Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Any thing to do with swimming pools, fish ponds, or other man made structures which hold water (but not wells for drinking water).

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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:29 pm

OF Pools advantages:

Once the pump is running the dirt floating on the water surface will slowly move towards the OF edge - either at 1 side only or at all 4 sides. This to compare with the skimmer, to imagine that all the dirt from the water surface should move towards the 1 or 2 small holes somewhere in the wall(s). And to achieve that somehow, the pump has to be much more stronger.

When the dirt gets into the OF channel, the water brings it into the OF tank, where the dirt will sink to the bottom. Then, only a clean water (10cm above the bottom) will be sucked by the pump and pushed through the filter back to the pool. The bottom of the OF tank - and the dirt laying there - can be cleaned up (spray up) once in 2 -3 months, the dirty water sucked away by a small submersibel pump.

Comparison with the skimmer, all the dirt from the surface will get sucked by the pump and pushed directly into the filter, hence, the filter will be filled up by the dirt much earlier, will have to be more frequently backwashed.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:48 pm

OF Pools advantages (cont.):
Bottom outlets
In fact, the OF pools do not need to implement the bottom outlets (sometimes difficult to make or just forgotten). However, I use the bottom sucking together with sucking from OF tank, approx. 50/50. Not only the bottom outlet is needed when the pool is to be emptied (in fact this not needed within years): when the bottom is being brushed off or otherwise the dirt is whirled up it is good to fully open the bottom sucking (and the OF sucking to shut), then the fine dust is being strongly sucked into the filter, hence this contributes to faster clearing up.

In other case, at a heavy downfall of leaves and dust (when quite windy), the bottom sucking can be fully shut down, hence the OF will be stronger, the surface will get cleared up much faster.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:01 pm

OF Pools advantages (cont.):

The walls that are not overflown are getting a dirty ring at the water surface after some time. And from the walls it is not always so easy to brush it off (unless you do not use a chemical help). Also the smaller dirt, leaves, insects will get stuck to the wall.

This will not happen at the OF wall, all the dirt, insect, etc, will be washed out over into the OF channel and with a proper slope away to the OF tank. The OF edge - in fact a tile (I have 40cm wide) slightly sloped out - can be easily brushed off from the pavement around. I have a simple tool by 4 pcs of ScotchBrites (bought in Big C) fixed on a longer rod as a broom, with this it is an easy job.

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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:22 pm

Another advantage of the OF pool:

The pool shop people are often advising away from the OF pools. Why? They mostly want to sell the pools with plastic foils or ready made plastic pools for built-in (they never sell pools with ceramic tiles or other ceramic or concrete surfaces - these are made by local construction companies or by DIY). And because the plastic foils are quite difficult to be securely finished at the OF edge or OF surface.

Then they tell you that the OF pool will cost you much more, because of the channel around and the OF tank. They just humbly do not mention that with their skimmer pools all the walls are to be 20 - 30 cm higher (including also the foils).

And the OF channel does not need to get an expensive grid covering, it can be left open, better for a visual control. And in my case I am placing there the flexible hose of the manual bottom sucking, it is easy to take it out and easy to shift it back. Then, this hose is always filled in by water (shut off by a valve), no hasle when an empty hose for this sucking is to be connected. Otherwise sometimes you will get crazy unless you get all air out of the hose, it would not work (you will swear it sucks :x ), but it will not suck :D .

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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby wonder6281 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:59 am

excellent read and info .. I will be installing a pool in a few years and your experience and advice is appreciated.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Mike Judd » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:24 pm

The question is obviously, if you were building another pool( and there is nothing like practical experience ) would you do it exactly the same, or as I would suspect and would myself,use something like Serene blocks that are 200m.m. wide and with normal steel vertical and horizontal inside which are then filled with a small stone concrete giving you a shell that will with stand pressure from either direction. It's still the standard western method for basements ,car parks and retaining walls,also plenty of D.I.Y. pools. As many have found out when using those thin Thai blocks as outer formwork in their pools ,it is critical to get the backfill right before pouring the concrete. What did you do about sealing between the floor slab pour and the walls by the way.?
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby MGV12 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:37 pm

Mike Judd wrote:The question is obviously, if you were building another pool( and there is nothing like practical experience ) would you do it exactly the same, or as I would suspect and would myself,use something like Serene blocks that are 200m.m. wide and with normal steel vertical and horizontal inside which are then filled with a small stone concrete giving you a shell that will with stand pressure from either direction.


