Experience Total Control with Pool Automation

pool automation

How would you like to put your pool on cruise control? With an automated control system, you can automate maintenance functions like sanitization, heating and filtration, and control ambient features such as lighting and water features using only your smartphone or tablet. An automated control system can also save you money – often reducing energy costs by as much as 70 percent. *

Whether you include pool automation in the construction of a new pool or the remodel of your existing pool, you’ll make it easier than even before to spend more time with your friends and family, enjoying the many benefits of pool ownership. Pool owners considering pool automation have a number of different automated control systems available to them. Here are a few simple ways to get started with pool automation:

OnCommand®

OnCommand® is an affordable automated control system that can be installed on existing pools. It lets you control your pool’s pump, filter, heater, lighting and more, as well as set schedules for totally hands-off operation. OnCommand® can also be connected to an optional floating wireless remote for the ultimate in poolside convenience (sold separately).

Total Control with E-Command® 4

The technology and programming flexibility afforded by the E-Command® 4 ensures equipment runs at peak performance for minimum energy usage and cost. You can set schedules for your pool’s equipment or control them manually from a wireless remote (sold separately). With a built-in subpanel, this system is the easiest, most cost-effective way to incorporate time-saving automation when building a new pool.

Manage Your Pool and Spa’s Chemistry

Homeowners barely have to lift a finger to ensure a clean, chemically balanced pool ready for use at any time, with the Total Pool Chemistry® management system. With the ability to integrate Sense and Dispense, the Total Pool Chemistry® management system continuously monitors chlorine and pH levels, and automatically adjusts the water chemistry as needed. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that!

Add-Ons That Make Maintenance Effortless

System add-ons such as Hayward’s AquaConnect Interface give you the ultimate in streamlined control and monitoring. Compatible with Hayward’s line of automated control systems, this interface gives you the freedom to access, control and monitor your system from a smartphone, tablet or computer – anywhere and anytime. Just think how amazing it would be to have total control at your fingertips.

Are you ready to simplify your life with pool automation? Contact Platinum Pools & Spas today for more information on all of our available automated control systems and receive a FREE Hayward ColorLogic® LED Pool Light with any new or remodeled pool. *

*Free ColorLogic® LED Pool Light with the purchase of a new or remodeled pool project over $10,000 and if purchased by 10/31/16. Does not include homebuilder pool programs and/or previous discounts or offers.

Crushed Recycled Glass as a Filtration Medium

Crushed Recycled Glass

Thought to be the oldest manufactured substance in the world, glass dates back to around 1500 BC, with finds in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. It was believed, however, that stone age people fashioned weapons and decorative objects from black volcanic glass (obsidian) far before this time.

Fast forward to today: Manufactured in mass qualities, glass is made entirely from natural raw materials, and is used to hold everything from milk to jelly. Glass can also be made into a wide variety of products including decorative objects, lamps and more.

Despite the benefits of reusing glass, a whopping 12.5 million tons of glass waste is produced worldwide every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Only 30 percent of this waste winds up in recycling programs while glass is 100 percent recyclable.

Currently in its infancy, but not far off the beaten path, glass is making the headlines as a viable option for water-filtration mediums. Said to be a direct replacement for sand, the glass medium is processed through a series of crushers, dryers and screens in order to make it safe to use.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Glass Facts

  • Glass can be recycled endlessly without risk of losing its quality.
  • Glass is made from sand, soda ash, limestone and cullet.
  • Recycling 1,000 tons of glass creates over 8 jobs. Do the math.
  • Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials.
  • Recycled glass used for water-filtration feels like beach sand.

Glass Opposed To Sand

All of the case studies currently completed on the benefits of using crushed recycled glass as a water-filtration medium have provided glowing results. Some studies have even proven the fact that glass works just as, if not better, than sand when filtrating water.

According to other case studies glass provides many advantages such as improved water treatment efficiency, lower backwash rates and lower costs – not to mention the environmental benefits to using crushed recycled glass in place of sand as it guarantees its removal from landfills.

Notable disadvantages to using crushed glass as opposed to sand include recent literature from the EPA which speaks of the fact that glass is not a proven technology for alternative media filters and that it may not be readily available when needed for replacement – but don’t rule it out quite yet.

One More Advantage: Longevity

Yet another advantage that has researches and pool builders/operators alike talking is the fact that glass can last 10 years or longer. But this advantage also raises the question of how it should be disposed of when its expiration date is finally maxed out.

Crushed recycled glass manufactures have replied by informing pool operators to 1) make sure the medium really needs to be replaced. It may be beneficial to clean it using chlorine and top of the filter with a fresh layer. And 2) dispose of it in much the same way you would sand.

