Indoor Pools 101

 

An indoor pool provides a very different swimming experience for homeowners. If you’ve purchased a home with an indoor swimming pool, or are thinking of constructing a pool within your home, it is time to do some research. Operating and installing an indoor pool is very different from an outdoor pool.

Learning a bit about indoor swimming pools can help you to avoid some common mistakes and make sure your pool functions perfectly every day of the year.

Are indoor pools more expensive to install than outdoor pools?

Installing an indoor pool is much more expensive than installing an outdoor pool. Because an indoor pool becomes a part of the structure of your home, the installation process is more involved. The cost of adding a dehumidifier system, a vapour barrier, and all of the plumbing and electrical work means an indoor pool can cost a lot more than an outdoor pool.

But, depending on where you live, this expense can be worthwhile. An indoor pool is available for use every day of the year, while an outdoor pool is closed for the summer season. Many people find the investment worthwhile to have access to a pool every day.

Do indoor pools require different chemicals?

Indoor swimming pools require all of the same treatments that an outdoor pool does. But, because indoor pools are not directly exposed to the sun. With limited sun exposure, chemicals like chlorine will not evaporate as quickly.

Because there is less sun exposure, you’ll need to use smaller amounts of chemicals for your indoor pool. You’ll need to regularly test and balance your indoor swimming pool to be sure all of your chemical levels are ideal.

Do indoor pools require different maintenance than outdoor pools?

Indoor swimming pools require the same maintenance as outdoor pools. Indoor pools contain hair, dust, and dirt that is carried in by swimmers. But, with an indoor pool, you don’t need to worry about the wind or outdoor dirt, debris, and pathogens. Because an indoor pool is less exposed, you’ll be able to vacuum less often and backwash your filter less often. than you would with an outdoor pool.

Do indoor pools require special equipment?

Indoor pools require a lot of the same equipment that outdoor pools do. But, indoor pools also require the installation of a ventilation system. An indoor ventilation system prevents a buildup of chemicals and moisture. This will prevent the scent of your pool from seeping into your home, and keep moisture from damaging your foundation.

What are some of the advantages of an indoor pool?

An indoor pool is an incredible investment for anyone who will make use of it. An indoor pool offers a fun and relaxing place in your home to spend quality time and get exercise every day of the year. With a controlled indoor climate, maintenance on an indoor pool is fairly regular and easy to do. For anyone who loves to swim for exercise, a home pool is a wonderful place to do laps. Plus, an indoor pool is the perfect home centrepiece for anyone who loves to entertain and throw parties.

What are some of the disadvantages of an indoor pool?

Indoor pools can be very expensive to install, especially when compared with the costs of an outdoor pool. An indoor pool can also be very expensive to operate. While you save some money on your chemical use, heating and energy costs can be very high (and run year-round).

An indoor pool also takes a lot of time to maintain. While it can be nice to have the pool open and available every day of the year, that also means you’ll have to maintain your pool year-round. It can also be difficult to find local pool professionals who are familiar with the unique operation and maintenance of an indoor pool.

Do you need to heat an indoor pool?

An unheated pool can be a bit too chilly to enjoy, even if it is indoors. Most people will an indoor pool will choose to add a heater. Indoor pools are usually heated with a traditional pool heater, powered by gas or propane.

Beyond heating the water for your indoor pool, you’ll also need to consider the cost of heating the air around your pool. Most people who operate an indoor pool notice increased costs associated with heating their pool area, along with their pool water. The cost of heating an indoor pool is usually higher than the cost of heating an outdoor pool.

Can an indoor pool cause damage to my house?

An indoor pool that is correctly installed and maintained will not damage your home. Construction of an indoor pool should include a vapor barrier so moisture does not damage your home’s foundation. As long as your plumbing, equipment, and pool are kept in good shape, your home will be safe from moisture damage.

What types of swimming pools can you build indoors?

