Above Ground Pool Maintenance in the Winter Season

As we have waved goodbye to daylight saving, and summer, we are in winter. You have probably noticed that your above ground pool isn’t being used as often. It’s getting too cold, so the kids *have packed it in*, but even though your pool isn’t being used anymore – and won’t be in use over the winter months, it doesn’t mean you can forget about pool maintenance for winter. If you do, you’ll start spring with a green pool, a lot of *mess* to clean up, and a hefty pool maintenance bill.

Getting your above ground pool ready for winter will take time, but it will be worth it come summer!

Follow these simple steps to keep your pool healthy over winter, so, when summer arrives your pool will be *ready to go*.

  • Give your pool a clean. Remove all the debris from the water, filters, pump basket and skimmer. If you leave anything behind, it can fall to the bottom of the pool and stain it.
  • Make sure all your pool equipment is working – check the pump is working and that there isn’t a build-up on the chlorination cell. Even though you’re heading into cooler weather, you will still need to run the pump, filter, and chlorinator for at least 4 hours each day.
  • Take time to backwash your filter, especially if it contains any contaminants.
  • Still, balance your water. Even with the pool not in use, your pool will stay more efficient when it has water that is properly balanced. While you balance the water to protect from any annoying outbreaks of algae, all your surface equipment will last longer when it’s only dealing with well-balanced water.
  • Even if your pool doesn’t have algae in it, add a phosphate remover as this will remove the algae’s food source, and if there is no food in your pool, algae can’t start growing.
  • Always use an above ground pool cover. If you don’t already have a pool cover, now is an excellent time to get one. A cover protects your pool from evaporation and the elements. Do you want to spend your time in winter out by the pool skimming and vacuuming?
  • Even though it’s autumn/winter, you should always continue your essential above ground swimming pool maintenance. Check your pool waters chemistry every two weeks and adjust where necessary.

Having a pool is a lot of fun. You have invested time and money in your pool, and it isn’t *worth it* just to let your pool *go* over the winter months. You might not want to take care of your pool in winter, but, if you take the time needed and follow the above tips, your pool will be in much better condition when you need it to come spring/summer. Leaving your pool will see the water turn green, you may end up having to drain the water and start again, including cleaning out the pool lining, filters and everything else.

Make Sure You Maintain Your Pool in Summer

Pool Accessories You Have to Have

DIY Above Ground Pool Maintenance

A swimming pool is an amazing addition to your home allowing you to enjoy a refreshing dip any time of day. An entertainers dream, pool parties, bbqs and endless memories with family and friends.

In this article, we compiled a few tips on how to affordably maintain your pool. Whether you are a new or seasoned owner of an above ground pool in Australia, these tips could save you some time and money.

 

Regular Cleaning

The first thing you can make a habit of is to clean your pool regularly. The frequency and intensity of cleaning vary depending on how you use the pool as well as how much debris gets into it.

If there is a tree that regularly sheds leaves, spores or pollen, near your pool, then you may need to add pool cleaning to your daily work out routine. You can use your leaf skimmer to scoop out leaves and other debris from your pool before they get soggy and sink to the bottom.

If organic material accumulates in your pool, it can promote the growth of bacteria that could be hard to manage. Moreover, if there is too much dirt in your pool, it could clog your filters. Regular cleaning reduces the burden on your filters. Prevention is key!

If you can, invest in an automated cheap swimming pool vacuum that you can program to clean the bottom of your pool every few days or on a weekly schedule. This will save you a lot of time and energy. Regular vacuuming prevents the development of murky, slimy layers at the bottom of your pool.

 

Maintain pH levels

Many people overlook the necessity of checking the pH of their swimming pools. You can use pH strips to test the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The appropriate pH for your swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.8, which is close to neutral.

If the pH of your pool is above 8, the efficiency of chlorine will be low and you will need more of it to keep the water fresh. Lower pH means you can save on chlorine costs. However, if the pH is not well balanced, it could cause skin rashes or eye irritation.

 

Maintain Water levels

If the level of water in your pool keeps fluctuating, you could be unknowingly incurring unnecessary maintenance costs. If you don’t control the water getting into your pool, then your utility bills could rise when the water levels get too high. Moreover, when there is too much water in the pool, you need more chlorine to keep it clean.

