Favorite 11 Ways to Destroy Your Pool Pump
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Hayward Superpump shownThe pool pump is the heart of your pool circulation system. And just like your precious heart, when the pool pump stops working, nothing works.

Today’s post has a catchy title, but it’s really about how to maintain a healthy pool pump, to avoid any unexpected pump problems, which can cause water problems, fast.

Here’s a list then, of Eleven Ways to Destroy a Pool Pump, along with related pool pump maintenance tips and pump care practices to help you avoid “heart failure”!

FROZEN POOL PUMP

icon of Frozen pool pumpProblem: Water expands 9% when it turns into ice, and this can rupture a pool pump volute or strainer housing, causing cracks that require part replacement.

Solution: Keep the pump running during cold temperatures. As long as water is moving through the pipes, nothing will freeze. If it is not possible to run the pump, remove both pump drain plugs (and filter plugs, heater plugs, chlorinator, etc.). With freeze protection for pool equipment, a pool controller or a digital timeclock can use a freeze sensor, which will turn on the pump automatically.

FLOODED POOL PUMP

icon for flooded pool pumpsProblem: When motors are submerged under water, the drowning is usually fatal. Occasionally a partially submerged motor will survive, if taken apart and dried internally, unless it was running at the time of the flooding! Many pumps start out their lives well above the ground, but over years, sediment and debris can raise the ground until there is very little clearance.

Solution: Raise the pump, or lower the ground! Be sure that the area around your pool equipment drains rapidly during heavy rains. If flood waters threaten your pool pump, sand bag the pad, or remove the pump to higher ground until waters recede. If water no longer runs away from the equipment quickly, dig out any in-fill or soils that have washed up against the pad, grading slopes and swales to carry water away. Add gravel around the pump and filter area to reduce moisture and slow weed growth.

DRY POOL PUMP

icon for pump running dryProblem: Pumps that ‘run dry’ (without incoming water) for long periods of time can blow out the shaft seal and begin leaking. In some cases it will melt pump baskets and even deform the pump volute. Resulting high temps also will shrink the threads on PVC fittings threaded in/out of the pump, causing air leaks on the inlet side, and water leaks around the outlet pipe fitting.

Solution: Maintaining a proper water level in the pool is the first advice. Secondly, hunt down and fix any air leaks on the incoming pipes or suction cleaner hoses, which can cause the pump to lose prime. Finally, be sure that the pump lid is lubed and tight, and drain plugs are Teflon taped and tight. The other common air leak is around melted and shrunk PVC fittings threaded into the pump, as mentioned above. Replace the shrunken fitting, or make a patch with Pool Putty.

WET POOL PUMP

icon for moist pool pump room areasProblem: Bushes, weeds and overhanging trees trap moisture and restrict air flow around pool pumps. Soil and mulch around pumps and low areas trap water and moisture. Pump motors will last longer in dry conditions.

Solution: Trim bushes and plants as needed to reduce moisture and increase air flow. Use gravel and remove or spray weeds regularly, to keep the pump area a plant-free zone.

HOT POOL PUMP

icon for HOT pool pumpsProblem: Motors need good air circulation to stay cool while running, which also helps a pool motor last longer. Plants, mulch or enclosed spaces block the breeze. Direct sun will also raise motor temperature.

Solution: Motors are always hot to the touch, running at around 140 degrees. Good air circulation reduces motor temps. Pump motor shields can be used to block sunlight.

WRONG SIZE PUMP

Hayward Northstar pump shown - way TOO BIG for many pools!Problem: Pumps that are too big for the pipe size or number of incoming pipes will cavitate under excessive vacuum pressure, essentially starved for water. And pool pumps that are too small for the system will struggle against a heavy resistance pressure. In both cases, the pump and motor is overworked; a leading cause of heart (pump) failure.

Solution: Select new pool pumps based on a careful consultation of the Pump Flow Curve, with a good estimate of your system resistance, and the knowledge of your Filter Design Flow Rate. Replacing with the exact duplicate pump is a good bet, or an IntelliFlo or EcoStar variable speed pump can be optimized to match system resistance. When in doubt, contact our call center to speak with a pool tech, or leave me a comment below. We need to know all about your pool and every piece of equipment, and how far the equipment is from the pool, pipe size and type of pipe used, among other details.

WRONG PUMP WIRING

icon for pool pump wiringProblem: Incorrect voltage, wire size or wiring. High or low voltage over time can stress the motor, or just flat burn it out, causing a short across the windings or blowing out the capacitor repeatedly. Pool motors are available in 120V and 240V (only), and also 120V/240V, known as reversible motors, able to accept either voltage. Connecting 120V into a motor that is expecting 240V just won’t start the motor, but putting 240V into a motor wired for 120V and you can expect sparks and smoke and a dead motor if not shut off quickly!  Mis-wired motors, or using incorrect wire size could also cause motor problems.

Solution: Line voltage should be stable and within 10% of 115V or 230V, whichever is used. When installing a new motor, double check that line voltage matches motor voltage. Read the wiring diagram closely on the motor label to be sure that your power leads and ground wire are correctly attached to the terminal board. Although modern motors are fairly straight-forward with the power connection, it is possible to mis-wire a motor. And, if replacing old wires, be sure to use the correct wire size, usually 12/3, or 12 AWG size, three wires, usually white, black and green.

INSECT INFESTATION

icon for insectsProblem: Insects can chew through wires or can short out circuitry as they seek the warmth and shelter of the pump motor, becoming a conductor between two metals that should not touch. This can happen in the rear of the pump motor, or in the timeclock or control panel. Wasp or hornets nests can also make a mess.

Solution: Insecticide as needed. Seal up any open knock-outs, and block any other access points to control panels and motors.

HEAVY MULCH

wheelbarrow iconProblem: Mulch is very acidic and traps moisture, creating an acrid humid air around the pump motor, which can be corrosive to metallic pump parts. And when each spring another 2″ of mulch is laid down, over time this raises the ground level, reducing air flow and in some cases increasing the chances of flooding the pool pump.

Solution: Use Gravel, Not Mulch around your pool equipment. Use a rake or leaf blower regularly to remove sticks, leaves or ‘natural mulch’.

HEAVY SNOW

snowflake icon Problem: Pool pumps under a pile of snow cannot breathe. Without air circulation, moisture is trapped inside the motor. Repeated freeze/thaw cycles creates internal rust between the stator and rotor, causing motors to ‘lock-up’ come spring. Small amounts of snow are of little concern; but extended periods of heavy snow should be avoided.

