So you have bought an above ground pool for the garden, you have errected it and filled it with water – what now?
Well, first of all jump in and enjoy it! But you will need chemicals to keep the water clean and maybe you will want to warm the water up as well. This article will tell you what you should get.
Firstly when we say above ground pool for the garden we mean this sort of thing.
A pool with its own filter pump and paper filter cartridges. Although the pools above are the bigger type the advice here applies just as well to a pools down to 8ft round.
Keeping it clean
You are going to need to put chemicals in the water to keep it clean. The easiest way to treat the pool with chemicals is just to drop a floating dispenser in the water. The Ficlor 5 Bouy is ideal. Turn the lid until the holes line up for your size of pool, drop it in the water and that is it. Take it out when you swim, put it back in when you have finished. Inside the 5 bouy are two types of chlorine and a clarifier to kill bacteria and algae and help the filter keep the water clear and clean.
The 5 bouy is ideal for the smallest pools up to about an 18ft round pool. From about a 15ft pool up to the biggest garden pools available you might want to put multifunctional granules in the pool. The granules come in 5kg tub and one tub should last a whole season. The granules contain chlorine to kill bacteria, an algicide and a clarifier to keep the water clear and clean. You will have to test the water to find out how much chlorine is in there and for that you need some 3 way test strips. They also test for pH (acidity) and alkalinity. For a small pool you don’t need to worry too much about the other two. Putting chlorine in a pool is a bit like putting petrol in a car, when the fuel gauge is low you put more in. Test your pool every day and when the reading is low put more chlorine in.
Keeping it warm
Left alone the water in your pool will warm up and cool down each day with the warmth of the day and the cool of night and as the weather generally gets warmer so will the pool. If you want warmer water than nature gives you then the first thing to buy is a solar cover. This is made with bubbles to make it float on the surface, it insulates the water and has a greenhouse effect of letting the sun’s ray penetrate to warm the water but retaining the heat at the same time. A good solar cover will keep the water about 3 to 5c higher than it would have been without one but the water temperature will still rise and fall with day and night and warm and cool weather.
If you want your water to always be warm no matter what the weather then you will have to have a heater as well as a solar cover. For pools up to 12ft this is quite easy. You can buy the Intex 3kw heater or the better quality Elecro 3kw heater. 3kw is as much as you can run from a plug socket in the wall so the 3kw heater is a popular size. If your pool is bigger than 12ft then you should buy the 6 or 9kw heater. These have to wired in by an electrician. Above 9kw you will struggle to have enough electric capacity in your house for a bigger heater. Once you get in to the realms of the 12ft x 24ft you should be thinking about a heat pump. These things consume less than 3kw and so can be plugged in to the wall but they generate up to 12kw of heat. Although they are much more expensive than an Elecro heater they will pay back in electricity savings in two years or less.
See the next article for how to connect a heater to the flexible pipe of your pool (if there is no article below this then the link to it is above the title of this article).