Property for sale with a separate swimming pool survey

A property is on the market that interests you but it comes with swimming pool.

Swimming pool and enclosure survey
Swimming pool and enclosure survey

You’ve all decided to up sticks and look around for a new home and see what properties are out there on the market. You spot a house but it has a swimming pool with it.

Now you may be or may be not in a quandary about what to do, so below are a few questions to ask you:

A swimming pool near Stroud Gloucestershire to be surveyed
A swimming pool near Stroud Gloucestershire to be surveyed

How much do you like and want the house?

Are you an “independent person” perhaps “with a partner or have a family unit” in favour of having a swimming pool?

Do you or anyone else like the water experience of swimming, diving, snorkelling, playing games in the pool, getting fit?

Are you prepared to spend some money and take some time out on the swimming pool for heating, pool chemicals and maintenance chores?

“Does this sound like I’m trying to put you off?”

Swimming pool leaking
surveying a swimming pool for holes and leaks

Well not really! I am just bringing up some points to consider before you buy a home with a swimming pool!

If the decision is in favour of having the swimming pool, you may consider commissioning a separate survey to inspect the pool. More often than not the property surveyor may suggest that a suitably experience person from a swimming pool installation company surveys the swimming pool.

A swimming pool survey may be a valuable tool to have when making an offer on a property that has a swimming a pool with it?

Pool renovation
May be in need of some renovations after a survey? Or it may be the pool water only needs cleaning and balancing

If the pool survey suggests that a further investigation is required or the survey reveals defects with the swimming pool and the possibility that the pool may need a new  liner, or some repairs carried out

Renovating a swimming pool  or relining the pool surfaces, this may well cost thousands of pounds to put right and this is on top of the asking price for the property.

This is where a pool survey can give some leverage on the asking price when negotiating with the seller. It can give you a good indication on the state and condition of the pool and could save you pounds in the long run. A pool survey is a good investment, and well worth every penny and peace of mind.

Contact John Cox TnISPE for enquiries about swimming pool surveys

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Finding a swimming pool leak

Finding a leak in a swimming pool.

If you suspect your swimming pool is leaking there are a number of steps you could take to locate the leak(s). You can request  a pool survey, but first try these step by step approaches below These will eliminate some of the suspects in finding where the pool is losing water from.leaking swimming pool

  1. First fill the pool up to the usual level and place a mark on the wall to where the level is.
  2. Take note of the time and leave for 24 hours, then measure from the mark down to the water level and make a note.
  3. Calculate the length x width of the swimming pool x the depth measurement of water loss that you noted.
  4. This will  give you the volume of water in cubic metres (or cubic feet if you prefer) that the pool has lost over 24 hours.
  5. Further calculation will work out how many litres or gallons per hour the pool is losing water.
  6. Take a close look for any holes or tears in the liner fabric.leaking liner pool
  7. If it’s a concrete pool, look for tiles or mosaics that have come loose off the wall or from the pool floor in places.
  8. Can you see any cracks in the walls or the floor of the swimming pool?
  9. A crack in the rendering could potentially be where the water is leaking from and further investigation may be needed to determine the extent of possible damage to the pools shell.
  10. Look carefully at your roman end or pool steps, there may be slight cracks on the treads or the rises so have a good look all over the sides of the steps.
  11. Sometimes pool skimmers crack due to poor maintenance, frost damage or general old age and deterioration.New pool liner
  12. Check the returns for signs of ware.
  13. Main drains and underwater lights are obviously more difficult to get at to check for leaks, so unless you know what to do, this is best left to an expert to determine if there a leak around these fittings.
  14. In concrete pools, it is often either a breakdown of materials of poor workmanship that causes the leak, i.e.  Not sealing around the inlets, the skimmers and main drains correctly. Check around hand rails as well.
  15. Inspect around the filter, pool pump, valves, multi-ports, and filter lid, pipes, and the connections.
  16. Sometimes a gasket fails leading to water leaking from the connection.
  17. Look over the heat ex changers, and pool heater these can corroded.

