In Ground Swimming Pool Building Materials



Only Alpha has a few different options available when it comes to the wall panels.  Like most other manufacturers, they have a steel wall and a non-corrosive wall.  There are some major differences between their wall panels and what is offered by every other manufacturer in the business.  I think that the best way to describe these differences is to approach them individually.  That being said I will start with the steel wall panels.

First of all they offer two different “lines” of steel wall panels.  The first is their Titan line.  This is the standard style steel panel that many vinyl liner builders are accustomed to.  The other is their Tri-Max line.  This is basically the triple bend panel.  With this line, they add an extra bend to the top and bottom flange, because as you may or may not know, every bend in a piece of steel adds strength.  Both of these lines use the industry standard 14 gauge, G35 steel.  This type of steel is common with all steel pool wall manufacturers.  However Only Alpha had taken it a step further and added their Alpha Advantage Shield.  This is an additional coating that gets applied to the steel on top of the the galvanization.  What this does is adds an extra layer of protection against corrosion.  Don’t get me wrong, all steel will inevitably rust, however it is just a matter of how long before it does.  With this Alpha Advantage Shield technology, the life of the panel is prolonged dramatically.  The next type of wall panel that they offer is a non-corrosive panel.

This is yet another area in which Only Alpha shines.  They have created a non-corrosive panel unlike any other on the market.  Other manufacturers may have a non-corrosive panel, however the structural quality in those panels is lacking.  Only Alpha has created a panel that is both non-corrosive as well as structurally sound.  The difference is very apparent to those who have worked with a structural foam panel in the past.  The structural foam panels have a tendency to warp and bow in the heat of the day.  Only Alpha’s true composite panels are a thermally set product, which means that once it is molded and set neither heat nor cold will affect its structure.

This is the point at which I want to give you my personal preference on the materials I would use in my own pool.  Given the choice I would definitely go with the true composite panel from Only Alpha over any other panel on the market.  Although Only Alpha has taken the steel panel to the next level which surpasses all other steel panels on the market, I would still opt for the composite panel.  The reason for this is simply because the composite panel will extend the life of the pool far past any other type of panel out there.  With steel, it will eventually begin to corrode.  It is a fact that steel rusts.  It could be 20 years or it could be 3 years but at some point it will rust.  (Especially if the pool is going to have a salt cell)  With Only Alpha’s composite material, you will have a completely non-corrosive panel and it will also stand the test of time.

If you are thinking about getting a vinyl liner in ground swimming pool I would strongly recommend going with the composite panel from Only Alpha Pool Products.  At the very least you should take a look at their website to get more information.  Just go to and see for yourself what makes them different.  I assure you that you will be impressed.

For more information on Only Alpha Pool Products, as well as general swimming pool information.  Please check out my other posts.  I have been in the industry for nearly ten years and have used my experience to gather knowledge which I intend to pass on to you.

Swimming Pool Technology

Things are changing in the world of in ground swimming pools.  Technology has taken hold of the way things are done and the products that are available.  If you were to look at an in ground swimming pool that was built in the 50’s, it would be quite different than a swimming pool that was built last year.  So what are the differences, and how have they affected the industry?

To begin let’s take a look at the building materials that are used to build an in ground swimming pool.  Years ago in ground pools were primarily made out of concrete.  As I have said in previous posts this type of pool is typically more costly than other types that are available.  From there the industry has provided other building materials that are used to construct in ground pools.  Today vinyl liner pools are becoming more and more prominent in the industry.  They started with the use of steel walls that would be bolted together and then covered with the vinyl liner.

The latest and greatest material in the industry is composite.  The steel wall pools are still being installed, however with the growing trend of “salt water” pools a change had to be made.  Obviously salt and steel are not the best of friends, as anyone in the northern U.S. can attest to.  Salt is highly corrosive to steel and as a result the steel walls are corroding faster than ever before.  There have been a number of non-corrosive alternatives developed in recent years, however there is only one true composite wall panel on the market, and should not be confused with the other non-corrosive materials available.  The reason you don’t want to get this product confused with the others is that the quality of this product if far superior than everything else that is out there.  Only Alpha Pool Products has taken their non-corrosive pool panel to the next level… Well I should say that they have taken this panel to the next several levels.  There is nothing on the market that even comes close to the quality and structural integrity of Only Alpha’s composite panel.  You can see for yourself by checking out their website at  There you can see what makes their composite panel different and even find links to their youtube videos that demonstrate the difference in their composite panel’s structure.  You can also find more information about what makes their composite panel, and their company different by checking out the rest of my blog.  It goes without saying that this high quality, non-corrosive wall panel will naturally come with a slightly higher price tag.  However for those that have their wallets in mind, Only Alpha has also taken the standard steel wall and drastically improved it as well.

In the in ground swimming pool industry there is a basic understanding that steel is steel.  It will rust at some point in time.  In addition to that there is one common theme across the board of steel wall manufacturers.  That is that they all use 14 gauge g35 galvanized steel.  The 14 gauge is the thickness of the steel and the g35 represents the amount of galvanization on the steel.  Galvanization means that the steel itself is coated with a layer of zinc.  That zinc is there to prolong the life of the steel by sacrificing itself first.  It is a forcefield of sorts that protects the steel from corrosion.  However once that galvanization is gone the steel will begin to rust.  Only Alpha recognized this problem and has taken steps toward improving it.