I have a fish pond the size of many a swimming pool ... it holds water and if there are any leaks they are insignificant. It is a very basic construction viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2019

A dedicated swimming pool [possibly without fish] might be a consideration for the future. If I succumb [agree it's a good thing for the value of the property] it will indeed be a Serene block construction ... generally as described. A swimming pool is a hole in the ground that holds water .... people have been swimming in holes in the ground that hold water for eons ... the crap talked about 'proper swimming pools' could be considered as being nothing more than baloney ... especially when it comes from those who build swimming pools for a [very lucrative] living; others [especially the aforesaid] might well disagree.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:33 pm

Mike Judd wrote:The question is obviously, if you were building another pool( and there is nothing like practical experience ) would you do it exactly the same, or as I would suspect and would myself,use something like Serene blocks that are 200m.m. wide and with normal steel vertical and horizontal inside which are then filled with a small stone concrete giving you a shell that will with stand pressure from either direction. It's still the standard western method for basements ,car parks and retaining walls,also plenty of D.I.Y. pools. As many have found out when using those thin Thai blocks as outer formwork in their pools ,it is critical to get the backfill right before pouring the concrete. What did you do about sealing between the floor slab pour and the walls by the way.?


Hallo Mike,
re to your question whether I would do something differently? In fact, not really. As far as I know the Serena blocks are not easily available in my surrounding. And it seems to me that it would not make much difference.
I do not know what did you mean by the sealing. I just have made use of the rebar mesh of the floor, laying it wider with some 50 cm for bending it up to walls, thus implement the rebars in the vertical structure of the double wall.

The walls are made with some 60cm height all around. Then another day or two it is partially backfilled.

What I would do differently is to avoid any 90 deg. corners, trying to make at least the 4 pool corners rounded (r=1m). At all such sharp corners the dirt is always gathering and it is difficult to brush it off. And if possible, to avoid it also at the stairs, with some rounded tiles.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Mike Judd » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:18 am

I think you will find in other posts where the walls of 70m.m. thick Thai blocks were used as the outer formwork ,collapsed when pouring the concrete wall , as wet concrete exerts a lot of pressure in a vertical wall and the blocks not very strong in themselves without the backfill which you have to be careful not to push it all inwards with too much. What I meant with you doing it the same was , unless I got it wrong from your post, was you did it once and tiled it , then did it all over again inside and tiled it once more. Serene Blocks are around ,I have seen them in Khon Kaen but they were stupidly expensive at the time. The thing with them is you are able to put all the vertical and horizontal steel in them as you build the wall to the shape of the pool wanted and then fill them with concrete making it a strong shell for the tiles. If you Google swimming pools ,you will find plenty who have built their pools that way. When I mentioned sealing the slab to the wall ,it's because where the joint is between them being done at different times ,there is a tendency for water to leak out there because of the pressure. Thats where a rubber water stop is put into the slab and carried up into the wall.Once water finds the smallest way out ,it's constant.But with your double layer of everything it's unlikely.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:19 pm

OF Pools advantages (cont.):

Some call the Over Flow pools "Infinity" pools. Yes, when you swim and looking towards the OF edge, it seems that the water goes infinitely. Or that behind the wall is nothing, you better do not come too close, not to fall down the Niagara Falls.

A well-known attraction is Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore:

Image

As a matter of fact, behind the wall it does not drop so deep:

Image
Last edited by Klondyke on Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:32 pm

OF Pools advantages (cont.):

One not so unimportant feature of infinity pools is that the walls do not create a tank where the heavy vapours laying on the water surface have no easy escape over the 20 - 30 cm higher walls of the skimmer style pools. Or at least just one wall - as in my case - does not hinder a proper airing of the chlorine vapours that are not really something healthy for the deep throats of heavily breathing swimmers. In my area is usually very rare a visible wind that would help to clean up the vapours. In fact, I do not apply much of the healthy "chlorine".
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:04 pm

How I maintain the swimming pool

As I mentioned before the problem of my water strongly contaminated by iron has not allowed me to make use of much chlorine. Immediately, even after a small amount of chlorine the water has turned in the brown-green discoloration. So I had been studying the other ways how to keep the water healthy, not green by the algae and be somehow sure that not much bakterias are growing in the warm water.

Now, when I have improved the iron removal the chlorine adition to the pool water almost no longer will influence the water clarity. However, my many readings at various pool forums has reassured me that the chlorine usage - how it is usually recommended - is mostly very exagerrated and not really necessary - sometimes even very harmful.

It has to be taken in account that most of the pool forums are in ownership of the pool shops and their advices always lead to the higher buys of their special chemical preparates. Furthermore, for the usage of the chemie various measuring and dosing devices are needed and helpfully recommended. Some of the forums are equipped with an automatic erasing of a competitor's name when mentioned.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:05 pm

How I maintain the swimming pool (cont.)