    Pool filter leaking
    Water accumulating around the bottom of a pool filter
  18. For other clues check underneath the fittings for wetness, look for puddles of water.If we are fortunate to have weeks of hot weather or you have an indoor pool use the bucket test.

Shotcrete and Gunite pools are notorious for leaks.

If constructed incorrectly the structure will eventually breakdown and become nothing more than soggy paper cup.

This is because the water has seeped through the finished lining, be it tile or render and has aggravated the matrix of the concrete breaking down the bonds that hold the shell together.

As opposed to liner pools, concrete swimming pools are built with reinforced concrete walls and flooring, several coats of waterproof render covering the shell, followed by

Cracks in niche letting water escape and gasket failure
Cracks in light niche letting water escape and gasket failure

tile-bands and marble type render finish, or covered with mosaics or tiles which are fixed on with waterproof adhesive and grouted. The plumbing system is installed during the construction process and that is the finished product.

When a concrete pool “shell” begins to leak, it’s usually in more than one section of the pool  and there may be unseen underlying problem with the construction itself.

Swimming pool leaking
Checking a swimming pool for leaks

Patching and re-rendering the swimming pool  is not always a good idea and you may be throwing good money away. The only answer apart from fibre glassing the pool is to line the shell with a heavy duty 1.5mm thick vinyl liner with a felt underlay. These types of liners have 10 year guarantee.

For help in locating and finding leaks and possible swimming pool renovations, plus more informationabout leaking pools, or if you are about to purchase a property with a swimming pool and require  a swimming pool survey contact John Cox TnISPE. Covering most areas from London Gloucester Oxfordshire Bath Bristol Herefordshire to  Cardiff Swansea and West Wales

0789 2208 3001.   Mobile website

or  better still send an email  here stating the problem

Locating your swimming pool in your garden (ii)

Swimming pool location (Part II) Rough guide to construction method and accessories 

Once you know what size and shape of the swimming pool you want, decide what construction method to use.

The pool construction methods:

  • A vinyl pool liner fitted into a concrete block and rendered shell.Maintaining swimming pools
  • The construction of a concrete waterproof pool shell where the cement rendered surfaces are then tiled all over or with mosaics and special marble and cement render.
  • Or a one-piece swimming pool sometimes called a Swim-spa.

The next stage is to carefully choose the location where you want your swimming pool installed.

  1. Do you want it near or away from the house?
  2. in the open or undercover?

    swimming pool location
    This pool has hinged ladders so the automatic cover can close over the pool
  3. In a barn or a garage?
  4. Some pools have been installed in basements and on purposely strengthened flat roofs.

so a swimming pool may be installed just about anywhere  it is permissible.

Add to the size of the swimming pool enough room to walk around the pool. The walkway and lounging areas are usually about 3ft to 6ft wide, and much more on at the shallow end of the pool, allowing for tables chairs, room to move and mingle, barbecue, loungers, maybe a pool slide and so on and easy access for maintenance.

You may need to allow for a plant room where the filter, heater and pump is to be housed. Some pool owners locate the pool plant in their garage or already have a shed ready.

Do you need somewhere to shower especially before you get into a pool, so consider a changing room and also storage lockers for safety equipment, pool toys, loungers and games, a secured, tamper proof container for pool chemical storage?pool lounger
Regarding indoor pools allow for environmental control systems these are the dehumidifiers of the swimming pool building.

Obstructions must be considered before selecting a final pool site. These could include underground services like phone and electric cables, gas lines, septic tanks and drainage, Wells, trees, and overhead power lines. Underground obstruction and utilities should be located before excavation begins. Utility companies will usually locate underground pipes and cables that are located on your property for you. If any of these underground services are unavoidable, a compromise must be reached in where the pool is to be located, keep in mind labour and material costs of moving or replacing services and obstructions.

Which type of heating do you require? Heat pumps are favoured at the moment and these are “air source” heat pumps where the heat pump is relying on the ambient air temperature to get the pool up nice and warm. Ground source heat pumps are more capable of supplying heat to your pool nearly all year round, as the heat is taken from the ground is a constant temperature of around 10°C all the time.

