Print full article

The Earl Mah Aquatic Centre: Renovating a 36-year old whirlpool

Stage one: Perimeter walls and hydraulics installation

In order to design a new stainless steel pool and maintain the original concrete structure, it was necessary to narrow the design by nearly 170 mm (6.7 in.) from each side, with the pool area now sitting about 400 mm (15.7 in.) above the floor.
In order to design a new stainless steel pool and maintain the original concrete structure, it was necessary to narrow the design by nearly 170 mm (6.7 in.) from each side, with the pool area now sitting about 400 mm (15.7 in.) above the floor.

Prefabricated pool parts have pre-included slots for RGB lights and skimmers, insulating sheets in walls, hydro massage jets, air massages in benches, and piping from the attractions. Similar to the whirlpool, all the equipment, including pipes, was made of 316-L (83.5-gal) stainless steel.

After installing and levelling each part, they were tack-welded with a neighbouring piece until the entire perimeter (with a wall tolerance of plus/minus 2 mm [0.07 in.]) was completed. The pool was then placed in its final position with the help of a lifting device. The supporting legs were anchored to the original base plate and the entire pool was properly welded.

After the perimeter, the installation of the hydraulic system located in the floor came into play. In addition to the skimmers, the hydraulic system consisted of two multi-purpose floor jets and two drains (one in the floor and another in the stairs, including a flood valve).

After completing the hydraulic installation, the pipeline was insulated with lightened polyethylene foam. The piping for attractions was terminated at the front of the mechanical room wall and the one from the hydraulics ended in the mechanical room.

Note: During welding, it is important to undergo a dye test wherein the weld is sprayed with a capillary and chalk is applied. This helps repair any potential cracks in the welds immediately.

It was important to ground the pool before it was handed over to the concreters. Since the stainless steel pool is tightly sealed after welding, it can be grounded, theoretically, to any part of the pool, most often to the supporting leg. In this case, grounding was carried out on the flange in the technology room so the route to the central switchboard was as short as possible.

Stage two: Concreting the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre

The pool was then covered with a protective foil, the hydraulics were concealed with plywood, and the space under the pool floor, including the anchored legs, and the pipeline were concreted (in case of larger pools, only the hydraulics and the support legs are set in concrete, the remaining space under the floor and behind the pool walls is backfilled with a coarse and fine gravel, excluding metallic parts).

Stage three: Floor installation, cleaning, and filling Earl Mah Aquatic Centre

Once the concrete had dried out, the floor plate with embossed 3D knobs (which created a slip-resistant surface also embossed on the entrance stairs) was placed on the surface. It was then welded to the perimeter and hydraulics.

Afterwards, it was brought to the forefront of the handrail, which was then hand-polished to a high mirror gloss. This enhanced the resistance of the material to chlorides.

Note: The surface of the pool is ground while the handrails are polished. Handrails are also made of higher grade stainless steel (duplex) because of its higher corrosion resistance against evaporating chlorides from the water.

At this point, the mechanical contractor connected the pipes from the existing mechanical equipment and the new air blower to the stainless steel pipeline.

Leave a Comment

Comments

Your email address will not be published.