Swimming Pools: Plan Now for Next Summer

swimming pools

If you want to dive into your own, private swimming pool next Memorial Day, you’ll want to start planning and building a swimming pool now as it can take anywhere from three weeks and three months to install.

Getting Started

This much you know: In Arizona, it’s hot enough during the summer to want to dive into a nice, refreshing swimming pool. However, planning and building a private swimming pool or for that matter, a spa isn’t something you should do on a whim. Pool building is a major addition to your property and lifestyle. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Is my backyard suited to a pool?
  • What’s my swimming pool budget?
  • Am I prepared for the upkeep a pool requires?
  • What is my reason for wanting a pool (e.g., recreation/relaxation, exercise/therapy, entertaining, or a combination of all three)?

Types of Swimming Pools

Swimming pool types fall in one of two categories; fiberglass or concrete.

Concrete: If you have your heart set on a beach entry, then you probably want a custom-built, concrete pool. This material is the most popular option among Arizona homeowners because of its reputation for durability and longevity (50+ years!). It typically takes between three weeks and three months to install a concrete pool.

Fiberglass: These pools are factory-molded and set into pre-excavated holes by a crane. As a result, the size and shape of these pools are considerably more limited. Fiberglass pools feature a smooth finish that’s both durable and stain-resistant. It typically takes between one and two months to install this type of pool.

Other things to consider are local availability of materials and regional zoning regulations.

Styles of Swimming Pools

The following are just a few styles available:

  • Spas
  • Lap pools
  • Modern pools
  • Natural pools
  • Tropical pools
  • Traditional pools
  • Mediterranean pools
  • Infinity or vanishing edge pools

Many of these styles can be custom-built indoors or out. There is also a wide variety of optional features that are designed to suit all members of the family, including sun shades, waterfalls, lazy rivers, changing-color LED lights, rock slides, fire woks, and more. Contact Platinum Pools & Spas for a free consultation and our monthly specials.

Spring Maintenance Tasks for Your Pool

spring maintenance tasks

The weather is slowly but surely heating up, which means it’s almost time for one of the most relaxing activities in the world – lounging poolside with a glass of ice cold lemonade (if you aren’t already). By performing these few spring maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your experience will be sheer perfection.

Check Water Level: If you haven’t already, spring is a good time to check your pool’s water level, which should be in the middle of your skimmer opening or halfway up the waterline tile at all times. If it’s too low, the pump can suck-in air, lose prime and stop pumping. Add water accordingly using a garden hose. You could save a lot of time and money by investing in an automatic water leveler.

Check Filter Pressure: Every pool filter has a pressure gauge located near the top of the tank. The gauge, with its round face and 0 to 60 numbers, indicates system pressure in pounds per square inch (psi). Ideally, you should’ve recorded the normal operating pressure of your filter at installation, so you have a benchmark for all future readings.

Normal pressure signifies good pool circulation. This is the sweet spot, where you can sit back in that lounge chair, relaxing on a warm summer’s day. If the pressure gets too high, you will need to backwash the filter and clean the cartridge, or hire a professional pool cleaner to do this for you.

Check Pool Cleaner: An automatic pool cleaner can save a lot of manual cleaning of dirt and debris, but they do require regular attention, like all parts of your swimming pool do. Cleaners built with their own cartridge filter systems require frequent cleaning: just open the cleaner, remove and rinse with a hose. Pool cleaners can also stop moving/pulsating, get stuck behind a pool’s safety equipment, or their hoses coiled-up; requiring attention. If there seems to be a problem, have it professionally looked at.

Skim the Pool: Want a clean pool? Skim the surface of your pool water daily! Skimming helps to keep algae, stains, and cloudy water from occurring. To begin, you will need a skimmer net attached to a telescopic pole, making it easier to reach the pool’s bottom. You can choose between a flat skimmer or a bag skimmer – just make sure it’s durable. You won’t believe how many times we’ve seen a cheap skimmer break.

