How to prepare a rusted water tank before installing a tank liner

Water Faucet RustIf you find your water tank has some surface rust, here is the process for treating it prior to the installation of the liner.

You will need enough rust converter / metal primer to cover the rusted area, and enough plastic film sheet to cover the treated area.

First ensure the rust is only surface rust and the tank is sufficiently strong enough to hold the weight of the water when it completely full. If in doubt, seek some expert advice on the structure of the tank before fitting the liner and filling it with water.

Using a wire brush, remove the loose surface rust from the inside of the tank. Treat the area with “rust converter/metal primer” available from your local hardware supply. Follow the instructions for applying the converter/primer, paying particular attention to working within a confined space.

Allow the converter / primer to completely dry and then install a protective sheet between the tank surface and the liner. You can use a Painters plastic drop sheet or builders film for this. If you are fastening the tank fixing extrusion at the top of the tank, you can secure the plastic sheet under the extrusion as you drill and rivet it in place. Add a layer to the floor of the tank if it has been treated with the paint primer and then using duct Tape, secure it in place before fitting the liner so it doesn’t move.

The plastic film sheet will act as a protective barrier between the rust converter/metal primer and the liner.

What makes Aqualux better than a regular inground pool liner?

aqualux pool finish in Bahama ABGALAn Aqualux pool finish is a specialist, flexible pool interior which is designed for Australia’s harsh climate, to out-perform other similar pool finishes.

The Aqualux difference starts with the chemistry. Some products perform well under certain conditions, and others just don’t make the grade – and it is all in the chemistry.

First we need to understand a little about the conditions, and that’s why Aqualux was developed here in Australia, specifically for Australian conditions. By studying the environmental conditions, we have been able to see over the years how small adjustments to the chemistry have improved Aqualux, and increased its performance.

The performance is measured by the resistance to the environmental elements like the sun and the chemicals in the pool water (like chlorine and salt). By carefully monitoring the performance of the pool finish, and adjusting the chemistry little by little, Aqualux has become the ultimate flexible pool interior for the Australian environment. It has taken many years of testing and expertise, and the end result remains a closely guarded secret that many try to immitate, but none have sucessfully reproduced.

Australia’s climate punishes standard grade plastics. A standard inground pool liner might work quite adequately in Asia, Europe or the Americas, but bring it to Australia and its a different story alltogether. That’s why the formula is the key and how chemistry makes all the difference to making your pool finish longer lasting. We have our own chemist with more than 30 years’ experience, employed to make sure each manufactured batch of Aqualux is carefully monitored and quality tested to meet our strict standards.

This means you can be assured that your Aqualux pool finish has been expertly manufactured to suit Australia’s harsh climate. But it is still one of the easiest surfaces to keep the pool balanced and looking good ready to swim. It is soft and silky to the touch which means it is more comfortable to swim in for you and your family. No rough edges or scratches or scuffs to worry about.

Don’t just install another pool liner. Choose the finish that’s passed the test of time, and been the choice of thousands of pool owners across Australia since 1976 – an Aqualux pool finish.

Is Aqualux suitable for a Glascon Pool?

A Glascon pool is a little unusual, as it has fibreglass walls and a concrete floor. The construction of this pool is a mix of two styles used for swimming pools – firstly – the wall is made from glass reinforced plastic (commonly known as ‘fibreglass”) and the floor is reinforced concrete.

The fibreglass wall has a smooth gel coat finish and was usually blue in colour, and the concrete floor was either painted or finished with a waterproof marble render. The problem with this system is, there is no chemical bond between the concrete and the fibreglass, so there is a risk of leakage at this joint. If there is some ground movement over time, the joint can open up slightly and pool water will leak out of this join, between the two structural elements.glascon-pool-steps-ready-for-measuring

The simplest and easiest way to fix this leaking, is to install an Aqualux pool finish. The design of the Glascon pool is similar to a prefabricated vinyl pool and therefore it is a very cost effective and straight forward process. The pool has an even wall height all the way around, and the floor slopes down into a bowl sort of shape to make the deep end. Having vertical walls means the vinyl finish will be economical and easy to fit. The pool just needs some simple preparation of new eyeballs fittings suitable for vinyl, a fixing extrusion fitted at the top of the wall and a face plate or under water extrusion around the skimmer opening.

The empty pool is measured for the Aqualux finish, which is made into a one piece waterproof membrane at the factory and then fitted in a day and the pool filled back again with water.

