Making Waves with a Pool Renovation

pool renovation

Ah the pool, the one thing that every homeowner dreams of, when they imagine their backyard oasis. Having a swimming pool makes beating the Arizona heat a breeze. A swimming pool creates an alluring ambiance that enhances your time spent outdoors. Investing in pool renovation can transform a boring or plain pool into a work of art. Here are some of the more popular pool renovation ideas.

LEDs

Technological advancements such as LEDs can make a big difference in your backyard. LED fixtures are among one of the more cost-effective updates that can transform the area. Depending on the model, LEDs can create light shows, either below the water or anywhere in the pool area. LEDs are more energy-efficiency compared to standard lights.

Waterline Tile

“Out with the old and in with the new.” New waterline tile can dramatically alter the look of your pool. Waterline tile choices are endless: Smooth concrete, glass, quartz, and other decorative tiles all add interest to your pool’s interior. This update goes great with pool resurfacing or new decking.

Salt Water Systems

Salt water systems may conjure visions of invigorating ocean swims, but they are not as nearly as salty, nor as unsanitary (if properly maintained). The benefits of salt water systems are many: They allow the pool water to be gentler on the skin, and despite popular belief, do not use much salt.

Automatic Levelers

These simple, cost-effective levelers automatically maintain the water level of your pool, so you do not have to. They add convenience and peace of mind. Automatic levelers, whether built-in or aftermarket, protects your pool from water evaporation and your equipment from burnout. They are the perfect solution for worry-free pool refills.

Automatic Covers

Automatic covers can be installed on a wide range of pools, regardless of shape or size, and provide a number of benefits for homeowners. Automatic covers provide peace of mind knowing that there is another layer of protection between the pool’s water and your loved ones. They also save you money on heating, chemical, water, and electricity costs.

Fire Features

Make a statement with the use of fire in and around your swimming pool. From glowing fire pits and fire bowls, to blazing tiki torches and fire troughs, the options for making a striking visual are endless. Fire features have the added benefit of providing ambiance when entertaining or enjoying the pool at night.

Energy-efficient Pool Pumps

Although new pool equipment may not be exciting to look at, it will save you money in the long run, while being much less noisy. Energy-efficient pool pumps can run at different speeds, compared to conventional pool pumps with only one speed, allowing you to save considerable energy and money.

Pool Resurfacing

This is one of the best things you can do for your pool. Smooth pool plaster, available in a wide variety of colors, is the among the most affordable pool resurfacing options. In a desert environment, however, surfaces such as Pebble Tec® and glass match the natural surroundings much better than plaster. Making them a popular choice among homeowners.

By: Lifestyles Media Group

Best Mosquito Repellents for Your Backyard Oasis

Mosquito-Repellents

With summer in full swing, what’s your favorite thing to do? If it’s to spend time outdoors, frolicking in the pool or enjoying scrumptious food from the grill, then I’m sure we can all agree that pesky insects – especially mosquitoes – are an unwelcome sight.

Yet, as I’m sure most of you are already aware, this summer has brought one of the worst mosquito infestations. Not only do we fear getting eaten alive – but mosquitoes are a legitimate cause for health concerns. 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control, saw an estimated 2,200 cases of West Nile Virus.

So, what’s a person to do? Stop entertaining? Forget about backyard barbeques? Avoid the pool like the plague? No, no, and a resounding no! You don’t have to hide inside. A variety of mosquito-repelling tools in every price range (even DIY friendly) options exist to keep the mosquito population – and their dinner party – at bay. Here are a few effective solutions on how you can do exactly that:

  1. Homemade Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are one of the most effective mosquito repellents in the world. These candles use Cymbopogon (lemongrass) as the active ingredient. The best way to take advantage of citronella? Use citronella essential oil, and soup cans, to make a DIY version of the candles. This ensures an natural alternative to the store-bought candles. Click here to learn how to make them.

  1. DEET: Spray-on Repellents

Off, Jungle Juice, or Repel are three popular insect repellents that utilize the chemical DEET. DEET is a safe chemical that repels insects away from the body. Many of the repellents available today carry the additional benefit of softening the skin – while others provide sun protection. These valuable products can be purchased rather inexpensively.

  1. Mosquito Misting Systems

Mosquito misting systems aren’t your average misting systems. These systems are designed to spray pesticides in a fine mist to kill mosquitoes and other outdoor insects. Much like traditional misters, these systems include spray nozzles that can be mounted around the perimeter of your backyard oasis, to eliminate pesky mosquitoes and other insects.

