- Types and device of inflatable reservoirs
- Pros and cons of an inflatable pool
- The choice of an inflatable reservoir
- Installation and operation of an inflatable pool
- At the end
In this article: what types of inflatable pools exist, how they are arranged; dependence of the board height on the age of the bathers; positive and negative characteristics of inflatable reservoirs; criteria for choosing an inflatable pool; installation and use; service life of the inflatable reservoir.
The first warm days in spring, you first rejoice, then, with the onset of summer and hot weather, you begin to look around in search of shade, soft drinks and some reservoir with clean, preferably running water. For summer cottages with a pool – after all, only in this artificial reservoir it is possible to fully control the chemical and bacteriological composition of water – the demand increases sharply with the onset of summer. It is costly to build a capital pool, so the owners of summer cottages turn their attention to artificial reservoirs exposed on the ground – inflatable and frame ones. Let’s explore inflatable pools and find out how to choose them and how to use them.
Types and device of inflatable reservoirs
Quality inflatable pools are made of three-layer PVC film. The walls of models that can hold a significant volume of water are additionally reinforced with a polyester mesh, which allows for a high structural strength. The shape of the bowl can be round, oval or square – the more common shape is a circle, because it allows you to evenly distribute the water pressure on the walls, and a round pool will take up less space than a square or oval one. In addition to the bowl itself, a children’s inflatable pool can have additional inflatable elements designed to expand its play functions (slide, a net for playing a ball, a small fountain, etc.) and the convenience of bathers (seats).
Along the perimeter of the side in an inflatable reservoir of large volume, there is one sealed “pipe”, into which air is pumped when installing the pool, rarely two or three such pipes. The sides of small and medium sized pools contain at least two air-filled pipe cavities. In addition to inflatable boards, some models of plastic pools that hold a small amount of water and are designed for children under 7 years old are equipped with an inflatable bottom – the volume of air filling such a bottom is small, but it makes it possible to increase the comfort of bathing. For comparison, models of artificial reservoirs, in which the bottom is made only of three-layer PVC, require especially careful preparation of the site at the installation site of the pool, since any pebble or protrusion on it will be sensitive for bathers.
By the height of the side, inflatable pools are divided into:
- mini pond, board not higher than 170 mm. Designed for bathing children no older than one and a half years;
- “Paddling pool”, side height not more than 500 mm. Designed for children aged 1.5-3 years;
- a pool with a side up to 700 mm in height is suitable for bathing preschool children, i.e. not more than 7 years old;
- a body of water with a side height from 700 to 1070 mm, aimed at middle-aged adolescents – from 7 to 12 years old;
- large pool, board height from 1070 to 1220 mm, designed for older teenagers and adults.
According to the method of filling with water, such pools are subdivided into inflatable ones, the walls-cavities of which are filled with air along their entire height, and into liquid ones, so named because of their peculiarity of collecting water – the upper cavity-pipe, encircling the pool along its perimeter, is inflated with air, and the walls underneath do not need to be inflated. When water enters the bulk pool, the air-pumped pipe at its edge floats up, lifting and unfolding the wall material after it.
The set of an inflatable pool depends on the volume of water that can fit into it – the larger the volume, the more components are needed. A set of models designed for children under 7 years old usually includes only the pool itself and, in some cases, a repair kit (a tube of glue and a vinyl patch) to eliminate air leakage from the air cavities in the side. Artificial reservoirs with a side of 700 mm and more are equipped with a filter pump, an awning covering the pool during downtime, a sufficient height of a step ladder, a net for collecting dirt particles under the water, a bedding under the bottom of the pool and a skimmer that removes contamination from the water surface.
Pros and cons of an inflatable pool
Consider the positive characteristics:
- ease of assembly on site;
- minimum site requirements for installation;
- repeated movement from place to place is allowed (before this, the water must be drained from the pool);
- when folded, it has a compact shape that facilitates storage and transportation at any distance;
- low cost in comparison with artificial reservoirs of the same bowl volume;
- due to regular maintenance, the water in such a pool is safer for bathers than in natural bodies of stagnant water.
Disadvantages of inflatable pools:
- despite the multi-layer, polymer walls can be easily damaged by sharp objects, they are exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun;
- the volume of air pumped into the “pipes” of the sides is unstable due to leaks through the air valves, periodic pumping is required;
- the water in the bowl must be changed at least once a day or special chemical preparations must be used to prevent the development of microorganisms. With a daily change of water, it must be dumped somewhere, while the volume of liquid can be large – about 7-15 tons (the exact volume of water depends on the size of the bowl);
- even if you choose an oval-shaped inflatable pool with a maximum length of 6 m and a depth of 1.22 m, you will not be able to swim in it.
The choice of an inflatable reservoir
In the Russian market of inflatable pools, the largest assortment and at a relatively low cost are models of the Intex brand, owned by the Chinese company Intex Recreation Corp., which is headquartered in the United States, and products are manufactured at its factories in China. It should be noted that the quality of Intex products, in comparison with similar products from other Chinese manufacturers, is much higher. Also among the companies supplying inflatable reservoirs to the Russian market are German Wehncke and Future Pool, Spanish Swim’n Play and Gre, French Jean Desjoyaux and Zodiac, American Sevylor, whose products are, no doubt, of high quality and reliability, but will cost the buyer two to three times more expensive than Chinese Intex products.
Choosing this or that pool model, you need to find out what material it is made of – the answer “from plastic” or “from polyvinyl chloride” should not suit you. Check the number of layers in the walls and bottom, the thickness of each layer, whether there is wall reinforcement.
