It’s 15 years this week since we moved into our house with a pool, and along the way I’ve learned a few things! Here are some of my top tips!
How to maintain your pool
1. Balanced pool
We started with a salt water pool, and I always liked the automation of the salt water chlorinator releasing chlorine into the pool and that the salt is less harsh than chlorine on the body, skin and eyes.
We have now converted our pool to a Mineral Swim pool, which has some substantial added benefits. These include an ozone chlorination system (that is installed in conjunction with the existing salt system) and the pool uses mineral salts instead of regular salt. The Mineral Salts come straight from the Dead Sea and are gentle on the skin and eyes – no more goggles needed for recreational swimming! The girls’ hair is still soft and straight after swimming at home now – no difficult tangles any more. And the kids don’t even need a shower after a swim.
The water in our pool is now crystal clear – the natural flocculant in the minerals means that the water is clearer than ever.
Our overall chemical requirement has also reduced as the pool is easier to keep balanced, which is a cost and health savings. And who can complain when they’re swimming in the healthiest water available!
I’ve been keen to take a dip whenever I get home on a warm day and relax!
2. Heating tips
When we moved into our house in 2005, it was the last weekend in February and the pool was freezing. It was a beautiful day, but we had 2 large gum trees hanging over our pool (one still remains!), so it didn’t get enough sun to stay warm.
So we invested in a solar heating system, and this hardy system is still going strongly 15 years on. With solar alone, in a regular summer our pool usually sits at around 29-30 degrees. We made sure we bought maximum panelling, and solar is very cheap to run – it is simply the cost of pumping water from the pool to the roof. So we run our solar during all warm hours of the day – it is set to run from 9am-5pm, so at any time within that period, if the roof is warmer than the pool it will kick in, and it will stop when it reaches the maximum temperature that I’ve set.
I often find we have clients who have solar heating but their pool is still cold. We often find that they are running their solar for only a couple of hours a day, or only for a couple of days per week. To maximise the benefit of solar heating, it should run for the maximum hours of sunlight!
After a very cool and wet summer in 2012, we decided we’d like to have the option to heat our pool even on a cloudy or wet week. So we invested in a heat pump, and we use this either when the sun isn’t out, or when we want to boost the temperature a little at either end of the summer. It is also a cost effective heating solution, but it isn’t a fast one (you need to run it for at least 12 hours) and depending on where your pool is located, it can create unappreciated noise. Fortunately for us, our pool backs onto a school so the noise is no issue.
Gas heating is the easiest to control – you can set a temperature and just let it go, and it will heat up relatively quickly (a pool can warm up substantially in a few hours). It’s a great option either as a standalone or in conjunction with solar heating if you don’t want to have to heat up so many degrees!
3. Pool renovation
Over our 15 years we have renovated several aspects of our pool. The first was the fence when we renovated the house – we got rid of the 1970’s brown iron fence. The last year we finally upgraded from the blond brick pavers – that had always been a wish of mine, and the difference our beautiful travertine pavers make is even better than I had expected. We also decided to add in some blue mosaics around the top of the waterline, so now I feel like I’m in a resort in my own pool. Sareen Stone provide amazing stones and tiles!
4. Pool lights
We have some awesome LED lights now that just make the pool look beautiful at night, and all the more appealing for an evening dip!