Conserving Water in Your Pool

Water is a precious resource, especially here in the desert climate of Phoenix, AZ. It’s important that we all do our part in conserving water the best we can. Every year water is wasted from swimming pools that could be saved with a little bit of effort. Here are a few suggestions that can help you reduce water waste from your swimming pool.

Block the Overflow Pipe
Much of the water that is lost in swimming pools is due the splashing, especially when there are large groups of people swimming. By plugging the overflow pipe you can help prevent water loss from the pool. Having splash troughs is also a good idea but be sure the splash troughs drain back in the pool.

Wind Blockage
It only takes a 7mph wind to increase evaporation loss by 300 percent. To avoid this, build windbreaks like fences, walls, trees and shrubs around your pool. If using plants to create windbreaks, make sure they are low-water use plants and native to the climate if possible.

Pool Covers
It’s hard to imagine using a pool cover in Arizona as most pool covers retain heat. However, some manufacturers make pool covers with reflective coating to help repeal sunlight and heat to actually keep your pool cooler. This will also help conserve your chlorine use as well as conserve water from evaporation. Pool covers can also add an extra measure of safety for kids and pets.

Upgrade Your Equipment
If your pool filter requires frequent backwashing, it might be time to invest in some better equipment. For example, cartridge filters can be taken apart and cleaned without the need for backwashing. If you are committed to a filter that requires backwashing, make sure you only backwash when necessary as indicated by a pressure gauge. Make sure you pump is energy-efficient and the proper size for circulating the water in your pool as well.

Platinum Pools highly encourages everyone to do their part in conserving water for the state of Arizona to make sure we have lasting water supplies for years to come. For more information about water conservation, please visit http://www.azwater.gov/azdwr/

Constructing Your Pool – Time Frame

building-custom-poolWe were recently asked by a client if we started building a pool in February, would the pool construction be completed by summer time. It’s a good question but one that is hard to answer. Really what it comes down to is the scope of the project. Will it just be a swimming pool? Will you have a spa attached? Will there be work on the surrounding patio area? Do you want specialized pool tile and decking? These are just a few of the questions to consider when planning a pool build.

But to give you a general idea, here is a quick rundown on the typical pool build process.

Layout – This is when a project manager will visit your yard and make all the necessary calculations and measurements. The outline of the pool and placement of pool equipment is marked as well.

Excavation – Every in-ground pool starts with a big hole in the ground. This step is where the tractors and dump truck show up and dig the ground where the pool will be.

Plumbing – Here is where all the lines of your pool filtration system, jets, and other water features are installed and pressure tested.

Steel Reinforcement – A skeletal structure is built based on the design and load weights required for your pool. This will ultimately support the shell of your pool.

Electrical – Any wires required will be laid to connect power to the pool pump and filter from the house. Wires will also be ran for lights in the pool and surrounding lighting features.

First Inspection – This is the point where the city will come and inspect the pool build to make sure all municipal codes are being met.

Shotcrete – This step is where we build the concrete shell of your swimming pool using a technique called shotcrete. This method is to ensure the highest degree of strength and longevity.

Water Features and Hardscapes – During this step, we’ll add a rock waterfall, landscape lighting, fire pits, barbecues or other hardscape or water features.

Deck and Tile – Here is where the deck and tile that you have chosen is poured and installed.

Cleanup and Final Inspection – Crews clean up all the debris and the city comes back for a final inspection.

Pool Start-up – It’s finally time to start up all the powered mechanical equipment to insure everything is running smoothly and properly.

So, as you can see, there are many, many steps in building a pool. This is why we would advise you to be wary of any pool company that promises to build a pool within 30 days or less. You can be sure they are skimping on quality somewhere, and will cause you many headaches in the future.

If you are considering having a pool built, the best bet is to call Platinum Pools. We will go over all the options and give your realistic expectations on how long your pool build will take!

Importance of Pool Circulation

One of the main aspects of keeping your pool in shape is pool circulation. Circulation not only helps you clean the water but also helps spread chemicals throughout the pool when they are added.

Pool water circulation is performed by your pump. The pump pulls water from your pool and pumps it into your filtration system. It’s important that your pump is the correct size to properly move all the water through the filter in a given amount of time. This is called the turnover rate.

Circulation is also aided by the jet system in your pool. Many pools have multi-directional jet systems that can be place in various positions. The advantage of that type of system is to help avoid dead areas of circulation where debris and algae can build up over time.

With proper circulation, chemicals and cleaning, your pool will remain clean and algae free throughout the swimming season. If you feel your pool isn’t being circulated properly, call the pros at Platinum Pools. We can evaluate and install filtration systems so that you can spend less time maintaining and more time enjoying your pool.