They use the same 14 gauge, g35 galvanized steel and add another layer of what they refer to as their “Alpha Shield”.  It is basically another layer of protection that gets applied to the steel after the galvanization.  This does two things for the steel.  One is that it gives the steel an almost stainless look, which in my opinion benefits the builders by allowing them to offer their customers a product that looks as new as it is.  Other steel panels will often times appear to be weathered and aged before being installed in the ground.  Now imagine that you are getting a brand new in ground pool and you look out your back window to see these dingy looking panels that in some cases already have some corrosion on them being installed in your backyard.  You would wonder what your hard earned money is being spent on.  The other thing that this “Alpha Shield” does is it actually repels moisture away from the steel.

This gives the steel a much longer life and gives you and your family piece of mind knowing that you have a quality product.  If you visit you will see a series of logos that represent the different lines of pool building material that they offer.  Two of which are steel panels, the Titan Steel line and the Trimax XP3.  All of those logos are actually links to sites specifically about those lines.  If you click on either of the Titan or Trimax logos you will be directed to those sites and have the opportunity to find out more.  My favorite part of these sites is a video that demonstrates what this “Alpha Shield” really does.  Once you are at the Titan or Trimax site you will see a tab that says either “Why Titan” or “Why Trimax XP3” depending on the site.  If you click there then scroll down the page you will see the video.  I recommend watching that video because it is quite impressive.  Again you can also find more information on what makes Only Alpha’s steel superior by checking out the rest of my blog.

Technology has also allowed for huge improvements in the realm of how we maintain our pools.  As mentioned above “salt water” systems are taking the industry by storm.  Honestly I think that there is some misconception about what a salt water pool really is.  People tend to think that this type of pool uses salt to replace chlorine, so in turn it is a healthier pool for their families.  This is somewhat true, however they typically do need to have a residual amount of chlorine added from time to time.  It just doesn’t require as much so you would be saving money on chemicals.  However, what most people don’t realize is that the system changes the salt into chlorine for sanitation purposes, and then it changes back to salt.  So the pools still use chlorine, just not directly.  Again, you can find more information on that in another post I have written.

If salt is not what you are looking for, there are quite a few other ways to treat the water in the pool.  a couple other things that are growing in popularity are UV sanitation and Ozone sanitation.  These are systems that will likewise be plumbed in at the filter pad and either use ultra violet radiation to kill harmful bacteria, or ozone.
When used in conjunction with one another the result is clean and clear water.  Again, with these systems there would still need to be a little bit of residual chlorine added to the pool.

Another huge advantage that technology has made possible manifests itself in the form of pool cleaning.  It used to be that in order to remove debris from your pool, you would have to get out your pole and net and skim the water’s surface, or use the pool vacuum to remove debris from the pool floor.  Now you can have your pool installed with an in floor cleaning system that will eliminate the need to physically skim or sweep the pool.  Through the use of specialized returns, floor nozzles, and main drain, anyone can have a pool that literally cleans itself.  You can find more information on this technology and others by checking out the rest of my blog.

These are just some of the ways technology has improved the swimming pool industry.  If anyone has any questions please feel free to post them in the comments section below and I will do my best to address them in a timely manner.

Why Only Alpha?

I want to reiterate the fact that Only Alpha is leading the field of vinyl liner in ground swimming pool manufacturing.  This means that those who build with Only Alpha’s materials are building with the absolute best materials on the market.  Regardless of if they are building with steel panels or non-corrosive panels, Only Alpha has made huge leaps forward in both lines of in ground vinyl liner pools.  To read more about what makes Only Alpha’s pool panels better than the rest please check out the rest of my blog posts.  There you will find information on not only Only Alpha’s building material, but you will also find general swimming pool information as well.

Only Alpha has also changed the way business is done by utilizing their customer’s feedback to make changes for the better.  You see, Only Alpha is completely customer oriented.  When a customer calls in, they get one on one help with someone of the Only Alpha team.  Being that Only Alpha is a smaller company, when a customer does call in, they can get to the appropriate team member in minutes rather than having to wait for a call back, or leaving a message.  Their design team is very knowledgeable and has the ability to look at the design as they are speaking with the customer right then and there.  This alleviates the confusion of talking over the phone and not being able to see exactly what the customer is talking about.  In addition to that all the pools that are designed by Only Alpha’s design team are designed on a one to one scale.  That means that there is no scaling down.  They are able to see what the builder sees in the field and make any adjustments needed right then and there to get the builder back to building.  If something is not going to work then they are able to see it right away before the builder goes through the trouble of doing it in the field.  This saves the builder time and money.

Like other manufacturers, Only Alpha’s building materials come with warranties demonstrating their confidence in what they sell.  However unlike bigger manufacturers Only Alpha does not have a traditional claims department.  Instead if there is ever a problem then their customers can simply call in and speak to someone in management and they will take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue.  There is no red tape, or bureaucratic non-sense to go through.  It’s a simple phone call and brief discussion of the problem to get things resolved.

They also have a Technical Sales Department to help answer questions related to the building material itself and the application of it in the field.  There is no “right and wrong” way to build a pool, that is up to the builder to decide.  Only Alpha does not try to tell their customers how to build pools.  However their Technical Sales associate is very experienced in building pools, specifically with Only Alpha building materials.  So if a customer asks what is the best way to do something, they will get an educated recommendation.  In addition to that, when Only Alpha gets a new customer, there will be a representative from Only Alpha on their first job site to help out and answer any questions that they may have.  This does a couple of things.  It ensures that the customer is getting that one on one experience allowing them to feel more comfortable with the materials, and it also gives Only Alpha the opportunity to see how different builders build.  This means that they can see first hand what techniques work well.  That knowledge can then be passed on and save builders time and money.

