How to choose the right pool equipment
Do not choose your pool equipment lightly, as the smooth running of the facility, and by the same token, your comfort, depend upon it. Always avoid bottom-of-the-range products, as small savings may, in the long run, turn out to be a very bad choice. Some equipment, such as the hydraulic circuit, i.e. all the valves and hoses, or the pump and filter, is absolutely mandatory, whereas other equipment, such as the heat pump, is optional. The equipment is listed below in order of importance.
Mandatory swimming pool equipment
White goods for swimming pools
The white goods, i.e. nozzles, main drain, and skimmers, are an integral part of the pool and cannot be disassembled. It is particularly important to choose only top quality products, as once they are installed, expensive major works will be needed to replace them.
Swimming pool hydraulic circuit
The hydraulic circuit, hoses and valves, will have to be correctly dimensioned and configured from the outset: once the construction is completed, it will be difficult to modify it.
Carefully study the estimates and ask for an explanation of the configurations proposed, especially when there is a big difference in price.
Our swimming pool advice: it is not always financially possible to fit out your pool as you would wish, at least initially. Think ahead: as soon as you start building your pool, plan a configuration that will allow you to add additional equipment. For example: install a bypass that will enable you to connect a heat pump and design the electrical system accordingly, with a pool electrical box of sufficient capacity. At the construction stage, the cost of adding this equipment will be negligible. It will be quite a different matter once the facility is in place.
Swimming pool pump/filter pair
The pump/filter pair is really the heart of your pool, as it causes the water to circulate and be filtered. Whether you choose a single-speed or variable-speed pump, a sand, cartridge, high capacity or diatomaceous earth filter, the filter and the pump must be perfectly compatible. To determine their respective capacities, you must take the volume of water in the pool into account. You will also have to determine the size of the pipes accordingly. Your pool installer will perform this calculation at the very beginning to enable you to choose the correct size equipment for your facility.
Swimming pool light(s)
An in-ground swimming pool does not really have to have a lighting system, but for safety reasons, it is very strongly recommended for night swimming. We should mention that an above-ground pool lighting system is just as strongly recommended. It is also very pleasing on the eye, especially with the multi-colour options of LED technology that are now available: what could be more enchanting than the lights of a swimming pool at night casting their changing reflections across the garden?
Optional swimming pool equipment
Pool heating systems
Bathing in pleasantly warm water is a pleasure one never tires of. Heating your pool also optimises the periods during which it can be used. Boiler, heat exchanger, electric pool heater - or just pool heater - or heat pump*, all water heating systems are not equal in terms of energy efficiency. Study the most appropriate solution for your pool and plan its installation in advance, even if you postpone it until later.
Our swimming pool advice: heat pumps currently provide the best energy efficiency on the market, as well as ease of installation and use.
Solar pool heating or pool solar heating is a very economical alternative solution to use, but it represents a relatively heavy initial investment and presupposes that sufficient sunlight will be available. You will have to calculate the cost effectiveness before committing yourself to purchasing a solar panel, solar water heater or other solar pool heater for your swimming pool.
Swimming pool water treatment systems
To enjoy a clean, hygienic pool, it is absolutely essential to treat the water.
This is done on two levels: - The purpose of water chemical treatment is to eliminate bacteria and viruses and protect the health of bathers. There are various solutions: an electrolyser, a chlorinator and injecting products (such as liquid chlorine or active oxygen).
- Maintaining the water balance is a parameter to be monitored on a regular basis. The total alkalinity, the total hardness and the potential hydrogen (pH) must be maintained at certain levels to ensure the effectiveness of treatment products (chlorine) and avoid the problems of corrosion, scaling, green water or biofilm formation. A pH regulator will automatically maintain the pH (degree of acidity of water) at an optimum level (generally between 7 and 7.2).
Note that water treatment requires different pool products at different "times of a pool's life": when the pool is commissioned and put into use, during the bathing season, during pool winterizing (this is also the case with winterizing an above-ground pool) when a special pool winterizing product is used. Cheap pool products and multi-action products such as three-in-one chlorine for swimming pools should be avoided.
Our pool advice for avoiding problems, in particular a green pool (which would require an anti-algae treatment or emptying the pool): because monitoring the water is a requirement that is sometimes difficult to fulfil, we recommend that you opt for an automated control system, even if the initial investment is more expensive. This is because such a system continuously controls the pool water analysis and the distribution of treatment products (pool bromine, chlorine and active oxygen). Salt chlorinator systems are currently a good solution, both in terms of effectiveness, as they ensure impeccable water quality, and in terms of the user's peace of mind. They put an end to green water and pool product problems: everything is controlled twenty-four hours a day.
There are different types of robots that make pool maintenance a less burdensome duty, as manual cleaning with a pool brush very quickly becomes tedious. The technologies available on the market are as follows: you can choose from suction cleaners, pressure cleaners and robotic cleaners depending on your budget, the shape and size of your pool and its lining.
Swimming pool cover systems
Covering the pool allows you to protect the water and the filtration system against impurities, leaves, insects, dust particles and other debris, as well as maintain the water temperature, particularly at night, and reduce evaporation. A cover can also act as a safety device. It is therefore not a gadget, but a useful piece of equipment.
Simple cover with bars, pool shutter cover with on-deck winder or integrated electric roller shutter cover, or even a highly sophisticated movable pool floor... various solutions are available at very different prices.
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