Other accessories to consider are

  1. Walk in  steps like a Roman end.
  2. Underwater lights.
  3. A pool slide.
  4. A counter current to swim against.
  5. Automatic chemical dosing.
  6. Pool cleaner.
  7. Solar covers to trap the suns energy.
  8. Winter cover when closing down in the cold season.
  9. Enclosures so you may swim all year round whatever the weather.

There are many things to consider when locating your swimming pool in your garden. Remember with swimming pools as with everything brand new accept there will come a time where some repairs and possible renovations may be needed.

I have survey swimming pools in many areas of Wales and England including Gloucestershire Monmouthshire  Oxfordshire Cardiff Swansea Hereforshire Oxfordshire London Bath Bristol and Somerset. Mobile website

John Cox TnISPE

Swimming pool location (i)

Where would you locate your swimming pool? (Assuming you want an outdoor pool and not an indoor pool).

Begin with deciding the size of your swimming pool,  and then pick the spot where you would prefer your swimming pool to be installed. (This is likely to change as future decisions are made along the way).swimming pool location and excavation

  1. Allow enough room to walk around the pool and for outdoor furniture.
  2. Allow for a plant room and maybe a changing room, storage lockers for safety equipment, pool toys and games.
  3. Have a secure tamper-proof container for pool chemical storage. and pool maintenance and repair equipment
  4. For Indoor pools allow for environmental control systems.

Obstructions to excavation and construction must be considered before selecting a final pool site. This is the responsibility of the customer to find out where the obstructions (if any) are located, and decide the next step with the swimming pool builder.

locating the swimming pool
Undiscovered services
  1. The obstruction  may include underground wires, gas lines, septic tanks and drainage, water wells, running springs and streams, plumbing, trees, and overhead power lines.
  2. Underground obstruction and utilities should be located before excavation begins.
  3. Utility companies will usually locate underground pipes and cables that are located on your property for a charge to you.
  4. If various obstructions are unavoidable, a compromise can be reached, but keep in mind labour and material costs of moving or replacing obstructions.
  5. Choose an avenue of least resistance for the sake of practicality and economy.
  6. Trees and foliage are another consideration for the pool location, unfortunately trees and pools do not make good bedfellows, so location of the pool needs to be away from trees.

These stages of pool construction are usually straightforward as opposes to say building a house or an extension. However. there are many parts of this process to be aware of, for example:

Trees and swimming pools
Trees and swimming pools
  1. Do you know what is beneath your feet?
  2. .Ground conditions for your swimming pool installation is very diverse in parts of Monmouthshire Gloucestershire Herefordshire and the Bristol, in fact everywhere in the UK there can be anything beneath your feet from rock or sand to clay, old infill sites, underground springs or high water tables, Whatever the subsoil is, there is a method for dealing with most of these obstacles
  3. A high water table is a major factor to consider when installing a pool. It may be practical to raise the finished pool level to avoid later problem associated with a high water table other options are land drainage and submersible pumps.
  4. Proper pool orientation will take advantage of sunny days for comfortable swimming condition and decrease heating costs. Prevailing wind direction should also be noted for the position of the pool skimmer and returns .

Under “Permitted Development rights” you can build a swimming pool within your garden, provided that the total area covered by the pool does not exceed 50%?of the area of the garden. However you will need planning permission for a swimming pool if: (Check with your area planning dept  as the planning laws may have changed since going to press).

Trees and swimming pools
Trees and swimming pools
  1. The swimming pool is located beyond the side elevation of the property and faces the highway
  2. Is within 2m of a boundary, the maximum height of any structure is greater than 2.5m.
  3. If the pool is located on a site where the property is a listed building, in conservation areas, national parks, ANOB, The Broads, World heritage sites.
  4. The structure has a veranda, balcony or raised platform.

If you are in any doubt about permission to build a swimming pool contact your local planning authority.

