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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 05:05

Primero Industries

Primero Industries offers a range of ingenious products that are invented for convenience in everyday living. Easily installed and maintained, all products undergo strict quality control before and after production to ensure they will last. Currently offering the brands Stainox, Eegu™, SofterClos™ and FinPro, the company guarantees you’ll find a quality product to suit your indoor and outdoor needs. Jump on the website to browse Primero Industries’ innovative range. 

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 23:08

Interlink Pools And Landscapes

Interlink Pools and Landscapes offers a comprehensive landscaping service for residential and commercial properties. The company has been excelling in the landscaping industry for more than 20 years. As the general manager, Lincoln employs a passionate team of skilled and experienced tradespeople who specialise in outdoor construction, design and maintenance. By combining the best in outdoor craftsmanship with colour, texture and a creative use of plants, ornamentation, lights and acoustics, the company ensures a unique project will be achieved for every client. Functional, innovative designs and a dedication to client satisfaction are what set this company apart from its competition. Contact Interlink Pools and Landscapes today and start planning your dream outdoor space!

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 23:02

TradeMark Pools

If you’re searching for a pool builder that will stick to your budget and provide a high-quality product, TradeMark Pools is your answer! Specialising in pool construction and renovation, the company can provide your pool with plumbing, equipment and glass installations, as well as construction services. The owner of TradeMark Pools has eight years of experience in the pool building industry. His passion for the industry led to the creation of TradeMark Pools, and he strives to provide every client with the highest-quality products and amazing customer service. From initial quote to completion, Mark will be on-hand to offer practical and honest advice, and will strive to ensure the process is completely stress-free. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 01:24

Leisure Pools

Leisure Pools is one of the largest manufacturers of fibreglass swimming pools in the world. With rigorous quality control and in-house research, the company combines its state-of-the-art manufacturing process and superior raw materials to achieve the high standards for which it is renowned. By using patented Composite Armour™ and full vinyl ester resin, Leisure Pools offers lifetime structural and osmosis warranties to ensure you’ll be happy with your pool for years to come. Head online to find your local Leisure Pools dealer and start swimming in style today!

Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:41

Say The Word

Installing a pool in your outdoor area is a complex undertaking, and can be even more so if you don’t understand the industry terminology. Kate Fitzgerald talks to Danny Harvey of Narellan Pools to unravel the words and products you’re likely to encounter on your pool construction journey.

Have you decided to embark on a new pool project to liven up your backyard in time for summer? If you’re a novice when it comes to construction, it can be a little daunting to begin a major project when you don’t understand the lingo. When your pool project is underway, there are some terms that are likely to be thrown around, and it pays to have some knowledge of these before you start. That’s why Sydney Pool + Outdoor Design has spoken to Danny Harvey of Narellan Pools to lift the lid on some important terminology you will be likely to come across while your pool is constructed.


One of the first decisions you’ll have to make before embarking on your pool project is the type of pool that will suit your outdoor area and lifestyle, as well as the materials that will work best for you.


“The term above-ground typically refers to vinyl liner pools or blow-up pools, and can cost significantly less than an in-ground pool,” Harvey says. “[They] vary in size from wading pools for kids to adult lap pools. The owners can take the pool with them or sell it when they move home. Concrete and fibreglass pools can be built above ground and this would normally be dependent on the site requirements.” You should be conscious of your fencing requirements if you decide to build above ground, as these pools are subject to the same laws as in-ground pools.


“An in-ground pool ... is excavated and sunken into the ground. They are predominantly fibreglass or concrete, but can be [made from] vinyl liner or other forms of construction,” Harvey says. “It can be designed as a seamless extension to the home.”


Visually appealing, quick to install and easy to maintain, fibreglass pools are a great option. “Fibreglass pools have come a long way in the past 25 years,” Harvey says. “Once, the only fibreglass pool option was a washed-out blue colour with the top of the shell merging with a plain or exposed-aggregate bond beam around the perimeter of the pool – now the consumer is spoilt for choice on shapes, brilliant colours and the ever-increasing customisation of fibreglass pools.” The shell strength, longevity and safety features for children that fibreglass pools boast make them an ideal option for most projects.

“Fibreglass pools have added safety features for kids [and are] easier to maintain [than concrete pools] due to their smooth surface. The building process is much quicker than concrete pools. With the wide range of shapes, sizes, colour combinations and unlimited custom-design features now on offer, it’s easy to see why fibreglass pools have become the popular choice with consumers.”


