What is the best heating for my pool? Solar pool heating vs Heatpumps

Published by Swimming-Pool-Expert on July 15th, 2011








Unheated swimming pool  = Only 4 months swimming seasons

Heated swimming pool  = Enjoyable swimming for children & adults = 8 Months  swimming !!!

Solar pool heating

Solar pool heating system


• Use FREE heat energy from the sun
•  Best for the environment
• Can generate easily a comfortable water temperature of 28°C+
• Best to use in conjunction with a solar pool cover (pool blanket)
• A quality solar pool heater will typically last 10 years and longer
• Very low maintenance





• DIY (Do-it-yourself) kits are delivered country-wide normally within 7 days by Swemgat
• Most systems have a 5 year warranty on the panels

Solar panels
DIY solar pool heating panel kit











Pool Heat Pumps

Heat pump

Zodiac power heat pump


• Uses electricity very efficiently
• Maintain water temperature accurately!
• Heat Pumps can warm your pool – rain or sunshine
• Good Heat Pumps last longer than 15 years
• Heat pumps have many moving and electrical parts that require an annual inspection and/or cleaning service by a pool technician
• Warranty normally 5 years




Solar panels                                                                                               Heat pump

Performance and use

Solar pool heaters are best for recreational use and are recommended for those who are comfortable with pool temperatures ranging from low to mid 20′s. Solar works year round in southern climates. There may be periods during cold spells that the pool may be too cold to use. However, a few warm days will bring the temperature of the pool back to where it should be. Proper sizing is essential for good performance. For those who like swimming regardless of the weather, a heat pump is the recommended method. It is also the preferred method for therapy and athletic users and also when a home is not “solar feasible”, (i.e. solar will not fir on the roof). A heat pump, when sized properly, can maintain nay desired pool temperature between 26°C-32°C regardless of the outside weather conditions. A heat pump will work if the outside temperature is above 7°C.


How does it work

Solar panels use the suns free heat and do not have an operating cost.Your existing pool pump circulates the water through the heater, usually located on the roof, and warms the pool. The pump timer is set to operate during sunlight hours, usually 8am to 4pm. Your existing pool pump circulates the water through the heater, usually located somewhere close, and warms the pool. The pump timer is set to operate during sunlight hours, usually 8am to 4pm.


Energy rating and efficiency

Solar panels can be rated by SABS (South African Bureau of standards), but most solar pool heating panels in South Africa are not rated. To compare “apples with apples” you need to trust your local pool expert’s recommendation. It panels are rated, the lower the cost per square meter, the better the value. Heat Pumps are not rated by any governing body. The manufacturer determines the BTU output at a specific water/air temperature and relative humidity value. To accurately compare one unit to another, these test values must be the same, or the comparison will be distorted. Heat pumps are also given a COP (coefficient of performance) rating, generally between 5 to 6.


Cost of operation

Solar is an alternative energy source, and has little or zero cost of operation. The pool pump must run for the solar heater to function, and may increase your electric bill by R1200 to R1500 per year depending on the swimming pool’s filtering time. Due to their high efficiency, heat pumps have a low cost of operation. Typically, for every R1.00/khW of electric input, you receive R5.00 worth of heat. The typical pool averages R3700 to R6400 per year for heat.


Sizing requirements

Generally you will need a system equal to 50% to 100% of the pool surface., the so-called “coverage”. Solar panels are available in 1.25m widths and lengths of 2;2.5m;3m;4m;5m;6m. They are generally placed in a row on one or several roofs. Heat pump sizes are rated by kW and BTU output. Standard sizes range from 6kW to 25kW for residential use. Heat pumps are normally located next to the pool pump or a sunny spot for best results.


Longevity and maintenance

A quality Solar Heater will typically last more than 10 years. They are very low maintenance. Most systems have a 5 year warranty on the panels. Heat Pumps will last between 10 years or more, depending on the quality. Because heat pumps are a mechanical device with many moving and electrical parts, they require annual service. Warranty of 5 years normally apply on the titanium heat exchanger and 1 year on the elctronic components.

For more information, call Swemgat on Tel. 0861 012 012 or visit www.swemgat.co.za

Swimming pool sandfilter operation | What is the Multi-port valve?

Published by Admin on July 15th, 2011

The selector options on MPV (Multi-port valve) of a swimming pool’s sandfilter explained

The multiport valve is the main flow control valve on a swimming pool sandfilter, the most used filtration system in South Africa. The MPV has 6 settings to direct the flow of water from the swimming pool through the pump and filter.


Aquaswim swimming pool sandfilter










The MPV settings and their function are as follow:

  1. Filter
    The normal setting for the valve. Pool water is drawn through the pump, passed into the top of the filter tank and down through the filter media, via the filter underdrain system, after which it is returned to the swimming pool.
  2. Backwash
    The setting used for flushing (more…)

Automatic pool cleaning | What’s best for my swimming pool?

Published by Swimming-Pool-Expert on July 14th, 2011

Pool cleaners

Nowadays homeowners have a variety of alternatives when it comes to cleaning their pools. They can hire an outside pool professional, use their own time and muscle or if they are in the process of building a new pool, include an in-floor cleaning system.  Many of us turn to automatic pool cleaners (APC) however, because they save time, are easy to use, and are quite efficient.  Here are a few tips to help you decide which automatic pool cleaner is best for your pool.

What are the types of automatic pool cleaners, and how are they different?

