James Atlas, an 18-year veteran of the swimming pool industry, is the owner and co-principal of Platinum Poolcare Ltd., a residential swimming pool construction, renovation and maintenance company with service to several commercial aquatic properties including the Bulls, Bears and White Sox training facilities.
Platinum Poolcare Owner James Atlas came to the pool industry after three years of options trading after college, cashing in his chips to work with father Ronald Atlas, owner of Paragon Pools, a commercial pool construction and design company. An entrepreneur at heart, Atlas quickly started up an off–shoot company, Fountain Technologies, through which he designed and constructed water features for luxury residential and commercial properties.
When his brother took over that company, Atlas founded Pool Watch, a management company servicing recreational pools with lifeguard staffing, facility openings, closings and general maintenance. He sold Fountain Technologies and Pool Watch in 1994 and 1995.
Looking to broaden his skill set in the pool servicing industry, Atlas went back to his family pool business, working as a project estimator for multi-million-dollar waterparks, competition pools, high-rise pools, and other large-scale projects.
After a few years, Atlas began receiving consistent inquiries from residential property owners interested in pool construction and servicing. With his father’s blessing, Atlas took the reigns on those new accounts and formed a new company called Platinum Aquatech.
Again looking to go off on his own, Atlas teamed up with Terry Smith, owner of Poolcare Aquatech, another partner company with Ronald Atlas which focused on the service and maintenance. The two companies merged, with Terry and James owning a fifty-fifty share in 2007, effectively becoming Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.
Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd., founded in 2007, and resulting from a merger of Platinum Aquatech, Ltd. (luxury swimming pool construction) and Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.(service, repairs, renovations of swimming pools and spas), specializes in all aspects of pool design, construction and renovation with added focus on specialty aquatic features such as waterfalls, lazy rivers, rock water applications, statuary and other luxury waterscape amenities. The company also provides installation and maintenance services for its customers.
Platinum Poolcare has raised the standards of excellence in residential and commercial pools, spa and waterscape design and construction. We have a combined half-century of experience in building, servicing, maintaining, and renovating award-winning and nationally-recognized gunite pools throughout the greater Chicago area and other Midwest states.
Based in Wheeling, Ill., the company’s headquarters spans 10,000 square-feet of warehouse and office space with 46 trucks, 130 employees during peak season, and one of the industry’s largest onsite replacement parts inventory for quick fixes.
Platinum Poolcare has repeatedly graced the cover of various industry magazines, and has earned hundreds of awards for its designs. The company belongs to the prestigious, invitation-only Aquatech Society for professional pool builders.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Yippee, Pool Party!
Your dog may take these words as an invitation to jump into the middle of kids playing "Marco Polo" or as her time to scout for crumbs under deck chairs.
Either way, some important water safety tips are in order because some dogs don't like to swim and others shouldn't.
Water Safety Example #1: One day Buddy, a Basset Hound, saw his English Setter friend, Spencer, on the far side of the pond. With a mighty leap, Buddy took off swimming toward the other bank. Buddy's heavy body and stubby legs were not seaworthy.
Had Buddy not turned himself around, it could have become an emergency. Dogs will panic in the water and try to climb on top of a rescuer, so it is safer to throw them something that floats, like a life preserver on a rope, they can "grab."
Water Safety Example #2: A nine-week-old Miniature Poodle barked frantically as her owners left in a rubber raft. She was unhappy to have been left on the shore. She jumped into the lake and headed for the raft. Her frightened owners turned the raft around and luckily the puppy followed them to land. She survived the incident better than her frantic owners.
The puppy incident could have been avoided if the pup had been taught to "Stay," had been placed within an Ex-pen for its safety, or had simply been taken on the raft with a life jacket. Never assume your dog will not try to follow you into water.
Some Water Safety Training Tips to Keep in Mind
Although not all dogs are fond of water, they should be exposed to it for their own safety. With some simple training and safety devices, you can ease your mind and protect your dog this summer.
