Many people with the ambition to own a swimming pool choose the option of becoming an Owner Builder. This has both advantages and drawbacks. On choosing the option of becoming an owner builder you accept the responsibility of being the “expert” on what is required for your swimming pool, but on completion you get the reward of having done it yourself as a D.I.Y. project. For more information please call Epools on 1300 658 313, or email your requirements to email@example.com.
There are many facets in the commissioning of a swimming pool. From the granting of permits from your local council, too the selection of parts and equipment to be used. The major equipment items to be chosen are:
- Pool plumbing.
- Pool fittings and parts.
- Skimmer Boxes and Main Drains.
- Pool finish and rendering.
- Pool filtration equipment.
- Pool sanitization.
- Pool cleaning systems.
- Covers and Pool Heating.
- Lighting of your pool.
The formation of the shell and surfacing of your pool is a highly specialised task. From the digging of the hole to the rendering of the pool it is best to have professionals perform this task.
The renderings come in three main forms;
Painting, this is most commonly an epoxy based resin with a variety of colours. Epoxy painting of the pool is the most common as it is economical and easily applied to the surface.
Quartzon is a render that has largely taken the place of marblesheen and pebble based renders. This provides a textured surface with a natural look. Quartzon is also available in many colours which the older marblesheen pebble based renders lack.
If you are after a premium presentation and finish to your pool then a fully tiled pool maybe what you are after. A fully tiled pool is a very precise method of finishing your pool surface and requires a tiler who is skilled in doing this. But the attractiveness of a well mosaiced swimming pool can add a level of beauty to a pool area unobtainable by other finishes.
The most “hands on” area of the DIY pool builders’ project will be the choosing of filtration and cleaning equipment for the swimming pool. This is and a part of the planning where a lot of headaches could be made for the future if not planned properly to start with.
The proper positioning of the skimmer box may make it a valuable cleaning asset to the pool as opposed to it possibly being just a suction point for the pump to operate from. Once you have worked out the most common wind direction, normally from the West, a skimmer box placed down wind will collect the leaves floating on the surface of the water and blown towards the skimmer opening. The basket in the skimmer is the part that actually collects the leaves and floating debris. As a result to maintain the waterflow to the pump with the least restriction, keeping the basket not more than a third full is recommended. Main Drains are used on the pool floor commonly t the time of the pool shell being empty and pressure releif being required to stop the pool from “popping” out of the ground from a pressure difference of the outside to the inside.
Matching the pump(s) and filter to the requirements of your pool is very important. The sizing of the pump and filter is often available on the manufacturers’ brochures. But as a rule of thumb you want a filtration system which is able to filter the water volume of your pool in about 8 hours.
Pool Pumps come in many sizes and qualities of construction by a plethora of manufacturers. The most common manufacturers in Australia are: Davey, Waterco, Onga, Speck and Monarch. And within their model ranges you will find prices will vary greatly. The reason for this is the amount of engineering that goes into each pump model, and also the energy efficiency of each unit.
The newer generation of multi-tasking energy saving pumps such as the Zodiac FloPro ePumps are proving to be highly desirable with their ability to operate everything from intensive infloor cleaning systems to simply recirculating water through rooftop solar systems. So while they are a top end pump with a premium price. They are able to negate the necessity of multiple pumps and the pumps controller also allows for easy valve control of your installation. With recent innovations in energy efficient pumps they are rated in litres per minute rather than the older horsepower rating, as they are able to pump more per hp unit than older traditional pumps.
The choice of pool filtration is these days either a Cartridge Filter or Sand filter. They both have pros and cons but the main difference is the Cartridge Filter uses less water to clean the filter cartridge elements, where as the Sand Filter uses a lot of water in the backwash/rinse cycle. The filter MUST be matched to the pump flow rate. These two items an intrinsically interlinked and water cleanliness and pump or filter longevity may be impaired if they are not matched in performance.
Cartridge filters are readily available from Davey and Zodiac. The most common is the single element variety of cartridge filter; these are commonly available up to about the 240 square foot size. If you are after a higher performance cartridge filter then on such as the Zodiac CV340 4 element cartridge filters. The Zodiac CV series cartridge filter is available up to 580 square foot in size.
Sand Filters are the more common option for use the remove debris from the pool. With recent new Medias which can be used instead of the traditional kiln dried graded filter sand, can give you several times finer filtration over what sand is able to do. One of the most common examples of this is Zeolite often sold under the Zelbrite naming. This is able to give you up to 5 times’ finer filtration with double the life span of filter sand.
Pool Sanitization is an essential part of the operation of any swimming pool. A little bit of fore-thought now may save headaches further down the track! With the majority of pools being sanitised using Salt Chlorination. This has become an affordable and in the long term, cheaper in running cost alternative to powder or liquid chlorines. Some other alternatives also include Ozone and tablet based systems.
