Please browse through these frequently asked questions to find the answer to your question. Should you still need further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your query.
Can I look after the pool myself?
It very much depends on your level of knowledge, expertise and commitment to do the weekly checks and rectify problems. Ask yourself if you have sufficient knowledge to do the work required to ensure that the pool water, the pool structure, and the plantroom are operating safely. Our advice is to have professional servicing, just as you would for your car. This will ensure that your pool or spa operates at the optimal level and is completely safe. 'Little and often' professional care really will ensure your pool lasts a lifetime. Without expert attention, you could find yourself with expensive repairs because a minor problem was not detected early.
Why should I get a professional to service my pool?
Think about it like your car – you keep it nice and clean and top up the oil, but to ensure high performance and a long-life, you take it for a professional service and MOT. Swimming pools (and spas) require the same attention to detail to ensure that the plantroom equipment functions efficiently and the water is clean and safe for swimming every day. A major benefit of professional servicing is that our pool engineer will build specific knowledge of your pool, so will spot any issues early, such as wear and tear on tiles, and deal with these before they become problems. By preventing small issues escalating into major repair jobs you will avoid closing your pool and costly repairs.
How often should I service my pool/spa?
Servicing plans are tailored for each pool and spa because they are all different in size, location, frequency of use and bather loads. Most clients choose weekly servicing to ensure that their pools are in peak condition and always ready to be used. You may find this infographic on pool servicing helpful.
What is involved in the servicing survey?
We offer a free pool/spa servicing site visit. One of our fully trained pool engineers will visit your home/commercial installation to assess the pool/spa and determine the service and maintenance needs. Our engineer will advise how frequently your pool/spa should be serviced. The engineer will then provide a quote to look after your pool for as long as you require our services. Should you hire LSPC, we aim to provide the same service engineer to look after your pool/spa regularly.
What work takes place during a regular pool service visit?
Service plans are tailored for every client - this list gives you an idea of the sort of work that is undertaken during a service visit:
- Check balance tank operation
- Check pump baskets for debris/remove
- Monitor water chemistry/adjust
- Check performance of filters and pumps
- Backwash filters
- Check air and water temperatures
- Check output/run with ultraviolet units
- Check underwater lights operation
- Visual inspection of moving floor operation/vacuum (if the pool has one)
What should I do if my pool water turns green in between a service visit?
You simply call us and we will send an engineer to your property within the day to test the water and rectify the problem. If you are familiar with pool water issues, you will know that the likely cause is algae growth. The key thing is to get the water’s pH balance corrected, then clear the pool of debris, backwash the filter and shock the pool with chlorine. One of our pool engineers will do all this for you quickly and efficiently.
What do I do if I want to improve my pool?
There have been significant advances in technology and new pools are built with the latest equipment that delivers high performance while consuming less energy. Older existing pools can also benefit from new technology by upgrading their current plantroom equipment. The top items that can be used to bring a pool up to modern, energy-efficient standards are:
- The new generation of smaller heat pumps are very efficient as they harvest energy from the air and use it to warm the pool, so less electricity is needed to keep the pool at the same temperature. Also, variable speed pumps allow you to set the pump to run at a lower speed when the pool is not being used.
- Air handling systems, part of the pool hall environmental control system, now come with variable speed fans. A variable speed fan runs at different speeds, controlling the flow of air throughout the pool hall. By automatically adjusting the air flow, they reduce energy consumption.
- Modern Ultraviolet (UV) and Ozone pool disinfectant systems consume less energy, as do low energy LED interior pool lighting.
If there is a structural problem with the pool, eg a leak, you can upgrade the internal pool finish, creating a robust new finish and give the pool a stylish new look. There are a variety of finishes from which to choose - tiles, vinyl, and stainless steel.
What types of disinfectants are there for pools?
We will give you advice and help you decide on the best water treatment system to keep your pool water clean and safe from bacteria, viruses and algae. In doing so, we take into account the type of pool, its location (eg indoor/outdoor), the number of swimmers and whether any members of the family have allergic reactions to particular compounds.
