Guide written by:
Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield
Filling a swimming pool, either in-ground or above ground, is synonymous with water balance, whether it be pH (Power of Hydrogen), TAC (Total Alkalinity Content, dGH (Degree of General Hardness) or filtration, among a host of other elements. A swiming pool's fill time is directly related to its volume, expressed in m³, and the water's flow rate, measured in m³/hr.
- Water balance
- Volume of water and fil time
- Water temperature
- Water maintenance
Pool: first filling
Your dream pool'sinstallation is complete. It is now time to take full advantage of your investment. Everyone eagerly adorns their bathing suits, to be the first to take a dive and indulge in the incomparable joys of a private pool.
To keep the water in pristene condition and of good quality, there is an essential procedure that should be respected before any swimming can go ahead: filling it for the first time and balancing the water. To make sure it goes off without a hitch, there are a few rules to follow. Let's see what they consist of.
If you have chosen to install a product such as a liner, fill the pool immediately after its application. This will facilitate the installation as the water's weight will put pressure on the liner and fix it in place. In the case of convential paint or tiles, the installer will (or should) provide the exact amount of time it needs to dry before filling can commence.
Good pool water balance: 3 major units of sanitary
pH, or Power of Hydrogen, is a unit that is measured on a scale from 1 to 14 and indicates the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water, determining whether your water is acidic or basic. A 7 rating is neutral, and also the rating to strive for. Anything above this level is referred to basic or alkaline, while anything below a 7 is acidic. It must therefore be checked frequently, on a minimum of a weekly basis, to maintain the water's neutral pH as thoroughly as possible.
A pH meter is a measuring instrument that will be of great help to you. Any water that is used to fill a swimming pool must have an average pH that is somewhere in the proximity of neutral, which can then be further adjusted to somewhere between 7 and 7.4.
This will give your pool the following advantages:
- Bathing comfort;
- No irritation of the eyes or mucous membranes;
- Efficient results from disinfectants;
- Less risk of generation and proliferation of algae;
- Optimal efficiency in the clarifying agents used in the sand filter to fight against cloudy water;
- Maintaining a good water color.
The TAC, or Total Alkalinity Content is expressed in degrees and indicates the concentration of dissolved carbonates in the water. With a range between 0 ° and 25 °, TAC can be another practical way of finding out if your pool water is properly balanced. When the pH is simply struggling to find the right balance, it's most likely a TAC problem. In this case, the first step to is check the degree of TAC, beofre adding any other pH treament.
The dGH, or Degree of General Hardness determines your water's hardness. A water's hardness depends on its level of limescale. The dGH is also measured in degrees, but is then converted into milligrams per liter following the ratio: 1° is the equipvalent of 10 mg/liter. The range that you are aiming for is anywhere from 8° to 20°. Don't let these figures stress you out too much however, as most pool's dGH is actually fixed at a specific degree. If need be, many products are available to rectify the balance.
How to fill your pool?
Investing in a pool and its filtration station implies a big budget. However, the pool's quality and usabilty will ultimately be determined by the maintenance equipment that is procured. This includes the right tools, measuring instruments and the required elements for properly treating your pool's water. Here's a quick overview of the essentials:
- Water tester with pellets and color-scheme;
- Chlorine tester;
- Level regulator;
- Pool robot (cleaner);
- Filtration controller;
- Complete chlorine-free maintenance kit;
- Liquid pool cleaner;
- Limescale remover treatemnt;
- Sponge brush for the water line;
- Multifunctional, above-ground pool;
- Pool cover.
Filling the pool
To fill a pool, you can use tap water from a tap which has the most balanced water. To get the tap water to the swimming pool, one or more hoses will normally do the trick. The more incoming water inputs you have leading to your pool, the faster it will be filled. To give you an idea, a tap's average flow rate is about 12 l/min or 720 l/hr (0.72 m³). Calculate your pool's fill time by dividing its volume (length x width x height) by your network's average water flow, and again by the number of incoming water points. If you desire a more accurate estimate, calculate your network's flow by timing the time it takes to fill a bucket, or a set volume, and using that to calculate the specific ratio.
Example of fill time
For a rectangular swimming pool of 8 m in length, 3.50 m in width and 1.50 depth, or 42 m³ (8 x 3.5 x 1.5), and a constant flow of 0.72 m³/hr.
