Start Your Pool Project
  • Generic selectors
    Exact matches only
    Search in title
    Search in content
    Search in posts
    Search in pages
    Filter by Categories
    Blog
    House & Landscaping
    News
    Our Advice
    Pool Awards
    Pool Design
    Pool Trends
    Press Release
    Swimming Pool Bucket List
    Swimming Pool Construction
    The Home Team
    Uncategorised
  • 1300 136 316


  • Third generation in the family business, Peita Otterbach brings 10 plus years of marketing experience to Albatross Pools with a proven track record aiding organisations in strengthening brand loyalty, creating product awareness and producing tangible results improving both bottomline and market share. Recently completing her MBA, Peita draws from her commercial experience across a number of industries and expertise in Digital Marketing and Strategy as she works with her father Michael Van Der Haar to expand and strengthen the distribution network of Albatross Pools throughout Australia and internationally. Peita also assists in the Pool Shops and Pool Display Centres having worked in both for some years during her studies.


    x

    a message to our customers

    We will keep this short and try to be somewhat upbeat as we collectively experience very challenging and uncertain times. 

    As the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 continue to evolve, the well-being of the Albatross family - that's you, our customers, families looking to invest in a swimming pool and of course our team are our priority.

    Based on Government recommendations, our business will continue to remain open and trade as normal (until otherwise advised). A number of hygiene practices have been introduced across every location to ensure we can continue to provide services to our local community in a clean and safe environment. 

    If you are not in isolation and not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, we look forward to seeing you in store! We have however moved to our Winter roster and we appreciate your patience if you find yourself waiting to be served by our team.

    We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and continued business. Like many small family businesses (and even big businesses) our team rely on the continued support of the local community, particularly during challenging times.

    Being a pretend coffee drinker, I like to grab the occasional 'iced-coffee' on my way to work after dropping off the kids in the morning at day care. To my surprise, the barista thanked me for my business this morning...he was genuine and reminded me how important it is to still engage and support local business (as long as we are safe to do so).

    On a lighter note, a big thanks to our new Albatross Pool owners who have remained optimistic and shared pictures of their recently finished backyards to let us know where they will be (i.e. Poolside) if and when they are required to self-isolate 🙂 

    We will continue to communicate if our services change in any way across our locations over the coming months.

    Kindest regards,

    Peita Otterbach, Albatross Pools

     

     

    x

    Dirty Rain Pool Treatment

    If your pool looks anything like our display pools today, simply hitting the pool hard with chlorine and a clarifier will not do the trick! And your robotic pool cleaner certainly won't help either. Trust us, we tried doing this back in 2017 when we had a similar thing happen and we ended up battling cloudy and even green pools for the remainder of the season.

    In our experience, the quickest and most cost effective way to treat your pool is to use a flocculating product such as BioGuard Power Floc Maxi.

    How to treat my dirty rain-filled pool?

    Preparation is key

    • Clean out your skimmer basket and pump basket (if needed).
    • Scoop all debris from the pool (if you can’t see the bottom of the pool, scoop carefully as objects may have washed into the pool water). The water has probably brought in leaves and other debris from the surrounding areas. They will add large amounts of organic matter to the water, which will consume chlorine and could lead to an algae bloom. The sooner debris is removed from the pool; the sooner clean-up can begin.
    • Remove robotic/automatic pool cleaner from the pool and remove pool cover completely. 
    • Hose the dirty residue (from the rain) from the pool surrounds. If you receive more rain (hopefully it is clean), this rain may wash the dirty residue into the pool (you’d hate for this to happen after the pool has returned back to normal).
    • Turn off your Heating System. 
    • If you cannot see the bottom of the shallow end of your pool, the dust/dirt from the rain will not filter out. Chlorine, clarrifiers and the robotic pool cleaner will not be effective. In our experience, the most timely and cost effective approach is to use a flocculating product, vacuum the sediment and rebalance as soon as possible.

    Let's floc the dust away!

    Download our printer friendly version HERE.

    Step 1.

    • Sand Filter:
      • Turn your filter to Recirculate and turn the system on.
    • Cartridge Filter:
      • Remove the cartridge element from the Cartridge Filter and turn the system on.

    Step 2.

    • Start by testing your pH - if it is 7.6ppm or above, proceed to the next step. 
    • If the pH is 7.5ppm or lower, the following treatment is more effective with a high pH and we therefore recommend adding BioGuard Balance Pak 200 to the pool and filter for 2 hours.

    Step 3.

    • Pour 1L of BioGuard Power Floc Maxi (per 50,000L) into the skimmer (or pool) and leave the system on for 2 hours. 
    • After 2 hours, turn all equipment off for 12-24 hours or until you can see the floor of the pool (it could take up to 48 hours).
    • Please keep in mind the product works from the pool floor upwards - it will become brown milky water before it improves.
    • If BioGuard Power Floc Maxi is not available: BioGuard Polysheen Plus can be used in its place (using the same dosage listed above) however instead of running the system for 2 hours, 30 minutes is sufficient.

    Note: Unplug the power cord for your pool pump from your controller. The system must remain off and cannot turn on automatically during the treatment.

    Step 4.

    • Do not add the robotic pool cleaner into the pool. A robotic pool cleaner (or a suction cleaner) will simply undo the flocculating process and will only return the water back to its orignal dirty state.
    • To manually vacuum a pool (sand filter: to waste) you will need a telescopic pole, a vacuum head, a manual vacuum hose and a vacuum plate.
    • Sand Filter:
      • Vac-to-waste the dirt formed at the base of the pool.
      • This is vacuuming as normal however, instead of your sand filter turned to Filter, turn it to Waste.
    • Cartridge Filter:
      • Place your cartrdige element (ensure it is clean beforehand) back into you Cartridge Filter. 
      • Place a Skimmer Sock in the skimmer basket (which will collect as much sediment as possible), vac as normal, remove Skimmer Sock after vacuuming pool (clean as required) and hose cartridge element thoroughly (you may like to chemically clean depending on the state of the Cartridge filter).

