10 Things You Need to Know as a Pool Owner
As my family and friends know I am an avid swimmer. I've frequently referred to the lovely Thana City pool in my posts about having lived in Bangkok. In addition I have explored swimming in Brigg, Lincolnshire and how it is 'same same' but 'different. I've even reflected on what kind of a fish different swimmers might be!
As such I am very pleased to share this post about being a swimming pool owner. Good luck to everyone who is lucky enough to have to deal with the maintenance of your own pool.
First Time Pool Owner
First time pool owner? Maybe you’re someone fresh out of retirement and you simply just want to do pool maintenance on your own? Whether you’re new to backyard pools or if you just want to give your pool service provider a break, here are 10 things you need to know as a pool owner.
Things all Pool Owners Should Know
1. Cleaning is essential.
Pretty much like your car, your house, or even the computer you may use every day, maintaining your pool can help prolong its beauty and extend its longevity. Maintaining your pool can be done in different ways typically through a pool service company that visits and cleans your pool weekly. You can also do it on your own.
Cleaning can help maintain pool water balance and keep dirt, debris, and microorganisms like algae at bay. Plus, it can help make your pool irresistibly inviting.
2. Keep your pool water in check.
As essential keeping your pool clean is, it’s also important that you pay close attention to the pool’s water chemistry. Proper pool water chemistry allows you to avoid many of the common issues including cloudy or green water, dark or slippery spots, mineral stains and buildup, and so on. Like cleaning and maintenance, checking the pool water’s chemistry is generally carried out by pool service companies using professional quality water testing kits. However, you can also do it on your own using pool water test strips.
3. Have a professional drain your pool.
I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories of in-ground swimming pools that pop off the ground. That’s because you simply can’t drain your pool. There are factors that play around draining the water off your pool including hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is a buildup of pressure that happens when too much water is absorbed by the soil in the ground. This pushes the concrete pool upwards causing it to pop off the ground. That said, pool service companies will typically drain the pool under good weather as rainwater can also cause water to be absorbed by the rainwater. Also, because there’s no pressure to keep the pool pressed in the ground, the opposite pressure from below can push the entirety of the concrete structure. So, unless you’ve been draining pools for a living, ask a professional to drain your pool.
4. You can take up a pool loan.
If you’re a few hundred dollars or grand short, you can take up a pool loan. Pool loans are typically offered by banks, credit unions, and financial institutions, but are also offered by pool service companies. That said, if you’ve already managed to save since cash for your pool project, you can just finance a part of your swimming pool remodeling, renovation, or construction project. This means that if you’re working with a limited budget, you can still add the features you want and the features you need simply by asking help from financial institutions and even from your pool contractor.
And speaking of features...
5. Not having some features can be illegal.
If you’re a first time pool owner, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s illegal not to have some pool features. In the state of California, a residential swimming pool is required to have a 3-sided pool fence plus two of any of the safety features listed below.
Under the California Pool Safety Act of 2018, these safety features are necessary to ensure the safety of residential pools making them a pool owner’s legal obligation.
6. Pool features increase the value of your home.
Still about features, you’d be glad to know that the features you add to your backyard pool will coalesce to increase the value of your homes. And we’re not just talking about the safety features, we’re talking about features like Baja steps, water slides, spas, beach entries, and even a pool bar. So, feel free to contact your pool service contractor to find out what kind of features would work best with your pool. They can also help you personalize your pool whether you want it to look like a mini resort or a classic Grecian and Roman bath.
7. Variable-speed pool pumps are lifesavers.
There’s a reason why the local government of California pushes the use of variable-speed pool pumps. They help save energy compared to the traditional single-speed pool pumps and also can help you qualify for a DWP Pool Pump Rebate. The rebate can help you fund additional pool features and the variable-speed pool pump can let you save money in the long run.
8. Resurfacing is a must.
Speaking of swimming pool projects, resurfacing may be one of the most important projects new and experienced pool owners can give their pool. Pool resurfacing involved the removal of the old pool surface in preparation of applying the new one. This plays a vital role in maintaining your pool because the interior surface separates the concrete below and the water in the actual pool. The cost of swimming pool resurfacing depends heavily on the type of material you will use. Make sure to talk to your pool contractor to know what options you have in resurfacing your pool. Nevertheless, plaster will be the cheapest while tiles and pebbles could be some of the more expensive options.
9. Storing chemicals at home could be hazardous.
When you own a pool, you will find that you will have to store chemicals in your home one way or another. These chemicals can include anything from chlorine and mineral sequestering agents. These chemicals can be a safety hazard especially if you have kids at home. That’s why you should consider converting your pool into a saltwater pool. It still uses chlorine but not in the traditional sense. Talk to your pool service provider to know more about saltwater pool conversions.