Only Alpha is not like most vinyl liner in ground pool manufacturers in that they sell on a very limited basis.  Each of their customers is hand picked by the management team, whereas bigger manufacturers will sell to anybody leaving the builders to compete head to head in a price war.  When two builders in the same area, and have the same products to sell it becomes more of a battle of cost rather than who has the better product.  In addition to that Only Alpha does not sell to the guy in a pick up truck with a spray painted logo on the side that says something like JimBoB’s Fancy Pools.  Instead Only Alpha seeks out builders with a more reputable background, and gives them an exclusive opportunity to have something that other builders in their area do not have.  That is better building materials, and a better relationship with the manufacturer.   Both of these things allow the builder to better serve their customers.

You may be wondering why this is important.  You may be saying to yourself that the building materials come second to a finished pool.  To you, maybe you think that a homeowner won’t care what materials were used as long as the finished product looks good.  Let me assure you that this is no longer the case.  With the way that technology has changed the world in the last ten years, more and more people are doing their own research online.  Think about it, what was the last big item that you purchased?  Maybe a refrigerator, maybe a new car.  Whatever it was I bet you looked online for the best one for your money.  I do the same thing every time my wife wants something new.  I go on line and find out what the best one is that we can afford.  I look at the products details.  I find out what features it has.  This is something that more and more people are doing everyday.  People can simply search the name Only Alpha online and come up with a barrage of information.  People can search pool building material and find a barrage of information.  What they will find is that Only Alpha manufactures the best vinyl liner in ground pool building material on the market and that is what they will want.

For more information regarding Only Alpha Pool Products and what makes them different please check out my other blog posts.  You will find links to their different websites, links to their YouTube videos and more.

Only Alpha Pool Products Composite Panels

I have written about these panels in previous posts.  However this post will be specifically about the composite panels and nothing else.

To begin, allow me to give you some background information on the panels themselves.  These panels are designed to replace the steel, and polymer panels that pool builders use to build vinyl  liner in ground pools.  This panel is entirely non-corrosive, as strong as steel, and the only true composite panel on the maket.  This differs from polymer or structural foam panels in that there is no longer a concern about the structural integrity of the panel.

So how is this done?  I’m glad you asked.  A polymer panel is made using the process of injection molding.  This is a process in which small pieces of plastic are heated up and injected into a mold.  It is then forced by expanding gas into every nook and cranny of the mold.  You may have seen other products that are manufactured this way.  They include those plastic lawn chairs, plastic storage containers that are in most of our attics,  and garbage cans.  The problem with this material is that it is nothing but plastic, and as most of us know, it is brittle in the cold and becomes soft in the heat.  This is not the most ideal material to build a pool out of being that a pool is in most cases exposed to both heat and cold.  I have seen examples of when this material fails in swimming pool applications.  I have personally experienced this type of failure on a job site while building a pool.  We built the walls of the pool, straightened them, and left to get some lunch.  When we came back, the heat of the sun on them was enough to cause them to warp and we had to straighten them again.  That is not the worse case scenario.  I have also seen photos of enormous holes in the polymer panels well after the pool had been installed.

Only Alpha’s composite panels are not only composed of a different material but they are also manufactured in an entirely different way.  Only Alpha’s composite panels are compression molded using a thermally set sheet molding compound (SMC).  This SMC is also reinforced with eight to twelve inch fibers.  Workers take a single piece of SMC that is pre measured to an exact amount and insert it into the mold.  Then using intense heat and pressure, the material is spread out throughout the mold.  Again this material is thermally set, that means that once the part comes out of the mold it will never lose its shape when exposed to hot or cold temperatures.  In addition to that the woven fibers throughout the panel give it unparalleled strength.  You can see for yourself how strong these panels are by clicking here Fiber Reinforced Composite Tests.  Here you can see different videos demonstrating the strength of the panels.  In addition to the strength of the panels there is another benefit to them that no other non-corrosive panel is capable to offer.  With patented technology Only Alpha’s composite panels are designed to go together in a way that gives pool owners a virtually seamless pool wall.

You may be wondering about the benefit of having a non-corrosive pool panel.  As you may or may not know, there has been a steady increase in the demand for “salt water” pools.  The problem with salt water pools is that the salt water is very corrosive to any metal parts of the swimming pool.  For years in ground vinyl liner swimming pools have been made of steel panels bolted together to form the walls of the pool.  What has been happening in recent years is that the saltwater from the pool eats away at the steel panel.  Regardless of the salt water, a steel panel will inevitably rust.  That is just the nature of steel when exposed to the elements.  Salt water just speeds up the process.  So with the ever growing demand for salt water pools came the need for a non-corrosive pool wall.

For more information on the composite line of pool panels offered by Only Alpha Pool Products check out the website at There you can find information on the composite lines of swimming pool panels as well as what others have used composite materials for.  In addition to that you can also browse the other lines of swimming pool building materials including steel and the Alpha Evolution line which is the same composite panels but used in such a way that there is no need for the vinyl liner.  You can also find more information on Only Alpha Pool Products as well as general swimming pool information on my blog.


Discover the Difference

Today I want to discuss the differences between Only Alpha Pool Products and their competition.  There are several things that set us apart from our competition so I think the best way to do this is to break it down piece by piece.

