Hot Water Chemistry

  • By brad
  • 16 Mar, 2016

Hot Water Chemistry

  Thinking of investing in a hot tub, but worried about the maintenance? Many clients ask this before purchasing a hot tub. Making sure your hot tub water is clean and maintained is a major part of owning a hot tub. No one wants to hang out in a hot tub with dirty water. We are here to help you keep your hot tub sparkling and make sure it lasts you for many years to come.

You should start by testing your spa water by using test strips or bringing a water sample to your pool store. If you are using Chlorine as a primary sanitizer, you need to use a test strip that is suited for chlorine while if you are using bromine, you need to use a bromine test strip. Chemical test strips measure the pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and chlorine level of spa water.

The first step after testing the water is to correct a hardness problem if one exists. The calcium hardness should be between 150ppm and 250 ppm. If the water is too soft, it will foam and cause corrosion of your spa equipment. If the water is too hard, it will cause mineral build up on the heater element. The typical problem is that the water is too soft and requires the addition of calcium to raise the hardness of the water. If you have a high metal content this should also be addressed by using a metal sequestering agent, such as   Natural Chemistry METALfree .

Next, you can adjust the pH and alkalinity, which are related and use the same chemicals to adjust the levels. Make the first adjustment using the alkalinity reading. If the alkalinity is too high, use a decreaser product to lower the level and if it is already too low, use a product to raise the level. Add the chemical in low doses, as it might take a long time to change the alkalinity. It is important to not overdose when doing this as it will take a lot of the opposite chemical to remedy the issue. When the alkalinity is in range, it is time to correct the pH readings by using. You want the pH to be between 7.2 and 7.8.

Now you can add the sanitizer. If the water is cloudy or smells, you can shock the water by bringing the level to around 10 ppm, but DO NOT use the spa when the sanitizer level is this high. Shocking the water will ensure all bacteria and organic compounds are destroyed. You can leave the pumps on and uncover the spa to help dissipate the excess levels or chlorine back to the normal levels of between 3 ppm and 5 ppm. Once it is within these normal ranges, it is safe to use the spa again.

You also need to make sure the water is clean on an ongoing basis by shock treating the water and maintaining the sanitizer level. The warm water of   hot tubs  provides an ideal breeding ground for potentially harmful microorganisms if you do not initiate and maintain an effective sanitizer system to control them.

In order to keep your water fresh, you should add your sanitizer of choice or some shock after you use the hot tub and cycle the pumps on before your cover it. This way, the chlorine will work on killing any bacteria that might have remained after your spa session.

Waterworks has other chemicals such as de-foamers and clarifiers that will help you keep your spa water clear and clean. We have a Chemical Starter Kit that contains all the chemicals that are necessary to maintain high quality spa water.

We recommend testing your water at home every day or two and bringing a water sample to our store once per month for a more in depth look at your water balance. A little planning can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Waterworks Pools & Spas Blog

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Waterworks Has Been the Winner of the most Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada Design & Construction Awards in the Maritimes over the past 10 years!

Over the past 10-15 years, Waterworks has worked hard to elevate our construction and pool installation division to new heights. This has paid off in many ways, including the fact that we have won more national awards than any other company in the Maritimes (and it's not even close!).

We have won awards for jobs with huge budgets and jobs with modest budgets, and for commercial pool projects, pools with water features, freeform pools, rectangular pools, vinyl pools, spas and fiberglass pools, among others. These awards are judged on the beauty of the completed project, the design work that went into the project, the workmanship standards, the degree of difficulty, the installation process and safety aspects of the job.

Our award winning projects come from a number of sources:

·        Landscape architects

·        Our relationships with high end home builders

·        Word of mouth

·        In house design work

·        Landscaping firms and other contractors

Often times, we are brought in by Architects or others just to fulfill their vision for the pool. Sometimes we are asked to add our own input to help shape the plan. Other times, we are brought on to provide our vision and design expertise to a project. In many cases, we have designed and managed the construction for entire projects. In almost all cases, when we find ourselves working with a new contractor or architect, they are pleasantly surprised at our level of professionalism and ability to complete complex projects. These are people that have dealt with several other pool builders in our industry and in the end, we almost always end up with many referrals in the future due to this level of professionalism.

