Swimming pools that require little maintenance

In today’s fast pace lifestyles, people always seem to be looking for the quickest or easiest ways to do something.  This is apparent by the way we live our daily lives.  For example, when my wife and I are sitting at home in the midst of a discussion that our opinions differ on, the quickest and easiest way to settle the difference of opinion is to look the answer up on the internet.  Instead of going to the computer, to do this we grab for our phones.  This is a perfect example of how we as americans want things “now”.  It is no longer acceptable to have to go to the computer to get information.  We would rather have that information readily available in our pockets.  It used to be that at dinner time, one would have to physically prepare food.  Now there is a restaurant on every street corner.  These are just examples that demonstrate what I am saying.  This same mentality is now crossing over into the inground swimming pool industry.

People are still wanting inground swimming pools, but either they are not too keen on doing the maintenance on them, or they just don’t have the time in their daily schedules.  So what can be done?  Obviously the water would have to be maintained in order to keep it clean, and the pool itself would surely get debris in it.

With the technology that is available today the swimming pool industry has seen dramatic shift in the way that people are maintaining their swimming pools.  There are now systems that have been designed to clean the swimming pool so that you don’t have to.  Paramount has developed a system that uses specialized returns, floor nozzles, and main drain to remove debris from your pool.  This system basically eliminates the need to sweep the swimming pool.  They have a few different versions of this system that have different levels of cleaning.  I break it down a good, better, and best.  The good version utilizes the specially designed main drain and a secondary safety drain to clean debris out of the pool.  The better system uses those drains as well as the specially designed wall returns to direct debris to the main drain and remove it.  The best version is when the main drain, wall returns and floor nozzles are being used together.

So lets break this down even further.  The main drain that they have specially designed is called the MDX – R3.  This is basically an over sized main drain that is capable of removing even large debris from your swimming pool.  The way this works is by using a 4″ opening on the bottom of the drain.  This then gets reduced to a 2 1/2″ pipe.  All the debris that gets removed from the pool then gets deposited into a debris canister or it goes into your pump basket.

With this main drain it would be necessary to use the SDX secondary drain.  This drain acts as a safety drain.  It gets plumbed into the same line as the MDX- R3 so if something were to completely cover the MDX-R3 then the SDX is completely capable of taking on the full force of the pump.  This way, whatever is covering the MDX-R3 can be removed easily.

The specially designed returns are called SwingJets.  The SwingJets have ratcheting technology so they actually pop out pointing in one direction.  They then go back in and when they come back out they point in a new direction.  They ultimately have three different directions that they point to.  For the system to work properly there would need to be multiple jets in a single pool.  With multiple jets all working together they effectively push debris toward the main drain.  If the pool were to only have these SwingJets and no in floor nozzles then you might find that the debris is settling in the center of the pool in a line up the slope.  This would require you to simply brush the debris toward the main drain.  To Eliminate this problem you would want the “best” version which uses the in floor nozzles.

The in floor nozzles are basically a type of return fitting that actually gets installed in the floor of your pool.  There would typically be a few of them strategically located in your pool and would effectively force the debris to the main drain to be removed.

These systems are designed to take the work off the shoulders of the homeowners.  However this still leaves the problem of treating the water.  For some people this is not that big of a deal, however there are others that don’t want to even mess with it.  For this reason there have been products designed to treat the pool water so that you, the homeowner do not have to.  I say that, however they don’t completely take the human element out of it.  There are two particular products available that when combined they make your pool sparkling clean, and crystal clear.  They are the Clear O3 and Ultra UV.

These units work together to kill 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses in you pool water.  As I said, they work well together but the way they kill bacteria and viruses is completely different.  The Clear O3 system injects ozone into the filter system by way of the pump.  The Ultra UV uses Ultra Violet Radiation to sanitize the water.  The Clear O3 Unit will mount near the filter system and actually has a small hose that runs to the pump where it injects the ozone.  The Ultra UV will actually get plumbed into the system so that water will run through it where it will pass by an ultra violet lamp allowing the UV rays to kill any viruses or bacteria in the water.

As I said these systems will allow for the bare minimum of work to be done by the homeowner in regard to water sanitation.  However there will still need to be some residual chlorine in the water to take care of any excess “filth”.  This simply means that from time to time you would have to add some chlorine to the pool.

If you are interested in getting a swimming pool but have no desire to spend extra time taking care of it then you may want to look into these systems as they take a lot of the work out of owning a swimming pool.  The Clear O3 and the Ultra UV can be installed after the pool has been built, however the good, better, and best Paramount in floor cleaning systems will really need to be installed at the time that the pool itself is installed.

