Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ's

How do I get my business listed in ABGAL's referral system?

Our IVR system is a free service which we provide to some of our regular customers. Generally, inclusion is based on a minimum dollar spend. If you would like to be involved, give us a call and we'll see what we can do for you.

What’s the difference between an inground pool and an above ground pool?

People often confuse above ground pools which have been installed in the ground with inground swimming pools, but they are not the same thing. Generally speaking, an above ground pool uses a steel wall (usually corrugated to add strength) and a base channel and side supports and top deck in either metal or plastic. The floor is usually compacted sand to offer a smooth and stone free surface. This type of structure relies on the water pressure from inside the pool for support and the PVC Lining to hold the water. Without the liner, they don’t hold water. The coping or deck around the top was always colour bond steel, but since about 2005 has been available in moulded or extruded plastic. The steel top copings are usually straight sections, whereas the plastic copings can be made curved to match the shape of the pool. Sometimes the coping can be hidden under timber decking, or under paving stones and ornamental rocks etc. These pools must use a liner to hold water, you cannot tile, paint or fibreglass an above ground pool.

Inground pools can be made from any solid material suitable for burying in the ground. They can be Concrete, brick, concrete block, treated timber, marine ply, fibro planks and sheets, fibreglass, corrosion protected steel, fibreglass and aluminium. The concrete pools can be formed concrete, sprayed concrete or concrete panels. The brick, block and panel pools will usually have a concrete floor, but some older type pools with aluminium panels or steel panels only had sand or sand/cement floors. The reason is, the engineering of the pool did not require the floor to support the pool wall structure, so the floor was only cosmetic and provided it was smooth, could be formed from compacted sand or a sand/cement mix. Fully moulded one piece fibreglass shells are very popular for inground pools as well.

What pool interior finish is suitable for my pool type?

Some inground pools can have almost any finish, but others are restricted to a flexible finish because that is how they were engineered when they were designed and built. Using a design with a flexible finish offers many advantages. It allows for lower construction costs as well as the ability of the pool to accommodate ground movement (which almost always occurs) and the pool to remain water tight as the surface flexes with the ground movement and doesn’t crack and leak. All the panel type pools or pools with different wall construction to the floor, need to use a flexible interior finish to avoid issued with movement and cracking. These are ideal for the Aqualux low maintenance pool finish as it is a flexible membrane designed to allow structural movement without cracking and leaking.

Fibreglass pools are not suitable for cement, pebble or rendered finishes as these dry hard and stiff. However a fibreglass shell has some flexibility in it and a hard finish would just crack and flake off. You can use a new coat of fibreglass to replace the surface in these pools, but it is import than the surface is prepared well and completely moisture free to ensure a good bond on the new fibreglass layer, otherwise it may delaminate over time and peel away in large sections from the old pool. An Aqualux flexible pool finish is an ideal option for Fibreglass pool as it too is flexible to move with the any flex in the fibreglass shell over time. Painting is a cheap option, but not recommended for renovating a fibreglass pool.

Solid structure pools like formed concrete, sprayed concrete and concrete filled block can use a variety of surface finishes, such as fibreglass, paint, pebbles or Aqualux. When applying an Aqualux low maintenance finish to an inground pool, it is applied over the top of the concrete, tiles or pebbles. This is perfect if the concrete pool has rust stains coming through the old plaster or pebble finish as it covers over the unsightly stains that you can never scrub away.

WATER TANKS

How do I measure my tank?

For a round tank, measure the (internal) height and diameter. For square or rectangular tanks, measure the (internal) depth, width and length. The correct measurements are important, as each liner is custom made to fit.

Can I use a liner in my old galvanised or concrete tank?

If the tank is structurally sound and can still hold its full volume of water, a liner is ideal.
For more details about water tank liners, visit our tank liners page.


POOL LINERS

What silicone sealant can I use on my PVC liner?

Any non-acetic neutral cure silicone from hardware stores.

Can you put a vinyl liner into an inground pool?