Our Project Manager, Brad Cross, has taken numerous courses in landscape design, computerized design software, advanced construction techniques, plumbing hydraulics and more. He is a voracious reader and keeps up with all the new trends in design and construction through the dozen or so magazines that we subscribe to. It is his attention detail and overall sense of design that leads us to create beautiful projects that eventually go on to win awards.

We have been pioneers for many design details that are now common in the industry, especially in Atlantic Canada. These details include: tanning ledges, cantilever coping, vanishing edges, tiled waterlines in vinyl liner pools, custom water and fire features, freeform shapes and more! We have experience with most complicated details and the willingness to try (and succeed with) details that are new or not common.

Our commitment to designing all of our projects - which is natural for many industries, but very uncommon in the Maritimes - in color and 3D, helps us, our crews and our clients to visualize all aspects of the project. If some part of the job is out of scale or balance with the project, we know from the design stage and make corrections. Imagine attempting to build a beautiful architectural home without plans! That is the way many pool builders in the area operate.

If you are interested in building something beautiful, anywhere in the Maritimes, we can help and we have the awards to prove it!

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Early in our initial client meetings, a common concern is "I'm a visual person, I just can't picture what my backyard is going to look like!" We know what you mean! Some pool companies provide a quick 2D, "birds-eye view" sketch of the backyard which may or may not be to scale, while others provide nothing at all. While birds-eye view, or plan view, drawings are helpful, they become even better when added to walk-through videos and 3D color views of your project from important areas inside your home and your backyard. We have been using various versions of 3D design software for over a decade!

Turning on a piece of software doesn't automatically make you a designer though. Ever notice how some plans look clunky and others are gorgeous? The difference is design. If good design principles guide the layout of your project, the result is likely to be superior. The use of line, scale, balance, unity and texture will create a backyard space that is beautiful, cohesive and practical. Our designer, Brad Cross, has a diploma in Landscape Design and years of education within the pool industry, along with dozens of award winning projects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slvqLiRocos

Once you've nailed down a beautiful design, you'll begin to see how the various parts of the project fit together. It will be easy to see if the various spaces created are large enough. It is important that if you see a certain area as the "Dining Area" that it be large enough for the people dining in it.

The budget for the project is also much easier to pin down once the design is complete. We can be sure of patio sizes, furniture arrangements, walkway widths and lengths, planter sizing, lawn square footage and more. This gives you a good idea of the overall costs prior to starting construction. If the proposed plan becomes more than your budget can handle, it can be split into phases. Electrical conduits, drainage trenches and speaker cables can be run in phase one and hot tubs, pool cabanas and outdoor sound systems can be installed in phase two. This pre-planning can save on tearing out good work in the future to make room for the new items.

If you take a moment to look through our portfolio of award winning projects, you will see that when compared to most other pools in our area, they are inherently nicer spaces. These beautiful projects certainly cost more than their counterparts, but the big question is, what about value? A well designed project will be more pleasing to the eye, more functional and will add more value to your home than a boring, oversized pool with undersized and poorly placed spaces around it. A well designed backyard has the capability of pulling the family outside, away from their iPads and Netflix and enjoying the outdoors.

Contact us today to setup a design consultation.

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Pool decks and patios are probably used as much or more than the pool itself, so it's important to get it right. Pool decks serve multiple purposes - walkways, access to the pool, lounge areas, fire pits and more. We design our pool decks to fit the client's needs. It is common in the pool industry to just put a 3' white concrete walkway around every pool and move on to the next. This is neither functional nor attractive, so we generally put more time and effort into the design and layout of our pool decks. There are many keys to a good pool deck - aesthetics, size, slipperiness, texture, color, material and of course, pricing!

When we are working on a pool deck design, the first thing we look for is how the space will be used. Do we need a dining area, or how about a BBQ'ing spot? Do we need a place for lounge chairs? How many? Is the client looking to add a fire pit? Once we know all the different "rooms" they are looking for, we start to lay them out. Generally we try to keep BBQ areas near the door to the kitchen. The dining area is placed near the BBQ. Sunny lounge areas are obviously placed in the sun and shaded areas go in the shade. Fire pits are kept away from trees. Then we make sure we have the appropriate size. There's nothing worse than having a 6' wide deck and a 7' long lounger, so we try to make sure everything will fit with space to move around a bit. Decks can have curvilinear shapes, or geometric/rectangular shapes; this will generally be determined by the overall concept we've chosen.

Once the layout and design are complete, it comes time to talk about materials. There are several options available for decking materials:

Broom Finished Concrete

The most common pool deck is broom finished concrete among "cookie cutter" pool builders as it is quick and easy to install. This material looks just like a sidewalk. It is the least expensive option.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is the material that we specify most often for our projects. Stamped concrete is similar to broom finished concrete, except that the concrete material is colored (often in grays or earth-tones) and textured. It can be textured to look like stone, flagstone, wood planks or just a textured concrete look. It can also be installed as "sand-finish" which gives it a beautiful sandy beach look that is extremely non-slip. Stamped concrete is slightly more expensive than broom finished.

If you decide on concrete, make sure your builder is planning to install rebar in the deck. Rebar is what holds the concrete together and prevents/minimizes cracks. If you've seen a 10-20 year old pool deck that looks like it's falling apart, it probably didn't have rebar!

One thing about concrete: it will crack! In a concrete deck installed with rebar, the cracks will be small and hardly noticeable, but the deck will crack, no matter what. It might be a week after it's installed or 10 years, but cracks are inevitable.

Pavers

Pavers are small pre-cast concrete units that fit together to make a patio. There are many options for pavers in terms of layouts, sizes, textures and colors. Depending on the product, pavers can be beautiful. The downside is that they have a tendency to settle over time (although they can easily be re-levelled) and that they are slightly more expensive than stamped concrete.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is the most difficult material to install, as the stones are not a consistent thickness. Natural stone is also the most expensive option, which can range from a bit more than pavers to several times the price, depending on the material. Natural stone is also likely the most beautiful option for many projects. The variation of colors, the textures, the patterns that Mother Nature creates can't be matched by man-made materials. If your budget allows, we often suggest natural stone.

Wood/Synthetic Decking

Less commonly, wood or synthetic decking can be used. Some modifications must be made to allow for proper ventilation and drainage underneath a wood patio that's placed at ground level. Wood or synthetic decking can be used to match existing materials and will work on rustic or modern projects.

Other

There are other options that are not as common, but can work in the right situation. Lawn makes a great patio! There are crushed gravel or river rocks that can work beautifully as well.

It is also important to consider the 'edging' of the patio; where the patio meets the pool. Traditionally, most vinyl lined pools have a 2-3" white trim around the edge of the pool. A more modern look is what we call cantilever coping, in which the concrete itself replaces the white trim. Learn more in our earlier blog post: http://waterworks-online.com/blogs/news/17248408-pool-design-series-cantilever-coping .

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

When designing a new pool for the backyard there are many features available. Today, we are going to talk about a popular one - the swim jet. Swim jets come in many forms, but generally they are a system that provides a current of water to swim against. Imagine a tiny backyard pool and being able to swim forever, without all the turning!

Swim jets are found in Swim Spas, which are self-contained pools with a swimming area and large jets at one end providing the current to swim against. Endless Pools are a manufacturer of a popular swim jet system and can be adapted for their own self-contained units or added to new or existing pools in the form of a large housing that is installed in the pool.

We prefer a product called the Badu Stream. It uses two large jets in the side of the pool with a large pump that is installed at the pool equipment pad. It produces a variable flow rate that can be adapted for swimmers at all levels.

Swim jets can also be used to create currents in the pool - a lazy river effect!

In many cases, even a large (20x40) residential pool isn't particularly good for swimming laps. Good swimmers will barely get any strokes in before turning and pushing off in the other direction. For this reason, we have installed swim jets on large residential pools. They are also perfect for smaller pools, where lap swimming is impossible.

In some cases, we create what is called a "SPool" (spa-pool) which can have benches, seating and hydrotherapy jets, and also have a small swimming area with a swim jet. These pools are generally very small (approximately 10'x20') but include many features found on larger pools and smaller hot tubs!

If swimming laps is important to you and you don't have the space for a true lap pool (or if you like the idea of an economical lazy river), consider a swim jet system!

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By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Most people understand that saunas are a great way to relax and unwind. Many people are not aware of all of the various health benefits that can be achieved from just a few minutes per day in a sauna.

 

  1. Stress relief

Most sauna bathers state that stress relief is the largest benefit of consistent sauna use. Stress has been shown to negatively affect our health in myriad ways. Saunas provide stress relief in a number of ways. First, it's a quiet, warm space with no distractions. Next, the heat relaxes muscles, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the bodies “feel good” chemical, which gives sauna users a wonderful after-sauna glow.

 

  • Sooth aches and pains in muscles and joints

As mentioned above, saunas cause the body to release endorphins, which can have a calming effect and the ability to minimize the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Body temperature rises during sauna use, causing blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood circulation. This increase in circulation speeds the body's natural healing process for aches and pains.

 

  • Saunas flush toxins

Many of us do not actively sweat on a daily basis. Deep sweating can have several proven health benefits, which can be achieved during sauna use. As mentioned, saunas cause core body temperatures to rise, increasing blood flow. This causes sweat glands to activate and produce sweat. Sweating primarily occurs to cool the body but deep sweating can also release several toxins absorbed from our everyday environments. Detoxification provides countless benefits to our bodies and saunas are one of the best ways to achieve a detoxifying deep sweat.

 

  • Saunas cleanse the skin

Heat bathing is one of the oldest strategies for cleansing one's skin. Deep sweating cleanses the skin (see above) and also triggers replacement of dead skin cells. Sweating also rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and skin ducts, all of which contributes to giving the skin a softer looking quality. Several studies have shown that deep sweating can also cause the skin to look more 'plump' reducing the look of small wrinkles. Saunas users frequently notice a healthy 'glow' to their skin.

 

  • Help with sleep

Most sauna users would agree that a deeper, more restful sleep is common after sauna use. This is partly due to the release of endorphins described above, which relax the body and mind and the calming heat experienced during sauna use. The rise and fall of body temperatures also correlates to better sleep.

 

  • Improve cardiovascular performance

During sauna use, core body temperature rises. In response, the blood vessels near the skin dilate and cardiac output increases. With regular sauna use, we train our hearts and blood vessels to improve; the same as we do during exercise.

 

  • Burn calories

There are many outlandish claims out there regarding saunas and weight loss. In truth, research has shown that a moderately conditioned person can sweat off 500g in a sauna session, accounting for nearly 300 calories burned. The body consumes the calories due to increased heart activity which requires additional energy.

 

  • Fight illness

German medical research has shown that saunas can significantly reduce the incidences of colds and influenza among sauna users. As the body is exposed to heat and steam (as in traditional saunas), white blood cells are produced more quickly, which fights illness and helps to kill viruses. Sauna use can also aid in decongestion of sinuses from colds or allergies.

 

  • Social and family benefits

Saunas are a great place to relax and socialize with family and friends. The sauna room is very conductive to open, intimate and quiet conversation.

 

As you can see, sauna use is good for our bodies and our minds. The sauna provides a pampering experience and most will agree – it just feels great!

 

Cautions:

Although sauna use is generally considered safe, anyone considering sauna use should check with a doctor or medical professional first. Do not use saunas if feeling dizzy, or for longer than the recommended amount of time. Alcohol consumption with sauna use is not recommended.

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Project Profile

  Details, details details! This project is all about the sm all details that bring the backyard together.

  When we were brought into this project, the backyard design was already completed. It featured a large rectangular pool with an amazing guest house and ample patio spaces among other things. We were tasked with creating a pool that would live up to the rest of the backyard. It’s worth noting that this project is nearly 200 Km’s from our office!

  For the pool itself, the design included a 20’x50’ rectangle pool. To liven things up, we proposed a large tanning ledge, which is a shallow area for playing and lounging, in one corner. The tanning ledge became the entry for the pool as well. We added a small table/umbrella holder in the center of the ledge for a bit of shade. To mark the top step, we added LED lit foam jets that can be turned on and off from the client’s iPad.

  The pool is 10’ deep in the deep end, so we were concerned about cool temperatures in the deepest parts of the pool. To fix this, we took the traditional floor drains and turned them into heated returns. This way, heated water is pumped into the pool at the lowest point, meaning that there are no “thermoclines”, or layers of water with different temperatures.

  The pool is extremely energy efficient, featuring a variable speed pump and heat pump, along with large piping that reduces restrictions and increases water flow. This increased flow leads to lower maintenance, along with the salt water chlorine generator, pH/chlorine controller, commercial sized filter, robotic vacuum, advanced recirculation system and the automatic cover, described below. Overall, the pool comes close to taking care of itself!

  To mesh with the formal tone of the project, we added four LED lit laminar jets. Laminar jets create a smooth stream of water that is smooth enough that it is sometimes mistaken for a clear glass tube. We used our hydraulic engineering experience to create a piping system that would deliver the same flow to each of the four jets, making them all the same height when they are running.

  Automated control of the entire pool project was extremely important to the client. We specified Hayward’s OmniLogic to handle control of the pool and water feature lighting, water feature valves, slide operation, variable speed pump selection, heat settings and pH/chlorine control. OmniLogic systems allow for control of all of these items using pre-set timers or on demand from your smartphone, iPad or any other internet connected device. It even allows us to remotely troubleshoot some issues from our office.

  The pool also features an automatic safety cover. These covers are incredibly safe; they can even support people standing (or falling) on it. They are also very energy friendly, because they reduce evaporation, which is the major source of heat loss in pools. In most cases, automatic covers are installed underground at one end of the pool, with an aluminum lid as a cover. Since the client had chosen a beautiful Indiana limestone as his decking material, the aluminum lid would provide an unwanted distraction. Instead, the landscaper built the lid out of the limestone material to completely hide the underground cover housing. On standard automatic covers, the cover bar retracts to the end of the pool, but remains visible when the cover is open. Again, seeing this 20’ long metal bar would have been a distraction, so we built the pool to allow the bar to retract underneath the limestone cover housing lids, make it ‘disappear’.

  Rather than use the traditional white plastic skimmer lids that are common to most projects, we had the landscaper custom make round lids from the limestone slabs and used them instead. We used the same idea for the laminar jet lids. 

  For our deck drains, we used the thinnest drain available, so that it was less noticeable than standard drains. This took considerable work to make everything fit together perfectly.

As you can tell, one of the construction team’s biggest challenges was in creating solutions to the common ‘distractions’, so that rest of the backyard, and especially the limestone decking material, would be enhanced.

  In all, we ran nearly ½ a mile of piping and conduits for this project’s various features. In the end, we have a beautiful, energy efficient and low maintenance pool that fits in perfectly with the rest of the gorgeous backyard.

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Does your pool look a bit like a swamp? Does it look like it might be a better spot for a frog to live than a place to host a pool party this weekend? Sounds like you've got an algae bloom. We can help!

First, let's talk about algae. Algae is plant that is constantly entering the pool, from rain, wind and even swimmers entering the pool. Algae loves warm water, sunshine, phosphates (algae's favourite food) and water with minimal chlorine in it. Algae blooms are common and often pop up out of nowhere, seemingly overnight. Once an algae bloom has started, it can spread to outrageous levels very quickly, if untreated. There are many different species of algae, yellow, black, green, pink etc. The green variety is the most common by far, and luckily, the easiest to treat. We will be focusing on green algae today.

Don't worry, our system of algae removal can often have the pool clear within 48 hours!

Step 1 - Determine the cause of the problem

A simple water test (free at most pool stores, including ours) is the best way to determine the cause. Algae blooms are mostly caused by low levels of chlorine. Low levels of chlorine generally have three causes.

Chlorine is incredibly efficient at killing algae. If you forget to fill your chlorinator, shock your pool or check your salt system, chlorine levels can drop to zero very quickly, especially on hot days (UV rays destroy chlorine). If the chlorine drops to zero, the sun is shining, the water's warm and algae spores are present, you've got the prime situation for algae to quickly take over your pool. If your problem is caused by forgetting to add chlorine to the pool, then we can proceed. There are other reasons that your chlorine could be low, so read on before moving on to step 2.

Stabilizer helps to shield your chlorine from the sun's UV rays. If your pool has low stabilizer levels, your chlorine is going to disappear quickly and you will have algae issues. If your problem is caused by low stabilizer, then we know you'll need to add stabilizer to the water.

High levels of phosphates make algae very happy as well. Lots of food makes algae strong. Even if you've got pucks in your chlorinator, your stabilizer level is good, your salt system is running and you shocked the pool yesterday, phosphates can make algae strong enough to eat through all that chlorine. In this case, you will have done everything right and still have an algae bloom!

