Renovating a Pool? Get Started Here
from the APSP
Need a make-over? With an APSP member professional at your side, you can enhance your home's value and reveal new opportunities for enjoyment with a refreshing upgrade or new treatment. Here are seven ways to renovate or restore your pool:
1. Resurface. Resurfacing an in-ground concrete pool restores beauty and comfort to cracked or roughened surfaces and extends the pool's functional life. For pools with a vinyl interior, a replacement liner in a new pattern can transform your pool overnight. Fiberglass pool owners can also consult with an APSP member professional for the product that will make your pool look like new.
2. Add a water feature. Install a waterfall or fountain to bring the sound and beauty of moving water to your outdoor environment. Water features like a dramatic spillover create a strong focal point and provide a dynamic addition to an otherwise ordinary pool.
3. Add a hot tub. Experience the relaxation of a soothing soak or the health benefits from warm water therapy. There's a hot tub for every need, every setting, and every budget.
4. Install new tile. Just as a new backsplash transforms a kitchen, new tile can set the tone for your beautiful new look. By selecting from the vast tile options available, you'll make the most dramatic improvement in appearance for the greatest value.
5. Enhance your surroundings. Consider a new or updated pool deck. You can extend the look of interior flooring to experience an outdoor family room with man-made or natural materials. Stain existing concrete. Or brush up dated, cracked or stressed concrete patios with a thick overlay and new finish. Add a sound or media system, or even an outdoor kitchen or fireplace for greater enjoyment.
6. Consider new lighting. Lighting not only enhances safety, it also adds a touch of beauty and pizzazz. Halogen and fiber optic lighting can add striking color to a nighttime poolscape. And long-lasting color-filled LED replacements can create an entirely new mood with little or no modification to an existing pool.
7. Think technology. New automatic cleaning systems have units that "walk" along your pool floor. These newer systems require practically no supervision. And you can still swim while the system cleans your pool. Digital controls make operating pool equipment easier than ever, letting you control lighting, heating, and cleaning with the touch of the button or with your tablet or smartphone. And upgrades like a salt chlorinator system or a solar cover and heater can improve both functionality and efficiency.
Keep in mind, you don't have to do everything at once. Pool renovations can be done over several seasons, allowing you to make the improvements and fund your investment at a pace that works for you. Of course, to ensure you get the most for your money, you'll want to hire an experienced pool contractor. An APSP Certified Professional will help ensure that your vision is transformed into reality — safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Find an APSP Certified Building or Service Professional here.
The Only Man In The World Who Can Swim With A Polar Bear: Grizzly Man
from barcroft media
Grizzly man Mark Dumas, 60, is the only man in the world who can touch a polar bear and the only man in the world that can swim with a polar bear. And as these incredible pictures show Grizzly Man, the fearless polar bear handler from Abbotsford, British Columbia, even goes for dip in his swimming pool where he and 16-year-old polar bear Agee enjoy a watery cuddle together. Grizzly Man Mark and wife Dawn, 60, train the 60-stone (800lb) friendly polar bear - the world's largest land predator - to star in high-budget TV adverts. Agee the polar bear has even performed in movies like 'Alaska' in 1995 when she was just a few weeks old. With his incredibly intimate bond Grizzly Man Mark Dumas wrestles on the grass with polar bear Agee, kisses her, puts his head in the polar bear's huge jaws, and even bear hugs her as she rears up on her hind legs to over seven feet. Mark and Dawn have owned Agee since she was six weeks old and the colossal polar bear even lived in their home as a cub where she played with the family dogs and was bottle fed.
For more amazing footage of the amazing side of life, visit the Barcroft Media website: http://bit.ly/19OYwp
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Pool Toy Gift Ideas
from poolcare plus
Spring is just around the corner and it's time to think about reopening your swimming pool. Many pool owners love to watch their children or grandchildren play in the pool and provide pool toys to keep them entertained. Age-appropriate toys for the pool help children practice swimming and learn to love the water.* But what types of pool toys are best for which age groups? Here's help:
Infants and Toddlers: Children age nine-24 months love floating activity centers, which allow them to stay busy with attached toys like squirters, rattles, and stacking rings while enjoying the pool. Baby rings and puddle jumper baby seats are also popular pool toys for children up to 25 pounds.
Age Three to Six: Children five and younger like "driving" a float in the shape of a plane, car or boat; pocket seats help them feel more secure as an adult pushes them back and forth in the pool. Depending on their comfort level in the water, children age three to six can be introduced to water wings and kickboards to help them improve their swimming ability.
Age Six and Up: Children who can float and swim well enough to enjoy playing in the water will love Dive Dudes, spinning characters that kids dive for when these pool toys float to the bottom of the pool. They'll also have fun with battery-operated characters that swim around the pool in random patterns. You and the children can stay active with an energetic pool paddle ball game. And of course, both kids and adults love classic pool toys like water guns and splash balls.
Selecting a variety of pool toys ensures that children who use your pool will never get bored. And you'll have a wonderful time too – whether you just watch or jump in and join in the fun!
*Pool toys are not safety devices. Alert adult supervision is required whenever any child is in or near your swimming pool.
Why Choose LED Pool Lighting?
Posted by John Keene, Pool FYI
High-Definition Lighting That Lasts
The growing popularity of color-changing LED lighting for pools and spas is primarily due to the brilliant-lighting effects of newer systems. The difference between old technology (incandescent) pool lighting and LED pool lighting is like comparing a standard definition television to a high-definition television—the colors and visual quality are simply stronger, brighter and more appealing.
Many pool owners also choose LED pool lighting because it is a more eco-friendly option. Not only do LEDs use far less electricity, an LED light can last six times longer than an incandescent light of equal brightness.
The Most Energy-Efficient Lighting Available
An LED (or light emitting diode) is a small semi conductor device that converts electrical energy directly into light. Since there is no filament, an LED does not heat up the way an incandescent bulb does, which wastes up to 80% of the electricity routed to it to produce heat rather than light. An LED light like the Pentair IntelliBrite® 5g White LED provides a noticeably brighter light while using 86% less energy than an incandescent bulb—resulting in significant energy savings.
Brilliant Colors for Unmatched Visual Appeal
The main attraction of LED lighting is the stunning visual appeal and ability to change up the lighting to suit any mood or event. Today's best color-changing LED pool lights feature numerous light options—from static colors like blue, green, magenta, red and white to dynamic pre-programmed light shows that enhance nighttime poolscapes with rich and vibrant colors. Plus, most allow you to also choose the speed at which the colors change, further allowing you to achieve a particular ambiance.
Choosing the particular color or light show for your pool is usually a simple process of stepping through the selections until you find your desired setting. Other systems allow you to include a dedicated controller to make choosing and programming your lights even easier and synchronize LED lights in your pool, spa and landscape.
LED Lighting Outlasts the Competition
The typical life span of an incandescent light is 5,000 hours, whereas LED lights have been proven to last 30,000 to 50,000 hours. The reason for their extended life is the durable, solid state technology, which has no internal filament to wear out.
In the past, LED pool lighting has received negative feedback because if one LED burned out all of the LEDs would stop working, similar to old holiday lights. However, new LED pool lighting systems like the IntelliBrite 5g Color LED will continue to work even when one of its LEDs burn out.
Learn More About LED Lighting
If you would like to discuss or learn more about LED lighting and other pool lighting options, visit the resources listed below or talk to your local pool professional.
10 Steps to Maintaining a Clean Pool
from Guardian Pool Fence
If you're lucky enough to have a swimming pool and also lucky enough to have the sun to use it then keeping it clean is all important. You want a pool to be fresh and inviting for everyday use and so you can get the most from this refreshing pastime.
By taking a constant but thorough routine with pool maintenance you can cut down on the work in the long term and also save on a lot of money. It also means there's no need for last ditch attempts to sort something out when something goes wrong. So, here are ten tips to keep your pool sparkling clean and healthy.
- Maintain the pool by keeping an eye on the pool chemistry a few times a week in summer and around once a week in winter.
- Keep a close eye on the skimmer basket and clean it out weekly or even more-so if it needs such care.
- Keep an eye on the hair and lint filter. This will need to be emptied every few weeks and you should ensure that a build-up doesn't occur.
- Water levels are also something that need inspection and should be adjusted if needed. Ideally they should be at the center of the tile.
- The in-line chlorinator needs a weekly check-up and if it needs adjustment then you should do so. Check the chlorine readings and ensure they are in the unit to ensure adequate levels of chlorine.
- Clean the filters. These should be cleaned after a storm or every couple of months. The best way to remember this is to base it around something you do a couple of times a year. If you've extra elements this can be a lot easier to do, if not you will need to use chemicals to clean the filters. Make sure to use eye and glove protection when doing so and make sure the filters are rinsed well.
- The tile area on the outside of the pool should be cleaned on a weekly basis when the pool is in use or less so when it's not. This can be done by using pressure washing services and will help keep your pool spic and span from build-up.
- Always keep the chemicals you use stored in the dark and away from direct sunlight as this can cause issues with them.
- If you do not have an ozone system your pool won't need to be shocked. However, if you do need to shock it does it at night. People swimming soon afterwards should use a non-chlorine shock to clean the pool. Alternatively, it's possible to do so by running your pump for a full day and night with your ozone system. Just ensure you're on 24 hour circulation.
- Cracks can turn into bigger problems. These should be dealt with through silicone and as we all know prevention is better than cure.
- Keep vegetation and animals, as well as fertilizers away from the area as they will feed algae in the pool.
These tips should help you keep your pool clean and perfectly usable.
Jacob Ryan is a lover of swimming and the great outdoors and also enjoys fishing.