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This segment will focus on Swimming Pool Construction. It seems natural that once something like concrete is invented or discovered that we, as the productive creatures that we are, want to figure out as many meaningful uses for our inventions as possible.
And while we’re at it, it stands to reason to make those things enhance our daily living. Personally, I think that swimming pools were invented because it was a fun, creative way to get kids (and some adults) to take a bath.
The way a pool works is similar across the board, whether it’s an olympic sized pool, water park wave pool or our own personal backyard pool. Swimming pool construction methods vary depending on your budget and location.
No matter the shape or size nearly all of them use a combination of chemical treatment to keep bacteria down and a Filtration System designed to continually clean great volumes of water.
-A Swimming Pool Construction Feature-
The seemingly solid, immovable structure of an Inground Pool is really more like a ship floating on the surrounding ground water.
The surprising force of this water pressure can literally thrust the empty vessel out of the ground. So there must always be more water inside the pool than outside in surrounding ground water.
There is a clever little device to help with this problem. It’s called the Hydrostatic Valve and in the modern pool it works like this……
If the ground water develops enough pressure, say by allowing the pool to become dangerously low, the pressure will push on a small float which opens the valve releasing ground water into the pool equalizing the pressure and preventing cracks in your pool’s shell.
If the Hydrostatic Valve is damaged or jammed with dirt and debris, the pool can loose water or cause stress on the pool floor.
-The different swimming pool contstruction types-
There are several swimming pool construction methods to chose from, one for every budget. Starting with the Above Ground Pool which takes little money and the least amount of time to install.
The Do-It-Yourselfers could tackle this swimming pool construction project on their own.
Then there is the vinyl inground pool similar to its above ground counterpart in structure and similar to inground pools in design.
The third type of swimming pool constructin is the pre-fab multilayered, reinforced plastic Fiberglass Pool….. and if the process of layering of materials that goes into the making of these pools intimidates you the low maintenance of it won’t.
The difference in construction between the Concrete Pool and the Gunite Pool is not so much the materials used but how they are installed.
For the Concrete Pool, conventional wooden forms are temporarily built and concrete poured into them. The concrete is allowed to dry and the forms removed.
In contrast, the Gunite is sprayed to a framework of rebar and needs about a week to dry before the surface can be finished.
This much simpler form of swimming pool construction has nearly caused the concrete construction of backyard Inground pools to become obsolete.
Much larger and largely used swimming pools like the community swimming pools, apartment complex, hotel swimming pools etc. They are much more likely to use the concrete swimming pool construction method in that type of application because of the durability and permanence these pools offer.
If at some point in the future a homeowner decides to remodel the backyard and the pools design is no longer meeting their needs, it is possible to remodel most of these pool options.
Let’s say that when your family built their pool, the children very young and all that was needed was a shallow pool.
Ten years go by and we now have a house full of teenagers whose needs are completely different so now the family needs to deepen, reshape, and add new features like a slide, diving rock, waterfall or spa.
-The Seven Components of Swimming Pool Construction-
1. The Basin or Vessel
2. The Motorized Pump
3. The Water Filter
4. The Chemical Feeder (optional)
5. The Drains
6. The Returns
7. The PVC Pipes that connect it all together
-How The Swimming Pool Stays Clean-
Swimming pool construction isn’t just about the vessel. The plumbing system is an important part of the pool.
Using the force of gravity, main drains are located at the lowest point in the vessel or basin. They are covered with anitvortex covers or grates, allowing dirt and debris, anything that sinks to the bottom of the pool, to pass through, while keeping larger objects…like people, from getting drawn down to it.
An antivortex cover diverts the flow of water to prevent a dangerous vortex from occurring. If not in place, drownings can occur from the suction of the drain.
Skimmers also gently draw in water, similarly to the main drains, however, only from the surface, the top eighth of an inch or so.
They take in anything that floats, such as leaf litter, sun lotion, hair, etc. These smaller objects are filtered out through the skimmers and other sections of the filtration system.
Vacuum Ports which can be used in conjunction with the automatic Vacuum System for pool cleaning, work by drawing in dirty water and sending it through the Filtration System.
The Vacuum Ports may have their own pumping system. Most, however, are driven by the main Pump. Often times these Vacuum Ports are located within and use the Skimmer suction line.
The automatic Vacuum System has a hose with a device at the end of it which is designed to truck around the pool in patterns that pick up all the lose debris along the sides and bottom of the pool.
The Pump draws dirty water from the pool through the Filtration System where a series of basket-like filters, smaller filters like cartridges, and Sand or Diatomaceous Earth in combination with fine mesh filters, take out impurities.
The clean water continually flows back into the pool through inlet valves or returns located around the sides of the pool.
-Here’s a cool pool safety feature-
Swimming Pools are constructed with multiple main drains, as well as, at least two skimmer drains. Here’s the rule of thumb, normally one skimmer box will handle up to 616 SF (4,620 gallons) of pool surface area (above that two skimmers are necessary) or 62.5 USG/Min of pool water.
If there were only one open drain this would create enough suction to pull larger objects toward it. If a large object blocks one of the drains, the pumping system can still draw water from one of the other drains.
Thus eliminating suction on the drain that is being blocked.
-A Little About Pool Lighting-
Lighting is not only for aesthetic beauty but as an added safety feature, allows night time swimmers the ability to see.
An incandescent light bulb is sealed in a water-tight fixture. This fixture sits in a niche created during the construction of the swimmingpool.
Insulated electrical wire is used. It runs into the fixture through a water tight seal separating the electrical elements from the water.
The wire then runs back to the power source through a tube, which surprisingly enough is filled at least part-way with ground water.
Enough slack wire is left in the tube so that when the bulb needs changing, the fixture can be pulled up all the way out of the water so it can be done safely.
Some pools use fiber-optics instead of the incandescent fixture to light the pool. The actual light source is not under water and can be safely changed without ever touching the water.
-The Pump is the Essential Part of the Pool-
We don’t generally see the pump because it is camouflaged. Basically it is the circulatory system of the pool. It’s the heart.
An electric motor runs this system, spinning an impeller which drives the water into the various drains throughout the Filtration System and back out the Returns.
-A Quick Chronilogical Order of Swimming Pool Construction-
First a design is decided upon, then a hole is dug in the most suitable location.
Next the plumbing, which includes the PVC pipes, valves, skimmers, filters, optional items like a chemical feeder and/or a heater, and the pump, is installed and the sides are added.
The coping is then put in place, it is at this point that the pool is ready for water.
More than likely you feel your swimming pool isn’t quite finished at this point and you will want to get the deck and the landscaping in so we don’t have the dirt and sand from the construction blowing into the pool.
Also, having the area surrounding the swimming pool be aesthetically appealing and will add to the enjoyment of the overall experience.
Depending on your agreement, and you’ll want to have this information up front, the pool company itself can provide you with some sort of landscaping package included in the price of your swimming pool construction or you will have to hire someone separately for this beautification to occur.
Many Do-It Yourselfers prefer to save a little money by handling this part of the project.