An Aqualux PVC membrane is an excellent solution to a leaking Glascon pool.

glascon-pool-wall-floor-leaking

Fibreglass Pool Resurfacing

Faded fibreglass pool
This fibreglass pool is faded and in need of resurfacing.

If your Fibreglass pool is over ten (10) years old it is probably starting to show some signs of surface degradation –  both above the water level and below the water level. Fading above the water level will be signs of weathering. This is from the sun constantly beating down on the plastic resin surface of the Fibreglass gel coat. The UV in the sun’s ray attack the plastic and cause it to degrade and fade over time to the point where the surface becomes rougher and starts to attract stains and discolouration.

This is fairly obvious to see the fibreglass surface degrading, but it is under the water level that most of damage is being done, by the very chemicals that keep your pool looking sparkling clean.

What is this I hear you ask? It is the chlorine in the water. Now some people say “I have a salt pool, there is no chlorine” but that is wrong. Salt chlorinators by their very name generate chlorine from the salt that is added to the pool water. Therefore you still have chlorine in the water, it is just generated from the salt instead of being added to the water in the form of tablets or granules or powder.

Have a look at this empty fibreglass pool, you can see above the water level, the colour of the gel coat is in much better condition than below the water level. The chlorine used to keep the pool clean over all the years is an “oxidising agent”. And what it has done, is oxidise the fibreglass gel coated surface to become white and bleached and faded looking. But worst of all is the surface now has a “rough” feeling to the skin, it is no longer smooth like it was when it was new. This means algae and stains cling onto the surface more easily and make the Fibreglass pool surface much harder to keep clean. “What can I do to fix this” I hear you say? The answer is an Aqualux low maintenance pool finish. It is guaranteed and the ideal resurfacing option for a Fibreglass pool. The pool in the photos has been drained in preparation for a smooth to touch, soft and flexible low maintenance finish that will give up to 20 years of hassle free service. You can see how much the Fibreglass surface has worn and discoloured, time for a new look!

Pool Shops: 5 ways to compete with online sales

Whatever products you are selling, odds are, someone can find it cheaper online. While instinct may be to ‘fight fire with fire’, the overheads attached to running a bricks and mortar pool shop means that price matching to online competitors is just not viable.  So what can you do?

1. Value Add. Yes, you can buy a solar pool cover online on ebay and a whole host of pop up discount stores. While many of them are cheap imported covers that will only last one season, some of the covers will be of comparable quality (sometimes even the same brand) as you are selling.  If you can’t afford to price match, you can always add more value. Adding value doesn’t have to mean giving away another $10 worth of product with every purchase – it can be extra service (such as free water testing or troubleshooting), specialist advice, a loyalty program, or even upselling with an installation service. What about a free loan trailer to take home large items that don’t fit in their car? By offering more than just a ‘product in a box’, you are adding value – and giving your customer more than they would get online.

2. Build a Relationship. Be their local pool shop. Be their ‘go to guy’ for anything related to their pool. Don’t be there for the quick buck and sell them stuff they don’t need – while it might work in the short term, they’ll wise up to it eventually, and will never trust you again. Ideally, you want every pool owner within a 15 minute drive to your shop to know who you are. They should know your face, and your name. When they buy on line, they buy from a faceless, nameless stranger, who may well be operating out of his mother’s basement (and probably doesn’t even own a pool!) When they buy from you, they are dealing with someone they know and trust, and are supporting a local business as well. Most people are happy to pay a little extra when it comes to buying Australian, and supporting local business.

3. Online Presence. While you may not be able to compete with them online pricewise, you do still need to be there. Social media such as Facebook and Google+ – and your own website.  There are plenty of free do-it-yourself online options these days. You can even set up your own ecommerce website. It doesn’t have to be expensive – with platforms like wordpress and shopify, you can have your pool shop online, with checkout facilities for less than $50 a month. While you are not likely to make millions, at least you are there, as a valid alternative. And if you don’t want to be posting parcels out, consider a ‘click and collect’ type option. Buy online then hop in the car and pick it up next time you’re driving past? Why not? Beats sitting around for days or even weeks, wondering when your parcel might be delivered!

4. Convenience. Above all, a local pool shop is convenient. You’re generally there 7 days a week, you can talk to them and offer advice, and you are just a short drive away. If they have a problem with their item, they can go and talk to you about it. This is an extra service – another value add – something they can’t get online.

