pinholes, or slight tear. These may be repaired underwater.
swimming pool linersHowever, sometimes the liner is too old to repair and there is no alternative but to replaced it. Pool liners, if looked after can last around 6 to 8 years or even longer in some cases.
The stone coping sometimes need to be re-laid or when they are looking worst for wear with the aggregate (stone chippings and sand) showing through, acting more like an abrasive rather than having a smooth surface can be replace with new stone coping, however when removing the old stone coping. Occasionally the liner lock that holds the swimming pool liner in place has bonded to the cement that holds the coping in place. This pool liner lock also needs renewing in order to install the new swimming pool liner.

pool liners

A small range of pool liner colours and patterns

Sometimes the swimming pool has an underlay fitted under the pool lining and depending on the type of underlay used and its condition, this often has to be replaced, or if there’s no pool liner underlay, most pool installers will install a new underlay before installing the pool liner.

Before installing new underlay and pool liner, there is likely to be repairs to do on the pool shell. Usually this takes the form of sand and cement repairs to the base where the screed has warn or washed away in places.

John Cox TnISPE (Cert)

Pool losing water

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Where do you look to find a leak in a swimming pool?

If your swimming pool is losing a few inches of water a day, there are several ways to find where the pool is losing water from.

As we know the leak (or leaks) could be anywhere from the plant rooms filter, the pool Building-swimming-poolpump, heater etc., to the pool structure, the liner, underground pipes or skimmer. The pool liner may have tears or pinholes on the base and sidewalls of the pool through constant wear or accidental damage.

  • Water loss through the pool fittings is a good place to start looking. The liner gaskets behind a swimming fitting such as a skimmer, the returns, the main drains, hand rails, other pool accessories, like the steps.
  • Sometimes pool liners can come out of position if water is allowed to overfill causing the liner to float leaving creases in the liner.
  • Behind an underwater light is a favourite place to find a leak.
  • The leak may be in the plant room around the valves, a filter, there are many points on a pool pump that are susceptible to losing water. The filter lid, bottom drain bung, and the multiport are worth a while to inspect.
  • Pipe fittings and broken joints these too are all suspect.
  • Corroded heat exchangers and composite couplings are worth checking.

Concrete pools are notorious for losing water.

Common defects are:

  • Through cracks in the tiles, render and ultimately through the fabric of the concrete pool shell.Liner swimming pool
  • Skimmers, inlets, main drains, lights, etc. are again all suspects. Although they do not have gaskets in concrete pools this is another area where the concrete has not bonded and sealed around the fittings or the incorrect fittings have been used. (i.e. Using linerfitting instead of fitting produced for concrete pools)
  • Bonding concrete walls to the base of a pool incorrectly is another common defect with swimming pools.
  • Poor design and workmanship.
  • Cutting corners on materials curing and drying times usually leads problems in concrete pools leaking

As you can see, it’s not easy to find a leak in a swimming pool and it can take a few hours to many days or more to find these leaks

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)
Oxford Bristol London Swindon UK

Pool liner creases and wrinkles

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The wrinkles and creases in vinyl swimming pool liners look unsightly and can cause problems to the floor and wall lining.

Written by and published with kind permission of Rob Cox (www.poolcenter.com)

Wrinkles and creases in your vinyl liner are not pretty to look at, and also causes some vinyl liner performance issues.

Wrinkles in a pool liners can create problems such as:

  • Trapping dirt against the folds.
  • Making of holes from vacuum brushes, and cleaners snagging the fold.
  • It weakens the area that has folded.

    Dilapidated pool liner

    A dilapidated pool What does it cost to renovate?

Causes of folds and liner wrinkles:

Here are some of the causes that create wrinkles in your swimming pool liner, and what you may do to solve the problem.

Pool liner wrinkles can be produced by chemicals:

If you keep your pool chlorine level consistently high, or your pool pH level consistently low

Pool liner creases

Pool liner wrinkles and creases

you could develop puckering in your swimming pool liner. It can be a localised problem, more often due to chlorine coming in direct contact with the liner, or it can be widespread. this is often accompanied by a lightening or bleaching of the vinyl. These are not good signs, and I can offer no solution, other than reducing your daily chlorine levels, and using caution while shocking the pool. Unfortunately, this type of liner wrinkle cannot be reversed, or easily removed. High chlorine and low pH can be very corrosive, and it literally sucks the plasticiser from the vinyl, causing the liner to contract and pucker. Pool owners need to keep there pool water continuously in balance even through the winter as when it comes to summerising the pool water balance is often out.

Pool liner wrinkles can be a consequence of underground water behind the liner:

An unfortunate situation, caused by a rising water table or water finding it’s way in behind the pool liner, with no means of topographical escape for the water pressure beneath the pool. Hydro-static pressure can be so great in rare situations, that it can lift a concrete pool water-behind-linerout of the ground – and it can much more easily push up a vinyl liner. It will appear as a bump under the liner, (see image right), like a giant air bubble. When the water table recedes, the liner will come back down to meet the floor or wall, without wrinkles – if you’re lucky. In many cases, however, the liner wrinkles as the water table drops and the liner comes back into place.

To fix this situation, look toward managing the run-off from the surrounding area of the pool. Gutter and down pipe run-off into a soak-away from the roofs is always suspect, so look to redirecting the water coming from these and the downspouts – away from the pool. In some cases, the necessary alterations to the landscape and topography surrounding your pool can be severe to correct the situation. Usually, however, some minor corrections can be made to keep ground water from coming to rest up against the pool.

Pool wrinkles in a pool liner, an after-effect of liner “slippage”:

Slippage, (a made-up word from Rob Cox) occurs on above ground pools with overlap liners. If you don’t have enough coping clips to secure the liner (securely) to the top of the pool wall, it can slip down the wall. First creating wall wrinkles, which work their way to the floor eventually.