Solution: Use an upside down Rubbermaid container, or laundry basket to cover the pump, cut out on side to fit snugly over the pump and/or motor. Be sure to allow for sufficient air flow on all sides, so as not to trap moisture inside. For the same reason, never wrap a motor tightly in plastic. An even better method is to install pool pump unions for easy winter removal, and indoor storage.

HEAVY BRANCHES

tree branch falling on a pool pump iconProblem: Heavy branches that fall, just right across a pool pump motor or on top of the pump lid, can do considerable damage to pool pumps. Not often, but it happens occasionally.

Solution: Trim branches as needed.

 


 

Not to over-personify a pool pump, but like you and me, pool pumps need enough air, water and power to run right each day.

And like you and me – insects, heavy snow and hot temperatures are best avoided, and we hope to not get hit on the head with a tree branch!

Good pool pump maintenance ensures a healthy heart for your pool circulation system and prevents premature “heart failure” – which is certain to happen during the hottest week of the summer!

 

David Merino
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

How to Install a Replacement Gas Pool Heater
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how to install a replacement pool heaterReplacing your old gas pool heater is not such a complicated task. Indeed, most pool owners hire a professional to replace their pool heater. Many states require gas appliances to be installed by a licensed contractor; but buying it, placing it and plumbing it – you can do yourself.

Originally published in 2011, this post is New & Improved ~ updated with fresh information and images about DIY pool heater installation!

Getting Ready for Heater Installation

Once you have purchased the correct size and type of pool heater (propane or natural), the first step in replacing your gas pool heater is to remove your current heater and clear the location where the new pool heater will be installed. Be sure your pool pump is turned off at the circuit breaker, and that you shut off the gas supply to the heater, at the tank (propane) or at the gas meter (natural gas).

For electronic gas pool heaters, those with a digital display, make sure that your heater is truly powered down by removing the power source. Consult and follow the owner’s manual of your existing pool heater, and disconnect the incoming power wires at the connection points inside the heater. If your replacement gas heater is the same as your old one, take note of how your old one is wired as you are disconnecting the wires. Your new pool heater may be wired differently however.

Disconnect the gas plumbing from inside of the heater, with the use of two large channel locks or two pipe wrenches. Be certain that the gas supply is turned off before this is done. On Natural Gas heaters, look for a union connection inside the heater to disconnect. Propane lines are typically a flexible copper tubing. Be careful not to crimp or bend the tubing during removal. Of course, no smoking or any open flames near the heater at this point.

Disconnect the water plumbing, where the pipes come in and out of the heater. If your heater has union connections, use large channel locks (or strong hands) to loosen the unions. Older heaters without union connections may be plumbed with threaded CPVC fitting, or may utilize heat sinks – metal tubes with unions on the bottom. For PVC pipes, use a saw to cut the two in/out pipes. Leave room to reconnect with a coupling or union, if you plan to re-use the pipes on the new heater. For steel or copper heat sinks, remove the bolts on the header flanges, to disconnect the water plumbing from the heater.

Look for a small, bare copper bonding wire attached to the base of the pool heater; also connected to the pump motor. Disconnect the bonding lug completely from the heater using a nut driver (do not cut the wire), and bend the wire and bonding lug out of the way.

If your heater has a vent stack on top (and any heater installed indoors or inside of a shed should have proper venting), carefully remove the sheet metal pieces from the top, and inspect the pieces to be sure that there are no cracks or corrosion. Also check the vent and vent cap for bird nests and thick spider webs or any blockage to air flow.

Now that you have disconnected the Power, the Plumbing, the Gas and the bonding wire, your heater should now be free to be removed from the pad. You’ll need a hand! Two people should be able to remove the heater fairly easily. If you are working alone, you can remove the heat exchanger separately, which lightens the load considerably.

By the way, your local scrap metal yard will pay cash for your old copper heat exchanger tubes. Brass in/out headers, used on some heaters, also have a recycle value. In fact, almost all metal components of your old pool heater can be recycled.

Heater Location

Once the area is cleared, place your new gas heater onto the location where it will sit. Position the heater in a way that makes simple and straight water and gas connections. Also consider the location of the control panel. Most gas heaters allow you to flip the heat exchanger from one side to the other, and some allow you to ‘flip the lid’, to position the control panel on the most easily accessible side.

Following the new heater’s installation guide, make sure that there is sufficient room (in front, behind, to the sides and above the heater) for proper combustion and ventilation of your new gas pool heater.

Pool heaters must sit on a non-combustible base and have at least clearance around all sides and clear sky above. This is VERY important! Pool heaters should also not be installed beneath or near any windows into the house, as they produce carbon monoxide and this exhaust can be fatal. Vitas Gerulaitis, professional tennis player, was killed in such a manner in 1994.

Pool heaters which are poorly maintained or installed incorrectly can also be a fire hazard; as ‘flame roll-out’ can ignite nearby combustible materials. Consult your owner’s manual for these very important installation considerations.

Ensure that shrubbery or trees have not overgrown too close to where the heater is going to be positioned. Trimming or removal of nearby plants and trees may be needed to reduce moisture and increase air flow. Your new pool heater should sit several inches above the earth, free and clear of mulch or leaf pile-up and out of any danger of flooding.

Heater Electrical

Wiring for digital gas heaters is a simple task – follow the specifications and directions that came with your pool heater. Even if your replacement pool heater is identical to your old one, the wiring may look slightly different, just follow labels and the manual.

Double check that all wires have been connected properly, the directions are usually very simple and clear. Take care to check that you’ve correctly connected your power lines as instructed. Be sure to securely fasten the conduit to the heater cabinet with a suitable conduit connector.

Connect remote wiring, if your pool has a remote pool controller system, again following the directions that have come with your replacement pool heater. The wires from the remote controller should never be combined with the high voltage wire in the same conduit, and for this reason, pool heaters have two conduit installation holes (knock-outs) located next to each other on the side panel.

Heater Plumbing

Once the electrical has been installed, it is time to connect the plumbing for your pool system. Attach the PVC plumbing connection union nuts that come with your replacement pool heater. The gaskets that come with these connections should be lubricated with a silicone-based lubricant to ensure a sealed fit.

Take care to install the pipes into their respective inlet and outlet ports on the heater. I once was called out to troubleshoot a pool heater, and after much head scratching, discovered that the heater was plumbed backwards! The front header or manifold should be clearly labeled with a sticker or an arrow pointing either towards (inlet) or away (outlet) from the pool heater.

A pressure relief valve is usually required by local codes, to bleed off any excess pressure – similar to a household hot water heater. Once you have made sure that all pipes and joints are correctly cut to the right size, join pipes and fittings with fresh PVC cement. For threaded fittings into the heater, use sufficient thread sealant to prevent leaks.