 

Can I pebble over a leaking fibreglass walled pool?

At least once a month we hear from someone who has a fibreglass walled pool, who has made the mistake of resurfacing it with pebbles.

This ‘Glascon’ pool in Brisbane is one of them. Glascon pools have a concrete base, and use a rolled fibreglass sheeting for the walls. A common issue with these type of pools which have a separate base and walls, is leaking in the joint where the walls and floor meets.

This leak between the walls and floor joint was precisely the case with this pool. The most effective way to solve these leaks is with the installation of a flexible, waterproof membrane such as a pool liner, or an Aqualux pool finish.

However, when the home owners approached some pool builders for quotes to repair the pool,  one told them resurfacing with pebble would be effective, and add more value than a vinyl liner. As you do, they trusted their pool builder’s advice, and decided to go ahead with the pebble coat.

Costing many thousands of dollars to install, the pebble interior lasted around 12 months before it failed. It leaked, it cracked – and then it literally fell off the walls.

The only thing the pebble added value to was the builders wallet.

pebble over fibreglass
The pebble finish cracked and fell off after 12 months.

Naturally that pool builder has since left the Brisbane area, and not covered by insurance, the homeowners were left to sort out the mess themselves.

Luckily, this time around they found themselves in contact with a reputable pool builder. And rather than just go ahead and build a whole new pool inside the existing one, he suggested installing a pool liner, and put them in touch with Complete Pool Liners.

Complete were able to resurface the existing pool shell with an Aqualux Pool Finish, creating a waterproof membrane which covers the entire surface. The pool was finished and ready to swim within 2 weeks. The owners were happy with the price, and couldn’t be happier with the result.

fibreglass pool resurfaced with Aqualux
The Aqualux pool finish puts a waterproof skin over the entire pool shell.

 

My pool has black or grey staining on the interior surface, what is the cause?

There are three main causes of what appears to be staining or marks on a pool interior surface.

The first, and most common cause of staining or discolouration of a pool interior is algae. This will start in an area where water circulation is not good, like the deep end or comers of the pool.

Or, it could be caused by algae feeding off debris in an area from overhanging foliage or just a basic lack of enough chlorine to maintain the water balance.

By the addition of an algaecide or a super dose of chlorine, the algae will die and then it can be brushed off the pool surface and permanently removed. Some more stubborn types of algae like black spot, need to brushed before the addition of chemicals as their outer surface forms a protective barrier to chemicals.

By brushing and breaking the outer surface, it allows the chemicals to more easily kill the algae so it can be removed. Provided the correct chemical levels and good water circulation are maintained, it will be removed permanently.

The second type of staining is from metals in the pool water. These metals can be introduced by ionic sterilising systems or even from a water source (town water through an old copper pipe or bore water) that contains a higher than normal level of metals when filling or topping up the pool.

If increasing the acidity (lowering PH in the pool) removes the staining temporarily, then it indicates a problem with metals. If you re-adjust the PH and the stain re-appears, then this confirms it is caused by a high concentration of a metal in the pool water. Lowering the PH just puts the metal into solution, it doesn’t remove it from the water and that is why it will re-appear when the PH is balanced – it precipitates from solution and plates onto the pool interior surface.

To remove the metals, you need to dilute concentration by using a chelating agent or draining a substantial amount of the pool water and re-filling with fresh water (without metals).

The third, (and very rare cause of staining), can be microbial activity under the interior surface of the pool. If in this example the pool has a PVC liner, it is possible for ground water contamination under the liner to encourage microbial activity. These microbes feed off nutrients in the ground water (like seepage from a septic system or other grey water) and they secrete dyes that will stain the liner from the underneath and can flow through to the inside surface of the pool.

Once this dye staining has occurred, the stain can be lightened sometimes with the addition of high levels of chlorine introduced into the pool, but usually the staining is permanent and cannot be removed.

Correct chemical balance for a vinyl lined pool

Getting the water balance right in a vinyl lined pool is a little different to a pebble, tiled or other finished pool. Regardless of whether it is an above ground pool or an inground pool, the water in a vinyl finish pool all needs to be balanced and stabilised, and regularly checked for imbalances. The following levels ensure the best care for both your family and your pool, for a vinyl lined /Aqualux finished swimming pool. DO NOT use these levels on any other pool finish.

Recommended levels for a vinyl lined/Aqualux pool:

pH…………………….. 7.4 – 7.8

Total Alkalinity……  100 – 150ppm

Calcium Hardness..  200 – 400ppm

Free Chlorine……… 1 -3 ppm (non heated pool)

2 – 4 ppm (heated pool)

Stabiliser…………..  30 – 50 ppm

Saturation Index..  -0.1 to+0.4

Is there a special type of liner for an indoor pool?

 If you are renovating or installing a new PVC lined indoor pool, consider the type of PVC liner you are using.

Some people say all liners are the same, with the only difference being thickness, but that’s just not true. Most liners are made from a PVC film. This flexible, stretch fabric relies on the structure of the pool, and the weight of the water to maintain its shape. This works well in most situations, and with high quality options available, it’s an excellent surface finish for both above ground and inground swimming pools that are outdoor.

However, under certain environmental conditions (likely to be found in an indoor pool) the fabric of a standard PVC liner can sometimes start to ‘absorb’ water.

PH, total chlorine levels, ventilation and bathing load are all thought to be contributing factors. If the liner fabric begins to absorb water, it eventually expands the PVC, which then causes wrinkles to form in the pool. The wrinkles usually start on the floor of the pool, but can be all over the whole liner. If you look closely at a section of affected PVC, you can see the surface is weakened, and prone to forming tiny cracks that can develop into larger tears.

If this happens, there is no reversing of the process, and the life span of the liner is greatly reduced.

While many indoor pools are surfaced with standard PVC liners without any problems, there is always a risk of it occurring in the right (or wrong) conditions, and it is best to avoid the risk completely in indoor pools, by using a reinforced liner.

AquaForce is a specialist reinforced PVC fabric which is suitable for use in indoor pools. AquaForce features an internal reinforcing layer that keeps the fabric stable in indoor pools, and virtually eliminates the risk of wrinkling.

With a three layer design, AquaForce has a PVC base ply, a layer of reinforced polyester mesh, then topped with another ply of PVC. All three layers are homogeneously bonded together during the manufacturing process to be permanently fused. The mesh reinforcing layer stabilises the fabric and stops it from shrinking or expanding. 

Traditional PVC liners can be delivered to site fully welded in one piece, but AquaForce reinforced PVC liners are always fabricated on site, as they do not stretch or form to the pool shape.

The rolls of the AquaForce fabric are laid in the pool and overlapped to form seams that are welded on site. Edges are then sealed, to stop water absorption through the fabric itself. AquaForce liners can be fitted to any pool shape, as the liner is cut and shaped in the pool on site, allowing it to be fitted over steps and benches and down into deep ends of all style of pools.

 So if you are looking to install a PVC liner in an indoor pool, we recommend the use of a reinforced PVC such as AquaForce, to reduce the risk of wrinkling. AquaForce is also recommended for use on Commercial PoolsIndoor commercial pool, bunbury WA AquaForce liner.

Why is my new pool liner slippery?

This question has come up a couple of times in the last week, so I thought it was worth another mention. It can affect both inground pool vinyl membranes, and above ground pool liners.

Both are made of a PVC, which contain additives to make the material more flexible, to assist with with the rolling and processing during manufacture. These additives (known as ‘lubricants’) will sometimes sit on the surface, and make the pool liner feel rather slippery. While most people who are coming from a rough surface such as pebble are simply delighted with the texture, those who are replacing an existing liner will often feel that the new liner is too slippery. The slippery feeling is generally accentuated with replacement liners, as older liners often have small amounts of calcium build up on the surface, giving a slightly rougher texture.

The good news is that the slipperiness is only temporary, and the extra lubricants will ‘wash off’ the surface of the liner within 6-12 weeks, leaving you with the feeling of more grip underfoot.

If your pool liner is not a new installation, the most common cause of slipperiness is algae. Algae is incredibly slippery, and it is not always visible to the eye – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you cant feel it!

So if its not a brand new pool, check your chemical balance. Chances are, it’s a little out of whack, and you have some algae. For the correct chemical balance for a vinyl pool interior, please refer to our Care & Maintenance document for vinyl pools  and print a copy for your records.

So if you find your liner to be more slippery than expected, check the chemical balance of the pool and ensure this is correct. If it is not due to the chemical balance, but your liner is brand new, then you will find after a few months the liner will have more grip under foot.