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Pool Maintenance

Whether you need regular/scheduled pool maintenance visits or just occasional visits to offer guidance, Handyman France can help.

If you are new to looking after your own pool, we can arrange a training session to familiarise you with all the basic procedures and technicalities. Without being too technical. On site, at your pool.

If you are buying a property that has a pool, or have already acquired a pool, we can carry out a survey. Is the pipework installed correctly? Is the pump/filter adequate? Do you have the legally required safety measures in place? You face a fine of up to 45,000€ if not. That's forty-five thousand Euros! (Loi n° 2003-9 du 3 janvier 2003 relative à la Sécurité des piscines (1) and can be viewed online at - It is sometimes known as the loi Raffarin.) Guidance and/or remedial work can be carried out.

The following text and photos may give you an idea of the extent of expertise available to you at Handyman France...

SARL Handyman France is accustomed to receiving calls for help with pools. This is the account of one such call...

The pool photographed here is located near Carcassonne, and had not been touched for nearly three years. The pump was broken. Other issues meant the owner was unable to deal with any of the pool problems during this time. The water had been changed just before the pump failure, so the level of infection was the result of three years of total neglect. The mass of yellow 'stuff' in the photos is algae. The obvious, simple and quick solution appears to be to drain the pool and start again.

However, changing the water again was not an option. Apart from the cost, there is no adequate drainage for dumping water in quantity and in such bad condition. Even if the water had been pumped out, there would still have been the issue of removing 1.5 to 2 tonnes of algae and sludge (the estimated weight reflects the the volume of the sludge combined with the volume of water it holds). The pool pump could not have been used, because the system is not a sand filter type - it is the filter bag design which has only one exit point for the water which is at the top of the the pool; a normal submersible pump would have blocked repeatedly. Removing the sludge/algae manually would have risked damaging the liner; would have necessitated at least two people working for at least one complete day; and would have been even more unpleasant given the strong smell that the algae generated. Not to mention the risk of slips and falls into the sludge.

Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey. The work was planned in 5 stages, but was was spread over 15 days to allow periods for the chemicals to work and to fit in with other operational needs. Numerous visits were necessary simply to turn the hose on and off.

Stage one - install new pump; apply chemicals; fit pool alarm; increase water level to allow for wastage at the next stage*; run pump for 24 hours to distribute chlorine shock. (*At this and every subsequent stage, more water was added as vacuuming small volumes to waste was the only option.)

Day 1  Day 1
Day 1   Day 1

Stage two - vacuum the bottom of the pool as much as possible. Working blind, much was missed but as the photographs show, a great deal was removed. Working quickly and methodically, minimal water was wasted with maximum algae removed. Maintain a high chlorine level.

Day 3   Day 4

Stage three - apply more chemicals to start making the water a little clearer so that the floor of the pool can be seen. It soon became apparent that there was a pile of black algae combined with dead leaves in the deepest part of the water. Estimated weight - in excess of 1 tonne. Much of this could not be vacuumed out due to its' density, and needed to be hooked on the vacuum head and pulled clear. Any attempt to use the net would have failed because of the weight and due to the large cloud of microscopic algae that would fall through the net and become water-borne.

Day 5   Day 7

Stage four - apply floculant to send dead algae to the floor of the pool; vacuum floor. Maintain a high chlorine level.

Day 9

Stage five - repeat of stage four. When vacuuming was complete, run the pump and its' integral filtration system 24 hours per day for 5 days to complete the water treatment. Start allowing the chlorine level to drop; start adjusting pH.

When the final photograph was taken, 15 days after the first, the water quality was within usable range - chlorine 8 ppm, which is a little high but not excessive; pH was 7.5 - the pool is now on a routine maintenance schedule.

Day 15

The pool contains around 90 tonnes of water. The total amount pumped out and therefore replaced is estimated at 10 tonnes.

By any standards, this was an extreme case. The objective could have achieved in 7 to 10 days but for other projects in hand at the time. Replacing the water would in fact have taken longer. One day to empty the pool; at least one more to clear the algae; one day to clean the liner of algae remnants; three to four days just to fill with water; if the fresh water became infected with the slightest remnant of the old infection, a day or two to clear the algae; two or three days to set chlorine and pH levels.

Sometimes, the obvious, simple and 'quick' solution just isn't the right one...

SARL Handyman France is indebted to the owner for his permission to use photographs etc.