Number of water points
0.72 m³/ hr
0.72 m³/ hr
0.72 m³/ hr
Well-driven water can also be used for filling your swimming pool, although it is high recommended that it be analyzed beforehand, otherwise you might run into greenish water that can be difficult to neutralize. Using this method will require a surface pump or submersible pump for pumping the water. If the price tag is of concern, a regular monitoring of the water's color and quality will go far to reduce the need for any unplanned replacements in the future, commonly due to poor maintenance.
Regardless of the flow rate, it can takes hours or even days to refill, so waterevaporation will result in the need for a little bit extra, to fill it all the way up to the water line.Cover the swimming pool as soon as it is un-used. This is a good precaution against un-wanted evaporation and the formation of algae. The pool needs to be filled to about the middle of the pool, to where the skimmer nozzle is to be able to turn on the automatic filtration.
Filtration and purification of water: the key words for a healthy swim
Did you know, for example, that your average swimmer, although he washes regularly, still pollutes up to 6m3 of water? Worse yet, solar products, external pollutions such as pollen, leaves and insects in the air are most likely to significantly impact your swimming pool's water quality. Swimmer who engage in horseplay or increased water movement are also factors that can alter your swimming pool's temperature.
It is strongly recommended to stop any external pumping or manipulation when the swimming pool is not in use. Even with all the filtration equipment and cleaning in the backdrop (robot), the waterline, referring to the line marking the surface of the water, is an element that needs to be maintained regularly (weekly). This can be accomplished with a sponge or bristle brush coated with a specifictreatment. This also requires a good amount of elblow grease! In the absence of regular maintenant, the water line turns a different color and directly contrasts your liner, tiling or painting's original shade.
Pool: ideal water temperature
When starting to fill your swimming pool, the water will inevitably be cold. To achieve the requiredrise in temperature, there are several options available, depending on your installation type.
Thanks to the greenhouse effect produced by the pool shelter, the pool water will quickly heat up as soon as the sun hits it. Pool shelters allow for extended use in the seasons preceding and after thesummer by further reducing the affect of external pollution. Their installation cost is however expensive.
Heating your pool will result in a rapid rise in temperature, however, it comes with an impact on the your electricity bill. Heat exchanger and pool heaters are overly energy consuming: comfort has its price!
A bubble cover is an effective way to heat your swimming pool's water and to reduce the water's evaporation rate. Easy to install, the bubble cover is an effective and economical solution to procure a few degrees and get you in the water quicker.
Be it an in-ground or an above ground swimming pool, consistentlyregularizing the water balance is of up most important and must be diligently adhered to. Whether you ultimately select a swimming pool with or without chlorine, the ideal means of filtration, treatment or cleaning for your particular configuration are widely available to purchase and put into action.
Don't wait for the issue to begin before ordering the corresponding treatment product. It's best to stock your essential pool maintenance kit in advance. Most importantly, be sure to place the products out of reach of children and always respect the recommended doses.
Pool maintenance kit
To get the most of of your pool with the right cleaning or maintenance products and accessories, follow the links below for more ideas for accessories, advice from our editors and more helpful guides:
- How to choose your swimming pool?
- How to choose your swimming pool maintenance products?
- How to choose your swimming pool cleaning products?
- How to choose your swimming pool cover?
- How to choose your swimming pool liner?
- How to choose your swimming pool filtration system?
- How to choose your swimming pool shelter?
- How to choose your swimming pool robot?
- How to choose your swimming pool pump?
- How to choose your surface pump?
- How to choose your submersible pump?
- How to choose your swimming pool's heat exchanger?
- How to choose your electric swimming pool heater?
And for more tips:
Guide written by:
Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield, 70 guides
I was trained as a pipe worker and a pipe-welder and after having traveled for 35 years working around the UK, I became the head a metal shop and then a designer and in the end the head engineer. I have designed and built a workshop where I make metal sculptures: I managed to find a piece of paradise where I can to let my imagination run wild. Auctions and garage sales are no secret to me. I find unusual objects and old tools there that I collect or transform into works of art. I also like decoration, painting on canvas, and gardening. I am developing new technologies concerning tools. To share my passion and humbly advise you in your choice of materials is a real pleasure.