The big splash!

You get your body in shape for sum­mer - now it’s time to get your pool ready too

Monthly Chronicle - - Home & Living - Alan Barnes, Du­ral Pool Shop

Take a good look around your pool area – it will take you just 10 min­utes and set you up to use one of your home’s ma­jor ar­chi­tec­tural as­sets to its full po­ten­tial.

Be­fore the fun starts, there are cer­tain safety and main­te­nance as­pects of hav­ing a pool that need to be checked quar­terly. Here’s a ba­sic check­list:

How are the gate hinges, does the gate self-latch with­out as­sis­tance and is the fence a min­i­mum of 1200mm? And are there any ob­jects near the fence like pot plants or chairs, which could be used to climb into the pool area? The laws around this are very strin­gent - if you’re a pool owner and you don’t ad­here to the laws, then hefty penal­ties can ap­ply. Also, you can’t lease or sell your prop­erty with­out ad­her­ing to th­ese laws. Check in with your lo­cal coun­cil to ar­range for an in­spec­tion and to bring it into com­pli­ance. For more on en­sur­ing your pool is com­pli­ant, go to www.fair­trad­ing.nsw.­ming­pools

Is there any built-up de­bris around the base of the pumps? This pro­motes mois­ture buildup which pro­motes cor­ro­sion.

Does the pump make any scrap­ing, whistling or scream­ing noises? Are there any signs of water leaks?

Do you use timers or a salt chlo­ri­na­tor? Do they op­er­ate cor­rectly?

How old is the skim­mer bas­ket at the pool edge? Is it cracked and let­ting de­bris through to the pump? Is your pump bas­ket in good or­der and clear of de­bris?

How are your tiles? Above the wa­ter­line, you can dam­age the sur­face by gur­ney­ing, so best to clean pool sur­rounds with a tile and vinyl pool spray for pools, to tackle al­gal growth. Do the hor­i­zon­tal edges like tiles, peb­bles or pavers feel slip­pery? Again don’t use a gur­ney as the de­bris goes into the pool. Bet­ter to sprin­kle di­luted chlo­rine over the sur­face and leave for 15 min­utes then wash it away into a nearby drain (not the pool) us­ing a stiff yard broom.

As the pool water starts to warm up over spring and sum­mer, be aware the chem­istry and de­mands on san­i­ta­tion and fil­tra­tion of the water changes. The water tem­per­a­ture roughly fol­lows the ground tem­per­a­ture over time.

Dur­ing spring, start to in­crease the amount of time the fil­ter runs - the amount de­pends on vol­ume of water in the pool and its tem­per­a­ture. In­crease the fre­quency and amount of san­i­ta­tion (the amount of chlo­rine) as well. By midOc­to­ber in Syd­ney (if you’re not us­ing so­lar heat­ing or a heat pump), it’s time to treat your pool as a ‘sum­mer’ pool.

If you in­tend to take ad­van­tage of the ben­e­fits of so­lar heat­ing of your pool, now’s the time to turn it on. Al­though day­time tem­per­a­tures are only mod­er­ate, roof tiles can reach 30 de­grees and start to hold a bit of resid­ual heat.

This will put en­ergy into the water and in turn, start to warm the earth in which the pool sits. It means you’re likely to be swim­ming up to six weeks ear­lier than oth­ers who don’t use so­lar pool water heat­ing.

If you have any ques­tions about pre­par­ing your pool for sum­mer or would pre­fer to have a pool pro­fes­sional check your pool over, we’d be de­lighted to hear from you. Oth­er­wise, drop in with 500mls of freshly sam­pled pool water so we can give you a free water anal­y­sis and dis­cuss your pool needs.

Du­ral Pool Shop has been pro­vid­ing pool main­te­nance ser­vices and prod­ucts to North Western Syd­ney for over six years. Call 9651 4799 for ad­vice and to ar­range a home visit. www.du­ralpool­

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