Here’s some pool pump covers we built for a client using balau wood. He had just refurbished his house completely and had added a koi pond and therefore a pump and filter system too. He had built a solid brick wall around the system and wanted to cover it with wooden balau lids that he could open to clean filters and operate the pump.
The width of these lids was 1.5m and the total length to cover was 4.1m. Because we were using balau which weighs in at about 850kg to 1, 000kg per cubic metre, they were very heavy and we had to split the 4.1m length into 4 sections to reduce the weight. Even at 1.5m² each, they were quite heavy to lift and latch on the wall behind.
They were hinged on to a wooden cleat we installed on the back wall and rested on the brick wall on the front and side edges. We built the frame using an H3 CCA Treated pine structure and then clad the top and sides with balau. In their open position, you can see the pine which we stained darker to match the balau in colour. Each lid can now be opened individually to access that section of the pump or filter and we installed cabin hooks on the wall so that in their open position they can be hooked up on the wall.
Balau is a very heavy, hard, dense wood. I have had some pieces of balau which have sunk in the pool. One would normally expect wood to float, but if its density is more than that of water, then it will sink. This would mean that those pieces that sink are weighing more than 1, 000kg per cubic metre. Because of its hardness, density and other factors such as oils and resins and toxins that repel insects, it makes a very good decking material. It is however expensive so we try to use a properly treated (CCA Treatment) piece of pine wherever we can to reduce cost. If the CCA Treated pine is treated to the correct Hazard level, then it can be guaranteed for up to 50 years against rot or insect infestation. Wherever we can use it we do and then we cover it up with balau as it is not as visually appealing as balau.
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough space to allow the lid to fall backwards slightly to avoid having to latch it to the wall. The latches of course are visible when the lids are in their closed position. It would have been better to try to avoid using cabin hooks, but it would have meant building a wider cleat at the back wall to allow the lids to fall backwards slightly in their open position. This would have interfered with the accessibility to the pump and filter.
We used 100mm stainless steel hinges with bearings in the spine as these are extremely strong and a lot more cost affordable than brass.
In their closed position, the lids act as a bench that can be used to sit on or a low-level table.
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