For more information regarding the Clear O3, Ultra UV, and the Paramount in floor cleaning systems please check out Paramounts website here http://www.paramountpoolsystems.com/

Equipment I Will Need for My Vinyl Liner In Ground Pool

Thinking about getting an in ground swimming pool?  Then I will first recommend that you get a vinyl liner in ground pool.  There are other types of in ground pools that you can get but in my opinion the vinyl liner in ground pool is the best bang for your buck.  I am not going to get into the reasons that I feel this way at this point but if you would like more information on why I personally feel this way please check out my blog post titled “Why My Vinyl Liner In Ground Swimming Pool is Better Than Other Types of In Ground Pools” or “Types of Swimming Pools and Which is the Best”.  These two posts go into detail about the different types of swimming pools and the pros and cons related to each.  The reason for this post today is to let you know what type of equipment you will need on your swimming pool.

 

Heat Pump
Heater

To start we need to identify your expectations of your swimming pool.  Are you the type of person that does not like to add additional chores to your list?  Are you like me and find that doing certain light chores is more relaxing?  The reason we need to ask ourselves these questions is to figure out how much you want to do as far as maintaining the pool.  Also if your pool is in an area that gets a lot of sun you may decide that you don’t want a heater or heat pump on the pool.  In my opinion though if you are spending the money to have a pool installed then you may want to go ahead and get the heat pump or heater anyway just in case.  It is better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.  So this brings me to my next point.  Heater or heat pump?  The difference is that a heater uses natural gas or propane to heat the water and the heat pump uses the air temperature outside to heat the water.  There are some drawbacks and benefits to each one.  For instance a heater has the ability to heat the water quickly and in lower temperatures.  The downside is that the heater costs more to operate each month.  A heat pump is electric and does not require a gas line to be ran so the initial install will be a bit cheaper for you.  Also running the heat pump costs significantly less than a heater.  The downside of this is that a heat pump will not heat the water in lower temperatures and it generally takes longer to heat the water.  However once the water is up to the desired temperature the heat pump will kick on and off to maintain that temperature.  For more information on heat pumps and heaters please check out my blog  titled “Gas Heater V.S. Heat Pump.

Once you get that figured out you will have to decide on if you want an automatic pool cover installed.  For this decision you may want to check your local codes that regulated swimming pools in your area.  For instance here in indiana it is state law to have either a auto cover or fence around your pool.  That may be the case in other states as well or there may be a variation of that law.  Ideally if you have the means, it is a good idea to have both.  A fence is a good safety measure to keep unwanted guests out of your pool or neighborhood kids.  The automatic pool cover will do the same thing and in addition to that will help keep the cost of heating the pool and chemical cost down as well.  I am big on safety and I feel that having two or more barriers to get past is safer than just one.  many auto covers require a code or key to operate and a fence will help prevent children from gaining access to your pool area.  For more information on swimming pool safety please check out my blog posts with “Safety” in the title or visit http://www.poolsafely.gov/ which is a government website dedicated to keeping pool users safe.

Now you will have to decide on how much time you want to spend on maintaining the pool.  In recent years some pretty dramatic steps have been taken to lessen the amount pool owners will have to spend on maintaining their pools.  I have gone into great detail about this subject in several of my blog posts.  However just to recap, Paramount Pool Products have a number of products that will keep the cost and time of maintaining a pool down considerably.  Their Swing Sweep system is a wonderful in floor cleaning system that will literally clean debris out of the pool for you.  In addition to that it promotes better circulation of both water and chemicals.  That alone will help keep the cost of heating the pool down.

If that is not something you are interested in then you might be thinking about an cleaning robot of some sort.  If this is the case I would most definitely recommend Jandy’s Polaris 9550 Sport.  This product comes with pre programed cleaning patterns as well as the ability to control it with a handheld motion sensing remote much like that of a certain video game system.  This is something that could turn a chore into a fun activity for the kids.

 

There are also a few other products by Paramount that I would recommend in addition to the Swing Sweep system.  Their Clear O3 and Ultra UV can be used in combination to dramatically reduce the cost of pool chemicals for you the pool owner.  If you were to use these items in conjunction with the Swing Sweep system and Venturi skimmer than you could potentially have a maintenance free swimming pool and could then use all of your spare time to just enjoy the pool.  I have also posted about these items in the past including the Venturi skimmer for you to take a look at and I assure you                                                         that you will be intrigued.

AquaLink Z4

 

AquaLink RS One Touch

Another line of very intriguing products are Zodiac’s automation systems the AquaLink Z4 and AquaLink RS.  Both of these systems allow you to sit back and let the pool take care of itself.  The RS system is a little more complex as far as what it can do but both of these systems are designed to be user friendly and allow you the pool owner to make certain changes to the pool at the touch of a button.  One of the coolest things is that you can now hook up these systems to the internet and access them from your mobile device.  Out of town? Forget to turn down your heat pump?  Leave the water feature on?  Just pull out your phone and turn it down, or turn it off without burdening a neighbor to go over and do it.