If you have a large-scale project on your hands, a concrete pool may be the way to go.

“Concrete pools have been around in one form or another for centuries,” Harvey says. “Unlike the fibreglass pool, which is built in a factory and shipped to site, a concrete pool is built on-site. There are more construction stages involved in building a concrete pool and therefore the build time is generally longer and the cost in most cases will be more. Concrete pools are ideally suited to those [who want] an unusual shape or a commercial-sized pool.”

Infinity Pool or Negative Edge

“An infinity pool is a swimming pool where the water flows over one or more edges, producing a brilliant visual effect,” says Harvey. “The water flows over the edge into a holding tank of water below. Costs are a lot higher than a standard pool due to engineering required to customise the pool for site conditions. Evaporation is also a lot higher in a negative-edge pool.” An infinity edge can be used to overlook another body of water and give the spectacular illusion that it is merging with the ocean or the horizon.

Perimeter Overflow

To add a streamlined aesthetic to your home, you could install a pool that looks like a sheet of glass, or that appears as if it is perfectly contained without walls. “This effect is created by a perimeter overflow, [which is] a style used in high-end modern swimming pool designs in which the water overflows its edges and flows into a hidden slot or catch basin where it is then recycled back into the pool,” Harvey says.


Next, you’ll need a few things to keep your pool running smoothly.


Water turnover is crucial to keep your pool looking good and swimmers healthy, and your pump is the way to achieve this. “The pool pump is the ‘heart’ of the pool,” Harvey says. “[Its] job is to circulate the water through the filtration and chlorination system and transfer good- quality water throughout the pool.” Most modern pool pumps are very quiet, however you should note that local councils set guidelines to limit noise from pumps, including their proximity to neighbours.”

Hydrostatic Valve

“A hydrostatic valve is a pressure-relief device installed on the bottom of a swimming pool, which prevents ground water pressure [from] beneath the pool [causing damage],” Harvey says. When ground water builds up, it can exert significant hydraulic pressure on a pool. “[A hydrostatic valve allows] ground water to flow into the pool, thereby relieving the pressure.”


There are three main types of pool filters that are commonly used in domestic pools today: diatomaceous earth (DE), media filters and cartridge filters – the latter two of which are most commonly used. In the case of media filters, “the water is pumped through the filter and forced
down through a bed of finely graded sand, glass or zeolite: as the water penetrates the bed, dirt particles are trapped between grains of the media,” says Harvey. “When the bed is clogged with dirt, the pressure inside is indicated on a gauge to [inform] the owner [that] the filter requires backwashing.”

Alternatively, “the cartridge filter is comprised of a large concertina-shaped cartridge, which provides a larger filter surface than media filters. When the cartridge becomes clogged with dirt, the owner is required to remove the cartridge and manually hose it off”. It’s important to note that some houses are only suited to a cartridge filter due to council regulations.


There are a number of methods to ensure your pool is clean and healthy for you to enjoy all year round. You should talk to your pool builder about the options that will work best for your pool.

In-Floor Cleaning System

“An in-floor cleaning system is designed prior to the swimming pool being constructed or manufactured, depending on the pool interior. It consists of a series of heads, which pop up in the floor and steps of the pool,” Harvey says. “Their purpose is to drive the dirt and debris towards an in-floor drainage point, which is usually located
in the deep end of the pool. Once the dirt is removed from the drainage point by the pump, it usually passes into the filtration system where it will get trapped.”

Suction Cleaner

“The suction cleaner is the traditional pool cleaner that is attached by hose to the skimmer box. It is powered by the suction of the filtration pump while it vacuums the floor in a random pattern, picking up debris and placing it in the skimmer basket and filter.”

Robotic Cleaner

“Robotic pool cleaners work independently from the filter and pump, and are driven by
an electric motor inside the unit, with a cable running to a low-voltage transformer,” Harvey says. “They collect debris in a filter canister within the cleaner. Robotic pool cleaners have built-in intelligence that ensures they don’t get stuck in corners and on steps, and provide better coverage than alternative cleaners.”
Installing a pool in your backyard is a mammoth, yet exciting, project to undertake, and if you understand some of the jargon that’s likely to be used, you’ll find that the process will be a lot less daunting. So, armed with this knowledge, all that’s left for you to do is to get building!


Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:34

Water Relief

Relaxing in a spa can do wonders for your health, from reducing stress to improving circulation. Bhria Vellnagel takes an in-depth look at the science behind the many benefits of installing a spa in your backyard, and the new features that can greatly improve your wellbeing.

