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Swimming Pools Project: Part Four

In this, the fourth of our series on swimming pools, some great extras which will add both to the enjoyment and value of your pool and your Bulgarian property. Brilliant effects can be achieved by the careful choice of lighting in and around the pool. Underwater lights in attractive patterns can be placed in the walls and/or floor of the pool and along the steps.


A pool can look stunning when lit up at night. Always use underwater lights that are designed specially for the purpose, and get a competent qualified person to do the installation.


You don’t want to be teetering on the brink of hypothermia every time you and your family fancy a dip, especially if you want as long a season as possible from your new pool.

Mineral Water

This is a natural (and sometimes free) option ... the water in your area may be so warm that you will actually need to add some cold water to cool it down a bit.

Be careful if you use mineral water for your pool as there can be problems
- The combination of heat from the water and high mineral content mean it is not advisable to spend more than twenty minutes at any one time in a pool solely filled with mineral water.

- High mineral content can mean a lot more effort in terms of cleaning and maintenance of the pool; the water may even need to be completely changed every few weeks.

Heat pumps and heat exchangers

The electricity used to operate these is itself not used to heat the water. Instead they draw heat from the outside atmosphere, further warming it by compression and then transferring the heat to the pool water. Depending on how often you use them and how efficient the choice of equipment, they can be relatively cost-effective. You can save money and energy whilst maintaining a comfortable water temperature by using a smaller pump, with a higher efficiency and operating it less often.

Gas heaters

These are good for heating a pool quickly, or for pools that aren’t used very often.

Solar heaters/panels

These are an eco-friendly option and are the most cost effective in the long term.

Initial purchase costs and installation are usually more expensive but the saving in fuel costs will pay back in a few years. Some solar panels can continue to warm the pool even in cold weather. Remember to check if there are any local regulations regarding the size and placement of solar panels.


The first time you heat the pool, you are likely to use a lot of electricity or gas but you can keep running costs down by installing a good quality pool cover to trap the heat in the water.

There are different types of pool covers on the market - solar/bubble covers which are made from similar material to ‘bubble wrap’; vinyl covers which are thicker than solar covers and tend to last longer; and insulated vinyl covers which have a layer of flexible insulation between two layers of vinyl.

As the water is heated by the sun to some extent a solar cover would be a good option for summer when the sun is strongest.

Whilst there are "all year round" covers available it is better to have both a winter and a summer cover.

You can also choose a manually operated or automatic cover. Manual covers are removed by using a roller at the end of the pool and winding the cover onto it. Automatic covers operated by electricity save the work but are more expensive.

Pool covers also help to prevent debris, such as leaves, from getting into the pool and will therefore assist you in keeping your cleaning time down.

Note : Be aware that pool covers, although acting as a deterrent to children, are not a safety feature.

EU law states that pools should be fenced to prevent accidents. This has not been applied in Bulgaria as yet but will inevitably be enforced at some time, so it is worth planning that in when initially installing your pool.

Apart from this, it is essential that all pools are safe for children.