These products are all things that are available today.  for more information look at my other posts, or go to the websites http://www.paramountpoolproducts.com/,  http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/.  Talk with your builder to see if they offer these products and if not you may want to consider another company.  These products work well and could potentially create a very relaxing environment free of the stress of pool maintenance.

How to decrease the cost of maintaining/operating your pool

One of the biggest fears among people who are thinking about getting a pool is the cost of maintenance/operation.  They tend to think that owning a pool will be a costly investment over time.  Now, like any investment there will be some cost associated with it but I wan’t to
inform you that it does not have to break the bank.  There have been some pretty significant technological advancements made in the swimming pool industry.  In this age of “going green” many people are looking for the next better, more efficient way of doing things.  That is also true about those who own or want to own a swimming pool.  Not only are more and more people expressing concern for the environment but for the majority of Americans times are tough.  People are finding that they can no longer spend they way they have in the past and are pinching pennies anywhere they can.  So it makes sense that they would be concerned about the cost of operating and maintaining a pool.  To some it seems like every aspect of owning a pool requires money.  Heating and chemicals stand out to them as things that require the spending of money on each month.  That may be true to a certain degree, but with the right components you can substantially lower the cost of both heating and chemical usage.

First let’s look at the chemical usage issue.  First I want to stress the importance of maintaining the proper water chemistry.  Not only will having poor water chemistry cost you more money in chemicals to get it back to normal, but there is also the potential for the water to actually damage components of your pool like the liner, the coping, hand rails, cover, and step to name a few.  It can be a snowball effect if you don’t know what you are doing.  Say you have too much of this, so you buy some of that, and now it affected those, so you get some of that to correct it, and now this is out of whack, so you buy that, or add more of whatever that is, and now……… Get the point.  If you don’t know exactly what to add it is probably best to take a water sample to your local pool supply store for testing, and they will usually be able to tell you what to add and how much of it to add.  The other thing is the chlorine.  Chlorine is something that the pool uses for sanitation purposes.  If you have too much then it can affect the skin and eyes, if you have too little then it won’t be able to do what it needs to do.  You can find yourself buying chlorine frequently to keep the water safe to swim in which can add up.

Another thing you could do is install an Ultra UV and Clear O3 by Paramount to your filtration system.  The Ultra UV uses ultraviolet light to kill 99% of the tiny little organisms and bacteria that live within your water.  The Clear O3 uses ozone to help kill those pesky little things.  The benefit is that they don’t need the chlorine to kill those uninvited guests, so you will need a much lesser amount of chlorine to act as residual sanitizing agent.  This will cut down the cost of chemical tremendously.

As far as heating the pool there are a couple options available.  The first is a gas heater.  These run off of either natural gas or liquid propane.  If you live in a rural area you will know that the cost of these gases is fairly steep.  If you had a gas heater and ran it the way you would likely want to the you could expect to see very large gas bills each month.  Over $1,000 is not uncommon.  On the other hand a natural gas heater is very quick to heat the water in a pool.  For instance if you were planning a Saturday pool party at 1:00 p.m. you could turn the heater on early that morning and have the water temperature where you want it by the time your guests arrived.  If you don’t use the pool during the week very often the this might be a viable option for you.  Operating the heater like this will save quite a bit compared to running the heater daily.

Another option would be to use an electronic heat pump to heat the pool.  They are slower to heat the water, but they are more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run.  This type of heating will usually take a day or two to get the water from say 56 degrees to where you want it but once it is there it will stay there.  Heat pump work like the thermostat of you house.  You set it to the temperature that you want and once the water reaches that temperature the heat pump will kick off.  When the water cools to below set temp, the heat pump will kick back on until the water reaches that temp again.  Another thing that you can do is to when having a pool built is have an auto cover installed.  Here in Indiana sometimes during the summer we get pretty cool nights.  That cool air can suck the heat out of an uncovered pool very quickly.  If you have an auto cover, you can close the pool each night and trap the heat in the pool.  This will also help save money on heating because the heater or heat pump won’t have to work as hard.

When combining these products in a swimming pool you will spend far less on maintenance and operation costs each month.  This will allow you to better enjoy your pool knowing that it is not costing you and arm and leg to have it.  For more information on the Clear O3, and the Ultra UV check out Paramount’s website at www.paramountpoolproducts.com.  For more information on Jandy heat pumps and gas heaters visit click here The Jandy Website