Nothing is more relaxing than sinking into a spa after a long day, but it could be more beneficial for your health than you realise. Since ancient times, people around the world have used tubs of hot water for healing purposes. Modern spas are based a Japanese concept developed around 737 AD, where people used naturally heated water from geothermal springs to build onsens, which are still used today as large baths for public or private use. The ofuro came next, which was an early form of the modern bathtub and was meant for only relaxation instead of washing.

People quickly noticed that their physical and emotional states improved after using the ofuro, as hot water relaxes the body and mind. The average temperature of an ofuro is 40–43°C, which is the maximum setting in most modern- day spas. It’s recommended that spas match your natural body temperature of approximately 36°C, as anything above 40°C can cause overheating and dehydration. In present-day spa design, a combination of features combine to create an experience that enhances the long list of benefits of soaking in hot water.


The inclusion of spa jets started in the 80s and quickly grew in popularity. Massage increases blood and lymph node circulation, which helps to rid the body of built-up toxins. Hydrotherapy uses a combination of massage, water submersion and differing heat levels to provide multiple healing benefits.

Modern-day spas like the therapeutic Platinum AquaZone® by Signature Spas can provide a full- body massage, including the neck and shoulder areas. The strategically placed jets featured in this design deliver a deep-tissue massage at the press of a button, while providing enough space for effective hydrotherapy.

The shift from concrete or wood spas to acrylic in the early 80s enabled spa manufacturers to mould the interior into shaped seating and allow the jets to target specific regions on the body. No matter the size of spa you opt for, it will have grooves so that even in a social setting, you can still feel the benefits of hydrotherapy. This hydrotherapy technique includes variation in intensity and targets specific areas to help ease tense muscles and inflammation.

The warmth of hot water and the buoyancy of the body when submerged can also alleviate aches and pains such as arthritis, and can reduce the severity of headaches. The body weighs a mere 10 per cent of its overall weight in the water, which means that when lowered into the water, joints and muscles are relieved of extra pressure and pain is reduced. The heat has an anti- inflammatory effect, which helps to ease sore muscles and bones.

While you sit and relax, the hot water will slowly lower your blood pressure and aid your overall cardiovascular health. While your body and mind may be at ease, the heat will create a workout for heart, which can help to prevent heart disease. Your blood vessels will also dilate from the heat, which will help to alleviate the frequency and severity of headaches.

As your heart rate increases in response to the heat, your body will start to burn calories, which means you can lose weight while soaking! A study from the Loughborough University in England showed that bathing in water at 40°C for an hour can raise your overall body temperature enough so that you burn as many calories as you would on a 30-minute walk!

High blood pressure and weight gain can greatly increase risks of type-2 diabetes. By making a habit of taking a long dip every couple of days, a spa can help prevent or manage type-2 diabetes.


Relaxing in a spa is a great way to relieve stress, as water has been proven to have a calming effect on the brain. Some modern spas are fitted with small water features and mood lighting to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. An outdoor spa that’s surrounded by plants will help to considerably lower concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.

If you have trouble sleeping, then taking a quick 20-minute soak a couple of hours before bed can help. In the late evening, your body begins its nightly cool-down process, which ends around 4am. By raising your body temperature before the cool down process begins, it will drop more steeply at bedtime, which will send you into a deeper sleep.

Adding essential oils to the water will create an aromatherapy paradise within your spa. Oils such as bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile and marjoram can be used to alleviate stress, and adding lavender will also promote better sleep.


If you have acne-prone skin, then the occasional spa dip may be beneficial. The chemicals used in a spa are usually chlorine or bromine, which are drying to the skin and will help to reduce oiliness. However, a major benefit of chlorine is that it’s antibacterial. Bad bacteria are one of the main causes of breakouts, so chlorinated water may help!

While your face remains unsubmerged, your skin won’t come into direct contact with chemicals in the pool, however your pores will benefit from the steam. The humid air which will slowly open your pores and release any grime or grease that has built up over the day, which will help to alleviate future breakouts.

That said, be mindful that the drying properties of chlorine can send your skin’s oil production into overdrive, which could result in more breakouts. To avoid this, a good balance is paramount. To achieve the best possible outcome for healing acne, wash the spa chemicals off your body straight after a dip and moisturise.

Although lesser-known, saltwater spas can create the same antibacterial affect without being drying to the skin. Keep in mind, this option isn’t chlorine-free – it just uses much less of it.

