How to Set Up a Self Supporting Pool

by Pool Builders on 08-03-2008 in Articles

There are pools for sale now that are made entirely of vinyl and plastic, with no wires or supports, that you simply fill with water and they support themselves. They are mostly round and come in various sizes, from 3 to 5.5 metres in diameter, and the depth ranges from 700 to 1200 millimetres, or 3 to 4 feet. The larger pool is an ample depth to enable an adult to dive in without hurting himself. Just the ticket to cool off in after a day at work, and the kids love it.

The pools come with a pump and filter, which although rudimentary, does the job. They are safe, because they are above ground, so a small child can't get into the pool without help from an adult.

Setting up these pools is fairly simple, but does require a bit of planning and work to get an optimum result. This is what you need to do:

1. The pool needs electrical power for the pump. The power point must be protected from water, and be on an earth leakage system for safety. Make sure you put the pool in a place where this type of power outlet is available, or where one can be installed easily.

2. The pool must be placed on level ground, otherwise the pool leans over, and the depth of water is compromised. Also, because the bottom of the pool is also plastic, there must be no sharp objects or stones underneath it. The best thing to do is get a load of river sand or beach sand, and make a round, level platform for the pool to stand on. This way you'll know the pool is level and free of anything that could puncture the bottom.

3. Cover the sand you have put down with plastic sheeting, the thick stuff you use for waterproofing in ceilings and dampcourses. This prevents splashing from the pool eroding the river sand away, and the same applies when you want to empty the pool at any stage.

4. If possible, put paving stones all around the edge of the pool; this keeps the plastic sheeting in place, and gives you something to walk on when getting in and out of the pool, which reduces the amount of grass and dirt that get carried into the pool on peoples feet. Make sure the paving stones are about 25cm out from the pool's circumference, as the pool bulges out, and if it rubs on the paving stones (with the water movement) it could chafe a hole into the plastic wall of the pool.

5. Lay the pool out on top of the plastic sheeting. Get into the pool and kick out the edges to create a smooth bottom. Once the pool is properly positioned on its base, put about an inch (25mm) of water into it, and then with your feet, smooth out any wrinkles on the bottom, and make sure that the seams of the pool are positioned correctly at the extreme edges of the pool.

6. Connect up all the pipes to the pump/filter, and make sure all the openings and drain plugs are closed.

7. Fill the pool with water. Do not go above the manufacturers recommended depth level, or else the pool will suddenly collapse on one side. (We tried it!) Filling the pool could take up to 3 to 6 hours, depending on your water pressure.

8. Once full, check that the pool depth is the same all over it's area. If it's not, and it looks a bit wobbly, you can always let all the water out and start again. Or swim in it for a week or two at a reduced depth and then let the water out and start again!

9. Put chemicals in the pool, such as chlorine, to keep it nice and sparkly, and maintain it as per the instructions that come with the pool.

10. Go swimming.!!

We have this pool in a climate with a cold winter, so we empty the pool and pack it away for about 5 months of the year. This saves on pool chemicals and cleaning problems.

These pools are really a lot of fun, and a lot less hassle than a normal concrete ground pool. You can't really swim lengths in them, but they are great for cooling off and for family fun.

Duncan Kelly

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