John Cox TnISPE Call 079 2208 3001
For information about swimming pool surveys click here. I cover a good part of Wales including Cardiff, Cowbridge, Bridgend, Swansea, Pembroke, and back to Monmouth, across the boarders to England into Herefordshire Gloucestershire,  plus I carry out complete swimming pool renovations and pool repairs and concrete pool liner conversions with onsite lining in Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Hertforshire, London, Kent, Essex , Surrey, Hampshire. Mobile website

What’s the difference between a concrete pool and a liner swimming pool?

Concrete or liner swimming pools! What are the differences?

This is short explanation on the merits of two different types of swimming pool construction.

Concrete swimming pools

  • First a tiled concrete pool is a waterproof concrete shell where the surface of the pool is finished with tiles or mosaics all over the rendered surface of the pool shell. The tiles can be produced in many different dimensions. The mosaics come (usually), in sizes 20 x 20 x 4mm and the sheet size is 300mm x 300mm square.

    Maintaining swimming pools
    An indoor pool is easier to maintain, The solar gain through the glazed roof and elevations heats the pool water in the summer
  • Or it can be special marble type render that usually come in the form of 25kg bags. The marble render is used in conjunction with a tile band laid around the top edge of the swimming pool (again the usual size of the top band is 300mm), and a tile band on the floor adjacent or parallel to the pool walls usually 3 mosaic tiles wide.
  • A liner pool is much different to build as it involves installing a purpose made vinyl lining specifically designed to mimic a tiled or plain coloured concrete pool. In fact to the untrained eye you would not know the difference until you looked very close at the surface and touched the walls.

A swimming pool with a liner

  • Both methods of construction are totally different as the shell of a concrete pool is designed specifically to hold water and (believe it or not) the shell (Block walls and base) of a liner pool is designed “not” to be water proof and not to hold water as the liner pool shell/structure relies exclusively on the actual vinyl liner “only” is the waterproof membrane that holds the body of water in.Swimming pool cleaning
  • Liner pools are specifically designed to be much quicker greener to install than a concrete pool with less subsoil to be excavated and building materials to use.
  • A concrete pool is more than three or more times the cost of a top of the range liner pool.
  • Also the construction of the concrete tiled pool can take a tremendous amount of materials to build.
  • It can take three to four times as long to construct a tiled concrete pool as a liner pool.
  • This is mainly due to the curing and drying times of the materials needed for each stage of construction. (i.e. the cement rendering on the wall surfaces may need  3 or 4 weeks or more sometimes to cure and dry depending on conditions).
  • However a concrete tiled pool is more flexible when it comes to different “designs” much more than a liner pool, as the liner pool is governed by a made to measure vinyl liner is fabricated at the factory.
  • You still can have a liner pool of any shape or size but this would require “on-site lining” where the liner is welded to the shape of the swimming pool on site.
  • One must take into account when excavating for your swimming pool of what there is beneath your feet. (Type of subsoil).

    Pool safety cover
    Renovated swimming pool image was taken from the opposite end, and as you can see it looks completely different

In our area of Monmouthshire we have rock, clay and pit sand this is the same across the border into Gloucestershire. In and around the Cardiff area there’s a geologist’s treasure trove of different subsoil’s and rock formations.

However where you may find clay in as particular location, just a few metres away there may be rock or even a running spring.

So when deciding to build a swimming pool, try to find out what type of subsoil there is below ground as it can make a big difference to where you position your swimming pool.

I cover most ares including Cardiff, Monmouthshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall and Devon. I carry out surveys and give advice for possible positions to locate a swimming pool 

John Cox TnISPE  Mobile website

Liner Pool Leaks And Repairs – Possible Causes

There are several check lists below to assist you in finding the possible reasons why your swimming pool is leaking

If the liner installed has been bedded in for a long time and has had numerous repairs and patches, it maybe false economy to continue repairing the liner, so consider whether it’s better to replace it altogether?

leaking swimming pool
New liner installed in Stroud Gloucestershire and the is Pool filling

The bonus for replacing your vinyl liner is your pool should almost look brand new again. If you decide it’s worth changing your liner before installing the liner pressure clean the surrounds and the pools coping stones or if they are worn have them replaced

First of all  an example of why it maybe time to change the pool liner

leaking liner pool
The leaking liner looks old, the colour has gone. Chepstow

This example (to the right) in this pool liner image  is that it looks old and has lost its vibrant colouring. It had pin hole leaks as well as some tears in the liner.

