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 Shastadad » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:52 am

I would take a look at this thread and see how kiwimartin built his swimming pool

Koh Phangan Coconut Build

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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Rdteth » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:54 pm

Hello Shastadad,

Just went through that topic.
I have seen those filters at desayoux pools as well. Didn't see it as an option due to the almost 300K baht they ask for the box.
At 60K its another story. But..... I'm very very sceptical about "advanced" chinese stuff. I bought a keeway rkv200 motorbike 1.5 yrs ago.
Total disaster. Everything failed already and even within 1 month after the buy they give you a hard time about warranty. Obviously not learned my lesson, I bought 6 months ago a chinese diesel-generator from Global. Within the first 20 hrs it broke down. They picked it up - after going there, calling didn't do the trick- , they couldn't fix it (of course) and took it to their shop. A month later they called, said it couldn't be fixed and I would get another if I would pay the transport costs.
Not agree. I spent a 1001 baht on oil and there was still 20 liter of diesel in the old one. Silence for a long time.
Finally this week -after 6 months- I went over again and had to fight to get my money back.
So for now no more chinese stuff here. On the other hand I guess that in time they will figure out how to produce quality.

So as much as I like the concept, for now I will not buy this chinese gadget untill proven to be of quality.
I would pay desoyeux the 60K for their unit immediately.
But still will build the pool in the thread from steve&mem. I think I will make my pool prepared for this gadget, mainly because the 9.5 m I can get in my backyard will definitely be insufficient to do some exercise swimming
Thank for bringing this thread to my attention.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby jazzman » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:12 pm

Many years ago, I started the swimming pool section on the CHT forum, and contributed to it for a while quite heavily. Due to old age and retirement I don't follow CTH so much these days.

Checking over this recent thread I'll just point out and endorse one or two very valid comments made by others:

Overflow pools, while only slightly more expensive than skimmer pools, not only have a more aesthetic appearance, but they also improve the filtration of the surface water by up to an estimated 30% (particularly those with a gutter all round), catching most suspended solids before they sink to the bottom of the pool. Overflow pools also top themselves up automatically, and the pumps prime themselves more quickly.

The monobloc 'hang-over-the-edge' complete filtration systems can only be effective for the first couple of metres of water in front of them; they are highly prone to requiring servicing from the manufacturer's agent, and in my honest opinion are grossly overpriced. Traditional sand or cartridge filters and pumps, perfectly matched for your pool, are very reliable and prices start at only Baht 13,000.00 together for a very small pool, to only around Baht 20,000.00 together for a reasonable size (10 x 4) domestic pool, and are easy to install. Purchased from a genuine accredited pool dealer they will have the full guarantee and service support (branded goods only - no Chinese knock-offs sold in large DIY stores and building supplies hypermarkets, or 'import agents' operating from their private houses). The only real advantage of those 'hang-over-the-edge' units is that they do not require any plumbing or a pump house - which incidentally , together with the price of the pump and filter still do not come anywhere near the price of a monobloc system.

The correct chlorine levels and pH balance are extremely important. Unfortunately, if you ask 12 people for their advice, you'll get 12 different answers. pH must be kept between 7.2 qnd 7.6, and most pool sanitation systems work best at around 7.2. If the chlorine level is maintained correctly, and this can only be achieved by checking both the Combined Chlorine and the Free Chlorine, and accurately dosing the water rather than simply chucking a cupful of powder in the pool from time to time. Unfortunately, 7 out of 10 pool 'firms' don't fully understand pool chemistry themselves, so ask a pool professional you can trust, although some of the best smooth-talkers may not have much of a clue either.

Best wishes, sparklng water, and happy building for 2016!
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:44 pm

I have few remarks to the previous post:

Not sure what was meant by a "monobloc 'hang-over-the-edge' complete filtration system". Perhaps a gravitation sand filtration?

In the first year of my pool I had led the overflown water into an open tank with sand, expecting the filtered water at the bottom outlet behind it, pumping it back to the pool. This had worked always just for few days only, the flow through the sand had diminished more and more, the sand was fouled by fine dirt and (almost invisible) algae particles. Every filter needs a regular backwashing what is quite impossible at an open gravitation filter. To make the sand again penetrable I had to rake up the sand, spray it with a strong water stream and in the same time suck away the raised dirty water by a submersible pump (Thai call it Daewoh).

This procedure has not been very convenient, therefore I was looking for a pressure vessel sand filter as usually provided for swimming pools.
In Global House I have discovered such a filter that includes 6-way valve for backwashing and draining, all for 7,500 Baht, for the same price it is still there today. And at a pump shop (not a pool dealer) I bought a pool pump for 7,500 Baht. Both filter and pump are Chinese products (shown on my pictures), have been working satisfactorily now for 11 years, will surely carry satisfactorily further on.

