Pool resource page - Answers to swimming pool purchase and
ownership questions in France
1. What is the best position to situate my family pool?
Your pool is best south facing if possible to get the maximum benefit from the sun. It should
not be close to trees - both from the point of cutting through tree roots for installation also
leaves and debris will get blown into the pool causing you more work regarding pool
maintenance. If you are close to trees you are likely to be swimming in the shade. Look at
the area you have chosen and see it throughout a summer day watching where the sun falls.
It is not advisable to put the pool too far from the house - you will need access to water and
electricity supplies. All pool must be a minimum of 3 meters from neighbouring boundaries.
2.What size pool should I have? - ideally as large as you can afford and fit into your
chosen area, however, bear in mind the larger the pool, the more work and the greater
expanse of covers and e.g. Fencing required - more cost. It is considered and 8 x 4m pool is
ideal for a small family, 9 x 4,5 is even better if you have the room. A 10 x 6m would suite a
larger family or those expecting to have many friend and family over.
3.Should I have a deep end? - a deep end is fine for jumping in, however you loose half
the pool when it comes to pool games. If you cannot stand with your head above water, pool
games become unpleasant for those in that part of the pool. Having a deep end installed will
also increase the pool installation cost. French safety recommendations also state they
prefer flat bottom pools of a depth suitable to an adult jumping in to save someone and being
able to stand whilst doing so.
4.What different types of domestic swimming pool are available in France? - pre
formed fibreglass pools are available which are usually craned in to position, polypropylene
panel pools, galvanized panel pools, polystyrene block pools are all available in France,
along with variations on these themes. You can even have a concrete pool with tiling if you
5.How do the different filtration methods work and which is the lowest
maintenance? - See filtration page
6.What kind of accessories are available to enhance my pool? -
Walk in steps (e.g.Roman End) immediately change the look of the swimming pool, these are
also available with Spa type jets and in various step combination, colour and sizes.
Contra nage is available for many pool designs and allow one to swim against a current
Heating can be provided by heat exchange or electric pumps or solar power.
Automatic chemical dispensers or salinators can reduce some of the pool workload.
Robot cleaners are available to assist with cleaning. It is also possible to combine various
effects such as waterfalls with your pool, or to add a Hot tub/Spa at one end or close by.
Solar showers and numerous lighting effects also add to the pool ambiance as do quality pool
side furniture. Your chosen security method will also add or detract for the general look of
the pool area.
7.Can I add any of the accessories retrospectively? - Yes, depending on your pool type.
Most can have connections installed for items at a later date. Ask your installer about this.
Any cutting into the pool itself is best carried out at installation, e.g. For Roman end and
contra nage system. A Roman End should be installed at the start, not retrospectively.
However, most heating and automatic chemical dispensers can be added retrospectively.
8.What are the security laws in France now regarding swimming pools? - All swimming
pools in France must have security which conforms to the AFNOR standards. This applies to
all pools, domestic and public - even if you reside by an unfenced lake, your pool must be
9.What security options do I have? - Whatever security you purchase, you will be issued
with a certificate stating it complies to the specific standard for that security.
Options - Fencing, Security pool covers, Abri ( a lockable see through building over the pool).
10.If I do not comply with the swimming pool security standards in France, what is
the penalty? - The fine for non-compliance is 45,000 euros.
11.I own a Gite, what type or security is the best option for my pool? - without a doubt,
fencing. Choose one with a self locking gate. This is the system least likely to be abused.
As the pool owner you are responsible that the pool is security protected.
12.If I want to open a Gite do I come under public swimming pool regulations? - This
depends on the amount of people and size of pool. You may require extra skimmers, faster
water turn over and specialised water testing as for a public pool. Check with your Marie.
13.What should I expect from a good professional swimming pool installation? -
Firstly, you should be offered and accept a site visit before you even make a decision. Once
you have made the decision, expect to be given a general date for installation, sometimes
weather and prior installations cause delays. Application for planning should be undertaken
as part of the service. Once all is underway the installation should go ahead without too much
disruption. If there are any problems, these should be reported to you straight away. When
complete you should have what you have paid for, the installer should not only explain, but
also demonstrate how to maintain the pool, certificate of conformation for security should be
handed to you. The area should be left clean and tidy, all surplus materials uplifted. You
should be able to contact the company should you have any queries or problems with the use
of your swimming pool.