Give him a gradual introduction into the pool or lake by holding him snugly and slowly walking into the water. Let him get wet a little at a time and eventually let him swim to the exit. Make it a positive experience with lots of encouragement and praise.
Teach proper swimming technique. All dogs will instinctively paddle when submerged in water, but as inexperienced swimmers, many dogs try to rely on their front legs and do little with their rear legs. This results in an almost vertical swim technique with lots of splashing. It's exhausting and very easy for a dog to become over-tired this way. With proper training, the most vertical of swimmers can learn to use their rear legs, evening out their performance and swimming much more effectively and safely. Keep a close eye on your dog – if you see them become over-stimulated or fatigued, it's time to call them out. If you see your accomplished swimmer dog lowering his rear, this is a sign that he is getting tired.
Dogs have poor depth perception so if the pool has steps, mark them with a big potted plant and make sure he associates the plant as the exit marker. If there are no steps, provide a non-slip ramp for getting out. Spend sufficient time training him to go up the ramp if he's alone.
If your dog plays in a lake, make sure to stand at the place on the shore where he can easily walk out.
Always use a life jacket on your dog in ponds, lakes, rivers, or the open water. Just like with people, it's easy for a dog to develop a cramp in a leg, become exhausted too far from shore, or in the case of rivers or oceans, overwhelmed by tides. Life jackets give your dog the extra protection to stay buoyant.
Keep safety floatation devices nearby, just in the case of an emergency. If your dog gets into trouble, a life preserver attached to a long line is the best course of action to take. Dogs panic easily in the water when trouble hits, and a panicked, flailing dog can accidentally drown any person trying to assist it. Get the dog to grab out to the preserver first and try to reel it in closer to shore before physically trying to help it out.
Training polite pool manners is a must. A big Golden Retriever sailing through the air in her excitement to get in the water is a no-no. Train the canine to "Wait" at pool's edge or to always use the steps or the ramp.
Also teach her that the "Come" command applies to the pool as much as it does to dry land.
Be mindful of the specific needs of your dog's breed. Each dog's physical structure and body-type will greatly impact his swimming ability. Heavily muscled bully breeds exert more energy while swimming due to their increased body mass. Consider using a lifejacket with such dogs for added protection.
Watch your dog's nails! Dogs can quickly wear their nails down to the point of bleeding as they excitedly race around the pool's exterior. Keep a watchful eye on the pads of their feet as well. Repeated launching from pool steps can tear up paw pads; especially for dogs who spend most of their time on grass.
Unless your pool cover is solid and strong enough to support your weight, do not leave it on when your dog is unattended near the pool. Countless dogs, even accomplished swimmers, have lost their lives following an unexpected tumble into a covered pool. Once they're in, the cover is disorienting and it's almost always impossible for a dog to find his way out. If your dog needs to spend time in the yard unsupervised, consider erecting a pool safety fence.
Avoid letting your dog drink pool water. Always keep an ample supply of fresh water around so your dog can drink without attempting to drink from the pool. Also make sure you give your dog many opportunities to relieve himself after a swim as he is likely to ingest water from wherever he is swimming (pool, pond, lake or ocean) and may need to urinate more often.
Make sure you rinse your dog off after a swim to get chlorine and other pool chemicals, as well as bacteria or dirt he might get on him from a pond or lake. Don't let your dog sit in a wet collar as hot spots can develop. Be mindful of areas where water can collect, like ears, groin, and armpits, where moisture-induced infections can occur.
If your dog is overweight or a senior, check with your veterinarian first before allowing him to swim. This is also important for dogs who are generally sedentary. Dogs, like people, experience muscle soreness and stiffness and they're counting on us to lookout for their best interests.
Green hot tub spa covers for ecology and economy
from hot tub cover pros
When you are trying to figure out which cover will be best for you, there are many points to consider. In this post, the Pros will present in great detail, the critical cover components for environments where insulation is by far the most important feature for the replacement hot tub cover.
If the spa is kept hot continuously, the properly insulating cover will help save both the environment and your operating costs. This is true even if your particular location does not drop to below zero temperatures. Heat loss from the spa increases the carbon footprint of operating your hot tub. In the US, 70% of all electricity is created by burning coal. Reducing your use of electricity, which the proper spa cover can easily do, will save both the ecology and will dramatically reduce the size of your heating bill.