A vinyl liner is a great method of waterproofing a pool shell. We have a product called Aqualux which is specifically engineered to be used inside inground pools. Aqualux is a fantastic surface finish for all inground pools – its super smooth, and is incredibly easy to keep clean (you’ll never have to scrub it!). Suitable for new pools and renovations.

POOL COVERS

Which way up does my solar blanket go on the water?

The blanket should float evenly on the pool, bubble side down. The bubbles help the blanket to 'stick' to the water.

What are the main benefits to using a pool blanket?

Using a pool blanket has many benefits. 1. They can prevent more than 99% of evaporation, saving thousands of litres of water every year. 2. Solar (bubble) blankets will heat pool water by up to 8 degrees, extending your swimming season. 3. A blanket will reduce chemical consumption by around 50%. 4. A well fitted blanket will keep leaves and debris out of the pool. 5. Less leaves and less chemicals means less maintenance.

Can I run my vacuum with the solar blanket on?

Absolutely. An automated pool cleaner can work underneath a cover, with no problems at all. You may find that the reduced debris in the pool will result in the vacuum working more efficiently - some people notice a reduction in their electricity bills.

My solar blanket does not sit flat on the water.

When first installed, a solar blanket is very likely to have creases and wrinkles all over the surface. These are caused by the packaging, and will flatten out after a few days in the sun. This is why we recommend that you allow your blanket to sit for a few days to flatten out prior to trimming to final shape.

My pool goes green whenever I put the cover on.

Because solar covers heat the water, they can also help to accelerate algae growth if chemical levels are not maintained. Check your chlorine levels daily, and bear in mind that the hotter the water, the more chlorine the pool will use. If you live in a tropical climate (such as Qld, where we are), a green pool is more likely to happen during December/January, when a combination of hot temperatures and high rainfall can make balancing your pool a bit of a nightmare. Talk to your pool shop about the best way to achieve correct levels to prevent algae growth, as methods will vary depending on your pool finish. It is important to remember, if you are shock chlorinating, you must remove your solar blanket completely, and leave it off until chlorine levels come back down to within normal range.

My solar blanket makes the water too hot to swim, but if I take it off, I lose too much water with evaporation.

Because most evaporation occurs at night and in the early morning, you can overcome both issues by only covering the pool at night. Make sure the cover is on before you go to bed, and take it off again first thing in the morning, before the sun gets hot. If leaves are a problem, and you don't want to take the cover off, you can purchase a 'Koolcover'. Koolcover blocks the sun's rays from penetrating the water, so you get all the benefits of a solar cover, without the temperature increase.

Do ABGAL pool covers carry the Smart Approved WaterMark and what does this mean?

The Smart Approved WaterMark is an independent outdoor water saving labelling program for products and services that help to reduce water use around the home. Many rebate schemes require a blanket to carry the Mark before it is eligible for water saving rebates.

The following ABGAL solar pool covers carry this stamp of approval:

Oasis 400
Oasis 500
Oasis Silverback 500
Oasis Solarcover
Oasis Koolcover
Aquacover

What is the main difference between each type of blanket?

All solar blankets do pretty much the same thing. The main difference is the weight (micron), and warranty period. The lower the micron the lighter the blanket is to handle , Please refer to the product menu for a detailed explanation of each blanket.

How should I maintain my pool water to get the maximum life from my pool cover?

When maintaining your domestic pool, you should always follow The Australian Standard. Regular checking of your chemical levels to ensure they fit within the standard (AS 3633-1989) will not only benefit your pool cover, but also the health and well being of your family.

What chlorine level is recommended when using a pool cover?

We suggest keeping your chlorine for an outdoor pool in the range between 1.5 PPM and 3.0 PPM (lower of the range for cooler regions and higher of the range for warmer climates). If you are unsure, you should always check with your pool shop.

SOLAR BLANKET WARRANTY QUESTIONS

What sort of blanket problems are covered by warranty?

ABGAL solar pool blankets are warranted against faulty workmanship and materials. Refer to the warranty supplied with your cover for more details about the warranty conditions. If you believe you have a warranty claim, your first point of contact should be at the original place of purchase. They will liaise with us on your behalf.