Opening Your Pool

opening your pool

As the days get a little warmer and a little longer, it easy for our thoughts to turn to shedding those extra layers, and spending long afternoons lounging poolside. Opening your pool for the summer season, however, requires more effort than just filling it up and jumping in. In business in Arizona for more than 25 years, Platinum Pools and Spas knows the importance of opening your pool for the season correctly. If a pool is properly opened, you can be assured proper operation and chemistry levels.

Get your summer season off to the right start in six easy steps.

Step 1: Check Supplies

While many swimming pool chemicals stay good for years if stored correctly, some pool-maintenance supplies like test strips and reagents expire more quickly, depending on the brand. Old supplies can give inaccurate results. If your supplies are expired, it may be better to discard them and replace them with new when you reopen your pool.

Step 2: Remove Leaves and Debris

Before removing the cover, remove leaves, dirt and general debris from the pool cover and surrounding deck or patio. For maximum cleanliness, with minimal effort, we recommend using a leaf blower. Any standing water should be removed as well. This will prevent dirt and debris from working its way into the pool.

Step 3: Uncover the Pool

Once you remove the cover, you will want to take the time to properly clean, fold and store it. Spending a few minutes now will save you money on the cost of a new cover. If you have the space, spread out the cover, spraying it off with the highest pressure your hose allows. Let dry. Then fold and store. The cooler the storage, the better.

Step 3: Check the Water Level

If you have an automatic water leveler, you can skip this step. For the pump to function properly, the water needs to be in the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the waterline tile. Add water accordingly. While waiting for the pool to fill, check and test all equipment including handrails, diving boards and slides for loose bolts.

Step 4: Check the Water Chemistry

It is important to test the water early. After a mandatory 24-hour run time, check the water’s pH level, total alkalinity, hardness of water due to calcium, and so forth. You can do this using test strips or take a sample of your pool water to your nearest pool supply store. Safe and proper levels should be:

  • Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
  • pH Level – 7.4 to 7.6
  • Free Available Chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness – 200 to 400 ppm
  • Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) – 30 to 50 ppm

*PPM – part per million

Step 5: Brush and Vacuum the Pool

Thoroughly brushing your pool’s walls is one of the most effective ways to keep your pool clean. Vacuum weekly to keep the water squeaky clean, increase the efficiency of the pool’s circulation system, and reduce the amount of chemicals you’ll need to add to it. Cleaning out strainer baskets at least once a week also helps to keep the pool clean.

Step 6: Clean Outdoor Furniture

Whether it looks like it needs it or not, you should make a point of cleaning your outdoor patio furniture regularly to prevent it from becoming weathered and faded by the elements, therefore making it last longer. Just fill up a bucket, get a sponge, and go to work. Let dry. Replace any furnishings that are unstable, torn or rotted.

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy!

Winterize Your Pool

winterize your pool

A swimming pool is a great backyard feature that will add years of enjoyment to your home. It provides many benefits, one of the most important being an increase in property value, especially in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A swimming pool can provide families with the opportunity for exercise, rest and relaxation, and a place for socializing, all amplified by the convenience of stepping into your own backyard oasis. However, even in Arizona, there comes a time when you should take some steps to winterize your pool.

Use these tips to winterize your pool.

#1. Clean Out the Pool

The first step is clean out any leaves, insects, dirt and debris. Use your pool vacuum – or just fish them out with a net. It is also recommended that you brush and vacuum the sides, not just the bottom, of your pool in order to remove scum lines.

#2. Balance Water Chemistry

This protects the pool from corrosion or scale buildup. You will want to do this at least a week prior to actually closing the pool. Using a water test kit, adjust the water to the recommended levels of pH, total alkalinity, calcium (hardness), and chlorination.

Proper levels are as follows:

  • pH: 7.2-7.6
  • Alkalinity: 180-220 ppm
  • Chlorine levels: 1-3 ppm

#3. Add a Winterization Kit

Thinking of adding a winterization chemical kit? Do it now. These kits put high levels of chlorine and algaecide in the water to prepare it for the cold months ahead. Ask your pool builder or retailer about these kits today!