Pool creases caused by underground erosion:

Not a common cause, but in pools liner-creases-wrinkleswith a soft floor and active underground water, the floor can become distorted, as the base of the pool slips away under the weight of the pool. In some cases, a high water table leads to a liquefaction of the subsoil beneath the pool, producing all sorts of strange designs on the pool liners. Wrinkles in this case are accompanied by low depressed areas. Hard to keep clean, and the pool floor is ugly to look. at

Pool wrinkles are also an inevitable result of water loss:

When the water gets below 6″ on the pool floor, the liner begins to relax, away from the walls. If your pool loses more water, to the floor – the entire liner will relax wrinkle shrink and will set in. The water loss can be accidental, in the case of a leak – or it can be drained intentionally, to correct poor water conditions. In either case, when the water gets too low in a vinyl liner pool, some care is needed to re-set the liner to prevent wrinkles. When liners are especially old and brittle, resetting can cause the liner to snap or break. It is best to avoid draining vinyl liner pools, especially when the vinyl is showing some age, to prevent the sometimes unavoidable wrinkles or damage to the pool liner.

Pool liner creases and wrinkles when installing a new liner:

This is the most common type of wrinkle in a pool liner. One cause is when a pool liner ordered is deeper than the pool, or too much additional sand was added while prepping the floor of the pool. A primary cause is poor measurement, especially of the hopper bottom, on in ground vinyl liner pools. When installing in ground liners, and in some cases above ground pool liners, using a vacuum or shop vac is necessary to “set” the liner, or suck it tight against the walls and floor, before filling with water. When this step is missed or mishandled, pool liner wrinkles can result.

Overlap pool liners, and in fact all pool liners, should be just slightly above the floor before filling. The best fit of a new pool liner comes from having the liner stretch into place. Not too much of a stretch, or you risk stress and strain on the pool walls and on the liner. Before filling a pool with a new vinyl liner, you should position the liner so that it is off the floor by just an inch or two.

On oval or rectangular pools, having a “twisted” liner can also result in wrinkles while installing a new liner. Make sure to line up corners or the apex of a radius before filling. If you have diagonal wrinkles on the walls, you need to shift the liner in the opposite direction.

How to avoid wrinkles and creases when installing a new liner:

After a new pool liner is installed and snapped into the liner lock (beaded liners), you should work out any floor wrinkles by “banging” them towards the side of the pool. Use a pool brush or push broom, or your hands to slowly work the wrinkles to the edge of the pool. Do this from up above, on the pool deck, or standing on the outside of the pool.Liner pool

If you are using a vacuum to set the liner, the trick is to hang over the edge of the pool, shown right, and grab up the pool liner in both hands, giving it firm pulls toward the wall. Work your way around the pool, pulling any floor wrinkles toward the side. You may need to turn the vac off and on, while you work out the wrinkles in the liner, pulling them towards the side. It’s best to do this work from outside of the pool, not inside the pool.

How to remove pool liner wrinkles:

If the pool is already full, try first with your feet. Wearing some soft rubber sole shoes can be helpful, but be careful not to kick the liner too hard. The idea is to spread out the wrinkle, into the surrounding area, or toward the wall, where the slack can be picked up in the area between the wall and the floor.

A homemade tool that I have found helpful is a 2″ pvc coupling on the end of a 4′ piece of 2″ pipe. With this “pusher” tool, or something similar ( careful no sharp edges), you can work out the wrinkles. If the floor is sand, the tool can also be used to push wrinkles down into the floor. Then work the surrounding area to slope toward the slightly depressed area where the wrinkle once was but be careful you don’t puncture the liner or it will need a repair.

A last resort is a risk but by lowering the water level down to just above the floor, removing much of the water weight, can be helpful – it makes the wrinkles easier to move. But again, try not to go too low, or you may risk more wrinkles appearing in your pool liner.

Wrinkles are always easier to remove when the water is warm, and when they haven’t been in place for too long. If the wrinkles have set-in for many months, especially under winter water temps, they may be nearly impossible to remove. Not all wrinkles can be removed. Maybe you can live with the wrinkles and creases for a season or two – if not, you may need to bite the bullet and replace the pool liner.

10-top tips winterising swimming pools

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10 Top tips for closing down your swimming pool

Now that autumn is here you might be thinking about winterising your swimming pool for the coming cold months. We have some tips here at Osprey Pools to help guide you through the maze of things to do when you decide it’s time to winterise your swimming pool.

It is most important that you winterise your swimming pool for a number of reasons, one being water freezes, and you don’t want it damaging your pool equipment like filters and pumps. This can end up costing you money when it comes round to using your pool once more and find that you have leaks all over the place

You also need to maintain the water inside your swimming pool to keep it as clean as possible over the winter months so when the warm weather arrives it will be easier to get the pool up and running again.

Here are some of the top 10 tips for closing your swimming pool:

  1. When closing down your pool for the winter make sure you check the pH of the pool water to make certain it’s balanced
  2. Then check the total alkalinity and calcium hardness.
  3. Balancing the water in this way will help to protect the pool’s surface from etching and staining and it also activates the sanitiser to keep the water healthy.
  4. Shock your pool and use winter swimming pool chemicals like algaecide to preserve the water in your pool to keep it looking clear and blue (but not dark green) ready for your summer season.
  5. Take off your solar pool cover, clean it down and either store it away or leave it on the roller, covered.
  6. Vacuum the pool, backwash and rinse the filter clean the pump basket out of debris.
  7. Now place a winter cover over the swimming pool, this will keep out most leaves and debris that might have normally fallen in. If you have children or pets you might want to consider a safety cover to stop anyone or thing accidentally falling into the swimming pool. These safety covers can save lives as children or pets and wild creatures can get tangled in a normal winter cover and drown. Automatic Pool covers are the best. Remember to place the automatic water pump to clear any water that accumulates on top of the cover.
  8. Make certain that you just have cleared out all of the water from your pump, heater, plumbing, and filter. Drain your filter by unscrewing the plug at the bottom of it. Remember to open the air valve for all the water to drain out. Do the same to the pool pump; try to make sure you get the last trickles of water out. You need to remove any chemicals from the feeder as these will damage your pool equipment.
  9. Before you begin this next operation you should check with your dealer or pool installer if the pool water can be lowered in your pool. If it is fine to lower your pool water then drop the water level so that it is just below the skimmer and returns only. If your returns are positioned much lower down in the pool, you might want to consider asking your local pool dealer or pool company who installed your pool if this is OK to do.  Clean the skimmer basket out and remove from the skimmer place a plastic bottle about half filled with sand in the skimmer so it floats and place in the pool several plastic containers half filled with sand or similar so they float. this may help take up ice expansion during a freeze.
  10. Over the winter months you may need some interminttent maintenance on the pool. Check the balance of the pool water. Top up the pool water with more sanitiser and algaecide, there may be a need to remove some of the winter’s rain water that has topped the pool up over the months.

These top tips are meant for pool owners in the UK and only as a general guide to assist you in closing your pool this winter. In other countries like the USA the climatic conditions can vary substantially across states and in some cases are very different from the climate here in the UK, where we have the jet streams and warm Atlantic current keeping us in a temperate climate for most of the year.

Make sure your read any and all instructions that came or are associated with your swimming pool including the labels on the pool chemicals and any pool equipment that came with it.

If all this winterising and closing the pool down for the winter is too time consuming or an inconvenience for you, give us a call on 01600 861 851 We are local to Chepstow Usk Raglan and Monmouth. Also close to Lydney Ross-on-Wye and Cinderford and the Forest of Dean. We are willing to travel much further afield to Abergavenny Newport Cardiff Gloucester Hereford or Bristol.

My swimming pool is leaking

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Your swimming pool is leaking and you need to get the swimming pool installer out to you pool, so here are 10 things to list before you call a pool installer

  1. Give your name and address if a pool installer needs to visit you.
  2. Tell them where the swimming pool is located and is it an indoor or outdoor pool? The reason for asking this is if there is a leak. between the pool and the plant room, it’s easier to excavate an outdoor pool than  an indoor pool to fix pipe leaks.
  3. Type of swimming pool i.e. is it a liner pool, or concrete tiled pool, a moulded unit, etc. Different types of construction sometimes require different methods of investigating.
  4. If it’s a liner pool, is it a panel or concrete block and liner construction with or without underlay. It’s interesting to know what type of construction the pool is to build a picture up of the structure.

    Swimming pool leaks

    A concrete tiled pool that has several long vertical cracks in the pool shell

  5. Still on the type of pool is it a flat bottom, wedge shape, hopper with a shallow end and does it have any walk in steps? Again this is to gather more information  building up a picture of your pool.
  6. Size of your pool: what is the length width and depth.
  7. What is the age of the pool? Is it an old pool or new? A new pool should not leak and an old pool usually means a part of the pool or system has come to the end of it’s working life.
  8. How far away is the plant room (pump, filter, pool heating, etc.) from the swimming pool?
  9. Are there accessories like underwater lights, steps, counter-current auto covers etc. These are all suspect when it comes to pool leaks.
  10. How many skimmers and inlets are there? Again these parts of the pool need investigating.

Leaking pool skimmer

Investigating and detecting leaks in a swimming pools skimmer

To save time and costs the pool installer or engineer may ask you to  check carefully a few things on your swimming pool (For safety sake have someone with you if any slips or accidents happen.) to eliminate the usual suspects, this is after all  detective work, eliminating different sections of the pool to find the leak (or leaks), for example the installer may ask you to check the plant room for any wetness or puddles on the floor as the leak could be coming from the pool plumbing system.

Leaking pool filter

Puddles on the floor of the plant room is it leaking from the filter, pool pump or the pool heater?

The next stage is for the pool installer or engineer to make an appointment with you for a site visit to do some various tests on your swimming pool and the circulation system.

Once the information is provided i.e. the location, the type and sized of swimming pool. A quote is offered. The only exception is when looking for more than one leak. Investigating where these leaks are is a process of elimination and once a leak is found a quote can be offered for it to be repaired. Sometimes there is more than one leak and the investigation continues until the next leak (If any) is found. The customer is then quoted for work on the other discovered leaks to be repaired.

Substandard ool reairs

Substandard repairs to a swimming pool the pipe on the right is suppose to be the deep suction ans a bung on the left is from old leaking pipework

For further information about pool leaks and what to do call John Cox on 01600-861-851/079-2208-3001 or go to the contact page leave a message and I will get back to you as quick as possible. We are based between the towns of Monmouth, and Chepstow. We install new pool and refurbish older pools and we are within easy travelling distance to Gloucester Bristol Cardiff Hereford Bath and Weston super Mare UK.

10 top tips on maintenance for your swimming pool

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The 10 top tips on swimming pool maintenance

keep on top of pool maintenance  with these ten top tips for keeping your pool clean and ready for swimming, weekend BBQ’s and parties.

swimming pool cover

Ready to pull back the winter cover on this swimming pool in Bristol

Pool maintenance begins when you first peel back the winter cover the pool water may be a green colour with leaves and debris in the pool. Before you add any chemicals to the water, the debris and leaves have to be scooped up with a leaf net. Clean the walls down (3.) with a pool brush. Wait for a while until the debris floating has settled on the base of the pool, Then proceed with vacuuming the pool floor remembering to top up the water level beforehand (no higher than and under the liner-lock) and during the vacuuming process,  then after carefully add chemicals to kill the algae and bacteria that maybe left in the pool

1. Removing the debris cover from your swimming pool.

swimming pool maintenance

Ready to replace this old liner near Bristol

Better if 2 people remove the winter debris cover, but 1 person can do this can. Carefully remove the winter cover and place the stainless steel anchors in a bag. Spread the sheet out on the garden and clean loose debris and leaves with brush and a hose. Let the winter cover dry off to avoid mould staining. After fold up and store away with the anchors in a dry area.