Your pool store will provide us with a picture of your blanket (showing the damage), along with a brief description of the problem, the size and cover style (ie Oasis 500 or Solarcover 250 etc) and also the date and place of purchase, so its a good idea to have all this ready when you talk to them. If you experience difficulties, or if the shop you purchased the cover from is no longer trading, you can send the information direct to us@abgal.com.au If you would like to speak to someone, you can phone 07 3803 9000, or (freecall) 1800 077 533.

Splitting seam

If you have a seam on a cover that has not been welded correctly and the two layers come apart, this is covered by warranty. If this is going to happen, it will most likely happen the first time it is installed as this is when tension is placed on the seams for the first time. Dry the blanket, roll it up and put it back into the packaging and return it to your supplier to be re-welded.

Sometimes a blanket can tear along the edge of a seam if the blanket gets caught on the side of the pool when being put on or taken off. This is not covered by warranty and will not affect the performance of the blanket. It can be repaired yourself by hand stitching a patch using fishing line or a heavy synthetic thread. (don't use cotton as it will not last). Alternatively you can have this tear professionally repaired at your local canvas tarp or tent repairer.

Brittle and breaking apart

If the blanket material becomes BRITTLE and cracks into pieces, this is an indication of breakdown of the plastic. If it is on the top (side that faces the sun) then it is likely to be UV breakdown, and will be covered by warranty if your pool cover is still within its warranty period. If however, the breakdown of plastic is evident on both the top and bottom of the cover, then the breakdown is most likely caused by exposure to high levels of chemicals in the pool. Damage caused by high levels of chemicals can occur within less than a year, and are not covered by warranty. It is very important to keep a close check on your chlorine levels, and to ensure they remain within the Australian Standard at all times. We suggest a range between 1.5ppm and 3.0ppm (towards the lower end of the range for cooler regions, and higher for warmer climates).

WHITENING of bubbles on the under-side

of the blanket is caused by the cover being in contact with high chemical levels. This whitening is a form of bleaching and will actually degrade the strength of your blanket. It can cause the blanket to start to break down into small pieces which get trapped in your filtration system. When the blanket gets to this stage of deterioration, remove it from the pool to avoid damage to your filtration system. This is not a fault with the fabric and therefore is not covered by warranty.

Colour variation

in the blanket is not covered by warranty. Pool chemicals can easily bleach colour from clothing as well as pool covers and therefore colour variation is beyond our control. Please keep your chemical levels to within the Australian Standards to avoid bleaching your cover.

Punctured holes

in the pool blanket material are not covered by warranty, as this is what is called "mechanical damage". Usually accidental, this can be caused by broken cleaning equipment, dragging the cover over a rough pool coping and a variety of other causes. You will need to patch repair the puncture with an adhesive suitable for repairing blankets. Products like "all weather tape" can be used, as well as self-adhesive tape used for boat sail repair being suitable.

Collapsed bubbles

on the blanket material is a rare warranty condition that is a rare phenomenon caused by a chemical imbalance. On some heated pools, under certain climatic temperature conditions, the bubbles on the blanket can collapse. There are varying degrees of collapse, and most will still function as a normal blanket, and stop the same amount of evaporation. If the blanket no longer functions, cut a small sample of the cover showing the collapsed bubbles and post it along with a copy of your purchase receipt to: ABGAL P/L, PO BOX 1566, BROWNS PLAINS BC QLD 4118.

A TEAR alongside the seam

of the cover is not covered by warranty, as this indicates either too much tension on the cover, or the cover has been spiked at the edge of the seam. You will need to repair the cover with an adhesive tape, such as "All Weather Tape". It can be repaired yourself by hand stitching a patch using fishing line or a heavy synthetic thread (don't use cotton as it will not last). Alternatively you can have this tear professionally repaired at your local canvas tarp or tent repairer.