#4. Remove Pool Accessories

You will also want to remove any and all pool accessories. This includes ladders, wall fittings, hand rails, automatic pool cleaners, and diving boards to ensure your pool’s cover snugly fits therefor keeping out debris and insects.

#5. Cover Your Pool

Finish winterizing your pool by covering your pool with solid cover that keeps out debris. When shopping for a pool cover, look for one that will provide a tight fit, so that no debris or bugs can get in between the gaps.

#6. Prefer to Use Your Pool Year-Round?

If you would prefer to keep using your pool in the winter, you have a few options, including geothermal heating. Geothermal heating works by collecting heat from the ground, which remains a constant 70˚F, concentrating it and applying it to your pool’s water. This ensures a consistently warm temperature year-round.

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.

Labor Day Backyard Bash

labor day backyard bash

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Labor Day may indeed by the official end of summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the last days of summer with one last backyard bash.

Labor Day, observed Monday, September 5, 2016, is a holiday devoted to honoring American workers and their contributions to the strength and well-being of our country. For most of us, Labor Day also means a day off from work and with school already back in session, the unofficial end of summer.

There’s a lot to celebrate about this Labor Day including American workers, the end of summer, and a new school year. So before you press the send button on summer, fire up the grill, throw some noodles into the pool, and invite your friends and family over for an enjoyable Labor Day Backyard Bash.

Here’s what you need to do for a memorable Labor Day Backyard Bash.

Send Invitations in Advance. With Labor Day just around the corner, literally, you’ll want to send invitations out via email or social media for the fastest response. It’s always a good idea to get a final head count at least a week before any event; but three days will suffice when you’re short on time.

Plan Your Menu. Labor Day is a great day for grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and ribs served up with classic favorites such as potato and fruit salads. Don’t forget the chips and sodas/bottled waters. Need inspiration? Search Pinterest for “Labor Day party recipes”. Plan your menu in advance according to your tastes and budget. Prepare salads and marinades a day in advance.

Plan Fun Pool Games. Set up your volleyball and/or basketball hoop for lively fun. Plan to play games like Marco Polo, Watermelon Push Relays, Lap Races, and more. You might be surprised to find the adults having just as much fun, if not more, playing these games as the kids. For more pool game inspiration be sure and check out Pinterest.

Make Sure Your Pool is Swim Ready. Before your guests arrive, it’s a good idea to check your pool’s chemical levels, and run its filter for eight hours (this is something you should already be doing daily). After the party simply brush or vacuum your pool, add chlorine, and clean your filter to prevent the algae growth.

How to Kill Green Pool Algae

green pool algae

With 110 degree days just over the horizon, there’s no better way to combat the heat and have fun, than to spend the day relaxing poolside. With towels in hand you head out to your pool…only to find that the water’s turned a murky green. Any hopes of having fun are then quickly dissipated – as you find yourself battling against green pool algae instead.

So what exactly is algae? Algae, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is…

“A plant or plantlike organism of any of several phyla, divisions, or classes of chiefly aquatic usually chlorophyll-containing nonvascular organisms of polyphyletic origin that usually include the green, yellow-green, brown and red algae in the eukaryotes and especially formerly the cyanobacteria in the prokaryote.”

Green algae is the most common type of algae there is. As the name implies, it’s green, slimy and unfortunately grows extremely fast given the right conditions. Conditions such as warm temperatures, sunlight, out of balance water, and the presence of nitrates and/or carbon dioxide can quickly lead to your blue water’s demise.

Of course, the best way to avoid encountering a green pool, is to destroy the algae spores before they get the chance to develop into full-on algae blooms. Good circulation, proper sanitizer levels, routine brushing of the pools walls and floor, and weekly shocking can help you avoid problems with this type of algae.

If your pool’s water has become infested with algae, you have to find ways to fix it, before your able to use your pool. While algae itself does no harm to swimmers, it may harbor pathogens such a E-coli that can. Chlorine shock is one of the most effective treatments for algae.