Beside the problem of the iron in the water the biggest headache (especially in a warm tropical country) is algae growth. The clever literature distincts the algae as green, brown, black, you name it, and different means (with brand names) against them. All of the clever liquids (or tablets) are based on a simple chemical material - Copper Sulphate.

This stuff is the one that the pool shops hate at most. Why? It is cheap and can be bought at any chemie shop or shops that supply farmers, especially wine growers (for vineyard spraying). 150 Baht/kg.

The pool shops tell you that the CS is very harmful, it contains copper, your wife's hair will turn in green (in fact, the Thai wives like to change the color of their hair :) ). And that the copper stays in the water. Nothing of this is true.

In fact, even for the drinking water is in EU allowed 2 ppm (2mg/l) Cu, whilst CS contains just 20 - 25% of the Cu.

So, if I dilute 200 g CS in my pool water of 50,000 l, it is 4 ppm for CS, 20% of this is 1 ppm of Cu, but I do not drink (almost) the pool water. This amount keeps the algae out of the pool and adding every 7 - 10 days another 100 g. Since the pool bottom is every few days vacuum sucked off, the sand filter backwashed and some leckage and evaporation occur, hence a lot of fresh water will be added - beside what the rain has brought - therefore the Cu contain has been substantially reduced.

Moreover, the Cu has been married with the algae and other unwanted substances in water and was sucked off and filtered off in a form of a dust.

And it is not very fair, when the chlorine sellers argue that Cu is not degradable, hence harmful for environment. They modestly do not just mention that their chlorine preparates (granulates and tablets) contain cyanurs that are essential for the longer effect of chlorine during sunshine. These cyanurs are not degradable, they stay in water (not married with anything), therefore they need another special measuring devices and a complete water exchange - very good for the environment :( .
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:09 pm

About Chlorine

Not only that because of my problem with ironized water I was forced not to use much chlorine. The chlorine - once overdozed - is really not something what human organismus enjoys much. It is quite harmful and it is proven that is one of likely causes leading to cancer. And especially at small children it leads to breathing problems and to asthma.

Many people (more women) avoid swimming in pools treated by chlorine because of problems with skin, eyes, ears (middle ear inflammation). In most cases the chlorine dosis is not really necessary to keep so high 3 - 5 ppm unless you do not invite the whole village with their dogs to swim with you.

For destroying the bacterias is 0.5 ppm enough. However, the experts advise to go higher (and be scared of the bacterias). The high level of chlorine is necessary only for fighting algaes - if you do not use algycids. Usual tactic of the pool shops: no need for algycids if you keep the chlorine high. Of course - the algycids (namely the Copper Sulphate) are much cheaper than chlorine preparates.

And if you believe that you have to use chlorine so high, you are told that you have to maintain your pH level too, rather low, some 7.2, as very important feature since the chlorine will not work properly. This will bring you another headache. The pH mostly tends to be rather high, especially in the ceramic clad pools. To lower the pH you have to buy a lot of pH senkers that are not so cheap. (BTW, the rather low pH will eat more faster your ceramic tiles grouting.)

As a matter of fact, you can achieve the same by adding diluted acid HCL (Hydrochloric acid, muriatic acid, salt acid) - easily available in Thai chemie shops. Always pour acid in a bucket full of water - not vice versa. The same can be achieved by suphur acid H2SO4, that's what you have in your car battery.

However, if you do not get crazy with keeping chlorine so high, you also do not need to bother much with a careful maintaining of pH. On the clarity of water it has no influnce. Even the EU standard for drinking water allows very wide range of pH 6.5 - 9.5. Actually it is funny: the pool owners care so much about pH for their 10 min. swim. However, they do not care when their new-born baby is bathe in a tap water no idea how much pH and chlorine. :( And not speaking about our teeth cleaning and dish washing.

BTW: a recent medicine study in UK has found out that people very cautious about bacteria protection are very prone to bacteria attack. And why you should be afraid so much of bacterias during your 10 min. in swimming pool and not be afraid of bacterias you are exposed to during your remaining 23.7 hours?

So, once I protect my pool water against alagea growth by Copper Sulphate once a week I add a spoon of chlorine every 2 - 3 days to be a bit more reassured that the Ebola is not with me. :lol:
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Rdteth » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:36 pm

Well mr Klondyke,
Thanks for your educational articles.
I think you convinced me to go for an overflow pool. I never realised that the overflow doesn't have to be all around the pool.
In my plan I can implement two sides, leading to a single tank. I have read before somewhere that the tankcapacity should be around 5% of the poolwatervolume, right?
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