The lid is the most important factor in the overall ability of the spa and cover to retain the heat. Some spa manufacturers take great care to insulate the inside of the spa cabinet to help with heat retention. While this is important, the natural tendency of heat is to rise and the only thing standing in the way of the heat escaping is, you guessed it, the hot tub cover.
The key factors in hot tub covers that affect the cover's ability to keep the heat in, are the cover thickness, the fold or hinge area across the cover, and the fit of the cover as it sits on the top acrylic lip of the spa. Below, the Pros will discuss each area in detail.
Cover Thickness - Spa covers have a rating, called the R-value, that is a measure of the cover's ability to insulate and keep the heat inside the spa. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating ability. The thickness of the cover is the most important factor in the calculation of the R-value, due to how the R-value is calculated. The R-value is calculated, in part, by multiplying the Thermal Resistance Value (R) of the foam times the thickness in inches. For example, a 4″-2″ tapering spa cover with 1.0# density foam cores has an average thickness of 3 inches. To calculate the R-value of the foam at 40 degrees Fahrenheit we multiply the factor of the 1.0# foam times the average thickness of 3 or 4.17 X 3 = R-12.51. To contrast, a 6″-4″ tapering cover is R-20.85. In summary, a 6″-4″ cover has an R-value 167% greater than the 4″-2″ cover.
The Cover's Fold - Every spa cover is made to fold in half, for ease of removal and storage. The cover is constructed in two halves, with each half containing a solid foam core that gives the cover its strength and provides most of the insulation. When these foam cores are slid into the vinyl skin, the cover assembly is complete. In order for the cover to fold over and to work with most cover lifter or cover removal systems, there is a gap between the foam cores of between one and two inches. This gap runs the width of the cover and can comprise the surface area of a basketball that has no insulation! At each end of the fold there will be steam stopper pillows, but they are typically around 3 – 5 inches long and serve only to plug the gap between the panels above the acrylic lip of the tub. Note the end of the steam stopper pillow in this photo, under the cover lifter bar. This leaves the remaining distance across the spa uninsulated except for the vinyl that provides the hinge. As this image shows, heat WILL escape through this area like a chimney, and has caused the ice to melt.
The best insulating covers can be made with an extra piece of foam to fill this void and complete the insulation across the top of the cover. The Pros highly recommend adding this extra foam as the cost is typically small and the potential savings is typically large. This extra foam lives in a vinyl sleeve that is sewn into the hinge on the bottom of the cover so you will not be able to see it unless the cover is open. It is called something like a continuous hinge seal or long steam stopper by the various manufacturers. Adding this foam will add R-9 to the insulation value of the cover.
The Cover's Seal to the Hot Tub Lip - Like the lid on a pot of boiling water, the hot tub covers seal to the top acrylic lip of the hot tub is critical to keeping the heat in. The best lids are available with an option to have a perimeter of soft foam installed inside the vapor barrier. This soft foam allows the cover to settle down onto the acrylic lip and form a much better seal. The Pros have heard from clients with this configuration and they state there is a great swooshing sound when the cover is opened as it is almost air tight. This type of seal can be even more important for spas with raised control panels or speakers, but will benefit anyone looking for the greenest spa cover.
As always, should you have any additional questions, use the Ask the Pros or the Contact The Pros links at the top of this page.
Pool Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend
from NBC Washington
Public and private pools across the D.C. area will open in just a few days for Memorial Day weekend. As you and your family gets ready for some summer fun, there are steps you can take to keep you and your children safe.
Laura Metro, founder of the C.L.A.Y Foundation, shared several easy tips oon saving lives this summer.
Save on Pool Opening Costs
From WSJ online
By LINDSAY GELLMAN
Don't sink your maintenance budget when opening up your pool in time for the Memorial Day holiday.
