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Back You are here: Home Lifestyle Home and Garden Swimming Pools Project: Part Five

Swimming Pools Project: Part Five

What better way to cool off in the grounds of your Bulgarian property than to jump into your own pool! A pool or hot tub is the perfect accessory to a summer garden but can prove to be hard work to maintain. Without proper treatment, the pool can become dirty, unhygienic and the filter system could become clogged and faulty - so it's essential that you either maintain the pool yourself or enlist help from a special pool maintenance company.

 

Richard Slater, from Pride BG, an experienced property management company offering pool maintenance explains the benefits of having the task done for you. "If you have, or are planning a pool for your property, then you should be aware that it needs regular cleaning to keep the water sparkling and safe".

 

Richard goes on to add, “Therefore, during the summer – the prime pool time - we recommend that you employ professional staff to regularly maintain your pool, especially if you do not live nearby. Pool servicing staff will remove surface debris and empty the skimmers, vacuum and clean the pool and surrounding areas, flush the water filters, adjust the chemical balance and test to ensure a safe water quality. Experienced maintenance personnel visiting regularly can also look out for problems such as leaks, sand in the pool which indicates cracks in the filter or underground pipes, pressure drops indicating pump problems, air bubbles mixing with the water indicating leaks in the suction lines, falling water levels, cracks or subsidence around the patio.”

 

Swimming pools not only need to be maintained throughout their use, but at the beginning and end of each summer ‘season’, you must ensure you prepare your pool accordingly.

“At the beginning of the season the pool needs to be brought into operation with a thorough clean and service, and again at the end of the season the pool is shut down and prepared for winter.”

Richard advises, “Ideally a winter cover should be fitted to keep the water inside as clean as possible and to prevent animals, or worse, children falling into the pool. If the water is kept clean over the winter and the cover removed in the correct way, the water will not need to be changed before switching on the pool, which saves huge amounts of both time and money.”

Throughout the summer, any leaves or other debris should be fished out of the water regularly, daily is best, and the baskets located in the skimmers need to be emptied as these sieve out larger matter before it can reach the filters. A summer cover should be available to maintain heat in the pool and also to protect the pool against any thunderstorm debris. The water pH and alkalinity levels need to be checked on at least a weekly basis and different chemicals added to maintain the balance. If this is not done correctly, either the chemical levels can become too strong, irritating the eyes and skin, or too weak allowing algae to grow or the water to cloud - even go completely green at worst. The running times of the pump may need to be adjusted to compensate for imbalances in the chemical levels.

“Winter preparation requires the addition of special chemicals, as well as the unfastening of all plumbing connections in the pump room, emptying of water from these and the filters, and draining of the pump, which should be stored indoors. For most types of pools, to avoid the risk of ice forming and cracking the tiles or concrete, weighted plastic bottles or balls should be floated and secured in position around the perimeter of the pool. If thick ice forms the bottles will be crushed before the ice causes any damage to the pool itself. These are specialist jobs and are necessary to prevent damage to the structure and equipment from the freeze during the colder months.” Pride BG say that costs of employing professionals to maintain your pool depend upon the location and size of the pool, but average costs amount to around 120-150 euros per month during the summer.

Doing it yourself is the more adventurous option, and sometimes cheaper, but there is a lot to learn and the constant maintenance is time consuming to ensure safe water conditions, making it unsuitable for those who are in the country sporadically.

However, if it is a task you’re willing to undertake, make sure you stock up with the right things. Aquatec are a Varna based pool specialist who have branches all across Bulgaria and also arrange postal delivery. On their web site, www.aquatec-bg.com you will find numerous products to maintain your pool, including those all important chemicals, as well as a guide on how to use them in English.

 

One essential product is chlorine, which is added to attain the correct levels. The all-purpose kit, AQUA7, is ideal for maintenance of swimming pools up to 50 cubic metres, and will ensure the continuance of water quality for two months. The chemicals are emptied into the skimmer and provides shock chlorination if the water becomes contaminated, as well as general maintenance chlorination, antilogous, flocculation, prevention of lime scaling, stabilization of free chlorine, and general automatic dosing of chemicals. Another useful product is the Aqua-30 detergent which descales and thoroughly cleans the pool; important with the high lime content of Bulgarian water.

Also, invest in a simple net to remove debris daily, plus a hoover, available from most pool stores, to remove silt from the bottom.

 

 

Whichever option you choose, it’s important to remember that if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, a little time and money for its maintenance is a small price to pay for the privilege and the extra rental return it will provide. So now you’re in the know, all that’s left to do is enjoy the sun and take the plunge in a crystal clear pool!

 

 

Part One - Where to position your Pool
Part Two - Type of Pools
Part Three - Finishes and Tips for finding Suppliers
Part Four - Extras and Covers
Part Six - Cheap Pool Solutions