My experience with chemistry I have described in the previous pages. I have been swimming every day throughout the whole year in a clear water without caring much about a pH level as usually strongly recommended by pool shops. By an occasional measurement I have always found that the pH has no influence on the water clarity.

For the ones who want to run the pool with quite a high chlorine level (for both bacteria and algae fight) the pH level does have an impact on the chlorine effectiveness. However, as proven by numerous medical studies the high chlorine level is not very healthy for humans. A fact that does not quite please the pool shops since the chlorine and pH maintenance (mostly pH minus) is a very good selling point. Moreover the special organic chlorine with longer working effect (long term tablets) contains some kind of cyanide which does not vapourize as chlorine therefore has to be controlled and (specially) measured what leads to a recommendation of frequent water replenishment.

Furthermore, where the available water source contains certain level of iron (quite usual in Thailand) the chlorine will discover it very fast and will discolor the water into brownish tones.

I prefer very low level of chlorine - almost not measurable - but knowing that something is in - giving assurance of protection against bad bacterias.

And for the fight against algae - that's the most important task avoiding the green water - in Thailand very strong influence of sunshine and high temperature - is copper sulphate, easily obtainable at a chemical shop. Drinking water standards allow 2 mg of Copper per 1 l of water, whilst copper sulphate contains only 20 - 25 % of copper.

Also for pH the level range at drinking water is very wide 6.5 - 9.5, so will it harm at swimming? The pH of sea water is well over 8, in the thermal spa as well.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby jazzman » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:06 am

Copper has been known as an effective algicide and bactericide for thousands of years. Yeasts, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces, The oldest recorded medical use of copper is mentioned in the Smith Papyrus, one of the oldest books known. This Egyptian medical text, written between 2600 and 2200 B.C., describes the application of copper to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water .

Anhydrous copper sulphate is however not easily available in small domestic quantities in Thailand at reasonable prices. More economical is to purchase premixed copper-based algicide for swimming pools. There are many proprietary brands at widely different prices but they are all basically the same product and same quality. Shop around - there is one available at as little as THB 799.00 for a 3.78 litre botte (! gal US) while others are marketing at 499 for just one litre.

Chlorine-free sanitisation
There are now (very recently) UV sanitisers available in designs that will now handle swimming pool volumes of water. Less expensive than salt water chlorinators (and no salt to keep in stock), or expensive copper/silver ionisers, and very easy to install. Prices I have found start from as little as around THB 12,000.00

Cyanuric acid.
Cyanuric acid is classified as "essentially nontoxic". The 50% oral median lethal dose (LD50) is 7700 mg/kg in rats. (Klaus Huthmacher, Dieter Most "Cyanuric Acid and Cyanuric Chloride" Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry" 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi 10.1002/14356007.a08 191)
Its best not to diffuse scary information through the Internet - some people might believe in an incorrect association with cyanide, a deadly poison..

Used frequently in the fibreglass pools marketed by Desjoyeaux, a "monobloc 'hang-over-the-edge' complete filtration system" is a self contained unit comprising a pump, some kind of largely ineffective cloth or paper cartridge filter, and sometimes incorporates a small salt water chlorinator. They can also be bought separately. There is one from China available at Global House branches for THB 80,000.00 (compared to 18,000.00 for a traditional pump-fiter combo from a recognised brand).

Who to believe?
The best sources of information on swimming pool sanitation are the legal requirements imposed on public, commercial, and school pools by, for example, the governments of the States of California, and New South Wales, Germany, and the UK.
The information I provide in the Cool Thai House swimming pool forum are based on those, and on independent academic research and are not made up or loosely synthesised from 'something I heard on the net'.
Prices of pool equipment and products in Thailand range from the reasonable to the frankly extortionate. Prices in this market are rarely representative of quality, though of course extremely cheap items, mainly from China, should be avoided; while some quality items are sold in some pool stores at very greedy profit margins. Again, shop around but be aware that even reasonably priced high quality goods might not be backed by a genuine and responsible after sales service, or sold by a fully accredited retailer.
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby jazzman » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:48 am

A typical 'monobloc' filtration unit.
Monobloc filtration.jpg
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:34 pm

For over 10 years I have been buying the Copper Sulphate in a nearby chemical shop for 150 Baht per 1 kg bag. Such bag helps me for some 2 months with a weekly dosage, half dissolved in a bucket, then dispersed directly in the pool water.