We are not a big corporate company:

The first thing and quite possibly the most important thing is that although Only Alpha is a fairly new company in the industry we are made up by professionals who have been in the vinyl liner in ground pool industry for decades.  We are all very knowledgeable in the field of in ground vinyl liner pools.  Our customers consist of pool builders that are out in the field installing vinyl liner in ground pools.  This means that if one of our customers calls in with a question, there are several people in the office that have the knowledge to accurately answer the question right then and there.  This basically comes down to customer service.  We have the ability to provide our customers with the latest and greatest information regarding their pool kit.  While our competition may have people with the knowledge, that doesn’t necessarily mean that when a customer calls they will be speaking with that person.  This brings me to my next point.  Only Alpha is a fairly small company who hand picks their employees based on experience and know how.  For instance at this moment I am sitting at my desk and if I look around, I see two other people in the room who have both knowledge and experience.  It is quite simple our company is small enough that if a customer calls with a question, they can be directed to the appropriate person in a matter of seconds.  With larger companies you can assume that if a customer calls they will likely be on hold for a bit, or transferred to several people before they get to the right person to answer the question.  As a pool builder myself I can assure you that when a builder is in the field trying to get a question answered, the worst thing that can happen is to be delayed due to not being able to get into contact with the one you need to talk to.

We are leading the industry in technology:

We have several patents on our products.  This means that the majority of our products are one of a kind and cannot be obtained anywhere else.  This allows our customers the ability to offer homeowners the best of the best.  From our steel pool panels to our non-corrosive panels, we are leading the pack.

Steel Panels:

You may be wondering what could possibly be different about our steel panels.  After all steel is steel right?  Well the answer is yes and no.  There seems to be a standard in the industry when it comes to steel.  The majority of manufacturers of steel panels use 14 gauge galvanized steel.  Likewise we use 14 gauge galvanized steel for all of our steel panels.  The number one problem with steel is that it will inevitably rust.  That is just a known fact.  Another known fact in the industry is that over the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of salt cells on vinyl liner in ground swimming pools.  We all know what happens when you combine salt with steel.  If not, all you have to do is look around you while you make your morning commute to work.  You will likely see a car on the road with visible rust.  If not, go to your local car dealership and see if they offer an undercoating for the vehicles that they sell.  Salt causes corrosion in steel, it is as simple as that.  Some manufacturers realized this and made attempts to slow that process down with very little success.  Powder coating comes to mind.  There is a company that powder coats their steel panels to slow the corrosion process down.  What they found is that the powder coating does not stick very well to the steel panel.  In fact it will begin  to flake or peel off.  Here at Only Alpha we have developed a product specifically made to adhere to steel.  We still use the 14 gauge galvanized steel, however we apply this product on top of the galvanization.  This products actually repels water away from the steel and prolongs the life of the panel.

Standard Galvanization (Left) Versus Alpha Shield Technology (Right)

Click here to see how well this product actually works.  We basically set up an experiment at our office in which we submerged a piece of our steel coated with our “Alpha Shield” as well as a piece of the standard galvanized steel in separate containers of liquid chlorine.  We then set up a GoPro camera to take a photo every 60 seconds for the duration of two weeks.  The results were very drastic.  In addition to the effectiveness of our “Alpha Shield” we have found that it also gives the steel panel an almost stainless look, and we apply it to every steel component of our pool kits.  This fact makes a huge difference in the eyes of a homeowner.  The standard galvanized steel has a dull look to it and in many cases appears some what blotchy for lack of a better word.  I don’t know about you but if I were to buy a steel wall pool I would want the best looking products going into it rather that something that looks as if it has been sitting around for quite some time.

Another aspect of our steel panel that I feel is worth addressing is the way we attach the different parts of it together.  A steel pool panel is bent to form the shape of the panel and then locked together to hold its form.  It is the way that the panel parts are locked together that again sets Only Alpha apart from their competition.  Most manufacturers will use a toggle lock or clinch system to attach the different parts.  The problem with this is that it is fairly easy to break free again.  Obviously this can cause problems for the pool if they were to break free after the initial installation.  I have even heard of instances where these toggle locks were breaking free during the installation of the pool.  I can’t imagine the frustration of the builder when this happens.

To combat this issue Only Alpha has come up with a much better system.  We looked outside of the industry and found a system used by Audi, BMW, and Jaguar to hold together their car frames.  We figured that if this type of rivet system is good enough to hold together an automobile then it is good enough to hold together a pool panel.  Again we wanted to test out the difference between this technology and that which is used by our competitors.  To see the results of our test click here.

Composite Panels:

Only Alpha Pool Products Composite Panels

It is because steel panels corrode that the industry has been looking into non-corrosive alternatives for pool panels.  With the new trend being “salt water pools” the demand for a non-corrosive panel has increased dramatically.  The need for a non-corrosive panel sparked the birth of the polymer/structural foam panel.  The idea that this type of panel is non-corrosive peaked the interest of many builders.  Unfortunately while the panel is non-corrosive it lacked structural integrity, and many problems ensued.  In some cases the panel would give way all together, however the more common problem is bowing and flexing of the panel in the heat of the day.  The reason is because it is basically just plastic, and when exposed to heat the material becomes malleable.  Conversely, when exposed to cold the material becomes brittle and susceptible to cracking.  There is just no structural integrity to them.

This is why Only Alpha developed their true composite panel.  Again we looked outside of our own industry in search of a material that would work much better.  What we found is a composite material that is being used in several different industries from space exploration to sea walls.  It is a fiber reinforced sheet molding compound that is thermally set.  This means that the panel is molded under intense heat and pressure and once the mold is set there is no going back.  Not even extreme heat or cold will effect the structural integrity of the panel.  In fact the material will burn before it melts.  While others may claim that they have a composite panel, Only Alpha is the only company with a true composite pool panel.  We have several lines of pool kits that use this panel, and we have seen first hand the success of this panel.  Keeping our trend of testing our products to the extreme we again tested out the strength of our composite panel compared to the competitions non-corrosive panels.  Click here to see our results

These are just a few of the ways in which Only Alpha has set themselves apart from the rest of the industry.  To see how different we truly are please check us out online at
and type our name into your google search and see just how far our reach is.  You can also find us on a large variety of social media sites.  Being that we are leading the industry in technology it just stands to reason that we implement ourselves in the biggest technological swing the world has ever seen right here on the internet.

