Although I do not always trust the weatherman, this time the matter is quite clear – a heat wave is coming. And when it comes, we only think about one thing – plunge up to the neck in cold water. City pools will, of course, burst at the seams then, so the only solution (apart from the bathtub) is a pool in the garden, plot or other piece of land. I have been working on such pools for the past five years, so I decided to share my experience a bit, because the matter is supposed to be simple but not entirely.
A word of introduction
But before you get into spending your entire summer in the pool, put a bucket of cold water (sic!) On your head. Setting up the pool for the whole year in our conditions is rather a mistake. Sometimes I would put the pool up in May and keep it until September praying for better weather. I ended up having a nice hobby – I cleaned it every day in different ways, I took care of the water, and only bathed a few times 🙂 Unfortunately, summers can be different, and in our climate you can’t count on weeks of sunny weather. Therefore, it is best to use inexpensive solutions and make sure that it will not be entertainment for many months. Unless you love cold water even at 20 degrees outside, or you bring warm water (more on that later)
For this reason, I gave up on a fixed pool – it is really a big cost. A permanent pan costs 10-15 thousand and more, much more. So I will focus on various types of folding pools. It is usually below PLN 1,000, and PLN 1,000-2,000 for really large swimming pools.
The market is dominated by two companies and to be honest I don’t think I have any preferences for any of them. It’s Bestway and Intex . You certainly know them, I have the impression that 99% of swimming pools lying at the entrance to supermarkets in summer are made by them. I had the pools of both of them and I don’t think I can name a winner. Just find a suitable pool model at a good price and that’s it.
What type of pool?
There are 4 basic types of extendable pools – inflatable, expansion, rack and inflatable jacuzzi.
Inflatable pools are the cheapest and the smallest of the variants. They can be quite large, but they are always very shallow and are for kids – for adults, the water may reach the navel. Seated, of course 🙂
Their undoubted advantage is the low price – they usually cost no more than PLN 100. They have no filling water or filter pump connections. The water in them heats up quickly and there is no problem with pouring it out, because there is not much of it. We started from such a small pool. If it is going to be a quick cooling down, maybe it is worth starting with it.
However, it is worth remembering that the water kept in such a pool after a week will start to turn green and the bottom will become slippery, as long as we do not use any chemicals. This is a rather temporary solution.
Expansion pools are the pools that I tested the most often. Only their collar is blown up, the rest just slightly tapers upwards, so as they fill with water, they themselves spread the ground.
Pools come in different diameters and depths, but are usually slightly cheaper than their rack-mount counterparts. They are faster to break down, but are usually shallower. From experience – they are also shallower than what the manufacturer says, – it is difficult to fill them to the maximum level. They are easy to get in and easy to exit – without any ladder. The collar, on the other hand, can be easily pierced by a dog’s claws, so if he wants to lean against the base it may be better to choose a rack pool.
And here is one more issue – expansion pools are much harder to cover. their collar is springy, so even with two people it is usually like covering with a short duvet: /
The rack pool , as the name suggests, is held on a special rack. It is usually a bit more expensive and higher. A ladder is included with the larger models.
Such a pool is set up a little longer than the expansion one.
A mini garden jacuzzi is a relatively new invention – an inflatable pool with a pump simultaneously heating the water and “bubbling” it, just like in a normal jacuzzi.
It is worth remembering that the pump is quite loud and the water heats up quite slowly. Such pools are also quite expensive – from 2,000 to 4,000 PLN.
The first thought is, of course, to buy the largest pool possible – one that allows us to budget. Here, however, it is worth keeping in mind a few limitations.
First , realistically assess the size of the area and add at least a meter to the space around the pool. Secondly, remember that a large pool takes a long time to fill (a 4.5 meter pool can take 3 hours or more, unless you have a hydrant.) Also think about who will be using it and how. In the pictures, the cheerful family is splashing in the water, but think about whether you want to sit in it and where the water will reach you then . And how big are your kids . And will you really invite guests to a garden party, it never happened with us 🙂 We currently have a 4.5 m swimming pool and I think it is a bit too big.
Where to put the pool?
Probably everyone knows that the substrate must be clean and simple. But this is very important – you will have TONNES of water in the pool and the seriously slight slope will cause it to skew a lot. The terrain must be plain and that’s it.
Most often it will be a lawn. Remember one thing – if the pool is standing for a long time, unfortunately the grass underneath will rot . It also depends on whether you put a special mat under the pool . This is done to avoid cleaning it later, but I managed to hold the pool for two months without damaging the grass – the sun was shining through the clear bottom. After the mat, unfortunately, the grass grew back for the next six months 🙁 So if you don’t have grass or you don’t care much about it – buy a mat. There will be less cleaning.
See also how the sun wanders – the pool must be in the sun, otherwise the water will never heat up in it.
The last issue is the arrangement of the holes in relation to the hose or the water outlet. Be warned, you will NOT move the pool later. Two people. Three, four, or ten. You will move a small puffed one, but there are several tons of water in the strut . Seriously, you can’t 🙂
Cleanliness in the pool
In addition to maintaining the quality of the water (more on that in a moment), it is important to keep it clean. Usually, grass or soil carried by feet, leaves and other dust from trees will get into the pool. And unfortunately cleaning it is a Sisyphean job 🙁
Don’t count on the pump to help. The one attached to the pool will not help at all, and even a powerful pump will usually not be able to handle it.
When it comes to dirt carried from the ground, it is worth buying a special foot pan that will hold the dirt from the lawn.
When it comes to trees – ideally when the pool is far away from them, I especially hate birch trees that sprinkle particles all summer long, which settle on the surface of the water and also fall to the bottom – hardcore. It is good to cover the pool, but as I wrote before, it is sometimes difficult. The expansion pool is damn hard to cover, even for two people – it is very springy.
But the dirt will get in anyway, so you have to get rid of it somehow. And that’s probably the main fun when it comes to the pool. The basis will be a net on a stick , which is painstakingly picks up dirt from the pool.
When it comes to different types of pool cleaners, my experiences are not very positive and I have tried different ones. It’s worth just running a brush (ordinary on a stick) along the bottom of the pool so that the dirt from the bottom rises, and then just fish it out with a net.