Some of the coping stones were loose and dangerous, all the coping stones were taken up and relayed, before relaying we removed the old liner lock and fixed new track then the pool liner was replaced

The vinyl liner

Liner pool leaking
Draining the water from a pool ready the measure up for a replacement liner In Chepstow.

What are the possible causes for water to  leak out of a liner pool?

  1. Old age, general wear and tear, pinholes.
  2. Accidental damage.
  3. Sharp objects that have fallen  into the pool.
  4. Vandalism.
  5. Youngsters pole vaulting.
  6. A large animal strayed and fell in.

Answer more often than not is: Replace the pool liner or renovate the pool

It may not be the liner that is leaking but it could be the pool fittings

  1. Check the skimmer for cracks.
  2. Pool return gaskets have deteriorated.
  3. Main drain gasket has failed.
  4. Underwater light is leaking through a cracked niche or hockey stick (cable conduit).
    Cracks in niche letting water escape and gasket failure
    There were cracks in this niche (behind the light) letting water escape and possible gasket and face-plate failure. Near Bristol.

    Replacement underwater pool niche and light
    Replacement underwater niche and light with new conduit connected to the junction deck box. Near Bristol.

The circulation system (Pipework, valves).

Pool plumbing
Swimming pools pipework and filter checked for leaks. Gloucester

The possible causes of leaking pipework are:

  1. Poor workmanship, that is the pools pipework is not jointed or connected correctly in places.
  2. Frost damage leading to cracked pipes and valves.
  3. Ground movement leads to underground pipework splitting or disjointing.
  4. Accidental damage to pipes, caused by excavating.

Replace all the old pipework and valves. 

The reason for replacing all the pipework is simple. When you’ve  excavated one section down to the pipework that’s leaking and repaired it. there’s always the potential for another leak to appear in the pipework. later in time. which will cost more in the long run and is a false economy, so sometimes it’s better to replace the lot then you know that the pipework laid is not leaking. (assuming the pipework is done correctly.

The filter, heating and the pool pump

The possible causes of leaking.

  1. Filter connections and gaskets damaged or degraded.

    Pool filter leaking
    Water accumulating around the bottom of a pool filter Bristol
  2. Multi-port spider gasket, O’ring has degraded or damaged.
  3. Drain valve broken.
  4. Filter unit has cracked.
  5. Pump leaking through joints, broken gaskets, ceramic seal on the impeller

Renew the gaskets and o’rings, replacement pump and multi-port . It’s  rare does the filter need changing

Repairs or replacement? 
New pool liner
Replacement pool liner is installed and the swimming pool is filling. Once filled, the pool will look like new again. Chepstow

Depending on the nature of the  leak in a liner pool, sometimes these can be repaired underwater.
However the liner maybe to old and brittle to repair and in the end there is no alternative but to install a replacement liner.

There is a range of liner colours and patterns to chose from.If the swimming pool is looked after, winterised & summerised correctly, has a good pool maintenance record, regular checks on correct pH, total alkalinity, chemical balance then serious leaks and repairs should be a  rare occurrence. A pool liner could last around 8 to 10 years or even longer in some cases. 

Liner Swimming Pools.

For more information on liner pools contact John Cox TnISPE (Cert).

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I cover most area including London Bristol Cardiff Hereford Worcester Gloucester Monnmouth Chepstow Oxford Swansea  Cowbridge Bridgend Ross-on-Wye Newport Abergavenny Somerset Bath Salisbury.

Replacing your swimming pool liner

Changing  your swimming pool liner?

It may be that your swimming pool liner is leaking, or the colour has faded so you’re considering changing the old liner.

A new liner makes a lot of difference however, before you have your old pool liner, changed,

  1. Think about having the stone coping and deck surround pressure cleaned. There’s nothing worse than  to notice after the liner is installed that the surrounds look tatty and bedraggled…

    Pool renovation
    A green swimming pool doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the liner. just needs treating and a good once over.
  2. Look around your swimming pool to see if there are any loose or chipped coping stones? You may want to replace these as they potentially catch a swimmers foot and other parts of the body. (Especially the younger swimmers and toddlers)
  3. If there is loose or damaged pool coping, decide whether to change some or all of them.
  4. If you favour changing all of the coping, your swimming pool will look like the first time it was installed, brand new, fresh and clean again.
  5. Furthermore, ask the pool liner installers, (before the order goes through to the liner manufacturers) that you wish to look at a sample book, so you can consider an alternative pattern or colour.
  6. Don’t forget about the pool decking. If you have paving around your pool you should check for loose, cracked or wobbly paving. These again are unsafe for pool users and should be repaired, relayed or replaced before the pool liner is installed and you start using your swimming pool.

It is nice to see an old swimming pool renovated and look revamped and new again. Automatic pool covers keep the debris down and there’s less maintenance to do to the pool water

swimming pool renovation
This renovated swimming pool has hinged ladders so the new automatic pool cover can close over the pool. Cover by Coverstar

A good idea is to take some photo’s of your swimming pool as it is now, during and when the pool liner is replaced and the pool is finished.

Call us if you need advice  or you need a swimming pool surveyed. We cover most areas of England and Wales. From Monmouthshire to Swansea up to Hereford Worcester across to Oxford down Bath Usk to Buckinghamshire and London back to Taunton Bristol and Gloucestershire.. Mobile website

By John Cox TnISPE Email here for more info about information and pool surveys

Renovating Swimming Pools

Renovating Swimming Pools

Now we are on the back end of summer it’s the best time to repair and renovate your swimming pool.

  • Refurbish a liner pool by replacing the vinyl liner.
  • Convert a leaking concrete pool to a liner pool.
  • Replacing a  pump that has stopped working, leaking pipework, skimmers, lights. damaged or loose stone coping, paving,
  • Re-tiling and grouting.
Pool needs refurbishing
Swimming pool in need of some TLC

Repair  the pool while it’s not in use or begin a renovation that’s been on your “to do list”.

Renovate your swimming pool to its original look:

  • Change old stone coping.

    Pool renovation
    The water needs attention to get rid of the green soup algae
  • Clean and pressure wash around the pool.
  • Repair any structural defects.
  • Re-plaster defective surfaces.
  • install new pipework.
  • Change a frost damaged skimmer and returns.

Liner pool?

  • Replace the liner-lock.
  • New pool liner
  • Panel pools remove and replace rusted steel panels or change to block and liner construction.
  • Refurbish tiles and mosaics.
  • Install on-site vinyl lining.

Other choices are:

  1. Have your swimming pool renovated and looking brand new again.pool ready for renovation
  2. Build a new a new pool within the existing pool.
  3. Build a swimming pool in different location. This has been done before where the existing pool is beyond help.
  4. Choose to back-fill your existing pool and change it to a garden or put decking across in case one day you or the next owner of your house decides to want the pool reinstated.
  5. Change a pool to a pond this can be done to look like a natural pond with added plants.

Start your swimming pool renovating. Remember the longer it’s left the further the pool will degrade. Mobile website

John Cox TnISPE  Contact me to request a price for a survey on your swimming pool. As mentioned in other articles I cover most of England and Wales, from Oxford Bristol Cardiff Gloucester Hereford Monmouthshire London.

 

Opening your swimming pool


10 tips on maintenance for the seasonal opening your swimming pool.

Debris cover
This pool  in Trellech between Monmouth and Chepstow doesn’t get to be opened for summer. Instead the swimming pool and surrounds receives a complete makeover with new liner installed, new coping, plant room, and a brand new automatic pool cover from Coverstar supplied by Certikin pool suppliers Below is the same swimming pool and surrounding landscape after the renovation.
Pool safety cover
Renovated swimming pool image was taken from the opposite end, and as you can see it looks completely different.

