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in-ground home swimming pools


  • whilst having an in ground swimming pool seems like a great idea in such a warm country as Australia, you really need to consider the many, many downsides to owning one as they can become a labour intensive, climate change unfriendly money pit

Issues with buying and installing a pool

  • your quote will probably NOT include extras such as:
    • rock blasting if you live in an area with a large amount of near surface rock and such rock blasting is likely to also cause structural damage to your house and perhaps neighbors' houses, many of which may not materialise for some time
    • damage to your outdoor infrastructure such as stormwater drains and outdoor paving caused by excavators
    • costs of ensuring compliance with state law regarding pool safety - installation of pool fences, window lock devices that prevent windows opening too far, etc
    • cost of a thermal blanket to maintain temperature and reduce water evaporative losses
    • solar water heating system
      • if you really want to have minimal ongoing electricity costs, you may wish to consider a DualSun system which generates electricity as well as heating pool water directly but such a system will cost around $20,000 for a typical pool
      • most people would opt for the much cheaper, standard rubber tubing water heating system

Ongoing costs

  • pool chemicals these could easily get to $500-800 per year
  • electricity cost for pump running 365 days a year for 8-12 hours/day to ensure it remains clean plus the solar water pump, this could easily get you to $1000 per year
  • if you are crazy enough to keep it warm for longer periods with gas heater or heat pumps then this will be a substantial extra cost
  • water costs - in summer you could lose 1000L per week, even more if you have plumbing leaks!
  • change of “sand” in the sand filter every few years
  • house insurance premiums are likely to be higher as:
    • increased public liability risk from drownings or pool leakage issues
    • increased cost of repairs to the pool system due to major damage
    • risk of solar PV panel damage in extreme hail storms
  • potential for civil or criminal law suits if a child suffers due to negligence relating to barrier laws
  • manual labour of pool cleaning - this is at least a weekly chore
  • costs of compulsory pool barrier safety inspections depending on State law:
    • for Victoria as of Dec 2019:
      • you must register your pool and spa with the relevant council and pay the fee
      • pay for the pool barrier inspection every 4 years
      • pay for lodging the inspection certificate (failure to lodge may incur a $1652 fine)
      • ensure non-compliant aspects are addressed within 60 days and satisfied by re-inspection otherwise have to pay council on lodging the non-compliant certificate (~$400) and the council could then issue a building notice or a barrier improvement notice and if you fail to meet this then a $1650 fine may be issued
  • repair costs:
    • glass type solar PV panels, including DualSun are meant to be designed to AS 2712-2007 standard but this standard only provides protection against hail stone impacts up to 35mm (golf ball size), larger ones may destroy the panels in the same way they destroy car windscreens1), and your house insurance may or may not have protection against such damage - and if you do declare you have a solar panel system your premium may be increased to allow for such damage.
    • if your concrete leaks then you could be in for major repair costs
  • replacement of parts is common:
    • most parts will need replacing after 10-20 years including your solar roof collector rubber piping which perishes over time and becomes increasingly vulnerable to even small hail stones
    • pool pavers or tiles may need replacing after 20 years
  • you may end up paying someone to remove the pool

Turn your pool into something else - re-purposed pool conversions

rainwater tank and patio

fish pond

  • you will still need to keep your pool safety measures in place
  • if you have a chlorine pool, just stop the pump, cease using chemicals, put in some raised platforms for plants and wait for the wrigglers to tolerate the water and then it should be safe to start adding plants and fish
  • if you don't damage the pool, it can be re-converted back to a pool just by reversing the process and with a bit of cleaning!

sunken garden/patio


a studio

  • an A-Frame over the pool can create a sealed work / leisure space
australia/swimming_pools.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/20 20:49 by gary1

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