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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater

How much does a pool heater cost?

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Do you sense like you’re solely getting one weather season worth of usage out of your swimming pool? Would you hope to be able to do laps in the chillier months without thinking like you’re floating in the Arctic Sea? If the response is yes, a swimming pool heater is a direction to go.

While supplementing a pool heater demands an upfront expense, it benefits you maximize your purchase by being capable to utilize your swimming pool and spa for much more of the time. Amidst setup and running costs, a pool heater costs between $500 and $7,000, with the medium cost around $2,200.

Pool heater varieties

There are numerous basic types of pool heater, with ranging features, installation costs, and running costs.

  • Solar pool heaters – If you reside in a sunshiny place like California or Arizona, a solar swimming pool heater can be an appealing and budgetary choice, considering they run uniquely on solar energy and are free to run. These can begin as low as $250.
  • Electric pool heaters heat pump  – Electric pump heaters work on electricity and can operate in sunshiny or shaded conditions. These heaters particularly perform well when the temperature is beyond 50 degrees, because they draw outer air in, heat it, and pass it to the swimming pool water. They’ll place you back within $1,200 and $3,500.
  • Electric resistance heater –These swimming pool heaters use power via resistors to warm the pool and don’t release any air pollution, although they may utilize a notable amount of electricity through cooler months. These prices between $1,900 and $4,300.
  • Gas swimming pool heaters – Gas pool heaters use oxidization to warm swimming pools and heat extremely efficiently. They’re not the most favorable eco heating choice, but they are the most effective in a colder climate. They run at around $2,100 to $4,800.

Pool Heaters Installation costs

An important factor when picking a pool heater is the price of installation, and it’s usually favorable to negotiate with a professional. You surely don’t want to take any risks when combining electricity and water.
The central price for pool heater installation is within $500 and $1,500, although every heater type conveys its own installation expense. Gas heaters favor being the most pricey to install, although these costs can differ depending on your location and swimming pool contractor. Want to save money toward your pool heater? Make sure you’re getting the best prices.

Pool Heaters Operation costs

Beyond acquisition and installation expenses, you’ll also want to factor running costs into your budget. Solar swimming pool heaters are an attractive choice, because there’s no fuel expense correlated with their operation. Nevertheless, they do still need a pump to run, which costs several hundred dollars a year in electrical expenses. Electrical resistance and heat pumps equate around $120 a month in power to run. Gas heat pumps remain the most costly option, depending on the type of fuel you prefer to utilize. They can cost within $400 and $600 a month to run.

Choosing the right heater

You will additionally require to estimate the size of your swimming pool and its location before you arrive at your concluding decision.
Big pools in shaded sections are more costly to connect and operate. More modest swimming pools and ones in sunny regions are commonly considerably less costly to run. Other circumstances to consider include employing a pool cover to retain heat in as well as the weather in your region.

Time to dive in!

While there are some important obligations associated with swimming pool heater installation, the people that use their swimming pool regularly can benefit significantly. Whether you prefer a solar pool heater for the green advantages or a gas one for its preferred heating capability, you’ll certainly end up consuming a lot more time outside in your pool.

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Salt Chlorine Generators Salt Systems

Salt Chlorine Generators

In recent years, an increasing number of pool owners are turning to salt chlorine generators as a suitable way to clean their pool water. This is due to the growing trend of “anti-chemical” people who want to keep their pools as naturally clean as possible. There are also people who just want to make cleaning their pools a much easier thing to do. In these cases, they turn to salt chlorine generators.

How Pool Salt System Works

Don’t expect salt chlorinators to eliminate chlorine from your pool. These are actually dissolved salts which produce chlorine in the water. First, electrolysis and sodium chloride are used by the chlorinator to produce hypochlorous acid. When the saltwater is exposed to an electric current, it produces chlorine gas, sodium hydroxide, and hydrogen gas.

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Anatomy of the Pool Chlorinator

You understand the chemical process now. Next, we will discuss the anatomy of a salt-chlorine generator.

Salt Cell

Salt is converted into chlorine by the cell of the chlorinator. When water flow reaches the cell, it passes on top of solid plates. These plates have an iridium or ruthenium coating on them. The control board electrically charges these metals, causing the salt conversion into chlorine. This is the process known as electrolysis.

The Control Board

The control board manages all the functions of the system. Basically, it initiates the conversion process by allowing you to send an electrical charge to the cell. You can manage how much electricity gets transferred to it. The more electricity which gets sent, the more chlorine gets produced in the pool water.

Tips for Salt Chlorine Generator Maintenance

You must frequently perform maintenance on your salt chlorine generator if you want it to last for a long time. Here are some maintenance tips for your consideration:

  • Keep the salt level of the water anywhere from 2,700 ppm (parts per million) to 3,400 ppm. The most recommended level is 3,200 ppm.
  • The cell should be cleaned a minimum of one time per season.
  • Deactivate the chlorinator if there is a lightning storm. This reduces the chance of power surges, which can easily cause damage to the control board.
  • Low calcium levels in your pool water are ideal when using a salt-chlorine generator.
  • Reverse polarity must be included with your salt chlorinator. This lowers the buildup of scales on the cell.

The Lifespan of a Salt Water Chlorinator

If you take care of your salt chlorine generator properly, there is no reason why you can’t get at least three years out of it. But you’ll probably get as much as seven years if you stay dedicated to the maintenance. When the control board or cell needs to be replaced, that’ll probably cost you between $500 and $1,100. It all depends on which type of system you have, and which part requires a replacement.

However, if you fail to clean the cell regularly, or you clean it too much, then that’ll shorten its lifespan considerably. But, with the circuit board, you never know how long that’ll last. Some circuit boards stay strong for several years while others burn out after a few years. The best thing to do is to keep the system covered and deactivated if there’s an electrical storm outside. That’ll reduce the chance of a burnout.

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The Price of a Salt Chlorine Generator

Salt chlorine generators are less expensive to maintain than most filtration systems. Unfortunately, the price tag to purchase the salt chlorine generator is a lot higher too. Convenience costs more anyway, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.

Salt chlorine generator installations require you to pay a lot for the setup costs and the equipment itself. And since the control board and cell have a limited lifespan, you’ll eventually have to pay to replace them when the time comes. But if you care about easy maintenance and saving time, then this upfront investment may be worth it for you.

To purchase the actual salt chlorine generator unit, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $1,000. The brand really determines the price here. As for the salt, you won’t need to pay too much for that. But the amount of salt required will depend on the size of your pool. If you have an Olympic size pool, then expect to purchase several huge bags of salt each year. At least you won’t need to purchase chlorine, though.

The Top Benefits of Converting Salt into Chlorine

Whether you own a swimming pool already or are planning to build a new one, here are the benefits of using a salt-chlorine generator for it.

Requires Less Chlorine

If you don’t use a salt-chlorine generator, then you’re forced to clean your pool water with chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine. Even though these sanitizing methods are effective, it is not so pleasant to purchase, transport, and store these chlorine solutions. As an example, liquid chlorine is very hazardous to handle and loses its potency fast. If liquid chlorine gets on your skin or eyes, then it will burn them. You’ll also have breathing difficulties too.

The chlorine levels of a saltwater pool may need some manual adjustments every now and then, but this can easily be done with chlorine granules or tablets. Liquid chlorine is not necessary to use ever.

Save Money

Salt produces chlorine when you use a salt-chlorine generator. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on chlorine or other sanitizing chemicals. Salt also stays in the water for a long time too, which means you don’t need to keep adding more of it like you would with other chemicals that dissolve faster.

During the warmer season, one or two bags of salt should be enough for the salt chlorine generator. You’ll want to maintain the salt level within the 3,200-ppm range. By the next season, only one or two bags of salt are needed too.

Salt Water is Less Irritating to People

Saltwater is friendly to your eyes and skin. Chlorine chemicals, on the other hand, can cause dry skin, itchy skin, itchy eyes, and red eyes. Some of your bathing suits may even get bleached by the chlorine as well. Saltwater pools are better because they’ll prevent these symptoms from occurring.

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No Chlorine Odor

Chlorinated pools give off a nasty chlorine odor. This comes from the chloramine accumulation in the chlorinated water. But if you use salt water in your pool, you won’t smell this chlorine odor.

Fewer Chemicals Needed

You won’t need to spend as much time maintaining the water chemistry balance of your pool. The saltwater of the chlorinator generator will practically automate the maintenance for you. Things like alkalinity level, pH level, and calcium hardness level do not need to be regulated.

The automation factor of chlorine production is gradual and steady. This causes less pH and alkalinity level fluctuations. That is why it is easier to control and balance the chemistry of the water.

Conclusion

Therefore, if you’re ready to spend more money upfront on a salt-chlorine generator, then you can enjoy an easy time maintaining your pool and saving money in the long run. Most importantly, the swimmers of your pool won’t feel any irritating symptoms from the water.

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Solar Pool Covers For Above Ground and Inground Pools

Solar Pool Covers

The Complete Solar Pool Covers Guide

Ice cold water in a swimming pool may be ideal for people who like to live adventurously. For the rest of us, a heated swimming pool is more ideal. But the only thing that’s probably stopping you from getting one is the expense. After all, things like gas heaters and electric heaters are expensive. That is why a more affordable alternative is a solar pool cover.

A solar pool cover uses the power of the sun to increase the temperature of the pool water, whether you have an above ground or inground swimming pool. Meanwhile, the cover prevents water from being lost, and it reduces the need for chemicals in some cases. But the energy savings will surely be the biggest benefit.

Anyone who’s owned a swimming pool has used a pool cover before. So, you already know it keeps out debris and dirt particles from getting into the pool. The difference here is the solar cover heats the pool in addition to covering it. The solar technology of the cover is designed to harness the sun’s energy and deliver its warmth to the water underneath the cover. If you live in a hot place like Florida, then you will benefit immensely from a solar cover. But in other places, a solar cover may not heat your pool water as well as a gas heater or electric heater.

The Science of Heating Water in a Pool

BTU is a unit of measurement which stands for “British Thermal Unit.” It measures how much heat is needed to produce a temperature increase of 1°F in 1 lb. of water. This is equivalent to the amount of energy which comes from a single lit match. In other words, a lit match produces enough energy to increase the temperature of 1 lb. of water by 1°F. When we’re talking about heating pool water, this would equal 1 BTU.

Most people will keep their pool water temperature at around 80°F. The reason it doesn’t stay at this temperature is because of water evaporation. If 1°F of water were to evaporate from the pool, it takes as much as 1,048 BTUs along with it. That’s a lot of heat for such a small amount of water gone.

Therefore, your objective is to replace the heat and water that the evaporation took away. This can be both costly and timely to have to deal with. First, you need to understand the amount of water you’re likely going to lose on a regular basis because of evaporation.

In most cases, you will lose a lot more than just 1 lb. of water. According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, uncovered swimming pools in their region tend to lose anywhere from 4 to 6 feet of water annually because of evaporation.

How Solar Pool Covers Help

At this point, you should now understand that losing water in your swimming pool from evaporation will cause it to lose heat too. So, it doesn’t matter if you purchase a pool heater and thermostat because it won’t make a difference if there is evaporation. That is why you must focus on keeping water in your swimming pool.

Evaporation isn’t the only way you lose water in your pool. All the splashing that people do in the pool causes water loss too. In both cases, you must replace the water that’s been lost. After you do that, you need to heat the water to bring the warmth back to the pool. Rather than spend a lot of money on a heater, you can use a solar pool cover to get the same benefit at a fraction of the cost.

When you put a solar pool cover over the water of your swimming pool, it is like putting a giant magnifying glass over it. All the heat and energy of the sun’s rays pass through the cover and creates a warming effect in the water. In addition, the cover helps trap the heat underneath it in the water. This greatly reduces the chance of evaporation occurring.

Not all solar pool covers are the same. There are different types of covers out there which work differently and cause different effects. That is why when you go pool cover shopping, you need to know which one is best for your swimming pool. It must also accommodate the type of lifestyle you lead.

Solar Blanket

Solar blankets have been around for a little while. They look like giant pieces of bubble wrap which cover your swimming pool. Just make sure you don’t pop the bubbles, though. There are several different thickness levels and sizes available for these solar blankets. To choose the right size and thickness for your swimming pool, you need to take measurements of the width and length of the pool.

Solar blankets tend to be affordable on average, but you have the option to purchase a better-quality solar blanket for a little more money. And don’t worry if you purchase a solar blanket that is too big for your pool because you can trim it shorter if you want. This can also help if you have a custom size pool.

The Way a Solar Blanket is Used

When you take a solar blanket out of its packaging for the first time, you may be confused by what to do with it. Just take it to your swimming pool area and unfold it near the water. With the bubble side of the blanket facing down, spread the blanket over the water of the pool. The purpose of the bubbles is to help the cover float on the water. Meanwhile, the sun’s rays transfer heat through the bubbles and into the water underneath. That is how the water heats up.

There is nothing to plug in or anything. You just remove the blanket from its packaging, unfold the blanket, and then spread it out over the pool. If you find there is too much blanket material that extends beyond the pool, then simply trim it with scissors.

Here is a tip. Try to leave about 2 to 3 inches of extra flap near your skimmer. That way, you can tuck the flap underneath its edges. By doing this, you can actually push the debris and dirt particles into the skimmer when you go to take off the blanket.

When you are not using the pool, you should leave the solar blanket on it. This is especially important during the daytime because you’ll want the blanket to absorb as much of the sun’s rays as possible. Keep the blanket on at night too because it will prevent evaporation.

Don’t worry about running the pump and keeping the solar blanket on the water at the same time. It is safe to do.

If you plan on using the pool multiple times throughout the same day, you don’t need to keep putting the cover back on. Just put the cover on once you’re finally done for the day.

Taking Off a Solar Blanket from a Pool

If you like to swim regularly and you have a big pool, it can become a hassle to always have to take off a huge solar blanket. Some people deal with this by cutting separate panels out of the blanket and just place the pieces on the pool. This allows them to easily take each piece off the pool when they’re ready to swim. But if cutting up the blanket doesn’t appeal to you, then a solar cover reel is a great alternative.

Whether you have an above ground or inground swimming pool, you can position the solar cover reel on the front or back end of it. Then take the solar blanket and attach one end of that to the solar cover reel. The reel will wind up the blanket for you. This eliminates so much hassle from having to take off the blanket manually.

You can find wheels on some versions of solar blanket reels. The wheels make it easier to move the reel after the cover is rolled up. Other types of solar blanket reels include mounting hardware instead of wheels. This hardware lets you install the reel in one permanent location. When choosing one of these solar blanket reels, consider the amount of space that your pool area has.

If you choose not to get a reel, then you’ll have to manually pull off the cover. Start by pulling the cover 4 feet outward. Take the section that is sticking out and fold it in half. Pull out another section, but 2 feet outward this time. Fold this section and then pull out 2 feet of the next section. Continue this trend and keep folding the sections back and forth. This is known as an accordion fold. As you’re doing the folding, each section can be rinsed before it is folded. This helps keep everything clean.

Remember to take off the solar blanket before getting into the swimming pool. This goes for anyone else too, such as pets or children. You can’t just get lazy and remove some of the blankets because someone might get stuck under it in the water. If you want to maintain safety in your pool, then remove the entire blanket.

Solar Blanket Storage

When the summer season ends, and you’re no longer going to swim in your pool, you need to put the safety pool cover over it. First, take the solar blanket off the pool and clean it thoroughly. Make sure it dries out completely too. Otherwise, mold will form on the blanket after you put it in storage.

The cleaning process is quite simple. Find a grassy or soft area on the ground and place the solar blanket on it. Don’t use a hard surface like concrete because the bubbles of the blanket will get damaged. Spread the blanket out on the soft surface so that it is flat. Now you’ll need either a soft scrub brush or push broom as your main cleaning tool. Use clean water to soak the bristles and blanket of the tool. Start scrubbing the cover with the tool, removing all the debris buildup, dirt, algae, and other nasty things on there. Rinse the blanket and then dry it off. You can either hang the blanket outside or blast it with a leaf blower to dry it off.

Be sure not to let the solar cover dry on the grass of your lawn because the magnifying effect of the bubbles will cause your grass to burn.

At this point, your solar blanket should now be dry. You can reel it up with a pool cover reel for storage purposes. There may be a storage cover included with the reel that can offer ultraviolet and weather-resistant protection to your blanket. That way, the blanket can be stored indoors or outdoors. And even if your reel doesn’t have a cover included, you can just purchase one separately for it.

If the blanket is being folded, you can put it in a container and then seal it with a strong lid. This will ensure that pests don’t get into it. The container can be stored in a cool place after that. Make sure this is a place with no direct sunlight because sun exposure can cause the cover to shrink in storage. It will also prevent any deterioration occurring on the plastic container.

The Advantages of a Solar Blanket

You already know that a solar blanket can warm your swimming pool. There are also other benefits it provides too, especially where saving money is concerned. Let’s go over the main benefits now.

Cuts Down Evaporation

There is a 95% reduction in evaporation when a solar blanket is on your pool.