Children’s pools of bright colors, with various applications and patterns on the bottom and walls, will help relieve your child of the heat and fear of water, but they should only be with an inflatable bottom. For one child under the age of 3 years, you should choose an inflatable pool of the “splash” type, with a side of no more than 500 mm and a distance between the walls of no more than a meter, for two or three children of the same age you will need an artificial reservoir with a width of at least 2 m.
Explore the pool you like with only air-filled sides, in the case of self-leveling models – filled with water, ideally. Products with high sides and a large volume are quite easy to overturn even when they are completely filled with water, so there should be special rubber rings on their walls – a rope is tied to them, the other end is attached to a peg driven into the ground, which allows you to stably put the pool in place.
Even before buying an inflatable reservoir, you should find out how the water is drained from it, whether it is possible to connect the drain valves with a garden hose with a diameter of 13, 19 or 25 mm – water drainage by overturning is only suitable for small pools, of all the others, water must be drained into a drainage ditch or pull to vegetable beds. However, you can pump out water using a pump, but this is an additional cost.
When choosing, a rational approach is needed not only to the size of the inflatable reservoir, but also to the volume of water that it contains. For example, a pool with a diameter of 2440 mm and a side height of 760 mm holds about 2.5 tons of water – it will be difficult to manually change the water every day with such a volume. In addition, it will take about 3-4 hours to fill an artificial reservoir of a given volume from an ordinary tap of the water supply network, depending on the pressure..
The package of the model you have chosen should include a repair kit in case of holes in the pool body – ordinary adhesives like “Superglue” or “Moment” are not able to glue PVC, they will only damage it and further increase the area of damage.
Now about the guarantee. The optimal period of the factory warranty for an inflatable pool is 1 year, if available, you get a really high-quality product. If the warranty is less than a year or is completely absent, then you have a reservoir of dubious quality. Please note that inflatable pools are in no way suitable for bathing pets, in particular cats and dogs, whose claws will easily damage the PVC sheathing – keep animals away from the pool! In the event that the animal still gets to the pool and damages it, the seller will not be able to replace or repair it under warranty..
Installation and operation of an inflatable pool
You should not rush to choose a place, although you want to take advantage of the purchase as soon as possible after a long journey to the country. Evaluate the site – how flat is the surface of the ground in one place or another, the proximity of trees from which foliage will certainly fall and pollute the water, where you can throw water from the pool bowl when you replace it, how far away is this place. The pool bowl should be well lit by the sun, otherwise the water in it will be quite cool. If this is a children’s pool, then its location should be tied to the possibility of constant monitoring of the swimmers.
Having chosen the best place, remove all stones and level out any unevenness in the soil, then lay the material intended for bedding under the pool – if it was included with it, then there will be no problems, if not, then use a tarpaulin cloth or thick pvc film, folding her three to four times. The purposes of using the litter are additional protection of the bottom of an artificial reservoir from mechanical damage and accelerated heating of water under the sun, because otherwise, the soil will take heat away from the water. It is important that the area you choose for the pool is even and not without a slope, the soil is dense, non-shrinking.
It is necessary to remove the pool from the cover at the place of its installation – you cannot drag the PVC material along the ground! Moreover, you should not first inflate its walls and only after that look for a place to put there – the area required for the bottom can be determined without pumping air into the pool, using a litter or data from the instructions for this. The air pipes surrounding the sides can only be inflated with a hand or foot pump – the air compressor cannot be used, because with excessive air pressure, the pipes will burst along the seam and cannot be repaired on your own.
The bowl of an artificial reservoir should be filled with drinking water, rain or, for example, river water is not suitable – swimmers, especially children, will certainly swallow a certain amount of liquid, which, if its quality is insufficient, will affect their health. If there are no sources of drinking water or their volume is insufficient, then use special chemicals for swimming pools – they are described in this article. Do not be intimidated by the word “chemicals” – swimming in untreated water will only get worse.
The pool should not be constantly with an open bowl filled with water, because it will get various dirt and insects – if there are no visitors, you should cover it with the film that comes with the kit or with a homemade cut from a tarpaulin, pvc film.
In the absence of chemical treatment with special compounds and a circulation pump with a filter, it is better to change the water in the pool at least once a day – for example, use it in the evening to water the site, and collect fresh water during the night. When carrying out chemical treatment and regular cleaning of water from visible contaminants using a net, the water can be changed only once or twice a month, but you should not water the plants with it during a planned replacement. The option using water from the pool for irrigation is only suitable for reservoirs containing no more than 2.5 tons of water; for more spacious models, only chemical water treatment and water change are possible once a month.
During the day, the amount of water in the pool will decrease – some of it will be splashed out by the swimmers, some will evaporate in the sun, so you need to top up the water daily to the required level. Check if there is enough air in the chambers-pipes by pressing on them with your hand – the air valves lose their tightness over time, the air gradually leaves through them, which requires periodic pumping.
If an air or water leak is found, it is necessary to pour out the water and blow off the air from the pool chambers, then dry the area with the identified hole, prepare a patch, apply the glue that comes in the repair kit to it, press firmly against the damaged area. After the repair, the inflatable pool can be inflated and filled with water again not earlier than after 12 hours. Special glue and material for patches, if not available, can be purchased at any store that sells inflatable pools, boats, etc..
When the next warm season comes to an end, the artificial reservoir needs to be prepared for storage during cold weather – remove water, release air from the pipes-cavities, thoroughly wash the film forming the pool with water and a soft brush, then wipe, dry in the sun or, if there is a lack sunlight, leave in the yard overnight. Then carefully fold it into a case and place it in storage.
At the end
It’s time to name the approximate period during which the inflatable pool will regularly serve its owners – it will be about 2-4 years. The exact time depends on the quality of care for this model, the intensity of its use and the materials used in its creation. Frame pools will serve the owners for a longer period, we will talk about them next time.