BTW, most of the commercial algicides are mainly based on such CS under different (fashie) names.

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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:33 pm

Chemical Treatment

This thread is describing my experience with building an affordable swimming pool 12x3m in DIY style for 150,000 Baht. And also my 11 years experience with easy maintenance of my pool. It does not say that this is the best for everybody. There are surely other styles and ways for the ones who want to get a pool from a renowned company and who are willing to pay 5 - 10 times more.

When a newcomer starts to think about having his own swimming pool there are always many questions: how I will maintain, how it is with chemicals, what is free chlorine, what is common chlorine, what is alkalinity, should it be something else than chlorination, perhaps bromines, some speak about salt water, what about ionization, UV-lamp, what I have to buy for automatic dosage of the chemicals, what measuring devices, how to suck the pool bottom, will I need a cleaning roboter, etc. It seems that all these problems will not make the maintenance very affordable.

Before my decision to make something like this I had spent a lot of time reading on Internet about swimming pool topics. And reading also many pool blogs - mostly driven by pool shops - learning from the many discussed problems and cries for help. Realizing that the most sophisticated equipment will not necessarily guarantee a smooth functioning.

Very first sorrow is always how to keep the chlorine level and how high it has to be? One is afraid to get into the water unless it is properly sanitized. :( The chlorine level is generally recommended (prescribed) quite high 1.5 - 2 - 3 ppm, with a periodical shock chlorination by inorganic chlorine ca. 10 ppm. Beside the high cost of those chlorines - and the necessity of the costly pH control as well - another problem occurs: a steady increase level of cyanuric acid (added to the organic chlorine for longer lasting effect) that does not evaporate like the chlorine.

Once somebody follows the pool blogs he will observe the numerous calls for help: "my water is green". When all the numerous questions of the pool experts will be answered (how much ppm you have of this, where did you buy it, how old is your chlorine, with what you measure, forget it, buy a better one, when did you calibrate, how old is your grandmother? :D ) the desperate pool owner still cannot swim after weeks of alchemy and lot of spent money.

Then it comes to the last resort: "how high is your cyanuric acid? You do have the right special measurement for it, don't you? Over 50? OK, now we got it, that's why the chemical do not work properly. You have to replace at least 50% of the water, the best to refill it all."

Oh, my gosh, how clever, the filling of my 60,000 L had taken 3 weeks. :shock: And my water source is very difficult, with very strong iron content, normally classified as impossible to use for a pool.
Describing how it can be managed, viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4611

At this point somebody could ask: why for my private pool where I come only with my wife (or just alone) for half an hour - and some day not at all - why I should keep the same high chlorine level as at a public pool where herds of uncontrolled people and kids come and have to be carefully sanitized? And why my pool water - despite my filtration 10 - 16 hours/d - needs to be kept so highly sanitized throughout 24/7, more than the water in the bathtube where the wife enjoys sitting in 40deg? :lol: And not speaking of the water we use for food preparation, washing, etc. How can I survive the remaining 23.5 h without being under a perfect sanitizing?

There is one simple explanation for the prescriptions of such high chlorine levels: the algaes will not easily grow. But against algeas I can use algycids? Sure, however, the chlorine and the consequent pH maintenance is the best business for pool shops - it has to be almost daily measured and treated. It costs much more than cheap and longer lasting algycids or the copper sulphate. That's why most of the pool shops - and their blogs - generally discourage you from algycids.

And for enhancing their recommendation they make you scared of the bacteria in your pool water. And they tell you: "once you keep the chlorine level properly high the algaes will not grow. So you will not need any algycids. And they are not good for you, do you want your wife with green hair?" :(

Such a joke. In the pool blogs the most frequent word count is "green". However, not "green hair" but "green water" and "help". Drinking water national standards allow 2 ppm Cu, much more that you will get in your pool water - that you do not drink (almost). Not speaking of Cu preparatives for food industries, vineyards treatments over centuries, etc.

I haven't been much different beginner than the others. However, I haven't invested in expensive equipment, will see whether it can work either. My high content of iron has forbidden me even a usual dose of chlorine, therefore learning about the algycids, surviving the deterrent calls in pool blogs when I have admitted using copper sulphur. :evil:

At the end of the day I have found that it goes without chlorine or just with a slight amount of. Then when not keeping the chlorine levels, no need to keep the pH levels either. Furthermore, the low pH is not very good for the ceramic tiles and its grouting, even not so good for the plastics foils. Higher pH does not harm the people, nor in drinking water, don't we enjoy swimming in the sea-water?

There are even theories that for our health we should lower the acidity in our body (can be measured by pH of urine) - caused by frequent meat intake - not only by edible (baking) soda but also by regular bathing in water of high pH, something like in spa.