A pool-opening service typically includes cleaning the pool area and equipment, removing the pool cover, activating the circulation system, and testing and treating the water, says Terry Brown, director of operations and strategic support at the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, an industry trade group.
But many pool-service companies charge an hourly rate, so you can typically expedite the process—and save some money—by doing some of the work yourself.
While heavy pool covers are best removed by professionals, you can clear any water or debris that's collected on top, says Doug Salvia, president of Douglas Aquatics in Richmond, Va. Mr. Salvia, whose company charges about $95 per hour for the opening service, says that while the typical opening takes four to five hours, a homeowner could shave off two to three hours—and as much as $300—by clearing the cover.
Mr. Salvia suggests using a small automated bilge pump to remove water pooled on the cover. Such a pump costs $100 to $150. But it will likely pay for itself in a year or two with the money you'll save doing this work yourself.
Another way to save on the opening (and weekly maintenance) costs is by buying and adding your own sanitizing chemicals, such as chlorine. At Rising Sun Pools in Raleigh, N.C., for instance, you can save about $100 to $200 off the opening price by administering your own chemicals, and about $50 to $60 per week for maintenance.
Be sure to check with a pool-care professional to see which chemicals are right for your pool, Mr. Brown says. And you may need to take a water sample to a retail location for testing.
Pool Safety: 7 Essential Tips
Posted on May 13, 2013 by Johnson Pools and Spas
No matter how much experience you have owning and operating your pool, it's still important to receive a refresher course on essential pool-safety procedures. With summer right around the corner, now's a great time to revisit pool safety to ensure a fun-filled summer free of accidents and injuries.
Your pool-safety refresher course should cover proper procedures for storing and handling chemicals, posting signage and making sure areas around the pool are safe for family and guests.
Here are seven pool-safety tips.
1. Organize chemical storage
The start of the pool season is a great time to fine-tune your pool chemical storage procedures. You might be light on inventory and ready to make your first trip to your local dealer. But before doing so, look at your storage area and consider making a few changes. Jerry Pierrottie, environmental health and safety (EHS) manager with Arch Chemicals, Inc., now part of Lonza, suggests creating a divider to separate sanitizers, shocks and other maintenance products to avoid chemical reactions.
"Put a divider in between [chemical containers] or make cubby holes," Pierrottie says. "If you don't have a divider, keep containers four feet apart or put liquids in secondary containment to control possible spills."
2. Don't mix or pre-dissolve chemicals
Pool chemicals are designed to work alone, and Pierrottie cautions against mixing different chemicals together.
"Some products are very reactive, and some are less reactive," he says. "Mixing chemicals can result in a little generation of heat, gasses and chlorine odor or [can escalate to] excessive heat and explosions."
Jane Merritt, owner of Anchor Pools in Easley, S.C., adds that pool owners should never pre-dissolve chemicals in a bucket before treating a pool, especially for shock treatments. Instead, apply the products directly to the pool water to avoid potential chemical burns or a chemical reaction.
3. Safely clean up chemical spills
Chemical spills are a part of owning and maintaining a pool, but it's how you deal with the spills that's most important. Pierrottie suggests incorporating safe clean-up practices to make sure spills don't escalate from a minor incident to a hazardous situation.
"Clean up one chemical at a time to avoid causing any reactions," he says. "Liquids should be mopped up or absorbed, and solids should be swept up and put directly into your pool."
If you wipe up spills with a rag, place the rag in the pool to let the chemicals rinse off in the water, Pierrottie says.
4. Read pool product labels and MSDS
Before handling any chemicals, it's important to read the directions on chemical labels, Pierrottie says. Additionally, Pierrottie suggests keeping material safety data sheets (MSDS) on hand so you can refer to them should any questions arise.
Merritt gives her customers an online safety checklist provided by The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). "Before summer, you can go through the checklist on your own to make sure everything is up to [the APSP's] safety standards," she says.
5. Texturize your deck surface
Safety procedures go beyond the products you use to maintain your pool. A shiny finish on your deck or the concrete surrounding your pool can be aesthetically appealing, but it can cause slips and injuries. Merritt suggests washing slick concrete areas with muriatic acid, which eats away at the top layer of concrete and leaves a textured, slip-free surface.
