The Best Equipment for your In ground Pool

There are many manufacturers of in ground swimming pool equipment.  By equipment I am referring to pumps, filters, heaters, etc.  However they are not all the same.  Like anything else there are different levels of quality associated with them.  The brand of equipment that I have found to be the best is Jandy.  In my experience Jandy offers the best features and highest quality associated with their equipment.  They also have a very extensive selection of accessory goods ie. lights, water sanitation, automation, and pool cleaners.  One of the coolest things that is offered by Jandy is their automation systems.  This is a system that will allow you to link the aspects of your pool together to be controlled remotely without having to physically open valves, adjust your pump, or adjust your heater.

If I were having a pool built I would definitely look into what Jandy products fit my needs and lifestyle.  I don’t necessarily mind putting a little work into the things that I have, but at the same time it would be really nice to not have to worry about it.  With the right Jandy products I would be able to just sit back and enjoy my pool rather than worry about how much time I will have to spend getting the pool ready to be enjoyed.  For instance if I were having a pool party over the weekend I could simply go to my controller and adjust the heat so it is ready for swimmers.  I could also toss the robotic cleaner in for a while to remove all of the debris from the pool.  I could set the system to turn the waterfall on when my guests arrive.  I could even program the lighting to cycle through the various colors throughout the evening.


So clearly I would want one of their automation systems.  The type of automation system that I would get would depend on the number of items I want to control.  If I only needed to control four or less items then I could go with the Z4 system.  Anything more would require me to move up to one of their RS systems.  Either way I could make sure that I could control the components that I want.


They have several pump options available, from single speed to variable speed.  All of their pumps are designed with efficiency in mind so I won’t have to worry about an over usage of electricity increasing my power bill.  If I were going for quiet efficiency I would choose their Stealth pump.  As the name suggests this is a quiet, powerful, and efficient pump and it is available in several models depending on my horsepower needs.  Lets say that I already have a pool and my current pump has just failed.  In this situation Jandy offers the FloPro pumps for easy replacement of existing pumps.  Several different bases for these pumps are available which change the height of the pump allowing you to install it in an existing system without having to alter the plumbing.


They also have several styles of filters available.  They have everything from sand filters to DE (diatomaceous earth).  For me I would likely go with one of their standard cartridge filters, and I will tell you why in a minute.  Their cartridge filters are designed with efficiency in mind and will work well with their pumps and heaters.  With a cartridge filter their is no need to backwash so their are no long hoses that I would need to stretch out to the street or under the fence into the neighbor’s yard for a few minutes only to have to wrap it all back up.  In addition to that I find cartridge filters easier to maintain.  When it comes time to replace the cartridges it is a fairly simple process whereas with a sand filter it can be difficult to remove the old sand.


When it comes to heating I will always spoil myself.  I am not a big fan of swimming in cold water.  That being said, when I go swimming I want my pool water to be warm.  Jandy offers a few different options when it comes to heating.  They offer a heat pump as well as a standard gas heater.  With the gas heaters they even come set up for either natural gas or liquid propane.  The difference between the gas heater and the heat pump is simple.  The heat pump uses the ambient temperature to heat the water, whereas the heater burns LP or natural gas to heat the water.  This means that the heater will heat the water much faster than the heat pump.  On the other hand it typically costs more to run the heater than it would to run the heat pump.  However when it comes to warm water versus cold water I am willing to pay a bit more to be comfortable.  It really comes down to personal preference.

Versa Plumb System:

With Jandy products, when you use a pump, cartridge filter, and heater you have the option of using their Versa Plumb System.  This is basically a way of plumbing the entire system allowing the best hydraulic efficiency.  They provide you with the fittings and pipe needed and it is just a matter of putting it all together.

These are all reasons why I think that Jandy has the best equipment for your pool.  They have so many options available that they are able to fit the needs of anyone.  In addition to that I know that their standards of customer service are set much higher than any other equipment manufacturer out their.

Decisions regarding in ground pools

In life we all face those somewhat tough decisions when we have to chose between spending more now to save money later.  It may be a choice between a car that costs less but gets poor gas milage or a car that costs more but gets great milage.  In the world of in ground swimming pools the choice may be between a basic pool with just a pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator, or a higher end pool with a Paramount cleaning system, a pump, filter, heater, UV sanitation, ozone sanitation and chlorinator.  Obviously the higher end pool with all those bells and whistles will likely cost a bit more than the basic pool but you have to realize that over time you will easily be spending more money on chemicals to keep the pool clean than you would have spent on those products initially.

An in ground swimming pool almost always represents a significant investment.  There are so many things that can be added onto a pool initially that would be beneficial in the long run.  There are many things that cannot easily be added after the pool has been installed.  I want to stress that these things cannot be added EASILY because in reality with the right tools and funds just about anything is possible.  However adding something to a pool after it has been installed will likely cost much more than it would have been to add it initially.