The spa has come a long way since its origins; the inclusion of jets and moulded seating has transformed it into a hydrotherapy heaven. They may not be able to fix everything, but they can be a lifesaver for those with chronic health issues, from tight muscles to arthritis. Modern spas allow you to socialise while enjoying a vast array of health benefits, which makes them a perfect addition to your outdoor area.


Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:31

A Pool Of Many Colours

The colour of your pool interior may seem like a minor stylistic decision, but your choice will have lasting and considerable results on the look and feel of your pool. Cloe Timperley explores the important factors tWhat you should consider before settling on your perfect pool hue.

With so many coloured pool interiors to choose from, selecting the perfect shade for your pool can be an overwhelming process. Before you even begin to think about the colour of your pool interior, first consider the look and feel that you would like to create in your backyard, as the colour of your pool’s finish will contribute significantly to the overall aesthetic of the space. Ask yourself, “What is the look and feel of my home and garden, and what do I want my pool to represent?”

Will it have a tropical lagoon vibe, or a sleek and modern appeal? Or will your pool be Mediterranean-inspired, in classically warm, rich hues? Ensure that your direction for the pool is in keeping with the aesthetic of the existing space, as the theme of your home’s exterior and backyard will guide you towards a colour palette to work from.

Once you have a rough idea of the colour scheme you want to achieve, you will need to consider some important factors that will impact your pool’s appearance and functionality to a significant degree. You might think that settling on a colour for your pool’s interior is a simple task, but working with colour in the presence of water is surprisingly complex. An outdoor pool is at the mercy of the elements, so variables like a sunny or overcast sky, direct light and indirect light, depth of water and shadows will all affect the perceived colour of your pool.

To make the decision-making process a little easier, Sydney Pool + Outdoor Design has identified some key issues to consider before choosing your pool’s interior colour.

Water Colour

The first thing that anyone notices about a pool is the blueness of the water. It’s important to realise that the colour-intensity of your pool water will be largely determined by the shade that you choose for the interior. Water is clear rather than tinted, so the colour that you decide on for your pool’s interior will affect whether the water is a soft or brilliant shade of blue.

Choosing a lighter-coloured finish will produce the illusion of pale blue water, for a bright and tropical-beach feel. At night, it’s much easier to spot a lighter-coloured pool, which could be an important safety consideration for families with young children. Equally, a light-coloured pool is exceptionally responsive to pool lights, and has the delightful capacity to virtually change colour at night with the addition of some well-placed, coloured LED lights.

Dark-coloured pool interiors have found favour lately for their exotic, resort-style ambience, and will result in dazzling, cobalt-blue water that’s sure to impress. A dark-coloured pool will appear almost black at night, so it also requires more pool lights than its lighter-finished counterpart. However, a few strategically placed pool lights in a dark body of water can deliver a dramatic visual effect.


The relationship between heat absorption and colour is well-established, and your pool is not exempt; the colour of your pool interior will have a significant impact on the water temperature. This is one of the most important factors to consider, as the water temperature will play a crucial role in how much enjoyment you will actually get from swimming in your pool.

A lighter-coloured interior reflects sunlight, which creates the illusion of a much larger pool but also results in a cooler water temperature. If you live in a hot area, or if your pool is in direct sunlight, a lighter-coloured interior might be a more practical option. In contrast, a darker- coloured interior attracts and absorbs heat, and can warm your pool water by up to three degrees more than a lighter-coloured pool, which creates a pleasant, lukewarm swimming experience. For this reason, a darker finish would be a better option for climates or areas that could benefit from a little extra warmth.

The benefits of warmer water temperature are worth bearing in mind. Firstly, it means that your swim season can start a little earlier and last a little longer. Also, if you’re concerned about cost- efficiency, a dark-bottomed pool could save you on energy expenses, as it requires less gas for a pool heater and less electricity for a heat pump.


Lighter-coloured pools are more light-reflective than those with a darker interior, and as mentioned, the illusion of a much larger pool is the happy consequence. However, the intensity of light-reflection also means high potential for glare, which could be a concern if you don’t have a lot of shade in your outdoor area. On the other hand, darker-coloured pools reflect their surrounds, which creates a visually striking mirrored effect for a modern and moody atmosphere. A dark interior can also make a relatively shallow pool appear deeper than it actually is.

It’s also important to note that the water in a lighter-coloured pool is far more transparent; your eyes will be drawn to the bottom of the pool and you will be more likely to notice any settled debris. As the water in a darker-coloured pool appears more opaque, it will hide any settled matter more effectively. This is certainly something to think about when considering the amount of money and energy you are expecting to put towards the upkeep of your pool.