Heater Gas Line

The next step is to install the gas line, which is understandably the part of your new pool heater install that requires the most care. For propane heaters, your propane supplier will make a quick and secure connection for a nominal fee.

Consult your owner’s manual that came with your heater before making any gas line connection. If you are replacing the heater with the exact same model, the connection should be the same as before.

Once you’ve made sure that the incoming gas line is clean and corrosion-free, secure it to your heater using gas thread sealant (pipe dope). Use only sealants and fittings that are rated for gas supply.

After securely connecting the gas line to the gas valve, according to the pool heater owner’s manual, turn on the gas and test the entire gas line and fittings with some soapy water to check for leaks.

Before working with gas, check your local and state codes to see if a homeowner is prevented from working on gas. If so, consult a qualified gas contractor in this case – making mistakes in this area could be dangerous!

The next step in installing replacement gas pool heaters is to start up the filter pump and to check for water leaks. Once that is done, you are all set and ready to test fire your new pool heater. It may take a few minutes for the gas flow to reach the burners, but if it does not fire within a few minutes, double check the gas supply and water flow.

Indoor Pool Heaters

If the pool heater is to be installed indoors or in an outdoor shed or partial enclosure, be sure to properly vent the pool heater to the outdoors. Although this is completely explained in the owner’s manual, this can be tricky for the layman to do properly.

Consult a qualified HVAC company to properly vent a pool heater being installed indoors. Indoor heaters should also have a qualified gas contractor connect the gas supply line, and a permit should be pulled, as mistakes in indoor pool heater installation can be deadly!

Consult your owner’s manual to make sure that you’ve gone through all the steps to correctly and safely install a replacement gas pool heater. We carry all the top brands, including Hayward, Lochinvar, Pentair and Raypak pool heaters.

Follow your heater installation manual, and all local codes and regulations to set up your own pool heater – and you should have results as good as any professional pool heater installer, if not better! You can always consult a licensed contractor to inspect your work before firing a pool heater.

 

Great work!

 

Martin Ratchev, tells us how to install a new gas pool heater
Martin Ratchev
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

10 Highest Rated Pool Cleaners

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I’m often asked “What’s the BEST pool cleaner?” by friends and more often by customers. Quick question to ask, yet a quick answer is hard to give.

That’s because there are over 100 automatic cleaners for pools; how do you choose the best pool cleaner from among so many different models?

You read reviews of pool cleaners, that’s what you do, and see how others have rated them. On InTheSwim.com, we have 1000’s of pool cleaner reviews.

To save you from reading 1000 reviews, I’ve curated a list of the top rated pool cleaners, or 10 pool cleaners with the best reviews.

Ladies and gentlemen, I now present the 5 highest rated aboveground cleaners and the 5 highest rated inground cleaners. May I have the envelope please?

 

Top 5 Best Rated Pool Cleaners for Aboveground Pools


Aquabot Pool Rover T

Aquabot Pool Rover T Ratings and ReviesAquabot Pool Rover T is a Robotic pool cleaner with a powerful vacuum that also filters your water as it cleans the pool. Self contained filter bag collects debris of all sizes, down to 2 microns. Self contained pool cleaner does not rely on, nor connect to your filter system, but works independently, under any conditions.

4.1 Star Reviews for Aquabot Pool Rover T


Hayward Aqua Critter

Hayward Aqua Critter Reviews and RatingsHayward’s Aqua Critter Suction cleaner connects to your wall fitting or skimmer for fast, programmed vac action. Patented Hayward SmartDrive programmed steering system ensures the entire bottom of the pool is cleaned. Aqua Critter has the same sturdy design as the Aqua Bug, only cheaper!

4.4 Star Reviews for Hayward Aqua Critter


Hayward Penguin

Hayward Penguin Ratings and ReviewsHayward’s Penguin Suction cleaner is even more affordable than the Aqua Critter and uses the same patented SmartDrive programmed cleaning pattern, spinning around the pool like a whirling dervish. Cleans most aboveground pools in 90 minutes, and one review says that the Penguin keeps the ducks out of the pool!

4.8 Star Reviews for Hayward Penguin


Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark

Kreepy krauly Lil shark reviewsThe Kreepy Krauly Lil’ Shark is a renamed Sta-Rite Lil’ Shark, but the Pentair Suction cleaner has the same high performance. Brushes and vacuums any above ground or on-ground pool using only one moving part, ensuring years of top-quality performance and reliability. Like all ABG suction cleaners, Lil Shark includes 32′ of hose.

4.3 Star Reviews for Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark


Polaris Turbo Turtle

Polars 65 Turbo Turtle ReviewsPolaris Turbo Turtle stands out in the crowd, as the only Pressure-side cleaner for above-ground pools. Instead of connecting to a skimmer or suction port, Polaris 65 and Turbo Turtle models connect to the wall return fitting, which propels the cleaner on the surface, while dragging a jet-powered debris bag around the pool floor.

4.6 Star Reviews for Polaris Turbo Turtle

 

Top 5 Best Rated Pool Cleaners for Inground Pools


Aquabot Junior

Aquabot Junior ReviewsAquabot Junior uses advanced Robotic technology in a smaller design for pools up to 40′ in length. Scrubs and vacuums your pool, and filters 4800 GPM of pool water through the fine mesh filter bag, trapping invisible particles down to 2 micron in size. Cleans any residential pool completely, in under two hours.

4.1 Star Reviews for Aquabot Junior


Hayward AquaNaut

Hayward AquaNaut ReviewsThe Hayward AquaNaut Suction cleaner can handle any shape and size pool without clogging or stalling. AquaNaut features V-Flex™ technology, patented self-adjusting variable vanes that automatically adjust to allow for any size debris to pass through. A speedy cleaner that gets the job done every time.

4.3 Star Reviews for Hayward AquaNaut 


Hayward SharkVac XL

hayward Sharkvac XL reviewsHayward SharkVac XL Robotic cleaner uses TigerShark technology in a sleeker package. Top load filter is easy to access dual pleated filter cartridges. No messy debris bag, just hose cartridges and caddy clean. Compact and lightweight cleaner even senses shallow water level, allowing operation for a beach front pool entry.

4.3 Star Reviews for Hayward SharkVac XL 


Pentair Kreepy Krauly

Reviews of Kreepy Krauly cleanersKreepy Krauly Suction cleaners tackle every area of your pool including the tile line, walls, and floor. Millions installed across America, the Kreepy Krauly has legions of fans. One moving part makes the Kreepy the simplest cleaner in design, installation and operation. Works best with a strong pump to provide enough suction.