Traps Heat

When the sun goes down and the coolness of the night approaches, your pool starts to lose the heat that it previously gained from the sun. If you keep the solar blanket covering the water, it will help trap some of the heat and prevent it from escaping. Also, if you happen to be using a pool heater in conjunction with a solar blanket, it won’t take much power for the heater to keep the temperature warm for the pool.

Filters Debris and Insects

Solar blankets can serve as a filter for your pool as well. Outside elements like twigs, insects, and leaves won’t be able to get into the water if a solar blanket is covering it. Instead, this debris will pile up on the blanket. To remove the debris, scoop it out with a hand skimmer.

If you can successfully prevent debris from entering the water, you won’t have to set your pump on the highest setting to clear it all out. This will save you a lot of money on electricity.

Spend Less on Chemicals

You already know that water evaporation takes heat and water from your pool. However, there is something else that is removed too… chemicals. When you treat your water with chemicals, and then the water evaporates, the chemicals go along with it.

A solar blanket can help you keep anywhere from 35% to 60% of the chemicals in the water. This will reduce your chemical expenses by about 50% annually. These savings are worth more than the price you pay for the solar blanket.

Solar Rings

Some people don’t like the inconvenience of handling a solar blanket. Putting on the blanket, removing the blanket, and storing the blanket can be a lot of work. If you feel this way, try using solar rings on your pool instead. You may find solar rings to be quite decorative for your pool because of their unique patterns and printed pictures. You’ll typically see pictures of palm trees and flowers on the rings.

You must purchase each solar ring separately. The cost of one solar ring is about $30 on average. If you want to purchase a set of solar rings, you’re looking at the cost of between $140 and $160 on average. The cost depends on the quantity of the rings in the set. Some have more rings than others. Big pools need more rings, so you’ll need to do some math to determine how many rings you’ll need for your pool.

Solar Rings: How they’re Used

Solar rings don’t have air bubbles as solar blankets do. Instead, you need to inflate the solar rings prior to putting them on your pool water. You will slightly inflate the inside area and then firmly inflate the outer area. It is like how a balloon is blown up. Once you’re done inflating the solar rings, put them on the pool water.

Around the outer portion of the solar rings, there are magnets which attach them to other rings on the pool. This shrinks the gaps between the rings and prevents overlapping, so less water is shown.

Don’t expect every centimeter of the water to be covered, though. Rings and squares will always leave gaps, whether they’re attached by magnets or not. For this reason, they’re not as good at trapping heat in the water as solar blankets are. They also cannot stop evaporation as much as solar blankets can. On the upside, you can keep the pump running as the solar rings float on the water.

Taking Off the Solar Rings

Solar rings don’t have air bubbles as solar blankets do. Instead, you need to inflate the solar rings prior to putting them on your pool water. You will slightly inflate the inside area and then firmly inflate the outer area. It is like how a balloon is blown up. Once you’re done inflating the solar rings, put them on the pool water.

Around the outer portion of the solar rings, there are magnets which attach them to other rings on the pool. This shrinks the gaps between the rings and prevents overlapping, so less water is shown.

Don’t expect every centimeter of the water to be covered, though. Rings and squares will always leave gaps, whether they’re attached by magnets or not. For this reason, they’re not as good at trapping heat in the water as solar blankets are. They also cannot stop evaporation as much as solar blankets can.On the upside, you can keep the pump running as the solar rings float on the water.

Solar Ring Storage

When you temporarily remove the solar rings to swim in the pool, you can stack the rings on top of each other next to the pool. Try to put them somewhere that is protected from the winds. Otherwise, the rings may get blown around if the winds are too heavy. Look for loops around the outer portion of your rings because you can use these loops to hang them up somewhere.

When summer ends, and you need to store the solar rings for a longer time, the first thing you do is clean them. Remove debris from them with a brush or push broom. After you’ve done that, you can deflate the rings safely. There won’t be any chance of debris getting trapped inside the wrinkles and folds of the deflated rings.

The rings must be dried entirely before deflating them. This can be done easily by hand. If you try using a leaf blower, that’ll just create an artificial wind which blows the rings back into the swimming pool, or someplace even farther away. Leaf blowers are better for cleaning and drying pool decks.

 

Now that you’ve dried and deflated the solar rings, you can place them in their proper storage bags for safekeeping. Some rings come with storage bags but if yours don’t, just use a plastic container which has a firm lid. Store the container someplace dry and cold.

As always, don’t put the container somewhere that is exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid rough surfaces too.

Advantages of a Solar Ring

Solar rings have similar benefits to those of solar blankets. However, solar rings are easier to install and take off the water. More importantly, solar rings do not endanger the lives of anyone else who happens to swim or fall in the water. For instance, if a child were to jump in the water while the solar rings are on it, they would simply break apart. The child won’t get caught underneath the water like they would with a blanket.

Here are some other advantages:

Less Chance of Evaporation

You’ll see a 50% reduction in evaporation when you use solar rings on your pool water. This is not as much as a solar blanket, but you’ll still save a lot of money and heat.

Traps Heat

Solar rings don’t cover all the water, but they do cover a lot of it. This helps keep some of the heat in the water after dark.

Filters Out Debris and Insects

The solar rings will filter some of the debris and insects from getting into the water. But since there are still gaps between the rings, they won’t block all the debris and insects. When you see debris in the rings, scoop it out quickly so that it doesn’t fall into the water. If you do this, the pump and vacuum will have less work to do.

Save Money on Chemicals

You won’t use as many chemicals when you’re using solar rings. This will save you some money on having to purchase new chemicals. Although, the amount of savings won’t be as much as a solar blanket would give you.

Please note that solar covers are like solar mats because you don’t need to inflate them and they’re both flat. They also offer the same benefits, and caring and using them is virtually the same too.

Liquid Solar Cover

The idea of pouring a liquid solar cover into your pool water and warming it up that way might seem like science fiction to you. But it is actually a reality.

Liquid solar covers do exist. Their aliphatic alcohols produce a monolayer film which forms on the water. In other words, the liquid solar cover causes a thick fatty alcohol layer to lie on top of the water. This slows down the evaporation process or stops it entirely. If there is no evaporation, then there is no lost heat. Therefore, you continue to have a warmer pool with a liquid solar cover.

The cost of a liquid solar cover is anywhere from $10 to $30 on average. Some liquid covers cost more money, especially if you purchase multiple containers of it at once.

Liquid Solar Cover: How to Use

Liquid solar covers are either sold in bottles or dispersal packets. These packets have a fish shape to them. To open the dispersal packet, you just lightly cut it open and pour it into the pool water. Follow the directions of the packet and use the required number of packets to accommodate your pool size.

If you have liquid solar cover in a bottle, you need to measure it based on your pool’s volume. Then pour in the proper amount of the liquid.

If you can’t figure out your pool’s volume on your own, there is a pool calculator available that you can use.

You should put enough liquid in the pool to be good for one month. Look at the instructions that came with the product to know what the manufacturer recommends. If there is ever heavy rain or dry conditions in your environment, then your pool will likely need more liquid solar cover. The pump can stay on when a liquid solar cover is in the water.

Liquid Solar Cover: Can it be Removed?

You can’t just pick up the liquid solar cover and toss it aside. It is mixed in with the pool water, so the only way you can remove it is by draining the pool water and replacing it with new water.

On the other hand, there is an easier trick to removing a liquid solar cover. Just don’t add any more of the liquid to the pool. Over a certain time period, the existing chemicals in the water will dissolve on their own. It all depends on the amount of liquid solar cover in the pool and the size of the pool itself.

You should add a liquid solar cover to your pool regularly. Make it part of your normal pool maintenance routine.

Advantages of a Liquid Solar Cover

Liquid solar cover is not a toxic chemical. You can add it to your pool and still keep everyone safe who decides to go in the water. You won’t experience skin irritation unless you have a rare sensitivity in your skin. No residue will be left behind either.

If you have a pet who likes to drink water from the pool, the liquid solar cover in it won’t hurt your dog if they only take a sip here and there. But don’t let them drink too much of it or they might get sick.

Let’s look at some advantages of the liquid solar cover.

Less Evaporation

See a 15% reduction in water evaporation.

Keep the Heat

Liquid solar covers have 75% the effectiveness of solar blankets when it comes to keeping heat in the water. The best thing about a liquid solar cover is that it will contain to heat the pool at nighttime. It doesn’t need the sun for that.

Filters Out Debris and Bugs?

Unfortunately, a liquid solar cover cannot filter out debris and bugs for obvious reasons. Solar rings and solar blankets are certainly better at filtering than a liquid cover is. If you choose to heat your pool water with a liquid solar cover, then you must use a vacuum and skimmer regularly to keep your pool clean.

Cheaper Chemicals? Nope.

Liquid solar covers are comprised of chemicals. For this reason, you’ll be paying much more in chemical costs if you use liquid solar covers.

Extra Tips

You now understand how solar cover functions and operates. You know why it can benefit anyone with a pool. Let’s examine some more tips.

  • Keep the filter running when the day is at its hottest. This helps prevent lost heat due to evaporation.
  • Take off the solar rings and blanket. Shock the pool with chlorine after that.
  • Install a windbreak to surround the pool. This reduces even more evaporation from happening.
  • High wind speeds near the water cause additional evaporation. You can help block winds with things like privacy screens, patio furniture, plants, and a pool cage.
  • Only turn on water features when you’re near the pool. Things like waterfalls increase evaporation because of the additional surface area created.

 

No matter which type of solar pool cover you choose, it will trap more water and heat in your swimming pool versus not having one at all. Choose any solar pool cover that you want for your particular pool. If you already have a heater for the pool, you can still use a solar pool cover for it too.

Overall, you’ll save money because you won’t have to spend as much money on power, chemicals, and more water. Therefore, a solar pool cover is a great investment that will give you several years.

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Pool LED lights for Exceptional Light Intensity

Pool Lights

If you only swim in your pool during the day, then you’re not having the true pool ownership experience. Of course, it is not advisable to swim in complete darkness either. A suitable compromise is to install LED pool lights to brighten up your pool water and allow you to see it at night. You’ll also be able to see any weird creatures that may be inhabiting the water.

There are a couple of other benefits to installing LED pool lights, such as saving more money than if you were to use regular lights. In addition, LED lights make swimming more fun and exciting. There are so many color choices to choose from as well.

How LED Pool Lights Works

Not all light bulbs are the same. An LED light is a light-emitting diode light. This type of light is known for being more energy efficient than a traditional incandescent light bulb. To understand why it is, you need to learn a few new words and perform some math calculations.

Aside from energy efficiency and money savings, LED pool lights have so many technologically innovative control features and aesthetics. Classic lighting cannot compete with this.

Every light bulb needs electricity to generate light. The amount of energy used is referred to as wattage. This is how the energy efficiency of a bulb is determined. For instance, an incandescent light bulb that is 100 watts can generate light with electricity which exists inside of an interior filament. For every 60 minutes the bulb is on, 100 watts of energy is used. Now find out the wattage rate that is charged by your power company and multiply it by the 100 watts per hour rate. The result is the amount of money you’re paying to keep your regular pool lights on every hour.

Therefore, before you select a pool light, you need to know the wattage of its bulb first. If you choose a bulb with less wattage, then expect the light to be less bright. But at least you’ll save some money.

Well, things changed when LED pool lights came on the scene. LEDs have much smaller bulbs and no filament. They’re basically light-casting semiconductors with a microchip. The electrical current travels into the microchip to cause the LED to illuminate. The LEDs are cooled with the heat sinks that are built into them. These heat sinks also extend the lifespan of the light and increase their brightness.

Due to these innovations in energy efficiency, wattage is no longer a huge factor in determining the amount of light that is provided by a bulb.

Pentair 640121 IntelliBrite 5G Color

On Amazon.com
The Lights are Brighter

Lumens are the measurement of visible light in which a light bulb produces. Bulb manufacturers like to focus on the effect that lumens have on the level of brightness that people see.

However, most laypeople just think of lumens from an LED bulb the same way they think of them from an incandescent bulb.

For instance, an incandescent light bulb with 100 watts produces anywhere from 1,400 to 1,750 lumens. A bulb with only 40 watts throws about 450 lumens. But if you use an LED pool light which produces 1,400 to 1,750 lumens, it may only use between 14 to 20 watts. You may even find LED lights which throw up to 5,400 lumens too.

Minimal Heat and Energy

Since LED pool lights use less wattage, they don’t need as much electricity as incandescent bulbs. If traditional bulbs were made to be as bright as LED bulbs, they would likely be a safety hazard because of the amount of heat they would generate. LED lights have heat sinks built into them to reduce the heat. Besides, an LED pool light with 30 watts generates the same amount of brightness as an incandescent light bulb with 200 watts. Meanwhile, there is less energy used and less heat generated. As a result, LED lights have a longer lifespan and require less gasket maintenance.

Colors

Incandescent lights produce the same boring white and yellow colors which don’t really put swimmers in a relaxing mood. On the other hand, LED pool lights have all sorts of color options available. You can also find some LED lights which connect to apps. Then you can use the app to change the color scheme of the lights. Snap-on filters can also be used too.

Multiple colors for your pool serve a variety of benefits, including:

  • Choose red, white, and blue colored lights for a July 4th celebration poolside.
  • Choose red and green colored lights for a Christmas celebration.
  • White lights which are extra bright may also be suitable for Labor Day.

Of course, you don’t need to wait for special occasions before you add colors to your pool. It may be nice just to swim in a purple or green pool to change things up and add more excitement to your swimming experience.

Hayward LPCUS11100 Universal ColorLogic LED

On Amazon.com
Durable

Anytime you purchase a new accessory to upgrade your pool with; you’ll want that accessory to last a long time. It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing a pool filter or LED light. Fortunately, LED pool lights are brighter, longer lasting, and more energy efficient than incandescent lights.

For instance, the useful life of a typical incandescent light is 12 months. An LED pool light that throws off the same amount of light can last for up to 20 years. It also uses less energy too.

Save Money on Usage

The expense of owning a pool does not stop with the initial purchase price. According to statistics, the average American pool owner spends about $190 every month on maintaining their pools. So, if you can save a little money on this, then why not do it?

LED pool lights have far less wattage which means you’ll be paying pennies per day to turn them on. Compare this to the $1 per day you’d likely pay with an incandescent bulb. Sure, the initial purchase price of an LED pool light will be more but think about the long-term energy and financial savings they’ll give you.

Rebates may be available to you too if you own LED pool lights. There are certain state and local governments which reward their citizens with cash rebates if they switch to more energy-efficient lights. You need to contact your local utility company to find out more.

Safety

LED pool lights are safer for everyone around the pool and in the pool. Due to the higher frequency of the LED lights, it is easier for people to see because the lights appear brighter to them. This is actually why LED lights are not installed in streetlights because the brightness can be a distraction to drivers. But you won’t be using too many LED lights in your pool, so the brightness will be just enough to allow you to see everything clearly.

External LED lights should be installed on the landscaping near the pool too. This makes it easier for people to walk back into the house from the pool area because they can see where they’re going.

Test the Lights First

Don’t replace your current incandescent lights with LED lights until you see how they work first. Use some battery-operated LED lights which float on water. Put as many lights on your pool water as you want. Make all sorts of colors shine on your pool.

Conclusion

LED lights are a small investment as far as swimming accessories go. They’re energy efficient, durable, versatile, and safe. Your investment will pay off fast.

There is no better choice to make than an LED pool light to brighten up your pool. 

Roleadro Led Pool Lights, Waterproof IP68 47W RGB Swimming Pool Light Multi Color

On Amazon.com
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Pool and Spa Controllers and Automation Systems

Pool Automation Pool and Spa Equipment

You don’t need to be technologically knowledgeable to operate an automated pool or spa. It’s as easy as pushing a button on a TV remote control. Actually, it’s even easier because you can push the button from thousands of miles away and it’ll still control your pool. This is the power of smart technology integration in your swimming pool.

You probably use your smartphone to manage most aspects of your life already, right? Why not control your pool automatically from your smartphone too? The pool would basically be part of your smart home’s “Internet of Things,” which are smart devices that are all connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Pool automation gives you the power to use your smartphone to control the speed of your pool pump and to schedule the times when you want it turned on and off. As long as you’re somewhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, you can control every feature of your pool and get status updates in real-time.

The setup time only takes a few hours. After that, you’ll have your very own smart pool system which can be controlled by your simple demands.

How Pool Automation Works

Before you can gain control over your pool, the electrical wiring must be connected to a switch or control board. This is a job for only a licensed electrician to do, so don’t attempt to do it yourself.

Smart pool automation requires high-speed internet. The speed for both downloading and uploading must be a minimum of 3 Mbps at the location of your pool pad. You can use internet speed testing websites to determine the speed of your internet connection.

You can use an Ethernet wired connection or a home network wireless connection for your smart control systems. The pool automation system is managed by a control hub. The smart relays, water pump, booster pumps, lights, and water heater must all be connected to the control hub. You can utilize the touchscreen control pad to manage the operation of this equipment while you’re at the pool pad.

Control valve actuators exist with certain automation brands. This allows you to simply tap a button on your app to switch between spa and pool.

There are plenty of new products which make it simple to turn your current pool equipment into an automated pool system. But it will involve setting up software and having electrical work done. You can install the newest pool automation systems in roughly 2 hours.