You can choose between fiberglass, concrete, or a vinyl liner for your indoor pool. The type of indoor pool that you choose to install will depend on your budget, design, and sizing needs.

Anyone who is hoping to create a large and very customized indoor pool will want to choose concrete. Indoor concrete pools allow for a lot of design freedom, but do come with a higher lifetime cost and more maintenance. Indoor fiberglass pools can be installed quickly and relatively inexpensively but are only suitable for smaller indoor pools. Vinyl lined pools allow for more customizable shapes and sizes, but have a higher lifetime cost, and can be more prone to damage.

Can you build an indoor pool in an existing home?

If you dream of living in a home with an indoor pool, it is ideal to choose a home with an existing pool or to build a home with a pool designed into the structure. But, if you have the money, space, and correct permits, you can add an indoor pool to your home. Adding an indoor pool to a home can be very expensive. But, an indoor pool can turn a house into a dream home.

Indoor swimming pools vs. outdoor swimming pools

Installing and maintaining an indoor pool is very different from the way you approach an outdoor pool. Different expenses, chemicals, and considerations all come into play. If you are thinking of creating your own indoor pool or purchasing a home that comes with an indoor pool, make sure to do your research. Knowing a bit about how indoor pools differ from a traditional outdoor pool can help you to make a better decision in the long run.

With long, harsh winters in Canada, an indoor pool can be the perfect place to exercise, have fun with family, and fight off the winter blues.

Mistakes to Avoid when Maintaining your Hot Tub

Having your own hot tub is an amazing experience. The ability to jump in and soak away stress is a luxurious way to end any day. The key to enjoying a home hot tub is ensuring that it is well-maintained and ready to use at all times. If you are maintaining your own spa for the first time, there are some things you’ll need to learn to do and avoid.

We’ve put together a list of common mistakes that new owners make with their hot tubs. By learning about proper maintenance, you can avoid making an expensive and frustrating mistake that prevents you from using your spa.

Mistake #1: Running your spa without filters

Running your spa without the correct filters in place is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a hot tub owner. Your filters provide essential cleaning to your water, preventing dirt, debris and hair from building up. But, your filters also protect your plumbing and pump from being damaged by circulated debris.

You should never run your spa without the correct filter cartridges in place. If you are in need of a new filter, be sure to replace it with the right cartridge before you run your system so you don’t damage your spa equipment.

Mistake #2: Leaving hot tub water unbalanced

Balancing spa water is a chore that many people neglect. But, maintaining your water is an essential part of keeping your spa in good condition. Unbalanced water can be damaging to your hot tub, causing your equipment to erode much more quickly. Unbalanced water can also prevent your chemicals from working effectively and cause irritation and drying to the skin, eyes and hair.

Be sure to regularly test and balance your hot tub water. Not only will your hot tub be more comfortable when you use it, but it will also last much longer as a result of your care.

Mistake #3: Letting your spa freeze during the winter months

When water turns into ice, it expands. Ice can be extremely damaging to a spa. If your hot tub has a chance to freeze during the winter months, the results can be disastrous. Freezing water can completely destroy your pump and plumbing, and can also crack and distort many other elements of your spa.

If you won’t be using your spa over the winter months, correctly winterizing can prevent any freezing damage. If you plan to keep your hot tub running over the winter, most spas will have a winter protection mode that you can use to ensure the water in your spa does not freeze. However you choose to use your spa over the winter months, be sure you prevent your spa from freezing or you’ll be facing an expensive repair.

Mistake #4: Ignoring small leaks and drips in your hot tub

You’ll need to invest a lot of time and energy into your spa to keep it running well. It can be easy to ignore small leaks and drips that develop on your tub. But, a small problem with your hot tub today can develop into a bigger (and more expensive) one over time.

If you notice any small points of damage, leaks, or dripping in your hot tub, be sure to find and repair the source immediately. Maintaining and servicing your hot tub regularly will save you money in the long run, and ensures your spa won’t be down for repairs when you want to use it.

