Framed Swimming Pools Buyers Guide

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Firstly, I am not a seller of these pools nor do I have any connection to any sellers of them.  I thought however that there may be people out there thinking of buying one and a non-biased opinion may be of benefit.

I have had 2 of these pools, I had a 15 foot diameter one for 2 years and a 10 foot one I have currently.

Firstly, these pools are quite deep so are unsuitable for unsupervised children.  Also, even those supplied with solar covers take a week or so, possibly longer to warm up enough to be used.  Thirdly, you cant fill these up then drain them when finished at the end of the day and refil again, they will be too cold and the amount of water you will use will be ridiculous.

Firstly, make sure you have room to accomodate it.  A 10 foot diameter pool fits nicely into a standard size gazebo, I will cover the reason why this is a good idea in a minute.  I first went for a 15 foot pool, I didnt measure anything I just ordered the thing as I thought I could picture 15 feet no problem.  When I set it up it too up the whole garden ! no room for the washing line ! Also, no heater, took 3 weeks till it warmed up by which time the water was going green. 

You really need a heater, be aware that only the 3KW type can be plugged in to a wall socket, anything higher will need to be connected directly to your house fusebox by an electrician.  A 3KW heater will heat a 10 foot pool (with a cover) in about 8 hours.  Once the pool has reached a comfortable temperature adjust the thermostat so the heater just switches off.  If you set it to maximum it will get too warm and cost you a fortune ! a 3KW heater is the equivalent of using 30 100watt standard lightbulbs !

You need a cover, a cover is sometimes supplied with the pool and it is a sheet of bubble wrap.  This stops the water evaporating and reduces heat loss.  Always cover the pool as soon as everyone is out of it.  The covers also normally act as a solar water heater, without the pump running the top 3 to 5 inches of the pool will feel warm and the deeper it gets the colder it will be.  With the pump running it will mix the warm water up and will save a little of the heater costs.

You will need chemicals, You just cant empty these pools out every day, With no chemicals, the water will turn cloudy within a few days then it will start to go green within a week or so.  You will need Chlorine, algaecide, ph adjuster and a test kit.  A flocculant is also a good idea.

You also need a filtration pump to remove dirt and other bits and bobs that get into the pool.  Pumps supplied with pools come with a paper filter which is washable for about 3 to 4 weeks then should be replaced.  Both filter pumps I have had start to make a fast clicking noise when the filter needs cleaning, you will get to know the sound.  Also, if you are using a 3kw heater you will need the filter pump to pump water through it,  heater pumps water into the heater so it goes in after the pump not before it.

Chlorine - basically a bleaching agent.   It kills bacteria and algae but also oxidises organic matter, by organic matter I mean dead skin, urine, leaves all of which find their way into the pool.  Chlorine also kills viruses that will start to multiply in a warm pool making it a lot safer and nicer to use.  Chlorine comes as a powder, tablets or a liquid.  Granular or powdered is easiest, tablets require a floating dispenser or can be placed in the filter in the pump.  I havent use liquid but its normally in a large drum so storage can be a problem.   Adding Chlorine is not a one time operation, chlorine leaches out of the water due to the action of sunlight and water agitation, hence the bleach smell at swimming baths. you need to check the levels at least once a day so a tester kit will be required.

Algaecide - this is normally a liquid which is added to the water to prevent or get rid of the green algae that can build up.  Algae is only going to be a problem really if you are not carefull with your chlorine monitoring.  I personally havent used any algaecide yet (Touch wood).

Ph adjuster - This is used to alter the acidity or alkalinity of the water.  For most of us our water will be alkaline as most of us live in hard water areas.  The alkalinity needs to be correct as it has an effect on how well the chlorine works.  When you buy a pool water test kit it will have a test for PH and a test for alkalinity, the alkalinity is the amount of alkaline chemicals are in the water, a few doses of ph adjuster will eventually bring this down to specifications.  For those that live in soft water areas, you will need to read up on this on the net.  There are useful sites out there do a google.  Soft water will be slightly acidic so will need its ph risen.

Flocculant is used to stick small particles of dirt together so they get caught in the filter.  If after a week or so your water gets cloudy adding flocculant will help.

I do have one tip, Cloudiness in the pool water.  I used flocculant, dumped water and adjusted the ph, it was still cloudy.  I thought it couldn't be the chlorine as the kids complained ccasionally their eyes stung a little.  Turned out after reading about it on the net the cloudiness was due to insufficient chlorine, I increased my daily dose of chlorine for 3 days and the water was crystal clear ! so if you have a cloudy pool check the chlorine level is up.

Dont worry about chemicals, owning and managing a swimming pool does not require a PHd in chemistry, its all fairly straight foward.  There are loads of sites out there to help and I have to say every single seller of chemicals on ebay will only be too pleased to help.  I have emailed a few of them in the last 4 years and they are without fail always very helpful indeed.

Top Tips -

Get yourself one of those cheap £4 kids paddling pools.  Inflate it and put it near the lowest pump connection in the pool.  You can shape the paddling pool to the shape of the big pool and fill it from the big pool in seconds by removing the pumps tube.  This little pool that cost you £4 will save a fortune in pump filters, if you get everybody to get into the main pool by first stepping into the small pool, all the dirt from your garden will wash off their feet into the small paddling pool keeping the main swimming pool clear of bits of grass and dirt.

If you got a pool cover, use it, soon as everyone is out of the pool, this keeps the heat in, helps heat the pool, stops flys doing back stroke on the surface.  If you didnt get a cover, get one ! and do not, under any circumstances whatsoever let any child into the pool with the cover on it, if they slip and go under the cover they wont be able to lift the cover up once underneath it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get the thermostat on your heater set up within a few days, once its set, either remove the knob or tape it up, I have just got into our pool and its like a hot bath, just like my face is going to be red hot when I get the electricity bill !

When the filter gets noisy, clean it like this - Turn the filter off, take off the top of the filter and remove the cartridge.  At this point the water will be running out of your filter like crazy but this will wash all the bits of grass and hair out of the filter container onto whatever your filter is sitting on and not back into your pool.  When you can see no more bits in the water in the filter, turn it back on and replace the lid while you wash your cartridge out using a hosepipe or under a tap.  Make sure you get all the bits out from between the pleats of the cartridge.  Then, whith the filter still running, replace the cartridge, replace the lid.  then turn the filter off and bleed the air out of it.

If I can think of any more I will add them.

If I myself can help with any advice about these pools please dont hesitate to email me.

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