2. Cleaning the stone copings and the surrounds.
Before you do anything with your swimming pool, brush in sections a weak water/chlorine solution’ (being careful and wear protective clothing when mixing to manufactures instructions and using.) onto the coping and the pools surrounds and once treated gently hose down avoid splashing yourself and other objects like plants etc.  Next pressure clean and brush the copping and with water.

3. Brushing the swimming pool walls down.
Gently brush the pool walls using a pool brush to remove any green algae and other materials.

4. Check pool pump and filter.

pool plant room

Check the swimming pool pump basket for leaves and debris. Also how long ago did you have filtration media (usually sand) changed? Filters become less and less effective over the years you would benefit from periodic change at least every 3 yrs. Use regular back washing during the use of your swimming pool. We serve all locations areas including Monmouthshire Gloucester Bristol Newport Hereford and Cardiff Wales andmost of the West of England

 

5. Cleaning the tileband.
Begin with cleaning the tileband (Waterline) using the correct pool tile & liner cleaner.

6. Skim the surface of floating leaves with a leaf net
Remove any surface debris or leaves off the pool water with a leaf net and dispose.

7. Vacuuming the pool.
Connect the pool cleaning equipment together. Fill the pool hose with pool water, place the hose in the skimmer with the skimmer basket still in, or attach to the vacuum point. Begin vacuuming the swimming pool.

8. Shocking, super-chlorinate, oxidising.
These terms all means the same, but most people say “Shock a pool” because that is what a dose of chlorine does to any algae or bacteria. It’s the same as when you add bleach (which is composed of 5% chlorine, the rest is a carrier) to your kitchen. Add the chlorine to the water and mix (When mixing the chlorine granules remember to add chlorine to water and not the other way round). Obviously the amount you add depends on the condition of the pool water, and how effective the winterising treatments were, shock the pool water the pool appropriately and follow the chemicals instructions remember to have the filtration system running.

Swimming pool chemicals

9. Testing the water is in balance.
For the chlorine to work effectively the pH, has to be at the correct levels between 7.2 and 7.6. Total Alkalinity need to be at the correct level (80-120 ppm) and Calcium Hardness levels, so use a test kit to check there preferable before you add the chlorine. Remember do not mix different swimming pool chemicals and always read the manufactures instructions.

10. Retest the water after 24 hours.
After the swimming pool winter cover has been removed cleaned dries and stored away,

the pump and filter checked, the pool is running and has been cleaned, the pool water tested and shocked, leave the pool running and retest the waters pH and chlorine level after 24 hours and dose the water as necessary. Once you have the swimming pool in a

Swimming pool covers

balanced condition, continue to regularly maintain your swimming pool to keep it healthy and crystal clear. After roll out the solar bubble cover over the swimming pool

Pool maintenance for Bristol Gloucester Monmouthshire Hereford Newport and Cardiff Wales and the West of England

When you are ready, pool need to be opened and you don’t want to go through the hassle of removing the winter cover filling cleaning and treating the pool with chemicals give your local pool installer a call, and if your lining needs replacing let the pool engineer know so he can inform you what the costs are to renew your pool liner.

 

Exercise pools the benefits

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What are the benefits of an exercise pool?

There are many good reasons why it’s worth buying an exercise pool. For one, if all you want is to keep fit these are excellent machines for this plus it saves you travelling to the gym These days you can have a much smaller swimming pool installed that does the same if not better than the medium to large size pools.

Counter currents

These smaller swimming  pools can be fitted with a counter current, either free standing or built in to the swimming pool, as the pool construction progresses.

If you have an existing liner pool the counter-current unit may be fitted into the pool walls retrospectively.

It is not a good idea to fit a counter current into an existing concrete pool wall as this breaks the integrity of water proof shell

In an existing concrete pool, these counter-currents are best fitted as “stand -alone units” similar to the counter current in the image to the right.>>>>

Swimming against a counter-current is better known as “resistance swimming” you can do water-aerobics (also known as aqua-aerobics).

Here is a list of great benefits that a smaller pool with a counter current can offer you from the fitness and health factors to the swimming pool installation:

  • After a while using an exercise pool you begin to feel fit and less tired.
  • You have bundles of energy, able to get things done without feeling exhausted.

Swim spa

This is a 1 piece swim-spa with integrated counter current

  • The counter current speeds are adjustable so when you start using an exercise pool, you can either have a gentle swim or turn the speed up and have a more challenging swim.
  • You’ll become healthier and your body is abler to withstand the annual winter bugs much better.
  • You’ll find a reduction in aches and pains and you are able to do many more tasks than your use to do.
  • You are able to think clearer, work problems out better.
  • Your skin tones up (less spots and blemishes).
  • Great for swim practice if you are in a swimming club or entering competitions.
  • Because the exercise pool is a compact size it is an ideal if you do not have room to install a traditional swimming pool.
  • The dimensions of an exercise pool need only be 3.9m Long x 2.4m Wide x 1.15m Deep (12 ft x 8 ft x 3ft 6″ in depth).
  • There is less material to excavate and remove. Less materials are used in an exercise pools construction. The build times for an exercise pool are faster.
  • You use less water which turns into low costs in water bills. There is less chemicals use, and your heating costs are much lower.
  • There is less of your time used up in cleaning and maintaining the swimming pool.
  • You can install a pool enclosure, and because of the smaller size of the pool the enclosure would be less expensive to erect.
  • An exercise pool can be purpose built to your specifications or you could buy one as a single piece unit (Swim-spas)
  • These exercise pools are the treadmill of the swimming world.

