How to Open a Pool after Winter Season

If you want to know how to open a pool then you’ve come to the right place. With spring around the corner we all want to get back to our pools, but we feel unsure about how this should be done. Luckily, we’ve listed a complete routine for you to make sure that the only thing you need to worry about is enjoying the season.

1.     Check chemical levels-
Make sure that you have proper inventory for your pool cleaning ready in your hand. If any of the chemicals were not stored properly or they are in low supply, then you will have to buy replacements. Chlorine for example, if left open over a prolonged period may decay and cause harm to your pool.

2.     Remove debris over the pool cover-
Over the winter dead branches, leaves and debris build up that need to be cleaned up before you remove your pool’s cover. Clean the area around your pool and do the same on the surface of your pool cover, doing this step diligently it will save your lot of time. Finally, remove the pool cover and wash it with a mild detergent to get rid of any bacteria before you move it to storage.

 3.     Inspect your pool-
If your pool is vinyl-lined, you will want to search around the edges for any rips or tears caused by rocks and other debris. If you find any torn parts this can be repaired with a patch kit available at local department store near your house. If there is something that you are unsure of then call the company representative who installed the vinyl for you.

 4.     Plugs & skimmer baskets-
You will want to remove any freeze plugs from water inlets. If you used antifreeze, than drain your pool till it is below the inlets and doing the same for the antifreeze. Next, remove winter plates from the skimmer box with care. Fit the hose from the skimmer and turn jets leading to the pump & filter.

5.     Equipment and plumbing
Reconnect the filter, pump and heater with attention to any rust or decay, if needed make necessary replacements. Check valves to see if they are open and start filling pump with water to test for priming and lubricate O-rings and gaskets.

 6.     Fill & start filtration-
Once everything is in working order, start pumping water into your pool carefully to prevent any debris from falling in. Switch on the power to the pool system and look for any type of malfunctioning, if needed contact a mechanic for repairs.

 7.     Test water
After 1-2 days use your pool water test kit to take a sample for a local pool professional to examine and make necessary adjustments. If you use a mesh cover make sure to add 2-3 gallons of liquid shock and open your pool early in April or May to let the shock treatment to settle in for about 2 weeks.Finally once everything is complete, you and your family can jump in and enjoy a clean and refreshing pool. We hope you found this article helpful on how to open a pool after winter season?

Author Bio- This post has been written by Tressy Jones. She loves to write about Home Improvement. She works for MSMechanical.com. They provide best air conditioning services.

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Tips for Planning Your Pool

Though planning and building a pool can be an exciting experience for the people who know how to tackle the things but if you are not familiar with the things then you should read out tips planning pool provided in this article. You should be aware of the ways of building a pool in your backyard if you are ready for it.

Creating photo-book:

A photo-book containing various ideas for planning your pool can be a good attempt in this direction as you can get the idea of types and styles of pools to choose for your place. You can search on social networking sites and various other websites to find these photos. You can share the information collected from online search with your pool builder to start the pool building work according to the plan settled between you and your builder.

Establishing the budget:

The construction of pool is costly affair so its budget should be considered while planning your backyard pool. You should first of all fix a budget of building pool so that you can start the construction work accordingly. Though you can extend the budget if needed but initially it is necessary to ascertain the budget for it.

Choose the right building materials:

Because this project will ultimately be a water containment unit, it is important not to take an short cuts with choosing the building materials.  Choosing quality materials will make the poll last longer with minimal care.

Using the trusted resources:

You should contact the reliable pool builders and designers after consulting your family and friends who had recently built up pools in their homes. You can also read out the reviews provided on the pool builders’ site to decide in this respect.

Wisely select the location:

The location of your pool is next essential part of pool planning. Before building the pool in your backyard you should think over various aspects that can affect its suitability like soil quality, surrounding views and privacy.

Consider the frequency of use:

The frequency of using the pool is one of the necessary tips planning pool which can be helpful in planning its construction in much better way. You can add various other facilities like landscape lighting, water heaters, slides etc. if you are going to use it very frequently.

Know the rules:

You should go through local pool building rules and regulations before starting the pool construction at your home as there may be some restrictions from local authorities as per the situation of your home.

Green environment:

Building an eco-friendly environment around your pool will not only save your money but also provide a green and attractive look to the location. You can also avail various incentives from the local authorities for your green thoughts.

Maintenance of pool:

It should also be essential part of your planning before building it. The balancing of Ph and cleanliness of the pool water should be easy. You should also consider while planning your pool whether you can maintain it yourself or want to engage some service providing company for this purpose. The pool building contractor can help you in contacting some reputed service provider for the proper maintenance of your pool.

Insurance for the pool:

Insurance cover is also an essential part of your pool planning for the safety of the users and the pool itself. You can contact an insurance agent for this kind of services.

Safety of the users:

Safety of the children, animals and other guests around the pool is another important issue among the tips of planning pool. You can put alarms, fencing and various other safety covers at different layers to ensure this issue.

Author Bio: This post has been written by Well Back. He loves to write about Home Improvement and Technology. He is recommends AireCentral.net for heating and cooling service.

