Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, April 24, 2009

Treated the swimming pool to a new cover and a new pump

When we were over at Easter we treated the 15 foot frame swimming pool at our french vacation rental home to a new pool cover.

It may sound like a really minor thing, the swimming pool cover, but with us not living onsite in France all the time it's amazing how these little things can become an organisational "challenge".

Some time ago I bought a cover for our Intex swimming pool to keep the leaves out when not in use but mistakenly I'd bought a 'Bestway' cover and despite my struggling it just wouldn't fit - seems not all "15 foot frame pool covers are the same" !

Courtesy of ebay I bought a proper Intex one which fits a treat and doesn't the pool look happy as a result !!

When we arrived at the Gite we found that the pool pump wasn't working and there was a bit of green slime in the pool along with quite a few leaves from the non-fitting cover.

I chucked some Chlorine Shock and Granular Flocculant into the pool, replaced the filter in the pool pump with a new one, kick-started the pump and left it running overnight to see what would happen.

If you're not into swimming pools (as I wasn't when we first bought one) the world of swimming pool treatment can be quite complicated with different chemicals to raise PH, lower PH, chlorinate the water, purify it, testing kits, etc. Took a bit of reading up to understand the process and then write up some instructions for the guests to follow.

Here's details of a couple of links to Wikipedia on how Chlorine is used to purify and kill bugs in the pool water and Flocculant to clean the water by causing suspended particles to clump together so they can be filtered out.

Next morning the pool was looking a bit clearer and by the morning after that it was all looking good again. Quite a relief as water's expensive in France and the thought of emptying out 15 cubic metres of water from the pool, cleaning the pool, and then refilling it all again wasn't something that sounded a fun way to spend the holiday and would be costly too.

We did however spend most of the rest of the holiday periodically going to the pool and fishing out more leaves from the bottom of the pool. It was actually quite therapeutic pooling the depths with the pool net!

Unfortunately I had less success with the swimming pool pump.

Recalling back to the Blog article I wrote in October 2008 about the faulty pool pump that kept tripping out the main house electrics, Alan had to put a new pump on the pool in August 2008 and just 7 months later I found that the new pump kept on stopping unexpectedly. Fiddled with it a bit but in the end I had to swap it with the replacement pump we had just taken over, and I guess I'll be buying a new pump off ebay again unless I can find out why it keeps on stopping.

The kids as usual loved the swimming pool and despite it being mid April and the water registering a cool 12 degrees C on the thermometer they made frequent use of it, jumping in and out and splashing around. Me, I'll wait until our August holiday when the temperature's warmed up a bit more.

So all's well with the pool now and we're set for this summers guests. I've left it with the pump on a timeswitch set to come on every night for an hour to keep the water clean and the new cover works a treat.

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