Getting Rid of Green Pool Algae by Shocking

How Much Shock Will I Need?

  • 2 pounds of shock = 10,000 gallons of pool water
  • 4 pounds of shock = 20,000 gallons of pool water
  • 6 pounds of shock = 30,000 gallons of pool water
  • 8 pounds of shock = 40,000 gallons of pool water

Tips for Shocking Your Swimming Pool

  • Always use protective eye wear and gloves.
  • Always wear clothing you don’t mind getting ruined.
  • Add 1 pound of shock to a 5 gallon bucket of warm water that is 3/4 full (warm water dissolves shock faster than cold).
  • Always add shock to water NOT water to shock!
  • Using a wooden stick slowly stir in the shock. Make sure it is completely dissolved before proceeding.
  • Slowly pour the bucket of pre-dissolved shock into your pool on all sides. If you find some dissolved shock at the bottom of your bucket, simply dip your bucket into the pool water, and gently agitate the bucket before pouring the remaining shock into the pool.
  • DO NOT mix all the bags of shock together in one bucket.
  • Always shock in the evening or night time hours so the sun doesn’t burn off the chlorine. If you have a pool cover, keep it off on the nights you shock.
  • Use your pool skimmer or filtration system to help mix, speed up the oxidation process, and distribute the shock treatment for best results.

Happy Swimming!

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.

Pool Dependability and Performance

Now is the best time to start the process of getting a new pool, or remodeling your existing one. The time is RIGHT! For us, each pool project is important, and requires the most efficient products to keep your pool clean and running smoothly.  One of the trusted companies we partner with, in supplying our customers with great products, is Hayward Pool Products. One of our goals as a trusted and professional Phoenix Pool Company, is to offer the latest technology with the highest products standards.

“Hayward pumps are engineered for dependability and performance.” That means, no matter how eye-catching your pool may look, the functions of the pool will be long-lasting and safe. Even choosing us to install one of Haywards pool heaters, will increase the amount of time you are able to swim, year-round! Each aspect and pool product we install is chosen to create a livable and fun, backyard environment.

Choosing Platinum Pools to install or remodel your pool, means your choosing a quality team who provides some of the best pumps, heaters, pool cleaners, and filters. For any questions about how we can assist you in the process of adding a beautiful pool to your backyard, contact us today!

Visit Us At: PLATINUM POOLS AZ

Call Us Today: (480) 888-9200

Take Indoor Living Outdoors

As the weather is starting to cool down in Phoenix, it becomes more of an ideal time to remodel your pool. The cooler months in Arizona are the best time to throw outdoor gatherings and parties. So we want to discuss how you can bring the comfort of your indoor living, outdoors! A crystal clear pool, when designed well, brings life and vibrancy to any backyard space.

How can you give your pool a face-lift?
pool design There are a few ways to spice up the ol’ pool design! Adding steps to two different side of the pool can increase the overall look and functionality. Completely redesigning the shape of your pool, with more curves or angles, can make a strong statement. When we spend time getting to know you and learning about your reasoning for a pool remodel, we can point you in the right design direction.

Another way to bring the comfort of the indoors, outside, is by updating your seating and lounging furniture. A nice chair or bench outside can give you an excuse to sneak away to your outdoor oasis! Adding patio furniture to your poolside is a small way of developing a

outdoor patio furniture

Winston Furniture

relaxing outdoor environment. Don’t upgrade everything about your outdoor living space, without first making your pool the priority. You can add all the bells and whistles to your outdoor kitchen or patio furniture, but if you neglect the largest part of your backyard, your pool, you won’t be able to achieve the well-rounded outdoor living space you desire.

If you are interested in remodeling your pool, or installing a new pool. Now, is the perfect time! Call your pool professionals at Platinum Pools AZ, and we will walk you through the process of creating a beautiful outdoor space for your family and friends to enjoy.

Call Us Today: (480) 888-9200