On the other hand, if the water levels get too low, your pump could run dry. Running dry can seriously damage the pump and cost you a lot in repairs.

If all this seems tooo much, there are experts that can do the job for you.

Make Sure You Maintain Your Pool in Summer

Everyone has maintained their pool, and got it ready for summer, but, when you own an above ground pool, it’s also important to keep maintaining your pool in summer.

 

Here are our top tips for maintaining your above ground pool this summer.

  • Skim debris. If you – or your neighbour has trees or bushes there is a chance a breeze will blow debris into your pool. You’ll need to use your leaf skimmer to remove that debris, so your pool looks clean and clear before anyone jumps in. You will need to continue to do this a few times a week, as it helps increase the pools water circulation and decreases the amount of chemicals in the water.
  • Vacuum the pool. To get to any of that hard-to-reach debris you should vacuum your pool on a weekly basis or get an automated vacuum that you can schedule. The vacuum goes over the floor of your above ground pool in the same way you clean a floor. Make sure you overlap each part of the pool, to ensure you don’t miss any spots. It usually takes around 30 minutes to completely clean a pool with a vacuum.
  • Clean your pools filter. Maintenance on your pool filter will depend on what type you have, but every pool filter needs periodic cleaning. If your filter isn’t cleaned regularly it won’t trap debris, which means your water may start to look discoloured or murky. The flow of your water will also change, this is generally signalled by the increase in the pressure gauge and flow meter.
  • Maintain the pH level. To avoid any injuries or damage to clothing make sure your pools pH levels remain the same. A pH scale measures the acidity of the pool water and anywhere from 0 to 14. The ideal range for pool water should be between 7.2 and 7.8 which is not only keeping the water clean, it is also making the water safe for swimmers. You should have a testing kit and test strips available to test the water.
  • Find and repair any leaks. Before summer begins you should have checked for any leaks or problems with your pool, before anyone jumps in, but it can be hard to find some leaks if it’s the beginning of the season and your water just looks *low*. The best way to check is to do a *bucket test*. Fill a bucket to ¾’s of the way and mark the water line. Put the bucket in the pool, mark the water line outside the bucket and let it float around for a few days. If the water has gone down the same amount, it’s simply evaporation. If the water has gone down on the outside of the bucket, you probably have a leak.

 

Read More:

Pool Accessories You Have to Have

Tips For Handling The Extra Use of Your Pool Over Christmas

Pool Accessories You Have to Have

Summer is here and it’s time for some fun in the sun. It’s also time to replace your clothes for your bathing suit, and spend the long summer days around the pool with friends and family. Of course, you are going need some accessories to add a little fun and spice to your poolside life. Imagine riding on an oversized pink flamingo or dancing around to your very own floating wireless speaker. In this post, we explore the weird and wonderful world of pool accessories.

 

The Wireless Floating Pool Speaker

It isn’t a pool party without music! That’s where these little babies come in to play. They are completely waterproof and float on top of the pool. All you have to do is connect via Bluetooth on your phone and you will be bumping your favourite poolside playlist in no time.

 

Pool Jam for the In-Ground Pool

Pool Jam is basically a basketball hoop designed for an in-ground pool. It’s easy to install. All you have to do is set it up on the side of the pool and your game is ready. You and your friends can pretend to be the aquatic version of the Chicago Bulls. Fly high and dunk on your friend’s head. Take a shot from outside for the big three with the Pool Jam basketball hoop.

 

Giant Inflatable Flamingo

The giant inflatable pink flamingo is fashionable these days. If you take look on Instagram, you’re bound to come across someone riding a flamingo in the pool. It’s the sheer size that gives it the wow factor. This thing is literally bigger than a large human. You can also get unicorns, swans, and pelicans. Get an oversized inflatable in your life.

 

Game Table with Chairs

Ever wanted to play your favourite card games in the pool? Well now you can, with this gaming table complete with floating chairs. You and three of your friends can sit around the floating table playing poker in the pool while keeping cool.

 

Jellyfish Pool Lights

These are unique and very cool pool lights. They are shaped like a jellyfish with tentacles and will float around your pool while lighting it up at the same time.

 

Mermaid Swim Fin

Have you ever wanted to be a mermaid? Well, now you can with a mermaid swim fin – it’s every girl’s (and some boys!) dream. All you have to do is put both feet inside the mermaid swim fin you’re an instant mermaid.

 

Floating Bean Bags

Have you ever sat in a bean bag and wished that you could take it in a pool? We haven’t, but someone must have because they have created the ultimate oversized bean bag that floats on water. The bean bags also come with a floating ottoman that has drink holders for max relaxing.

 

For all your pool needs this summer, or anytime for that matter, contact us at Affordable Pools and we will happily help you with all your pool installation queries and questions.

Tips For Handling The Extra Use of Your Pool Over Christmas

Are you expecting your pool to get a real workout over the Christmas holidays? Fair chances it will. Relatives and neighbours tend to visit more often over the Summer period and cool off in the pool and it’s hard to say no. Not that you’d want to. It’s all part of being neighborly and building community spirit.

 

But the extra use means extra maintenance to ensure that the water is safe to swim in. The extra bodies in the water will result in more bacteria entering the above ground pool and this must be counteracted by regular testing and maintenance. In this post, we give you some tricks and tips on how to stay on top of your pool maintenance over the bust Christmas period.

 

Regular Testing

In the Summer months, you should test your pool once or twice per week depending on the usage. If people are practically living in your pool you should step it up to three to four times per week. Make sure the pH levels are sitting between 7.2 and 7.8. The lower the p.H the less chlorine you have to use. This is a good thing because too much chlorine can be hazardous. We’ve all been in pools that sting your eyes and degrade clothing and it takes the fun out of swimming.

 

When the pH level gets above the recommended level chlorine becomes less efficient and you will have to add more to get the same result.

 

Keep It Clean

Keep your pool nice and clean. Scoop out all the leaves and other debris that can cause bacteria to build up in your pool. Don’t forget to empty out the lint trap located at the front of the pump. Turn the pump off before you do it to prevent damage. Then empty it out. This should be done once every two or three days.

 

Check the Water Level

Keep an eye on the water level. If it’s too low, it can run your pump dry and you don’t you don’t want that to happen. It will cause damage to the pump and cost a packet to fix it. If your pool is too high, it will negatively affect the efficiency of the skimmer. Of course, if you have to top up the pool you will also have to do another test to see if your pH levels are at the optimum level.

 

Clean the Tiles

Extra bodies mean extra dirt and grease and you will be surprised how quickly it accumulates. If you feel that your tiles or pool lining a getting a bit slippery this is an indication that it’s time to give them a clean.

 

Staying on top of your pool maintenance if easy if you know what to be on the lookout for. Do regular inspections of the thing mentioned in this post and you will be right as rain and you, your family, the neighbours down the road, Uncle Ian, Aunt Helen, their kids, the nieces, and nephews can enjoy the pool all Summer long. Ask us for a hand at Affordable Pools if you need any assistance!

 

Read More:

Keeping Your Pool Clean Without Using A Lot of Chlorine

Keeping Your Pool Clean Without Using A Lot of Chlorine

Among the uninitiated, chlorine is a mandatory part of any swimming pool experience. It sanitises many above ground swimming pools in Australia, and elsewhere around the world. And while it’s been used to sterilise swimming and drinking water since the late 1800s, it has always been problematic. Chlorine reddens your eyes, dries out your skin, makes you itch, and causes rashes in some people. In others, it can trigger bronchial problems. Plus, it has bleaching properties. Still, we use it because it kills germs and prevents algae. And while it’s not ideal, we can’t completely eliminate it from our pools. What we can do is use less of it. We can switch to other sterilisers, combined with limited volumes of chlorine. So what are the pool-cleaning options available that can lessen your overall chlorine? As it turns out, they’re all natural products. Your pool is going organic, and will feel silky on your skin.