Happy swimming…

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)

Monmouth Gloucester Bristol London

Swimming pool refurbishment options

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There are a few options available when you decide that your swimming pool needs  refurbishing or you’re not going to use the pool anymore

By John CoxTnISPE

If you don’t think you will be using your pool ever again, there’s a few options to chose from.Swimming pool leaks

One answer is to convert the pool to a wildlife pond, this is easily done and you wouldn’t know it use to be a swimming pool. Another option is to back fill and cover the pool with decking or grass over.

However if you will eventually use the pool, then a refurbishment will be your best option.

A concrete pool that leaks for example can be converted to a liner pool by installing liner-lock and fitting a new pool liner or you could use on-site pool lining which uses much thicker a tougher lining materials than the standard pool liner.

First you need a few sheets of paper to write down rough drafts of your pros and cons of your swimming pool. Also it helps if you number them in importance.

Always ask someone else to pitch in with their opinions on what may be needed to be renovated or added. Many heads are better A pool in need of renovationthan one, and  an outside opinion often help in making the decisions.

Finally ask your local swimming pool installer. The problem with this is a pool installer will most likely want you to have the swimming pool refurbished. However if the pool installer is genuine (like me) he or she will offer a few balanced solutions for you to pick over.

So to get you started below are a few questions to ask:

  1. Do you like swimming? If you don’t then what’s the point of keeping the pool? A swimming pool is a status symbol, but the main thing about swimming (if used) is it does keep you fit and flexible, Swimming has many health benefits and has a low impact on all parts of the body. Apart from this you can have lots of fun like snorkeling or swim racing…
  2. How often do you use your pool? Do you use it for parties, entertaining, BBQ’s, relaxation, or just swimming?
  3. Do children or Grandchildren use the pool? Is the swimming pool worth keeping for the kids or Grandchildren? When they come to visit it can be something to keep them excited before arriving  and keeps them busy and tired out by the end of the day for sure.
  4. How much will it cost for a new pool liner, repair and refurbish the swimming pool?Pool liners
  5. If it’s a concrete pool and it’s not leaking what is the cost to resurface a pool, use on-site lining or install a new liner?
  6. What are the running costs? When renovating your swimming pool you should consider an air source heat pump or solar panels. These will save you on your energy bills.
  7. Another item that will save you money on energy bills is a pool enclosure as very little heating is needed during the summer, and it extends the swimming season, also cuts down on water and chemical costs, and save you time on maintenance and cleaning your swimming pool.
  8. Back-filling your pool. This can be quite costly as you have to import soil or clean hardcore to fill the swimming pool sometime people use sand but this is expensive and the pool will have to be made “non water proof”.
  9. You could change the swimming pool into a garden pond or put decking across the swimming pool in case you or the next owner decided to reinstate it. The pool will need to be kept fee of water so a pump may need to be installed.
  10. Ask an estate agent “are you removing value to your property by back filling or would you be adding value if you renovate your swimming pool”.

I must admit this article is slightly biased in favour of keeping a swimming pool for a few reasons, one being it’s my job to build new, repair and renovate swimming pools.

Second, it’s a waste of a good piece of exercise equipment. Thirdly, all the bother, the mess, and the cost that went into building a swimming pool is such  a waste. However sometimes these 3 reasons are still not good enough to keep a swimming pool going. Decommissioning a swimming pool should be thought of as a last resort but it’s no good keeping a swimming pool if you have Swimming pool refurbishmentno use for it.

So start with writing down what your thoughts are (good idea is to number them in importance), then slowly build up an idea as to which option you wish to go for:

  • Pool renovation
  • Convert the swimming pool to a pond
  • Back fill and make it back into a garden. This can be costly as you have to source hard-core that’s not contaminated and the cost of finishing off whether its with gravel, topsoil and turf or covered the in decking.
  • Concrete pool that is being filled in need drainge holes drilled to let the water out
  • Concrete pools that leak, consider on-site pool lining.

John Cox TnISPE (Cert)

Does chlorine in pool water sting your eyes?

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Chlorine in the pool water stings my eyes True or false?

Years ago before I began installing swimming pools occasionally I would say (as I was swimming) “There’s too much chlorine in the water, its stinging my eyes” Nowadays I know this is not necessarily true.
swimming pols

Swimming poolwater

(By saying “not necessarily true” obviously if you put high levels of chlorine or any chemical for that matter in a swimming pool, it wouldn’t be good for you or your eyes or the rest of your body).

There was also a strong smell of chlorine and most swimmers would say they thought it was due to high chlorine levels in the pool, but it’s the opposite… Believe it or not one of the reason for the stinging eyes is not enough chlorine even though there’s a very strong smell of the chemical.

The smell is the by-products of the pools disinfectant which is Chlorine called “Chloramine” When chlorine interacts with the bodies sweat, and other things from the human body like suntan lotions plus dust blown into the pool, toy, etc. chloramines are formed.

Chlorine versus Chlormines

As the level of chloramines goes up (Not chlorine) the level of chlorine (the “good” stuff) gets used up and begins to goes down.

If the chlorine level drops too low and the level of chloramines rises too high, then that swimming pool smell, with the other uncomfortable results like the stinging eyes, may occur. So if your eyes have a burning sensation, it’s most likely not the chlorine but to many chloramines and lack of chlorine…

How do you get rid of these “chloramines” from a swimming pool
Chloramines are going to be present if a swimming pool is used by swimmers and the pool owner uses chlorine as a disinfectant, and adding  chlorine in correct doses is the key to getting rid of excess amounts of chloramines in the pool water and that swimming pool smell. One further step that can be used when there is a big problem is called super chlorination.

What normally happens when chloramine levels are high is to raise the level of chlorine in the swimming pool to higher levels than you would normally. This is known as shocking or super chlorinating the pool water When the pool is “shocked” swimmers are not allowed into the swimming pool to swim –  The result of shocking a pool is like a super-clean to swimming pool. Chloramines are destroyed and removed through filtration back-washing and topping up the pool water.

As the chlorine gets rid of the choromines and other nasties the high level of chlorine gets used up and begins to go down to normal levels (it takes a while, but the levels will go down as the chlorine cleans the pool water), after checking the pool water the pool may be ready to use and should be more or less, chloramine free. Note: This may only work if the air quality is good. Use proper ventilation methods for indoor swimming pools.

Regarding the swimming pool odour, pool owners with indoor pools might want to consider whether they have the enough or correct mechanical ventilation  to maintain good air quality. Fresh air needs to move around a swimming pool and the old stale air vented out of the pool enclosure this will reduce the level of chloramines in the air and that swimming pool smell.  Make sure the air flow draws the air across the pool so that all of the air in the pool enclosures environment is moving and being replaced with fresh air.

One thing to note with the ventilation is the pools water level may give you a false impression that you have a leaking swimming pool but you’ll likely to find it may be the ventilation and evaporation of the pool water and not a leak.

Different disinfectant methods may be used to allow you to use lower levels of chlorine like UV or Ozone. To reduce the chloramine levels even more Make sure all swimmers take good showers (and by a good shower I mean clean all around the down below region well) before entering the pool this helps as it reduces the perspiration, dead skin cells, lotions, makeup deodorant etc. that a swimmer is bringing into the pool, which reduces the amount of chloramines formed.

Swimmers should not use the pool as a “bath” but do the opposite also use the toilets not the pool for weeing in…   Swimming pool behavior like this is unhygienic and is one of the biggest causes of high chloramines in swimming pools

Bleach (Which has chlorine in it) and ammonia (chlorine and urine) is not a good mix!

If you also make sure your pool water is balanced correctly the right pH, TA, Chlorine, Cyanuric acid and Calcium levels are maintained you should not have much of a problem with the pool water with no rashes stinging or burning eyes .

By John Cox TnISPE (cert)

Pumps and swimming pools

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Pumps and swimming pools

By John Cox

Ah yes! That pesky swimming pool pump. It works hard for 6 months of the year and goes to bed and hibernates for the winter and when it is time to open the pool, the damn pump will not work…Certikin aquaspeedpump - Copy

Some pool pumps are really good and last, while others play up, and sadly some don’t even last very long at all.  I’ve had a top of the range pool pump bite the dust on the first day of commissioning a swimming pool.

It doesn’t feel good at all to a swimming pool installer when this happens or when a pump does not last as long as you might think it should. It’s unfortunate but these days that is the way it is with anything mechanical from cars and washing machines to vacuum cleaners and electric ovens, the machinery of today does not last as long as they use to back in the good old days, even though it is purported that these machines are more energy efficient and all  that techno stuff… That may well be true, but when it comes to energy saving and the likes, I don’t reckon so, none of them seem to be that special… Even the lastest passanger aircraft and motor cars have had their problems

Pool pumps capacitor

Some pool pumps have been in use for years and then the pumps capacitor sometimes give up and this needs replacing, but occasionally trying to get the casing off can be difficult if the screws have corroded or have become stiff to turn. another danger is of course breaking the water tight seal around the casing where the cable connections are located and these circumstances changing the pool pump is recommended.

Swimming pool pumps and changing all the pipework and valve’s

More often than not some if not in some cases “All” of the pipework around installing a new pool pump, to the filter and heating has to be “re-arranged”…  The pool plant roompipes and valves have to be discarded because the pump inlets and out lets are in a another position (a different configuration) or the pump is shorter or taller. Sometimes you may exchange the same pump to finds the fitting or couplings are smaller, shorter.

Yes, that swimming pool or spa pump has sure got a lot to answer for when it breaks down, remembering of course that a swimming pool is like a Bentley or Ferrari…. When they break down or something goes wrong, it is an expensive ouch, because not only is it the cost of the pump but there’s replacement fittings and the labour as well.

If your pump needs changing we supply and install pool pumps and we cover most areas of the UK including Bristol Cardiff Gloucester Pembroke Swansea Bath London Kent & Essex.

Repairing swimming pools

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Swimming pool repairs

Look after your swimming pool there’s not much that should go astray but like everything else, as soon as a product is made it begins to degrade
For example a brand new car just off the forecourt begins to depreciate not just in value but from the environment around us and the travelling, so as time ticks by, eventually the car will need repairs and replacements like new tyres, windscreen wipers, a full service.
So yes everything needs a service and some repairing after a period of time (Even us humans need a check up)
Repairs on a swimming pool are usually minor, there shouldn’t be much to go wrong with a recently installed pool or hot tub except perhaps if the pool has been poorly designed, bad workmanship or the spa’s quality is inferior , but as time does go by maybe a liner needs an underwater patch or there’s a leak around the pipe, pump or filter unions and these can easily be repairs by replacing the O’rings or resealing some of the joints.
Some repairs are due to neglect and poor maintenance or the water is out of balance, this can decrease a pool liners life span or attack a concrete pools plaster and tile grout which can result in (if a liner pool) the liner being replaced or if it is a tiled pool the need to be re-grouted or replace lose mosaics and this can end up costing a lot of money and disruption…
Another example is putting the swimming pool to bed for the winter and not winterising or draining the water out of the equipment properly. This is where some of problems occur. In one instance a pool owner did not drain his heat pump correctly when winterising his swimming pool and unfortunately it was the year 2010 December which was notorious for being one of the coldest month on record, so you can guess what happened inside the heat pumps the water froze solid and expanded cracking the heat exchanger.
More to follow on this subject later…

Which pool cover?