For more information on products we carry and general swimming pool information all together check out my other blog posts.

Straight Tread Design VS Permanent Form Design Steps

When it comes down to deciding what type of steps you want for you new vinyl liner in ground swimming pool there are several options available to choose from.  Years ago there were really only a couple choices available.  Basically either thermoplastic or fiberglass acrylic.  Both of these types of steps are those that get bolted into the wall of the pool and the liner would have to be cut out in the area for the steps.  These types of steps are still used today and are for the most part very reliable.  I would say that out of these two types, the fiberglass steps are the better bet.  They are more structurally sound and in some cases the thermoplastic steps have been known to warp or not hold their shape as well.  This brings me to the main topic of this post.

Straight Tread Design

The newer style of steps that is all the rage is liner over.  This means that the liner is manufactured so that it perfectly fits the steps of the pool.  There are two different ways that the steps themselves are manufactured.  One way is that they are made completely out of the same material.  This style is referred to as straight tread design.  This means that the treads and risers are all the same material weather it is steel or composite.

Permanent Form Design

The other way they are manufactured is by making the risers out of steel or composite material, and leaving the treads out to be filled in on the job site with stone and concrete.  This is referred to as permanent form design.  Either way you go the outcome will look very similar.  The liner will be made so that it fits these steps perfectly.  However there are some key differences in these two styles that should be noted.  One difference is the cost.  The permanent for design steps are a bit more pricy.  This is due to the fact that the quality is substantially better, and in my opinion they tend to be a little bit easier to install.  The straight tread design steps tend to be a bit tougher to install properly.  The issue mainly comes down to backfilling.  The straight tread design requires that they be backfilled with stone all the way up to the bottom of each tread.  Sounds easy enough right?  While it can certainly be done, it can be rather difficult to do and ensure that it is done adequately.  If there is not enough backfill underneath each tread it can become a problem later on.  An easy way to test that each tread has enough backfill underneath is to step on them.  If there is not enough backfill then you will likely notice spots on the treads that sink under your foot.  By sink I mean that you will feel that there is a void underneath them.  If that void remains under the tread you will be able to feel it every time that you enter the pool.  While this style of step is less expensive and might require a bit more elbow grease to install than the permanent form design it can still be a very good step for any pool.

On the other hand, the permanent form design step is in most cases a more structurally sound way to go.  As I said before, the step risers of this design are made of either steel or composite material and have no treads on them at all.  This allows the builder to fill the steps with stone leaving the last two or three inches open to be filled in with concrete.  This creates a much more stable tread surface and you will feel absolutely no voids underneath them.  Being that this type of step is more structurally sound than the straight tread design, it stands to reason that they will cost a bit more.  Both of these designs are being used over and over by builders all over the country, and they both offer pool owners the beautiful look of having their liner over their steps.  It really makes the steps and pool look more uniform.  Rather than having a nice pattern throughout the pool and the step which would traditionally be white, blue, or grey.

Rod and Clip

You may be wondering how the liner stays where it is supposed to be on the steps.  There are two ways in which this is done.  One is a design called Rod and Clip.  This design requires that the liner be made a special way with sleeves where the treads meet the risers of the step.  In addition to they require the use of plastic rods that get slid through the sleeves.  After that a series of clips are used to hold the rods in place at the point in which the treads meet the risers.  This is what holds the liner down.

Bead Track

The other option, and in my opinion the better option is bead track.  This system does away with the rods and clips and instead uses a specially designed track made to accept the bead of the liner.  In addition to that the liner will again have to be specially made with beads in place of the pockets where the treads meet the risers.  The bead track is attached to the risers of the step just behind the treads.  The bead of the liner for the steps in inserted into the bead track.  I like this system better mainly because it is less noticeable than the rod and clip.  With the rod and clip design you will likely be able to see where the rods are behind the liner.  With the bead track design there will be no areas in which you could see where the bead is simply because it will  be tucked away behind the tread of the step.

I wanted my readers to know that there are other options available for choices in steps in addition to the thermoplastic and acrylic fiber glass step.  Both the straight tread and permanent form designs are amazing designs and will give your pool a clean, uniform look.  With this information you can hopefully now make an educated decision when it comes time to choose which type of step you want for your pool.

For more information on the latest and greatest pool products available, and general vinyl liner in ground pool information check out my other blog posts.  For more information on Only Alpha Pool Products check out the website at

Only Alpha’s Evolution Pool

In today’s world people are always wanting the latest and greatest products available.  This is why there are lines going out the door of cell phone stores every time a new phone comes out.  The problem is that with some of this technology it is replaced within months and then the new phone you just got becomes old news.  That is not always the case.  In some instances a product can remain “hot” for quite a long stent.  This is what we have found with our Only Alpha Evolution system of swimming pool.  This new style of pool is revolutionizing the way people are building pools.