Most of market’s currently available systems are either tankless or drum-based; they can be activated by remote control or set on a timer. Active ingredients, which are EPA approved, include permethrin; pyrethrin; and piperonyl butoxide. These ingredients are safe around people and pets. The downside to the systems is the price as they range from $1,300 and up.

  1. Portable Traps and Systems

A less expensive, yet still effective, option for you is to invest in a portable trapping system. Many of these systems run off of propane and batteries (or 12V power). These traps are designed to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as this is what will lead to the effective breaking of the mosquitoes’ breeding cycle. It’s important to note that it typically takes 7 to 10 days to see a noticeable difference.

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

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

What’s the best way to chlorinate your pool?

Chlorinating your pool.Think all chlorine is the same? Think again. While you may find a great price for discount chlorine at the store, it might not be a deal at all. Different types of chlorine have different chlorine purities. Take a look at this chart below provided by Hayward.

Chlorine Purity Comparison
Chlorine Type Percentage of Available Chlorine
Salt Chlorination 100% Available Chlorine
Trichlor 90% Available Chlorine
Calcium Hypochlorite 65% Available Chlorine
Dichlor 60% Available Chlorine
Lithium Hypochlorite 35% Available Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine 10% Available Chlorine

While salt systems supply the purest chlorine (by converting salt to chlorine), many people are hesitant to install salt systems due the cost of the initial installation. However, over the long run, you will save money as you won’t have to buy anywhere near the amount of the chlorine. Salt Chlorination is hassle-free as well as a controller decides how much chlorine you need. Hayward provides another chart to show how much chlorine is required to match a single salt cell.

Chlorine Type Amount of Chlorine needed to equal Chlorine produced by a single Salt & Swim 3C Cell
Trichlor 225 pounds
Calcium Hypochlorite 308 pounds
Dichlor 333 pounds
Lithium Hypochlorite 571 pounds
Liquid Chlorine 208 gallons

Obviously, salt cell chlorination provides the best bang for your buck when it comes to chlorination, but if you still decide to have a traditional chlorine system, be sure to read the ingredients on the package. You may save a few bucks on discount chlorine but not getting anywhere the amount of ‘chlorine’ that you actually need.

If you ever have a question regarding pools or chlorinating systems, please do not hesitate to contact Platinum Pools!

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

Natural Swimming Pools Gaining Ground

natural swimming poolOver the past couple of years, natural swimming pools and ponds have gained a lot of attention. While there is some debate of the definition of natural swimming pool vs natural swimming pond, they are essentially the same thing. Basically, it’s a body of water isolated from normal ground water via a membrane whose water is filtered through natural elements such as gravel, rocks, and plants as opposed to being disinfected with chemicals such as chlorine.

Natural swimming pools were first introduced in Austria and Germany in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Since then, they’ve become very popular in Europe with over 20.000 existing and over 100 of those being public pools. Word spread to the American market in the 2000’s and NSP’s have been gaining momentum here in the states. The first public natural swimming pool is currently being built Webber Park in Minnesota which is expected to open in 2015.

The pools filtration works in stages. Traditionally, a natural pool consists of a swimming zone and a regeneration zone. The swimming zone usually looks like a normal swimming pool with a square or oval shape. The regeneration zone is often located next to close by the swimming area and consists of plants and rocks which filter the water biologically. The plants are key as they absorb many of the nutrients that would typically contribute to algae growth.

Because a natural swimming pool is filtered through biological means it takes some time before the pool finds it’s ‘balance’. Although you can usually swim in them immediately, the biological equilibrium can take two or three years.

It’s worth noting that just because the pool is built using natural elements, it does not mean there is less maintenance. Since the regeneration zone contains plants, a certain amount of attention will be needed to remove dead plants and prune existing ones. You still will need to keep your pool free from debris such as twigs and leaves, especially since leaves can decompose and create microorganisms that cause algae growth. Once a natural pool finds it’s balance, however, maintenance becomes much easier.

There are other factors that determine the feasibility of a natural pool such as geo-location and climate. For example, areas where water can reach an average temperature of 82 degrees might allow harmful bacteria which is resistant to natural filtering. Certain climates may also not support the types of plants that are used for natural pool filtering although gravel-filtering can sometimes be used in those cases.

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.