Salt Chlorinators are well proved they work using electrolysis to breakdown the salt (Sodium Chloride) into Sodium and Chlorine molecules. Over the last decade self cleaning slat chlorinators have become the norm eliminating the use of harsh chemicals to clean the elements of the salt cell. Manufacturers such as Zodiac (formerly Clearwater) and Chloromatic have given us options such as Zodiacs Tri Series and Chloromatics ECSC Series. And if you’re after a premium level of salt chlorination the Zodiac Tri Pro range also is able to control the pH and Chlorine levels of the pool to keep things at an optimum.
Cleaning Systems for your swimming pool come in many price ranges and configurations. The two most widely used systems are Pressure Cleaners and Suction Cleaners, with the third and most recent being the Robotic Cleaner.
Pressure cleaners use their own dedicated pump and plumbing. As a result you must make an allowance for the fittings on the pool wall prior to its completion. These highly efficient cleaning systems allow the filtration to work at its maximum efficiency while collecting generally into a mesh bag the heavier debris. The Zodiac 3900 and JetVac cleaners have a long standing tradition in this arena.
Suction cleaners are the cheapest and most widely used cleaning solution. The cleaner is attached to the skimmer box via the vacuum plate. While they generally work without issue, they do stop the skimmer box from working effectively and reduce the performance of the filtration pump. Some of the common brands for this are: Zodiac with their Baracuda range including the Zodiac G2 and Zodiac T5, Davey with its LeafWizard and Frillneck Wizard.
Robotic Cleaners have traditionally been the realm of the commercial pool cleaning program. Commonly the Zodiac 9300 is a highly established example of this. Recently manufacturers of these cleaners have started offering domestic versions of the robotic cleaner. These cleaners are a premium cleaner option, with the main advantage of them being that if your pool hasn’t got the allowances for the pressure cleaners, or, you simply do not like the ugliness of fitting jutting out into the pool when the cleaner has been taken out for you to use the pool. The robotic cleaner is a premium cleaner, which when removed leaves no trace inside the pool of its presence having been there.
Solar Covers and Heaters is an extremely complex area. The use of a cover in most circumstances has the benefits of reducing significantly the rate of evaporation from the pool while also holding in the heat from the sun giving you a warmer pool to swim in. Another advantage of the solar cover is the retention of chlorines; this gives you the advantage of requiring less chlorine during the swimming season. Combined with a solar cover roller this becomes a very usable and practical system of water conservation and heating of the pool.
Solar Heating utilises directly the suns rays to heat the pool via heat exchangers on the roof. Normally these heat exchangers are of a PVC makeup. Being black in colour they absorb heat energy transferring it inturn to the water running through the tubing on the roof. To control this you configure the filtration plumbing to divert the water flow onto the roof. A solar controller is generally used to make sure you don’t overheat the pool, or inturn accidently cool the pool. This is the most common form of pool heating. The amount of solar matting you require is generally in a temperate zone of 80% of the pool surface area. Of course increasing the solar matting area will increase the heat exchange and in so lengthen the swimming season.
Gas Heating commonly used in Spas is an active heating solution using either Natural Gas or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Raypac and Davey being common examples of this form of heating. You are able to heat your pool year round at a comfortable swimming temperature. The disadvantage is using anything up to 40Mj of gas it can be an expensive solution. The common opinion is that it is also worth using covers and also solar heating to assist the gas heater in keeping the pool at a reasonable temperature as they will pay for themselves in gas savings over a fairly short period of time.
Heat Pumps are the newest technology and one of teh most efficient heat transfer solutions now available to the Australian Swimming Pool market. A heat pump uses the same principles as used with reverse cycle air conditioning units. They extract heat from the air (even at very low tempratures) and then through a range of heat extraction mechanisms transfers heat to the swimming pool water. Heat Pumps work in almost any environment with selected models able to cater for sub-zero tempratures, as well as indoor installations.
The great benifit of this technology is the very low running cost, in a side. The great benifit of this technology is the very low running cost at around 60% than a gas heater making them perfect for anyone that wants to have their pool available 24/7/365 a year.
Pool Lighting is one of the most decorative features you are able to include in your pool. Companies such as Spa Electrics, Stroud and Waterco have for years made pool specific lights. One feature of pool lighting is its safety as they are now 12v DC lights. Until recently their reliability has been in question with frequent replacing of halogen globes and the time it takes to do this. LED pool lighting is becoming the standard now; it has the advantages of reliability for just a little extra price. Most commonly there is a light placed at each end of the pool to give a reasonably even spread of light in the pool. LED lights also have options of selectable multi-colours or randomly colours lighting styles giving your pool a more festive feel.
Pool Fencing is a requirement of most councils around Australia. Pool Fencing is available commonly as a powder coated aluminium tube, or, a perplex glass. It is best to contact your local council to find out about exact regulations concerning your fencing. Sometimes your existing fencing can be used as a pert of the pool fencing with little or no work required.
If you wish to find out more on building your own swimming pool please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please try to include some information to help us ascertain equipment options that will help to get the best out of your DIY owner builder pool project.