Fibre-glass swimming pools

Strong and Durable Construction is good for Yachts

Nearly all pleasure boats and yachts are made of fibreglass and when you consider just how costly a million pound Sunseeker boat is you will appreciate the strength and inherent durability that this material can provide.

 

However when used in swimming pools the same manufacturing standards are never realised in a typical pool shell

 

How they are made

Fibreglass pools are constructed from a one-piece fibreglass shell. During manufacture, steel reinforcing bars and perimeter buttresses are encased within the shell to ensure maximum strength.

The mould on which the layers are sprayed looks like this:-

fiber-glass pool mold

Fibreglass construction results in a smooth gel-coated free flowing surface with no joins or seams to leak or hide unwanted bacteria.

Here the fiber-glass pool is being lifted from the mould:-

pool being lifted off mold

 

Cleaning is easy and leads to low maintenance. The reinforced fibreglass shell can come with a 10 year guarantee.

 

white fiber-glass pool shell

Choice

There are hundreds of different models and shapes available from several UK suppliers that provide top quality pools that vary in size from about about 4 metres long and 2m wide up to 12 metres long and 4m wide.

There are a selection of different shapes, sizes and colours, varying from circular to rectangular, with most models including internal steps for access and social areas ensures that you will find a model that fits your requirements.

One has to be careful when comparing sizes because fibreglass pools are measured on the external plan dimensions of the actual fibre-glass and this may be 300mm outside the water line of the pool.

 

Word of Warning

If you think that your property where the pool is going to be installed is in an area of swelling clay (London Clay or Weald of Kent for instance) then special provisions may be necessary.

Bluepools will advise on this indetail in the Survey Report. Any cost advantages that fibre-glass pools may have will soon disappear in these circumstances!

Similarly there are countless instances when fibre-glass pools have been emptied and they have “popped” out of the ground.

This occurs when water levels in the ground around the pool are higher than the pool water level – and the pool acts like a fibre-glass yacht!!

The pool needs to be anchored to the surrounding deck concrete as well as ground de-watering facilities in these circumstance – and Bluepools knows how to deal with these issues as well.

The Installation Process

Normally the pool supplier will provide a detailed dig profile drawing and full installation instructions for their pools and this caters for any variation between particular brands or types.

Excavation

First the pool shape is set out with line marker paint, string and pegs.

The pool should then be over-dug enough to allow for some manoeuvrability when lowering in the pool, around 250mm all around is normally sufficient.

The depth should be over-dug by about 120mm to allow for the bed of pea shingle which the base of the pool is supported on.

With a constant depth pool, the pea shingle will be level. With a sloping base pool the shingle will be graded to the particular angle of the base as indicated by the dig profile that the pool supplier should provide.

Screed rails set to the right levels and slope can take all the hassle out of this process.

Groundwater is a major issue with fibre-glass pools as if the pool is empty and there are high groundwater levels around the pool it can float – just like a fibre-glass yacht does.

Bluepools will consider this issue during the design process and make sure that any necessary precautions are taken.

The Delivery

The pool will arrive on a low loader lorry that is equipped with a crane.

If the excavation is prepared and accessible, the driver can lower the pool directly into it.

Alternatively it can be set to one side and lowered in at a later stage by manpower if it is a small pool, digger or crane.


The Installation

The access to the lower parts of a fibre-glass pool shell can be difficult after the pool has been placed in its final location and so it is better to connect lengths of flexible pipe to the low suctions points to avoid later trench work.

The pool should be back-filled to about a third of its depth with 6mm pea shingle and the four corners checked for level. Low corners can be lifted to allow the pea shingle to run into the small void that is created.

When the pool is level, it can be filled to about third of its depth with water and the levels checked again.

The skimmer, inlets, light and pipe work etc. can be fitted at this stage and then the backfilling can proceed with pea shingle up to the underside of the deck around the top of the pool. The filling with water needs to continue at the same time as the pea shingle to ensure an even pressure.

 

Fibre-glass pools have their place but Bluepools does not supply them. We believe that wooden pools are better value for money than fibre-glass pools See Comparison between wooden and fibre-glass pools