The Only Alpha Evolution swimming pool is a way of building a swimming pool using all the same components of an in ground vinyl liner pool except the liner.  You may be wondering how this can be done.  One reason is due to the use of non-corrosive building material.  For some time now the swimming pool industry has seen an increase in the use of non-corrosive building material.  Traditionally vinyl liner in ground pools are composed of steel walls.  The problem with this is that over time the steel begins to corrode.  The corrosion process may take quite some time or it can happen very fast.  There are a lot of things that can contribute to the corrosion process.  One of the biggest concerns is the fact that over the last few years there has been a increase in “salt water pools”.  I think that one of the biggest contributors to this is the way our country is becoming more health conscious, and always looking to find ways to stay healthy.  This has crossed over to the swimming pool industry.  I think that there is a misconception when it comes to these salt water pools.  People seem to think that they do not use chlorine to keep them clean.  I am sorry to burst your bubble but let me inform you that a salt water pool still uses chlorine just like any other pool.  The difference is that instead of adding chlorine to the water you are adding salt and allowing the pools’ salt cell to break down the salt into sodium and chlorine which allows the chlorine to treat the water and then convert back to salt.  If you are wanting more information regarding salt water pools please see my post related to salt water pools and how they work.  The reason that I bring this up is because the salt in those pools has a very negative effect on the steel walls that they are made of.  This is why there has been an increase in the use of non-corrosive material.  Now we get to the fact that not all non-corrosive pools walls are the same.  In fact there is only one that has the upper hand.  While other manufacturers were scrambling to quickly produce a non-corrosive pool system in an effort to get out ahead of the pack, Only Alpha Pool Products were taking a different approach.  They understood that while there is a need for these non-corrosive pool walls, they also had to be strong enough to withstand the elements.  This is where they jumped out ahead of the pack.  It has been proven that Only Alpha’s non-corrosive pool walls are not only a true composite material but they are also stronger than any other non-corrosive pool wall on the market.

Another added bonus is the fact that Only Alpha’s composite pool walls are more efficient than any other vinyl liner building material.  Basically they are far better at keeping the heat in the pool and the cold out.

It is with these panels that builders are able to build a swimming pool without a liner.  You might ask yourself “haven’t they been building pools without liners longer than they have with liners?”  The answer is yes, however with the use of Only Alpha’s pool panels this is the first time that they are able to do it at a fraction of the cost.  Traditionally for a non-liner pool, builders would build the entire thing out of concrete.  This results in a much more expensive pool that will eventually crack and require expensive repairs.  With Only Alpha’s composite panel builders are able to provide the same look and strength of a concrete pool but at a fraction of the cost to the customer.  So what makes this material better than the rest.

To begin Only Alpha’s composite pool panels are created from a single sheet of SMC (sheet molding compound)  this is a thermally set material that will not warp, change shape or become structurally altered by the elements in the swimming pool environment.  In addition to that it is infused with what we refer to as a fused fiber matrix.  This basically means that there are 8 to 12 inch fibers running throughout the material.  What this does is it makes the material extra strong and unparalleled by any competitor.  The proof is in the tests.  These tests can be seen on youtube and show a side by side comparison between Only Alpha’s composite pool panel and the non-corrosive pool panels of two of their competitors.  Just check out the website and follow the Youtube link to see the tests  This type of material is unique to Only Alpha Pool Products, meaning that no other manufacturer has this.  When we look at other manufacturers’ non-corrosive material we find that the majority of it is what is known as structural foam.  When you look at structural foam you will see that it is like a laminated foam.  Almost as if you were to take a piece of styrofoam and glue some thin plastic sheets on either side of it.  I don’t know the exact process of how it is made.  I am just going off of what I have observed.  Here, take a look at this.

To the right you will see a cross section view of a structural foam panel.  Notice how it is riddled with tiny voids.  This is from the way the panel is made.  Rather than using a single sheet of material they use a whole bunch of tiny pieces of material that get injected into a mold.  This process leaves the end product with these small pockets of air.  You can also see that “laminate” type material I was talking about.  Basically there is no structural integrity associated with this type of panel.  This can become a huge problem after the pool is installed.

Now take a look at the picture on the left.  This is Only Alpha’s composite material.  You can see the fibers right away, and notice that the material has none of those tiny air bubbles.  This is because the process of making this type of panel is far different than that of structural foam.  Only Alpha’s panels are not only made from a single sheet of SMC, but they are also made by utilizing heat and immense pressure.  The pressure ensures that there are no air pockets while the heat activates the thermosetting properties of the material ensuring that it will never change shape due to temperature.

Only Alpha Pool Products has taken this awesome material and and created something that is totally unique in the pool industry.  A vinyl liner pool without the liner.  Basically the pool would be built with their composite pool walls.  However, utilizing a specially formulated liquid gasket system and a specific type of coating, the entire pool becomes a water proof structure and no liner is required.  This is beneficial for several reasons.  One is that it allows vinyl liner pool builder the ability to compete in the commercial market.  Another is that this allows homeowners to have the classic look of a concrete pool without having the excruciating cost of one.  Another ideal aspect of this type of pool is the fact that you won’t ever have to replace a liner.  So if you are thinking about getting a pool then you may want to consider the Only Alpha Evolution pool.  For more information related to Only Alpha Pool Products, or in ground vinyl liner swimming pools in general, please check out my other blog posts.  I have written a post on just about every topic related to in ground swimming pools.