 

Air

Ozone (O3) isn’t just a depleting part of the planet. It’s a naturally occurring substance made by three atoms of Oxygen (O2), so it’s sometimes called triatomic oxygen. Two atoms of oxygen sustain life. That third atom destroys it – and it’s how ozone keeps your pool clean. It kills micro-organisms and other contaminants. To form ozone, you need an ozone generator. It comprises a corona discharger or an ultraviolet bulb. Either one takes regular oxygen and adds a third atom, converting it to ozone. After the ozone kills your pool bugs, it breaks back down to regular oxygen which is fed back into the ozone generator and the process repeats. However, because ozone can only exist for 20 minutes to an hour before it reverts to oxygen, you need a small chlorine primer to supplement O3 and keep your pool consistently clean.

 

Light

UV bulbs can be used to generate ozone, but they can also be used as a standalone steriliser. A UV filter works by passing pool water through powerful UV rays contained in an enclosed chamber. Water flows in and out of the light, mixing with the rest of the pool until it’s all clean. The advantage of UV is it destroys regular germs, but it also kills micro-organisms like cyclosporam, e.coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia, which are usually resistant to chlorine. UV treatment doesn’t make water sparkly in the way that ozone does, but it gives it the same silky, skin-refreshing texture. It messes with your pool germs’ DNA, and it’s the only method that doesn’t require any added chlorine.

 

Salt or minerals

Cheap above ground swimming pools sanitised with salt are still chlorinated – it’s just that the chlorine is in a gentler form. Rather than powdered chlorine, salt-water pools use electrolysis to convert table salt into chlorine gas. This gas dissolves in the water, becoming liquid chlorine. The cycle is endless, with salt turning into chlorine, back to salt, and back to chlorine. Its bleaching properties are kinder, but they still kill germs. The salt is supplied in the form of a salt cell / cartridge, and the pool does need a small injection of chlorine powder to catalyse the conversion process. Finally, mineral pools have the least amount of chlorine. Mineral cartridges release the ions of borates, copper, and silver into the water, killing germs. A small amount of chlorine is added, but not enough to bleach or bother swimmers.

For your choice of low-chlorine pools, call Affordable Pools today on (02) 8625 3656.

How deep should your pool be?

Statistics claim 85% of Aussies live within 50km of a beach. That doesn’t mean we can hit the sands whenever we want, but it does mean our prevailing weather is hot and humid, making swimming pools an essential part of many households. If you plan it right, you can even install a tank below your pool. The available space and your budget will dictate the size of your pool. At Affordable Pools, we install cheap swimming pools that range from a little over 1m to nearly 12m.

Our standard pool depth is 1.32 metres, but we have the technology to add a deep-end to your existing pool, as long as it’s a Palm Cove or Cape York. We can refurbish these models, tapering your deep end up to 1.7m, and our pool models have warranties of 10 to 20 years.

Here are some tips for choosing your pool.

Fitness pools

Serious swimmers prefer to practice in Olympic pools, but few homes have that kind of space. An Olympic pool is up to 3m deep, and your landscape and soil type would have to be strong enough to accommodate that. Plus it would have to be an in-ground model to support all that weight, or maybe an above-ground swimming pool made from a repurposed shipping container. That’s becoming a popular choice because it doesn’t need additional finishing.

Also Read This: Start Planning Your New Pool Now

For home fitness, a lap pool can be useful, especially for narrower yards, though you’re still limited to the sizing options offered by your pool company. As a general guideline, diving pools have to be 2.8m or more to avoid head injuries. If your pool is a metre or two, you’re safer jumping in feet first, using a ladder, or installing pool steps. Kids need smaller swim spaces, but they’ll soon outgrow anything shallower than a metre.

Just splashing about

If you merely want an excuse to get wet on a hot day, then a footbath or inflatable is adequate. But for proper swimming and pool games, you want to manage basic strokes without your feet touching the ground, even if you don’t have enough room to tread water. Our 1.32m depth does that suitably because it provides ample buoyancy. And our sterilisation options include both salt-water and regular chlorine so that you can take your pick.

That said, if you must have a deep pool, you can talk to us about commercial pool options. Ordinarily, concrete site-poured pools are recommended for enhanced depth, because you can make them any size you want. But our commercial models offer more flexibility regarding depth, so if you’re shopping for your mall, school, hotel, or gym, talk to us about commercial pool dimensions. We offer interest-free instalment plans, regardless of pool size.