14.If I opt for DIY, what support will I get? - you should be given an understandable
manual, from a reputable company you should also get full support via the phone and/or
e-mail should you encompass difficulties. If you purchase at DIY stores in France, expect
nothing more than the kit and you will not be disappointed!
15.Do I need planning permission? - All in ground swimming pools in France require
planning permission. Abris also require planning permits. An on ground pool that is not built
to become a permanent structure does not require planning permission i.e if it is free
standing, no permit required.
16.What sort of guarantees can I expect? - All outside work in France is guaranteed by
law for 10 years. Each piece of pool equipment will carry a different guarantee for parts.
Pump, heater etc. Liners are often on a depreciative guarantee. Liners are not guaranteed
for cuts caused by ill use.
17.Do I need pool heating? - Depends on where your pool is situated, where you live and
how warm you like the water. Over 30 degrees is not recommended for liner pools. Pool
heating will certainly extend your swimming season. A summer bubble cover is an essential if
you do not use a lie on pool security cover. This retains some of the heat the pool water has
accumulated throughout the day. If you are unsure, try your pool for the first season without
heating and decide after this.
18.What are the choices for heating my pool? -
Solar panels, free to run but often high purchase and installation costs. Depending on type
can be laid flat or installed on a roof.
Heat exchanger - Pompe a chaleur this heats the water from the air, like a refrigerator in
reverse. Small running cost, same overall cost as solar for install and purchase together.
Electric heating has a high running cost. All in all they are much the same sort of prices to
purchase any of these systems.
19.What are the differences in salted or chlorinated pools? - Salt is converted into
chlorine to keep the pool water safe. With the addition of chlorine in tablet or powder form,
stabilisers are also added to the water. Much is down to personal preferences, but chlorine is
the sanitation in both cases. Chlorine is absorbed into the skin whilst swimming in chlorinated
water. Chemical free water is provided by the ECOsmarte system
20.I do not want to be handling chemicals on a regular basis, what options are
there? - Automatic chemical dispensers are available in a wide price range.
21.How much work is the pool maintenance? - Quite a lot in fact, often daily aspirations
of the pool base, cartridge filters need to be cleaned at least weekly, covers to be applied and
removed. If manual chemicals applied these need to be added and the water checked
regularly prior to swimming. See pool maintenance
22.How can I make pool bottom cleaning easier? - Robot cleaners will ease cleaning but
you get what you pay for, the most effective are some 2000 euros plus.
23.If I hire someone for pool maintenance, what should I expect to pay? 15-20 euros
per month for weekly visits.
24.Where is the cheapest place to get my pool chemicals? Depending on chemicals,
large DIY stores as they can purchase in larger amount.s
25.Can I purchase swimming pool chemicals all year? Not from DIY stores! They only
stock and sell during pool season. Either stock up or purchase from pool outlets.
26.How should the pool be over wintered? Ensure covered, your pool type may require
different care of filters. The pump should be drained down and turned off. Hivernage
chemical is available but not necessary. Do not close the pool until the ambient temp is 15
degrees or below. Your installer or supplier should advise.
27.When do I open the pool up again? - When the weather warms up and is expected to
28.I cannot be bothered with cleaning a pool but I still want to swim - what other
options are there? - A Swimspa provides both swimming against a current and hydro
massage seats. The water is filtered at the bottom so no cleaning is necessary.
29.We have heard our Marie is not allowing any more swimming pools to be
installed due to water restrictions, can you suggest anything? - A Swimspa uses far
less water than a pool and may well be acceptable, alternatively a Spa/ hot tub provides year
round usage and is not only enjoyable but also health benefiting too and takes even less
water than a Swimspa.
Any further swimming pool questions?
- please do not hesitate to contact us