"With proper research, this is a preventive measure that pool owners can do themselves," she says.
6. Establish rules and post safety signage
As a pool owner, you also act as lifeguard. So it's important to post signs that communicate your pool's rules to visiting friends and family members. Pierrottie suggests posting signage that displays depth levels and in which parts of the pool you allow diving. Additionally, signs that say "No Horseplay" and "No Running" can help prevent injuries outside of the pool.
"Since it's a private pool, homeowners can put up any or no signs," Pierrottie says. "Signage can help inform your kids' friends or help to avoid legal issues should someone get hurt."
You are responsible for every swimmer who gets in your pool, so Merritt suggests discussing rules before parties or when your child's friends come to visit.
"Make sure to perform a swimming test with every child," she says. "That way, you're able to keep an eye on the weak swimmers."
7. Install safety ropes and buoys
To create a safe pool experience for all those who visit your pool, Merritt suggests installing safety rope that's noticeable from shallow depths all the way to the deep end of your pool.
"Always have the safety equipment out," she says. "Avoid drowning hazards by providing life hooks and buoys to swimmers, especially when children are in the water."
article from poollifemag.com
Conserve Energy, Save Money with Swimming Pool Pump
Posted on December 8th, 2011 - by Sunplay in category Blog
A swimming pool pump's job is to circulate swimming pool water in order to keep the water clean and heated. This is done by taking water from the surface of the pool which flows into filters that traps or skims floating objects, and directing it (or pumping it) through heaters (if installed) back to the pool at a lower level. The water moving at the bottom levels of the pool helps to move particles suspended in the water to the surface to eventually be filtered out. Heated water is also mixed evenly as it returns to the pool.
Choosing the right size pump for your pool is important and depends on many variables. The size of the pool, or volume of water to be circulated, is the main consideration for choosing a pump. If the pump is too small, it will not move enough water through the filtering system to keep the water clean. Another important consideration is the size of the piping that the water flows through. If the piping is too small to provide proper flow, the pump may overheat and wear out prematurely. Piping that is too big for the pump would result in slowing the flow through the filters which will be less efficient, and the result would be a dirtier pool. These considerations wouldn't just have effects on the pool system, but could also effect a pool owner's bill.
Sunplay offers a variety of swimming pool pumps that provide various flow capacities to help meet the needs of swimming pool owners for their pool. The amount of gallons of water that the pump must pull through the filtering system each hour will help determine the size of the pump needed. Pool owners will help save on their electric bill if they choose the right size pump for their pool. Positioning the pump closer to the water source that it is pumping will also help to reduce operating costs. A pool pump that is located in a pool house away from the swimming pool will have to use more energy to work as it pulls the water through the system.
Many companies are mindful of their consumers in this struggling economy, and are offering more energy efficient pool pumps. Sunplay cares about it's customers as well, and offers energy efficient pool pumps for great prices. An energy efficient pool pump consumes up to 50% less energy than an older pool pump which could save a pool owner hundreds of dollars per year. The energy efficient pump systems also offer a quieter operating system and extended motor life. Also available are systems that are programmable which helps the pool owner have more control over setting pool tasks. Therefore, minimum flow requirements for the filtering, heating, and cleaning of the pools could help save even more money for the pool owner in the long run.
Another thing to consider when choosing a swimming pool pump is the feature of operating at variable speeds. Some pumps offer a low or high speed option, while other pumps offer variable speeds. Both pumps can offer the same horse power output, but one running on a set speed can end up using more energy than a pump operating at a variable speed because the variable speed pump can be controlled to run a little faster, or a little slower. Keep in mind that running a pump for 12 hours on low speed can circulate the same amount of water as running a pump for 4 hours on high speed.
Having a dirty filter housing could effect the pumps efficiency as well, so you'll want to be sure and maintain that area.
Utility companies support energy efficient pool pumps by offering rebates to consumers who purchase them. It would be worth calling your local utility company to see if they have any rebates available for your area before purchasing your swimming pool pump.
Pros and Cons of Automatic Pool Cleaners
Possibly you are a perfectionist who likes to scrub every nook and cranny of the pool yourself to be sure not an inch is missed. Most people would prefer to avoid this time consuming chore and spend that time enjoying the pool. If that sounds more like you, then you may want to invest in an automatic pool cleaner. There are several models on the market, and your needs may be better met by one type or another.
Suction Pool Cleaners
One type of automatic pool cleaner is a suction pool cleaner. As the name implies; this type of cleaner uses suction to move around and vacuum debris off of the swimming pool floor. Some models are even effective at scrubbing the pool walls, so you won't have to. Other advantages of the suction cleaner are; that it is quite scrupulous at cleaning up the fine, particulate debris that cause cloudy water, so it leaves your water sparkling clear, and it is less costly than other types of automatic pool cleaner.
The main disadvantages of the suction pool cleaner are that it does not do well in pools with a great deal of large, floating debris, and that since it sends debris into your pool's filter and basket, you will need to spend more time cleaning and maintaining your pump and filter.
Pressure Pool Cleaners
Another type of automatic pool cleaner is a pressure pool cleaner; it uses water pressure from a pump in order to clean your pool. Some pressure cleaners can be connected to your pool's main circulation pump, while others may use a booster pump specifically designed for this purpose. Water pressure is used to move the pressure cleaner around the swimming pool, while it scoops up debris into an attached bag. This type of cleaner is great if you have a problem with large debris such as grass, leaves, or bugs. Some other advantages of the pressure cleaner are that it won't move large debris into your pump basket or filter, it does a superior job of picking up large floating debris, and it is low maintenance and durable.
The disadvantages of a pressure pool cleaner are that it is not as effective at removing fine particles, such as sand, from the pool water and that it doesn't scrub your swimming pool walls.
Automatic Pool Cleaners
Finally, let's discuss the robotic pool cleaner. This type of automatic pool cleaner makes use of an electric motor that must be powered by a low voltage transformer. A robotic cleaner contains its own pump and filters. Many models contain a computer chip that helps them clean more proficiently and some even come with a remote control. The advantages of a robotic pool cleaner include that it can scrub the pool walls; it helps water circulate around the pool, and best of all that it is proficient at cleaning both large debris and fine particulate from your swimming pool.
Some disadvantages of the robotic cleaner are; the built in pump and filters will need to be cleaned frequently, its movement is limited by an electrical cord, and the price is generally higher than the other types.
Automatic pool cleaners come in many models, shapes, and sizes. Each is designed for a specific type of pool. Your Gilbert pool cleaning specialist can help you make the correct choice for your pool.
2013 Swimming Pool Energy Upgrades To Save You Money
There is a lot of talk the last few years about going GREEN, and one of the most overlooked parts of home energy use is the swimming pool. In this article I want to show you 3 easy upgrades you can make in 2013 to dramatically reduce your pools operating costs. There is a lot of information here so grab a beer, coffee or beverage of choice and read on below.
1. Variable Speed Pumps
Magnetic drive variable speed pool pumps are all the rage now. In 2012 we bought in to the technology head on and started including them standard on every new pool we build, one of the only pool builders in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire area that does.
variable speed pool pumps are based on motor technology that is used already in hybrid cars. The magnetic drive causes less friction and thus uses a lot less energy than a standard induction style motor that is normally found on a swimming pool.
You pool pump is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home, and replacing your standard 1 speed pool motor can cut your pool energy costs as much as 50-90%!!
The one thing about these pumps that scares away some pool owners is the up front sticker price. These units run about $1,500 installed! However many states including Massachusetts give homeowners a $200 rebate for installing one of these units, thus bringing that cost down.
Return on Investment:
Both Hayward and Pentair have great online energy calculators to show you how much you can save by switching to a variable speed pool pump.
Just to give you a quick overview, if you run a standard single speed 1hp pump 12 hours a day 4 months a year, it costs you $368 a year to run your pool!