When designing or renovating your pool, the colour of your interior should evidently be one of your first and foremost concerns. What may seem like a minor aesthetic decision could prove to have a very large impact on the look, feel and functionality of your pool in the long run, so make sure you treat this choice with a great deal of care. In doing so, all that will be left to do is jump in and kick back!

Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:24

The Sustainable Swim

Eco swimming pools are the newest trend in eco-friendly outdoor design. These innovative pools can be enjoyed by the whole family (including the dog!) without the potentially harmful effects of chemicals. Bhria Vellnagel explores the remarkable developments in environmentally friendly pools, and other methods you can employ to reduce the negative impact of your pool on the earth.

Miraculously, eco swimming pools require no chemicals whatsoever. This new type of pool is swiftly gaining popularity as they function remarkably well, with relatively little upkeep.

Brand new eco-friendly ways of cutting back on pool maintenance costs, power usage, chemicals and water consumption are now easily available, all in the name of a healthy household and environment. Read on to discover the ways you can make your own pool more ecologically and economically sound.


The new trend in eco swimming pools allows for the complete eradication of chemicals by returning to natural cleaning options. Two different types of eco swimming pools exist that use separate cleaning methods but are equally eco-friendly and organic. Both include a submerged pump house, in which water flows naturally before being slowly exported by the pump into the pool using pressure lines. A motionless skimmer removes impurities before they can make their way back into the pool water, which ensures that the surface of the water is always free of debris.

Natural Pools

Natural pools are designed to filter water through aquatic plants, with the help of some water insects and amphibians. In the ‘regeneration area’ – which is kept separate from the swimming area by a submerged wall – a combination of floating and oxygenating plants like water lilies and algae are found. These plants provide a great natural look to the pool while absorbing nitrates and phosphates to cleanse the water. Biological filters in the roots of plants also remove contaminants and excess nutrients from the water. A carbonator is added to supply carbon dioxide to the plants, while regulating the water’s pH levels.

Two different types of designs have emerged for natural pools. One has murky water that creates a pond-like aesthetic, which will blend perfectly into a surrounding natural landscape and add visual appeal to your space. This style also allows the addition of fish, which will enhance the pond aesthetic and keep the pool clean. The other option features the usual clear-blue water we are accustomed to, and is located next to a pond. The pond area acts as the regeneration area, and will be the only part of the pool to develop any type of aquatic life because of the skimmer and water pump, which are in concealed sections outside of the pool. The pond acts as a fantastic water feature, which quietly maintains the hygiene of the pool.

Living Pools

Living pools are the most eco-friendly option for those who want a normal-looking pool without the hassle of installing live flora and fauna. A phosphate remover placed out of sight will keep the water crystal-clear by stopping the growth of algae, while the biological filter will remove impurities through a natural filtering system. A living pool will allow you to observe eco-friendly practices without needing to compromise on the design you want.


If installing a brand new filtration system in your pool seems too much of a hassle, then there are many little things you can do to make it more eco- friendly. Many of the options discussed below are also economical, and will allow you to invest the extra cash in more ecologically sound products.

Use Rainwater

Water wastage is a common financial and ecological problem, and has been a necessary evil in the past. To remedy this issue, fill your pool using rainwater from a tank. Installing a rainwater tank can be pricey, but the overall savings will usually outweigh the initial cost. Gathering rainwater from your roof will also help reduce stormwater drainage, which can cause flooding and pollute waterways. The water from the tank can also be used within the home, which will make your whole property more eco-friendly.

Check For Leaks

Pools can develop leaks over time, which can result in thousands of litres of water being lost. Sealing leaks is a necessity, especially in drought-prone areas. Suction and pressure leaks are among some of the more common forms of pump-related leaks and can be hard to spot. A suction leak is only caused with the pump turned off, however a pressure leak will only be an issue when the pump is on. Cracks in the concrete, tiling or acrylic of the pool also cause leaks; these can be sealed with a readily available leak sealer from any pool store. Professional leak detectors are available if you can’t find or fix the leak yourself.

Cover Up

Conserving water with a pool cover can be a cheaper alternative to investing in a water tank. Pool covers reduce evaporation, keep out dirt to shorten cleaning times, and can prevent heat and chemicals from escaping. Solar pool covers maintain heat with small air bubbles that insulate the top of the pool, and are also one of the cheapest options for water conservation.

Thermal pool covers can be more expensive but they offer better heat retention, are effective in stopping the growth of algae, and will last longer than solar covers.

For those who don’t use their pool in the colder months, a winter pool cover will protect against debris and frost. This cover will also prevent the need to drain the water and intensely clean the pool again when it gets warmer. Automatic covers are available to make protecting pool water easy.


Chemicals such as chlorine have long been used in the sanitation of pools, and while they work fantastically for killing bacteria, pool water will become overly acidic and poisonous if too much is used. Apart from causing costly erosion to pool surfaces and equipment, over-exposure to chlorine can also cause serious damage to any living organism it makes contact with, whether it’s a person, a pet or a plant. When a chlorinated pool is flushed out, the chemicals are carried through drains and may affect wildlife until the chemical becomes diluted.

Cutting back on chlorine and other chemicals can be as easy as replacing your pool’s filtration system with either saltwater or an ozone filter. This not only will save your hair and skin from drying out, but will have countless environmental benefits. In the spirit of saving water and keeping your pool clean, the less water-wasting products like water features that are placed around the home, the better. Removing water-wasting features will also save you money on water and electricity costs.


Keeping electricity costs low will aid the environment by lowering your effect on the energy crisis, which has developed from the rapid burning of fossil fuels and other sources of non-renewable energy. Finding products with good energy-saving ratings is a great start; LED lighting and variable-speed pumps with low energy ratings are great options that won’t risk the visual appeal of your pool.

Heating a pool can require an excessive amount of energy, especially when heaters are left activated to ensure the pool is always warm. Finding a timed heating mechanism for your pool will greatly reduce the amount of energy it consumes. Or better yet, invest in a solar-powered heater that allows the pool to get all of its heat from the sun.

Another great economical addition to a pool is simply tiling it in a darker colour, which will absorb heat from the sun and retain it. Most pools with dark tiles are five degrees warmer than lighter pools, which will reduce the amount of electricity that’s required for heating in the summer months.

Whether you decide on an aesthetically pleasing natural pool, or choose to simply replace your current pool accessories with eco- friendly alternatives, the smallest change can help improve the environment and your own wellbeing. The growing trend of eco swimming pools reflects the awareness people have of the damaging effects of pool chemicals on the environment. Discover which option is best for you by speaking to a professional and start living a sustainable and healthy life, through you pool!


Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:17

Automation FIXATION

No one wants to swim in a dirty pool, but on the other hand, who wants to spend endless hours ensuring the pool water is kept clean? Rene? Hart explores the different automated pool cleaner options that allow you to spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning it.

Aswimming pool is a major investment for most families. As such, it should provide maximum enjoyment. With the right cleaning tools, you can maintain a sparkling clean, inviting pool that will provide years of outdoor fun. Using an efficient pool cleaner will not only keep the water looking beautiful, it will cut maintenance and running costs, and extend the life of pool equipment.

With major advancements in automated pool cleaners in the past decade, homeowners can now enjoy a low-maintenance pool that is clean and ready for use year round. Different automated pool cleaners are designed for different sizes, shapes and volumes of pools, and selecting the right one for the job is the key to quick and effective cleaning.

Sydney Pool + Outdoor Design speaks to Justin Nicholas from Cooke Industries about the different automated pool cleaning options on offer that will take the work out of owning a safe, hygienic and pristine pool.


A clean and well-maintained pool is a great feature for your family home, as well as an investment that adds value to your property. Cleaning your pool, however, isn’t only important for visual appeal. As Nicholas explains, “it’s essential for improving your pool’s efficiency, protecting    pool    equipment and maintaining safe, healthy pool water”.

It is crucial that your pool water is kept clean and well-maintained year-round, as “debris left in the pool to decay can affect the water quality, which, if left untreated, can damage expensive pool equipment,” says Nicholas.

“This will [also] increase pool treatment costs, as more chemicals will be required to rebalance the water, [which] can be an issue in winter when most people don’t think about their pools.”

Taking a consistent approach to using automated cleaners will take the work out of ensuring your pool is always safe to swim in, easy to maintain, and as efficient as it can be.


There are several types of automatic pool cleaners available on the market. Some focus primarily on the surface of the water, while others are designed to work on the bottom of the pool. The most suitable option for any user depends on their individual application and needs.

“The most common cleaning options for swimming pools are in-floor cleaning systems, robotic cleaners and suction cleaners,” says Nicholas.

“Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s important for prospective pool owners to do their homework and decide which system is best suited to their personal situation. Take the time to understand the benefits of each system, the debris load of the pool, lifestyle requirements and long-term operating costs of each option.”

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to pool cleaning.”

Consider how much debris makes its way into your pool. Some will require pool cleaners that can tackle leaves, while others may only require the removal of small debris particles. Be sure to go through the manufacturer’s handbook, which should assure you the pool cleaner you purchased is reliable and durable. Pay attention to the issues that the warranty covers, and whether it covers service costs only, parts only, or both.

The size of your pool can make a big difference to the style of pool cleaner you choose. Suction models require hoses of limited lengths, as well as the electricity and functions of the pool’s pump and filtration system. Robotic cleaners – with their determined paths and powerful brushes – make lighter work of the job and don’t require additional equipment.

Your choice may also be determined by whether you have a pre-existing pool or whether you are planning to install a pool. “A system such as in- floor cleaning can only be incorporated into a pool during construction,” says Nicholas.

“Go for the system that suits your lifestyle, budget and ownership expectations.”


In-floor pool cleaning systems are quite simple to use and work in a similar way to in-ground sprinkler systems for lawns. They are set via a timer and consist of jets that rise up from the pool’s floor and spray steams of water.

“Our premium in-floor cleaning system, QuikClean Xtreme, provides owners with an efficient and convenient pool ownership experience,” says Nicholas.

“Tiny heads in the pool floor lift up and shoot a jet of water to push dirt and debris towards a drain where it is removed from the pool. Larger debris is captured in a leaf canister and the finer debris is removed by the pool filter.

“Automated cleaning is great, but improved circulation is a considerable additional feature of an in-floor cleaning system. Improved circulation eliminates cold pockets in the pool to provide a better bathing experience and it [also] reduces water treatment and heating costs.” QuikClean in-floor systems offer great long-term value, with lifetime warranties for cleaning heads and very little maintenance costs. The return on an in-floor cleaning system makes them a great investment if you’re going to stay in a property for several years.


Robotic cleaners are one of the most popular automatic pool cleaning products sold today. They are the ultimate plug-and-play cleaning solution for most pool shapes, sizes and finishes. They are energy-efficient and work separately from your pool’s existing filtration system. Given their durability and efficiency, they are an excellent value-for-money option as they deliver savings on energy, water and pool chemical bills.

“Robotic cleaners have captured a majority share of the market because they’re an easy option and can be used in any existing pool,” says Nicholas.

The robots collect dirt and debris in a filter bag or cartridge within the cleaner. The debris is then removed from the filter rather than stored in the pool’s filtration system, which would result in cloudy water that would require chemicals to control. The cleaners navigate the pool using sensors and change direction when they come into contact with walls, although some are designed to climb walls. They also learn to map the pool shape, which allows them to deliver 100 per cent coverage.


Suction cleaners are the most common automatic pool cleaners on the market, and work in much the same way as a vacuum cleaner. Suction cleaners attach to your skimmer box with a hose and use the suction created by your filtration system to collect debris. They are reliable, do not require professional installation and are the most affordable pool cleaning option. Some models work better with high or low flow systems, but overall it is easy to shop around to find the best unit for your pool.

“Do your homework and understand what’s important to you,” advises Nicholas. “Everybody’s needs, budget and expectations are different.”

Having an automated pool cleaner is an essential part of keeping your swimming pool safe to use and takes the hard work out of keeping it clean. As pool maintenance is ongoing activity, you’ll want to find a product that will do the job with ease. Fortunately, the current range of automatic pool cleaners on the market is vast, so you should be able to find the right one to perfectly suit your needs and your budget.



Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:12

A Slice Of Paradise

Creating the ultimate outdoor space involves a mixture of on-trend and personalised elements.

Planning your outdoor space is the most important foundation of the masterpiece you wish to create. Having a solid plan in place is crucial to ensure you make the most out of the space you have, whether it’s large or small.

Deciding on a colour palette and theme from the beginning will save you buying and returning items that don’t blend in well. On-trend de?cor will make your space look modern, inviting and elegant, so read on to find out the latest outdoor inclusions that are gaining popularity among Sydney homeowners.


One of the first steps in creating the ultimate outdoor space is deciding how much maintenance you would be happy to undertake. Consider whether you want the space to be available whenever you need it, or whether you’ll only use it on special occasions, and let this guide your decision making.


Plants are the perfect decoration for outdoor spaces, as they deliver colour, aroma and natural beauty. On-trend plants for the time-poor

Gardener include drought-tolerant varieties that can be left to flourish after planting with little upkeep. These include small flowering cacti and the classic Australian native callistemon ‘Captain Cook’ tree, which will add some vibrant red to your colour palette.

If grass isn’t an option for your garden, another low-maintenance trend is to incorporate overgrown shrubs next to natural elements like large rocks, which will add colour and splendour to your garden without the upkeep of grass. This trend also works well against rock-based retaining walls.

For avid gardeners out there, bold-coloured flowers of all kinds are on trend this year. Edible flowers like violas are making a comeback in both the gardening and social media worlds, and are incredibly popular at the moment. By artistically styling the layout of your plants, you can achieve a stunning effect – think hanging pots or an eye- catching feature wall.

Busy gardeners who only have time to take care of their plants on the weekends – but don’t want to sacrifice aesthetics – should opt for low-maintenance statement plants.

Usually placed in a colourful or mosaic pot, statement plants include lavender, which is loved for its purple tones and scent, and the large camellia japonica, which is popular for its large, brightly coloured flowers. Colour-changing conifers like the western red cedar – which can change from a deep green to golden with the seasons – are another great option that can also provide privacy.


Next, you’ll need to decide on the type of furniture that will complement your space. The idea of bringing the indoors to the outdoors is popular among homeowners today. Join comfortable fabrics like wool – which is soil-resistant and doesn’t shrink when it gets wet – with other outdoor-friendly blankets and cushions, and add an outdoor rug that is specifically coated to withstand the elements to complete the look. Together, these additions create a peaceful aesthetic that will make your outdoor space perfect for relaxing.

A couple of small armchairs and a coffee table is ideal for small spaces, while a large couch or wooden bench will work well in larger areas when teamed with an ottoman or two. Use fabrics that match the colours, textures or patterns of your indoor furnishings for visual continuity.

Today, locally sourced and recycled furniture pieces that are sturdy and reliable have largely stolen attention from the cheap and cheesy plastic furniture of the past. Rely more on solid products made of wood to make sure your personalised outdoor space will be enjoyed for a long time.

Recycled materials like old tree stumps – which can be used as footrests – or planters made from old bricks are eco-friendly ways to personalise your outdoor space and make it blend in to your surrounding environment.


Installing a great sound system in your outdoor space will create an inviting and enjoyable atmosphere, and will help to drown out annoying noises like traffic or loud neighbours.

A good-quality portable speaker may do the job for a small area, but it won’t suit a large garden. Instead, opt for multiple connected speakers, which will allow your favourite tunes to reach all areas of your backyard. It’s a great addition that you can enjoy as a family or with guests.

A water feature can also bring music to your ears with the soothing sound of running water. A welcome sight for any outdoor area, water features vary in size and colour to suit any space. You can place one in a pond to transform it into a water garden, or up against a wall for a cascading effect. Alternatively, a small bubbling or rock- column fountain can easily fit in small spaces.

If your ultimate outdoor space is bound to be used for entertaining friends and family, then it’s a good idea to invest in a barbecue. The Ziegler & Brown turbo classic four-burner barbecue is ideal for larger gatherings and can be built into an existing outdoor kitchen or can be used freestanding. For a smaller outdoor area, a portable Weber grill is ideal. Both options can be used for everyday cooking, which will encourage you to make the most out of your outdoor haven.


Lighting is essential for your newly revamped space so that it can be admired at all times. Your outdoor area is supposed to be about relaxation, so don’t place lights that are blindingly bright. Opt for more subdued lighting like festoon lights or lanterns, which will softly light the space and create ambience. Spotlights throughout the garden will highlight particular plants or features and draw the eye from inside the home.

Adjustable mood lighting that can change intensity and colour is popular at the moment, as it’s a great way to customise your surroundings to suit a purpose – such as a party or romantic dinner – at the touch of a button. With this option, make sure to choose colours that complement or enhance the colour palette you’ve used in your furnishings.

Another wonderful way to enhance your outdoor area is to add a freestanding fireplace. These make a great centrepiece and will be a conversation starter. Relaxing and romantic, the flames won’t just light up the area, but will also be a great source of heat on chilly days and nights.

The best part about decorating your outdoor space is that you can turn it into whatever you desire. By planning and organising different elements, you can set up the space to perfectly suit your lifestyle. Whether you like your space classic, cosy or extravagant, the secret to achieving an outdoor haven that you’ll adore is all in the details.

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