There are three types of automatic pool cleaners available in South Africa:

  • Robotic pool cleaners;
  • Pressure-side pool cleaners; and
  • Suction-side cleaners

Robotic cleaners are compact and self-contained machines that move themselves around the pool,  sucking up dirt and debris while also rotating brushes or rollers to scrub surfaces.  These types of cleaners do not use the pool or booster pump to start.  Some use a water-safe electrical cord that is plugged into a 3-point plug, while others operate with a chargeable battery or solar power.  These robot pool cleaners “learn” the pool shape wit its first dive into a new swimming pool and thereafter clean cover the interior pool surface 100%.   Prices range from R10800 at your local online pool shop up to R58000 for the bigger robot pool cleaners that covers a 60m long pool.

Click on the photo below to place your order.

Dolphin robotic pool cleaner



Unlike robotic cleaners, pressure-side pool cleaners use the power of water pressure to pick up dirt and debris. One style connects via a hose to the pool’s return (more…)

What is a Chlorinator? | Convenience, the experienced pool owner’s choice

Published by Swimming-Pool-Expert on June 28th, 2011

How do Pool Chlorinators Work?


Chlorine in one form or the other has been in use in a wide variety of industrial applications for a long time, and in that time we have come to understand it extremely well. Although there are some people who believe chlorine in pools poses a safety hazard, clinical studies have found no such link – either to swimmers or the environment. This is why nearly every pool in South Africa continues to employ chlorine as a free-ranging antibacterial agent, keeping the water clean and clear and maintaining an essential level of purity for recreational use. If you own a pool, however, you know that regulating chlorine can represent something of a hassle.

The reason for this is actually quite simple: chlorine breaks down over time when exposed to sunlight. Although hypochlorous acid – the essential byproduct when you (more…)

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Fibreglass vs Marbelite pools

Published by Swimming-Pool-Expert on June 24th, 2011

New Pools – The firbreglass or marbelite choice

Fibreglass lined concrete swimming pools offer all of the benefits of pre-formed, factory-moulded pools. In fibreglass lined pools, the structural strength is provided by the concrete, brick etc. structure of the pool. The surface finish of a fibreglass lined pool, whilst not as smooth as a premoulded, factory-built fibreglass pool, is smoother and less porous than gunite or marbelite plaster.

Fibreglass linings are applied to existing gunited or marbelite pools either for cosmetic reasons i.e. to offer an attractive finish which is strong, durable, and requires minimal maintanance, or for functional reasons, i.e. to provide a waterproof lining for pools that are prone to leaking. Cracked or leaking concrete pools must be repaired and correctly prepared prior to application of a fibreglass lining.

In either case, the fibreglass lining will provide a skin that is strong, durable, and requires minimal maintanance. More and more homeowners are finding that fibreglass lined pools are stronger, more durable and less susceptible to surface degradation or cracking, than pools made from more conventional materials.

Fibreglass reinforced polyester (GRP) composite materials, is the material that is revolutionising the pool industry by keeping water in whilst maintaining its good appearance and ease of maintanance.

Compared to a concrete or marbelite pool, a fibreglass lined pool is generally less costly to maintain on a daily or monthly basis. This is important to the pool owner, because a clean pool is a healthy pool. It is estimated that owners of a GRP-lined pool will enjoy enough savings in a 12-month period of having the GRP lining, to pay for the cost of the lining.

The savings come about through significant reductions in the chemicals required during summer, to maintain well balanced, crystal-clear water. Saving also accrue bacause the (more…)

How to acidwash a pool

Published by Swimming-Pool-Expert on June 24th, 2011

Acid Washing

You will have to drain and clean your pool before you start. An acid wash becomes necessary if the pool has turned into a swamp. This may occur if the pool has been stagnant for a period of time so that algae has taken over.

The general rule of thumb for determining the need for an acid wash is: if you can see the bottom of the pool (the floor) then you can bring it back with chemicals, labour and filtering. If the floor is not visible, the cost of the chemicals and labour will generally be greater than the acid wash charge, and take much longer. Also, extensive algae blooms will stain plastered pools, making an acid wash desirable and if there are any other stains maybe from metals.

An pool acid wash is, put simply, purposeful stripping of a tiny layer of liner, exposing fresh plaster beneath. Therefore, it is not advised to make it an annual custom, which will accelerate the need for re-plastering. Most plaster coats (sometimes called marble plaster or marblite) are in excess of 8mm, so a few careful acid washes should not hurt.

You may also decide on an acid wash not because of swamp conditions, but just to bring out a brighter, whiter finish. Mineral stains caused by excessive (more…)

A swimming pool is the best investment for home entertainment

Published by Pool-Builder-Centurion-Pretoria-Johannesburg-Midrand on June 14th, 2011
"Indoor Concrete Pool"

Beautiful swimming pool

Great news for swimming pool and spa owners was announced yesterday by Hendrik Ehlers, franchisor of Swemgat in South Africa, when he said:  “We want to make swimming pool maintenance easy for pool owners by publishing a practical DIY pool care manual and comprehensive advice for free

Ehlers is convinced that a swimming pool is much better home entainment than watching TV.




He says the following reasons distracts home-owners from owning a pool, but that Swemgat want to change them for the better:

  • The swimming pool industry’s bad reputation;
  • Poor after-sales service;
  • Potential hassles with swimming pool maintenance and difficulty to find free advice;
  • The lack of professional pool care instructions from pool builders;
  • The view by some people that a swimming pool is a luxury; and not an investment in health and after-work family entertainment.

With free access to the Swemgat swimming pool manual, pool ownership will (more…)