A swimming pool in your backyard is significantly easier to install than you could expect. A fresh above-ground swimming pool is equally reasonably-priced and easy to repair. Unlike the inflatable pools that are often not especially hygienic and being prone to leaking, these are much stronger and have all the benefits of a permanent swimming pool without needing planning permission. They also cost a fraction of the purchase price. <!–More–>
Clearly your brand-new swimming pool will include instructions that you need to follow but here’s a short summary of the steps you’ll have to follow.
Dry assemble the base layer of the wood frame in-situ so you could see any accessibility issues and whether new avenues need services or building diverting.
Even if the pool will be completely above ground, you will still have to remove the topsoil to your foundation. Mark out a rectangular area at least 60cm larger than the swimming pool and eliminate all topsoil (typically at least 15cm).
You’ll find this easier if you do it in two phases. First, lay a thin (5cm) coating of blinding concrete over the excavated surface – this gives you a clean and flat floor to operate on. Then set in position the steel uprights that provide the’ribs’ of the swimming pool’. Lay solid reinforcing mesh 5cm above the blinding concrete and, if the ground is poor, another layer of mesh 5cm in the finished surface of the concrete. Pour at least 15cm and maybe up to 30cm of structural grade premixed concrete completely vibrating it to eliminate all the trapped air.
After the cement has cured (about two weeks ), begin assembling the wooden framework being careful to follow the manufacturer’s instruction regarding jointing.
Pipework – Stage 1
Fit the skimmer unit and cut holes in the wall of the wood frame to accommodate the drain, pump inlet and any lighting. Use a correct hole-cutting watched and be careful not to cut too oversize a hole.
Gently sweep and vacuum clean the floor of the swimming pool because any detritus left behind is a possible hole in your liner. After the floor is clean, spray it with glue and cut and fit the sub-liner. This provides a cushion effect to the walls and floor and also protects the major liner from damage.
Pipework – Stage 2
Fit the gaskets and frames to the pump inlet, the drain and the lights cutting through the sub-liner where necessary to expose those holes. Take care not to over-cut.
Expose the liner to sun for an hour ahead in order for it to warm up and be pliable. Beginning with a single corner of the wood frame, snap the liner into the swimming pool gently stretching and smoothing it as you do this. Leave the past 10 cm open, insert a hose from a powerful vacuum cleaner and seal up. Suck out as much air as possible from between the lining and the sub-liner. Anyone who enters the pool from here on must do this in socks or go barefoot.
Pipework – Stage 3
Fill out the swimming pool to a depth of about 15cm to stretch the liner into its final location. Run the vacuum for the last time, eliminate it and seal the last portion of the liner top. Get in the pool and put in the last parts of pump inlet, drain and lights being careful to maintain the electrics of the latter with the water.
You’ll need an electrician to fit a circuit-breaker for you and also to devote a power supply. It’s a fantastic idea if they also fit a timer control and a spare socket (you might want to invest in an automatic pool cleaner). They are also able to wire in the lights – you might need to obtain an excess switch fitted for them.
Pipework – Stage 4
Carefully assemble the filter and pump unit filling the latter with clean, fine sand. Install all in-flow and out-flow pipework into the pump being careful to ensure that the joints are watertight. Fill swimming pool to half-way up the skimmer unit. Prime pump, function backwash and place pump timer.
With a pH and chlorine testing kit (available from any swimming pool fittings stockist), add acid or alkali to bring your swimming pool into a pH of typically 7.4 and a chlorine level of approximately 3ppm. Add algicide once weekly and test and top up if necessary the water, the acid or alkali and the chlorine in exactly the identical time. If you use solar heating bands, you will save on lots of water and substances in addition to extending your swimming season.
Fit ladders and steps as appropriate.
Drain down the water to a very low level and pay over the winter, working the pump periodically to prevent stagnation of the water. Heal wood with teak oil annually to keep it free of rot and looking great.