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Koi Pond or Pondless Waterfall: Where Do I Begin?

1.) Have you thought about A Water Feature?– Is it true that a water feature will add equity to my home? What about a swimming pool? Doesn’t a pond require a lot of upkeep? What is the average cost? Do I need a building permit? Do I have to have fish? …we travel a lot!

American Society of Landscape Architects

Landscape Architects Identify Trends for 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –“Sustainable design is bigger than ever and homeowners and commercial building owners alike are looking to utilize outdoor spaces even more. The New Year will bring a number of exciting and creative design solutions from landscape architects.

Homeowners are requesting that landscape architects design complete outdoor rooms, such as kitchens and bars, for entertaining. Water features such as koi ponds, waterfalls, and fountains continue to be popular (with no signs of slowing), according to a new survey of leading members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).”

The American Nurseryman Association reports that “water features are the fastest growing trend in landscaping since 1990 (2007 should break all records.)”

Regionally, in-ground pools will add about 5 percent to the value of a home in the Northeast, about 6 percent in the Midwest, and 7.5 percent in the Southeast and West. In the Southwest, a swimming pool will add nearly 11 percent to the home’s value.

If you add a $35,000 pool to a $300,000 house, you will just barely recover your initial expense. However, you still have the high maintenance cost and you have just limited the future buyers of your home to people who want a pool. Therefore, you have actually reduced the equity in your home. On the other hand, everyone loves a beautiful water feature, young and old! Therefore, increased equity!

Swimming pools require constant attention and maintenance. Unlike ponds, pool owners cannot rely on the nitrogen cycle to lend a hand at keeping the water healthy. This can only be accomplished by due diligence and a myriad of chemicals. Unlike a pond, the enjoyment of a pool comes from its use; and for most regions of the country, the climate dictates a very short period of time for pool use. Unless you heat your pool, then your dumping more money in your pool.

A pond requires minimal attention compared to swimming pool. Once a properly constructed pond is established with the right proportion of fish, plants and biological elements, a pond will take care of itself, the rest is enjoyment, year round. You do not need to use a pond as you do a pool, it only need to exist for you to enjoy.

2.) What do I do about the safety of my small children or grandchildren? How big should it be? Is this something I can do on my own or do I need professional help building a pond?

Unlike a swimming pool, ponds can be child proofed, with very little expense. A swimming pool, however, requires special self-closing gates with special latches. Another required code requirement is 95-decibel alarms on all exit doors leading to the back yard.

And for your added peace of mind, you can install an unsightly, removable, lightweight fence that cost hundreds of dollars. Then you can continually agonize over whether you, or someone else, forgot to close the fence gate.

A pond, however, can be filled with large boulders, which can be removed later when the children are grown. Or you can construct a pondless waterfall to begin with. Now you still can enjoy the sight and sound of cascading water without the concerns for safety.

An added advantage of a pondless waterfall is that a pondless waterfall costs less to construct and maintain. A pondless waterfall can be added to your front yard, meet all building code requirements, increase curb appeal, and thereby increase the equity and the resale value of your home.

The “size of the water feature” is a relative term. There are many factors that need to be considered. Far more than can be be discussed in the space I have allotted for this article. I will cover it in my next article. A few questions to ask yourself: How big is your yard? Where do you spend the majority of your time?

What is your budget? How is the size, shape and topography of your yard related to certain limitations regarding the building codes? Will the existing water table affect your water feature? Does your property currently have adequate drainage? Do you have underground utilities? If so, where are they located? What are the local building codes regarding pond depth? Do you need a building permit, or a licensed contractor? …just to name a few of the topics covered.

Whether you need a professional contractor is another article. What type of access do you have to your property? Do you want large boulders? If so, is there proper clearance for a crane or Bobcat? How do you find a qualified contractor? How do you go about qualifying them? Are they properly licensed? Insured? Bonded? Workmen’s compensation? Liability insurance? Hospitalization? References? Background checks and much, much more. Do your homework and proper research prior to commencement, it could save you thousands of dollars.

3.) What is the single most important first step in building a water feature? What about equipment? Should I get koi fish and a turtle? Where should I place my pond and waterfall? All these questions can be addressed with two words: Plan & Design!

First, decide where you spend most of your leisure activity. …family room, living room, patio etc. Your waterfall and pond should be in close proximity to that location. Not in the far corner of your property. Sound and visualization are two of the major benefits of a waterfall and pond. These decisions are part of the planning process. Once you decide on these issues, the design process begins.

The best way to approach this phase is to consider a digital design. There are companies that can produce an incredible digitally designed, virtual photo of your backyard, by simply providing them with a digital photo of the area you want the water feature located. You may opt to digitally design your own. There are digital design programs that are simple to master on your own for less than a hundred dollars. Just search the web by typing in digitally designed ponds or waterfalls.

The type of equipment you should use is dependent upon the size of your pond. Your budget is another factor. If you have a small budget, you’re looking at designing a small pond. In addition, look at the available options for construction materials.