4.2 Star Reviews for Kreepy Krauly 


Polaris 380

Polaris 380 ReviewsPolaris 380 is the flagship Pressure cleaner from Zodiac. Installed on Millions of inground pools, Polaris 380 cleaners use a booster pump to ensure consistent pressure to the cleaner. Operates independently from the filter system, and turns itself on and off. Best cleaner for heavy debris, but requires a dedicated plumbing line.

4.5 Star Reviews for Polaris 380 

 

And there you have it – our top-rated pool cleaners, or the pool cleaners with the best reviews. Our rating system is managed by BazaarVoice, so you can trust that they are verified reviews, written by real pool owners, just like you.

If you have questions about which pool cleaner to choose, or which of the over 100 automatic pool cleaners is best for your pool, see for yourself which pool cleaner has the best reviews, or leave me a comment below detailing your pool, plumbing and equipment – I answer them personally!

 


Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

No Drain Pool Acid Wash
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For those of you pool students with a stained plaster finish, today’s lecture will be very meaningful. For my vinyl pool students in the class, please read Chapter 7, Stains in a Vinyl Liner Pool.

A No-Drain Acid Wash is a term coined for a pool plaster cleaning or descaling process, without draining the pool water.

Essentially, the pH of the pool water is reduced to a very acidic level of around 1.0, and an alkalinity level close to zero.

Then the pool is brushed and brushed, several times per day, with a steel bristled pool brush; to loosen scale and dirt.

After 3 days, the process is reversed, and the water chemistry returned to normal.


How does a No Drain Acid Wash work?

By lowering the pH and Alkalinity to such low levels, a corrosive water environment is created, which will slowly eat away at soft materials, like scale and stains.

Such low pH can also continue to etch soft areas of plaster, however the No Drain Acid Wash process lasts for only for 3 days, and is reversed before (too much) damage can occur.

How Well does a No Drain Acid Wash Work?

Not as good as a regular acid wash, which is a direct application of liquid acid to the plaster surface, to strip away a thin layer of plaster. A No-Drain Acid Wash is much less invasive, we are simply making the pool water very acidic. As such, results are good, but always less than a regular acid washing.

However, No Drain acid wash is a popular alternative to draining the pool in areas with drought restrictions, limited well capacity or expensive city water supplies. In addition, regular acid washing is personally and environmentally hazardous, and can be quite expensive to have done.

Preparing for a No Drain Acid Wash

  • Cool weather with clear skies ahead
  • Over-filter and over-sanitize the pool in the week prior
  • Clean pool very thoroughly, vacuum, brush and skim
  • Remove all steel; ladders, rails, pool lights
  • Remove pool cleaner and pool accessories
  • Overfill pool to top of tile, or drain to bottom of tile
  • Shut off pool pump and remove any timer ON trippers

Since the pool filter will be off for nearly a week, you want to do this during cool weather, and without storms or high winds, to keep the pool as clean as possible. It is helpful to over-filter the water by running the pump 24 hrs per day for several days before a No Drain Acid Wash. Additionally, shocking the pool heavily to remove organics and establish a high chlorine residual, can help avoid cloudy water or algae growth. Algaecides can also be used.

Since the pool water will be very acidic, it’s important to remove soft and shiny things from the pool, and keep the pump turned off during a No Drain Acid Wash. PVC pipes and ABS pumps are fine with the low pH condition, but soft metals and rubbers used on pool equipment can be damaged if the pump runs for any length of time.

Recipe for a No Drain Acid Wash

Before you start a No-Drain Acid Wash, be sure you are committed to the entire process and can apply each step of the daily process in a timely and complete fashion. This is a major swing in your pool water chemistry; you must be able to commit to the process.

  • Add 16 oz of Super Stain Away per 10,000 gallons
  • Add 8 lbs of pH Decreaser (Sodium Bisulfate) per 5,000 gallons
  • Check Total Alkalinity to be sure it’s at zero; if not add more pH Decreaser
  • Brush pool several times per day, with a steel pool brush, Test water each day
  • After 3 full days, begin to reverse the process, by raising pH and Alkalinity
  • Add 8 lbs of pH Increaser (Soda Ash) per 5,000 gallons, in 3 equal doses

The Super Stain Away is an important step. Adjusting the pH and alkalinity to such low levels can precipitate minerals and metals, producing more problems. Use a quality sequestering agent to keep minerals locked in solution during the process.

Add the pH Decreaser evenly around the pool, distributing it as broadly as possible. Add it all at one time, and add more in areas with heavier staining. Brush the pool immediately afterward, and *important* – test the Total Alkalinity with a reliable test kit (not a test strip), to determine if the TA is actually 0 ppm (if not, add more pH Decreaser).

Taylor Troubleshooter test kit shownIf you’ll allow me a shameless plug, might I recommend the Taylor Troubleshooter Test Kit? Excellent for home pool use, and at only $20, quite a bargain. DPD Tests for Free and Total Chlorine, pH and Acid Demand, and Total Alkalinity.

Add the pH Increaser in 3 separate doses, 6-12 hours apart, brushing the pool in between each addition. This is done to avoid clouding the pool water, for pools with high levels of Total Dissolved Solids, or TDS. However, don’t be alarmed if you have temporary clouding of the water when adding the base, even with partial doses. Precipitated solids are mostly carbonates that will absorb and help to re-establish the Total Alkalinity.

Test your pH and Total Alkalinity again, and before you add the last several pounds of pH Increaser, so you don’t raise pH and Alkalinity too high. Once your pH and Alkalinity levels have reestablished themselves as close to normal (pH: 7.2-7.6, TA: 80-120 ppm), you can turn the pump on again, and replace any removed items.

Follow-Up Advice for No Drain Acid Wash

  • Add a Clarifier if needed, to help restore water sparkle and clarity faster.
  • Test your water every day for a week. Returning pH and Total Alkalinity to normal levels can often require several repeat treatments.
  • Proper Calcium Hardness level is also important to prevent scaling in pools. If below 180 ppm, add pool Hardness Increaser before starting the process.
  • Continue to brush the pool every day with a steel bristled pool brush.
  • Inspect your plaster closely each day while brushing. If excessive etching or rough areas appear, abort and reverse the process immediately.
  • Do not shock the pool or add chlorine until pH and Alkalinity return to normal, but you can add a good algaecide if weather is warm or the water begins to turn.

 


 

No Drain Acid Washing can be an easy alternative for some folks who cannot easily or cheaply refill a large plaster pool.

If you’ve tried my method, or similar methods, leave a comment below!

Class Dismissed!

 

Dr. Pool

World’s Most Insane Water Park Slides
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Around here, we’re all about pools, and love to talk about the health benefits of swimming and water exercise, as well as the fun with friends and family gathered around the pool.

But today we’re all about the thrills and spills that await you this summer at America’s Water Parks. After all – they are pools, just very, very large pools. Millions of gallons, actually.

Here we have then, a curated list of the most insane slides; the biggest and best water park slides in the U.S.. Try them out this summer – if you dare!


747 Slide – Wings & Waves Water Park, Minnieville, Oregon

An educational water park, Wings & Waves is the only water park in the world with a Boeing 747 airplane slide. The indoor water park and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is open year around, for your splashing and flying amusement.

Thunder Falls Water Slide – Wildwater Kingdom, Aurora, Ohio

100 ft tall tower of excitement! Launch pads on every level with a total of 7 enclosed slides, with or without an inner tube. Colorful and exciting, Thunder Falls riders reached incredibly speeds, but sadly is no more. Wildwater Kingdom Ohio closed their doors in 2016.

Master Blaster Slides – Atlantis Palm Resort, Dubai, UAE

The Master Blaster tubes are the longest water slides bar none, and at a more leisurely speed than some of these other amazing pool slides. Aquaventure, complete with Mayan temple, is just one of the fun theme parks within the Atlantis Palm Resort.

Ultimate Abyss Slide – Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

The largest slide on a cruise ship, over 12 stories tall, belongs to the largest cruise ship in the world, the Harmony of the Seas. The Ultimate Abyss is a ‘dry slide’, without water – but  there are many other ‘wet’ slides, bowls, chutes – and 23 pools on board!

Cliffhanger Slide, Schlitterbahn – Galveston, Texas

Choose your thrill – an 81 ft sheer drop at speeds of up to 40 mph, or get loopy in the serpentine Twister Tubes, made extra disorienting with fog and lighting. High thrill freefall body slide is in a part of the Schlitterbahn park called Blastenhoff, lol.

Breakaway Falls – Aquatica, Orlando, Florida

Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is the tallest and steepest water slide in Orlando. Named for the Breakaway boxes that launch a rider from a standing position into an 80 ft freefall, when the floor underneath your feet opens like a trap door. Too Scary?


Perhaps something with a few less twists and spins? For thrill seekers like your family – build a water park slide in your own backyard with the Vortex Pool Slide. It’s the most Insane pool slide you can buy, standing 11 ft tall, with a 20′ runway! The largest 360° Slide in its class!

Kids will line up around the block for a chance to ride the Vortex, you can charge admission at your own water park! SR Smith has kindly offered us a $500 rebate for our blog readers. Grab yours today and Slide-On!

 

 


Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Controlling Scale Deposits in Pools
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Hello again students of pool, let’s get settled into our desks and the lecture can begin.

Dr. Pool: “You there, in the front row, Charles, is it? Tell me about hard water and soft water, in pools.”
Charlie: “Yes it’s Charlie, sir. Well Doctor, I suppose hardness is the measure of how much calcium is in the pool water…?”
Dr. Pool: “Correct, Charles. Hard water is high in minerals such as calcium… and magnesium, metals and other particles that are dissolved in the water. In pools, we measure the level of hardness by testing for calcium carbonate, with the proper levels for pools being…”
Charlie: “180 to 220 parts per million, sir!”
Dr. Pool: “…that is – correct. Sit down now, Charles”.


Problems with Scale in Pools

Scale are mineral deposits, and if you’ve ever seen spots on drinking glasses after you’ve pulled them from the dishwasher, you are familiar with calcium scale.

In swimming pools, scale easily deposits as stains on pool surfaces, thin films, dirty spots and sharp crystals. In extreme cases, it can produce a viscous mineral scum on the water level, coat the inside of pipes and even clog up a pool heater.

Mineral scale from stone or rock walls, called efflorescence, is also a common issue for pools with rock retaining walls, as moisture seeps through the wall, it brings mineral scale which forms ugly brownish white stalactites on the rock and tile.

In hard water areas of the southwest, hundreds of companies exist that bead-blast pool tiles to remove calcium scale deposits, and restore the original color and luster.

Mineral scale and total dissolved solids is also at least partially responsible for most cloudy pool water conditions. And if not cleaned regularly, can cause saltwater pool salt cells to fail.

So yes, mineral scale is a nuisance in pools, let’s look at what you can do about it.

Solutions for Scale in Pools

Although nearly 85% of the U.S. has what is considered to be ‘hard water’, you don’t have to take pool scale lying down! There are several ways to prevent scale in pools, and also several ways to remove scale in pools.

Preventing Scale in Pools

Use a Pre-Filter

Pleatco Disposable Pre-Filter with garden hose attachmentThe Pleatco Pool Pre-Filter is used to remove particulate matter as you add water to the pool. Just screw the 5-stage filter on to your garden hose and fill the pool like normal. Removes stain and scale causing contaminants; filling your pool with pure H2O.

Control Your pH

Allowing pool pH and alkalinity to rise makes it much easier for scale to precipitate out of solution. Maintain pH levels in the 7.2-7.6 range, and buffer your pH  with a proper level of Total Alkalinity, in the 80-120 ppm range. When levels are too high is when scaling occurs.

Sequester the Scale

Natural Chemistry Scale Free Scale and Metal Protection for PoolsFor those of you in hard water areas that struggle with high calcium hardness levels, add a bi-monthly dose of Scale Free by Natural Chemistry, to keep mineral scale locked in solution, or sequestered (yes, like jurors). Also very effective is our own Super Stain Away. Sequestering agents are not long lasting, reapply regularly for best results.

Brush Your Pool

in-the-swim-18-inch-supreme-pool-brushBrushing your pool, especially plaster and pebble finish pools, is an important way to prevent scale film and nodule formation. Running pool cleaners regularly also discourages heavy scale deposits by keeping the pool surfaces, especially steps and floors, clean.

Control your Calcium

in-the-swim-calcium-hardness-increaserWhen Calcium Hardness levels rise above 500 ppm, you can expect problems, and when over 1000 ppm, you really have to be careful to avoid scale problems in pools. 180-220 ppm (or even up to 300 ppm) is the optimum level. Too high can be a problem, but also levels below 150 ppm can make the water aggressively hungry for calcium hardness.

Removing Scale in Pools

Scrub the Scale

PoolStone Cleaning Block Family shownScale can be removed from plaster and pebble surfaces with manual action, either from a stainless steel bristle pool brush, a pumice stone like the PoolStone, or with abrasive cleaning tools like the Stain Eraser. Vinyl and fiberglass pools need gentler removal methods.

Acid Washing

Acid washing is a purposeful stripping of a very thin layer of plaster, exposing clean and fresh plaster beneath. As such, it’s not something you can do every year, but every 5 years doesn’t hurt, and it is really the best way to remove years of stubborn scale deposits.