Swimming… Benefits for Asthmatic Individuals!

Platinum Pools

In The Swim: Blog

There is a huge number of people who use swimming as their main form of exercise. It’s easy on the joints, and fun to do! For individuals with asthma, you can assume that a physical exercise, like swimming, could be detrimental to an individuals health. Something that requires intentional and controlled breathing, seems like a terrible idea for someone who deals with asthmatic troubles.

Although, interestingly enough, there are no studies that have proven that swimming causes issues for someone with asthma. Which is good news! In fact, the warm and humid atmosphere can actually help improve and ease breathing troubles. Swimming is one of our favorite forms of exercise, but the general rule is, ANY exercise is ideal! It can help with several areas, such as sleep, energy, and most importantly, respiratory and circulatory systems. Backyardpool

Typically, swimming is not linked to triggering asthma attacks. The natural moister in the air, from the pool, makes it easier to breathe, compared to other land-based activities. Obviously, we advise you to take caution while using swimming as your form of exercise. We recommend being very careful about the pH and chlorine levels. This can cause breathing issues, if there isn’t a proper balance.

Let us help you improve your exercise life, and your home aesthetics, by walking you through the process of installing a new pool. For any other questions, you can contact us at: PLATINUM POOLS AZ or call us at: (480) 888-9200

The Importance of Proper pH Balance

proper pH levelsMost pool owners understand that maintaining the proper chemical balance in a pool is the key factor to keeping it clean and preventing algae from growing. However, many people simply focus on the chlorine levels and pay little attention to pH levels. It’s true that pH levels don’t change as often as the chlorine level, but that doesn’t make them any less important. As a matter of fact, the pH levels directly affects how well chlorine will perform in keeping a pool clean.

Simply put, pH is a measurement of the total acid-alkalinity balance in a pool. Chemical reactions can cause damage such as corroding metal equipment, create etching on surface materials, and even cause skin irritation if the pools is too acidic. On the other hand, high alkalinity is a source of scaling and can make your pool look cloudy. In both cases of high acidity or alkalinity, chlorine will not perform as well and its ability to kill pathogens and bacteria is greatly reduced.

The pH scale ranges from zero to 14 with zero indicating high acid levels and 14 meaning high alkalinity. The recommended level according to most pool experts is somewhere between 7.0 and 7.6. When the level drops below the ideal range, soda ash or even baking soda is added to raise the level. Muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate are used if the pH level is too high and needs to be lowered.

There are a number of factors that can affect the pH levels in the pool including heavy rains, oils from swimmers body, and leaves and dust in the pool. There are many home testing kits that you can use to check pH levels, but you may want to take a water sample to a professional if you are having a particularly hard time keeping a pool clean.

The main takeaway here is don’t take your pH levels for granted. Keeping them in balance will save you money in the long run as your chlorine will be much more effective with proper pH balance.

Algae the Green Pool Monster

Seems like if you miss just one week of adding chemicals, your pool can take a dramatic turn for the worse. Especially during the summer here in Arizona. Once algae spores become full algae blooms, it can take several days or even weeks to gain control again. The key to fighting algae once it appears is to act quickly. Here a few recommended steps to take if the algae monster invades your pool.

Regain Balance
More than likely the reason your pool developed algae was due to an imbalance of your water’s chemistry. Getting your chlorine and pH balance back in order should be the first thing you do when your pools starts to turn green. Some pool companies even recommend keeping your pH levels slightly higher around 7.8 and 8.00 when fighting algae.

Brush Brush Brush.. then Vacuum
If algae has developed, it has taken root on the walls and floor of your pool. You will want to dislodge the algae by thoroughly brushing your pool, especially in the areas where algae is visible. The type of brush you use, such as wire or nylon, will be determined by your pool finish. Consult a pool store if you are unsure which to use. After brushing, wait until any floating algae settles, then vacuum.

Shocking Advice
Adding super chlorination in the form of shock can dramatically improve your chances of destroying algae. We highly recommend checking the ingredients before purchasing shock as some contain more actual chlorine than others. Any pool store employee should be able to answer any question you may have, but be wary if that only suggest their ‘brand’. You will want to shock your pool at night at run your filter for a least 8 hours to maximize the effect.

To Algaecide or Not To Algaecide
In more extreme cases you may have to use and algaecide to kill the algae. There are different categories of algae like Green, Mustard, or Black. You will want to determine which type of algae your pool is infected with to know which algaecide to use.