Water inside the bubbles

Occasionally, you may notice a small amount of water inside the bubbles. This is just condensation, (like on the outside of a water bottle) and is perfectly normal. Once the temperature inside and outside the bubble equalize, the water will evaporate. Condensation will not affect the performance or lifespan of a solar blanket in any way.

EXPANDED bubbles or weakened sections

across the width of the blanket indicate "roller burn". This occurs where the cover has been stored on a blanket storage reel without the use of an approved protective overcover to keep direct sunlight from it. The layers of blanket around the tube heat up when exposed directly to the sun and caused degradation of the cover in strips. All blankets should be stored away from direct sunlight when not on the pool, especially when you're using a storage reel. This is not a fault with the material and therefore is not covered by warranty.

SHADE SAILS

Who can access Shade-Calc, and how much does it cost?

Shade-Calc is only available to ABGAL customers who register to use it. Registration and use is free for on-going orders.

What sort of fittings can you supply with my shade sail?

All fittings are stainless steel and hydraulic pressed, available in Triangle, D Ring or D Ring Ezy Slide.

How are pockets and seams sewn?

As a standard, all pockets and seams are folded facing up, and pockets are single folded. All stitching is twin sewn (with twin needles). Seams facing down and other variations are all available on request.

What colour thread is used for stitching?

All stitching is twin sewn, using either white or black thread.

I am using sliders. Can you give me a theoretical length for cable?

Yes, even with sliders, we can still give you a theoretical length for cable. It should be noted though, that we do not recommend the use of sliders, as they can cause fabric to be over-tensioned.

AQUALUX

Is it safe to let my dog swim in an inground pool with an Aqualux finish?

As long as your dog can get in and out of the pool without clawing or biting at the Aqualux finish, there should not be a problem. Many pools with an Aqualux interior have feature tiles on the step or pool entry which are dog claw and teeth resistant. A customer recently told us that their Boxer had fallen into their pool and panicked, and despite 2 or 3 minutes of frantic clawing at the side, he did not do any damage to the pool finish. (Although we certainly don’t recommend trying this out for yourself!).

Will my rings damage my Aqualux pool finish?

Unless you have something which is unusually large/ sharp, it is very unlikely that you would damage the liner with jewellery. Large and prominent dress rings should be removed when swimming so you don’t scratch other swimmers as well as protecting the jewellery from the damage against the pool paving or even the pool finish. If you wear your rings every day and don’t scratch/cut people you come into contact with, you should be able to wear them in an Aqualux lined pool without any problems. Common sense is the best advice when deciding what is appropriate to take into the pool. If in doubt, leave it out!

I live in Melbourne, and am having trouble with staining on my Quartzon pool. If we resurface with Aqualux, will we have the same problem?

No. Aqualux is very easy to keep clean. It has been designed to be a low maintenance pool finish and that means it has been chemically formulated to resist stains. The finish is inert meaning there are no calcium deposits from within the finish to cause unsightly scale and stains on the pool interior. No more using lots of acid in your pool, the Aqualux finish has not affect on the pool water chemistry leaving your PH level stable and minimising the amount of acid you need to add to the water to keep your pool in balance. With an Aqualux pool finish, staining, spots and scale are not an issue any more – even in Melbourne.

Will a pool liner fade?

All pool finishes will lose their vibrancy over time, but the Aqualux pool finish is specially formulated for the harsh Australian climate and treated to resist UV damage. The majority of fade in swimming pools comes from below the water line, as a result of the sanitiser being used to kill off the algae and bacteria in the water. Pool sanitisers are oxidising agents (just like bleach) and these are affective killing un-wanted micro organisms in the water, but at the same time they slower bleach the pool interior over time. After many years, the pool finish ends up with chemical damage in the form of fading, rather than damage from the sun. When it comes time for changing, some finishes are almost completely white under the water, but still coloured above the water line and often you don’t even notice the difference as the water operating level remains the same and hides it!

We’ve been flooded and we have water behind our pool liner. What do we do?

While it is very rare, water can get behind water can get behind a liner and break the seal – causing it to float. Don’t panic though, it can normally be rectified – visit our page on floating liners for advice.