Step 2 - Shock the heck out of the pool

If your problem is low chlorine caused by forgetting to add chlorine (and your stabilizer and phosphate readings are in order), the next step is to add a bunch of chlorine. Your goal is to kill all of the algae in the pool with a high level of chlorine. The key is to keep your chlorine level very high until all the algae is gone. Your pool store will give you a recommendation of how much chlorine to add, but for the next 24-48 hours, you need to stay on top of your chlorine levels - if the chlorine drops, you need to add more until the algae is gone.

If your problem is low chlorine caused by low stabilizer, add the recommended dose of stabilizer to the water and then proceed with the above step of adding lots and lots of chlorine.

If your problem is low chlorine caused by phosphates, add the recommended dose of phosphate remover to the water and follow the instructions. In two days, bring the water back to the pool store to re-test for phosphates. If the phosphates are gone, you can proceed with the above step of adding a bunch of chlorine.

Once the algae is dead, it will turn from green to a grey, cloudy haze in the water. This is a good sign!

Step 3 - Remove the dead algae

Once the algae has turned from green to grey, it's dead; now you need to remove it from the water with filtration and clarification.

Note that at this point, you're not out of the woods - there is probably still some living algae present, so you have to keep a good chlorine throughout until the water is crystal clear.

The best and quickest way to remove the dead algae is with a filtration aid. Our favourite is Natural Chemistry's Pool First Aid. After following the previous steps, add a dose of this product and the pool will generally clear up by the next morning.

 

In the future, you can prevent algae flare ups by shocking your pool weekly, testing your chlorine regularly (and never letting it drop below 1ppm), having your water tested at your pool store monthly, and by removing phosphates from the water with a weekly phosphate treatment. Our store guarantees you will have clear water if you use our phosphate removal program along with an approved chlorine/shock system.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Most people recognize that hot tubs are good for relaxation but many people aren't aware of some of the health benefits that can be had from regular spa use.

Better Sleep

Soaking in warm water raises your body temperature which helps your body fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

Hot tubs also promote relaxation, which also helps to encourage good sleep patterns. Customized massaging hydrotherapy jets cause your stresses to disappear. Specialized jets - like Foot Jets! - give you an on-demand foot massage.

Pain Relief

Hot tubs have been proven to help with many types of aches and pains, including arthritis. Hot tubs help alleviate joint pain by improving joint mobility, muscle strength and general health. Due to the buoyancy of water, exercising in water can relieve stress on joints, helping to strengthen muscles and improve overall fitness. Hot tubs have also been shown to help with fibromyalgia, tension headaches and sinus headaches.

Hydrotherapy jets target sore muscles and increase blood flow to sore areas, helping them to recover more quickly.

Blood pressure and cardiovascular health

Because water is heavier than air, being submersed increases the pressure on our body and we have to adjust. Our veins and arteries are under pressure, so in order to transport blood, our heart increases the amount of blood it moves per beat. The result is a workout for your heart and lungs, all while relaxing in your spa.

Reduced "Screen" time

Many studies have shown that we are spending too much time in front of screens - TV's, iPads, smart phones, laptops, etc. With a hot tub, you have a great reason to get outside, see the stars and get away from the screens!

By brad 16 Mar, 2016
If you're reading this, you're probably interested in having a pool installed - good choice! After 29 years of being in business, here are the 10 biggest mistakes that people make when buying a pool:

  • Shopping for pools over the phone
Pools should not be purchased over the phone. Pools are often the second largest purchase you will ever make, after your house. You wouldn't buy a house over the phone. If the company has a showroom, check it out. If the company offers free on-site estimates, do it! You will learn about the company in the process and also get a better feel for what they can offer. You will hopefully be dealing with this company for many years, so it's good to start with a good relationship. 

  • Shopping for pools as if they are all the same

Pools are custom built. Each builder chooses how to build their pools and what products to use. There are many, many places where corners can be cut or cheaper products can be used. There are no standards that we all have to work by, so there can be major differences between quotes.

Some builders choose their methods and products based on achieving the lowest price. Others select products and installation procedures based on safety, efficiency and the long-term costs. The cheapest products up front are almost never the best over the long term.