A new year… time to remodel

Custom Pool RemodelIn Arizona, those of us without pool heaters have a few more months before we can start enjoying our pools again. But perhaps this is a good time to take a long look at your swimming pool and pool area. Is it the pool you always wanted or is it becoming a plaster cracked eyesore that becomes harder and harder to maintain? If the latter is true, then maybe it’s time to remodel.

There are many advantages to remodeling a pool. First of all, and this is especially true if you have an aging pool, there have been many advances in the past few years in pool equipment. New higher efficiency pool pumps and filters can help you save money on your electric bill AND make it easier to keep your pool it tip-top shape. New advances in pool finishes and LED lighting can also greatly enhance how your pool looks.

Converting your pool to a salt water system may be another option you want to consider. Salt water systems generate chlorine and can make your water feel fresher and cleaner. While there is some initial cost installing a salt water system, you save money by not having to buy chlorine all the time.

Just remodeling the pool is not your only option as Platinum Pools can help you create a whole new outdoor living environment. We also provide landscaping, patios and hardscapes, BBQs and outdoor kitchens, fire features, synthetic turf putting greens, and planters. Platinum Pools will work directly with you to customize and build the outdoor area you have always dreamed of.

So don’t wait for summer to arrive to reinvent your backyard environment. Get started today so that when the heat arrives, you have the backyard oasis to enjoy that the kids will love and the neighbors will envy!

Choosing a Pool Finish

green light accentsWhen it comes to remodeling or a new pool build, you have a few options to choose from for the finish or lining of your pool. Which one is best for you is largely a matter of preference but there are some differences you should note. Note that the main aspect of having a long lasting finish is properly maintaining your pool and it’s chemistry. Here are some aspects of difference finishes to consider.

Pool Plaster
Probably the most common and widely used finish for in-ground pools and spas is white plaster. Plaster is basically a combination of white cememt, white marble aggregate and water. White plaster will give your look that classic pool look but there are some color and texture option that have become available in recent years.

Aggregate Plaster
Normal plaster has evolved and certain aggregates and stones have been added to create a customized finish for your pool. This new approach allows pool owners to add color effects and different textures in their pool. On aggregate effect, pebble surfaces, have become extremely popular and come in a wide variety of colors to choose from. The great thing about aggregate finishes is they can give your pool a completely unique look. The richness of the color actually increases over time. It is also a long-lasting, durable finish that can keep your pool looking great for many years.

Pool Tile
Swimming pool tile is a great option if you are looking to employ different designs, color, and textures to the finish of your pool. New technologies, such as the automated Artaic tile creator, can help you create just about any mosaic or design that you can imagine. Pool tiling is especially popular because of its durability and low-maintenance. So tiling is a create option for anyone that wants to add creative designs to their pool design and have a finish that requires less maintenance that other pool finishes.

If you are in the market to have a new pool built, or simply want to remodel your older, out-dated pool, give the folks at Platinum Pools a call. We can help you with any question you may have regarding new pools or pool remodels.

Pool Inspirations

There’s many ways that you can upgrade your current pool. Here’s a list of ways that you can improve the look of your swimming pool and create an idealistic backyard environment.

  • Design
  • Water features
  • Fiber optic lighting
  • Landscape lighting
  • Fire pits
  • Retaining walls
  • Planters
  • Fireplaces
  • Outdoor Kitchens/Custom BBQ’s
  • Fencing
  • Decking
  • Patios & Walkways
  • Replacement Pool Equipment

So today we thought we would share a gallery of some of our Platinum pool builds that exemplify how some of those changes can improve the look of your swimming pool.

Health Benefits of Spas

health benefits of spasAre you looking for a reason to talk your significant other in adding a spa to your backyard environment? How about telling them that it’s good for their health? Many doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists are touting the benefits of hydro-therapy for a wide variety of ailments. Here’s a short list of how your health can benefit from a spa.

Anti-Stress: Perhaps the most obvious benefit of soaking in a hot spa is it’s ability to reduce stress. While this is apparent to anyone who has spent anytime in a hot tub, there is supporting scientific rational behind why this occurs. According to author J. B. Smith in his book Hot Water and Healthy Living, “Our bodies make adjustments when we are immersed in water. These changes are similar to those that occur when we exercise. The changes include increased circulation, more efficient breathing, and improvements in mood.” This means that not only are our muscles relaxing, warm water immersion may well have a positive effect on working memory and performance of cognitive tasks, including problem solving.

Restful Sleep: Approximately 132 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders more than one night a week according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation. Hectic, stressful lifestyles can cause sleep problems even in basically healthy people.

Studies suggest that immersion in warm water (such as in a hot tub, which has a constant temperature) before bedtime can ease the transition into a deeper, more restful sleep. This may be due to a temperature shift, since the body’s core internal thermostat drops after leaving the water, which signals the body that it’s time to sleep.