    Step 5.

    • Top up water level and filter for four hours before a water sample is taken. Visit your local Albatross Pool Shop to test and rebalance the pool water. 
    • Rebalancing is crucial as your pool water is now very prone to an algae bloom, especially with the weather we are experiencing.

    Download our printer friendly version HERE.

    We are here to help!

    Open 7 days a week (except for public holidays), our team will be able to walk you through this process and answer any questions you may have. Pool Shop contact details.

    x

    7 Key Poolscaping Design Considerations

    Congratulations on choosing to build a swimming pool, it is one of the best decisions you could ever make for your family! Now doubt you have a vision in mind for your dream outdoor space. Perhaps you have chosen your pool paving tile but have you considered how the tile feels underfoot on a 40 degree day? 

    The level of enjoyment to be had in and around your new swimming pool will be influenced by the level of thought and consideration when planning the pool surrounds, also known as your poolscape. It's the small considerations that will make a big difference to how your family and friends enjoy your new pool. 

    #1 Where will the pool be located?

    • Get to know your property first and foremost! Easements, property overlays and regulations will impact where your pool can be located.  Visit Victorian DELWP https://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/maps/maps-and-spatial-data for your free property report.
    • What is on the other side of your boundary fences? If you would like the pool’s edge to be closer than 1m to your boundary, it is important to understand what is built on the other side of your boundary.
    • Where will the afternoon sun shine in your backyard? The afternoon is often the time you will enjoy your pool, the sun is also at its strongest at this time. The afternoon sun in your eyes when sitting in or around the pool watching the kids in the afternoon will become very uncomfortable and you'll end up becoming burnt.

    #2 How will you entertain in and around the pool?

    • Giving thought to and planning the social spaces in and around your pool area will ensure you create a backyard to be enjoyed now and for many years to come.
    • The area surrounding the pool entry/steps should also be well considered – if you do not allow enough space, the most basic of needs (getting in and out of the pool) can become a challenge.
    • Would you like to have sun lounges or even a day bed alongside your pool? Or perhaps you would prefer a table and chairs for entertaining or to feed the kids when you can drag them out of the pool for a snack and to reapply sunscreen.
    • If you are limited by space, perhaps a bench seat with a couple of bright scatter cushions would work – doubles as storage which is always a bonus!

    #3 How to landscape around the pool with budget in mind?

    • Before the median block size in Melbourne fell to 450 squares in 2017 (Domain), it was general rule to allow a budget equivalent to 50% of the pool cost for the landscaping and fencing – this obviously depends on space and your taste.
    • Be thoughtful when planning hard spaces surrounding your pool. Fully tiled areas may be desired but if you are looking to reduce landscaping costs, perhaps a small amount of tiling combined with instant synthetic lawn may be the perfect compromise (from a cost and maintenance point of view).
    • If working to a limited landscaping budget, it is worth keeping in mind that most families usually use only two sides of a pool – perhaps focus your investment in hard surfaces on those two sides and just allow one row of tiling on the other two unused sides of the pool.

    #4 What do I need to consider when planning my pool fence?

    • To understand your new pool’s fencing requirements, head to the Victorian Building Authority’s website (VBA): https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/safety-guides/swimming-pools
    • To take your understanding one step further, an independent surveyor can conduct a pre-safety barrier inspection and either provide verbal advice or a written report specific to your backyard pool plans. Making sure your plans comply with safety barrier regulations can save you a great deal of time and money.
    • Pool safety barrier options are endless, be sure to consider all options! From compliant screens (to clad your boundary fence), framed to frameless glass fencing, standard tubular pool fences to vertical uprights – there is an option (or even a combination of options) to suit your desired style and budget.
    • If you browse popular landscape architect designs you will notice many often incorporate both glass and tubular (or uprights) pool fences and not just glass on its own. Glass pool fencing can act as a sound barrier, by incorporating tubular fencing sound will travel and you will be able to listen to the fun being had in and around the pool. Pool safety and ventilation is also a driver of this landscape architecture principle.

    #5 What about my pool equipment and even the pool cover and roller?

    • Your pool equipment usually occupies a minimum area of 1.5m in length and 1.0m in width - this area will increase with the addition gas or electric heating (both have required clearance zones) and infloor cleaning.
    • To ensure you receive optimum filtration, it is best to locate the pool equipment within 8m of your pool edge. Any greater, you will need to increase the equipment sizes (increase in budget).
    • The pool equipment needs to be easily accessible (for convenience and practicality reasons) and try to avoid locating it alongside a social space or outside a bedroom window. Hayward equipment is the quietest on the market but there is still a constant hum.
    • Reduce evaporation and maintain your pool temperature with the addition of a pool blanket. Consider how you will store your blanket – if it is on a roller, where will this roller be located? Perhaps you could conceal it in a timber bench seat or you may choose to invest in an underground pool blanket box (featured below in the Brighton East Pool Project).

    #6 Choosing the colour pallet for my outdoor space?