Mistake #5: Failing to clean hot tub filters

Dirty hot tub filters will fail to clean your water and can even make the water dirtier as it passes through. But a clogged filter can also cause problems by putting additional strain on your spa pump, leading to long-term damage.

Be sure to clean your spa filters regularly and replace them as needed to keep your spa water and plumbing system in shape.

Mistake #6: Letting your filters dry out

After you clean your hot tub filters, it is important that you keep them moist and pop them back into your filter as soon as possible. Most spa filters need to be kept wet after they’ve been used in a spa filter once they’ve been used, or they can become brittle and fall apart.

Many hot tub owners learn they need to keep their filter cartridges moist the hard way. Make sure you prevent your cartridges from drying out after cleaning to make sure you aren’t stuck purchasing a replacement.

Mistake #7: Neglecting to change out your water

Failing to change out the water in a hot tub is a mistake that many people make if they have first owned a swimming pool, or if they are looking to save some money on their water bill.

Even if you clean and balance the water in your spa religiously, you’ll need to change out your water regularly to keep your hot tub clean and fresh. Be sure to change out the water in your spa ever 3 to 4 months (and more often if needed). This will ensure your chemicals are effective and that your water is clean and enjoyable every time you’re ready for a soak.

Mistake #8: Leaving spa the temperature set too high

Keeping the temperature of your spa turned high at all times can be expensive, and shorten the life of your spa system. There is no need to keep the temperature of your hot tub tuned to high even when you aren’t using it.

Always adjust the heat to a lower setting when your spa when it is empty. This habit will save you money and prevent your hot tub from wearing out quickly.

Mistake #9: Using a waterlogged spa cover

If your spa cover has started to seem heavier than it used to, chances are it is time to get a replacement. When it is starting to wear out, your spa cover can begin to soak up water from your spa.

If you have a waterlogged hot tub cover, be sure to get a replacement as soon as possible. A waterlogged spa cover is inefficient and unnecessarily heavy. A heavy cover can also cause excessive strain on your spa lifter. The soaked inner part of the cover is also a breeding ground for bacteria and mould.

Mistake #10: Draining your hot tub and leaving it empty

Many spa owners have made the mistake of draining their hot tubs and leaving it empty over time. But, your hot tub is actually designed to be filled with water. When a hot tub sits empty, the plumbing becomes an excellent place for mould and bacteria to breed and build up. Once large colonies of bacteria and mould are established, it can be nearly impossible to clear your plumbing of these hazardous invaders.

A dry hot tub will also allow seals and gaskets to begin to dry out, meaning you’ll have leaks when you start up your spa. Never allow your hot tub to sit empty, and you’ll be able to avoid long-term damage to your tub. p

Avoiding maintenance mistakes with your hot tub

A hot tub is an investment that will last much longer if you care for it properly. Be sure to learn how to properly maintain and care for your hot tub spa to avoid down-time, problems with your water, and shortening the life of your spa. By learning about common mistakes that people make with their own hot tubs, you can avoid the headache and expense of making these mistakes yourself in the future.

The Frugal Pool Owner: Cost Saving Dos and Dont’s for your Pool

Operating a swimming pool each summer can be very expensive. Maintenance, chemicals, repairs, and energy costs all add up quickly. But, the cost of running a swimming pool is not fixed, and there are many ways that you can save money while enjoying the pool each summer.

It is never a good idea to compromise on what you need to keep your pool safe and clean. But, we’ve put together a list of practical tips you can use to save some money next summer (and, over the life of operating your pool).

Continue reading The Frugal Pool Owner: Cost Saving Dos and Dont’s for your Pool

Is an automatic pool cleaner worth the investment?

If you’re a pool owner, you’ve probably fantasized about a time when the pool would just take care of itself. Keeping a pool clean and sparkling every day of the summer takes a lot of work, and can cut into the time that you actually get to spend enjoying the water.

Continue reading Is an automatic pool cleaner worth the investment?