Swimming pool maintenance can, many times, be one of the largest items on an HOA’s budget. It is beneficial for a board to have an understanding of the pool and the related expenses. One of those possible expenses can come from a malfunctioning hydrostatic valve.
A hydrostatic valve is one of those things that is analogous to a car’s brakes. You know your car has brakes, and you are happy your car has brakes, but you do not think about the brakes until you find out your brakes are out. This is similar to what happens when a hydrostatic valve malfunctions.
A hydrostatic valve is a pressure relief device installed on the bottom of a swimming pool which prevents ground water from damaging the pool. This damage could include cracking the liner or possibly even lifting the pool out of the ground. Ground water can exert a surprising amount of pressure on the pool structure. Swimming pool liners are commonly pushed three, four feet or higher out of the ground by water pressure.
The hydrostatic valve works by allowing ground water to flow into the pool thereby relieving the pressure on the pool structure. This typically only occurs when the swimming pool is empty and does not have the necessary weight to counteract the effects of ground water pressure. A hydrostatic valve or hydrostatic relief valve (HRV) relies on a spring loaded, one-way valve that keeps the pool water in but opens to allow high pressure ground water into the pool. These devices are often included as part of the main drain. Some dirty ground water may seep into the pool or possibly a slight overflow is the only result of the excess pressure.
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