Sequester the Scale

Super Stain Away shownRemoving scale deposits on pool surfaces without some type of mechanical action is difficult, but some films and localized deposits may be effectively treated by adjusting your pH to an acidic condition, and treating with a heavy dose of our Super Stain Away. Follow up with heavy brushing and near constant filtration, using clarifiers as needed to help sand filters and small cartridge filters.

Reverse Osmosis

When calcium carbonate reaches critical levels in a pool, dilution is the solution, unless you have a pool water recycling company nearby. Huge truck mounted pumps will push all of your pool water thru reverse osmosis filters, and then pump it back in, as pure H2O.


So there you have it, all the ways to deal with calcium scale problems in swimming pools. One more tip is to calculate the Langelier Saturation Index on your pool water, which incorporates temperature into the equation, and important ingredient for scaling.

Calculating LSI is a fun mathematical exercise, but Pentair Pool has saved you the trouble, with their nifty online tool, a LSI Calculator. Use it regularly to fine tune your pool water’s propensity to scale.

 

Class Dismissed!

Dr. Pool

Dealing with Snow On Your Winter Pool Cover
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Snowmageddon 2017 title goes to Erie, Pennsylvania. On Christmas Day, 34″ of snow fell, shattering previous single day snowfall records. Over 60″ of snow in just 48 hours, and there’s more snow in the forecast.

According to Dr. Pool, knowledgeable in such things, the East Coast is experiencing what has been officially dubbed a “Bomb Cyclone” of snow and cold temperature with snow reaching as far south as Florida. We hope everyone stays safe and warm. With safety in mind, let’s to discuss how to approach snow on your above ground or inground pool cover.

UNDER 2′ of SNOW 

Under two feet of snow, and you can usually kick back, relax in your easy chair and know that your tough winter cover or safety is designed to carry that kind of weight. As long as the water level has not dropped!

Winter covers need the support of the water, and if water drains out, the solid covers can tear or fall-in, and safety cover straps and springs can fail, under a heavy snow load. The best place for winter water level is 3-6″ below the skimmer opening. Monitor the level.

Mesh covers (safety covers) will look like they are going to break under the strain of snow, and often the cover will actually freeze to the water surface and look unsettling. Have no fear, for your cover will bounce back up to the original taut shape when ice thaws. Don’t try to accelerate the thaw, don’t try to break the cover free from the ice, and don’t use a metal snow shovel on the cover–it could tear it.

Solid covers will capture the snow melt as the thaw begins, be ready with your cover pump. 10″ of snow translates to about 1″ of water when it melts, and any more than an inch of water on your cover can cause stress, strain and damage to the cover.

2′ OF SNOW OR MORE

If you get over two feet of snow, most pool covers and pool owners would benefit from trying to remove a foot or two from around the edge, being careful to not get close to the pool or pool edge. Don’t worry about the pool cover, but clear the deck around the pool to facilitate drainage of snow melt.

I know a guy… he uses a plug-in heat cable wrapped around the cover pump power cord and plugged into a 3-way plug, with the pump. The small amount of heat accelerates snow melt, and creates a fast channel for water to run to the pump, when laid across the pool cover surface all down the pool length. $40 at hardware stores.

 

3′ OF SNOW OR MORE

  • Use a soft bristle push broom to gently remove the snow. If there is more snow in the forecast it will definitely help greatly to try to remove it as it falls.
  • Use a plastic snow shovel to carefully remove snow from your cover. No guarantee that you won’t rip your cover, but less risk using a plastic shovel.
  • Consider using a strong leaf blower if the snow isn’t wet and heavy.

I know a guy… he puts Pool Salt on his Pool Cover, broadcasting the crystals over the pool cover, and turns on the cover pump the next day. He has a saltwater pool of course, but anyone could do it. Just use a few pounds only, and don’t use sidewalk ice melt crystals, which have additives and impurities that you don’t want in your pool.

 

BE MINDFUL OF POOL WATER LEVELS

Winter covers and safety covers rely on pool water levels to help alleviate some of the weight from snow and ice. For safety cover owners, If you know your pool is leaking (and if it is a slow leak that can’t be repaired) try to add water throughout the winter so that the water level stays 3-12″ below the skimmer opening. More than 12″ below the skimmer, like this picture below, and you could have some real damage, especially to an old cover like this one.

SNOW WILL MELT…THEN FREEZE AGAIN

picture of pool cover pump, 1/3 hpCover pumps are will do much of the work for you if they are position correctly on your pool cover to help pump away the snow melt or existing ice as it melts. Automatic models are triggered when submerged beyond a certain point and can run all winter long. Manual pumps are turned on and off as needed. We have a big selection of affordable pool cover pumps to save you money in the long run.

Durable Air Pillows for Above-Ground Pool shownAnother affordable and incredibly effective winter pool cover accessory for above ground pools are air pillows. Air pillows float in the center of the pool, underneath the cover to keep the pool surface from freezing solidly across, which protects the pool walls from some serious damage. Always use an Air Pillow on Aboveground Pools. They also help channel water to the cover pump.

Spider Cover SaverI know a guy… who uses the biggest air pillow we sell (4’x15′) and pulls the cover tight to the edges so that light rain runs off the edges. This could damage the cover in several ways, plus it’s best to pump cover water a short distance away from the pool edge. And… it just doesn’t work, not with a rain or snow, and not with 5 ft. of snow! :-0

 

5′ OF SNOW ?!?

Now you’ve got problems. But again, as long as there is sufficient water level in the pool, the frozen pool will support 60″ of snow. First work on clearing a path to the pool, and then slowly remove snow from around the pool. Then you can assess the pool cover situation.

So then, unless you’re in Erie, PA, you really don’t need to do much with snow on your pool cover. Just have your pump ready to remove the snow melt on warm afternoons with above freezing temperatures. Coming soon… I’m sure!  And if you are dealing with 5 ft of snow on your pool cover in Erie, I have the same advice, plug-in the cover pump and just wait….

 


Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Favorite Stain Prevention in a Plaster Pool
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Hello, I’m Dr. Pool, and today’s class will focus on the prevention of stains, on inground pool plaster surfaces. It’s a topic that has all the elements of a good chemical story, with great play between the main characters – a semi-porous cementitious surface, 1000’s of charged particles, and of course, water.

Let’s start with pool plaster itself, typically a mixture of white Portland cement and marble dust. Mixed with water and applied by hand in uncontrolled (outdoor) conditions, it cures underwater, with proper chemical management.