If you switch to a variable speed pump, run it just as long, it would only cost you $43 a year...that's an 88% savings!
Most induction style single speed pumps last about 7-10 years, the variable speed pump at this calculation will pay you back after 4 years and then last 15 years + due to the lower friction placed on the magnetic drive motor.
And that's if you only run your pump 12 hours a day, I know many of my customers run their pool 24 hours a day to keep the water moving, which is great for water clarity, imagine your savings then.
Now think of it in terms of if your single speed motor dies this spring. The cost of replacing it with another single speed induction motor is roughly $500 and the variable speed pump costs $1,500 – $200 rebate = $1,300 making the difference in cost $800.
Yes that is a big difference but the variable speed pump starts paying for itself after only 2.4 years. Also remember these variable speed pumps are going to last twice as long as the single speed counterparts, so it is pretty much a no-brainer to choose the variable speed pump option.
Haywards Super Pump VSP Makes This Decision Even Easier!
If the $1,500 price tag still scares you a little bit, Hayward just made your energy efficient upgrade even easier in 2013.
They are rolling out a new pump based on the most popular pool pump in the industry, the Hayward Super Pump. It looks just like the pump you probably have on your pool right now, except it comes equipped with a magnetic drive variable speed motor.
The only difference is the Super Pump VSP's highest speed is 1.5hp power where the popular Intelliflo and Ecostar variable speed pumps both go up to 3hp on its highest RPM setting , which...honestly is way too much pump for 80% of the pools out there.
Link: Hayward's Variable Speed Pump Energy Savings Calculator
The controls on the Super Pump VSP are a little more basic and you do not have a built in on/off timer
The Super Pump VSP is supposed to retail right around $999 (not confirmed as of this writing), and you will still get a $200 rebate from the state of Massachusetts!
That means this pump could start paying for itself after just 1 pool season, which is amazing.
2. Large Cartridge Filter Upgrade
If you have been a customer of ours for a little while you know we love our Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filters. We install them on every pool. It is by far the best system for a new pool owner and is our number 1 product upgrade we do every pool season.
The reason we have been using this system for the last 12 years + is because of its ease of use, no backwashing, no valves to mess with, and no nasty DE powder to add. You hose them off once you get the pool cleaned up in the beginning of the season and then you don't do a thing until closing.
However the energy savings and environmental implications could be an even more enticing reason to upgrade to a cartridge filter system.
You may be thinking that because the pool filter does not directly use electricity that it wouldn't make a difference in your energy costs, but you would be wrong.
Each filter type offers a different level of resistance on the water flow, that resistance translates into energy needed for your pump to maintain its flow. A cartridge filter gives pool owners the best flow possible due to its large size and the fact that it does not have a cumbersome multiport valve.
The multiport valve on your DE or sand filter creates lots resistance on the water flow, meaning it takes more energy for the pump to push the water through the system. In fact due to that resistance the state of California has outlawed the use of multi-port valves on pool filters.
Less Water Consumption
Because a cartridge filter does not need to be backwashed periodically to relieve filter pressure and flush out debris, you conserve much more water. You will also save on chemicals as you won't be flushing your chemicals down the drain via backwashing.
Depending on the size of your pool a cartridge filter will run somewhere between $1,250 and $1,500 installed.
3. LED Pool Lights
The last upgrade I want to talk about is kind of fun, a multi color LED pool light. Not only will a new LED colored light offer a dramatic pool light show after dark, it will save you money too!
We all know about the energy savings of in home LED lights compared to incandescent lights, well the same holds true for your pool light.
Replacing your old pool light with an LED can save you anywhere from $30-$50 a pool season.
Hayward Offers A Universal LED Replacement Light
In 2013 Hayward has released the first Universal LED Replacement Light. It fits in every light niche found out in the field today, so it doesn't matter how old your pool light is this light upgrade will fit. On top of the energy savings this light is 100% brighter than any other LED pool light.
One really cool thing Hayward is doing for us is giving us a demo pool light that we can bring to your house, hang it over the edge of your pool so you can see how to new colored LED lights up your pool before you buy it!
