Friday, October 19
DIY

Feedback: Top tips for pools during drought

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Pool problems and water solutions during the drought.

For those asking for names of suppliers and installers for water
storage tanks, Eddie has kindly sent this:
I have four JoJo 750l tanks installed complete with pump level
gauge and self-levelling piping. The job was carried out about six
months ago by Swart Pump Services. They can’t be accused of being
cheap but do an excellent job, with best materials. done right first
time. Contact werner.swartt@gmail.com
I am in the Monte Vista area and if anyone wants to view my system
they are welcome to call me on 0822587042. 

Many of you have been asking about mothballing swimming
pools. This is not really feasible, and I wonder how many new pools
will be built or if any of you will get rid of your pool.
Robert, a regular reader of this column involved in the pool
industry for years, comments:

I wrote some months ago offering my services if anybody required
an independent assessment of a more serious pool problem.
Two weekends ago you tried to address mothballing a pool over
summer.
This is not as easy as it sounds. From my 25-year experience
let me run through the options.
I recommend keeping the pool functional to a bare minimum.
As the City of Cape Town requires, get a decent cover. 
For mothballing,
a heavy-duty vinyl cover will work best. There is minimal
evaporation, fewer chemicals and pump running time is drastically
reduced. Replace the sand filter with a cartridge filter, which means
no backwashing. Try to find an alternative water supply to keep
things going. Not maintaining pool water can lead to health issues
and mosquitoes. 
The next option is to switch off the pump and drain pool. If you
stop the circulation and let the pool go green or worse you will
eventually have to spend to renovate pool.
In the case of marble, plaster or similar finish you will have to
have the pool replastered or fibreglassed. 
Draining all the water is
an option but it is essential to make a hole in the bottom of the pool
to ensure it does not “pop” as the water table rises in winter, or
hydrostatic pressure builds up in soil around the pool. 
Leaving a pool pump not circulating for an extended period will
almost always lead to failure of the pump.
You should not drain a fibreglass pool. Rather keep it going to
minimal standards. Irrespective of size, no fibreglass pool should
be emptied without professionals involved. 
It is virtually inevitable
there will be deformation of the pool shell when it is drained. If a
fibreglass pool is left empty for a long time it will probably cave in.
The most radical option is to remove the pool and fill the hole.
First have all electrical connections made safe and disconnect piping.
Then the pump, filter and surrounding paving are removed. 
After this the pool can be deconstructed. For a concrete pool,
gunite, plaster or fibreglass-lined pool, remove the top parts of the
pool and punch several decent holes in the bottom to allow water
to ebb and flow.
Lastly, fill up the hole with reasonable soil and landscape. 
Fibreglass pools ought to be cut up and removed from site. Vinyl
and steel pools can be demolished, and their components removed.
Do not use builder’s rubble to fill the hole as it will not settle
properly.
If there are further questions, please ask.
Robert.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: facebook.com/thehandymac
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