Circulate and Re-Circulate
You will probably want to run your filter longer than normal, 24-hours if possible, when fighting algae. Be sure to clean or backwash your filter also to help remove contaminants.

Without a doubt, algae is the bane of existence for pool owners. Regular pool maintenance, chemicals, and circulation is the best way to avoid the dreaded algae invasion. But if it happens, act swiftly and you can have a clean, clear swimming pool once again!

Arizona Pools and the Monsoon Season

The monsoon season is upon us once again here in Arizona which means your pool will probably be filled with dust and debris from the blowing winds. Not to mention the added water from the torrential downpours we experience from time to time. Keeping your pool clean during the monsoon season can be challenging but here are a few tips that will help keep your pool swimmable during the rainy season.

Prepare for the Storm
It’s a good idea to cover your pump and filter with a tarp if they are exposed before a storm. Secure your lawn furniture and tie down any loosely rooted trees or plants. Use a blower or pressure washer to clear loose dirt from your decking and patio so that it doesn’t end up in your pool. Close any open umbrellas and put inflatable pool toys away in a safe storage area. Don’t run your filter during a storm as it may become too full of dirt.

Remove Debris and Dirt Quickly
After storms you will often find branches, leaves, lawn furniture and dirt polluting your pool. It’s important to remove debris and vacuum dirt as quickly as possible after storms. The longer you leave remnants of a storm in your pool, the harder it will become to clean. Be sure to clean the skimmer as well since will surely collect a lot of the debris.

After the Storm
While a downpour may help fill your pool with water, it can also severely affect the pH balance. Once a storm has passed be sure to test all of the chemical levels in the pool. You may even want to take a sample of pool water to your local pool store to have it professionally tested. Check the pressure of your pool filter to see if back-washing is required or if you need to clean filter cartridges as well.

Monsoons are inevitable in the Valley of the Sun, but with a little preparation and diligence you can keep your pool up and running during this blustery season. Keep your landscape well maintained, trees trimmed, and loose grass and leaves raked to help lessen the effect on your pool when storms hit.

Maintaining Pool Chemistry

Maintain Pool ChemistryMost pool owners know that maintaining a balanced chemistry is the key to keeping your pool fresh and clean. But it’s not always an easy task, especially in hot states like Arizona. There are many factors to keeping the chemicals balanced but here are a few keys areas to pay attention to.

Testing
Test your pools chemicals at least twice a week during the summer. There are many home testing kits available and most pool stores offer free water testing service. Pay special attention to you PH balance and alkalinity as this determines how effective the chlorine you add to your pool will be.

Run Your Pool Filter Correctly
Your pool filter is tasked with cleaning all of the water in your pool so it’s important you are running your pool pump long enough to turn over the entire contents of your pool. The length of time required will vary from pool to pool. Your pool flow rate will determine how long you should run your filter. Check your pool pumps gallon per minute rating to determine the correct length of time or consult a pool professional.

Don’t Backwash Too Often
Many people think they need to backwash their pool every time they vacuum or clean the pool. This is actually just wasting water and chemicals. Most filters have a pressure gauge. The pressure gauge will tell you when it is necessary to backwash the pool, generally when the gauge rises above 8-10 PSI from it’s normal reading.

Brush Your Pool
Regardless of how good your pool circulation is, there are going to be certain spots of your pool where the water is somewhat stagnant. These are the areas where algae generally first appears when your pool is not maintained properly and often found around stairs and on filter ports. Brushing those areas frequently can help prevent the build up of algae.

Check Chlorine Ingredients
Not all chlorine available to purchase is the same. Some have other chemicals included and a smaller percentage of chlorine. You also have the choice of liquid chlorine, tablets, or shock granules. Liquid chlorine tends to lose its effectiveness quicker in the sun so may not be the best choice during summer in Arizona. Talk to you pool professional about your pool situation for advice on what the best chlorine option is for you.

Add Chemicals at Night
Chlorine and chemicals are less effective when added during the day.

By remaining vigilant and monitoring your pool’s chemical levels frequently, you should have no problems keeping your pool clean and swimmable all year. If you feel you don’t have the time, you may want to consider hiring a professional pool cleaning service company to maintain your pool’s chemical balance.

Salt Water Vs. Chlorine

salt water vs chlorine poolThere has been widespread debate for sometime now on whether or not to continue to use chlorine tablets and powders to keep your pool clean, or to switch to a salt water system, which generates it’s own chlorine via a generator. While installing salt water systems can be expensive, you also have to take into consideration the amount you spend on chlorine and chemicals throughout the year and well as the time it takes for maintenance on the pool.