PROPER POOL MAINTENANCE
Having a swimming pool is great, but pool maintenance is a daily concern. Sure, you can have a lot of fun, get plenty of exercise, cool off on hot days and make your backyard look great, but if you do not master a set pool maintenance schedule, your swimming pool will quickly become unsanitary and possibly even an eye sore. Getting professional pool maintenance can be very expensive. Learn good pool maintenance practices right now.
Some people think that pool maintenance is not a big deal or that the chlorine does most of the work and you just add a little more of it every now and then. However, this is not good pool maintenance and it could be dangerous to your health to swim in a pool that has received pool maintenance like this. The owner of a pool must do more than just give the pool some occasional attention. Pool maintenance is something that is a daily chore and there are also additional weekly and monthly tasks for proper pool maintenance.
There are pool maintenance tasks that have to be done on a daily basis in order to ensure that the swimming pool stays in good condition. Water has a tendency to attract pollutants and grow bacteria quickly, a factor that requires pool maintenance to be performed as part of a daily schedule. Proper pool maintenance calls for the filter to be run for 10 to 12 hours every day. This is probably the easiest part as it just involves flipping a switch. However, there are other daily tasks such as testing and adjusting the levels of sanitizer and giving the pool a visual inspection for the three C's: Clarity, color, and contaminants. Testing the water temperature is also an important daily task.
Besides the daily routine for pool maintenance, there are also weekly pool maintenance tasks that must be performed. Weekly tasks included testing and adjusting oxidizer and stabilizer levels, brushing and vacuuming, checking filter pressure, as well as checking the water level. Adding a dose of algaecide should also be done as part of the weekly routine.
On top of daily and weekly pool maintenance chores, there are also parts of pool maintenance that must be done at least monthly. Tasks to be done every month include testing for dissolved solids, metals, cyan uric acid, and cleaning the filter with chemicals. When doing monthly tasks be sure to visually inspect all of the tile, grout, sealant, and exposed elements. Also the Langelier Saturation index evaluation must be performed. As a part of regular pool maintenance, it is a good idea to take a water sample to an expert monthly.
How to keep the kids safe from nasties in the pool this summer
from The Therapy Book
The school summer holidays are nearly here, and many of us will be taking the children for days out at the local swimming pool. However, how can we protect them from some of the nasties that seem to turn up more and more these days in public swimming pools?
Recently, a news article published in the New York Daily News stated that a public swimming pool in Brooklyn had to be shut down when it became contaminated with fecal material. Park officials believed the incident was caused by a dirty diaper.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a journal called Emerging Infectious Diseases. In the June 2008 issue, the CDC reported a study examining the safety of public swimming pool water in over 160 recreational water facilities. The purpose of the study was to determine how common two parasites occur in public swimming pools.
It turned out that one in 12 public swimming pools are contaminated with parasites.
Researchers in the CDC study took random samples from 160 public swimming pools around Atlanta, Georgia. Two microbial parasites, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, were present in one out of twelve swimming pools. These parasites are found in human feces. They are spread when someone swallows swimming pool water. They are also spread if a person does not wash his or her hands after handling a dirty diaper or eats contaminated food.
The most common symptom of these two parasites is diarrhea. Children and pregnant women can become violently ill from an infestation of Cryptosporidium or Giardia. People with compromised immune systems, such as people with AIDS and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, are at risk of dying if infested with Cryptosporidium, according to the CDC.
"Baby pools" and smaller, less- frequently attended pools were found to contain the highest presence of these microbial parasites.
Practice safe swimming when visiting public water facilities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following tips to reduce the risk of becoming ill from swimming in a public swimming pool:
- Do not go swimming if you have diarrhea
- Do not allow your children to go swimming if they have diarrhea
- Make sure your children make a trip to the bathroom before swimming in a public pool
- Do not swallow or drink swimming pool water
- Teach children not to swallow or drink swimming pool water
- Change baby diapers in designated changing areas in restrooms, not at poolside
- Insist on public recreational water facilities that are properly maintained
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