Football Fever Grips School!

Yesterday. football fever sweeped school yesterday, as the kids watched the England vs Scotland Match in the Sports Hall. Last night. Sam had setup the projector in the Sports hall, so everyone could watch the England – Scotland match. (Socially distantly of course) As the Boarders were walking from their units to D Block, (which is where the Sports Hall is) they were singing the Lightning Seeds – 3 Lions really loudly. At the time, I was on the phone to a parent and had to ask them to hold the line for a moment. I then opened the office window and stuck my head out the window to see what was going on. It was such an atmosphere as staff and boarders walked across the car park, to the Sports Block, singing 3 Lions. (The Sports Block is D Block) The Sports Block has the Sports Hall on the ground floor, an observation balcony and the Fitness Room on the 1st floor, and the basement; houses the 25 metre Indoor Swimming Pool.

Even our kids got in on the action, singing along to 3 Lions (Especially Josh!)

Most of the windows in J Block have England Flags flying , as the kids show their support for our home nation. Many of the boarders were also wearing their England Shirts last night too. The kids have also been playing 3 Lions \ Vindaloo from their phones, on their CD Players in their rooms and on their tablets. It just proves how proud our kids are of their home nation, I know we have boarders from all faiths and backgrounds, but last night that didn’t matter… The boarders and staff united last night, to cheer on England, and I was proud to be a part of it!

In the Sport Hall, the atmosphere was electric, as staff and kids watched the match, with loud cheers throughout the match, Shame the match was a draw! After the match, the kids were certainly excited after the tense and match. Some ver very tired, but the others were still very hyper. On the way back to J Block, some of the kids were singing Fat Les – Vindaloo as they walked across the carpark. Tryin to get the kids to settle down for bed, was quite a tricky task; but we got there eventually! Yesterday had to be the most exciting late \ Sleep In Shift I have had for a while!

Microwave Fires Are No Joke

Microwaves can be brilliant for reheating food, but they can have a very affect, if a fire takes hold. This evening, Kyle had put a steamed pudding in the microwave and was mithered by Josh, as he was going on about going to a sleep over, we had already said he can’t attend. (Due to various reasons I can’t go into) So, Kyle put 30 mins, instead of 30 seconds on the microwave. Then he got distracted again, as he was paged for work. So, he didn’t know the food was burning.

It wasn’t until I took plates out to the kitchen, that I spotted smoke billowing from the microwave. So I went into emergency mode straight away, set off the fire alarm and then operated the kitchen emergency stop. I switched on the cooker hood and then opened the door and attacked the flames with a C02 Fire Extinguisher, while Jenny called the Fire Brigade. Thankfully, by the time they got to us, I had put the fire out.

So here is what you should do if your microwave catches fire:

  • First alert everyone else in the house, shout FIRE!
  • Make sure your kitchen door is shut, (if practical)
  • Cut the power, by switching off the microwave at the mains socket. If you cannot reach the mains socket, turn the power off at the fuse box. This will suffocate the fire.
  • If the fire is small and you can contain it, follow the below instructions. If not, get out the house and call 999.
  • If you have a cooker hood, switch it on full or open the window, to let the smoke out.
  • Carefully open the door, but do so standing at the side of microwave, so you do not get hit by the smoke.
  • Use a Fire Blanket or a C02 Fire Extinguisher to smother the fire.
  • Do not touch the microwave until it has fully cooled down.

How to Empty Your School Indoor Pool

Sometimes it’s essential that you completely drain your school’s indoor pool. In our case, the pool needs to be drained so that workmen can erect scaffolding, to replace the swimming pool lighting. This guide is not the same as an outdoor pool winter closing down procedure, as we will be completely emptying the pool of water. Winterising involves blowing out the return pipes and emptying the sand filter. Neither are needed in this case.

The first job is to use your pool net to remove any objects that may be in the pool. I would also recommend using your pool vac, to clean the bottom of the pool before we empty it. Next, I removed the baskets from the pool skimmers. removing the baskets isn’t mandatory but I removed them anyway. Our next thing to do is to work in the plant room, to physically drain as much of the water as possible. This uses the floor drain in the deep end of the pool.

OK, now we are in the Plant Room, where all the tech that keeps the pool in order is kept. Most pool Plant Rooms look a bit like the image below. It is the beating heart of the pool, cleaning and  maintaining the water, 24 hours a day. The Plant Room usually has the pump, the large sand filters, the heater and alot of pipework.