Fiberglass Swimming Pool Steps – Not Created Equal

In the swimming pool industry today there are several different types of entry systems that one could choose from when having a pool built.  They are all a little different from one another and they all offer something different than the others.  So how do you know which is best for you?  In my opinion the best way to go about solving this question is to ask yourself a few more questions.  First which style has the most appeal?  Then decide which is the most practical for your family.  Finally determine how much you want to spend on your entry system.  These are some of the things that you will have to consider in your decision making.  In addition to that it may be a good idea to talk to your builder and see what they recommend.  They will be able to tell you which type is their best seller and may even be able to tell you something about the structural integrity of the different steps.  For instance I know that the thermo plastic steps may eventually warp and not look the best.  Another thing that should be considered is the manufacturer of the steps.  Not all manufacturers make the steps the same way and in some cases the way the steps are made makes a big difference.  Today I want to take the time to explain to my readers why all acrylic fiberglass steps are not created equal.

Only Alpha’s Fiberglass Steps

In the past I have gone into great detail about the differences between Only Alpha Pool Products and other manufacturers.  Basically the difference is that while Only Alpha strives to be the best and create new and better swimming pool components, their competition seems to only be doing what is necessary to get by.  This is also true when it comes to the acrylic fiberglass steps.  The steps made by Only Alpha are made with the highest quality material available.  In addition to that the up most care is taken to ensure that everything that leaves their facility is free of defects and blemishes.

Other step manufacturers use a filler material like talc in their steps to cut down on their cost of material.  What this means is that the steps bought from them are not made with quality in mind.  Instead they are thinking about how they can increase profits by using filler material in their steps and charging the same amount for them as if they were a high quality product.  In my opinion this is wrong.  Nobody should ever buy anything under false pretenses.  Most consumers will never realize that their expensive acrylic fiberglass steps are made poorly until it is too late.  At that point they will have a large eye sore in their beautiful swimming pool.  So what makes Only Alpha so different?  They use only the best material in their acrylic fiberglass steps.  In addition to that they don’t use cheap filler material to help cut costs.  So their customers receive the highest quality step on the market every time.

For more information regarding in ground swimming pool products and general swimming pool information please check out my other blog posts.  Also please take the time to check out Only Alpha’s website at and really see what makes them better than the rest.  From there you will have access to different links and information pertaining to their products and get side by side comparisons of different products so you can actually see why their products are superior.

Only Alpha Pool Products – Building the Future of In Ground Pools


Traditionally the walls of a vinyl liner in ground swimming pools are made out of 14 gauge G35 galvanized steel.  These walls are made up of several individual panels that get bolted together to create the overall form of the pool.  This is the way that vinyl liner in ground swimming pools have been made for decades.  The only problem with this type of material is that it corrodes.  Steel will rust at some point.  It may be thirty years from now or it could be 5.  There are so many variables that aid in the corrosion of steel that most if not all manufacturers of steel panels for swimming pools will not warrant the panels against corrosion or discoloration.  This is just the way it is.  They cannot be held responsible for the steel panels rusting.  If they were then they would quickly be out of business because all steel wall pool panels rust.  Some last much longer than others but eventually the outcome is the same.  So what aids in the corrosion of the steel?  What can be done about it?

First there are so many things that aid in the corrosion of the steel wall that I will probably forget one or two.  The main thing I can think of is the water in the pool.  More and more people are getting “salt water pools” these days.  If you live in a northern state then you know what salt does to metal.  Also, even if it is not a salt water pool then the chemicals in the pool can aid in the corrosion of the steel walls.  I know what you are thinking, “the liner will be between the water and the walls so how could the water affect the steel?  Well thats easy.  At some point in the life of a liner, it will likely develop a hole, tear, or leak around a fitting.  That will allow the water to get behind the liner.  In addition to the water in the pool you also have to realize that there is plenty of ground water outside of the pool that can aid in the corrosion of the walls.  This can be even more dramatic if you live in an area where the rain water is more acidic due to pollution.  Also stray electricity in the ground can aid in corrosion, and fertilizer on your lawn can help do some damage.  There is just so much.  Just think about it this way, there is a large amount of steel buried in the yard and exposed to the elements of mother nature.  So how to combat the problem?

There is really not a lot that can be done.  Originally the steel was galvanized to help prolong the life of the wall panels.  Galvanization is a process in which the steel is coated with zinc and is something that all pool wall manufacturers do.  The zinc acts as a barrier between the steel and the elements.  It does help protect the steel but eventually the outcome will be the same.  Only Alpha Pool Products have taken it a step further.

They have developed a process in which an extra layer of protection is added to the steel on top of the galvanization.  This process dramatically increases the life of the pool panel, and every steel component that Only Alpha makes get this coating.  However the steel will eventually begin to corrode.

The next step to combating the rusty pool wall is to make it out of a material that does not corrode.  That is exactly what Only Alpha has done.  In addition to that Only Alpha has created a non – corrosive bracing system to compliment the non – corrosive pool wall.  These two items combined together make up their Fuzion line of vinyl liner in ground swimming pools.  This is the largest advancement in the fight against rusty pool walls that have ever been made in the industry.  In addition to the fact that these components are non – corrosive Only Alpha has developed them to also be the strongest non – corrosive pool wall panel available.  Others may boast about the strength of their non – corrosive pool walls but they aren’t even playing on the same level as Only Alpha Pool Products.  Check out the website Here you can access some youtube videos that demonstrate beyond a doubt that their panels are superior to anything else on the market today.

These new non – corrosive panels are relatively new and are still being implemented into the industry.  I expect them to become the new standard in the vinyl liner in ground pool industry.  Check out their website and watch the youtube videos to get the full effect of the strength in these new panels.  The side by side demonstrations pinning other manufacturers panels against Only Alpha’s is very powerful and will open your eyes to the way in which the pool industry is going.  Also check out my other blogs posts as they all pertain to vinyl liner in ground pools and cover basically cover any topic you could think of.  If not please feel free to bring it to my attention and I will do my best to cover it in a future post.