    • When you browse pool inspiration photos you will notice most outdoor colour schemes are either neutrals (cream based tones as featured in the Yarraville Pool Project below) or greys. When selecting your pool colour, pool paving tiles, pool fence, screens and pool furniture be sure to check the colours and textures you have chosen complement each other and work with the tones of your home.
    • Avoid the ouch! factor and ask your pool paving supplier to see pool tile options which repel the sun’s heat. Porcelain, travertine and limestone tile options are the coolest under foot but may be out of your budget – if so, consider sticking with pool pavers light in colour.
    • Handy tip: painting a paling boundary fence? Always stick to dark greys, your fence will look smaller and the emphasis then focuses on what is in front of your fence – garden and your new pool!

    #7 How to style you pool and outdoor space on a budget?

    • It is important to invest in the main hard surfaces of your outdoor space - stick with neutrals or greys and this then forms the foundation of your outdoor style.
    • Although the hard surfaces may be bland, add colour, pattern and impact with:
      • a cluster of outdoor pots and statement plants (be sure to steer clear of spikey plants in and around the pool area! pool friendly and child friendly plants are the way to go!)
      • a few scatter cushions on outdoor furniture or bench seats – oversized outdoor cushions are a great option for primary school and teenaged kids
      • an outdoor matt is an effective way of layering in an outdoor space
      • what about a simple tray and bright drinkware on your outdoor entertaining table
        Even if your budget is limited, the above outdoor styling options can be added gradually or updated from time to time without costing a fortune.

    Our Pool Designers will draw on their wealth of experience in the pool industry to offer sound advice and planning for not only your swimming pool, but also the landscape surrounding it. Your Pool Designer is always abreast of current pool landscaping designs and trends, ensuring your finished pool will look stunning on the day of completion and long into the future.

    Although Albatross Pools do not handle your pool landscaping directly, we are more than happy to refer our clients to our personal landscape designer, Anthony Scott Landscaping Design. Anthony has been in the business for over 20 years and worked closely with us on The Home Team Project. His standards mirror our own at Albatross Pools, and he can create packages to suit all budgets if you are after a complete backyard poolscape concept plan. 

     

     

    x

    What To Plant Around A Swimming Pool

    Now that your sparkling new swimming pool is fully installed, your next priority is a natural one: swimming pool landscaping. You definitely want to make an effort to help your pool blend into its surroundings, allowing it to become a pivotal part of a much larger whole. A lot of success in this area will come down to what you choose to plant around your swimming pool. You'll want plants that will thrive and maybe even offer you some shade on those hot summer days of the year, while also being low maintenance. When it comes to this particular goal, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

    Planting Around a Swimming Pool: Tips and Tricks

    The team at Albatross Pools are experts at designing & building  innovative swimming pools. We are not landscape designers. That being said, our founder way back in 1969 was a keen gardener, and his backyard show garden was impressive enough to have featured on Burke’s Backyard. Since then we have garnered a wealth of experience when it comes to plant knowledge and often offer our experience in guiding clients in the right direction. Our two pool display centres (which happen to be Australia’s oldest) are fully landscaped, and we have learnt from experience what works, and doesn’t work, with regards to pool landscaping over the years.

    Our preferred landscape designer, Anthony Scott from Anthony Scott Landscape Design, offers this advice:

    "Creating the perfect poolscape is all about finding the balance between functional space, the right furniture and of course plant life."

    Pool Friendly Plants

    According to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association, a plant must have a few key characteristics if it can be officially classified as "pool friendly." They should be able to thrive in an environment where wind and salt exposure are expected, for example. They should also be capable of thriving in either a semi-shaded area or a full sun area, the specifics of which will obviously vary depending on your environment.

    They should also be highly tolerant to exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals, which is particularly common in the area immediately surrounding your pool. Because of this, options like pineapple sage, peach leaved bellflower, swamp daisy and Ajuga are the way to go.

    Shrubs can also make a great addition to your swimming pool landscaping, with options like Siberian Iris, Mexican Orange Blossom and Mexican Mock Orange being popular selections all across the country.

    These are certainly not your only options, however. A few of the other types of plants that you can include in your swimming pool landscaping include but are not limited to ones like:

    • Bull Banksia
    • Blueberry Ash
    • Native Fuchsia
    • Holly Leaved Grevillea
    • Waxflower
    • Australe Storksbill
    • Himalayan Dogwood
    • Prostrate Grevillea

    Native Plants Pool-friendly

    Pool friendly plants share common characteristics such as low maintenance, little or no pruning, and high drought tolerance. If you have a salt chlorinated pool they need to be salt tolerant in case of water splashing. Depending on the location of the pool, you plant choice may be dictated by the environment in terms of privacy, wind factor, or ground coverage.

    Senecio Serpens - Blue Chalk Sticks

    For screening: If privacy is a concern, consider the following to create a natural, low maintenance screen that will mature over the years. Laurus nobilus-Bay Laurel, Olea Europa- Olive tree and Banksia marginata- Coastal Banksia.

    For mid-level planting: Consider Gardenia species, Westringea fruiticosa-Coastal rosemary, Rosemarinus officianalis-Rosemary, Cycas revoluta-Cycad and Philodendron 'Xanadu'.

    For ground cover: Consider Trachylospermum asiaticum-Star jasmine, Ophiopogon japonicus-Mondo grass, Dichondra 'Silver Falls'-Silver dichondra, Senecio serpens-Blue chalk sticks and Nepeta species-Catmint.

     

    Plants to avoid around your swimming pool

    No matter whether it is a plunge pool or a lap pool, an Albatross swimming pool requires little maintenance. Unless you require maintenance in your life, it is recommended you avoid plants that shed regularly. Deciduous plants are still okay, as they only require one large clean up session per year, whereas evergreens will require year round maintenance. The key to planting success is to select plants that don’t require regular pruning, or those that don’t shed berries or needles. You'll also want to avoid anything that will drop leaf litter onto your pool or the surrounding area, meaning that anything that hangs overhead just won't do.

    Along the same lines, there are a number of plants that you'll want to avoid as they have a potential to damage your pool surrounds via their root systems. Bamboo is one of these species, according to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association. Umbrella trees and rubber trees should also be on your "under no circumstances" list, as they very commonly cause problems with pools in particular due to things like underground plumbing and paving.

    Your new Albatross swimming pool should be an inviting, family friendly environment; therefore it is unwise to plant anything spiky. These plants are often spiky as a natural defense meaning you will need to keep your distance. Pool users won’t appreciate dodging spikes on their way to the water and likewise it will make pool maintenance that much harder for yourself.

    The function of the pool will dictate what can and can’t be planted with a view to maintenance and user friendliness. The above list of plants is a comprehensive, but by no means exhaustive, list of plants that experience has shown us are good or bad options to use in your pool landscaping. Consultation with a professional pool designer or landscaper will ensure the creation of an accurate planting design suitable for your individual pool project.

    If you're looking for the best pool builders in Melbourne, you've come to the right place. Contact Albatross Pools today for more information about swimming pool installation, swimming pool landscaping and so much more.

    x

    How to choose a pool colour?

    With so many pool colours to choose from, selecting the perfect pool colour for your backyard can be a tricky process. Clients often begin by asking to see the most popular pool colours when visiting our swimming pool display centres.  Yet, like most trends, what is popular today may not be popular tomorrow.  For this reason we encourage our clients to consider a number of important factors when choosing a pool colour.

    Look and Feel

    Before you begin to think about pool colour, first consider the look and feel you would like to create in your backyard. Are you after a tropical oasis, a Tuscan haven, a natural lagoon, or a modern chic outdoor space?  Be sure to consider the style and exterior tones of your home.  The theme of your backyard will begin to guide you towards a colour palette to work from.

    The Pool Colour

    Depending on the size of your swimming pool, your backyard design may feature your swimming pool as the centerpiece in its design.  Like any centerpiece, it should compliment the desired look and feel whilst adding the ‘wow’ factor to the overall design.

    Factors to be considered when choosing a pool colour include your backyard theme, pool surrounds, water reflection and water temperature, just to name a few.  To ensure the process of choosing a pool colour is as simple yet enjoyable as possible, I’d encourage you to use the table below as a reference point when selecting the right pool colour for your swimming pool.

    FactorLight Pool ColoursDark Pool Colours
    Pool ColoursPacific Light Blue Maldive Mosaic Reef Pebble Mediterranean MarbleAntique Bahama
    Caribbean Casablanca
    Costa Rica Dark Blue
    Pool SurroundsThe tone of your pool surrounds should be in contrast to your pool colour. If you choose a light pool colour, consider  darker pool surrounds including:

    • Dark Wooden Decking
    • Bluestone
    • Dark Granite
    • Sandstone with red, brown and orange earth tones
    • Travertine with chocolate and caramel tones
    • Dark Limestone
    • Dark Slate
    • Dark Bric
    The tone of your pool surrounds should be in contrast to your pool colour. If you choose a dark pool colour, consider  lighter pool surrounds including:

    • Light Wooden Decking
    • Light Granite
    • Natural or Ivory Sandstone
    • Travertine with cream and beige tones
    • Light Limestone
    • Light Slate
    • Light Brick
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Pool Reflection

    A lighter pool colour will draw your eye to the bottom of the swimming pool and you may be more inclined to notice settled debris.A darker pool colour will reflect the pool surrounds and create a mirror-like effect. You will be less likely to notice any settle debris at the bottom of the swimming pool.
    Pool Water TemperatureA lighter pool colour will reflect the sunrays and cooler pool water may result.  There is also a high potential for glare.A darker pool colour will attract and absorb the sunrays. A darker pool colour may increase your pool water temperature by 2 to 3 degrees.

    Impact of Water & Natural Light

    When people renovate or build, it is common to collect samples (bench top, splash back tile, paint swatch, cabinetry colour, etc) to see if the combination works well and creates the desired look and feel. In the case of a pool and it's surrounds, it is important to consider the impact of water and natural light (bright Summer's day vs. dull Winter's day) - samples can take on a completely different look and feel.

    Antique Pool Colour
    Antique in an Albatross Display Pool with a Pool Water Feature

    Helpful Pool Design Tip

    Take your favourite pool coping tile sample to your pool builder's display centre and place it alongside a pool with your chosen pool colour featured. This is the best way to get a feel for how your dream pool space will look!

    Pool Colour Samples taken inside under artificial light
    Pool Colour Samples in an Albatross Display Pool (water movement and natural light)

    Safety

    Don’t forget to consider how slippery your pool surrounds may become when wet. Perhaps consider a textured pool surround. And finally, we have found that dark pool surrounds can attract heat and retain heat in the surface, which may become uncomfortable to walk on during a hot summer’s day.

    We find by keeping a few simple factors in mind when choosing your pool colour, you will be able to achieve the desired look and feel in your backyard in little to no time at all! Your pool builder might help you to make the right decision. To see the pool colours available with Albatross Pools, simply visit one of our swimming pool display centres open seven days a week year round.

    x

    Which Pool Cleaner Suits My Pool and Lifestyle?

    When you have a swimming pool, keeping it clean is a must for safe swimming. Automatic pool cleaners can make this aspect of pool maintenance a little easier. Not sure where to begin when it comes to choosing a pool cleaner? Consider your budget and lifestyle. For those who don't mind a little manual labour, a traditional pool vacuum may do the trick. However, those who want to save the time and hassle of manual labour may prefer a more costly suction or robotic pool cleaner or an in-floor pool cleaning system.

    By weighing some of the pros and cons of each option, you can choose the one that's right for you.

    Manual Pool Cleaning/Vacuuming

    When you purchase a pool from us, you always receive a free handover kit that includes:

    • Vacuum
    • Telescopic pole
    • Hose
    • Pool broom
    • Pool leaf rake
    • Water testing kit

    The manual pool cleaning option is great for people who love to spend time in their yard and is an effective maintenance solution for low-leaf problem pools as it enables you to clean the entire pool. This is by far the cheapest option when it comes to pool cleaning solutions, with out-of-pocket prices ranging between $200 and $300. However, this option can also be labour intensive as you cannot just walk away, and it also means working on the pool during the colder winter months while also having potentially higher water consumption.

    Suction Pool Cleaning

    A suction pool cleaner connects to your pool's skimmer, with a cleaner that moves across the floor of your pool to pick up debris such as dirt and leaves. From there, debris that is collected is caught in the skimmer basket, this basket then needs to be manually cleaned out on a periodic basis.

    Pricing for suction pool cleaners can range between $500 and $1,000, and many people enjoy this cleaner option because it is convenient and runs off the pool's existing filtration system (when your pool turns on so too will your suction cleaner if it is connected). It can easily be used every day to maintain a clean pool.

    On the other hand, this option does not allow surface skimming or the cleaning of additional pool surfaces such as the walls and steps, and the pool itself cannot be used while the cleaner is operating. Since the pump needs to be run while the cleaner is working, it can also cause wear and tear to your pool filtration system and will require more frequent backwashing of the pool filter.

    Robotic Pool Cleaning

    A robotic pool cleaner is a great option for those who don't want to do much in the way of manual labour to clean their pools or have much free time. These cleaners are totally independent, so they don't need to be connected to your filter or other pool components. Simply program the map/size of your pool and put the robotic cleaner to work. This type of cleaner will brush the floor and depending on the brand and model, can also brush the walls and waterline of the pool.

    You will need to empty the cartridge/basket/sock on a robotic pool cleaner as needed, and the cost for these can easily range between $1,200 and $5,000 depending on the brand and warranty, making them one of the more expensive pool cleaning options on the market.

    In-Floor Pool Cleaning

    For those who want to avoid manual cleaning as much as possible and want the ultimate bragging rights, an in-floor pool cleaning system is the ideal solution.

    In-floor pool cleaning systems offer a range of benefits including:

    • Pool will self clean all year round plus during normal filtration hours
    • No additional equipment is required around the pool making it clutter free
    • Can handle very high debris levels
    • Assists in heating and circulation throughout the pool
    • Versatile for all pool designs

    There are some drawbacks to this system. For a start it is at the top end of the price scale, with prices starting from around $9,500 depending on the brand, warranty and size of the pool. Another issue is that you need to decide to include an in-floor pool cleaning system during construction as it is not a viable option for those who have an existing pool. In-floor cleaning systems also add to the power bill and cannot clean the walls of the pool, only the water and loose debris.

    With all these pool-cleaning options in mind, which is right for you? Contact Albatross Pools today for assistance in choosing the right pool cleaner for your budget and lifestyle.

    x

    Why life isn’t a beach with a salt-water pool

    One of the first questions we ask prospective customers when they enquire about a new pool is what type of water they would like to swim in. Nine times out of ten the answer is the same: salt. When asked why, the reasons are invariably the same. “My friend has one.” “Salt water pools require no maintenance.” “I want the experience of swimming at the beach.”

    Now I don’t know about you, but my memories of swimming at the beach aren’t all that rosy. Frizzy, dry hair and skin, stinging eyes, faded bathers and the need to have a shower after swimming are not the attributes I’d want in my new pool. I’d prefer to have perfect skin and hair, clear eyes, bathers that last at least a few months, and avoid showering after every dip. So what are your water options?

    Salt vs. Ionic

    Every pool has a filtration system of some kind including a filter (sand or cartridge) and a pump (motor). A filtration system circulates the pool water. Every pool needs to be regularly tested and balanced to ensure safe and crystal clear water and to also comply with warranty conditions on both the pool and equipment. “Balancing,” means that the pH, Total Alkalinity, chlorine, stabiliser, calcium and metals are tested in the water before specialised products are added to ensure these levels are maintained within ideal parameters.

    If the pool owner doesn’t want to manually add chlorine or sanitise the pool manually (to keep their chlorine level within the ideal parameter), they can choose to incorporate a sanitisation system in with their filtration system on the pool to automatically generate chlorine or some form of sanitiser.

    The most common sanitisation systems are:

    • Liquid Chlorine and Liquid Acid Feeder (commonly known as a Chemigem)
    • Salt Chlorination System
    • Mineral System
    • Ionic Fresh Water System

    Ionic Fresh Water System

    If you want to avoid the hassle of washing salt off everything after you swim, then we recommend opting to have an Ionic Purifier in your Albatross Pool. An Ionic Purifier delivers a natural ‘soft’ feel to the water akin to freshwater. The Ioniser is an effective sanitisation system that releases controlled amounts of silver and copper into the pool water via electrolysis. Silver is a powerful disinfectant that prevents bacteria forming in the water, while copper inhibits algae growth. The presence of the silver/copper mixture creates a neutral water balance that effectively reduces the amount of chemical maintenance required throughout the year. As an added bonus, the Ionic Purifier is not affected by water temperature or swimmer usage, meaning a fresher, natural feeling pool year round. As chlorine is required in all pools, we recommend the use of an Inline Tablet when using the Ionic System. This will help circulate a small amount of chlorine throughout the pool.

    An Ionic system is also a preventative system as copper and silver prevents algae and bacteria from even forming whereas chlorine/salt kills algae and bacteria once they are present in the pool water. An Ionic system is also ideal if garden beds are close by the pool, as water that splashes out of the pool (kids having fun…or even adults!) won’t kill the plants like chlorine/salt will. The water from an Ionic pool will not leave a residue on the surrounding pool paving and glass pool fencing whereas salt leaves a white residue, which is the dried out salt itself.

    Salt Chlorination System

    Contrary to the marketing spiel, salt chlorinated pools are not the ‘set-and-forget’ miracle pool of your dreams. A lot of monitoring, maintenance and money goes into the daily running of a salt pool and could find you ruing the day it ever landed in your yard!

    While cleverly marketed as being able to swim at the beach at home, it is somewhat of a misconception and the truth is a little left of centre. Many salt chlorinated pools are sold to owners as maintenance free systems. This often leads to salt pool owners becoming complacent and only maintaining the pool’s salt level. Doing this will lead to great amounts of chlorine being produced, but none of the other essential levels that are fundamental to swimmer comfort and safety such as pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium and Stabiliser.

    A salt water pool requires constant monitoring, especially during the heavy summer usage period. For example, during the peak of summer an average sized pool (8 x 4m) would need 1 bag of salt per week. Unfortunately there is no home test kit to monitor the salt level in the pool. You must employ the expertise of the local pool shop which is an additional ownership cost that needs to be factored in.

    While you may relish the thought of swimming in a salt water pool, you may very well be sick of the sight of salt by the time you conduct your regular maintenance! The process involved in creating the salt water environment is complicated and a fine balancing act to ensure optimum swimming conditions.

    Some of the technical aspects include:

    • Adding 20-25kg of pool salt to the pool. As it dissolves it passes over the salt cell and through a process of electrolysis; the dissolved salt is turned into sodium hypochlorite (also commonly known as liquid chlorine – the big blue 15L drums you may see at a Bunnings or Mitre10).
    • Sodium hypochlorite is the main ingredient in household bleach. Think about that for a minute!
    • Sodium hypochlorite has a pH of about 13ppm, whereas your eyes/skin/hair require a neutral pH of 7.4ppm, hence the need to constantly add liquid acid or dry acid to bring the pH down.
    • Effective pH dosing systems can be incorporated into the salt chlorination system but the probes need to be serviced regularly to ensure the right amount of acid is being added to the pool.

    It is a fact of life that people who live in countries where winter brings snow, often find themselves renewing their cars faster than those who live in warmer climes. The reason for this is often found in a particular road safety method called ‘gritting’. This is where councils spray a salt-based mix on to the roads to dissolve the fallen snow and give vehicles safer passage. The downside is in the salt. It literally eats your car over time. Salt is corrosive and your pool will not be spared its wrath! Due to its pH and aggressive nature, salt can cause maintenance problems for your surrounding plants and paving. Salt delaminates sandstone and after only a few years can cause damage as seen below.

    Sandstone delamination caused by salt water

    Salt can also cause headaches for those with tiled, pebble and concrete pools as seen below.

    Calcification on a tiled pool.

    As mentioned earlier, high levels of chlorine are often produced by unbalanced salt water pools. Chlorine has a wonderfully unwanted ability to deteriorate all pool surfaces, whether they are concrete, pebble, tiled, fiberglass, the PVC membrane and the gel coat. It also plays havoc with the internals of gas heaters. While not intended to send you running for the hills at the thought of owning a salt water pool, it goes to show that there are many factors of salt water pool ownership that are often conveniently omitted from the sales brochure.

    What about Mineral Pools

    Salt is a type of mineral and therefore most mineral pools (magnesium for example) are subjected to the same inherent problems attributed to salt based systems.

    While a salt system is a great system that many pool owners opt for, it’s not as maintenance free as everyone assumes and certainly has additional expenditure and harmful repercussions for the pool internals and surrounds. In saying that, while we will always promote the benefits of an Ionic Purifier we also encourage customers to explore all options before settling on their water type. A swimming pool will be an integral part of your family’s time together for many years to come and extensive research should be conducted to avoid impacting the enjoyment of your new pool. All information supplied in this article is intended as a guide only and we strongly encourage customers to conduct further investigation into every available option.

    As a business we choose products for our customers based on close to 50 years of experience and knowledge and we also choose products that provide value both short and long term for the pool owner. In an Ioniser’s case, we recommend it as it is gentle on the swimmer and will not shorten the life span of the pool equipment, the pool and all of its surrounds. Salt chlorinators are just marketed very well – they do require maintenance, they shorten the lifespan of the pool equipment and the surrounding area, and by no means is it like the salt from the beach.

    x

    Why Small Pools Are Big

    These days new home block sizes are ever decreasing, resulting in smaller spaces being allocated to outdoor living and pool areas. For those who have their hearts set on installing a swimming pool, it means many homeowners have to become increasingly creative with their outdoor living space. If you've wanted a swimming pool but have been under the assumption that your yard is too small, you may want to consider a courtyard pool or plunge pool as a viable option! These unique and functional styles of pool are great for more confined outdoor spaces. Not to mention, they come with numerous additional benefits that a larger, "traditional" pool simply does not.

    Why Small Pools Are Big

    What is a Courtyard Pool?

    Specifically, a courtyard pool refers to a swimming pool that is smaller in size; these pools are designed to be incorporated into smaller spaces beautifully and naturally. These pools are typically rectangular in shape and include our innovative Aqualux PVC membrane, though there are many additional ways in which their design can be customised. And when done correctly, they can also fit into the overall landscape of your yard to make a bold architectural statement. Typically, these pools are still large and deep enough for you to enjoy all the health and lifestyle benefits of a regular pool as well as offering cooling respite on a hot day.

    Reduced Cost

    One of the key benefits to choosing a courtyard pool is the cost savings, especially when compared to a larger and more traditional swimming pool style. Not only does it cost less in materials and labour to have a small courtyard swimming pool installed, but the operation and maintenance costs tend to be much lower as well. Your pool will require less water to fill it, and you'll go through fewer chemicals to keep your pool water at proper and balanced levels.

    Easier Maintenance

    Speaking of maintenance, does the thought of trying to maintain a large pool make you uneasy? If so, then you'll also love the fact that courtyard pools tend to be much easier to maintain due to their smaller size and thus smaller water volume. So long as you test your water regularly and follow the recommended maintenance schedule, keeping your pool's water safe and balanced is pretty simple. Of course, if you're still intimidated by the thought of maintaining your swimming pool, you can always consider a (relatively) maintenance-free option from Albatross Pools. We offer pools with time-saving features such as ionic water purifiers and even built-in pool cleaning systems so you can take the time, hassle, and guess work out of keeping your pool maintained!

    Optional Features

    Just as with a traditional swimming pool, there are all kinds of ways to make your courtyard or plunge pool your own. Consider, for example, having a swim jet system installed in your courtyard pool; these can be great for adjusting your water flow so you can swim at your own pace without worrying about bumping into the walls of your pool! We also offer heating systems to keep your pool at a comfortable temperature all year-round. You might even consider having wrap-around seating installed in the shallow perimeter of your pool to create more of an entertainment space and optimise your use of the space available in your yard.

    As you can see, smaller courtyard pools can make a huge difference in your yard and their many features and benefits have seen them boom in popularity. If you're thinking about installing one of these unique pools on your property, Albatross Pools is here to help. Contact us today to get started!

    x

    Swimming Pool Heating

    Solar Heating, Gas Heating and Heat Pumps

    Albatross understands and appreciates a swimming pool is both an investment in your property as well as your family lifestyle. To ensure maximum benefit and value year round, Albatross recommends every swimming pool have some form of pool heating. Like the design of your swimming pool, Albatross can tailor a specific heating solution to suit your family and lifestyle needs. Choose from solar pool heating, gas pool heating or heat pumps – the choice is yours.

    Solar Pool HeatingSolar Pool Heating

    Solar pool heating has been around for centuries and is the cheapest and most economical form of pool heating available. Simply set your desired pool temperature on your electronic controller and your solar pump will draw cold water from the pool, pass through heated solar absorbers strategically positioned on your roof and warm water is returned back to your pool.

    To read more about solar pool heating on Albatross swimming pools, download Supreme Heating's Heatseeker Solar Pool Heating Brochure.

    Gas Pool Heating

    Gas heating, also referred to as demand pool heating, allows you to swim in your swimming pool year round even in the depths of winter – entertain and stay fit and healthy year round.

    A gas heater is incorporated into your swimming pool’s filtration system and can maintain your pool at a set and constant temperature via an electronic touchpad. Simply set your desired pool temperature and your pool filtration system will pass cold water through the gas heater burners and return warm water back to your swimming pool.

    Learn about AstralPool Gas Heaters

    Pool Heat Pumps

    A pool heat pump operates similarly to a reverse refrigerator by transferring heat in the atmosphere to the pool water drawn through a heat exchange located inside the heat pump returning warm water back to the pool. A correctly sized unit can work in the coldest of conditions, offering a year round heating solution.

    To read more about heat pumps on Albatross swimming pools, download the Aquatight Titanium Heat Pump brochure.

    Pool Solar Cover

    A pool solar cover is designed to reduce water evaporation by up to 99.84% and depending on the type of solar cover chosen can heat the swimming pool water by as much as 8 degrees. A solar cover features thousands of tiny bubbles, which work together to collect and retain heat in the swimming pool. A pool solar cover works best when combined with another pool heating method such as a solar, gas or heat pump pool heating system. For ease of use, solar cover reels are also available on request. A $200 rebate is available as part of the Victorian Government’s Living Victoria Water Rebate Program effective 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015 on Smart Approved WaterMark solar covers and solar reels.

    Which ABGAL solar pool cover is best for your swimming pool?

    How to trim and install an ABGAL solar pool cover?

    x

    How Long Does it Take to Build a Pool?

    Interested in having a swimming pool built on your property? If so, then you may be wondering how long it will be before you can begin enjoying your new pool. This can vary greatly depending not only on the builder you choose, but the pool type and other factors as well. Still, if you want to get a general idea of what to expect from your pool building project, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.

    How Long Does it Take to Build a Pool?

    Choose Wisely

    A pool represents a large financial investment and will be a part of your family for many years, therefore it’s imperative that you take the time to research every aspect of your chosen builder and design before you commit. Visit the display centres (if they have one – it can be a warning sign if they don’t!) of your preferred companies and ask about their history. Next, arrange for up to three preferred pool builders to visit your property to conduct an obligation free site inspection. After carefully considering all quotations and your feelings on which pool builder suits your needs, select your pool builder. At this stage you will sit with your builder to custom design your individual pool along with preferred options and features such as lighting, sanitation, interior colour, pool heating, and pool cover if required.

    Obtaining a Pool Building Permit

    The next step of the process is to review and sign the SPASA swimming pool project contract and pay the deposit before submitting an application for a pool building permit. This will be handled by your builder, and will involve submission to the surveyor for approval. In some cases, engineering drawings will also need to be created and attached to the application.