In my personal opinion if you are thinking about having a vinyl liner in ground pool installed and are concerned about the cost of maintaining that pool in the long run then I would absolutely suggest going with these few extras initially.  It is one of those things where if you can swing it up front then you should absolutely go for it.  It may seem like you are already spending a lot of money on your pool but you should think of it as an investment.  This pool will bring you and your family a lot of good times for years to come and if you treat it right it will be completely capable of lasting long enough for your grand children to enjoy as well.  One of the things that a lot of new pool owners have trouble with is maintaing the pool.  Keeping the chemicals just right can be a challenge for some, and is in reality a very important part of owning a pool.  Not only can improperly treated water cause problems for swimmers but it can also cause major problems for the pool itself.  Another thing that you should keep in mind is that if the chemicals become too out of whack in your pool then you will be spending even more money to correct the issue.

This is something that can be avoided with having the right products on your pool from the get go.  Basically having a Paramount cleaning system in your pool will allow you to do very little work in regard to physically removing dirt and debris from the pool.  Having a UV system plumbed into the system will help to kill much of the bacteria in the pool.  The Ozonator will inject the water with oxygen to help keep it clean.  At that point all you would need is a little residual chlorine in the pool for sanitation in case one of your kids has an accident in the pool.

Another thing that you could get at the time of the installation to help save money down the road is an automatic pool cover.  There are several reasons that these benefit a pool.  However the way they will help you save money is by keeping the heat in the pool.  Around here, in the early part of the season as well as the end of the season we have warm days and cool nights.  Let me tell you that a cool night can suck the heat right out of the water.  Having the ability to close the pool each night will help to lock that heat in.  This will save you money by drastically reducing the amount of time that you need to run your heater or heat pump.

As I said before most of these things will need to be installed at the time of the pool installation and will add some cost to the overall installation of the pool, but in the long run you will save on the amount you spend on chemicals and in electricity or gas.

For more information on vinyl liner in ground pools and general pool information please check out my other posts.

The Best Gas Heater for Your Pool – Features and Benefits

I would venture to say that most of the time, when someone has a brand new inground vinyl liner pool installed they typically also have a heating device installed.  There are several different types of heating devices that

one could choose from.  Today I am going to spend a few minutes to talk about gas heaters.  Specifically the Jandy LXI heater.  However before I get to that I want to talk about the differences between a gas heater and a heat pump.  I would say that these are probably the two main sources of heat that people choose for their pools.  So what is the difference?

To start it is important to understand that the initial costs of these two are a bit different.  You will be spending more on a heat pump up front than you would on a gas heater.  However the heat pump will likely save you money in the long run.  A heat pump is a very efficient way to heat your pool.  You will save money due to the fact that you won’t have to pay for the natural gas or LP that you would if you had a gas heater.  The downside comes from the fact that a heat pump is limited to what it can do.  A heat pump will only work well when the air temperature around it is 65 or above.  Generally anything below that will cause the heat pump to struggle.  This is because the heat pump uses the air around it to heat the pool.  Conversely a gas heater will work well in any climate.  This could potentially prolong the pool season.  Another con for the gas heater is that they will have to be turned on and off to get the temperature that is desired.  A heat pump on the other hand controls more like the air conditioning in a home.  You would just set the desired temperature and the heat pump will bring the pool water to that temp and shut off.  If the water drops below the desired temp then the heat pump will again turn on and adjust the temp to where it needs to be.  Another downside of the heat pump is that this adjustment may take days depending on the difference between the current pool temp and the desired temp.  For instance if a pool was just installed and filled with cold water, and the heat pump is set to 80 degrees F then it will likely take a few days for the pool water to reach that temp.  On the other hand a gas heater could have that water to the desired temp in a matter of hours.

Before deciding on what type of heating device to get, it would be wise to do some research before committing to one over the other.  Not everybody can comfortably afford the higher cost of running a gas or LP heater, and the features may be different depending on the brands of equipment you may be looking into.  This brings me to the title of this post.  Jandy LXI Heater – Features and Benefits.  If you are already doing some research then I want to give you some facts about the LXI Heater so that you can make an informed decision.  I also want to point out that the information you are about to read can be found at along with information on their entire line of equipment.

Things to know about the Jandy LXI Heater 

* Exceeds environmental standards for low NOx emissions – this will allow you to enjoy your pool more, knowing that the heater was designed with the environment in mind.

* Automation ready – easy integration with Jandy’s AquaLink controller as well as other control systems.

* Built in freeze protection

* Exclusive maintain temperature function available – this will keep the pool temperature where you want it without having to manually turn the heater on and off.