And when googling: "pool water, chlorine, cancer," you will not get a good reading.

So, after 11 years running my affordable swimming pool I am happy that I did not get mad from the pool shops calls. And despite that, I am daily swimming in a clear water with affordable - and easy - maintenance.

Actually, it is my second pool.
The first one in a similar style I had lost by demise of my wife (with loss of the house and of much more), the usual story in Thailand:

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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby olavhome » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:21 pm

Agree, when you start With pool the advice is to check water quality daily and you learn about all the problems that can happen if not.
But after a while you learn about how the system Works and shoulders start getting lower.
So now check water about every 5 days and think that is enough :-)
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:40 pm

olavhome wrote:So now check water about every 5 days and think that is enough :-)

In fact, I do not check the water every 5 days, sometimes just after a month. Checking the water, depends what do you mean by checking?

Chlorine: twice a week (sometimes just once when I forget) I disperse into the pool water solution of a spoon of inorganic chlorine to assure myself that nothing dangerous will be harmful for me. Even if considered that the chlorine effect does not last long, should I assume that the next day - after the bad bacterias extermination - another bad germ newcomer is just lurking on me?

pH checking: As explained previously, it is not necessary. Beside the correct effect of chlorine I do not see any other reason. The drinking water standards allow very wide range, e.g. in Germany 6.5 - 9.5. Rather I would be afraid when the pH goes under 7 (acidic water), however, usually, it goes always higher (even in rainy season). That's why getting it down to 7.4 costs quite a lot of frequent effort and money.

There is one indicator that tells me the pH is over 8 and it lasts already quite for long: a line appearance on the walls at the water level that does not go well down at regular brushing, it is an alcaline deposit. Then I wash it down by a mild HCL acid solution, under careful precautions, it clean the tiles very well and smoothly. By this, also the pH of the pool water is being maintained down.

Algaes growth: Once a week I disperse into pool water half ladle of Copper Sulphate solution, that's the most important in order not to get the green water (neither the green hair :D ) .

Of course, beside the chemical dosage there is much more care almost daily needed: within 3 - 4 days (sometimes every day when stormy weather) I suck the pool bottom and backwash the filter. And sometimes brushing the walls and the bottom a day before the bottom sucking. Such a regular mechanical care is not a disadvantage (against the ones with pool robots): The physical effort is very much needed for us old people, part of an exercise, instead of necessity to be tortured on gym machines. :lol:

To make the maintenance easy and not overly annoying there are few things to be carefully considered at the design:

Pool dimensions: With a larger size the construction cost are higher, but more importantly, to think on the daily care throughout your lifetime. Not only the water volume to be treated but the cleaning of the large walls and bottom. Even if you want to make it large and wide for kids and their friends enjoyment, such years with kids will be fast gone - and they have other important things to spend time for - you will stay alone with your daily swimming.

And that's the most important and effective sport for old people: a long swimming, not only bathing. And for the swimming, the longer pool the better swimming, no need much width.
Also for the bottom sucking you will appreciate the pool rather narrow than wide - you do it just from two longer sides.

Depth: you will appreciate the depth under 140 - 150 cm when you will brush the walls and bottom, doing that from within the water, being able to stand on your feet with the head above water.

ache) Bottom sucking: having the gear prepared without need of attaching the flexible hose and flooding it fully by water (a real headache). I wrote about my solution having it stashed in the overflow channel, any time ready for sucking just by closing/opening 2 valves.

Overflow design: I have described the many advantages, one longer side is enough, 2, 3, 4 OF walls do not bring much more comfort at swimming nor much better surface cleaning but just problems with the water in the channels flowing.

One - not negligible - advantage: the heavy chlorine vapours will not stay laying at the water surface, they do not have a barrier of the walls around like at the skimmer pools where just by the deeper breathing the vapours will be disposed of :lol: .

Then, the most important to think on, easy going filtering and all the other additional equipment (if any). It has to be easy understandable and operable for anybody else when you will not be always available in town, or not physically able.
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Re: Affordable swimming pool in Thailand - how easy

Postby Klondyke » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:25 pm

On one of my previous pictures I have shown my "ingenious" water heater consisting from black metal sheets, running partly horizontally (almost), partly in a slope down to pool. Over years the sheet surface has no longer be very nice looking, so I have it covered by wall tiles 40x40 sitting on slotted oak strips.

It's used not only for water warming during winter but also as a water cooler during the hottest summer months (April, May, June) to bring the water down to 30 deg., while running at nights when the air temperature is under 30 deg.

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