    In most cases, pool building permit applications are processed within two to four weeks. Sometimes, additional information or permits may be needed, so this can create more delays. Either way, your builder will keep you informed and will send you a copy of the building permit when it is obtained.

    Deciding on a Start Date

    Next, it's time to work out an official start date with your pool builder. This timeframe is generally anywhere between four to six weeks after approvals, such as pool building permits, are received, as there are a number of additional steps that need to be completed before ground can be broken. This includes:

    • securing a licensed electrician to run wiring for any pool lighting
    • finding a licensed plumber to connect sewage lines, filters, and other mechanics
    • hiring a landscaper and pool fencer, if needed
    • obtaining an Asset Protection Permit

    Completion Times by Pool Type

    The time between when ground is broken and when your pool is complete can vary greatly based on the specific type of pool you select. For example, pre-engineered swimming pools and fiberglass pools tend to be among the fastest to install, with average times ranging between five to seven days. A concrete in-ground pool will take quite a bit longer, with averages ranging between three to four months.

    Pre-engineered Swimming PoolsConcrete Swimming Pools 

    Fibreglass Swimming Pools

     

    Custom fabricated pool panels are installed (typically no longer than a day)Pool structure is formed (steel reinforcing cage)

     

    Depending on the size of the pool and degree of complexity this stage may take 1-5 days.

     

    The base is set (100% accuracy is critical)

     

    Concrete floor and backfill is poured (typically no longer than a day)Pool structure is internally plumbed prior to concrete placement

     

    1-2 days depending on the site and complexity.

    Truck delivers the pool shell and a crane lifts it off the back of the truck and cranes it over the property (if necessary) and is lowered into the pool hole. With the latest spa crane accident in Altona  possible regulation changes may impact the acceptable weather conditions a crane can be used - this may delay the project.

     

    Pool shell is levelled and pool shell is backfilled.

     

    Simultaneously, the fibreglass shell will be filled with pool water.

     

    The temporary pool fencing is installed simultaneously as the pool is being filled. Building surveyor inspects the temporary fence prior to the pool shell being filled. This temporary fence will need to be inspected every 30 days until the permanent pool fence is installed.

     

    Fiberglass pool shell is plumbed.

     

    Concrete beam also known as a ring beam is installed to hold the pool shell down and in place. Depending on the design of the fiberglass pool shell, this beam (when in steel form prior to the concrete being poured) will be inspected by a Building Surveyor.

     

    This will take 1-3 days.

     

     

    Pool is plumbed (typically less than a day)Pool structure (steel) is inspected by the appropriate building surveyor.

     

     

    Landscaper then builds/installs pool surrounds (time will be dependent on size of area, complexity of project and weather)
    Pool surrounds are backfilled (typically less than a day)Concrete shell is sprayed.

     

    (typically a day)

    Pool Fencer removes temporary fencing and installs the pool barrier (time will be dependent on size of area and complexity)
    Landscaper then builds/installs pool surrounds (time will be dependent on size of area, complexity of project and weather)Concrete Cures

     

    A minimum of 28 days is required.

     

     

    Building Surveyor Inspects Pool Barrier
    Pool Fencer installs the pool barrier (time will be dependent on size of area and complexity)Landscaper then builds/installs pool surrounds (time will be dependent on size of area, complexity of project and weather)

     

    Pool is Handed Over (couple of hours)
    Surveyor Inspects Pool BarrierPool interior installed

     

    Depending on interior chosen and the pool size, this could take from a day to weeks if not longer for a fully tilled pool.

    Family is swimming
    Pool Shell is prepared and PVC Membrane is vacuumed sealed in and pool is filled (typically a day)Pool Fencer installs the pool barrier (time will be dependent on size of area and complexity)
    Pool is Handed Over (couple of hours)Surveyor Inspects Pool Barrier
    Family is swimming!Concrete Pool Shell is filled with water

     

    Pool is Handed Over (couple of hours)
    Family is swimming!
    TOTAL 5-7 days

    Excluding landscaping and fencing - this can add 2-4 weeks to a project.

    TOTAL 3-4 monthsTOTAL 5-7 days

    Excluding landscaping and fencing - this can add 2-4 weeks to a project.

    Other Important Factors

    Of course, some factors may be out of your builder's control when it comes to installing a pool, and may add more time to your project timeline. Weather is perhaps the biggest cause of pool construction delays, as clear weather is generally required for most of the installation work (this is especially true for concrete-poured pools). Another potential hold-up with your pool construction could be a lack of timely payment on your behalf; be sure to keep an eye on the payment schedule featured in your contract. Making payments on-time will help to prevent any delays in your pool construction.

    Finally, Council Requirements can also create roadblocks in pool construction. Fortunately, if you have a knowledgeable and experienced builder, these kinds of issues can usually be avoided.

    As you can see, the amount of time it takes to build a pool can vary greatly, and there are many steps involved in the process. Albatross Pools specialises in efficient and timely construction of in-ground pools for your home, and our Aqualux PVC membrane pool is satin smooth and extremely kid-friendly! Contact us today to find out more about how we can turn your dreams of pool ownership into reality!

    Sign up to our newsletter for special deals and latest news.

    Visit our swimming pool display centres.

    Open 7 days a week.
    Dandenong

    157 Foster Street
    Dandenong VIC 3175

    Mon-Sat: 9am to 5pm
    Sun: 10am to 4pm

    CLOSED PUBLIC HOLIDAY TRADING

    Get directions
    Warrandyte

    226 Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road
    Warrandyte VIC 3133

    Mon-Sat: 9am to 5pm
    Sun: 10am to 4pm

    CLOSED PUBLIC HOLIDAY TRADING

    Get directions