Swimming Pool Plant Room

Our first job is to shut down the heater. Depending how your system heats the water will depend on how you shut your heating system off. Ours is gas, so as well as switching off the heating system, I also switched off the gas isolation cock as well. As we are working on a indoor pool, which won’t be empty for long, (about a week) there is no need to drain down the boiler. Now we can get the pool emptied.

Now go to your pump and at the side of it, you need to close the valve to the return pipe for the pool. You will also need to open the drain valve for the pool as well. In our case, the swimming pool drain goes into the main drains, so we do not need to connect a hose.

Your pump should have a setting called “drain”, you need to turn the controller on the pump to this position, to drain the pool. If your pump does not have a drain setting, switch it to “backwash” instead. I also opened the inspection chambers as well to make sure the pool is draining correctly. any water left in the return pipes will drain out into the pool, during this process. The water level should now of completely dropped, but there may be some residue of water around the drain. I use a hard brush to make this go down the drain, once the cover is removed. Now go back to your plant room, switch off the pump, close the drain cock. The pool return valve should remain closed, to prevent water from the filter entering the pool while work is carried out. I also Lockout-Tagout the main switch for the plant room, to prevent anyone switching on the power to the plant room, while the pool is empty.

Finally, I have put a sign on the doors to the pool area, saying that the pool is closed. As entry to the pool is via PACS System, I used a chain around the handles of the door and attached a padlock, to make sure no one can get in, while the pool is out of use.

And that’s it, one emptied pool. Once the work is completed, (in 1 – 2 weeks time) I will do a guide on filling and setting up the pool.

Fire Alarm Activation

I have just got back from School, due to a Fire Alarm Activation. The Fire Alarm was set off by staff burning toast, but still required a site visit from myself, to reset the system.

Lets have a look at how a Fire Alarm System works.

At the heart of the system, is the Control Panel. The Control Panel is the main interface for the system and can be used for various functions. For instance, you can reset the alarm, silence the sounders and access system event logs. 90% of Control Panels are coded, so you have to type a four digit code to be able to access the “Supervisor Functions.” Our system requires a key, to be able to access system functions. Some systems have repeater panels, which also provides information on a fire condition, such as the location and zone. Our system is addressable, which means it can detect what dictator has been activated and the exact location.

EG: Smoke Detector, J Block (Jets Unit) Room F23 or Break Glass, J Block (Jets Unit) Lounge

Detectors come in 2 types, Heat and Smoke. Smoke Alarms detect smoke, which causes a beam to be broken, which sends a signal to the Control Panel and causes the sounders to activate. Heat Detectors on the other hand, detect heat build up. Once the heat reaches the alarm threshold, it causes the alarm to be activated.

The Sounders can either be electronic sounders or bells or a combination of both. We have bells in the Main School and electronic sounders in J Block. These are backed up by the Flashers, which give a visual warning that the alarm is sounding. Also, the Magnetic Door Holders will de-energise, causing doors that are held open, to close on a fire alarm condition.

The Lift Interface is a clever bit of kit, as it causes the lift to automictically go to the re-call floor. (Usually the Ground Floor) However, if the alarm is sounding on the floor that is used as a recall floor, the lift will go to the next level. Once on that level, the doors will open and the controls will lock, preventing the lift from moving.

The Auto Dialler does exactly what it says. Most auto diallers call the Fire Brigade automatically, but this has flaws, as false alarms can cause the Fire Brigade to be called out unnecessarily. We have ours set to automatically bleep me, via my Pager. (Yes, I still use a Pager!) The system automatically sends me a message with the location of the fire.

FIRE ALARM – SMOKE DETECTOR – J BLOCK (JETS UNIT) ROOM F23

So when I attended School, I had to put my Fire Alarm Key into the Control Panel and turn it to “Controls Enabled”. Next, I press the Silence Alarm. This stops the sounders from sounding. Finally, I press Reset, to reset the system. If there is still smoke or fire, the alarm will sound again. This is a failsafe operation.

By the main Fire Alarm Panel for each building, (or in the case of the main school, next to the repeater panels by each block entrance) is a cabinet with a phone in it. This is for the phone for the “Refuge Area”, which connects a disabled person using the refuge area, to the person in charge, at the main panel.

Each week, I test the system, by activating one of the manual call points and also by making sure the sounders \ bells go off. This is a legal requirement, under the he Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Also under the act, each time there is a “Fire Alarm Incident”, it must be logged in the Fire Alarm Log Book, as well as every time the alarm is tested.

