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Which pool should I buy?

This depends entirely on your budget and what space you have available.  You also have a choice between an inflatable pool or one with a frame.  Please see our section entitled Which Pool?  for a little more help with this.

How long does it take to fill my pool?

That depends on what size pool you choose and what your water pressure is.   However, on average a standard garden hose delivers approximately nine gallons of water per minute, which is around 540 gallons per hour. At this rate, it would take approximately nine hours to fill a pool with a capacity of 5,000 gallons.

Does my pool have to sit on level ground?

Yes, the surface must be flat, solid and level. If you have a very uneven lawn we would advise putting sand down to level the grass and it is always advisable to use a ground sheet beneath your pool to prevent stones etc poking up into the liner.  Please pay close attention to the pool’s stability and level in the early stages of filling your pool up with water. If after about an inch of water has accumulated and the water is not spreading out evenly, or the pool appears to be bulging to one side, stop filling the pool, drain the water, and select a new level site.  Please note if the pool is set up on even a slight slope, the pool will be lopsided and can collapse, causing personal injury or property damage.  Please note Sunshine Pools cannot be held responsible for damage or injury caused by constructing the pool on an unsuitable surface.

Do I need to put chemicals in the water?

There are various ways to keep the water clean and kill the bugs.  One of the quickest and most popular is the use of chemicals such as chlorine.  We sell different kits which include all the chemicals you need to maintain healthy water in your pool, preventing algae growth and skin and eye irritation.  The kits also include shock treatment in the form of stabilised chlorine granules, pH adjustment chemicals to maintain the right level of pH, Polyquat Algaecide to help remove algae and test strips to help keep the chemicals at the right level.

We don't want to use chlorine in our swimming pool water - is there anything else we can use to keep it safe and clean?

One of the most popular methods of keeping your water clean without the use of chemicals is a salt water system.  These work by adding salt to your pool which causes an undetectable level of natural swimmer-safe chlorine to be produced.  When the environmentally friendly natural salt is added it then passes through a titanium elecrolytic cell during the filtration process. The result is soft, fresh, clean water without the potential harsh side effects of packaged pool chemicals.  Although sometimes these systems seem more expensive to purchase you will not need to buy chemicals to add to your pool.

My swimming pool water has gone green, what should I do?

Green swimming pool water is generally due to Algae growth caused by lack of, or incorrect, chemical treatment.  Start off by testing your pool water with a good quality test kit or test strip, then add the chemicals from your kit as indicated on the strip.  Please remember that you should use the test strips regularly to check the current chemical balances of the pool water.

How often should the sand in my filter be changed?

The media (sand) in a domestic filter should be changed approximately every 5 years to ensure effective filtration, although it can be cleaned with chemicals in this time to prolong its efficiency.  It can also now be replaced with a crushed, treated glass media which does not need to be changed so frequently.

Do I need a filter pump?

Using a filter pump will ensure your water stays clean.  It will circulate and suck up the debris in the water and pass it through either a filter cartridge (with a standard pump), or sand (with a sand filter pump) and then return the filtered water back into the pool.  A pump refreshes your water and removes debris from the water and works alongside chemicals or a saltwater system to ensure you have a quality swim experience.  Filter pumps are easy to install – just hook up hoses and plug in.

What is the best way to remove algae stains from the pool liner?

Empty the pool, use a soft brush, mild detergent and water to remove algae stains from the pool liner. Thoroughly rinse and dry before refilling or storage.

Will the pump deal with large leaves/twigs etc?

No, you should scoop large debris out.  We have a range of cleaning kits, along with pool hoovers and wall cleaners on our website that will help keep your pool sparkling clean and wonderful to swim in.

Should I buy a debris cover?

If your pool package does not include a debris cover we would advise buying one if possible.  These help to keep the leaves and debris out of your water therefore keeping the water clean for longer. 

How does a solar cover work?

75% of a swimming pool's heat loss is due to evaporation. A solar cover minimizes heat loss from evaporation by acting as a barrier between swimming pool water and the air. Specifically, you can reduce your swimming pool heating costs by up to 70% by using a solar cover.

Which Way do I put my solar cover on ... bubbles up or bubbles down?

Always face the bubbles down into the water when putting your solar cover on. Those bubbles heat up from the sun and transfer the heat into your pool water. The process is similar to how your car heats up when sitting in the sun. The heat is allowed through but cannot escape.

How do I drain the pool?

Remove the drain cap and plug. A hose adapter is often included in the pool packages, which connects to a standard garden hose.

Is there a repair patch enclosed for the liner?

Some pools come with a repair patch, and for those that don’t these are available on our website.  Small tears or holes can be repaired with a repair patch. The surface should be dry before affixing the patch.

How many filter cartridges do I need per season?

Normally they need replacing every 1 to 2 weeks, but this all depends on the usage, water type, debris / particles carried into the water and the maintenance of the pool/filter unit. In some cases the filter cartridge can be used for a longer period if it is taken out of the unit and washed thoroughly with a hose, however, in the interest of hygiene it is recommended that they are replaced with a new cartridge.

How long does the pool last?

There is no definitive answer it all depends on how the consumer looks after the pool. Normally the liner/pool should last 3 - 4 seasons as long as it has been dried and stored properly at the end of each season.  If you store it outside in a shed or garage please make sure it is in a solid container as rodents like to chew little holes in pool liners!

How do I prepare the pool for winter?

Drain down the water and clean the liner both inside and out with a soft brush and mild detergent, ensuring all debris and sharp objects are removed.  Ensure the liner is dry before storage to prevent mildew.  For frame pools clean and dry the frame and ensure pegs, clips etc are safely bagged together.  Store the liner in a frost free / dry place, off the ground away, from sharp objects, mice and pets.

How can I heat my pool?

For smaller pools a 2.8kw electric heater from Bestway or Intex will certainly take the chill off of your water.  These are inexpensive and easy to hook up to your filter pump and plug in with the 3pin plug.  For pools over around 14ft though, or even the very deep 12/13ft pools, these heaters won’t make much difference and you need to invest in a more powerful heater.  We offer Elecro heaters on our website in many different sizes.  They are excellent heaters and their 3kw packs a far more powerful punch than the 2.8kw versions from the pool manufacturers.  Our product pages will tell you the best size Elecro heater for the capacity of water in your pool and the 3kw Elecro heaters can still be plugged in with the 3pin plug.  Anything larger though (they go up to 18kw!), does need to be hard-wired in to your electricity supply by a qualified electrician (much like an oven would).  Remember, if you’ve gone to the effort and cost of heating your pool, use a solar cover to slow down the evaporation of that heat.