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Understanding Hydrostatic Pressure

Whether the water in your swimming pool or spa is resting or moving, it exerts pressure. When the pressure becomes too great, it can damage the pool walls and even cause water to overflow onto your beautiful patio and surrounding landscaping. Therefore, it is essential to understand hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the force of water against a surface. It is created by the weight of the water, which is proportional to the depth of the pool. This force can be very high, especially if the pool is deep. While hydrostatic pressure can be therapeutic in a controlled environment, it can also be destructive and dangerous when uncontrollable. A Hydrostatic release valve is a safety device that protects the pool and swimmers from the damaging forces of hydrostatic pressure.

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What is a Hydrostatic Release Valve (HRV)

Firstly, let’s understand what exactly a hydrostatic release valve is. It is a mechanical device installed in the pool’s main drain. Its purpose is to allow water to flow freely in and out of the pool through the main drain. This simple yet effective mechanism is triggered when the pressure beneath the pool exceeds a certain point. At this critical moment, the HRV will automatically open, releasing water from the pool and alleviating the excess pressure.

Why Does My Swimming Pool Need a Hydrostatic Release Valve?

Secondly, why must a device like this be installed in your swimming pool? The answer lies in the natural forces acting upon your pool. One such force is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure occurs when water is present beneath the pool. It is caused by groundwater or heavy rain and can gradually increase over time. If hydrostatic pressure builds up significantly, it exerts a force upon the pool shell, attempting to lift it out of the ground.

The Importance of Installing an HRV

Now imagine a scenario where the pool is lifted from the ground and tilted to one side,
trapping everyone in the water. This nightmare can be avoided by installing a hydrostatic
release valve. Additionally, the potential cost incurred from repairing a pool that has suffered
damage from hydrostatic pressure is substantial.

The expenses involved in repairing a pool damaged by hydrostatic pressure include:

  • Leveling the pool again.
  • Relining the pool shell.
  • Landscaping the surrounding area.

To further emphasize the importance of installing an HRV, it is essential to note that many building codes and pool safety regulations require it. Governments and safety organizations recognize the vital role that HRVs play in preventing pool disasters, especially here in Central Florida, where heavy rain, tornadoes, and tropical storms are commonplace. By adhering to these regulations and installing an HRV, you are ensuring the safety of your pool and your family members who enjoy swimming.

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The hydrostatic release valve (HRV) should be checked regularly to ensure it works properly. If water isn’t flowing freely, the valve may be clogged or damaged and must be cleaned or replaced. Our routine pool cleaning and maintenance service will ensure your pool and spa remain safe to enjoy at any time of year.

Call Pool Works Pools & Spas at (863) 967-2863 or contact us to schedule service or get a free estimate. We proudly serve residents in Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Polk County, FL communities.

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