* High efficiency heat exchanger is standard – this will lower the operating costs to provide greater savings.

* Feature rich control panel is standard – equipped with a user friendly, back lit display and simplified menu for ease of operation.

* Low NOx combustion and hot surface ignition system – provides maximum performance in any weather conditions.

* Built in one touch automation – allows for easy switching from pool to spa.

* Available in 250K and 400K BTU sizes – There is a heater for any size pool.

* Smallest equipment pad footprint – takes up the smallest amount of room on the pad out of any heater on the market.

These are some of the benefits and features of the LXI heater.  I provided this information to show my readers what is leading the pack in regard to gas heaters and their capabilities.  In case you read this and are wondering about the automation aspect of the heater you should know that with the AquaLink automation system the heat can be adjusted with the touch of a button from the comfort of your home.  The days of manually adjusting your heater are over.

For more information on heaters and heat pumps please check out my other blog posts related to heating.  You can also check out my other posts to gain more information on vinyl liner in ground swimming pools and products related to them.

How to Get the Most out of Your Swimming Pool Season

Here in northern Indiana and most northern states I’m sure, we have a relatively short period of time in which we can use our swimming pools.  Typically our season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  So we really have about 3 months in which we use our pools the most.  Many people aim to have their pools closed by Labor Day, and they don’t re-open them until the following Memorial Day.  There are exceptions to this as well.  However for most people this is the way it goes every year with their pools.  So how do we get the most out of our pools?  Lets start with extending the season a bit.

Their are a couple ways in which the pool season can be extended by a pool owner.  I know that not all pool owners are interested in extending the season but some may be.  It all depends on how likely you are going to use your pool when the air temp is not the warmest.  The obvious thing to do is to have an indoor pool.  While this may be obvious, it is not very practical or even attainable for most people.  The next idea is to heat your pool with a gas heater rather than a heat pump.

Using a gas heater may cost a bit more but it will prolong the swimming season.  A heat pump
uses the air temperature around it to heat the pool.  This is just fine when the air temperature around it is in the 80’s or 90’s but if the air temp is below 65 then it will not do much for your pool.  A gas heater on the other hand will heat your pool in any temperature.  This is because it relies on the use of natural gas or propane to heat the water.  This will allow you to get an early start on the year and allow you to keep your pool open well past Labor Day.  The down side to this is that in colder temperatures you will likely need to run your heater almost constantly.  As soon as you turn your heater off the cold air will suck the heat out of the water very quickly.  Running your heater this much will cost you quite a bit of money.  However there is a way in which to reduce the amount you run your heater yet still maintain warmer water temperatures.  Really there are a couple of ways.

First and foremost the average vinyl liner inground pool will lose heat through the walls of the pool.  Many pool walls are made of galvanized steel and the steel is not the best insulator.  If the ground outside the pool is cold then that cold will transfer right through the walls of the pool and affect the temperature of the water.  However Only Alpha Pool Products’ composite pool wall is a very efficient insulator and will help to keep your water at the desired temperature.  So if you haven’t had the pool built yet you may want to look for a builder that installs Only Alpha’s pools.

Another way you can keep the heat in your pool is to have a Automatic Pool Cover installed on the pool.  This will most definitely help keep the heat in the pool.  These types of pool covers are becoming more and more popular partly due to the fact that they are so good at keeping heat in the pool.  The benefit comes from being able to easily open and close the pool.  Now pool owners are able to close the pool each night, or anytime the pool is not in use.  By having this ability they are able to protect the heated water from the cool nights and lock in all the heat of the day.  When you combine this technology with a gas heater you will have the luxury of keeping your pool open well into the fall without running into a problem.

When thinking about ways to get the most out of your pool another thing that comes to mind is maintenance.  There is nothing more irritating than having to spend a lot of time and money on maintaining your pool.  The best way to avoid this is to periodically check your chemical levels and keep them where they need to be.  Once they get too far out of whack it can be difficult to get them back and you will be spending more time maintaining your pool than enjoying it.

Another thing you can do is more for you and the family.  Use your pool, plan events ahead of time to give the kids something to look forward to.  Have pool parties for your friends, eat dinner outside by the pool from time to time, and just spend your free time pool side.  You can even think of fun games for the kids to play in the pool.  For the parents having a beautiful in ground pool in your backyard is the perfect setting for a romantic evening with a candle lit dinner and drinks by the pool.  The possibilities that arise when you have your very own in ground pool are endless.

For more swimming pool information please check out my other posts.  They all relate to the wonderful world of the in ground swimming pool, and I try to cover every topic.  If you have any thoughts or questions about any of the information in these post please don’t hesitate to ask.

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

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 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,  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  For more information on Jandy heat pumps and gas heaters visit click here The Jandy Website