Salt Water Pools – The Pros and Cons

It seems that more and more people are requesting salt water pools these days, but what is a salt water pool and how does it benefit you?

First and foremost I think that it is important to understand that the salt in a saltwater pool is there to create chlorine.  But wait a minute, you may be thinking that the salt replaces the chlorine which is what makes the pool more healthy to swim in.  Well if that is what you are thinking I am sorry but you have been misinformed.  A “saltwater pool” is not much different from a regular chlorine treated pool.  To give you a better understanding lets go through the process that a chlorine treated pool undertakes.  First after filling your pool with water you will have to add some pool shock.  This is basically chlorine that gets directly poured into the pool.  Next the water flows through the skimmers, and main drains and enters the pump.  From there is is forced through the filter where the majority of debris is removed.  Next it will either flow through the heating element like the gas heater or heat pump, and finally through what is known as a chlorinator.  Some systems may not have a chlorinator but many pools being built have them today.  This is an in line chlorine feeder.  It is plumbed into the system, and chlorine tablets are placed inside so that when the water passes through it becomes rich with chlorine.  The chlorine is what sanitizes the pool and keeps it clean and healthy for swimmers.  Now like anything else in this world, excess can have a different effect.  Too much chlorine in the pool can cause itchy skin, burning eyes, rashes, and other types of skin related issues.  It can also damage the pool liner if left unbalanced for too long.  This is why it is very important to maintain proper water chemistry at all times.  If the water chemistry is spot on then a lot of these issues won’t be much of a problem.

So this brings me to the “salt water pool”.  Don’t let that name fool you, it is not going to be like swimming in the ocean.  You may not even be able to tell that there is salt in the pool.  That is because the amount of salt in the pool is very small compared to the volume of water.  To get the exact amount for your pool it is best to go to your local pool supply store and talk to one of their professionals.  As I have said before, this type of pool is not much different than a typical chlorine treated pool.  It undergoes the same filtering process.  The water flows through the main drains and skimmers, then enters the pump, next it flows through the filter, and then into the heating element.  The last part is where it gets a little different.  Instead of flowing through a chlorinator where it would become chlorine rich, it will flow through what is called a salt cell.  Within this salt cell the water goes through an electrolysis process.  To avoid going through a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo this process basically converts the salt in the pool to chlorine which then gets used to sanitize the pool, then shortly there after the different elements merge back together to form the salt again.  This process repeats itself over and over again to keep the pool water clean.

There are some benefits to having a “salt water pool”.  The first thing that I will mention is that the salt will never have to be replaced, that is unless the pool is completely drained.  The only thing that you might have to do is add a bit here and there to keep it at the proper level.  When it comes to adding anything to your pool water it really is better to have it be salt rather than a harsh chemical like chlorine.  I know that most people have enough sense to not pour chlorine on themselves but accidents do happen and when they do it would be better to have a dusting of salt on you rather than a splash of chlorine.  The use of this technology will save you money on chemicals in the long
run but how much will it cost to repair the damage caused by the salt?  Now you know that a salt water pool still uses chlorine to clean the water and that the benefits are that you don’t have to directly handle the chlorine, and that it might save you money on chemicals.  So what are the cons to having a salt water pool?

As far as I can tell there is really only one downside to having a salt water pool.  Unfortunately it is a relatively large problem.  If you live in the northern states you are probably aware that many states use salt on the roads in the winter time to melt the ice, well except Ohio, they use beet juice.  Anyway that salt they put on the roads gets up underneath our vehicles and begins to oxidize.  Many car dealerships offer to sell you an undercoating for the car to help prevent this type of oxidation.  The point is that salt causes rust.  If you have a salt water pool then you are running the risk of having any metallic element of the pool prematurely rust away.  The fact is that many vinyl liner in ground swimming pools being built today consist of steel walls, aluminum coping, steel hand rails, aluminum or bronze rail sockets, auto covers full of metal parts, steel steps, zinc screws, steel screws, steel bolts, nuts and really the majority of what holds the pool together is metal.  I have seen instances where a one year old pool has had problems with rusting to the point where it needed to be addressed right away.  That meant that the liner had to be replaced and the pool owner had to pay for a new one not to mention the expense they took on to repair the rusted area.  The fact is that regardless if your pool is salt or chlorine, if it is composed of steel walls then it will inevitably begin to rust.  Don’t get to discouraged quite yet.  There is still hope.

To help alleviate some of these issues Only Alpha Pool Products has come up with a composite wall that is not affected by oxidation problems.  It is truly the pool of the future.  Many builders are beginning to offer this pool system.  However there are still some builders that prefer the steel wall pools.  Well Only Alpha has got you covered there as well.  You might be thinking that steel is steel.  Especially if you are a builder and you are reading this.  Well you are somewhat correct.

The industry standard for a steel wall pool is G35 14 gauge steel.  That is what almost every if not all manufacturers use, but Only Alpha has the upper hand here as well.  While all the steel being used to build pools is galvanized, Only Alpha has taken another step forward.  They have created another layer of protection beyond the standard galvanization, and it has revolutionized the vinyl liner steel wall pool industry and has their competitors scratching their heads.  This process will certainly prolong the life of their steel wall pools well past the life of their competitors.  However, it is still steel and it will inevitably rust.

My recommendation for anyone who is thinking about getting a salt water pool would be to first make sure they are getting a composite pool wall preferably from Only Alpha Pool Products simply because they make the best quality non-corrosive swimming pool wall in the industry.  This will help keep the corrosion down that the salt in the water will create.