You can build a pool in the garden any time. However, once the plot has been developed, grass has been sown, bushes and trees has been planted, it will be more difficult to carry out the work, and a lot will have to be destroyed.
Investors who want to make a swimming pool inside the house also face a difficult task. Building a New QLD swimming pool under a roof involves planning the work during the design stage of house.
You can choose any place on the plot for the garden pool, even near the border with the neighbor property, provided that such a location will not cause moisture or reduce the safety level of the existing buildings. And, of course, if we are not embarrassed by curious glances from behind the fence.
For an outdoor swimming pool – if only the conditions allow – choose a well sunny place (so that the water can heat up naturally) and away from trees (so that the leaves that fall from them do not pollute it).
Garden pool by the construction law
In the light of the Construction Law, the backyard swimming pool is a construction object. The formalities must be completed before starting its construction depend on the planned area.
- If the water surface area is not to exceed 50 m 2, we do not need to obtain a building permit. We do not even have to report the intention to build it to the administrative authorities.
- Amateurs of swimming pools with a water surface area greater than 50 m 2 must obtain a building permit. When applying for its issuance, they should have four copies of the construction design prepared by a designer with construction and building qualifications and a declaration of the right to use the property for construction purposes. The permit will be valid for three years. Work will at least have to start during this time.
- If the construction of the swimming pool begins without permission, the authority may order its demolition. He may also call for the submission of documents and payment of a legalization fee – in the case of a swimming pool larger than 50 m 2 – very severe.
Anyone who decides to build an outdoor pool would like to use it all summer long. However, in our climatic conditions, it is not possible without the use of appropriate pool covers and water heating devices. Why? Because swimming in the pool is only fun when the water temperature is 26-28 ° C. For the water to warm naturally to this temperature, it takes sunny days and warm nights. And in Poland, such favorable conditions do not happen every year, and even then, they occur only in the hottest months and usually last no longer than 30 days.
In our climate, the period with warm sunny days, but quite cool nights is much longer, when the water heated during the day cools down quickly, releasing the heat to the environment (as much as 60% of the heat accumulated in the water is lost due to evaporation). Then you can also do without heating the water, but on condition that the pool is covered at night, which protects the water from excessive heat loss. A pool used in this way can be kept ready for up to two and a half months. A further extension of the bathing season, which may last even from May to mid-September, requires artificial heating of the swimming pool water.
The pool’s heat demand is determined by its size and the temperature difference between unheated and heated water. Therefore, the larger the pool, the greater the costs of heating it.
In a specific pool – with specific dimensions – the amount of heat energy demand depends mainly on the temperature difference by which the water needs to be heated. So it is enough that instead of 2°C, you have to raise the temperature by 4°C, and the energy demand doubles. Therefore, the most costly is to heat the water after winter, when the weather is favorable for swimming, but the water in the pool is still cold. Then it often has to be heated by 12-16°C, which can take up to 48 hours or longer. Later, when it is already warmed up and – what’s more – protected against cooling with a special cover, the heat losses are small, and during the day, the water needs to be heated up by only a few degrees.
Electric heat exchangers are used for this, in which the heating element is an electric heater. The heaters can be of different power, from 3 to 18 kW. Those up to 9 kW are available as single-phase and three-phase. Heaters with power above 9 kW already require a three-phase power supply.
In places where getting more power is not a problem, electric swimming pool water heating is often used. This is due to the ease of installation of the electric exchanger – there is no need to run additional pipes for transporting the heating medium from another heat source; it is enough to run additional power cables. The advantage of electric exchangers is small, so such a device can be easily installed in a small technical room near the swimming pool. They are equipped with a thermostat for the precise setting of the desired water temperature in the pool and all the necessary security features: a safety thermostat, a water shortage sensor, or a flow sensor. However, electric exchangers are expensive – a 12-kilowatt exchanger costs from 4 to 6 thousand. PLN. Their exploitation is also expensive.
The heat from the boiler
To heat the water in the swimming pool, you can also use gas or oil boilers to heat the house. For this purpose, it is necessary to install a special exchanger in the boiler room or outside, in which the pool water will be able to receive heat from the water heated by the boiler. Such an exchanger must be made of a material with high corrosion resistance because it is particularly exposed to it due to contact with water containing chlorine. That is why the exchangers for swimming pool water are made of stainless steel or titanium.
The use of a domestic boiler for heating swimming pool water, which significantly reduces investment costs compared to electric heating – the boiler, which heats the house in winter, has “spare capacity” in summer, and the price of a very good and efficient exchanger does not exceed PLN 2,000. PLN (we will pay less than PLN 1,000 for a smaller exchanger). Even faster water heating with a higher capacity heat exchanger is cheaper than using a similar electric heat exchanger.
To heat swimming pool water, solar systems are often used, using the free energy of solar radiation absorbed by special collectors. They are becoming more and more popular due to the lowest operating costs. Thanks to the combination of collectors with a large hot water tank (the so-called buffer tank), storing the heat obtained during the solar operation and collecting it when the sun is not shining, i.e., during cloudy days.
However, what still limits the use of solar systems is relatively high investment costs. A solar collector battery for heating water in a swimming pool requires quite a large area on the roof or free space in the garden. If we assume that the area of collectors should be at least equal to half of the pool area, it is easy to calculate that the area of collectors for heating water in a basin with dimensions of 8 × 4 m (i.e., with an area of 32 m2) should be 16 m2. This requires eight two × 1 m collectors.
For such a solar system – with a buffer tank with a capacity of 300 l, a control system, a circulation pump, and all the necessary installation accessories – you have to pay from 15 to 30 thousand. PLN (depending on whether we decide on much cheaper Polish collectors or much more expensive imported ones).
The cheaper solution is noteworthy, especially considering that such a system can cover 80-90% of the energy demand for heating domestic hot water for half a year and support the central heating system in transitional periods. However, you need to think carefully about the more expensive system. Often, its cost is comparable to the cost of purchasing and installing the heat pump discussed below, which can heat the water in the pool and be a full-value source of heat for heating the house.