Remember always to put safety first. The software setup is probably something you can figure out on your own, but don’t even think about doing the electrical work yourself. A professional is not only recommended, but it is also legally required when it involves electricity.

All-in-One Pool Automation

The newest variable-speed pool pumps come with all-inclusive pool automation systems which let you manage your pool lights, heater, and pump from the app on your smartphone. It doesn’t matter which pool equipment brands you’re using either. Amazon Alexa might work with certain systems too.

If you ever need to get a new pool pump, then consider purchasing a package deal like this. For one low price, you can receive an entire pool automation system with a new pool pump.

If you would prefer to purchase a pool automation system separately with no other hardware included, you can do that. However, it might be more expensive that way because you’ll need to purchase the hardware separately if you don’t already have it. The switches, hub, and controllers will come with the system, though.

Piecemeal Pool Automation

To create a pool automation system, you’ll need certain smart devices and network controls. You must also be comfortable operating the technology too. If you are, then customizing the automation experience of the pool will be fun for you to do.

When you’re ready to begin the setup process, every device of the system will need its own switches or controls and a control hub. We recommend the SmartThings hub because it lets you connect up to 200 devices or components. It can also establish routines which cause certain actions to get trigged with a single command.

After you set up the hub, then you can start connecting the devices to it. Use the controller to connect the heater and pump. Other items worth connecting include water leak sensors, LED light strips, switches, smart outlets, sound systems, and motion sensor pool alarms. If you want to add more security and safety around your pool, you’ll be able to link motion-based security cameras to your system. This will send real-time video alerts directly to your mobile device if the motion sensors around your pool detect any movement.

If you want the same security for your windows and doors, you can connect alarms for them to your control hub too. These features can be managed from your smartphone right along with your pool system.

Pool Automation Integration

Smartphone apps aren’t the only things you can use to manage these pool systems. If you don’t mind working with technology, here are some other ways you can manage the systems.

Online Software Integration

Online software integrations can automate certain processes whenever a variety of trigger actions are initiated. The IFTTT, which is one type of software integration, can activate the pool heater if the Weather Underground indicates that the temperature in your area has gone down to a certain amount.

How about your pool lights automatically turning on as soon as your GPS detects that you’re close to home? IFTTT can do this and more, such as activating your hot tub as soon as the GPS detects that you’ve left your workplace. The automation possibilities are endless here.

Voice Assistant Device Integration

You’ll love to use your voice to control your pool automation system and its features. People already use their voices to control features in their homes, so why not outside their homes too?

Many brands of pool automation systems are compatible with popular voice assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple smartwatch, and Google Home. Other voice assistants are compatible with various other hubs as well.

More people are using these devices each year. It was determined that by December 2017, roughly 50% of Americans used one of the voice assistant programs to control their devices.

Therefore, if you’re ready to get voice assistant devices, then you need an automation system which can integrate with them.

Conclusion

Pool automation is possible with virtually all scenarios. Let your imagination run wild. The important thing is that you save money and stress by investing in a good quality automation system for your pool.

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If you Have Experienced the Thrill of Jumping Off a Diving Board

Best Diving Boards You Can Buy in 2020

Everyone’s had the experience of jumping into a swimming pool and being surrounded by all that cool water. It is so soothing to jump into a pool of water on a hot summer day, especially from a  board that is much higher up. Diving boards help catapult you into the air a little bit until gravity pulls you back down. While you’re in the air, you can do a specific type of jump, such as cannonballs or jackknifes. It is so much fun.

As an adult, you might want a board for your own swimming pool. However, today’s boards are slightly different than they were before. But since you’re a homeowner, you must contend with the insurance and safety issues surrounding your pool too. These are not positive things to think about, but they’re important if you want to keep yourself and everyone safe when they use your diving board and pool.

The Two Types of Diving Boards

A pool deck is fun to jump from, but a board is even better. If you have some room around your pool to add a board, then you should consider doing so. It’ll give you a nice bounce before you make the big leap into your pool. A board can be a small stone platform or a huge Olympic diving tower that is 10 meters long.

Residential boards don’t need to be Olympic diving towers, though. There are so many different mounts, styles, and materials available for residential boards. You’re bound to find something which can safely accommodate your pool space.

Here are the two main types of diving boards.
Springboards

Springboards are what most of us remember from our childhoods. It is a board which uses springs to generate the bounce when you jump. The springs are either shown at the base of the board or hidden underneath where you can’t see them.

If you want to jump extra high into the air before you dive into the pool, then a springboard is the best option. After all, the higher you dive into the air, the deeper you’ll go into the water. Just make sure your pool has enough water depth so that you don’t injure yourself on the bottom of it. If you install a springboard at the shallow end of a pool and use it, you can expect a very serious injury to occur. For this reason, the common residential pool won’t use springboards. They’re more often used with commercial pools.

Platforms

Platforms are different than springboards because they don’t use springs. Most residential pool owners have platforms for this reason. As long as a diving board doesn’t have springs, it is basically a fixed platform that does not bounce or move. Some are made from stone, rock, or wood.

S.R. Smith 66-209-268S2-1 Fibre-Dive Replacement Diving Board

On Amazon.com

How to Prevent Injury

Before you purchase a board, you must calculate the diving envelope first. This is in reference to the available distance for diving into the water, as well as the depth of the water.

In addition to the depth, you must pay attention to where the pool floor rises too. Most shorter pools have a very shallow end and a very deep end. There is basically a wall in the pool which divides these two ends. When you walk from the shallow end toward the deep end in the water, you will sink several feet. That is what you must be aware of when positioning your board.

If you have a longer swimming pool, the shallow end to deep end transition happens more gradually. Divers can stay much safer with a longer pool like this one. Therefore, consider the diving envelope before you select your board. Then you can have peace of mind knowing that everyone will stay safe when they use your swimming pool.

For residential inground pools, a shorter board is safer than a longer board. The longer ones are reserved for commercial inground pools, which are bigger than most people’s backyards anyway. If you get the wrong board and your pool water is not deep enough, then the diver would experience an injury to their head, neck, knees, shoulders, arms, or hands. They may even die or end up paralyzed too.

Find a Diving Board with Fun Features

Selecting a good diving board doesn’t need to be taken completely seriously. You can have fun with the features of a board too.

Material

Say goodbye to the dull solid color planks. There are much more stylish boards made from original materials and that have attractive colors. Some of the materials might include wood or natural stone. The slip-resistant surfaces of the boards may have a wide variety of different color options.

Resistant to Corrosion

There are innovations in  board technology which make  boards resistant to saltwater corrosion. The days of having rusty springs are over.

Lighting

What if you want to dive at nighttime? You may need a board which comes with LED light strips. Some board models even have colorful strips to really make it stand out. Even if your pool already has separate LED lights, it is still attractive and safer to have board lights too.

Not all boards have lights built into them. If you can’t find a board to your liking, then you can manually attach a strip of LED lights (water-resistant) to your diving board. Get creative and have fun with it.

S.R. Smith 68-209-58662 Frontier II Jump White Stand with 6-Foot Frontier II Diving Board

On Amazon.com

Safety Suggestions

On most pool products, you’ll see safety ratings associated with ANSI/APSP acronyms. ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute, and APSP stands for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. These organizations create pool product ratings and safety measures which have become standardized in the industry.

APSP and the International Code Council have collaborated to develop pool & spa safety standards on a worldwide level. Their standards include more than just handrails and weight limit specifications. They include all kinds of pool safety features, including energy use and drainage. There are safety recommendations for community pools, splash pads, hot tubs, and residential inground pools. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code offers safety standards for practically anything that makes you wet inside of it.

They cover safety concerns for diving envelopes and residential  boards too. Here are some recommendations when using boards in your residential backyard:

  • On the diving board, stick a permanent label on it which provides the name and address of the manufacturer, the date the board was manufactured, the weight limit, and the minimum diving envelope.
  • Purchase a diving board which has slip resistance features, such as a non-slip covering. Make sure the covering remains in good condition. Make any needed repairs to it or replace it entirely.
  • Clear out all pool features and accessories from the diving envelope.
  • The diving platform flush should get placed with the pool wall to prevent accidental head injuries.
  • Obey the recommendations of the ISPSC and manufacturer when it comes to board elevation in conjunction with the waterline. If the platform or diving board is mounted too high up above the waterline, then divers are susceptible to hitting the floor of the pool and injuring themselves.

Technical Requirements

Professional board installations are recommended by most board manufacturers. This ensures the board is secured the right way. Any little installation error might result in a diver having an accident, such as a slip and fall type accident. Sometimes the board won’t have a long lifespan either.

A jig must be installed if you’re installing a new board or pool. This is a metal base which goes beneath the concrete. When the board is installed, it gets bolted to the base. Again, a professional should conduct the installation because it is a huge construction job which has many safety issues that must be addressed.

If a current board is getting replaced, then the existing jig’s bolt pattern must be known because you’ll need to match it with the base of your new diving board.

If no jig gets installed and there is no board that has the right bolt pattern, then choose an epoxy repair kit that is made for the bolt installations of diving boards. Any existing jig bolts should be cut off. Drill fresh holes into your pool deck that match the pattern needed for your next diving board.

Next, the epoxy gets poured into the holes that you drilled. The new bolts go into those holes. Now place the diving board base onto the bolts.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot of planning that goes into selecting a board for an inground swimming pool. You must conduct the proper pool measurements, contact your insurance company, and possibly even hire a professional.

All this work and effort is worth it. The result will be a board or platform which you, your family and friends can all enjoy together

S.R. Smith 68-209-2082 608 Cantilever Jump Stand with 8-Foot Glas-Hide Diving Board

On Amazon.com
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Everyday Protection for your Family and Friends at the Touch of a Button! With an Automatic Pool Cover

Best Pool Cover You Can Buy in 2020

If you want to keep your swimming pool clean and sanitary, then a good pool cover is essential. A pool cover serves as a barrier between the water underneath and the debris outside. It’ll prevent animals, insects, children, and other unwanted guests from getting into your pool and having an accident.
 
The best type of pool cover is an automatic pool cover. Although it is priced higher than a manual pool cover, you won’t have to strain yourself when removing the cover and putting it back on. Of course, automatic pool covers have their advantages and disadvantages when compared to regular pool covers. Let’s explore them further so that you can better understand what these covers are all about.

Overview of Swimming Pool Covers

In some jurisdictions, a pool owner is legally required to have a fence installed around their swimming pool. An automatic pool cover is almost like a fence around your pool, except that it is a horizontal fence instead of a vertical fence. In addition, this is a fence which moves and can be controlled with a remote-control device.

Automatic pool covers work almost the same as flagpoles and cranes because they use cables and pulleys. They also use tracks, reels, and a motor to supply power for the automated movement of the cover.

Two straight tracks with cables (or ropes) running through them can be found across the edges of the swimming pool. They’re attached to two reels which support their movement.

As the cover is opened, it unwinds the smaller reel while winding the main cover reel. This is how the cover gets pulled back. As you go to put the cover back on the pool, this process all happens in reverse by winding the smaller reel and unwinding the main cover reel.

The motor is what automates the movement. When you push the proper button, the motor causes the reels to turn on their own. It is much easier than manually cranking it open, right?

Pool Cover Aesthetics

Automatic pool cover installations require someone who is knowledgeable and experienced. There are a lot of electronic elements involved, so this is not some DIY project that you can simply learn by doing. Plus, there are many ways to go about the installation. They depend on your budget, objective, and current pool setup. Therefore, don’t do the installation yourself unless you know what you’re doing.

There are plenty of experienced contractors you could hire to perform the installation. As they’re installing the tracks and reel system, you can request for these components to be concealed or to be left out in the open. Again, it depends on your budget and the visual appeal you’re going for with your swimming pool.

The Good and Bad

Modern society is becoming more automated each day. Everything is about making things easier and more convenient for people. Grocery stores now have self-checkout registers and videos are now purchased or rented over the internet through digital streaming.

But like anything else, automation has its ups and downs. The same applies to automated pool covers.

Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover

On Amazon.com
Advantages

It is fascinating to watch an automated pool cover open and close over your pool. But here are the real benefits of this:

Safer

Automatic pool covers are sturdy and much better at keeping out unwanted elements and people from your pool. They are also great at trapping heat and water in your pool too. Thanks to their heavy vinyl material, most accidents can be prevented. Plus, a reasonable amount of weight can be supported.

The American Society of Testing and Materials has set a safety standard which requires pool covers to support a minimum of 485 pounds of weight for every 5 square feet of pool space. This is the average weight of a child and two adults.

Use a pool cover pump and cover together to stop excessive water buildup in your pool and to increase safety for the people who use the pool.

Save Heat

The open-air absorbs most of the heat from the pool. But if you block the open air from the water with the pool cover, the heat stays trapped in the pool. Then you can enjoy more warmth when you’re finally ready to get into the water.

The cover also prevents pool water from evaporating, so you won’t need to add as much sanitizing chemicals to balance the water out.

Easier to Keep Water Clean

Automatic pool covers prevent debris and leaves from blowing into your pool water. That means you won’t need to do much skimming at all.

Keep Out Rain

Rain will naturally fall onto your pool water if there is no cover to block it. Automatic pool covers can prevent most unexpected downpours from adding rainwater to your pool. Rain, of course, contains a lot of pollutants, dust, dirt, and other small particles of debris that are collected while falling from the clouds.

If you live in a populated location, you can expect a lot of acid rain to fall down from the sky. This type of rain will increase the acidity level of your pool water. Because of this, you’ll need to spend too much money and time balancing out the water and removing the debris from it. Save yourself a lot of aggravation by purchasing an automatic pool cover instead.

Happybuy Pool Safety Cover

On Amazon.com
Disadvantages

So, what could the disadvantages of an automatic pool cover possibly be?

Expensive

A lot of automatic pool covers are on the pricey side. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for the cover and installation costs. The typical automatic cover lasts between 2 to 5 years. That means you’ll have long-term maintenance expenses in terms of replacing and fixing components of the cover when they go bad. This adds between $2,000 and $4,000 more in expenses.

Not Winter Friendly

Automatic pool covers are not too friendly to snow and ice. These natural elements add a lot of weight to the cover, which they can’t always support. To combat this issue, you’d have to keep your automatic cover open throughout the winter and simply apply a standard security cover over your pool water.

Make the Right Choice for an Inground Pool Covers

Your budget and preferences will determine which automatic pool cover you select. Most automatic pool covers have the same aesthetics and function in the same way. Just go with the most affordable option from a reputable supplier, and you should be okay. If you can push a button to open and close your pool cover, then it is all that matters. This will give you a lot of convenience by reducing your maintenance costs and efforts considerably.

Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year 20-ft x 40-ft Rectangular

On Amazon.com
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Easy Removal Debris from Your Pool Surface With a Pool Skimmer Basket

Best Pool Skimmer Basket You Can Buy in 2020

Skimmer baskets are important accessories to have for pools. The pool basket is positioned within the skimmer as it lies in the pool. Any toys, debris, bugs, or other big contaminants in the water will get picked up by the basket. If there is no basket, then all this debris might hurt your pool pump or filter.

The shape of the basket is either going to be square or round. It depends on how the brand made it. Also, you need to consider the type of skimmer you already have too. Usually, you need a skimmer basket which is the same brand and model as the skimmer. This ensures that the basket will fit inside the skimmer without any problems.

It can be difficult to obtain a great pool basket. With so many brands and models to choose from, it can get confusing to pick the best one for your needs. Fortunately, we’ve researched the best baskets on the market right now and provided reviews of them below. Hopefully, these reviews will set you on the right path toward picking a good skimmer basket.

About Pool Skimmer Baskets

A skimmer pool basket looks just like any basket. Its job is to trap big pieces of debris so that they don’t enter the pool pump and pool filter. If debris were to enter these components, they would get clogged up. Then the pool water would not circulate very well.

Features of a Inground Pool Skimmer Basket

When shopping for a skimmer basket, you should pay attention to their main features. These are what separate them from one another.

Price

The price of skimmer baskets should fit most people’s budgets. Some skimmer pool baskets cost more than others, based on their quality. You could always purchase an expensive skimmer basket to get the best quality one, but it may not agree with your budget. Sometimes you may find a manufacturer who makes a good skimmer basket and still prices them cheap. Just do your research carefully.

Longevity

Skimmer baskets are not all the same. Some are made from better material than others. The best way to determine the durability of a particular skimmer basket is to look at its customer reviews and see if most people are happy with it or not.

If you see a lot of complaints about the skimmer pool basket breaking or damaging easily, then move on to a different model.

Installation Level of Difficulty

If you’re new to using skimmer baskets, then find one that is easy and simple to install. But if you go with a more complex pool basket, you can always hire a professional installer to handle the hard work for you.

UV Resistance

If your skimmer basket is made from cheap materials, then the UV rays of the sun could cause the pool basket to eventually crack. Therefore, find a basket made of a material that is UV resistant. That way, you won’t need to worry about the UV rays damaging the basket and limiting its lifespan.

Warranty

Always buy a skimmer basket that comes with a warranty. Even if you think a particular brand is of good quality, you can never be too sure. Just to be safe, purchase a skimmer basket with a warranty. Then you can always return the pool basket if it malfunctions prematurely.

Fit to the Skimmer

Your skimmer basket needs to fit inside the skimmer easily. Otherwise, it will not be able to trap debris properly. Your skimmer may even get damaged too. In some cases, the pump and filter may get damaged as well.

Best Skimmer Baskets

Below are reviews of the 8 most recommended swimming pool skimmer baskets.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Pool Skimmer Basket

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. GVT SP-HP Skimmer Basket, White

Learn More >>

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. Custom Molded Products CMP Vented Handle FlowSkim Skimmer Basket

Learn More >>

3rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. Hayward SPX1070E Basket Replacement for Hayward Automatic Skimmers

Learn More >>

The Importance of Cleaning the Skimmer Basket and Skimmer

Why should I clean the basket and skimmer?

This should be part of your pool maintenance routine. You can’t have a clogged basket because it stresses out your pool pump. If it gets too bad, your water won’t circulate properly. This will be bad for your water and cause the seal of your pump to be damaged.

The turnover rate of your pool must remain consistent if you want the filtration system to be effective. A full basket and skimmer cause the pump to pull very little water in. But if you clean the pool basket and skimmer, more water can get pulled in and then filtered.

What is the Best Way to Clean Them?

Once per week, you should clean the basket and skimmer by following these instructions. To clean the pool basket, you should:

  • Turn off the pump and heater of the pool. Before the pump is turned off, let the heater cool off for 10 minutes if it was previously on.
  • Shut down the skimmer and main drain valves.
  • If you have an underwater pool pump, turn the filter valve to the “Closed” position.
  • Take off the lid of the pump.
  • Clean the basket with the garden hose. Since the skimmer basket may break after a while, let the materials dry to make cleaning easier. To do this effectively, have a couple of different pump baskets available and then rotate their use. This makes cleaning so much easier.
  • The basket can now be reinstalled. If you must twist to secure it in place, try not to overtighten it.
  • Pump lid and o-ring inspections should be made. Look for cracks or damage to them. Lubricate the o-ring with some oil if you find it to be dry.
  • Install the lid and o-ring. Don’t overtighten.
  • Make sure the filter valve of your pool is positioned properly.
  • The main drain valve can be opened now.
  • The filter’s pressure relief valve can be opened too.
  • Turn on the pump.
  • After the prime is caught by the pump, the other skimmer valves can be opened.
  • When a consistent pool water stream flows into the relief valve, you can close the valve.
  • Turn on the heater and cleaner pump.
To clean the skimmer basket, you should:
  • Turn off the pool pump.
  • Remove the lid from the skimmer.
  • Take off the skimmer basket and remove the trash.
  • Put the basket back inside the skimmer.
  • Put the lid on and turn the system on.
Conclusion

You can find skimmer baskets of several different designs and sizes. But the one thing they have in common is they gather big pieces of debris, such as toys, leaves, and bugs. If you purchase a high-quality skimmer pool basket, it should have a long life.

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Shop From These Tried and Tested Pool Paint Brands to Give your Swimming Pool an Instant Refresh

Best Pool Paint You Can Buy in 2020

Basic pool maintenance and care is enough work for most people to do each day. When it comes to painting a pool, that might seem like too big of a project for you to handle on your own. Should you really hire a professional to do this or can you do it yourself?
 
Painting a pool can be done yourself. You just need to learn some things first, such as which pool paint to choose for the surface of your pool. In many cases, the walls of your pool will already have paint on them. Figure out which type of paint was used if you can. That will make it easier to select the next paint for the walls.

What is Pool Paint? Is it Like Regular Paint?

Pool paint is basically like regular paint, but it is waterproof. The paint is formulated to survive exposure to rain, wind, UV rays, and chlorine chemicals for months and years. None of these elements will affect the paint.

The reason you might want to apply new paint to the walls is if there are scrapes or scuffs on the existing paint. Things like pool toys or rowdy children can mark up the paint easily.

Pool paint is more expensive than regular paint, though. On top of that, it’ll take a lot of pool paint to cover all the walls of your pool, depending on the size of it. So, only paint your pool walls if they really demand it.

INSL-X WR102409A-01 Waterborne Semi-Gloss Pool Paint

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Signs of Fading or Staining

All paint will fade eventually, but even more so when it has constant outdoor exposure. In a swimming pool, the sanitizing chemicals will slowly wear down the paint. Also, if there is a lot of mineral content or metal content in the water, it’ll cause stains on the walls.

Prior to painting your pool under these conditions, it must be acid washed first. Acid eliminates stains and dirt particles from your walls. You are not supposed to paint over the dirt and stains because the texture won’t appear even on the walls. Every paint job requires you to clean the surface first, whether you’re painting pool walls or bedroom walls. Sometimes sanding is even necessary too.

So, don’t think that you can just cover the faded or dirty walls with paint. Not only will it look horrible if you do this, but the dirt will eventually seep through the new layer of paint and cause problems for you all over again.

Since LED pool lights use less wattage, they don’t need as much electricity as incandescent bulbs. If traditional bulbs were made to be as bright as LED bulbs, they would likely be a safety hazard because of the amount of heat they would generate. LED lights have heat sinks built into them to reduce the heat. Besides, an LED pool light with 30 watts generates the same amount of brightness as an incandescent light bulb with 200 watts. Meanwhile, there is less energy used and less heat generated. As a result, LED lights have a longer lifespan and require less gasket maintenance.

Slippery Paint

Pool paint is waterproof, which makes it rather slippery. When you try to step out of your pool, you might have some problems because of the slippery paint. Since this is a safety concern, keep pets and children away from the pool. Otherwise, keep a close eye on them. If you’re slipping easily on the pool, then chances are they will too.

A new paint job can fix the slippery pool problem. There are two ways to do this. One way is to take a couple of tablespoons of soft rubber particles or fine sand particles and mix them with your new paint. This is the paint that you will apply to your pool steps, benches, swim out areas, or shallow areas.

Another way is to paint the steps first and then put 2 tbsp of soft sand on top of them.

Try not to use more sand than this in either case. If you exceed 2 tbsp of sand, it’ll increase the grittiness of the benches and steps of your pool. The sand particles will rub against your wet skin and cause you a great deal of pain.

Bubbles in the Paint

Paint bubbles could form on the pool surface if it wasn’t prepared the right way first. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire surface needs to be repainted. It depends on the severity of the situation.

This is the reason why pool surfaces must be cleaned and dried before applying paint. If you don’t do these things, then bubbles will form for sure after you paint. Sometimes a hot surface or a thick application of the paint can cause blistering and bubbling too.

In any case, try repairing these bubbly areas of the pool and then repainting over them. But if you notice any stains or fading of the walls in addition to the bubbles, then you might as well repaint the whole surface of the pool.

Try to avoid painting your pool in the mid-summer because the surface heat causes blisters in the paint. It is better to wait for cooler temperatures during autumn or possibly the early winter if the weather is cool and dry.

Chalky Paint

Imbalanced pool chemistry can cause chalky paint. This happens when the alkalinity level or pH level of your pool water is not balanced. Either you’re not using enough chemicals, or you’re using too many chemicals, and it’s causing the pool paint to wear away and become chalky. In other words, the surface will have a powdery white residue on it. The residue will easily get onto your bathing suit, hands, feet, and anywhere else that is exposed to it.

You can try shocking the pool, but that probably won’t get rid of the haziness in the water. If you add calcium hypochlorite, that could make the chalking worse. In this case, you’ll have no choice but to repaint the pool. After you do that, keep the water chemistry balanced this time so that chalking doesn’t happen again.

Kelley Technical 392GL Olympic Zeron One Coat Epoxy Pool Coating - Bikini Blue

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Types of Swimming Pool Paints

LED pool lights are safer for everyone around the pool and in the pool. Due to the higher frequency of the LED lights, it is easier for people to see because the lights appear brighter to them. This is actually why LED lights are not installed in streetlights because the brightness can be a distraction to drivers. But you won’t be using too many LED lights in your pool, so the brightness will be just enough to allow you to see everything clearly.

External LED lights should be installed on the landscaping near the pool too. This makes it easier for people to walk back into the house from the pool area because they can see where they’re going.

Epoxy Paint
  • Solvent base
  • Great durability and can resist most chemicals, abrasions, and stains.
  • 8-year lifespan
  • Satin finish
  • Can be applied to fiberglass, gunite, plaster, and unpainted concrete surfaces.
  • Can be applied over existing epoxy paint
  • After the paint is dry, one coat equals eight mils. This smooths out rough surfaces.
  • The drying time is rather long. Outdoor pools take between 5 and seven days. Indoor pools take between 10 and 14 days.
Acrylic Paint (Water-based)
  • Water base
  • Not so resistant to stains and chemicals
  • 2-year lifespan
  • Eggshell finish
  • Can be applied to plaster and concrete surfaces.
  • Can be applied over existing rubber, acrylic, or epoxy paints.
  • It has a fast-drying time. Outdoor pools take three days. Indoor pools take six days.

Should You Call a Professional?

Are you overwhelmed by all this? Are you unclear about how to drain the water out of your pool before painting it? Perhaps you don’t have the time or confidence to do the job? If any of these situations apply to you, then call a professional pool painter to ensure the job gets done right. It’ll cost you more money for materials and labor, but at least you’ll know that mistakes won’t be made.

Conclusion

After your pool has been painted, you will be so happy with yourself and what you’ve accomplished. What seemed impossible at first was finally done! That is how you will feel.

If you understand the different paint types and the kind of pool surface that you have, then it is easy to choose the right pool paint. As soon as you see the warning signs that a paint job is warranted, get started immediately.

In The Swim Super Poxy Shield Epoxy-Base Swimming Pool Paint

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Safety Sensors for Swimming Pools Make Your Pool Safer

Best Pool Alarm You Can Buy in 2020

It is common for homes to have security features like alarms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices can help prevent a serious tragedy from happening to someone in your home.

However, most homeowners don’t think about the tragedies that can happen on the outside of their homes, especially when their backyards have swimming pools in them. If children live in your home and there is a pool in the backyard, then an accident is very likely to happen. You hear stories in the news all the time about accidental drownings and injuries involving kids in swimming pools. If you want to prevent a tragedy like this from happening in your pool, then consider purchasing a pool alarm for it.

Benefits of a Inground Pool Alarm

Most people purchase swimming pools specifically for their children to splash around in and have a good time. Unfortunately, in the United States, over 700 children die from accidental drownings per year. Also, five times as many children suffer submersion injuries which require them to go to the emergency room.

The real tragedy here is that most of these accidents could have been prevented. A pool alarm may not prevent every pool-related accident, but it can certainly reduce the chances of there being one in your pool. In some areas, the local laws require that you install a pool alarm.

Local Laws for Swimming Pool Alarm

In some states, pool owners are required to have pool alarms installed. If not the state, then the county or municipality may require pool alarms. So, it is important to ask the local code enforcement department of your area about whether pool alarm installations are legally required.

Of course, you should purchase a pool alarm anyway in order to prevent pool accidents. There are four types of pool alarms you can choose from. Pool alarms may go in the following places: the doors and windows near your pool, under the pool water, on the surface of the water, or on the wrist of the swimmer.

Each pool alarm functions in its own unique way. Some people like to use multiple types of alarms simultaneously to increase the safety and security in the pool.

Best Pool Alarm

A threshold swimming pool alarm should be installed on windows, sliding glass doors, or any area where people can gain pool access. Anyone who goes to your pool will be noticed if you do this.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Pool Alarm System

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. iSmartAlarm DWS3R Contact Sensor

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The iSmartAlarm DWS3R Contact Sensor is a high-tech security alarm for your home. It has wireless sensors which can be installed on anything, including windows and doors which lead to your swimming pool area. Whenever someone opens one of these windows or doors, the sensor detects this motion and sets off the alarm.

There are all sorts of other security components you can include with the DWS3R, including cameras and motion detectors. Using a smartphone and app, you can connect to your security alarm through the “If This Then That” service. This gives you the ability to use your phone to activate the alarm from any location with a Wi-Fi connection.

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. Poolguard PGRM-2 Inground Pool Alarm

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Why we chose it

The Poolguard PGRM-2 is a white alarm for inground pools. To perform the installation, use an electric drill to make a little hole in the pool deck. The alarm stays on the side of the pool and is consistently on. Once a water disturbance is detected, the alarm will go off. The sound can be heard at the pool site and through the remote receiver as far away as 200 feet.

The alarm can be set to sleep mode whenever you want to use the pool. Be sure to take out the sensing arm first before you jump in the water. When you want to activate the alarm again, just put the sensing arm back in the water to activate it. The alarm satisfies all ASTM standards.

3rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. Safety Turtle 2.0 Child Immersion Pool Alarm Kit

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Why we chose it

The Safety Turtle 2.0 Child Immersion Pool Alarm Kit comes with a wristband, key, power adapter, base, and USB cord. It takes a couple of minutes to set it up. For instance, if you want the wristband to go on your child’s wrist, you would put it on them and then lock it with a key. This prevents your child from taking off the wristband.

The sensor stays on constantly. Whenever it is exposed to water, the sound of the alarm comes out from the base. This base can be used with other wristbands too. If you want to use the wristband for pets, there are special adapters that can be purchased for this purpose.

4rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

4. Lifebuoy Pool Alarm System

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Why we chose it

The Blue Wave Poolwatch Alarm System can be installed on the pool rail or pool deck of an above ground or inground swimming pool. If you have an above ground pool, then you need to use screws to install the alarm onto the pool rail.

ASTM standards are met by this alarm. Any person or object larger than 18 pounds causes a disturbance that is detected by the alarm. Therefore, a dog or toddler that enters the pool will be detected. Don’t expect many false alarms from things like wind or heavy breezes. But if you have a very tiny dog, then an alarm with more sensitivity might be necessary. The remote receiver which comes with the alarm has a range of 100 feet.

5th
Our Score: 9.2/10

5. Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm

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Why we chose it

The Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm also includes a remote receiver which lets you hear the alarm from up to 200 feet away. You’ll know if the remote is activated by checking the indicator light.

You can eliminate false alarms by making sensitivity adjustments to how the alarm reacts. For instance, you can make it sound off when a child or small animal crosses the sensing ring, but not when a breeze passes by. You can even take the alarm with you to another pool which might be unsafe for children.

6th
Our Score: 9.2/10

6. Poolguard GAPT-2 Outdoor Pool Gate Alarm

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Why we chose it

Many threshold alarm models cannot be installed properly on gates. Fortunately, the Poolguard GAPT-2 is designed specifically for installations on gates, screens, or any area where pool alarms couldn’t normally be installed.

When the alarm is on the gate, the alarm gets set off whenever someone opens the gate. To prevent the alarm from going off when the gate is opened, an adult can press the “pass” button beforehand. Make sure the alarm is positioned high on the gate so that only someone as tall as an adult can reach it. You don’t want children to be able to reach.

Pool Safety Alarm Conclusion

Pool alarms are affordable and can possibly save someone’s life. With all the choices available, there is no reason not to invest in at least one pool alarm. They are easy to install and give you peace of mind that your kids are safe.

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Pool Slides Bring fun and Excitement to Your Pool. Splash Some fun on Your Next Swim

Best Pool Slides You Can Buy in 2020

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10
S.R.Smith 698-209-58123 Cyclone Right Curve Slide
2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10
S.R. Smith 670-209-58123 Typhoon Right Curve Slide
3rd
Our Score: 8.9/10
S.R. Smith 688-209-58223 TurboTwister Left Curve Slide
4th
Our Score: 7.2/10
S.R.Smith heliX2 640-209-58123 S.R.Smith Slide

When you think of fun outdoor activities, you may think about playgrounds and swimming pools. But have you ever thought about bringing the playground to a swimming pool? You can create some great experiences right at home if you do. It’ll be like having a water park in your backyard that your family and friends can enjoy themselves.

A pool slide can add a great deal of excitement to the experience of using your swimming pool. It is the perfect addition for any inground pool. Just make sure you get a high-quality slide which fits wonderfully in your own particular backyard, pool, and deck.

Is it legal to own and install a pool slide in my backyard?

It all depends on your local ordinances and whether you have a homeowners’ association that is against it or not. Sometimes a state or city may allow you to have a pool slide if the swimming pool area has a fence around it. Then you may have a homeowners’ association which specifies the maximum height that your pool slide is allowed to be (assuming they allow you to have a slide at all).

Therefore, you need to research the rules regarding pool slides of your state government, local government, and homeowners’ association. They may have regulations for public pools only, but you need to make sure anyway before spending your own money.

The local government rules that you should pay attention to the most are your county and city rules. These are usually the rules that are more specific than the regulations of your state.

Swimming Pool Slide CPSC Compliance

The Consumer Protection Safety Commission, or CPSC, is a government agency which makes safety guidelines for the average products that consumers use daily. The agency was established to protect consumers and ensure their safety. If a certain pool slide model is CPSC compliant, then it satisfies the guidelines of the government.

For example, if a pool slide is 7.5 feet or more in height, then a slip-resistant platform is required which is a minimum of 1 foot wide. This platform needs to be between the slide and ladder. If it satisfies these requirements, then the pool slide is CPSC compliant. If there are steeper ladders on the slides, then handrails may be required to give swimmers more protection and stabilization.

If a pool slide is CPSC compliant, then it is a pretty good indication that it’s a high-quality slide which is safe for your family and friends to use. The last thing you’d want is for anyone to suffer an injury and ruin their fun during the summer. So, it is important that you check to make sure that your pool slide is CPSC compliant.

Inground Pool Slide Types

Every swimming pool should have a slide. It helps create wonderful memories with the ones you love. And the best part is that you don’t even need to go far to do it. Having a pool slide in your backyard is the best thing ever. All you need to remember is to pick the best slide for your pool. We’ll help you out with that now.

Straight Leg Slide

The Straight Leg Slide has a curved bottom and straight top. There is an open stairway and closed stairway as well. This adds more spaciousness to the slide, allowing a big family to have a lot of fun with it.

The stairs included with the slide really work as a ladder. You can adjust the height between 8 and 12 feet. You can use the straight leg slide with a smaller pool just fine.

Molded Slide Leg

This slide is usually designed to be steeper as well as wavier. In other words, there is a curve on the right or left side of the slide just as it gets closer to the pool. This makes splashing a lot of fun. The stairway size is your choice too.

You’ll find most versions of the Molded Slide Leg to be 8 feet in height. You don’t need to worry about children climbing the stairway unmonitored because the stairway is closed.

Elephant Leg Slide

The Elephant Leg Slide is quite unique, thanks to its design. You can choose between the G-force pattern model or the stream design model. Each model can give you the most poolside fun possible. If you want a curvy design, then go with the G-force model. It’ll remind you of the curves found in a pasta noodle or DNA strand. The height is roughly 9 feet.

Alternatively, if you go with the stream model, the top has a very steep drop to it. It is a big slide which is about 14 feet in height.

The Guide to Purchasing the Top Water Slides

There are so many swimming pool slides to choose from. You can sort through the various slides that are available by focusing on a couple of key details about them. Then you can narrow down your choices considerably.

The Footprint

The amount of space that you have in your pool area will determine the footprint you should get. The curves of these slides can consume a lot of space, so you need to make sure you have enough room around your pool to accommodate it. Take measurements and compare them to other slides’ measurements.

Some pool slide manufacturers provide an entire schematic which states the length and width that you need for the surface. And to ensure people can climb the slide easily, you need to look at the space behind the slide because the sliders need room too.

Material / Surface

What material is the slide made from? This is important because you’ll want a very durable material which can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Most slides should last for years, though.

The best materials are either fiberglass gel coat or molded polyethylene plastic. Not only do they offer a durable surface, but they also offer no friction too. In addition, the UV rays of the sun won’t cause any fading to these materials for at least a few decades. They’re even resistant to chemicals and rust.

Location

You need to choose the right location for the pool slide. Most manufacturers recommend that you place the slide on the side of the pool where the water depth is between 44 and 48 inches. If you have a stepper unit, then additional depth is needed.

Therefore, the slide should never be installed on the shallow end of the pool. Otherwise, the sliders will hit the pool’s surface after they go down the slide. But don’t put the slide on the deepest end either because that can be a safety concern. If it’s between 44 and 48 inches, that’s deep enough to where the average adult person can stand comfortably. That is fine for a slide.

Besides, pool slide manufacturers are required to implement safety measures which are dictated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Curvy Slide

A good curvy slide has several twists and curves which throw you around from one side to the other, and back again. The more curves, the more excitement. There are even slides on the market now which twist 360 degrees.

All those dips, twists, and curves will take up room in your pool area. You need to make sure that you have the space available to fit a slide like this. They’ll also cost more money too, so that is another factor for your consideration. If you want a 360-degree slide, think about your children and whether they’ll want that.

Color

You don’t need to choose a boring solid blue colored slide. There are so many color choices available now for slides. Consider the overall appearance and décor of your backyard and choose a color which matches it the best.

Some people like white slides because it contrasts with the pool color. Also, white slides don’t get as hot in the summer as darker slides. Brown and grey are two other popular color choices because they’re earthy and match the colors of your yard.

Installation

You’ll probably want a slide that is easy to install yourself. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay extra money to hire a professional installer. This may be necessary if the slide is huge and complex, so only install a slide yourself that you know you can handle. The manufacturer usually recommends who should install it.

No matter which choice you make, you’ll likely need to perform some drilling for the installation.

Size

The size is another important consideration to make when shopping for a slide. If your entire family will be using the slide, then you need a big slide which can accommodate more people. Big slides can handle extra weight and can help you increase your speed before you hit the water.

However, if the slide is only for small children, then you should go with a small to medium size slide. In fact, you may even want to choose an inflatable slide. That is the safest for little kids.

The slides mentioned in this article are for adults. That is why the weight capacity of your slide should be at least 200 pounds.

Water Hookup

A pool slide generally has running water flowing down its flume. By having a wet surface, it helps people slide down faster and not get stuck. For this reason, you need a water hookup for the slide to keep the water running on the flume.

If you want to take the cheap route, you can just use a garden hose to create the flow of running water. It should work just the same.

Safety

The safety of the pool slide is the most important thing to consider. There are several safety features available for pool slides nowadays. They’re heavily regulated by the CPSC too.

Just make sure your pool slide is approved by the CPSC. This will prove that your slide has undergone several safety tests and is proven to be safe for use. Additional safety features to look for are the wide treads on the ladder and the huge secure handrails.

Price

Most people think about the cost when they purchase a pool slide. The price ranges vary between the different slides available. For an adult-sized pool slide, you’ll be looking to spend at least $2,000. But if you choose a bigger unit which is 360 degrees or complicated in other ways, you may be spending a lot more money.

Best Pool Slide

Here are reviews of the best pool slides available.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for In Ground Pool Slides

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. S.R. Smith Pool Slide Cyclone Right Curve 698-209-58124

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The S.R. Smith Pool Slide 698-209-58124 is a great slide which children enjoy immensely. It has a lot of the same great features as the S.R. Smith Turbo Twister slide. The difference is the 698-209-58124 is slightly shorter because it is 4’1” tall. There are several safety features that come with this slide, including handrail molds, small visible metals, and a ladder.

The slide can accommodate pools with chlorine and saltwater. It won’t get corroded from these elements. A garden hose can be connected to supply the water flow. The slide curves to the right and the only available color for it is gray granite.

Anyone who weighs 175 pounds or less should have no issues using this slide. It satisfies the safety standards of the CPSC too. If you have an inground swimming pool, then you’ll want to have this slide. To ensure you’ll be satisfied, the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty against any defects which may exist. If you’re on a tight budget and have a small deck available, then you’ll like this slide even more.

The slide has a 7-foot long flume, which should be okay for regular swimming pools. An installation manual is included to help you along with the installation process and make it easier. You shouldn’t find the assembly that hard at all. You just mount the slide on your deck. No anchors are needed.

The slide has a rotomold design to make it last longer. You should get several years out of it.

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. S.R. Smith 670-209-58123 Typhoon Right Curve Pool Slide

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On Amazon.com
2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. S.R. Smith 688-209-58223 TurboTwister Left Curve Pool Slide

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

Do you want a water park thrill in your backyard? If so, then the S.R. Smith 688-209-58123 is the perfect addition for your swimming pool. The slide is only 8 feet in height, which provides a fun runway with a lot of water volume for children and adults to ride and enjoy. You can choose between designer colors like sandstone and gray granite to go with the décor of your backyard. You can even choose whether you want a left curve slide or right curve slide, depending on the space you have for your deck.

As for the water system, you can have water delivered through a plumb return line or garden hose. Either one will provide enough water volume to create a fast slide and a huge splash. Don’t worry about the safety of the slide because it comes with handrails, a ladder, and a steep flume. The entire construction is a durable rotomolded design. This gives it the strength needed to last a long time.

There are few metal areas exposed on the slide. This makes it great to use with swimming pools that have chlorine or saltwater. What’s even more impressive is that it can handle people who are as heavy as 275 pounds. And in case you’re worried about the safety, this slide satisfies the safety standards of the CPSC. The manufacturer recommends using this slide with inground pools.

If there is a defect in the slide, you’ll have a 3-year warranty with your purchase which covers it. Assembly and installation won’t take much time at all. An installation guide is included to assist you.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Pool Slide

Measure the Space Needed

Don’t purchase a pool slide unless you know it will fit next to your swimming pool. In other words, you’ll need to do some algebra to figure out if you have enough space or not.

Is Your Pool Deck Suitable for It?

If you have a long slide, then you need a longer edge in at least one area of your pool. Corkscrew slides or curved slides are different, though, because they take up a lot more space due to their unusual shape.

To ensure its stability, every slide requires a concrete deck underneath it. This means a huge slide won’t work if you have a small deck. Fortunately, you can just see what the slide’s manufacturer recommends for the space needed. You may need 5’x5’ of space to make a square or 15’x13’ of space to make a rectangle. Therefore, check the requirements for the deck.

If you don’t want a new extension added to your existing deck, then you need to make sure the slide you choose accommodates this deck.

There are no standards when it comes to the type of slide you should get. There are corkscrew slides, straight slides, and curved slides. They’re all great slides, but the one you choose depends on the amount of space you have available. As for the slide’s height, it is not really that important.

Do You Have Enough Pool Depth?

The depth of your pool is important to consider when choosing a slide. There may be state regulations which require public facilities and homeowners to have a certain depth in their pool water before they can install a slide. Basically, taller slides require deeper water.

To remain safe, the slide should be installed next to an area of the water that is at least 3 to 4 feet in depth. This is where the flume (mouth of the slide) should point toward. If the manufacturer has specific requirements for the depth, then obey those requirements. If your pool doesn’t have this depth, then find another slide.

The Materials of a Slide

Budget-minded people should purchase a used pool slide. Be prepared for the durability to be lacking in these older slides. For safety sake, it may be better to purchase a newer slide. Even though you’re spending more upfront, you’re less likely to get injured or be forced to make repairs.

You’ll want your slide to be made from either Polyethylene or Fiberglass.
Polyethylene

The average slide is made from polyethylene, also known as “plastic.” But this is a durable plastic used to make so many items that we come across every day, such as grocery bags and even bulletproof vests. It is highly resistant to chemicals and water too. If UV rays are shining down on the slide, the color won’t fade.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is also a type of plastic too, but it is reinforced plastic which contains glass fibers for extra durability and corrosion resistance. Don’t worry about the glass fibers because they’re not hazardous. They’re durable and don’t require any maintenance.

Pool Slide Maintenance

Remember to always maintain your pool slide to sustain its longevity.

Cleaner is Better

A dirty slide is nasty for anyone to slide down. If you have outdoor elements like bugs, leaves, and twigs on the flume, then it can make the sliding experience both bumpy and dangerous. To prevent this, use a soft brush to push off this debris from the flume. Rinse the flume with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.

Seal Cracks

As soon as you see a crack, you need to seal it before it gets bigger. Use an epoxy repair kit to do this.

Plumbing for Slides

There is a reason why slides need to be wet. If you try sliding down one when it is dry, you’ll experience some uncomfortable friction burns. You may also get stuck on the slide and not even make it down into the water.

You need a wet flume to successfully slide into the water. But how do you make it wet all the time? The only choices are to install a water line hookup to the slide or just use a simple garden hose.

Garden Hose

Using a garden hose for the water delivery doesn’t mean lying a running hose on the slide and letting the water flow down from the top. Instead, you can use a spray kit to connect the hose to the slide. There are small nozzles used to spray the water from the hose onto the slide.

Don’t think of this as the quick way to bring water to your slide because you’ll need to perform more maintenance work to make this happen. Plus, there are risks to using a hose on your slide regularly like this.

The immediate concern is that the hose will cause the pool to overflow. Basically, you need to limit how many times you go down the slide so that the pool doesn’t get too much water added to it from the hose. You may have to drain some pool water if too much got in there. Expect a much bigger water bill.

Even if you do the work of removing water and adding water to your pool, think about the chemicals of your pool water. If you’re taking out chlorine or saltwater and replacing it with regular tap water, then your pool will not be as clean. It may even cause bacteria or algae to form. Not only that, but the calcium and metal levels of your water may increase too. A hose filter may help somewhat with this, but you’ll still need to spend more money on chemicals to balance the water again. It isn’t worth it.

Overall, it is a waste of time and money to use a hose. If you’re going to have a whole afternoon of sliding fun in the pool, then your hose will be running for hours. Think about how many gallons of water will be going into your pool. That is a lot of draining work and a lot more money added to your water bill for the month. It isn’t good for the environment either.

Water Line Hookup

A water line hookup basically takes water from your pool and runs it down the flume of the slide. By recycling the same water between the slide and pool, you are reducing your water bill, maintenance work, and chemical expenses. There won’t be any overflowing pool water or chemical imbalances to deal with.

Most slides come with the necessary parts to connect a water line to your slide. It may take more upfront work, but it is worth it in the long run. If you’re not handy like this, then hire a professional to do it for you.

Closing the Slide

If you’re installing a water line for your pool slide, then you must consider the way you close your pool after the summer ends. In addition to closing your pool, you must close your slide too. Because of this, the plumbing of the water line must be drained and stored somewhere safe before the cold temperatures come and damage it with ice formations.

If you’re just using a garden hose, then it is very simple to close your slide. Just make sure the flume is dry so that debris and bugs cannot build on it. Try inspecting the slide weekly and continue clearing the debris from the flume. If you do this, the slide should be perfectly usable next summer.

Installation Simplicity

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, then you can try installing the slide yourself. Read the installation instructions which come with the slide to see if you understand them. You must have the proper tools necessary for the job prior to selecting a slide.

If you go to the websites of these slide manufacturers, they should have downloadable installation instruction manuals on them. If you can’t find the websites, do a Google search for the manuals.

Of course, you can always hire a professional installer in your area if you’re not a handy person. But you might want to have a contractor lined up ahead of time before you purchase your slide. That way, you know they’ll be able to install it for you after the purchase is made.

The Number One Pool Slide Recommendation

Out of all the slides listed, the S.R. Smith 698-209-58124 Cyclone Right Curve Pool Slide is our personal recommendation. It’s got the best design and safety features, such as handrails that are molded in, few exposed metal areas, and a ladder. The slide can handle a 175-pound person, which could be both adults and children. Most importantly, it complies with the safety standards of the CPSC. A garden hose can connect to it too.

Pool Slide Safety Tips

Remember that as your slide gets higher, your pool needs to be deeper. Check the CPSC safety regulations for more specifics on this. You can also investigate the local safety codes of your area where pool slides are concerned.

Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • All ladders, ramps, stairs, and slide steps need to have treads rather than rungs. This is definitely true if the slope is over 15 degrees.
  • You should have slip resistant slide steps. They must meet the right performance requirements and have the right dimensions and tread curvature. You can review your local county and state guidelines to see if you do.
  • The smallest acceptable dimensions apply to ladder platforms which have handrails and a nonslip climbing surface.
  • The slide ladder’s angle should balance the center of gravity for the user as they take each step up the ladder.
  • You need durable fasteners that don’t crack or break.
  • The weight capacity for the slide needs to be a minimum of 200 pounds.
  • The handrails must be in a certain position and have the right safety design, length, and height.
  • You need wet pool slides to create a joyful sliding experience.
  • Maintain your pool slide by making sure nothing is loose.
  • Inspect the water supply line for leaks.
Conclusion

Understand your local laws and state laws surrounding pool slides. Find out the depth of your pool water and the size of your deck. Once you’ve done all this, you can search for a suitable slide to purchase. As you search, look at the recommendations of the manufacturer about the depth and space needed. If everything matches up, then you can go ahead and make your purchase.

The last step is to install the slide and keep its flume wet. Use the information in this guide to give you some ideas on that.

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Looking for a ladder? There are three main types of Pool Ladders: A-Frame Ladders, Deck Ladders, and In-Pool Steps

Best Above Ground Pool Ladder You Can Buy in 2020

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10
Confer STEP-1VM 4 Step Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder
2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10
Blue Wave NE115 Neptune A-Frame Entry System
3rd
Our Score: 8.9/10
Vinyl Works Deluxe Above Ground in-Pool Step Ladder
4th
Our Score: 7.2/10
Blue Wave NE110WH Wedding Cake

Above ground, pools are safe for children because the walls are so tall. The only annoying thing is that you must climb over the wall to get into the pool. And if you want to help your child into the pool, you need to lift them up and put them in the water. If you’re tired of this routine, then you need an above ground pool ladder. We’re not talking about some flimsy or wobbly ladder that’s going to fall over or float away easily. We’re talking about a high-quality ladder that will stay strong and firmly in place.

You’ll probably have trouble selecting a ladder on your own. Don’t worry because we’re here to help you pick the best ladder.

How to Select a Pool Ladders

Before you choose a ladder for your above ground pool, there are several factors you must consider first. For instance, what is the height of your pool? Do you have a deck next to it? Who is going to use the pool? Kids? If you can answer all these questions, then you’re already on the right path to choosing a great ladder for your needs.

Decks

If you have a deck, then a ladder is only needed for the inside of your above ground swimming pool. Otherwise, a ladder is needed for the outside and inside of your pool. If there is no deck on the outside, then you need a ladder to get into the pool. Unless, of course, you prefer climbing over the wall of the pool. But most people don’t.

Size Matters

No matter what size your above ground swimming pool is, it must be filled to the top with water. That is the only way it will be safe for people to swim in it. However, this doesn’t mean you should purchase any size ladder. If you get a very tall ladder, for instance, then it won’t be safe to use for getting into your pool.

Find out the depth of your pool. This depth should match the height of the ladder.

Weight Matters

Submerged steps should be removed from your above ground pool for the winter. Most pool manufacturers will advise you to do this. When you put the steps into the pool water, it may seem like an easy task. But it becomes a lot more difficult when you try to take the steps out of the water.

Therefore, the pool ladder that you choose for the inside of your pool should not be too heavy, but it should also not be too light either. You should just barely be able to take it out of your pool without stressing yourself out.

Access to Pool

It is always easier getting into a pool than it is getting out of one. For starters, you exert a lot of energy from swimming in the pool. This means you’ll feel tired by the time you want to get out of the water. On top of that, you must lift your body out of the pool which is going to be more difficult, especially if you wore a shirt in the pool. All that water soaked into your clothes will weigh you down more. A deck could solve this problem, but most people don’t have decks. So, what is the best solution here?

One option is to have steps on the outside and inside of your pool. And if you want to prevent kids from getting into your pool, look for ladders that come with a gate included. Some ladders have gates which allow the bottom step to be closed off. There are even special ladder systems where you can remove the ladder from the pool and lock it away somewhere safe.

Above Ground Pool Steps and Ladder Materials

There are various materials that are used to make above ground swimming pool ladders. These materials include aluminum, steel, plastic resin, or a combination of them. Let’s examine each one to see what they’re about.

Steel

The strongest frame material for a pool ladder is steel. The downside to steel is that it’s expensive, heavy, and requires more maintenance. This pertains to solid steel, though. You can purchase galvanized steel or stainless-steel ladders as a cheaper and more convenient alternative.

Galvanized steel is basically steel that’s been coated with zinc to prevent the formation of rust. This rust resistance could possibly last for as much as 50 years. Although, it really depends on how much your ladder is exposed to humidity and rain. Also, you still need to use a light cleaning product on the galvanized steel to maintain it. Look in the instruction manual for the ladder to see which cleaning products are safe to use on the galvanized steel.

Plastic Resin

Plastic resin is weather resistant and highly durable. It also doesn’t require much maintenance either. The instruction manual should guide you on how to clean this material of the ladder. If it does not, find a plastic resin cleaner that is non-abrasive to use for the cleaning formula. Rinse it off afterward.

Aluminum

Aluminum is stronger than resin and plastic. It is also lighter than steel. Pool ladders may use aluminum material for their step railing or frame. The downside is that rust can easily form on aluminum. Use a mild detergent to wash these exterior aluminum parts. If you have dish soap, just mix some with warm water, and that should clean the ladder well. Do not use alkaline-based cleaners because they will cause the rust to get worse.

Every few months, apply a small coat of standard car wax on the aluminum frame of the ladder. The frame will look cleaner and healthier that way.

Best Pool Ladder Steps

Prior to selecting a pool ladder, examine its main features (e.g., height, step width, capacity, etc.). Below are the top 8 above ground pool ladders for your consideration

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Above Ground Ladders

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. Confer Staircase Style Above Ground Pool Steps

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

This staircase for above ground pools has a capacity of 400 pounds and provides a lot of extra space to users. The width of its steps is 31 inches, and there is added stability with the 2 railings available. If your above ground pool is at least 48 inches high but no more than 52 inches, then the Confer Staircase Above Ground Pool Steps are what you need. It also works great with decks that are no more than 60 inches in height. Users with no deck should purchase another ladder to place on the other side.

Please Note: The side supports of the staircase must be filled to weigh it down firmly. You can use pea gravel or sand to do this. If you fail to do this, someone is liable to get hurt.

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. Simple Step Grand Entry System w/Gate By Blue Wave

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

You’ll like this ladder if you want to prevent children from gaining access to your above ground pool. The Blue Wave features a gate which goes up as high as 60 inches and locks. Kids won’t be able to reach that high. Extra stability is also given to users with the ladder’s wide anti-skid steps and dual handrails.

This ladder is suitable for above ground pools that are a minimum of 48 inches in height and a maximum of 56 inches in height. The walls can be 12 inches in width. The material used to construct this grand entry system gate is stainless-steel and plastic resin. Since these are lighter materials, the weight capacity of the pool is only 350 pounds. But this may be good enough for what you need the pool for.

3rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. Vinyl Works In-Step Ladder

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Vinyl Works In-Step Ladder has a capacity of 300 pounds. You could call this a step ladder instead of a real pool ladder. Its height is rather short and features steep dual railings.

The ladder is made from plastic resin plus stainless-steel. This makes it easy to maintain and durable too. It is suitable for above ground pools that are anywhere from 46 inches to 60 inches in height. Additional hardware may be required to connect the ladder to any existing deck that you have.

4th
Our Score: 9.2/10

4. Blue Wave Wedding Cake Above Ground Pool Step

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

If you want above ground pool steps that are not permanent and more decorative, then you should consider the Blue Wave Wedding Cave Above Ground Pool Step. It works great with a pool that is 54 inches in height and has a deck next to it. The traction of the steps is top notch because they’re perforated. In fact, the steps are even ventilated so that algae are less likely to grow.

The capacity is 500 pounds. This makes it great for multiple people to lounge in the pool. Scratching the walls is prevented by the liner pad that is on them.

Conclusion

Don’t take the cheap and lazy way out by just using a stepstool to get into the pool. Think about the aesthetics and safety of your above ground pool. A durable ladder or steps is the best way to achieve these two things.

Your ladder should accommodate your lifestyle as well as your pool. If you have a lot of other people who will be using your pool regularly, then you want a sturdy ladder which can make accessing and leaving the pool much easier.

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Pool Thermometers May Not Seem all that Important, but there are Definitely Some Valid Reasons why it Should be

Best Pool Thermometers You Can Buy in 2020

People have very specific demands when it comes to the water temperature of a pool. On the one hand, they may want to jump into a pool of cool water during the hot summer months. On the other hand, they may find it uncomfortable if the water is too cold because the sudden temperature change from hot to cold will shock their system.

If your pool has a heater, then you can heat the water just enough to make it comfortable without making it burning hot. The only way you’ll know the temperature of the water is if you use a pool thermometer to test it and give you an accurate temperature reading.

There are many benefits to using a pool thermometer. Let’s go over those benefits now.

Testing the Pool Heater

If you don’t have a pool thermometer, then you may have trouble determining whether your pool heater is working correctly. A pool thermometer allows you to see if the water temperature rises after you turn on the heater. That way, you’ll know if the heater is actually working or not. If you turn up the heat, and the temperature remains the same or gets cooler, then you’ll know that your heater is faulty.

Kingsource Large Floating Pool Thermometer

On Amazon.com

Lower Your Power Bill

Swimming pools don’t need to be heated all the time, especially if you live in a tropical location or warm-climate region. If you can monitor the temperature of the water, you’ll know when it is a better time to turn off the heat or at least turn it down. Then you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your energy bill at the end of each month

Better for Your Health

There are certain people who have their own pool temperature requirements due to health reasons. For instance, someone with multiple sclerosis cannot handle too much heat or else their symptoms will get worse. A pool thermometer allows you to set an ideal temperature for a person suffering from this condition. This will give them relief and joy when using the pool instead of pain and misery.

As for senior citizens and younger children, they would rather have warmer pool temperatures than cooler ones. To ensure that you don’t shock their system with cold water, you can make the temperature just warm enough for them to be comfortable in the water. A pool thermometer is the only way you can make this happen.

Types of Pool Thermometers

A pool thermometer may seem like a simple invention, but there are actually four different categories of pool thermometers.

Wireless Pool Thermometer
Wifi Pool Thermometer
Digital Pool Thermometer
Handheld Thermometer

Some of these categories can be combined. For instance, you could have a mercury-filled thermometer or digital thermometer that is also a floating thermometer. But if it is a handheld thermometer, then it can only be digital.

Mercury-filled thermometers are more dangerous if they’re floating in the water around other swimmers. Let’s say a swimmer accidentally damages the thermometer or bad weather damages it. The mercury inside the thermometer will pour out into the pool water. On top of that, you’ll have small pieces of glass in the water which could injure somebody or rip the liner of the pool.

Therefore, out of safety concerns, a digital handheld thermometer is the best choice.

Homga Floating Pool Thermometer

On Amazon.com

Best Thermometers

There are endless numbers of pool thermometers available to purchase. How do you know which one is good quality and which one is not?

1. Milliard Outdoor & Indoor Digital Pool Thermometer

The Milliard digital pool thermometer works well and is very affordable. It can measure temperatures in the water ranging between -4°F and 158°F. The three-inch display screen is easy to read and will automatically shut off after three minutes. This will help you save energy on the 1.5V LR44 button battery in the device. The temperature continues to get measured, even while the thermometer is off. You’ll have an immediate readout of the temperature every time because of this.

The thermometer is designed to stay afloat on the water. However, a nylon cord that is 42 inches long comes with the thermometer in case you want to install it on the pool wall instead. The thermometer can also work well in hot tubs too.

2. Milliard Floating Pool Thermometer (Polar Bear)

Most thermometers look the same, but this particular pool thermometer looks like an adorable polar bear. The rope tether included lets you position the thermometer in the same area of the pool. You’ll get both a Celsius reading and Fahrenheit reading of the temperature.

The polar bear thermometer is filled with mercury, but the exterior is constructed from durable “acrylonitrile butadiene styrene” material. This is another way of saying ABS thermoplastic. With this material securing the mercury, there is a less chance of spills and leaks.

3. Ambient Weather Wireless 8-Channel Floating Pool Thermometer

This thermometer lets you see the water temperature of the pool while you’re indoors or outdoors. Thanks to the wireless technology integrated into the thermometer, the temperature reading can get wirelessly transmitted to more than 100 feet away on an LCD display screen. You’ll be able to place multiple sensors around your pool in 8 different locations. Then you can use the 8-channel system to check the temperature of each location in the pool. The entire thing runs on solar power, although you have the option to use four AAA batteries as a backup energy source. The temperature updates at 60-second intervals.

If you add chemicals to the water, remember to take out the floating thermometer first. Otherwise, the chemicals could greatly deteriorate the plastic of the thermometer.

4. Raytek Non-Contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer

This is a futuristic style thermometer which can measure temperatures ranging between 20°F and 932°F. You’ll have a huge backlit display screen which will give you immediate readings of the temperatures. The response time for each reading should be under 500 milliseconds.

The design of the thermometer is ergonomic, compact, and durable. It gets power from a 9V alkaline battery (included). To preserve its lifespan and prevent damage, you can put the thermometer in a storage pouch and protective boot (included).

5. Etekcity 1022D Dual Laser Digital Infrared Thermometer

The Etekcity 1022D is a handheld pool thermometer which uses infrared lasers to give you an instant temperature reading of the water. Not only that, but it will give you the temperature of virtually any area of the pool. To get the most accurate temperature, get a reading from the middle of the pool. After all, water depth always affects the temperature the most.

It comes with a 9V battery and a two-year warranty. It can give you temperature readings which range from between -58°F and 1022°F. Of course, you’ll probably never need to see a temperature greater than 120°F in the water (hopefully not). However, you can use this device for other things too, such as car maintenance, home repairs, and barbeques.

Conclusion

With a pool thermometer, you’ll never need to guess what the temperature is again before jumping into the water. Now you’ll have complete control over the temperature by using the thermometer and heater together.

Milliard Floating Pool Thermometer Polar Bear

On Amazon.com
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Find the Top Cover Pumps there Essential for Pool Closing if you Own an Inground Pool or an Above Ground Pool

Best Pool Cover Pump You Can Buy in 2020

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10
Wayne WAPC250
2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10
The Little Giant Pool Cover Pump
3rd
Our Score: 8.9/10
Ocean Blue Winter Pool Cover Pump
4th
Our Score: 7.2/10
Little Giant Manual Pool Cover Pump

When the summer season is over, it’s time to close down your pool and prepare for the winter season. However, this doesn’t mean you just throw a cover over your pool and leave it alone until springtime. Your pool must be maintained regularly no matter what season it is. This means maintaining the winter cover and keeping the pool water clean and at the appropriate level. The cover takes a lot of abuse from the nasty weather of the winter, so you must ensure it stays clean and firm. If the cover takes too much abuse, then it could cause rain and snow to get through and raise the water level.

There is a straightforward piece of equipment which can solve all your pool maintenance problems during the winter. It will both protect your cover from damage and prevent water from building up in the pool. This equipment is called a pool cover pump. Let’s examine its features so you can understand why it works great for maintaining pools.

The Benefits of a Swimming Pool Cover Pumps

A winter pool cover prevents weather debris like leaves, snow, twigs, and rain from getting into the pool water. The only problem is this debris stays on top of the pool cover. There is no automated system that removes the debris.

The more debris and water that accumulates on top of the cover, the more weight that accumulates in the center. For every 1 inch of rain per square foot of space, you have 5.2 pounds of weight on there. Imagine a pool cover with 280 square feet of surface space, which is what a 12’ x 24’ swimming pool normally requires. This would cause 1 inch of rain to put approximately 1,456 pounds of weight on your cover from the rainwater. With this much weight pushing on the center of your cover, you’ll need a replacement cover very soon. Plus, the cover cannot prevent the water and melted snow from seeping through slowly.

Before you can take off the cover and open your pool, you need to remove the water which stands on top of it. If you think you can handle the job, then remove the water yourself. Otherwise, hire a professional to do it for you. This is necessary if hundreds of pounds of water pressure have built up on your pool cover for a couple of months.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our refrigerator buying guide below. We’ll walk you through each type of refrigerator — and why you might or might not want a french door or a top freezer — then help you figure out the right questions to ask in your search.

Should You Get a Manual or Automatic Pool Cover Pump?

There are automatic and manual pool cover pumps. Which one is better?

A manual pump may sound primitive, but it is actually quite simple to use. You won’t need to pump or twist a lever to remove the debris and water from your cover. What the “manual” pump does is it pumps out these elements from your cover after you manually activate the pump. So, if you see debris accumulating on top of your cover, then you simply turn on the pump. That is it.

Of course, the problem with manual pump comes from human error. If you don’t monitor the severity of the debris on your cover, then it could cause problems for it if you’re not around to turn on the pump.

This is what makes the automatic pool cover pump so much better. You just place it in the center of your winter pool cover and leave it there. When rain falls onto the cover, the pump activates automatically to pump out the water after it reaches a certain level. You should periodically check on the cover anyway, but this will at least prevent a lot of problems from happening.

Please note that a pool cover pump cannot eliminate snow from your cover. You must wait until the snow melts first. Once it becomes liquid water, the pump can successfully remove it from the cover. But you need to be careful here because sometimes ice can form instead of water. This will make the situation worse. Just to be safe, remove the snow when it’s on your cover using a snow removal tool. Make sure its head is made of non-abrasive foam. That way, the pool cover won’t get damaged or torn as you push off the snow from the cover.

Best Pool Cover Pump

Automatic pool cover pumps are the best, but they also cost more. If you’re not afraid to invest the money, then go with this pump every time. But if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind manually having to activate the pump, then go with the manual pool cover pump.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Pool Cover Pumps

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. Wayne WAPC250

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The automatic pool cover pump called the “Wayne WAPC250” is the best pump around. Once the water comes up to a certain level on the machine, the pump activates automatically. There is also a filter attached to prevent debris from knocking over or clogging the pool cover pump. This gives you the freedom to walk away without having to monitor it.

The Wayne WAPC250 has the ability to pump as much as 3,000 gallons of water per hour. It only has a 1.25” drain hose and a 25’ power cord too. If the temperature outside is freezing, the motor of the pump will be automatically protected by the freeze protection technology included. When you place the pump on the cover, you can position it properly with the 25’ rope that comes with it.

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. The Little Giant Pool Cover Pump

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

This Little Giant automatic pool cover pump may not be as powerful as the Wayne WAPC250, but it can still pump out as much as 1,745 gallons per hour. Since the pump is automatic and submersible, it will activate automatically if the water level on the cover is 2 inches high around the perimeter of the pump. When the water level goes under 2 inches, the pump automatically shuts off.

You can attach a regular garden hose to the Little Giant pool cover pump. You can clean and maintain the pump easily because it features an intake screen that is removable. The machine only weighs about 13 pounds. This certainly won’t stress out the pool cover too much.

3rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. Ocean Blue Winter Pool Cover Pump

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

This is an affordable automatic pool cover pump which doesn’t require much work to operate. It is completely submersible and pumps out water when it gets up to 1/8” high. Included in the kit are a garden hose adapter and a 25’ power cord. These are the same accessories you’ll find included with the Wayne and Little Giant pool cover pumps.

The Ocean Blue can pump around 250 gallons of water per hour because it has a small motor. It is automated though, so you don’t have to monitor it while it’s pumping.

4rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

4. Little Giant Manual Pool Cover Pump

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Little Giant gives you some additional control when it comes to removing water. It is also a durable and affordable pump too. Once you connect the 0.75” garden hose, you just plug in the pump. It will then start removing the water when it is high enough. Your hose won’t be clogged with debris because of the intake screen that comes with the Little Giant.

It can pump 550 gallons of water per hour. If there is standing water, it may take some time to remove it. Try to maintain the pump and cover regularly to make the removal process go faster. You can submerge the motor completely if you want to.

5th
Our Score: 9.2/10

5. Fibropool Pool Cover Pump Electric Manual

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On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Fibropool cover pump weighs only 3.6 pounds and is very inexpensive. It can pump around 600 gallons of water per hour. Best of all, it comes with a 16’ drain hose of its own. You don’t need to use your own garden hose for the pump.

This 16’ power cord is not long, so you need to position the pump close to a power outlet. Having a narrow pool helps too.

Drain Your Swimming Pool Cover Troubles Away

It doesn’t matter if you choose an automatic or manual pool cover pump. Any pump is better than no pump as far as maintenance is concerned. It gives you peace of mind knowing that the terrible winter months won’t destroy our cover or pool. But no matter which season it is, you won’t need to do as much cleaning when this pump is actively being used.

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pool pumps options

Find the Best Pump for your Pool with Single Speed, Variable Speed, and Above Ground Pool Pumps.

Best Pool Pump You Can Buy in 2020

Best Overall Pool Pump

Our Score: 9.8/10
Pentair 011018 IntelliFlow Pool Pump

Best Hayward Pool Pump

Our Score: 9.2/10
S.R. Smith 670-209-58123 Typhoon Right Curve Slide

Best Conventional Pump

Our Score: 8.9/10
Pentair 340093 / 340039 SuperFlo Pump

Best Above Ground Pump

Our Score: 7.2/10
Hayward SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 HP

Do you need a new pool pump? You’ll know when your current one is going bad because it will make these loud and annoying sounds. These are sounds that’ll probably wake you up in the morning too. The only way those noises will go away is if you turn off the pump. However, it isn’t good for your pool water to leave the pump off for a long time. So, the only way to remedy the situation is to replace the pump with a new one.

When you go shopping for a new pool pump, you must select one that accommodates your budget and the type of pool that you have. This should be considered a long-term investment because you’ll be using this pump for a long time. That is why you need to understand the needs of your pool and the best pump features which will satisfy those needs. After you purchase the pump, try educating yourself on the various problems that may arise.

The Function of a Pool Pump

The pump is the main component of the plumbing system of your pool. If you don’t have a good pump, then the water in your pool will not circulate well. If the water doesn’t circulate well, then it won’t reach the filtration system and get a thorough cleaning. If the water is not cleaned, then it is left dirty, foggy, and loaded with bacteria and other nasty contaminants. This is not the kind of water that you should ever swim in.

Basic Features of Pool Pumps

Pool pumps have certainly evolved over the years. There used to be 1 type of pool pump only; not there are 3 types. They are as follows:

1) Single-Speed Pumps

The single speed pump is the original type of pool pump. It is called “single speed” because the impeller spins at only one speed. The motor’s horsepower determines this speed.

If you already have a single-speed pump and you need to replace it with a new pump, then this is the perfect time to upgrade to a dual-speed pump. Then you can have more efficient circulation and filtration in your pool.

Be aware that if you still decide to use a single-speed pump, it may be illegal in the state that you’re in. California and Arizona are just two states which have outlawed the use of single-speed pumps for pools. Research the laws of your state to see if single-speed is acceptable there.

2) Dual-Speed Pumps

Dual-speed pumps can be set to high or low speed. If you set it to high speed, it acts like a single-speed pump. If you set it to low speed, the water turnover in your pool won’t be as efficient. However, it will consume a lot less energy too. The volume of your pool will determine which speed is right for you.

3) Variable-Speed Pumps

Variable-speed pumps are the most expensive pool pumps, but they’re also the best. These pumps don’t use an induction motor. They use a permanent magnet motor, which is what you’d find in an electric car. There is less friction generated from a magnet motor too. This is what makes them more efficient.

You won’t consume as much power from a variable-speed pump either. Meanwhile, water turnover will be fast and efficient. And if you’re worried about loud noises, the variable-speed pump has fewer RPM than a dual-speed or single-speed pump. This means it is the quietest pump you could buy. Some utility companies may even give you a rebate for using this pump too.

Features of a Swimming Pool Pump

At this point, you may have some idea on which type of pool pump you’re going to get. Don’t run out and buy it just yet, though. You still need to think about the features of the pool pump first.

For instance, the horsepower of the pool pump is very important. If it has a lot of horsepower, then it will do a better job of turning over the water. That way, you don’t need to run the pump as often or for very long.

Of course, you need to consider the size of your pool, the pipes of your filtration system, and the filter size itself. If your filter is small, then having too much horsepower in your pump would be overwhelming for it. If you have 3-inch pipes, then a 3-horsepower pump would be good. But again, if your pool is small, then you’ll be paying more money on electricity with this setup. It is important that your pump isn’t too much for the filtration system to tolerate. At the same time, the horsepower should be powerful enough to turn over the volume of water in your pool at a consistent rate.

Another feature to consider is the voltage amount of the pump motor. Some pool pumps need 220 volts while others can use the standard 110 volts. If you have an above-ground pool, then it probably needs a pump that is only 110 volts. But if you have an above-ground pool, it likely needs 220 volts if it is big enough.

Some pool pumps must be plugged into an electrical outlet while others need to be hardwired. If you need it hardwired, this will require you to hire an electrician to integrate the pump into your electrical system.

Selecting the Best Inground Pool Pump Size

If you want your pool water to stay clear, it must all pass through your filtration system at least one time every day. The turnover rate refers to how much water is filtered. The entire volume of water in your pool must get pumped into the filtration system throughout the course of one day.

To determine the turnover rate of your pump, you must know the volume of your pool. A pool calculator can help you figure this out. Just search for one on Google.

After you’ve calculated the volume of the pool, divide the volume amount by 8. This will give you the number of GPH (gallons per hour) of water that gets pumped into your filtration system.

A lot of pool pumps nowadays use gallons per minute (GPM) instead of gallons per hour. To figure out the GPM, you just take the GPH and divide it by 60. Once you have the answer, this is the total GPM which must get pumped into the filter for a complete turnover of the pool’s volume.

Here are the formulas:

Volume / 8 = GPH

GPH / 60 = GPM

After you’ve performed these calculations, choose a pump size which is suitable for the GPM that your pool needs. If done correctly, the water turnover should be able to finish in 8 hours. It is okay to select a pump that has a slightly higher GPM than needed. But don’t choose one that has a lower GPM.

Pool Pump Troubleshooting

Pool pumps do not run well forever. There will come a point when a problem arises with your pump. If you learn about the most typical problems that a pool pump could face, you will be better prepared to deal with them whenever they present themselves.

Leaks

The number one problem that occurs is pool pump leakage. This can happen if you have a damaged or worn impeller O-ring, shaft seal or thread sealant. The discharge pipe may also have shrunken threads which are causing this problem too.

In many situations, you can buy these parts at cheap prices and install them yourself if you need to replace your existing ones. This will save you money from having to hire a professional. Just find out where the leak is coming from, disassemble the system, replace the necessary part, and reassemble. Then your pump will work well again.

No Water is Being Pulled

If the pump isn’t pulling water into it, then the water won’t flow through the filter and get cleaned. Check to see if your system is clogged. This may be the reason why you’re having this problem.

Start by investigating both the pump baskets and the skimmer. If they’re not clogged, inspect the impeller and see if there is debris caught in it. If there is, then remove the debris so that the blade can be free to move fast again. Now check the pump by opening it up and remove any debris inside it as well.

If this still doesn’t fix the problem, then your suction line may have an air leak in it. Since air doesn’t have as much mass as water, then air gets sucked into the pump rather than the water. If there are leaks in any of the lines, patch them up.

Failure to Start the Motor

If the motor doesn’t start, check to see if the breaker has been tripped or not. If the pump doesn’t turn on when the breaker is on, then you’re having some kind of electrical issue. The only thing to do in this case is to replace the motor.

You may want to call a professional electrician to deal with the electrical system. This will ensure your safety.

Motor Shuts Off Extemporaneously

When the motor shuts off on its own, then it may be overheated. Inspect the air vents of the pump to see if they’re being blocked by anything. Try placing something over the pump to shade it from these obstructive outer elements.

If this still doesn’t fix the problem, you should call an electrician because there is probably an electrical problem there.

Noisy Motor

You can always expect some noise to come from your pump motor. But if you start hearing a lot of strange noises that you don’t normally hear, then it probably means there is a problem.

Sometimes it may just be a vibration issue. If that’s the case, put a rubber pad under the pump. But if you hear growling noises after doing that, then your pump isn’t sucking up enough water. Instead, it is sucking in air.

To address this problem, try to prime the pump. If the noise continues, inspect the intake lines to ensure they’re not leaking or clogged. If they are, then fix the leak or remove the debris that is clogging the lines. After that, the noises should go away.

If you hear a screaming sound coming from the pump, then the bearings are probably no good. Replace the bearings to fix this issue.

Replacement parts are very cheap. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time on the labor because you need to turn off the motor, detach it from the pool, and then take it apart. You need the right tools for the job, so make sure you have those.

Calling a Professional

If you’re comfortable repairing the pump yourself by disassembling the motor and configuring the electrical system, then go for it. You’ll certainly save a lot of money if you do the job yourself.

However, you need to have the necessary skills to do this job. This isn’t something where you can get “on-the-job” self-training. If you’re not experienced at these kinds of tasks, then hire a professional to do it for you.

The plumbing of your pool depends on a functional pool pump. If you don’t have the confidence to fix it, then you might end up making it worse. Have peace of mind by hiring a professional to repair it instead.

If you want to learn, perhaps you can watch the professional as they work on the pump. Take notes on what they’re doing so you can do the same thing yourself next time.

Best Pool Pumps

With the knowledge you have about pool pumps, you can decide for yourself which is the best pump for your particular swimming pool.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Pool Pump

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlow Pool Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Pentair 011018 is another energy efficient pool pump. It is 90% more efficient than competing pool pumps. It is also very quiet when it is on too. So, if you’re someone who hates loud noises coming from a pump, then the Pentair 011018 is right for you. There are 8 programmable settings along with a timer. This gives you power over the operation and timing of your pump. The Pentair 011018 is simple to install and easy to maintain. Meanwhile, it will save you money.

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. Hayward W3SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Hayward SP3400VSP is great if you’re looking for energy efficiency in your pool pump. Watch as your energy costs are reduced after you upgrade to this wonderful pump. It comes with a huge strainer basket which is compatible with many different types of pools. After you install the pump, just activate “stand-alone mode,” and it will work with the filtration system to actively pump and clean the water.

3rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. Pentair 340093 / 340039 SuperFlo Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Pentair 340093 is a pump that primes itself. It is both easy to install and startup. It is also energy efficient and powerful too. To ensure quiet operation, it has a custom hydraulic system and thick walls for its body. There is a large basket included which is easy to access and maintain. The pump is strong enough to move a lot of water into the filter while remaining energy efficient.

Best Pump for Above Ground Pools

A lot of pool pumps can be used in either above ground or inground pools. But to ensure you have a good quality pump, try to find out which is made for your specific type of pool.

4nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

4. Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The Hayward SP2160X15 is known for being a highly reliable pool pump. In addition, it is energy efficient and very quiet when it runs. You can even remove the transparent basket without needing any tools. This makes maintenance quite simple. All you need to install the pump are the 4 bolts that come with it. Once it’s installed, maintenance will be easy, and the pump will be quite reliable.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Above Ground Pools

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

Hayward SP1593 Power-Flo Above Ground Pool Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

This above ground pool pump contains a huge strainer basket which simplifies the process of removing debris from it. You can make the pump either horizontal or vertical to accommodate any space of your pool. An internal drain plug is even included with the pump to simplify the winterizing process.

The Top Intex Swimming Pool Pumps

Intex pools should use Intex pumps. Some above ground pools are compatible with Intex pumps too.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Intex Above Ground Pools

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

Intex Krystal Clear 3000GPH Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

This combination of a filter and pump is made for Intex swimming pool use. But you can adapt them to other types of above ground pools too. You can move 3,000 gallons per hour with this pump. This is great if you have a bigger Intex pool which is at least 16 feet or more. There is also a timer built in which determines when the pump runs.

Conclusion

It is not hard to keep the circulation in your pool going consistently. Just pick a pump which accommodates your pool volume, filter, and size. Maintain and repair the pump when needed. If you do all these things, your pump should have a long life.

Anytime you need a new pump, don’t be afraid to invest in the best pump possible. It will save you money on energy in the long run.

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4

Variable Speed Pumps Energy Efficient Pumps to Deliver Huge Energy Savings from one Season to the Next

Best Variable Speed Pool Pump You Can Buy in 2020

The variable speed swimming pool pump has a reputation for being energy efficient and saving people money on their power costs. The only problem is the price of the variable speed pump is more expensive than other pumps. So, are the energy savings really worth paying more money for the pump?

There are additional financial incentives for switching to a variable speed swimming pool pump that many people don’t realize exist. However, there are some locations which legally require pool owners to upgrade to a variable pump. If this is what you need to do, don’t worry because it is not that hard to perform this upgrade.

About Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Variable speed swimming pool pumps are basically multiple-speed pumps. The other two types of swimming pool pumps are single-speed pumps and dual-speed pumps. The single-speed pump is the cheapest one of the three, and it’s considered an entry level pump. As soon as you turn on the pump, it runs at 100% horsepower.

This is slightly different than the dual speed pumps, which give you the option of choosing low speed or high speed. If you want to save money and energy when the water is only being filtered, you would select the “low speed” option. However, if you’re putting chemicals into the water or vacuuming the pool, then you’ll want the pump to be on “high speed.”

Variable pumps give you even more speed choices besides just high speed or low speed. You can choose other speed levels in between those two as well. A special type of motor called a “permanent magnet motor” is used to power a variable speed pump. The single-speed and dual-speed pumps use a different type of motor. But for the variable speed pump, the permanent magnet motor is necessary. In fact, this is the same type of motor seen in electric cars and magnetic resonance imaging machines.

The latest variable pumps models have simplified the upgrade process because they allow you to just drop it in to replace the old one. And if you have specific tasks which require a faster speed, you can program certain pump models to go at the speed you need. This is useful when operating deck jets or filtering the water. Lastly, the variable pumps is the most reliable pump available.

Save Money with a Variable Speed Pump Motor

You can save money with a variable speed pump in several ways. Aside from merely using a lower speed, there are additional cost-effective benefits to using this pump. They are as follows:

Less Power Consumption

Your pump can clean the water in your pool without being on full power nonstop. If your water is only being filtered, then you can keep the pump at a low speed. Only turn the speed up higher when you have more strenuous tasks taking place in the pool.

Of course, the initial cost of purchasing a variable speed pool pumps will be higher than purchasing other pumps. However, you should end up saving money after about 2 years because of the lower energy costs you’ll have.

The average pool owner who upgrades to a variable speed pool pumps saves as much as 83% on their power bills per year. There are several variables which factor into this percentage, but it is a fair estimate.

Faster Filtering

You may think that if your pump is running regularly, then it will keep your pool clean. The truth is that it doesn’t make a difference if you keep the pump on for too long. All it will do is cost you more on your energy bill.

The number of hours each day in which you keep your pump running depends on various factors, such as the horsepower of the pump, region of your location, and the water balance.

You can run the variable pump at lower speeds but be prepared to keep it on longer if you do this. It must also be done while you filter the pool. If you do this, the filtering will end up being more effective, and you will consume less power. As a result, you’ll spend less on your energy bill and still keep a clean pool.

Obey the Law

There are many states which heavily regulate pool pumps in their jurisdiction. These regulations pertain to energy efficiency laws and building codes which are meant to require consumers to only use energy efficient pool pumps. If they fail to do this, they will be punished with severe fines.

All states are different. You may be allowed to use either a dual-speed pump or variable pumps for your pool. The only way a single-speed pump would be acceptable is if it has under 1 horsepower when it runs. Plus, if your single-speed pump were to stop working, you could repair it instead of having to replace it. Although, it’ll still be beneficial to upgrade your pump to a variable pump. If not that, then at least consider getting the dual-speed pump.

Find out the energy efficiency laws of your state. This will tell you whether your pool pump complies with those laws. If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to upgrade to a pump that does. But if you’re like most people, you’ll probably just want to ask a pool professional instead of reviewing legislation content.

Money Back Incentives

There are certain incentives that you may qualify for if you purchase a variable speed pump, including utility rebates. Basically, power companies want to encourage their customers to consume less power by installing appliances and lights, which are energy efficient. In return, the power companies may issue rebates to these customers. It’s not that the power companies actually care about saving the environment. They just want to satisfy their own legal obligations to lower power consumption.

Note: Rebate information should be available on the website of your local power company. Make sure you review this information prior to purchasing a pool pump. Also, your U.S. Department of Energy may list additional incentive information on their website. Just choose your state when you’re on there and see which incentives are available.

Less Speed = Less Noise

When single speed pumps turn on suddenly, they’ll make a lot of noise. It may even wake you up in the middle of the night. Fortunately, this won’t happen with a variable speed pump because they run at a mere 600 revolutions per minute. Compare this to the 3,450 RPM of single-speed pumps, and you’ll understand the difference. The higher the RPM speed, the more noise the motor makes. The lower the RPM speed, the less noise the motor makes. That is why choosing the variable speed pump at 600 RPM is going to be much quieter for you and your neighbors.

The variable speed pump has a timer which lets it automatically activate overnight at a low-speed setting. This is great for turning over the water in your pool during the hours when it’s not being used. As a result, your pool will be cleaner, your neighbors will be happier, you’ll get better sleep, and you’ll save plenty of money.

Swimming Pool Variable Pump Programming Choices

There are programming features built into certain variable speed pumps which allow them to be very energy efficient. For instance, you can program the pump to utilize only the minimum amount of power needed to do a certain task. Because of the automation features, you won’t need to manually switch to different speeds. The speed management of the pump is done automatically. All you need to do is set the timer. The pump takes care of the rest.

Selecting Pump of the Proper Size

At this point, you should understand why purchasing a variable speed pumps is a worthy investment that will save you money in the long run. However, you still need to know which size pump is right to purchase. This is not that challenging to figure out. You just need to do some math. Look at a tutorial video or ask a pool professional for further advice on this.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Variable Speed Pumps

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

Pentair 011018 IntelliFlow Pool Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

Hayward W3SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com

Final Thoughts on Variable Speed Pumps

Here are some other considerations you need to make when selecting your swimming pool pump.

Flow Rating

Every filter can withstand a particular level of water flow. To figure out how much horsepower is acceptable for your pump, you need to find out the flow rating of your filter.

Size of the Pipe

If the PVC pipe of your pool has a small circumference, then it won’t be able to handle the horsepower of your pump. A lot of the older swimming pools have PVC pipes with a 1.5” diameter. This would not be big enough to accommodate the fast water flow of a pump with high horsepower. Pipes that are 3 inches or 2.5 inches in diameter are needed for faster pumps, which are pumps with over 1 horsepower.

Horsepower

A faster pool pump isn’t always needed. Even if you have big PVC pipes to accommodate a fast pump, your pool may not need it. You’ll just end up wasting money and energy if you purchase it.

Voltage

Pool pump models come in 230 volts or 115 volts. The voltage of your pump can be tested with a multimeter. The pump timer has output terminals where the multimeter can be used. Of course, if handling electrical devices like these are not your cup of tea, then just have a pool professional do it for you.

Mount on Top or Side

Your setup will determine where you mount the pump. Since you need to pump water through the filter, then the location of your pump will depend on the location of your filter. If you’re circulating water all around your pool, then the best choice is usually a side mounted pump.

Remember that a variable speed pump provides more filtration, energy savings, more reliability, and less noise. That is why it is a great investment to make.

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51ZPHX9S2TL._AC_

Find the Best Timer, Devices, and Mechanisms for your Pool Pump System

Best Pool Timers You Can Buy in 2020

The filtration system and pump of your swimming pool consume a lot of electricity, especially if you leave them running all day. Your power bill will be quite high at the end of the month if this happens.

So, what’s the solution? Turn them off? Well, you can’t really do that because you need them both running to sustain the water circulation in your pool. But they don’t need to be running 24/7, so you can manually turn them off and on at the appropriate times to save on electricity.

However, what if you’re not home to turn them off and on? In that case, you need an automatic pool timer which runs for a scheduled period of time. It’ll automatically clean your pool at the scheduled times you set, so you don’t need to be home to turn it on. When the scheduled time has concluded, the filter will shut off. Then you will save money on electricity by not having your filtration system running unnecessarily.

Overview of Pool Pump Timer

An automatic pool timer can automatically activate and deactivate your pool’s filtration system to save you money on your power bill. Your pool water will still get filtered, but not all the time. Either that or the filtration system will change speeds over the course of a day.

Of course, it is important to keep your pump running for an adequate amount of time. Several pool owners make the mistake of not leaving their pump running for too long. To ensure your pool water is clean and circulated completely, keep the filtration system running for a minimum of 8 hours per day.

This should be long enough for all the pool water to get filtered one time or more. Then your swimmers can stay safe and healthy in the water.

Operating a Swimming Pool Timer

Most pool filtration systems have a plug which connects into a wall outlet or some other power source. When you introduce an automatic pool timer into the mix, the filtration system plugs into the timer, and the timer plugs into the wall outlet.

When you set the timer to deactivate the filtration system at a certain time, the link between the power source and the filtration system will get interrupted by the timer. The power is basically cut off from the filtration system when the set time is reached. Then, once the set time has expired, the connection is reestablished, which causes power to be delivered back to the system.

Automatic pool timer models are mostly mechanical. They’ll likely appear like a huge box with a clock built into it and an extension cord coming out of it. The latest models are smaller in size and include Bluetooth compatibility to accommodate people who want to manage the timer with their smartphone or tablet.

Intermatic T101R 120-Volt SPST 24 Hour Mechanical Time

On Amazon.com

Why 24/7 Filtering is a Bad Idea

Some people think it is a better idea to keep their pool water filtered for 24 hours per day, seven days per week. That would certainly clean the water of a lot more particles and debris, right? Not always, but possibly.

However, what about the expense of keeping the electricity on for all that time? The typical residential swimming pool owner will consume 3,502 kWh (kilowatts per hour) per year to run their pump. In comparison, the average Energy Star refrigerator will only consume around 561 kWh annually.

Therefore, if you keep your pool pump running 24 hours per day, seven days per week, then your power consumption per year will be the equivalent of running six refrigerators all the time. But if you’re using a high-powered pool pump, then you could consume as much as 4,300 kWh per year.

From a financial standpoint, a traditional pool pump will cost you an additional $450 per year on your electric bill. There are also cheaper “variable-speed” pumps that will only add around $100 or $200 per year to your bill.

These amounts might not seem like much because they’re based annually. But let’s say you run a traditional pool pump every day for the next ten years. That could mean an additional $4,500 gets added to your electric bill over the course of that time.

Filtration systems wear down as they get older, regardless of how much maintenance and care you give them. The motor simply won’t last forever. Eventually, the energy efficiency of your filtration system will diminish, and you’ll end up spending more money on your power bill to run it. If your pump is over seven years old or makes consistent sounds, then you shouldn’t run it all the time. It will only run for 8 hours per day, which will extend its longevity and reduce your energy costs.

Can’t I Just Use My Phone’s Alarm App Instead?

Everyone wants to save money by doing various tasks themselves. But do you really want the responsibility of always having to turn on and off your pool pump and filter? If you are not consistently doing this on time every day, it’ll mess up the water chemistry balance of your pool.

Therefore, don’t take the cheap way out. Use an automatic pool timer to make this process easier.

Best Pool Timers

There are so many reasons to purchase an automatic pool timer. It saves on energy costs, reduces the negative impact on the environment, and preserves the lifespan of your filtration system.

To help you decide which pool timer to choose, below are the nine best ones on the market today.

1) Intermatic 24-Hour Mechanical Time Switch w/ Outdoor Case

The Intermatic 24-Hour Mechanical Time Switch can manage as many as twelve appliances within a one-day timeframe. Some of these appliances include your pool pump, outdoor lighting, and other extras that you might use in your backyard.

Comes in a protective case that is wall mountable.

GE Heavy-Duty Mechanical Box Timer Switch

On Amazon.com

2) Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer

The Woods Outdoor Heavy-Duty Timer is an affordable timer which you can program for up to 7 days in advance. Set a unique time for each day or keep the timing separated amongst the weekdays and weekends. There is an easy-to-use digital display which lets you manage when the pool filtration system activates and deactivates.

If there is a power outage, the self-charging backup energy system will remember your current timer settings. That way, nothing needs to be reset after the outage. The outlet switch is weather-resistant too, so bad weather won’t interfere with it.

No mounting is necessary for this timer.

3) Honeywell Aube 7-Day Programmable Timer

Despite its name, the Honeywell Aube 7-Day Programmable Timer can be programmed for either seven days or 14 days. There are three different operating modes associated with it too. There is not much flexibility beyond that, though.

The pump can be turned off temporarily, manually, or automatically. If you choose the temporary bypass option, the regular timer is not disturbed as you temporarily override the system.

The timer can stay activated for up to 16 hours per day. You can set the timer for when you want the pump to shut off. The casing is lockable and weather resistant, but you’ll need to purchase a padlock separately.

4) GE 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch Indoor/Outdoor

The GE Mechanical Time Switch features a metal case which protects against unwanted tampering and bad weather. You will have secure control over your filter and pump with this time switch.

A licensed electrician may need to be hired for the installation of the time switch, due to the electrical wiring involved.

5) Woods Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Switch

This is a good option if the pool timer is going to be mounted next to a wall outlet. There are very little customization options, but it does have 24 activation settings for each day, and they can repeat as often as you want them to.

A lockable metal box secures the timer inside of it. Additional security exists on the gear train, thanks to the pins which are not removable. Padlock sold separately.

6) NSi Industries Industrial Timer TORK Zip-Set

The TORK Zip-Set Industrial Timer comes with a lifetime warranty. The setup process only requires a single step, and then you can relax. The timer will ask you to enter the zip code of your location. Once you do, a timer program is automatically created which turns your timer on at dusk and off at dawn. Weekday, weekend or weekly schedules can be programmed.

There is a special switch to activate for daylight savings time. Manual overriding is also possible too.

7) GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch

Do you like to control things with Alexa? If so, you’ll be able to use Alexa to control the GE Z-Wave Plus. Not only is this a pool timer management system, but it is also an automatic appliance control system too.

There is a metal case included with the Z-Wave Plus which is lockable and resistant to tampering. You can shield the device from hackers with the included security network. If you want to use the Alexa hub, you must purchase it separately. It is a great addition to have with the switch, though. It lets you activate the pump system prior to even going outside.

Conclusion

Time is money in virtually all aspects of our lives. Keeping a pool pump activated is no different. You can save money with an automatic pool timer because your pump won’t be on all the time anymore. Plus, your pool water will still be clean when you get into it.

After you set up the automatic pool timer, you don’t need to do anything else. It’ll take care of everything for you from that point forward.

GE Z-Wave Plus 40-Amp Indoor/Outdoor Metal Box Smart Switch

On Amazon.com
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bb6095d6-ae4c-465e-889f-80259c20c922.__CR0,0,300,300_PT0_SX300_V1___

Top Robotic Pool Cleaners for busting Dust and Debris Out of Your Pool

Best Pool Robotic Pool Cleaners You Can Buy in 2020

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Cleaner - Maytronics
2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10
Maytronics Dolphin Triton Plus
3rd
Our Score: 8.9/10
Polaris 9550 Sport
4th
2020-03-29_1234
Our Score: 7.2/10
Aquabot Breeze IQ

There are lots of pool cleaners out there, such as pressure-side or suction cleaners. Now, there are new cleaners which are dominating the pool cleaning industry. They are so easy to use because you just put the cleaner device in the water and let it do its thing.

There are several options out there for cleaners. You’re probably confused about which one is the best or which features you should be watching for. Don’t worry because you’re about to learn all these things. We’ve created a list of the best cleaners. You just need to review each one and learn about what they can do. Then you will be able to make an informed decision.

What’s the Difference Between the Various Pool Cleaner Robots?

You might think there is no difference between these  cleaners. While they all provide a low maintenance option for cleaning a swimming pool, each cleaner has its own unique features and attributes.

As far as automatic pool cleaners go, robotic pool cleaners are just one type of cleaner. The other two types are suction-side cleaners and pressure-side cleaners. However, robotic pool cleaners do a much better cleaning job.

For one thing, you don’t need to attach your robotic pool cleaners to the swimming pool like you would with pressure-side or suction-side cleaners. Some robotic cleaners have internal batteries to charge the units, while others need an external power source.

It might seem strange for a pool cleaner that runs on electricity to be placed in water. Don’t worry, though, because robotic pool cleaners are powered by a ground-fault circuit interrupter which supplies it with lower voltage power sources. If there are any electrical issues detected in the cleaner, it is programmed to deactivate automatically so that you don’t get electrocuted.

Features of a Pool Cleaning Robot

Since each cleaner is different, the following are the ideal features that you should search for in your next cleaner:

Lightweight

The weight of your cleaner is more important than the size of it. After all, you need to be able to lift the cleaner out of the water without any hassle. If you choose a heavy cleaner, you’ll need an extra person to help you lift it out. So, try to find a lightweight cleaner if you can.

4-Wheel Drive

This doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in cars. A cleaner with 4-wheel drive has rubber wheels which allow it to easily move around your pool, even if it’s bumpy. Slippery or wet surfaces are not a problem either.

Premium Brushes

It is difficult to clean debris and dirt from your swimming pool. The brushes of the  cleaner are what will be doing this cleaning. Look for a cleaner with brushes which have rotating rubber or hard bristles because they can scrub dirt a lot better.

High Energy Efficiency

The bigger the cleaner, the more energy it needs to operate. Smaller robotic pool cleaners use about 200 watts per hour, while bigger robotic pool cleaners use more. Stay away from the cleaners that use over 1,000 watts every hour because that means they are not energy efficient.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

Cleaners are available for all different prices. Whichever one you pick, it will provide you with cost savings, energy efficiency, and speed. Let’s take a look at the ten best ones available today.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Pool Vacuum Robots

1st
Our Score: 9.8/10

1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Cleaner - Maytronics

Learn More >>

On Amazon.com
Why we chose it

The automatic pool cover pump called the “Wayne WAPC250” is the best pump around. Once the water comes up to a certain level on the machine, the pump activates automatically. There is also a filter attached to prevent debris from knocking over or clogging the pool cover pump. This gives you the freedom to walk away without having to monitor it.

The Wayne WAPC250 has the ability to pump as much as 3,000 gallons of water per hour. It only has a 1.25” drain hose and a 25’ power cord too. If the temperature outside is freezing, the motor of the pump will be automatically protected by the freeze protection technology included. When you place the pump on the cover, you can position it properly with the 25’ rope that comes with it.

2nd
Our Score: 9.2/10

2. Maytronics Dolphin Triton Plus

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Why we chose it

The Dolphin Triton Plus scans your swimming pool and creates a map for cleaning it. This is similar to what the Nautilus cleaner can do. However, the Dolphin Triton Plus has Bluetooth technology for connecting to your mobile device. You can use this ability to control the cleaner and make it clean certain areas that need it the most. This is something the Nautilus cannot do.

The Dolphin Triton Plus has two brushes for scrubbing the waterline, flooring, and walls of your pool. There is a very large filter which you need to maintain by reloading, dumping, and rinsing. To activate the cleaner, you just need to push a single button. The cleaner should take about 3 hours to finish.

3rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

3. Polaris 9550 Sport

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Why we chose it

The Polaris 9550 Sport is a pool cleaner with 4-wheel drive technology. This means it can clean the walls, cracks, gaps, and corners of your pool. Tough areas to reach are now achievable because of this cleaner’s rear water propulsion system. It also features a Vortex vacuum technology that can suck up huge pieces of debris and still keep on functioning.

The Polaris 9550 Sport includes a motion-sensing remote control. You can use this to guide the cleaner toward areas of the pool that really need to be cleaned. The filter canisters of the cleaner are designed so there’s no need to touch any of the debris. You just take out the cleaner and shake it around; then spray it down. The swivel power cord feature means you won’t get the cord tangled or twisted as you’re cleaning either.

4rd
Our Score: 9.2/10

4. Aquabot Breeze IQ

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Why we chose it

The Aquabot Breeze IQ is a great cleaner if dust and pollen are commonly a problem for your pool. It has filters which can block small debris, even if it’s 2 microns in size. As a result, it can filter out bacteria from your pool water.

It comes with a 60’ power cable which has swivel technology to prevent twisting and tangling of the cable. If there is any difficult pollen or dirt patches to deal with, the cleaner’s strong pump system can take care of them. Its strong scrubbing brushes can be used on any pool surface, even one that is lined with vinyl.

5th
Our Score: 9.2/10

5. Hayward TigerShark

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Why we chose it

The Hayward TigerShark can clean the waterline, coves, floors, and walls of your pool in just 3 hours. This is great if you need to clean your pool in a hurry before a big event or party that is about to take place.

There is a pump onboard the TigerShark to supply more cleaning power for eliminating tough debris and dirt patches. The power cord is quite lengthy and suitable for cleaning swimming pools that are as big as 40’ x 20’. To clean the pool, just take out the filter, empty the filter and rinse the filter. After that, you can reload it.

6th
Our Score: 9.2/10

6. Hayward SharkVac

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Why we chose it

The Hayward SharkVac is equipped with smart sensors to track and eliminate dirt along the waterline. In addition, these sensors keep the motors’ safe and ensure the cleaner has a long life. This is a very easy cleaner to use and manage.

7th
Our Score: 9.2/10

7. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler

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On Amazon.com