  • Focusing on the upfront cost rather than the long term cost

If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. If one builder's price is higher than another's, it's likely due to better products or installation methods. Consider the saying "If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur!" The best price up front is not likely to be the best package over 10-20 years. Things like variable speed pumps can cost $500 upfront and save you $5,000+ over 20 years. Make sure to discuss the long term impact of some of these decisions with your builder.

  • Not checking references

References are generally hand picked by the builder, so they are not a perfect place to start, but even still, you can gain worthwhile information. The most important thing to check is whether the company stood behind their product and dealt with issues that came up (some issues are bound to come up).

  • Dealing with non-established companies

The swimming pool industry has a reputation for companies starting up and quickly disappearing. In Moncton alone, at least 5 companies have gone under in the past 5 years. You want to make sure your pool company will be around to service (and warranty) your pool in the future.

  • Skipping the design stage

Many customers dream of a beautiful resort-like pool and landscape in their yard. They call a pool company, get a price and put the pool in. The end result often doesn't match their dream.

Most people don't realize that the majority of projects that would be considered "beautiful" or "resort-like" started out on a drawing board. All of the major components of the project were listed and laid out according to design principles and then adjusted until everything went together perfectly. Once the drawings were finished, the pool was built according to these spec's and turned out beautifully.

If you're goal is to have something amazing, make sure the company you choose to deal with has other pools in their portfolio that you consider "amazing". If not, you're likely to end up with something similar.

  • Not considering all of features of the pool in your budget

There is more to building a pool than just the pool. All projects will require electrical work, permits, fencing. Some projects will require bathrooms, pool houses, landscaping, lighting, fire pits, sod, BBQ areas and more.

A good builder can help you determine which items chew up too much budget. This process also helps you to understand the bottom line   before   the job starts.

  • Listening to a builder talk poorly about the pool style they don't sell

It's very common to hear a vinyl liner pool builder saying that fibreglass pools will "float" out of the ground (they won't - if they're built right and you don't drain it). It's just as common to hear fibreglass pool builders say that vinyl pool liners cost $10,000 and have to be replaced every 5 years (it's more like $5,000 every 10 years). Vinyl and fibreglass builders would both say that concrete pools won't stand up to Canadian winters (they will).

Rather than believing everything that a builder says, research their claims on the internet, or ask builders that are experienced in that specific pool type.

  • Focusing on the wrong warranties

Pools are often warranted for 50 or even 75 years. Vinyl pool liners are often warranted the same. Vinyl pool liners last 8-12 years, so how can the warranty be for 75 years?? The warranty covers manufacturing defects. These defects are   extremely   rare and usually happen in the first summer.

The more important warranties are the builder's workmanship warranty, the underground piping warranty and the pump, filter, salt system and heat pump warranties. These are the ones that might actually come into play.

  • Hiring a company with new installation crew staff/foreman

It can be difficult to keep good staff. Many pool companies hire new staffers each season. Other companies have had the same staff for years. Check with your builder to determine which type of installation crew they have.

 

That's it! Hopefully this post will help you on your path to selecting a pool builder and getting your dream pool!

By brad 16 Mar, 2016

Draining and cleaning your spa

Each time a chemical is used or a person gets into your spa, there are tiny chemical remnants left over. Over a period of 3-4 months, these things build up to the point that the spa is more difficult to take care of, in terms of water balance and water clarity. We recommend following this draining procedure every 3-4 months, or when your water test (at your pool store) shows that it is required.

There is more to it than just draining the spa. We want to make sure you clean out everywhere, even the places you can't see - like inside your pipes. Using   Natural Chemistry Spa Purge   before draining your spa restores the plumbing to original condition and takes out all organic waste such as oils, lotions, cosmetics, hair products, sweat build up, etc., that your body  tends to leave in the water.

DIRECTIONS TO PURGING THE SPA WITH SPA PURGE

  1. Remove cartridge filter elements
  2. With spa water temperature at 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, add entire contents of 1L. SPA Purge bottle to spa water
  3. Run jets a minimum of 5 minutes (if excessive foaming occurs turn jets off)
  4. Maintain water temperature and allow spa to circulate overnight with jets off
  5. Drain, rinse and then reinstall filter elements
  6. Clean the hot tub with   Natural Chemistry Clean and Perfect   which cleans away excess grease and dirt left in the spa. Just spray and wipe for cleaning use.
  7. Refill spa and proceed with normal spa balancing and maintenance
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