Healing Effects: It’s a well-known fact that improved circulation promotes healing, and there’s no question that hydrotherapy in warm water increases circulation. As the blood supply to muscles increases, more nutrients become available to help cells and tissues regenerate, and speed up healing. This healing effect is aided by the buoyancy of water, which reduces weight bearing on joints due to gravity.

ARTHRITIS relief: According to a publication from The Arthritis Foundation, Spas, Pools, and Arthritis, “Regular sessions in your hot tub help keep joints moving. This restores and preserves strength and flexibility, and also protects your joints from further damage. Exercise can also improve a person’s coordination, endurance, and ability to perform daily tasks, and can lead to an enhanced sense of self-esteem and accomplishment.”

Hydrotherapy is a common form of natural treatment for arthritis, fibromyalgia, as well as knee hip and other joint pain and stiffness.

Heart Healthy: It’s been a long held belief that spas and hot tubs may present a risk to those with heart issues. However research led by Dr. Thomas G. Allison of the Mayo Clinic indicates that hot tubs and spas may not present as much of a risk to heart patients as previously thought. The report describes how relaxing in a spa might actually be less stressful to your heart than working out on an exercise bicycle. Soaking in a hot tub increases the heart rate while lowering blood pressure, instead of raising it as other forms of exercise do.

Perhaps Bruce Becker, M.D., Washington State University put it best in a report on hydro-therapy, “The effects of aquatic immersion are profound, and impact virtually every body system. Warm water immersion protects the heart from rhythm disturbances and improves the efficiency of the heart muscle.”

Now that you have perfectly healthy reasons to have spa installed, be sure to call the spa professionals at Platinum Pools!

Welcome to the Age of the Smart Spa

Balboa-Water-Group-smartphone-appHow many times have you decided to use your spa only to realize you forgot to turn the heater on and had to wait around for the spa to become warm enough to enter? Or on those particularly cold nights decided not to use the spa because you didn’t want to bundle up just to go outside and turn it on. Well Balboa Water Group has a solution for you.

With Balboa Water Groups new Hot Tub app, you can ensure that your hot tub will be ready whenever you want to take a dip. Instead of going outside and pressing buttons, this app lets you start the tub and change settings from your smartphone or tablet. The app provides full interface control so you can set the temperature, turn pumps on and off and set filtration cycles. “You can access your spa from the comfort of inside your house prior to going outside,” says Bob Spillar, vice president of marketing for Balboa. “You can set your own mood and personal comfort settings so and get your spa is ready to go how you like it.”

A new feature will soon allow spa owners to connect to their spa from anywhere in the world. People with vacation homes can get the spa started so it’s ready when they get there. And if you leave your vacation home without turning the spa off, don’t worry. Simply load up the app, and shut the tub off.

Geothermal Pool Heating

If you you decide to heat your pool in the winter you have a few options. Gas/propane pool heaters, air source heat pumps, solar heat pumps, or geothermal pool heat pumps. Today we are going to talk about the last option, geothermal heating.

How geothermal pool heat pumps work is by basically collecting heat from the ground. Temperatures above ground can vary wildly in the winter but underground it generally remains a constant 70° F. By collecting heat through a series of underground loops, geothermal heat pumps can utilize that warm temperature by concentrating that heat and applying it where necessary. This can be quite beneficial as the pumps are good for the environment, are extremely efficient, and are much less expensive to operate. This can save you money on your energy bill.

Geothermal heating is also less conspicuous than other heating options. Gas or propane heaters require the installation of a tank and solar panels are bulky and require a lot of space. With geothermal heating, most of the equipment is underground so you are provide more space around your property.

While the initial investment of geothermal heating is generally 30-40% more expensive than other heating options, that money will quickly be recouped in operating costs which is 70-85% lower than other pumps. Geothermal is also a long lasting system with most warranties averaging about 10 years.

If you have questions about heating options for your pool, please contact the professionals at Platinum Pools of Arizona
(480) 888-9200 – East Valley or (623) 847-9200 – West Valley.

Using Your Pool For Fitness

There are many advantages to using your pool for exercising. Water’s natural buoyancy reduces weight-bearing stress, allows greater ease of movement with less impact on joints and muscles. The increased density of water creates even and fluid resistance, which will allow you to tone and strengthen muscles with greater balance and efficiency. Regardless of your current level of physical activity, water exercise is an excellent way to improve fitness, maintain health and restore vitality.

Another great reason for pool exercise is that you can burn more calories in a shorter time than land-based exercise. Water resistance is also great for boosting cardio intensity and, let’s face it, it’s more fun to workout in a pool!

There is also a number of additional equipment items you can buy to help with your routine. Water fitness gloves have webbing between the fingers for added resistance. A water ‘noodle’ can be used with many different exercises and hand buoys act like weighted barbells when training in your pool. There are even home ellipticals, treadmills, and bikes, designed specifically for in-water use for those who want to advance their exercise to a higher level.

There are many great resources and videos for exercise routines on the internet. Here are a few links to help you out: