Tips & tricks to reduce the maintenance costs of your pool
Having a swimming pool is wonderful, but when you calculate how much this can costs you annually, it is always a bit of a shock. Nevertheless, there are a lot of simple things you can do and things you know that can significantly reduce the maintenance costs of your pool. We'll give you two golden tips: make sure your pool is properly winterised and take care of it all year round, not just in the summer.
A swimming pool is like a car: it needs maintenance and it wears out over the years, so repairs are inevitable. Moreover, the use of your pool also determines how expensive the maintenance will be. A family with 4 children will invest more in clean water than a couple that does half an hour track 3 times a week. Nevertheless, there are some rules that limit the costs of your pool.
Good insulation is indispensable to retain the warmth of your water as much as possible.
Do you still have to build your swimming pool or are you planning a thorough renovation? Invest in a good insulation of the bottom and the walls. Heat is also lost through the water surface. Therefore cover your pool every evening. If you don't, the degrees gained during the day are quickly lost. Ideally, you should leave the cover closed during the day if you are not swimming. If your budget allows it, choose a roller shutter with solar slats. These transmit the heat from the sun and provide additional heating when the cover is closed.
A solar collector
25% of swimming pools in Spain have heating. Most of them are heated with a heat pump. This has an impact on your energy bill. The installation of an (additional) solar collector can therefore be an interesting alternative. A solar collector consists of thin tubes through which the water of your swimming pool runs. The sun heats it for free. A solar collector is installed on a flat roof, against a wall or somewhere tucked away in the garden in a sunny spot. The installation of a solar collector is an extra investment, but the advantage is that the water gradually heats up as the sun shines more and more intensively. When the swimming season arrives, your water will be warmed up faster.
Do you opt for a heat pump? Then use the heating of your pool wisely. A heat pump is not a pressure cooker. It takes at least 24 hours to get your water up to temperature after the winter. Also make sure your water does not cool down too much on cold days so you do not have to intensively heat it up afterwards.
Dirt in your water means that you have to use more chemicals, vacuum more often, the sand filter wears out more quickly, etc.
But how do you reduce this polution in your pool?
If you have yet to install your pool, it is best to choose a spot in the garden where there are not many trees. They cause a lot of pollution.
Are there already trees - especially pines? Then hang a net in your skimmer basket. This net prevents needles or seeds from reaching your filter and pump and wearing them out faster.
Showering before use
A lot of dirt enters the water through our bodies: sun milk, deodorant, dead skin, grass on our feet, etc. That's why it's best to take a shower before diving into the pool. Don't feel like going in every time? Then install an outdoor shower. If you choose a solar shower, the sun will heat the water for free.
A narrow curbstone that brings your lawn close to the edge of the pool looks beautiful, but the risk of dirt in your pool increases. Therefore it is best to provide a metre of stone or wood paving around the pool.
A dog in your pool
Your dog chasing a ball or playing with the children in the water on a warm day. It is a pleasure to watch. And yet, your dog brings a lot of dirt and hair into your water. No matter how happy it makes him, a dog in your bath is not such a good idea.
Many people use their pool lighting as additional garden lighting. Atmospheric and inviting to jump into the water in the evening. Your spotlights, however, attract not only late swimmers but also moths and other insects. Sometimes even a mouse will end up in the pool. Needless to say, all these pollute your water.
Despite all the tips, a minimum of dirt in your bath is unavoidable. So regular vacuuming is the message. But do not overdo it. Leaves and other floating debris can best be removed with a scoop net.
If you have a mechanical robot that sends the dirt to your filter, it is best to do a backwash after every vacuuming in the high season.
Tip: every backwash lowers the water level by about 5 cm. So we are talking about a few hundred litres of water being drained off. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan your vacuuming just before rain so your pool naturally refills a little.
Mains water versus well water
Tap water can be expensive. Therefore, it seems attractive to fill your swimming pool in Spain with well water. A good idea provided you have a well at a depth of 200 metres. The water from wells that are less deep usually contains too much iron and metals. You can only find this out through expensive tests. An additional problem is that the metal and iron values often fluctuate. Do you take the gamble without a test? Then you should know that your entire bath turns red if water containing metal and iron comes into contact with chlorine.
Proper use of chemicals
Chemicals are not harmless and a running bill. So it is good for your wallet and for your health that you use them responsibly and with awareness.
Chlorine and pH value
Chlorine is an efficient way to maintain the quality of your water. Unfortunately, too many people still think that everything is fine if you just put enough chlorine in their water. Nothing could be further from the truth. Too much chlorine is expensive, unhealthy and bad for the liner of your pool. A value of 1 ppm is sufficient to have hygienic water. Some people only feel comfortable with a value of 3 ppm. This increases the consumption unnecessarily and thus the costs.
Just as important as chlorine is the acidity level or pH value of your water. It should be between 7 and 7.5. Is your pool turning green? Then first adjust your pH value and then, if necessary, use chlorine.
Cheap - expensive buy?
When buying your maintenance products, pay attention to their concentration. Each spring, supermarkets offer chlorine tablets at a very low price. These tablets are usually much less concentrated, so that you end up paying more in the end.
About 60% of the residenst in Spain who have a swimming pool installed nowadays choose salt electrolysis instead of chlorine. Salt electrolysis has many advantages. Salt is a natural product that is much cheaper than chlorine. It is effective against algae formation, does not cause allergic reactions and does not dry out the skin. Switching from chlorine to salt electrolysis is possible, but requires the installation of an extra device. Once that investment has been made, you will be better off.
Flocculant in your skimmer basket causes very fine dirt to clump together so that it is retained by the filter. A useful product provided you do not overdo it. Too much flocculant affects the quality of the sand in your filter.
The lime value of water can vary greatly from region to region. Your pump and filter will notice a lot of lime. Keep an eye on the alkalinity via test strips and intervene when necessary.
The way to reduce the costs of your pool is regular maintenance and a conscious use of chemicals. A golden rule: 15 minutes every week - even in bad weather - works wonders. Not sure if you're doing the right thing? Then get advice from a specialist.