Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2015

External plumbing for the pool

With the concrete pool to cure for 28 days, there's some time for the external works because nothing can happen within the pool itself.

We needed to provide an electrical connection from our house switchboard to the location for the filter. This required digging a 500mm+ trench, which is a difficult depth to achieve in a narrow trench. We had to dig this before the external plumbing for the pool was put in place, at a shallower depth, along the narrow strip between the fence and pool.

I dug the first section before the pool was laid, as described in this post.

The electrical conduit has to be at least 500m deep, then have 100mm of cover and a electrical warning tape place in the trench. To save a few dollars I spent a day and a half of a weekend digging the trench, for our electrician to lay the conduit in during the week. Despite being winter, there was only light rain and I was saved from having to shovel out any sand that washed in, although the sand collapsed in a few places.

Spraying the concrete pool

Thursday was spray day for the concrete shell of the pool. The sub-contractors can do two pools a day, and we were the second. Our pool company visited in the morning for a final check of the steelwork and all the levels. The concrete sub-contractors arrived before 2pm, setting their pump truck up in our driveway and running the hose to the pool.

It took perhaps 20-30 mins to set up, with protective sheets over our fence, boards to catch over-spray, and string lines to guide the spraying.

This video shows how it is done. Our pool company had an experienced supervisor overseeing the work. He double-checked the levels and the quality of the finish for the 3 hours that it took.

The concrete trucks reversed into our street, discharging concrete into the hopper on the pump truck.

It was great waking the next day to this.

Pool plumbing and lighting

Following from the steelwork, the pool company's plumber spent a few hours fitting the outlets for the filtration system and solar hot water, as well as the pool lighting. An outlet for the warm water from the solar heating is near the steps, so that the water is a little warmer where you first enter the pool.

 It is only the interior plumbing and electrics that have to be placed before the concrete is sprayed.  Next week, the exterior plumbing will be run to the location of the filtration equipment.

Pool steelwork

Following the long weekend, the steelwork has been put in place. I had expected that sheets of reinforcement would be used, but instead individual bars are bent and placed on site. It took 1.5 half days to put in place, as well as the form work for the top beam on which the coping will be placed.

Pool electrics

A dedicated power supply is needed for the pool filter and pumps. This means running a line from the house switchboard to the location of the filtration equipment. In our case, this is at the back of the yard.

We've met with the electrician and discussed options for doing this. One was to bury a cable in conduit from the filter to the house, then run the conduit via a long and confined route through the roof of the house.

The other was to trench the whole way to the switchboard and bury the cable.

The cheapest for us is to trench the whole way to the switchboard because I can dig the trench myself, and a buried cable is a different specification that is cheaper to buy, because it is underground.  Our electrician can then lay the cable at the right depth. A catch is the cable must be at least 500mm deep - so a 600mm trench is needed in practice.

Our sandy soils make this much easier than digging in dry clay, like I remember doing with a mate when a teenager.  There's also only …

Pool digging

This week excavation started for the pool. Our narrow access, less than 1.2m, required a small excavator (or digger) and 1.5 days to remove the spoil.

The day started at 7am Thursday with the pool being marked out with string lines. We had to be there to set the level of the pool. We're planning a paved area between the pool and house, hence the finished level of the pool coping was set to be 10mm about our verandah. This allows for a gradual slope towards the house, with a strip drain along the house wall.

Setting out the pool also identified that the house is not parallel to the side fence, so we had to decide which one the pool would be parallel to.  We decided the house, so that the paving would also be "square" to the house, ensuring it would be cheaper to lay and a more professional look.

The excavator was a tight squeeze. Removing the gate from its hinges helped, and to get past the wall-mounted gas hot water heater a board was placed on the ground to tilt the mac…