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An introduction to Swimming pools

Swimming pools create all types of memories and images in most people’s minds Most of those are of a crystal clear pool that invites you to enjoy the cool water and relax with a loved one, friends or just a refreshing beverage.

But there are also images of green pools, the permeating smell of chlorine, a money pit, numerous frustrations…or a combination of all of these. Does either of these two scenarios sound familiar?

Fact is, whether you are a property owner or renting a villa, house or condominium, chances are that you will have access to or own a swimming pool. A basic understanding of a swimming pool will go a long way to ensure that your interaction with the swimming pool will be enjoyable and hassle-free.

swimming poolIt is well worth remembering that a swimming pool is a fairly permanent part of most villas or properties and therefore care should be taken when deciding on the equipment and quality of workmanship as well as structural work, to ensure long lasting peace of mind. One often sees very luxurious villas with the most amazing views, but with pools that function incorrectly, since somebody tried to take cheap shortcuts. Unlike a motor vehicle that you can trade in and replace with a new one, the same cannot be done with a swimming pool. Therefore it makes perfect sense to rather invest your money wisely and appropriately when deciding on equipment and fittings, instead of trying to do it on the cheap. In the long run it is going to cost you dearly. It is well worth discussing options with a pool professional.

A swimming pool is a body of water that needs to be correctly filtrated, circulated and sanitized to provide a pleasurable experience. And of course, this needs to be done in a cost-effective and time-efficient way.

Let’s have a look at each of these three components, individually:

Firstly, the filtration of the water. This essentially consists of two elements – the first one is the filter and the second one is the filtration media.

There are several different types of filters – sand filters, DE filters, cartridge filters, UV filters, biological filters – but the most commonly used is the sand filter. These filters come in many different sizes and have two basic options of a top-mount or side-mount Multi Port Valve.

There are also several types of filtration media available, of which silica sand is the most commonly used. This is also the lowest cost but needs to be replaced more frequently. Two other types of media is Zeolite and recycled glass. These are both more expensive but need to be replaced less frequently and also provide finer filtration, which means the water is clearer.

Secondly, there is the circulation of the water. This basically includes the type and size of circulation pump that is installed as well as how the water gets from the pool to the pump and then again, back from the pump to the pool.

The pumps most commonly used for residential swimming pools range from about a quarter horsepower up to about three horsepower. There are many different brands available and the prize range also differs widely.

The water returning from the pool to the pump and filter can basically be through one or a combination of the following routes – an infinity edge and gutter, a main drain in the pool, a safety suction, a vacuum line or a skimmer box.

Once the water has been filtrated, it then returns to the pool via return inlets or jets and these can be in the form of either floor or wall mounted fixtures.

The number and positioning of these return inlets as well as how they have been installed, has a direct bearing on the circulation pump and the efficient movement of water in the pool. It is very important to avoid any potential “dead” areas in the pool.

The third component is the sanitization of the water. There are quite a few different option when it comes to sanitizing the water to keep it safe to use:

The most commonly used sanitizer is chlorine, in one of several forms (stabilized tablets, granules, powder and liquid). Chlorine tends to be very corrosive and needs to be handled carefully as it has been linked to some cancers and other health issue, e.g. asthma. It is probably the cheapest of the locally available sanitizers.

Salt water generators or chlorinators are used fairly widely and, although it convert salt into chlorine gas, tends to be less hazardous although it can be more costly, due to higher electricity consumption.

A chlorine-free option is a good one to consider and is much more environmentally and health friendly. Installation costs are similar to those of salt chlorinators but have lower maintenance costs. A good consideration indeed.

UV is a less commonly used option and can be a little bit on the expensive side.

In the next issue we will discuss the importance of correct water balance in your swimming pool.

For any enquiries or further information, feel free to contact Sunshine Samui Pools at 077 960565 or www.samuipools.com

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