Typically, to convert a chlorine based pool to a saltwater pool is in the $1400-$2000 range. People who are familiar with chlorine pools will be quick to note that they spend far less than that on chlorine and chemicals each year. However, the life expectancy of a saltwater generating system is 3 to 5 year which should be figured into the equation.

People with salt water systems will also tell you that the water is ‘softer’ and less harsh on your skin. It’s also easier to maintain the PH-Balance of your pool with salt water. Some people are concerned that their pool will end up tasting like the ocean, however, because it has such a low concentration of salt that it’s officially considered to be fresh water. The salt water concentration in a pool is actually only approximately 1/10th of the salt water concentration of the ocean.

Chlorine, on the other hand, is better at killing bacteria and can actually clean up a pool faster than a salt water system. If you maintain your chlorine pool regularly, maintenance can be a easy as simply adding tablets to the pool and running a simple pool test to check your ph and other levels.

It seems there is really no clear-cut winner when you compare and contrast saltwater pools to chlorine pools. It all depends on the amount of maintenance and overall use of the pool. While saltwater pools do not use any significant chemicals, chlorine is a byproduct of the salt you add to the water, so chlorine is still present in the water. But salt is a more natural approach and is safer on our skin and hair than the harsh chlorine chemical tablets. Also, a saltwater pool will not fade or damage your swimsuit as much as a chlorinated pool.

We would love to hear what you think, so please feel free to comment below!

If you would like more information on chlorine vs salt water pools, please feel free to contact the professionals at Platinum Pools and Spa’s today.

Protecting Your Hair From Chlorine

In Arizona, a swimming pool is almost a necessity if you are going to spend anytime outdoors. But for many, the chlorine in the water can damage or even change the color of their hair. But there are a few steps you can take to help avoid damage to your hair that chlorine.

Step 1: If possible, rinse your hair in the shower before getting in the pool. If your hair is “filled up” with tap water it won’t be able to absorb as much chlorinated pool water.

Step 2: Apply a thorough coating of a hair serum to your dripping wet hair, paying special attention to the ends. The serum will help protect your hair from friction while your swim. Choose an inexpensive serum like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original Serum, $7.50.

Step 3: (Optional) Put on a swim cap. Many swim caps are so tight that they pull your hair out when you take them on and off. Try a Speedo Silicone Swim Cap, $7.99. If a swim cap causes you to lose hair, don’t use it. Just let your strands hang free instead.

Step 4: After you swim, rinse your hair with tap water again. It’s best to wear a hat if you plan to stay in the sun after you exit the pool.

Step 5: Always shampoo your hair after you’re done swimming for the day. It’s important to use a shampoo that gets rid of chlorine and mineral build up. If your regular shampoo contains EDTA or Phytic Acid it will provide thorough enough cleansing. If your regular shampoo doesn’t contain EDTA or Phytic Acid, buy UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo, $15.21 for a pack of 4 ($4.99 each MSRP) for pool days.

Protect yourself from recreational water illnesses

While pool staff regularly check both chlorine and pH levels to protect swimmers and their families from recreational water illnesses (RWIs) in public pools, it’s important you maintain your own pools chemical balance as well. Chlorine and pH are the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick.

Here’s information as posted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

What does chlorine do?

Chlorine kills germs in pools–but it takes time to work. Therefore, it’s important to make sure chlorine levels are always at the levels recommended by the health department (usually between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm).

Why does chlorine need to be tested regularly?

All sorts of things can reduce chlorine levels in pool water. Some examples are sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmers’ bodies. That’s why chlorine levels must be routinely measured. However, the time it takes for chlorine to work is also affected by the other member of the disinfection team, pH.

Why is pH important?

Two reasons. First, the germ-killing power of chlorine varies with pH level. As pH goes up, the ability of chlorine to kill germs goes down. Second, a swimmer’s body has a pH between 7.2 and 7.8, so if the pool water isn’t kept in this range then swimmers will start to feel irritation of their eyes and skin. Keeping the pH in this range will balance chlorine’s germ-killing power while minimizing skin and eye irritation.

What else can be done to promote Healthy Swimming?

The best way to kill germs is by routinely measuring and adjusting both chlorine and pH levels. Since a few germs can survive for long periods in even the best maintained pools, it is also important that swimmers become aware of Healthy Swimming behaviors (don’t swim when ill with diarrhea, don’t swallow pool water, take frequent bathroom breaks, and practice good hygiene). Combining Healthy Swimming behaviors with good chlorine and pH control will reduce the spread of RWIs.

Platinum pools strongly recommends that pool owners remain vigilant and maintain a healthy balance of chemicals to keep pools clean and sanitized all year long.