Chemical treatments are complex and require careful application and use at the right dose/concentration. We will be happy to take you through the different options in person (call 020 8605 1255); for now, we list the different types of disinfectant:
- Chlorine which kills bacteria by undergoing a simple chemical reaction. For more information on chlorine read SPATA’s fact sheet on water treatment.
- Bromine is similar to chlorine with regards to pool sanitisation. However, unlike chlorine, bromine’s by product – bromamine – which is created when the bromine reacts with contaminants, retains the sanitising characteristics of bromine. Bromine is especially good for warmer environments such as indoor pools and covered spas.
- Salt Chlorinators use an automatic chemical process that converts salt to chlorine. These systems super chlorinate the pool, combating the build up unwanted by-products.
- Ultraviolet light (UV) and Ozone Systems – Traditionally, the purification of pool water has been done with chlorine, however, new techniques such as ultraviolet and active oxygen treatments are being used alongside chlorine sanitisation. UV disinfection is a chemical-free process which neutralises bacteria and viruses, oxidises organic matter in the water and reduces chloramines (by-product of chlorine). Ozone oxidises ammonia that produces chloramines. Using ozone gas in water kills bacteria and viruses leaving the water clean and odourless. Visit the Triogen website for detailed information on UV and Ozone systems.
- Activated Oxygen: There are a number of chlorine free disinfectants on the market. They are based on a combination of oxygen and algaecide which disinfects the water and prevents the growth of algae.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: This is a powerful oxidiser which is used in conjunction with a disinfectant and eliminates contaminants on contact, keeping the pool water clean.
To discuss the best system for your new or existing pool please call our servicing team on 020 8605 1255 Option 1 or email us.
How can I save energy?
You can make long-term savings on energy consumption by choosing state-of-the-art equipment for your new pool, or when upgrading an existing plant. There are energy saving options for large components such as climate control systems and heat pumps and for smaller items such as energy efficient pool lights. For example, a standard pump has a fixed speed which works within set parameters. A variable speed pump allows you to adjust the speed to your exact needs so that you use less energy when the pool is not in use. If reducing energy consumption is a top priority for you, you should expect to pay a little more the eco products because of their advanced electronics.
When does a pool become unsafe?
There are three areas to be aware of: the water chemistry, the pool structure and the plantroom. Regular attention must be given to maintaining healthy pool water, which means a number of regular checks including testing the pH level – and then rectifying any problems. For more information on caring for pool water, read our blog Make Sure your Swimming pool Maintenance Goes Swimming. Call us if your pool water looks, tastes or smells unusual in any way call.
Second, check that the pool structure is not suffering from general wear and tear, for instance, loose tiles could result in scrapes and grazes so be sure to get minor repairs fixed quickly to avoid this. Likewise, if you think there is something wrong with the performance of the filtration system or the electrical equipment in the plantroom, get an inspection booked in immediately.
Are there downsides to health, as swimming is supposed to be good for you?
Swimming is a fantastic way to exercise, relax or have fun. It’s invigorating and provides health benefits including reducing blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health and blood circulation and, when you’re tired, it helps to soothe and relax you.
To ensure that your pool is always a source of pleasure and contributes to a healthy exercise programme, every aspect of water safety must be adhered to. That means ensuring that the water filtration and sanitisation systems are working properly and the water is free from contaminants.
Personal hygiene and the actions of swimmers are also important. If someone has a tummy bug or any other easily transferrable ailment, it's best they do not share the pool until they are well. Bathers should always take a quick shower before swimming to avoid bringing products (such as body lotions) that contaminate the water into the pool and after heavy use of the pool (such as a pool party), shock the pool with chlorine.
When is the best time to open the swimming pool?
Our clients start opening their outdoor pools from the first week of April.
When is the best time to close the swimming pool?
Most people tend to close their outdoor pool by the end of October. However, some clients keep their pools open much later so they can host Christmas and New Year pool parties.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool maintenance in London and Surrey, so if you have any questions about the upkeep of your pool, please email us.