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Which covers do you need for a swimming pool?

Using a swimming pool cover during the warmer summer months reduces evaporation which intern saves on the need to top up the water reducing the need for more pool chemicals to be added.

A solar cover reduces a swimming pools heating bill by restricting heat loss through evaporation and adding more heat to swimming pool water through solar gain.Automatic pool cover Automatic safety cover
Pool safety cover are ideal to make your pool secure for pets and children and wildlife.
The main swimming pool covers for above ground and in-ground swimming pools are:
•    Solar bubble covers: There are different kinds and colours of solar cover Black blue with gold and silver undersides.
•    Geo-Bubble covers: These are 50% thicker than standard bubble covers and have a larger footprint for air expansion and more surface area in contact with the water.
•    Winter debris cover: Are designed to try and keep leaves and other debris out of the swimming pool when closed down for the winter.
•    Automatic pool cover: These are sometimes called a “3 in 1 cover” as they are a safety cover, a debris cover and they act like a heat retention cover.
•    Slatted (Venetian) covers similar to the automatic pool cover but are not a safety covers.
•    Heat retention cover as the name implies retains the heat of the pool water and reduces the need to add more swimming pool chemicals , but it is not a solar cover.
You will need a reel to roll the cover onto, although winter debris covers are left to dry after removal from the swimming pool and just folded away with all the clips.

Hot tubs stimulate circulation

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Hot tubs can stimulate blood circulation and make you feel good!

Hot tubs can ease aches & painshot-tub. Jets of water, combined with the air massage your body. This therapeutic treatment is beneficial for relieving rheumatic pains, sprains, aching feet, bad backs and so on. The numerous jets in the hot tub pushes out water and air around the spa and takes advantage of the physical properties of water, such as pressure and heat to stimulate blood circulation.

What is a hydro massage circuit in a hot tub?

Using circuit therapy in a Hot tub is the use of the different seating arrangement in a spa. It works by stimulating the endorphins on the particular muscle groups which helps alleviate pain and tension.

This means by moving around the different seats in the hot tub (See the small video) the spa jets work on that particular part of the body that’s most stressed out during the day or muscle’s that are aching or strained.

Relaxing in a tub is great for aching muscles, bad backs, sore legs, headaches and so on….  At the end of the day, let the water & air massage those annoying pains away in the comfort of your own home with your smart phone in one hand and a glass or wine (Or beer) in the other. (Or put the phone off and chill…)

For more information on hot tubs and spas click here

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)
London Cardiff Gloucester Hereford and Bristol

Peeing swimming pool

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Is it ok to pee in the swimming pool? Or too put the question another way…

…Would you be happy to swim in a pool with water splashing in your mouth, and your hair when other swimmers have urinated in a swimming pool?
Well, a few of the world’s most famous international swimming stars believe its fine to pee in a pool, Heck! I’ve peed in a pool, (Long time ago mind you when I was a youngster, and didn’t know better). Even some scientists back this up… In one biochemist’s opinion, “peeing in a pool has very little impact on the composition of the pool water”.
Having said that, when we see a Doctor, sometimes the Doc will ask for a sample of urine to check for signs of infection; looking for bugs and bacteria swimming around in your wee.
But now, having installed and renovated many a swimming pool over the years, I know there’s more going on in the pool water than I thought was going on before, and especially when we pee in the pool
Water is more complex than we think it is
But in a swimming pool the chlorine kills those bugs, so what is the problem?
Yep! This is mostly true, as it says on the bottle “Kills 99.9% of all known germs”. Note the 0.1% that got away…
Well the processes for killing “some” of these bugs and other bodily fall out are as follows:
The chlorine kills most of the bugs; breaks down and combines with most other bodily wastes such as…
Sweat, dead skin, lose faeces (tiny bits of poo from those who don’t wash before going in the swimming pool), saliva, snot, (Nasal mucus), body fat, & oils, then there’s the applied cosmetics such as hair gel, sun cream, any cream, makeup, and lipstick, and finally “pee”, (or the urea in the urine)… It’s the chlorine that breaks all theses down.
So there you are, it is ok to pee in the pool water…. err! Unfortunately it is not!
Next process, after the chlorine disinfectant has killed the current bugs (the 99.9% of them), the chlorine, and then combines with the waste to make a by-product compound called “chloramines”
The more bathers that use the swimming pool as a urinal, the more “chlorine disinfectant” are needed in the pool water to kill the bugs, and more of these chloramines are produced.
But they put loads of chlorine in the swimming pool… I can smell it and by the way, it stings my eyes
No! This is not true either!
Urinating in a swimming pool decreases the capability of the chlorine to kill the bacteria and produces the familiar “chlorine smell”. Believe it or not this smell is the by-product chloramines not the chlorine that’s acting on the urine, giving off the familiar smell and acts similar to tear gas; hence why sometimes your eye’s sting when swimming It’s not the chlorine but the combination of used chlorine and urine that stings the eyes.
So peeing in the water is not good for the water because:
1. It creates chloramines (A combination of urine and other body materials like sweat, cosmetics and chlorine producing the compound “chloramines”)
2. Which intern stings and can even damage swimmers eyes
3. Giving off that familiar chlorine smell
4. Swimmers mistakenly think that there’s too much chlorine in the pool when in fact it needs more to get rid of the chloramines.
So the upshot of this is, don’t use the pool as a bath, or to go for a wee in. Swimmers should go for a pee before going for a paddle or swim and they should have a good wash and shower, to remove bodily sweat, dirt, cosmetics, and to be blunt, clean every orifice, nook, and cranny on the body before entering the swimming pool. The cleaner the swimmer is the fewer chemicals are used in the pool; the more sparkling clean and fresh the pool water is, without the chlorine smell or stinging eyes.
John Cox TnISPE (Cert)
So peeing in the water is not good for the water because:
1. It creates chloramines (A combination of urine and other body materials like sweat, cosmetics and chlorine producing the compound “chloramines”)
2. Which intern stings and can even damage swimmers eyes
3. Giving off that familiar chlorine smell
4. Swimmers mistakenly think that there’s too much chlorine in the pool when in fact it needs more to get rid of the chloramines.
So the upshot of this is, don’t use the pool as a bath, or to go for a wee in. Swimmers should go for a pee before going for a paddle or swim and they should have a good wash and shower, to remove bodily sweat, dirt, cosmetics, and to be blunt, clean every orifice, nook, and cranny on the body before entering the swimming pool. The cleaner the swimmer is the fewer chemicals are used in the pool; the more sparkling clean and fresh the pool water is, without the chlorine smell or stinging eyes.
John Cox TnISPE (Cert)