Once a year, we also have a Contractor come in, who tests the Fire Alarm System. During this test, the smoke \ heat detectors are checked, using specialist tools, the panels are thoroughly checked and the break glass units are also thoroughly checked.

Dealing with Body Fluids

I have just come back from dealing with someone on Sick Bay, who had vomited all over the floor. Our school policy is to bleep Domestic Services during the day (7am – 3pm every day) or page me out of hours on a body fluid spill. So being that it was 11pm that this happened, I got paged to come to Sick Bay  to clear it up.  (I only live round the corner from school.)

So, I attended and needed the following kit:

  • Body Fluids Kit (We have one on each unit, including Sick Bay)
  • Blue Mop Bucket and a Blue Mop
  • 2 Bleach Tablets dissolved in 5L of water
  • Blue Paper Roll
  • Disposable Apron
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Wet Floor Sign

Once, I had everything I needed and I had the correct PPE; (Personal Protective Equipment) I put up a yellow “Wet Floor Sign and  sprinkled the absorbent powder onto the vomit. Using the paper roll, I slowly  scooped it up. and then used the spills kit hazardous waste bag to dump the blue roll and the vomit. Then using a socket mop and bucket, I washed the area of floor with diluted bleach solution, leaving the wet floor sign in place; until the floor has dried. The mop head went into the red infected laundry bag in the sluice room and will be taken down to the laundry, by the Unit Housekeeper in the morning.

Remember: When dealing with any body fluid, (regardless if it is urine, vomit, blood, faces or semen) you must wear PPE. It is safety first. – Wear disposable \ thick rubber gloves, an  apron and goggles. (when working with chemicals) You must also remember to stick to the correct colour coding of equipment. Please read this post, to find our  more information about colour coding when cleaning.

Cleaning Colour Coding

In a school or professional environment, it is important that we use the correct colour coded equipment when cleaning. This helps to stop cross contamination of germs and pathogens from getting to other surfaces in other parts of the building. This isn’t currently law, but is common practice in most workplaces.

So roll on the many colours:

Red Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Red coloured equipment must only be used in bathrooms, (Including bathtubs,  taps, shower fixtures, Shower curtains, taps, sinks plugholes, pipes, mirrors, tiles, window sills, window frames, door handles, locks, and floor)  toilets, (Including the inside and outside of the bowl, cistern, chain, pipes, seats, basins, window frames, window sills, sink, taps and pipework, mirrors, tiles and the floor. Also red mops can be used in changing rooms too. )

Yellow Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Yellow coloured equipment must be only used in areas of isolation. We only use those in single rooms in Sick Bay or in the event that Sick Bay has a Nova Virus outbreak. (This doesn’t happen often.

Green Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Green coloured equipment must be only used in a kitchen on all surfaces.

White Dish Cloths with a Red Trim: x These cloths must only be used for washing up in a kitchen environment.

Yellow Dusters with a Red Trim: Dusters can be used universally, but must not be used in a kitchen \ bathroom \ toilet or isolation areas.

We also use colored Tabards too:

Red: Toilets \ Bathrooms

Blue: General Purpose

Yellow: Sick Bay Ward Areas \ Isolation Areas

Green: Kitchens

These guidelines are not law, (Apart from the use of green equipment being used in kitchens. ) but are recommended by the British Institute of Cleaning Science. These guidelines apply to cleaning cloths, mops, buckets, brushes, gloves (unless the gloves are disposable) and sponges. You will also need to change your PPE, (Personal Protective equipment) every time you switch areas. (IE: if you go from a bathroom to a general low risk area, such as a office.) This helps to reduce cross contamination.

So that’s Sam’s guide to cleaning colour coding for cleaning. 🙂

Laundry Machine Maintenance

So today is the the day that I put all the washing machines in the School Laundry on a self clean. Remember, our school washing machines are going 24 hours a day, Monday – Friday and every evening on weekends. The machines get their fare share of wear and tear, washing over Ten Thousand items a week! that’s is why I maintain the school washing machines on a monthly basis and the dryers on a weekly basis.  (Remember, our machines are large capacity commercial machines and not like the ones you have at home.

My monthly itinerary for laundry maintenance is as follows:

Washing Machines (monthly)

  • Run the machines on a 60°c cycle with Washing Machine Cleaner in the drum
  • Clean the filter and the propeller
  • Inspect and clean the seals around the door
  • Clean the Dosing System
  • Clean the drum, door and porthole

Tumble Dryer (weekly)

  • Empty the Lint Tray
  • Clean the outlet from the drum and the external outlet from the machines
  • Clean the drum, door and porthole

OK, lets crack on…

My first job is to switch off the pumps behind the machines. (So it doesn’t dose laundry detergent and Conditioner) Then I put Miele Dishwasher & Washing Machines Cleaner into the drum. (It’s a powder so it is quite easy to use.) Finally, I put the machines onto a 60°c cycle and leave it to it.

Meanwhile, I turn my attention to the dryers. They also must be maintained weekly, to prevent a buildup of fluff, that can cause a fire. To do this, I remove the side panel and pull out the fittings the lint traps sit in. Once it is removed, I can manually remove the fluff for disposal. I also shove the pole for the Henry in there and give the area round the outlet as well. I also clean the inside of the drum on each machine, using a cloth and a spray bottle of disinfectant.

Once the washing machines  have finished, (which is around 45 mins) I put a bowl in front of the machine and open the filter flap. (Be careful if you are cleaning the filter, as water will pour out! It is best to use a old washing up bowl for this job) It is amazing what gets clogged ion the filter, I have found gum, hair, paperclips and even a few 20p’s. (I put these into the School Charity Box) Opening the flap, lets loads of water out of the machine and is why I have a large bowl below it.

It’s easy to remove the filter, just twist and pull to release it from it’s compartment. To clean it, I take the filters to the sink in the laundry room and use a stiff brush and running water to clear the filters. Pushing my bowl aside, I then use my Mag-light to  inspect the drain pump propeller. Using a screwdriver, I check the blades can turn and that nothing behind it is blocking the pump. (By using a screwdriver to yank out any debris. Next, in between the rubber seals in the drum gets a clean with a old toothbrush and disinfectant. It also allows me to inspect the seals for signs of perishing.

Time to re-assemble… So first I push the filter back into it’s compartment and check it is in fully. (Push and twist, then close the flap) Once I have cleaned up, I inspect the pumps behind the washing machines; which dose and pump the detergent and conditioner into the machines. Remember: Safety First,  switch off the pumps first. I unscrew the front panel of the pumps and inspect the pump mechanisms. If they are clogged up, a can of compressed air and a screwdriver to remove the gunk. Finally, I give the motors a good lubricating with WD40, before replacing the cover and screws. 

Finally, after cleaning the glass and the aluminum doors, I attach a sticker which has the word “I am Clean” and the date the machine was cleaned.

It is a good idea to clean your machine every month. After a month, the machine will begin to smell and will make your clothes smell. Also it is essential to keep the lint tray clear on your dryer, otherwise; it may catch fire! The machines at school automatically switch themselves off when the lint tray is full and will not start until the lint tray is emptied. 

However, the dryers that you have in your home are not Commercial Tumble Dryers, like the ones we have at school. (We have 8 Commercial washing machines and 6 dryers) So your lint trap is usually inside the door. For your sake and your family’s sake, do not forget to check the lint trap; before you switch on your dryer on. (Kyle and I do every time we start the dryer) A fire can kill and cause severe damage, so before it is too late, check the lint trap!

Deep Cleaning

 

What is Deep Cleaning? Well, Deep Cleaning is when we do a more thorough and more intensive clean of part of the buildings. This could be a classroom, a communal area, a office or on one of the boarding units.  Full deep cleans of the entire site are carried out every summer, once the end of the summer term arrives and is planned way in advance.  During the Easter Break, we do a partial deep clean of the communal areas in Junior House, Sick Bay and the gym and Swimming Pool Changing Rooms.

We use stronger chemicals than are used during term time. These are either Germicidal Cleaners, which are extremely destructive to pathogenic microorganisms, steam, (Which is another way of killing pathogens) Finally, there is good old Sodium Hypochlorite, aka Bleach. Bleach is rarely used. However, there are some situations where I need to use it. (Tonight for example) 

A couple of the Junior Boarders have caught the Noro Virus, (Sickness and Diarrhoea bug) and have been taken to Sick Bay. (They are both being barrier nursed in side rooms) So their rooms have had to be deep cleaned, which involved using a diluted Bleach solution:

  • Removing and changing the curtains
  • Removing and changing all bedding
  • Wiping down the walls, window sills, ceiling, skirting boards, beds, mattresses, wardrobes, light fittings, window frames, light switches, sockets and door handles
  • Steam cleaning the carpet

The toilet they had both used, which includes:

  • Using a diluted Bleach solution, Wiping down the walls, cubical partitions, cubical doors, ceiling, window sills, window frames, sinks, toilets, pipes, bins, tiles and light fittings
  • Mop the floor and remove slurry with a wet and dry vacuum cleaner.

Once I had completed the deep clean, I took the buckets to the Sluice room and washed them out using boiling water and  Germicidal Cleaner. I also washed the inside of the wet and dry out in the same way and also the hose and head. I took the boys bedding and curtains, idrty clothes and all the cloths I had used and the mop heads to the laundry, in red infected laundry bags. (They will be washed in separates machines to the normal laundry and will be washed on a “hot wash cycle”. Finally, the apron, gloves and foot protectors used went into the clinical waste bin in the sluice room.

After 8pm, we do not have any housekeepers on site, so it was up to me to get the job done. It is not nice working with runny poo, believe me! 😦

Operation Deep Clean!

It’s been a very busy few weeks for the Domestics Team and I, as we have been preparing the school for the new school year. This is a task that should not be taken lightly,  as it is the only time of the year, we can perform a deep clean of the school. It takes me and 15 Housekeepers, with the help of a fgew volunteers (Mum, some of the Teaching Assistants and a few off duty Care Staff) to perform the yearly “blitz” of the school.

Towards the end of the Spring Term, we begin planning a deep clean operation. It takes a team of cleaners to get our school deep cleaned and to leave it fresh and clean for the beginning of term. Below are some statistics of what has to be deep cleaned every year, which gives you a flavor of how big a job deep cleaning really is!

  • Around 8 miles of carpets have to be steam cleaned every summer. (This includes classrooms, Corridors, stairwells and boarding units.
  • 275 windows were cleaned internally and externally
  • Over 600 desks, tables and chairs were steam cleaned through the site
  • All surfaces in the kitchens were deep cleaned, using high pressure water, mixed with heavy duty cleaner.
  • Over 500 light shades and light fittings are deep cleaned. (This includes florescent lights)
  • 200 toilet bowls, cisterns and urinals deep cleaned, along with 110 sinks, 30 showers,  and 8 bath tubs!
  • We used 20L of chewing gum remover to remove chewing gum from the bottoms of tables, chairs and other fixtures.
  • We used around 50L of descaler on sanitary fittings
  • We used a fleet of 20 vacuum cleaners, made up of “Henry’s” and Serbo’s, as well as 3 industrial wet and dry machines
  • We used over 200 hoover bags, during deep cleaning
  • We use over 50L of water to steam clean the corridors, offices, boarding units and classrooms
  • Every mattress on the units and Sick Bay were taken outside and are sprayed for bedbugs.
  • To deep clean a unit, takes around 8 hours. Once the borders are up, dressed and had breakfast, they are asked to vacate the unit. There personal possessions are noted down and carefully put in boxes and then the unit is cleaned top to bottom. By evening, when the boarders return from their activity off site, the unit is fully cleaned.
  • To deep clean the Residential block from top to bottom, takes around 8 days to complete. Sick Bay is the hardest area to clean, as it is constantly in use. So top deal with that, one side is closed while deep cleaning is carried out. Once on side is done, we close the other side and repeat the process. The unit deep cleans have to be planned carefully as well!
  • Several pairs of socks and other items of clothes were uncovered while cleaning the school and Junior House
  • 15 miles of pipework is thoroughly cleaned during the deep clean, including  water, radiator and drain pipes!
  • Talking of drainpipes, we used 20L of sink & plughole unblocker to remove hair and grease from several sinks, showers and bath waste traps and plugholes.
  • I repaired several plugs on sinks and bathtubs, where the chain had come loose.
  • I fixed 13 “Pull & Clank Iron Bell” High Level Toilet Cisterns, which were in need of attention, due to the kids pulling the chain too hard and causing the flush handle to fall into the cistern. (You can’t beat the sound of a “pull and clank” cistern when it is being flushed!)
  • 200 vertical blinds are carefully dismantled, cleaned and put back up.
  • Even the swimming pool does not get away with not being deep cleaned! The pool was drained in July, the tiles checked and the whole interior of the pool jet washed before refilling! The poolside also was jet washed, as well as the changing rooms being deep steam cleaned and the plant equipment serviced.
  • The laundry machines were disinfected, along with the floor and drainage channels
  • The 5 sluice rooms in Junior House were deep cleaned, using high pressure water. This included the sluice sinks, the interior of the Macatator machines (with disinfectant) and the walls, which were manually washed down.
  • All ventilation vents were cleaned and any dust harboring round the vents removed.
  • The curtains in the Hall were all taken down and sent for dry cleaning. The curtains require scaffold towers to take down and put back up; so it is good they only need a clean once a year!
  • The majority of furniture from classrooms were put either in the corridors or in other classrooms while deep cleaning was carried out.
  • Over 1000 electrical items got PAT Tested (Portable Appliance Test) while we were deep cleaning. (We had a company come in to do this)
  • Finally, the chandler in the entrance hall of the school had to be cleaned while in situ. Again, we had a specialist company to come in and do this for us and meant that for 6 hours, the front entrance to the school could not be used, as we had a scaffold tower erected.

So we are nearly finished with deep cleaning. I just have a little bit of painting to do and a few cracked tiles to replace, but it has been an exhausting few weeks through August, to get the school spick and span. I know I only just had a holiday, but I could do with another – I am knackered!

How to Refill your School Indoor Pool and Prepare It for Use

In this guide, I will be walking you through the process of refilling and preparing your indoor pool for use. (Our pool at school had to be drained, while new LED lighting was installed) In this guide we will look at:

  • Making sure the pool surface is clean and surfaces are in a good working order
  • Pre-Checks in the Plant Room
  • Backwashing the Filters
  • Refilling the pool
  • Shocking the water with Chemicals and Checking the PH of your pool
  • Backwashing the Filter (Again)
  • Starting up the Heating

1. Making sure the pool surface is clean and in good working order

As we had workmen working on the lighting, the pool has to be checked to make sure that the surface is clean and to check the integrity of the tiles. Thankfully, I laid sheets down on the bottom of the pool, which caught most of the dust and objects, which dropped while the Electricians were working. I also checked the tiles, to make sure none had come loose or broken.

2. Pre-Checks in the Plant Room

I then went to the Plant Room, so that I could open the inspection hole on the top of the pump and allowed me to pour neat chlorine in, to make sure that if anything was growing got killed off right away.

3. Back Wash The Filters 

Backwashing the filter allows us to drain any remaining gunk out the filter. To do this, make sure the drain cock is still in the open position and the return valve is in the closed position. Using the inspection cover, put a hosepipe in and run at full pressure. Now turn the dial on the pump to Backwash and run for a few minutes. Once done, switch off the water, open the pool return cock and close the drain cock.  Finally, turn the pump to the off position.

4. Refilling The Pool

Usually refilling the pool takes ages, as most schools use a normal hose connected to the tap at mains pressure. Not us! I connected a large diameter hose to the “Wet Riser“, thus giving us a high pressure water supply. It takes me few days to fill the pool from the wet riser.

5. Shocking the water witch chemicals \ Checking the PH Levels

I use liquid chemicals to shock the pool. I use a machine that doses it through the filter. (Which does this through the inspection chamber on the pump) Once dosed, use your PH Kit to check the PH of the water. (It should be PH 7 – PH 7 and a half.) If your pool is too acidic, add Bicarbonate Of Soda mixed with water and test again)

Sam Says Safety First!

Always use cation when handling Chlorine. To protect yourself against accidental burns, wear Personal Protective Equipment. (Goggles, Thick Rubber Gloves, Protective Clothing, Thick Rubber Soled Shoes and a Face Mask) Always follow the instructions on the bottle and do not mix Chlorine with any other chemicals.

If you accidentally spill chlorine, use the hose to rinse it away make sure the area where the spillage has happened, is thoroughly rinsed. If you get chlorine on your skin, rinse under running water for 10 minutes and then attend Accident & Emergency at your nearest hospital. If you release a chlorine cloud by accident, evacuate the building, by sounding the fire alarm, then call 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade. State that there is a chlorine cloud and request assistance.

6. Backwashing the Filter (Again!)

You will need to backwash the filter again, just to make sure that anything in the pipework is flushed out. Close the pool return valve and open the drain cock. Run the filter in the “Backwash” position for 2 minutes. Now close the drain cock and open the pool return cock. You can now run the pump in it’s normal operating position.

7. Starting up the Heating

You now need to go and switch on the pool heating system. Ours is Gas, so I opened the gas valve, switched on the boiler isolation switch and watch to make sure the boiler ignites properly. For around a week, the pool will remain out of use, while I run the heating system constantly for a week. (To heat the water) I also put the pool skimmer baskets back and switched on the Air Handling Unit, giving our pool a bit of a tropical feel!

So that’s it, the pool has been drained, maintained and refilled! Swimming can resume by the end of next week.