10. Pool service companies are a godsend.
Pool service companies are your friends, they help take care of your swimming pool for you and offer professional advice to help you maintain your pool on your own. It’s true that they won’t tell you everything, but little pointers from pool experts can go a long way.
These are the 10 things you need to know as a pool owner that can help you maintain and make better decisions for everything pool related.
Book Review of Dolly Alderton's Ghosts
Dolly Alderton's Ghosts follows the thirty second year of its main character Nina and explores the relationships that she has with her friends, parents and boyfriend Max. As such it is ambitious in scope and presents a realistic portrayal of significant points in life. From exploring issues of having children, to managing careers, to coping with middle age and caring for elderly parents there is something that most readers can relate to.
Presented as a first person narrative the style is straightforward and the text could almost be a 'real life' diary. As such, it reminded me of a slightly more serious Bridget Jones type narrative, Striving for and attaining good mental health is a theme that is never far from the surface and we watch Nina navigate the disappointments and upsets of life as she ultimately strives to achieve an equilibrium and sense of peace.
Nina presents as a likeable, but flawed woman finding her way in a modern world. Young readers would probably laugh at my minimal understanding of 'Ghosting' before reading the book but Nina experiences it first hand and copes well. Alderton explores and examines online dating and its pros and cons with aplomb. For a mature reader like myself this is eye-opening.
Dolly Alderton's Ghosts presentation of dementia and Nina's growing awareness of the loss of her father (as she had known him) as being the true tragedy in her life is moving to read. It is the struggle that Nina's Mum has in managing the loss of her husband to dementia that was the most powerful aspect of the book for me.
Dolly Alderton's Ghosts is a book that different generations of the same family could enjoy and come together to chat over. As a writer I imagine Alderton growing in sophistication and going from strength to strength.
Book Discussion Questions on Dolly Alderton's Ghosts
Lola is something of an expert in judging online dating profiles and the etiquette of online dating. To what extent did you agree with Lola's observations?
Which of Nina's friends did you have the most respect for and why? Which of Nina's friends did you have the least respect for and why?
Nina's mum changes her name to Mandy at a time that her husband is struggling to maintain a grasp of his own reality. How much sympathy do you have for Mandy? To what extent do you think she is a good wife and/or mother?
Explore Nina's relationship with Angelo. Particularly in the early days of their relationship who was at fault and why?
Max and Jethro both ultimately let down Nina and Lola. Discuss the extent to which they should be blamed for their actions?
Who is the most naive character in the book and why?
How effective is Dolly Alderton's portrayal of dementia in the novel?
Nina initally loves her flat with its artex ceilings and general need for decoration. Discuss how satisfied you think Nina is with her life?
Nina retains a very close relationship with her ex Joe and even acts as an usher at his wedding to Lucy. Did you find the portrayal of their friendship realistic? Why or why not?
Who is your favourite character in Dolly Alderton's Ghosts and why?
If Ghosts was being made into a film who would you cast as the main characters?
Ghosts is a very contemporary book and includes many references to current day use of technology and explores contemporary views regarding feminism, parenthood, mental health etc. Do you think Ghosts will stand the test of time? Why or why not?
Book Club Questions on Dolly Alderton's Ghosts (If you haven't read the book!)
What is your experience of online dating? Discuss whether you think it is an effective style of dating.
In Ghosts Nina has a prickly relationship with her mother and for much of the text seems to have little sympathy for her. Discuss mother/daughter relationships and what can cause friction in them.
In Ghosts Nina's father has dementia and as his cognitive abilities decline increasingly wants the comfort of his deceased mother. Share any personal experiences that you have of managing dementia.
In Ghosts Nina is twice 'ghosted' by Max. If a lover 'ghosted' you do you think you would be prepared to reignite the relationship and try again.
Nina copes with rejection in Ghosts by sleeping with a neighbour. What is your view of getting over one relationship by embarking on another?
As a genre Ghosts is very much an example of 'realism'. What type of fiction do you most enjoy and why?
Dolly Alderton is an author who has a previous career as journalist, podcaster and influencer. Do you judge novels written by 'celebrities' in a different way to those written by established authors?
Personal Response to Dolly Alderton's Ghosts
It took me a while to get into Dolly Alderton's Ghosts as the characters felt too young for me to be really interested in what happened to them. Of course, the only person that reflects on and reflects on badly is myself. A good book can be compelling to read and invite empathy and interest regardless of whether those featuring in it are relatable to the reader. Once I overcame my own prejudices I found Dolly Alderton's Ghosts well worth reading. It was a page-turner and provided plenty of food for thought for all age groups. I do think though it would particularly appeal to twenty and thirty-something readers.