It’s that time to open up your swimming pool ready for swimming weekend BBQ’s, parties.

The warm weather is here so when you are ready to open your swimming pool read the 10 tips below on summerising your swimming pool.

Remove the debris cover from your swimming pool.
It is better if 2 people or more move the winter debris cover.

swimming pool renovation
The same pool has hinged ladders so the automatic cover can close over the pool

Carefully remove the winter cover and place the stainless steel anchors in a bag.

Spread the winter cover 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 the cover has dried off fold up and store away with the anchors in a dry storage area.

Top up the pool water.

Pool in need of maintenance
Opening up a swimming pool in Usk  near Abergavenny Monmouthshire

If you have a liner pool, then inspect for any defects or repairs needed in the pool liner like tears and pin holes,  check the pool lining is not leaking or floating check the liner is fitting into the liner lock correctly. When replacing your pool liner after ware and tear consider onsite lining.

If you have a problem with your pool,  read Liner pool leaks and repairs. Possible causes

Cleaning the stone copings and the pool surrounds.
Begin the pool maintenance, but before you do anything with your swimming pool, brush in sections with a water/light chlorine solution.

Be careful when using chemicals, and wear protective clothing when mixing to manufactures instructions before using.

Brush onto the coping and the pools surrounds and once treated gently hose down avoid splashing yourself and other objects like plants etc.  Next gently pressure clean and brush the copping and with water.

Brush the swimming pool walls down.
Begin with cleaning the tile band (Waterline) using the correct pool tile & liner cleaner.Automatic pool cover

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

Check pool pump
Before priming and starting the pump, check the pump basket for leaves or debris then empty the basket.

Once the pool pump is circulating the pool water check for leaks

Swimming Pool filters. 

Do you know how old the filtration media is (usually sand)and when it was last changed?

Filter sand becomes less and less effective over the years as the sharpness of the sand becomes rounded over time and less efficient in removing particles and other matter from your swimming pool.Pool filter

Your pool would benefit from periodic changes of filter media at least every 3 to 5 years depending on how much the pool is used and other factors.

Use regular back washing and rinsing during the use of your swimming pool.

Use a leaf net for cleaning off the surface.
Remove any surface debris or leaves off the pool water with a leaf net and dispose.

Vacuum the pool floor.
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.

Shocking, super-chlorinate, oxidising.
These terms all means the same, but most people say “to shock the pool water” 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.

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.

Retest the water after 24 hours.
After the swimming pool cover has been removed, allowed to dry and stored away, the pump and filter has been checked, the pool is circulating, 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 balanced condition, continue to regularly maintain your swimming pool to keep it healthy and crystal clear.

Don’t forget, I carry our surveys and pool renovations

Enjoy your swimming pool. Mobile website

10 Top tips for winterising and closing down your swimming pool

10 Top tips for closing down your swimming pool

Now that winter 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.Maintaining swimming pools

It is most important that you winterise your swimming pool,  as you don’t want freezing weather conditions damaging your pool equipment like filters and pumps, as this can end up costing you money,  finding water leaks all over the place. Indoor pools under  normal conditions don’t need closing.

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 winterising and closing down your swimming pool,  make sure you check the pool water pH to make certain it’s balanced
  2. Check the total alkalinity (TA) and calcium hardness are at the right levels.
  3. Balancing the water in this way will help to protect the pool’s surfaces from etching and staining and it also activates the sanitiser to keep the water healthy.
  4. Add shock chlorine to your pool, (Follow manufactures instructions) 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.Swimming pool cleaning
  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.Pool in need of maintenance
  9. Before you begin this next operation you should check with your dealer or pool installer if the  water in your pool can be lowered . 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 intermittent 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.  Clean swimming pool water

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, or you wish to open your swimming pool for the spring and summer, then give us a call on 07922083001 or go to our website and email us Mobile website

We are local to Chepstow Usk Raglan and Monmouth. We carry out swimming pool surveys    Also placement liner services – Onsite lining – Swimming pool repairsPool renovations  and Install liner pools. we are 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.

John Cox TnISPE