For pools that are the perfect depth, call Affordable Pools today on (02) 8625 3656.

Start Planning Your New Pool Now

There are hundreds of articles about the best time to build above ground swimming pools in Australia. Many home owners build in the spring, getting their yards ready for a frolicking summer. Others swear by the cost-saving benefit of winter pool installation. After all, nobody else is doing it, and many pool companies close for the season, so you get off-peak pricing, both for your builders and your pool equipment.

At Affordable Pools, we believe the best time to build is whenever there’s a sale. And right now, we have specials on all kinds of pool equipment, so if you’re considering a pool installation in the near future, start planning (and stocking up) today. Pool equipment isn’t a perishable, so you can always buy whatever you need then install the pool when you’re ready. On the other hand, the sooner you build, the sooner you swim so …

Size does matter

Have you thought about how big (or small) your pool should be? Your decision is probably driven by the size of your yard, how often you swim, and how many people are likely to be in the pool at any one time. Here’s one more thing you can consider. While stocks last, we’ll give you a generous discount on the following pool sizes, including a filter, chlorinator, and either an auto-cleaner or a leaf cover. The offer applies to Cape York and Palm Cove pools, and the depth for all six pool sizes is 1.32m.

  • 4.5m x 3m
  • 5.6m x 3m
  • 4.9m x 3.6m
  • 7.5m x 3.m
  • 8.2m x 4.5m
  • 9.4m x 4.5m

In addition, we’ll throw in a pool liner in sky blue or midnight blue, a colorbond wall of Aussie BHP, a skimmer box for large pool, a safety ladder made of vinyl, verticals and wide top copings made from resin, and a vacuum kit for manual use. The kit has a CPR chart, a kit for testing the chemical levels in your water, a hose, a vacuum head, and a leaf rake. These specials come as a comprehensive pool package, and it’s what we recommend.

Just the pool please

Some buyers are focused on their pool purchase and we can accommodate them too. What we’ll do is offer an upgrade if you choose to buy other items while our specials are in stock. We have two upgrade options – pool lights and a solar kit. The pool lights kit costs $550, and we’ll give you kaleidoscope LED lighting plus a 20m cable and 12v trans. We’ll top it off with a HD leaf-stopping cover. If you need multiple kits, we’ll add two valves (3-way and non-return) plus a t section 40mm wide.

Plan B is the $650 solar kit though you’ll need a plumber to connect your pool to the solar collector on your roof. This kit is worth more than $1,000, and it includes a solar blanket, couplings, end caps, a repair kit for leaks, a vacuum break valve, right-angled elbows, a solar collector, solar pipes, and an instruction booklet for your plumber. With all the discounts and savings on offer, it’s a good time to start pool planning, and we’re right here for you.

To get the perfect pool at the perfect price, call Affordable Pools today on (02) 8625 3656.

Which accessories will you need for your pool?

Unless you’ve owned a swimming pool in the past, you probably don’t know what goes into one – apart from water. As it turns out, the average swimming pools needs a whole host of equipment in order to function, and when you buy from Affordable Pools, we make sure you have every piece you need.

This is crucial, because many times, you will spot above ground swimming pools for sale at ridiculously low prices. You might rush to your wallet or credit card, worried about missing the promotion. But once your cheap purchase arrives, you realise what the catch was – you have a pool, but no pool equipment. So … what exactly does your swimming pool need?

Pool essentials

The most basic accessories are what a pool can’t function without. They are always part of your swimming pool package, so you shouldn’t give them much thought unless you’re buying a used pool or are dealing with a shifty supplier. These include the pool liner – which is what makes it waterproof – and the pool coping, which is the material that coats the surface of the pool. It could be tile, stone, or concrete. There’s also the pool shell, which forms the actual shape of the pool, and is generally concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass. Finally, you need a skimmer box to collect leaves or twigs, and a ladder to get in or out of the pool.