You can buy a rubber liner kit and install it yourself, or have a rubber-liner-kit-installer-guy install it for you. Bottom line, either way, is there is no guarantee against bucked-toothed critters such as mice, rats, ground squirrels, gophers and ground hogs, from burrowing underneath your expensive rubber liner and chewing a hole in it. Concrete (3500psi) and rebar is the best construction method, and if done correctly, will last for generations. Concrete ponds cost only 10 to 20% more to build than liner ponds.

Your pond will require less maintenance if you allow the nitrogen cycle to do all the work. This means you need to do your part by providing the elements needed for the nitrogen cycle to operate. The fish provide the waste which produces nitrates and ammonia. Certain essential bacteria break down the nitrates and ammonia into safe byproducts used by the plants and other organisms.

Once this process is started, with the aid of a biological filter and possibly an ultraviolet light, future maintenance is minimal and routine. An above ground, high efficiency pump produces more water flow at half the energy and less initial cost than a sump pump used with liner ponds. The savings in electrical costs alone could easily pay for the additional cost of professional concrete construction in less three years.

4.) Where do I find the equipment and construction material I need to complete my project? How do I know what size filter, pump or ultraviolet light I need? If I want to have a concrete pond and waterfall shell, Where do I begin?

The internet is the best place to start looking for equipment. Local pond stores are usually higher priced, because of overhead expense. Most of the internet dealers are knowledgeable on sizing pumps, filters and ultraviolet lights to any size pond or waterfall. However, keep in mind, most on line dealers are trying to push pond liners, sump pumps and pond liner-related filters and accessories.

Look for energy efficient pumps first, and those dealers will carry concrete pond related products such as bottom drains, pool type skimmers and pressured, back-flushable biological bead filters. Also, Liner dealers sell the cheap mechanical autofill devices, because of a high profit margin.

Make sure you invest in a reliable electronic autofill system that is less likely to malfunction such as the levelors and aquafill systems. A stuck float could result in the chlorine poisoning death of all your fish and possibly thousands of dollars in flood damage.

If you act as your own project manager, you can get competitive bids from local concrete contractor for pouring your pond and waterfall shell. Also find a stone mason who will build your waterfall using mortar. With liner ponds and waterfalls, the rocks sit on the liner and can easily move when stepped on by adults or children resulting in serious accidents.

Trying to save hundreds up front, could possibly cost you thousands down the road. You get what you pay for.

Penny wise and [pond] foolish? Happy koi, peace & joy.

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Goldfish – How To Build Your Very Own Pond

If you’re planning to keep your goldfish in a garden pond and you’re also planning to build the pond yourself, then there are a few things you will need to know first.

The tools you will need are a shovel, pond liner and underlayment, a long piece of rope, coping stones and decorations, plants, a pump (you will need a pump to run a filter, fountain, or waterfall in order to keep the water circulating and the plants healthy), a filter system and some cooperative friends or family members! Now you can get started –

Building Your Pond

There’s no reason why you couldn’t build a pond in one day, although that purely depends on the size of the pond you’d like to have in your yard. The first thing you will need to do is find an area of the garden that is most suitable for keeping a pond. Make sure it is –

– Close to the house as you will need power to supply your pump with, unless of course you have an external outdoor power socket.

– Don’t build your pond at the bottom of a slope, because when it rains, dirty water will runs down and into the pond, maybe containing chemicals from your garden.

– Try to place it in an area where it will have access to at least 4 hours of sunlight. Your pond plants will require sunlight to stay healthy.

– Don’t place it in an area directly under leaf dropping trees. The last thing you want to have to do is clean all the leaves out of your pond every day.

Finally once you have found a suitable position to build your pond, you can start digging! You’ll need to-

– Decide on the shape and size of the pond. Use the rope to outline the shape you want and then begin digging. That’s why you need a couple of helping hands so that the work gets done faster!

– Do not go for a small pond for goldfish because they need space. Also try and keep different levels of depth, as in a swimming pool. Mark out the shallow areas and the deeper areas. This would give the pool a natural variety.

– Usually ponds in moderate climates should be at least 2 feet deep while in colder climates, you would need to make sure that the pond is deep enough to allow for at least 12″ to 16″ of water below the freeze zone.

– Dig according to the shape you want and dig a shelf-like level around the perimeter of the pond, which is about one foot deep and one foot wide. Also make provisions for a waterfall by digging a slight slope to one end.

– Time now to position the external pond filters. If you have pond skimmers as well, then you would need to place and level these in the proper places. Also dig a ditch to the external pond pump from the skimmer and from the pump to the external pond filter or waterfall.

Next you will need to line your tank with a pond underlayment that you can pick up at any hardware or landscaping wholesaler.

– Now you have to line the pond with what is called as Pond Underlayment. This is a lining that can be cut according to the shape needed and can be taped together. This underlayment will help the pond lining to stay in place.

– You can now put the rubber pond liner into pond and spread it out.

– Make sure you smoothen the folds and position it evenly. Some folds will still be there but the water will take care of that.

So that’s the building process of a garden pond, from there you will need to add in a pump that is correctly matched to the size of your pond as well as purchasing plants and other accessories to add to the pond.

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