Pool Plaster is a natural product, and as such is subject to variations in shading or hue, some undulations or streaking may be expected on troweled plaster. Most pool plaster companies offer additives, such as quartz, bead or pebble aggregates, added to diffuse color and hide such variations.

I say all this to help you manage expectations, as 95% of plaster pools have some uneven tones. And in addition, most pools have a blemish here or there – pool stains are normal, or the rule rather than the exception.

Nevertheless, you’ve come here to learn about preventing pool stains? read on…

MINERAL STAINS

Pool stains are often simply Mineral Scale. Pool Plaster has an ionic charge that attracts mineral scale, and nearly every inground plaster pool has a film of scale deposited on the surface. This is more pronounced on colored pools (blue, black or grey), and may not be noticeable on white plaster finishes.

But scale does not deposit alone, when minerals are knocked-out or pulled-out of solution, as happens quite regularly in pools – dirt, algae and organics is drawn into the forming scale, producing a dull or dirty scale film on the plaster surface, in a very thin layer.

Scale deposits and mineral stains can be avoided in pools!

  • Pool Filters: Large and effective, DE filters are the most efficient.
  • Pool Cleaners: Automatic pool cleaners run daily help reduce scale formation.
  • Brushing: Weekly brushing with a quality pool brush to loosen scale and dust.
  • Stain & Scale: Agents like Scale Free or Stain Away keep minerals in solution.
  • Saturation Index: Avoids super-saturation or scaling conditions LSI Calculator.

Over time, even well maintained pools can have situations that produce sudden scaling conditions. An acid wash every 5 or 10 years will strip scale film to restore and brighten plaster beneath. As an added benefit, replacing (old) pool water improves water conditions, often making water balance and scale management easier.

Scale Films and crystal deposits can also often be removed without draining the pool, albeit less effectively, by balancing the water towards the slightly acidic end of the LSI spectrum, and adding a full dose of Scale Free or Super Stain Away directly to the water, followed by heavy brushing and extra filtering, which may be aided with Chitin, a natural clarifier.

METAL STAINS

Plaster pools can also be subject to staining from metals, the most common elements found in pool water are Copper and Iron. Iron stains produce mostly orange-brown stains and copper stains are usually blue-green, and both can appear black in high concentrations.

Metal levels in pool water can be tested for at very accurate levels here in my lab; but for use ‘out in the field’, we have a Copper test strip by AquaChek, and there are strips also available for establishing a rough measure of iron, in the familiar parts per million scale.

Metals in pool water can come from many sources:

  • Well Water usually contains iron, or city water delivered via rusty iron pipes.
  • Copper from copper pipes, copper heat exchangers, or copper algaecides.
  • Steel: Non-pool toys with metal parts, hair pins i.e. ‘bobby pins’, roofing nails.
  • Rebar tie wires, close to the surface, beneath the plaster, rusting through.
  • Galvanic corrosion of steel in salt water pools without a zinc anode.

Metal stains from iron and copper can be prevented in pools!

  • Pre-Filter: Use a Pleatco Pre-Filter to remove metals from pool re-fill water.
  • Sequester: Use Metal Free to keep metals locked in solution with strong bonds.
  • Proper pH & Alk: Acidic Low pH & Alkalinity strips copper from pool heaters.

Perhaps it may also be wise to install a new pool rule – ‘no ferrous metals’ in the pool. Only aluminum, brass or stainless steel within 50 feet of the pool! 🙂

Copper and Silver ionizers can also easily stain plaster pools. Products such as the Solar Ionizer or Power Ionizer have the potential for increasing metal levels to a range where sequestration becomes difficult. A sudden change in water balance, including shocking the pool can precipitate the metals, staining a plaster surface.

ORGANIC STAINS

Now class I ask you; is your pool stain an animal, mineral or vegetable? So far, we’ve covered mineral scale stains, and metal stains, now we look at organic stains, those from animals (birds, worms, insects) or vegetable (algae, leaves, dirt, oils).

These stains can be in the corners of the steps, or one end of the pool, around the drain, or at the winter water level line – known as the ‘bathtub ring’. Or when leaves and worms mix and sit all winter long directly on the pool plaster.

Many automatic pool cleaners have a particular spot or step that they can’t reach, and leaf tannins and oils from debris can leave a mark. Organic stains can also occur from bird droppings, or berries and nuts.

Organic Stains in pools can be prevented! (sometimes)

  • Solid Covers: A tight fitting fully-Solid winter safety cover without drain panels.
  • Enzymes: For winter or summer, Enzymes eat stain causing organics!
  • Clean Pools: Efficient skimmers, automatic cleaners, good cleaning tools.
  • Pool Filters: Operating effectively to remove fine organic particles and oils.
  • Sanitizer: Constant consistent chlorine levels helps to breakdown organics.

cheap-pool-shockOrganic stains can often be removed quickly on a plaster pool by sprinkling calcium hypochlorite (pool shock) over the area, allowing to sit for a minute, then brush briskly.

Today’s lesson however, was Stain Prevention in a Plaster Pool, (not removal) and I hope you found it of value.

For those students who have passed the test on preventing pool stains, you are ready to move onto the next chapter: removing pool stains. Your next reading assignment is thus: Stain Removal in a Plaster Pool

 

Class Dismissed!

 

Dr. Pool

 

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10 of the World’s Most Unusual Pool Locations
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As the year comes to a close, we’d like to wind down from the usual, and verge into the unusual. This week’s ITS Blog aims to have some fun by taking a gander at some of the Most Unusual Pools in the World. Let’s jump right in!

Pool in a Ballpark: Arizona Diamondbacks

This 8,500 gallon pool is located in the right-center outfield and is part of a suite you can rent. It was the first of its kind when it opened in 1998 and has since inspired several imitators.  Legend has it that the designers were looking at preliminary models of the park’s design when one of them joked about building a pool in the outfield.

Pool on a Volcano: Blue Lagoon Spa, Grindavik, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa in Iceland is probably the most famous of its kind. The water is heated by nearby underground lava and actually renewed 4 times a week by a geothermal water filtering plant. The water is naturally heated at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, rich with minerals and some claim it has healing powers.

Pool on the Horizon: Hotel Villa Mahal, Turkey

In Turkey, the infinity pool at the Hotel Villa Mahal truly captures the illusion of the water blending with the horizon at the edge of the world. Infinity pools, aka negative edge pools, are a unique engineering challenge for any pool builder. In this case, perfection has been obtained.

Pool Suspended in Air: Joule Hotel, Dallas Texas

The rooftop pool at the Hotel Joule in downtown Dallas, TX takes the concept of an infinity pool to new heights. This cantilevered pool on the 10th floor of the historic downtown hotel allows swimmers to swim up to the glass and look down on Main Street below.