Converting a concrete pool to liner swimming pool

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Converting a concrete pool to liner swimming pool is no mean feat. However for us at Osprey Pools, it’s just another day at the office…

Concrete swimming pools are notorious for taking too long to construct, not because of the actual construction, but because of the many drying and curing times at the different stages of construction

“What has this got to do with converting a concrete pool to a liner pool?”

Let me explain. Here’s the boring technical stuff.

At each stage of construction there are important waiting times:

  • Cement setting times
  • Drying out
  • Curing times
  • For the overall pool structure to gain strength over a certain time period.

Example: A swimming pool the size of 16ft X 32ft
3ft 4inches depth in the shallow end and 5ft 6inches in the deep end has a tremendous weight of water alone, of around 60 tonne.

60 tonne of water is a lot of pressure pushing against the floor and the side walls of a swimming pool.

The individual constructions stages for example

  • The concrete floor
  • The concrete in the cavity wall
  • The block walling that acts as a form of shuttering for the concrete
  • Then there’s rendering
  • Coving
  • Floor screeding
  • The wall, floor tiling and grouting finishing stage.
  • Believe it or not, it will take several days to fill up the swimming pool with water

So each time there is “cement or cement based products” involved, there are long waiting times before proceeding on to each construction  stage.

All these waiting time should be rigidly adhered too  Failure to do so can seriously compromise the strength and water resistant integrity of the swimming pool.

Why do concrete pools leak?

Water will always try to find a way to escape from any “waterproof” container (in this case a swimming pool). If there is the slightest gap in the concrete where the concrete comes to an intersection or the concrete has not filled or been vibrated correctly the odds are on that eventually the concrete pool will leak

There are several other reasons for the failure of a pool to hold water:

  • One, is cutting corners to finish the pool on time
  • leading to poor construction or:
  • Inferior or flawed design.
  • Draining the water from the swimming pool incorrectly.
  • Thermal shockpool-liner
  • Inexperienced “do it yourself” installation
  • Deterioration of the pool shells material make up
  • Poor workmanship
  • Wrongly relying on the finishes to waterproof the swimming pool

Concrete pools leak through:

  • Subsidence through poor subsoil
  • Inadequate foundations
  • Expansion and contraction of the pools structure
  • Insufficient bonding of concrete intersections
  • Ineffective sealing around the swimming pools fittings

There are other more technical reasons why concrete swimming pools fail and leakpool-water-loss (most Investigating and detecting leaks in a swimming pools skimmer of the reasons are above) so I won’t delve into these, but suffice to say you get the general picture as to why, potentially; there can be so many problem with concrete pools if they are not constructed correctly.

There are other more technical reasons why concrete swimming pools fail and leak (most Investigating and detecting leaks in a swimming pools skimmer of the reasons are above) so I will not delve into these, but suffice to say you get the general picture as to why, potentially; there can be so many problems with concrete pools if they are not constructed correctly.

Some swimming pool installers will attempt to repair the concrete pool, and sometimes waterproof and repairing the leaking swimming pool, but there is a risk that the pool will begin to leakleaking-pool once again.

Water will take every opportunity to escape from any swimming pool and if the repair to the pool is not 100% right, water will still find a way out of the structure and a disgruntled and unhappy pool owner will be back to square one worrying about more costs to put the pool right.

My advice would be, do not take chances on pool repairs, it is not worth it. You may be throwing good money away. What the alternative? I suggest a pool conversion to a liner pool. You may be shocked with this option as it’s a top of the range concrete swimming pool that is being downgraded to a liner pool!

There are several words to say about concrete/masonry structures of all types from skyscrapers, small houses to swimming pools “They are very heavy and they all move” A new house will move and settle in the first few years of being constructed. A swimming Cracked pool shellpool and the water contained in particular is very heavy (as mentioned above) a swimming pool of 16ft x 32ftx 4.5ft (average depth), the water alone weighs in excess of 60 tons, so imagine the weight of 60 tons pressing down on a pool shell, and you can see how this may have an effect on the swimming pools structure over time. Remember too that with this there is “ground movement” continuous expansion and contraction and although this can be small it can still have an affect on the pool shell

A concrete pool conversion to a liner pool can easily be done by an expert swimming pool installer (Like me) I cover most regions including Bristol Swansea and Cardiff Gloucester Wiltshire Somerset and LondonConcrete-pool-conversion

I’ll finish up on this part of the article “Your concrete pool leaks, changing it to a liner pool and continue with part II later on, but in the meantime if you need information on the various ideas and options to choose you know where I am located which is between Chepstow Raglan Ross Monmouth and close to Gloucester and not that far from Surrey Kent Essex and London.

Here’s the link for pool liners, for more information…