Pool covers

Many pool suppliers neglect this handy device, and some homeowners might ignore it too, thinking it hides the beauty of their pool. Covers are essential though. They reduce your maintenance costs by protecting the pool from leaves, debris, or pests, maintaining the water temperature, reducing the number of pool chemicals you need, and lowering your daily labour in pool skimming. Plus, they prevent kids, pets, and outdoor animals like wild rodents and reptiles from accidentally falling into the pool.

Pool filters and pumps

Your filter pump has two main functions. It removes any solid contaminants that might be in the water, emptying them into a skimmer basket or filter sump, and it keeps the water fresh by circulating it in and out of the pool. The filter is attached to a pool pump that should run between 4 and 8 hours every day unless the pool is closed during winter or vacations. Aussie winters aren’t snowy though, so you don’t necessarily have to close the pool unless you’re travelling for a few weeks or months.

Pool lights

Adding the right kind of lighting can turn your poolside experience from mundane to magical. You can install multi-coloured LED fixtures or motion detectors that light up whenever someone approaches. You can set them to go on and off automatically, or link them to your smartphone. Pool lights can be suspended above the water or submerged beneath it, depending on your preference.

Pool cleaners

You can clean your pool by hand, in which case you need a pool brush, skimmer, or pool vacuum, as well as a water testing kit. Option two is to buy a pool robot that automatically moves through the water, cleaning it at pre-set intervals. Some robots can even get in or out of the water without your help, and you can park them by remote.

For affordable, top quality pool accessories, call Affordable Pools today on (02) 8625 3656.

Our above ground pool options

We may be nearing the end of fall, but there are still lots of above ground swimming pools for sale. It’s low season, so you can get a good price on them, though if you install them now, you won’t get much use out of them during the winter rains.

That’s not necessarily a problem though. Here at Affordable Pools, we can install one with a secure lid that will keep it in perfect condition until Spring. Plus, we can install it in as little as a day! Our stock of above ground swimming pools includes salt water, chlorine, and commercial pools, so you can order one that suits your tastes, needs, and budgetary limits.

Freshwater Options

We have three main types of chlorinated pools: Cape Cove, Billabong and Space Saver. They can be 1.2m to 1.32m deep and come in varying dimensions. The pools are made from heavy-duty galvanised steel, while the liners are made of heavy duty vinyl.

Our round pool diameters go from 3m to 5.4m, while our oval models can go up to 11.8m long and 4.5m wide. If you just buy the pool, we’ll give you a powder coated metal pool frame, a pool liner, a skimmer box and safety ladder. The complete package gets you an additional sand or cartridge filter, pump, and manual vacuum kit.

Billabong pools have a similar construction to Cape Coves, but lower price ranges, starting at under $2,000 with Sunflow cartridge filters. Cape Coves have plastic ladders and a 20-year warranty, while Billabong ladders are painted metal, and their warranty is 10 years. Our Space saver models are 2.4m to 3m wide and have a maximum length of 9.2m.

Also Read This: Get your pool ASAP to enjoy it before winter!

Saltwater Options

While saltwater pools do use chlorine, it’s much less than a freshwater pool since salt is the primary disinfecting agent. Our saltwater pools come in Palm Cove and Space saver ranges. Saltwater Space savers have the same dimensions and specs as freshwater space savers, though the pricing is higher. They require a special salt water chlorinator and extruded posts.

Palm Cove pools have extruded resin posts as well, and they match the size, quality, and warranty of freshwater pools, though they utilise plastic safety ladders and salt water chlorinators. Whichever one of our pools you choose to buy, you can benefit from the specials we’re currently running. They include free leaf covers, discounted pool lighting, coloured pool liners, and solar DIY pool heating kits.

Commercial Options

Our commercial swimming pools are usually much larger than domestic varieties. Due to their size and location, we often build platforms around the pool, giving them the style and appearance of in-ground pools. This is a useful feature for indoor pools because it makes them easier to clean, adds aesthetic value, and prevents accidents.

Your commercial pool can be as large and deep as you want it, and we can make it oval or round, according to your specifications. We use super heavy duty liners to accommodate the enhanced pool size, and the body is made from galvanised powder coated steel. They make a good choice for schools, gyms, or training centres, and can be installed in two or three days including the platform.

For a wide selection of affordable above-ground pools, call Affordable Pools today on (02) 8625 3656.