Pool in a Living Room: Manhattan, NYC

An indoor pool is one thing, an indoor pool in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan is something completely different and far more luxurious.  This pool is part of an $11 million dollar apartment that also features a pool for the owner’s pet turtles – oh, and it is currently on the market. Save up those pennies!

Pool in the Clouds: Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore

Way up on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is the world’s highest infinity pool. It looks out over the Downtown Core. When opened in 2009 it was considered to be the world’s most expensive standalone hotel – built for a whopping $8 billion bucks.

Pool on a Boat: Any Ocean

Sure all cruise ships have pools, but now even smaller yachts are installing on-board pools. The yacht DB9 shown above sleeps 12 and features an open air cinema and a grand piano in the main salon. Two hot tubs along with an outdoor swimming pool make her an obvious choice for your next vacation. It’s for rent from Elite Yacht!

Pool in a River: Badeschiff, Berlin, Germany 

Badeschiff, or “bathing ship” is a public pool in Berlin. It is literally a floating shipping container transformed into a public swimming pool on the river Spree. The price of the real estate was right, so the city built a pool – in the river!

Pool Between two Buildings

These condo towers in Singapore are bridged by a swimming pool at the top of 38 story tall building.  The building also features extensive green living features and two garden bridges below the pool.

Pool in the Jungle: Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali, Indonesia

The Hanging Gardens of Bali is a luxury resort deep in the jungles of Bali.  The resort has recently won the distinguished honor of “World’s Best Swimming Pool” from the Luxury Hotel Awards. It is actually two pools: an infinity pool that looks out over the jungle several stories up and a pool that puts you in the heart of the gardens with exotic foliage.


Unusual pools in unusual locations, ten great examples of pool builders thinking outside the box – outside of a 20’x40′ box in the backyard, that is. Swimming pools don’t have be normal – any ‘box’ can be filled with water, no matter where it’s located!

This is my last blog for the year, enjoy the holidays and I’ll be back again in 2018!

 


Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

 

Swimming Pool Ladder and Handrail Upgrades
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Pool steps and ladders are an element of swimming pools that are often an afterthought for many pool owners. They are a vital aspect of a pool’s overall safety and can also serve as an understated design accent to give your pool deck a modest splash of style.

Odds are, if you are considering a new handrail, ladder or step system for your above ground or inground pool it is because you have a severely outdated, possibly dangerous ladder.

Let’s take a look at the best swimming pool handrails, steps, and ladders that are built to last, while boosting the subtle aesthetics of your pool area.

 INTER-FAB DESIGNER HANDRAILS FOR INGROUND POOLSinter fab designer handrails_blog.intheswim.com

Inter-Fab has given a fresh approach to the form of inground pool handrails without sacrificing the fundamental purpose: a safe and durable accessory to enter or exit the water. There is almost an element of sci-fi to these sleek, stainless steel designer rails – eye-catching yet versatile enough to mesh with any pool’s existing decor. Paired or single-standing, Inter-Fab Designer handrails break the norm and are a classy way to give your pool deck (or spa) some flair.

KOOL GRIPS HANDRAIL COVERS

kool grips pool and spa handrail coversKeeping with the concept of maintaining safety standards while stepping up the visual impact potential of your pool or spa handrails are the Kool Grips Handrail Covers.

KoolGrips are made with heavy duty polyester and spandex fabric blended with UPF/UV inhibitors (so they don’t fade in the sun) and are anti-microbrial.

They are available in 3 colors and are a more affordable way to update your pool or spa handrails without replacing them entirely.

SAFTRON RESIDENTIAL LADDER FOR INGROUND POOLS


saftron pool ladder_blog.intheswim.comSAFTRON’s high-impact polymer ladders are made of specially formulated compounds that make them corrosion-proof and perfectly matched for saltwater pools.  The reinforced, encapsulated steel makes them incredibly durable and sturdy. The aforementioned high-impact polymer exterior makes SĀFTRON ladders impervious to not only saltwater but to pool chemicals and sun while remaining cooler to the touch. Available in 5 colors to match your pool color scheme.

FROG LOG CRITTER ESCAPE RAMP

Frog Log Critter Escape_blog.intheswim.com
Let’s not forget our 4-legged friends’ life-saving exits to your pool.  It’s easy for small animals to accidentally end up in your swimming pool but for most it is almost impossible for them to get out which often results in a tragic but avoidable accident.

The Frog Log Critter Escape Ramp is a simple, basic set up that requires no installation, is extremely affordable and provides an easy exit point for small animals.

ABOVE GROUND STEP SYSTEM OPTIONS

InterFab Designer Ladder_blog.intheswim.comSwitching gears for above ground pool owners, the Staircase Above Ground Pool Steps makes getting out of your pool much easier and safer. Built of sturdy resin polymers, these pool steps have a 400 pound capacity and can withstand the sun’s harmful UV rays and pool chemicals such as chlorine. The above ground pool steps use two mounting brackets to fasten to your pool’s deck, and dual handrails provide even more stability for entering and exiting the pool.

 

Roll Guard A-Frame Safety Ladder_blog.intheswim.comA step above (ahem) the Above Ground Pool Staircase System is the Roll Guard A-Frame Safety Ladder.

This high quality system offers the ability to allow or prevent access to your above ground pool as you see fit. Simply use the unique roll-down safety barrier to cover the outside steps when not in use. The guard conveniently rolls under the ladder when it’s not needed, safely restricting access behind the inside of the ladder. This sturdy ladder also comes with a padlock for the roll guard, an anti-entrapment barrier and contemporary design that adds to the ambiance around your pool.

 

Shop Now Deluxe Entry System with Gate for Above Ground Pools_blog.intheswim.com

Our top-tier above ground pool step and gate is the Deluxe Entry System with Gate.

The Deluxe Entry system is designed to meet the most stringent of above ground pool safety codes and includes double handrails on both sides as well as a self-closing gate that opens outward and locks. This stair entry system is made of strong vinyl and won’t corrode and requires no maintenance.

Add even more enjoyment to your pool with this easy-to-use system that makes it easier for all swimmers to get in and out, while preventing accidental drowning and unwanted pool visitors.

An exciting aspect of pool ownership is the innovative products that companies like Inter-Fab are constantly striving to improve upon.  Just within the last handful of seasons we’ve seen interesting stylistic improvements to the most fundamental pool accessories like handrails and advanced ingenuity applied for a safer more secure above ground pool step system.

There’s never been a better time to update your dated spa, inground or above ground pool’s handrail, ladder, or step system. For new pool owners on any budget, there’s never been a wider array of options to put your own personal touch and style into your pool.

 

Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger