Q&A: Ask the ex­perts

Our panel of ex­perts pro­vide the an­swers to your queries

Living France - - Contents -

Our ex­perts give their ad­vice on house sur­veys, swim­ming pools and tax on prop­erty sales


We are think­ing about open­ing a gîte and al­low­ing guests to use our swim­ming pool. I want to know what reg­u­la­tions I need to have in place for the pool, in ad­di­tion to the usual ones. For in­stance, I’ve been told that I need au­to­matic pH and chlo­rine bal­ance equip­ment. Please can you con­firm what I need to do? JOHN WIL­LIAMS


Gen­er­ally, as long as your swim­ming pool users are not pay­ing specif­i­cally for us­ing the pool, you will not be bound by the rules per­tain­ing to the Agence Ré­gionale de Santé (ARS). How­ever as these rules some­times dif­fer be­tween de­part­men­tal agen­cies of the ARS, you should check di­rectly with your lo­cal agency be­fore as­sum­ing any­thing. If you do need to put rules in place, you may be asked to pro­vide record­ings of spe­cific chem­i­cal lev­els, wheel­chair ac­cess, etc.

If you do not have to fol­low ARS reg­u­la­tions, and es­pe­cially if you are not usu­ally on-site or close by to carry out pool main­te­nance your­self, you would prob­a­bly want to ei­ther have some­one reg­u­larly vis­it­ing the pool to carry out chem­i­cal checks (as of­ten as ev­ery three days in very hot weather) or have an au­to­matic chem­istry dos­ing sys­tem in­stalled.

Most of the gen­er­ally sta­ble chem­i­cal lev­els in the pool are usu­ally checked just once or twice dur­ing the sea­son (for wa­ter hard­ness, to­tal al­ka­lin­ity and sta­biliser) so at the very least you should be check­ing the lev­els which con­stantly change with bather load, wa­ter tem­per­a­ture and weather vari­a­tions. These would be the ORP (some­times sim­pli­fied as chlo­rine level) and pH or al­ka­lin­ity.

Two au­to­matic sys­tems to con­sider are Klereo ( klereo.com) and PoolCop ( poolcop. fr). Both sys­tems man­age the ORP and pH, as well as your pool heat­ing and other de­vices such as pool and gar­den light­ing, wa­ter fea­tures, etc. How­ever the PoolCop also goes into managing the con­trolled clean­ing of your fil­ter by au­to­mat­i­cally back­wash­ing as and when it is nec­es­sary. It also mon­i­tors your pool wa­ter level and in­tel­li­gently fills up the pool (un­less a storm is fore­casted, in which case it waits!). Both of these sys­tems can be mon­i­tored by mo­bile, tablet or com­puter.

These sys­tems, when cor­rectly con­fig­ured, con­stantly mea­sure the chem­i­cal sta­tus of the pool, in­ject­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate amount of chem­i­cals as and when nec­es­sary. Although not cheap, they do en­sure that you use the very least amount of chem­i­cal to keep your pool al­gae-free and give you peace of mind. AN­DREW LEE

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