The big splash!

    Alan Barnes, Dural Pool Shop
    Alan Barnes, Dural Pool Shop

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

    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 http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/swimmingpools

    * 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.

    Just take a few minutes now to review the system as a whole.

    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 mid-October 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, and gives you a longer swimming season to gain the most benefit from your pool.

    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.duralpoolshop.com.au.

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