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:

Water features for your pool

If you are looking to enhance the look of your pool, and increase the value of your home, consider adding water features to your pool. Features such as fountains, waterfalls, slides, swim-up bars, and rock formations can add beauty and elegance to your swimming pool. Become the envy of your neighbors as you create a contemporary aquatic environment perfect for hosting barbecues and family outings. For inspiration, please enjoy this gallery of water features installed by Platinum Pools:

Floating Pool in New York’s East River

Plus Pool Project New YorkIf you are from New York or have family there, you know most people wouldn’t even consider swimming in the East River. What about a pool filled with water from the river? Forget about it. But what if the pool floated in the river, and it’s walls filtrated all the bacteria and contaminants from the river water? Well, now you might just end up with a swimmable pool!

That’s exactly what the folks Family and Play Lab are counting on. Meet the + Pool. Shaped like a giant plus symbol, it will actually be four pools in one: a kids pool, sports pool, lap pool, and lounge pool. Like a giant strainer dropped into the river, + POOL will make it possible for everybody to swim in clean river water in NYC.

It began as a simple idea amongst three friends, who quickly realized they weren’t the only ones who wanted to see the project come to fruition. In just six days, they raised $41,000 surpassing their goal of $25,000. Soon after, a team was then assembled of designers, engineers, environmental consultants, planners, project managers, and fabricators. The initial backing money allowed the team to start testing water filtration materials and gather water quality data for the project.

Funding for the project has been as inventive as the pool itself. Since the pool will contain 70,000 tiles, supporters can purchase tiles and have their names engraved on it to be permanently placed it the pool. There are different levels of tiles to purchase starting at $25.00 (group tile containing seven names) all the way up to $9999.00 (limited edition marble tile).

Primarily using funding via Kickstarter, it’s on its way to becoming one of the largest crowd-funded civic projects the world has ever seen, and the fact that everybody can be a part of getting + POOL into the water is both incredible and absolutely central to the project. The hope is not only to provide a recreational area for New Yorkers to go to, but to also change the way New Yorkers view and take care of the rivers surrounding Manhattan.

The team recently achieved its funding goal of $250,000.00 to move the next phase of the project which will be to build a floating lab, essentially a miniature version of the pool to test filtration and allow everyone to see and learn how the pool will help clean the river and provide a fun place for families to visit.

The project has a long way to go, but the hope is to open the pool by 2016, just in time for the Olympics. If it is a success, it may just change how cities across the country and the world look at rivers and lakes, and inspire them to clean and take care of the water around them. To learn more about this incredible civic project, visit www.pluspool.org.

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.

Enhance your pool and landscape with LED lighting!

LED lighting for Pools and SpasLED lighting for pools and spas is becoming increasingly popular mostly due to the variety of lighting effects and colors of newer systems. The visual quality is brighter, stronger and more appealing compared to older lighting systems. Not only that, but LED light is eco-friendly as they use far less electricity and can last up to six times longer than incandescent lighting.

The real attraction of LED lighting, however is the brilliant visual appeal. The lights are able to change to suit any mood or event. Today’s best color-changing LED pool lights feature numerous light options—from static colors like blue, green, magenta, red and white to dynamic pre-programmed light shows that enhance nighttime pool-scapes with rich and vibrant colors. Plus, most allow you to also choose the speed at which the colors change, further allowing you to achieve a particular ambiance.

Choosing the particular color or light show for your pool is usually a simple process of stepping through the selections until you find your desired setting. Other systems allow you to include a dedicated controller to make choosing and programming your lights even easier and synchronize LED lights in your pool or spa.

LED lights are not only great for lighting your pool, but can be used throughout your landscape to enhance the look of your pool and surrounding area.

If you have questions on LED lighting for your pool, please contact the experts at Platinum Pools.

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.

How Swimming Can Reduce Health Care Costs

In a recent white paper by Dr. Tom Lachocki, CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, Dr. Lachocki discusses how poor exercise habits, obesity, soaring healthcare costs and drowning — are related. In the paper, Dr Lachocki lays out a path toward a healthy and physically active society with fewer tragic water-related deaths and reduced healthcare costs.

Dr Lachocki outlines how physical inactivity, an aging baby boomer society, and obesity will continue to drive up healthcare costs and suggests that aquatic activity is a perfect solution for addressing these issues.

His position makes a great deal of sense, especially for senior citizens and people struggling with obesity. After all, water’s buoyancy reduces stress on joints and reduces risk of falls and injury. Additionally, he states, “Water’s mass increases cardiac and respiratory exercise, making aquatic activity ideal for historically sedentary and aging populations.”

With regards to health care costs, it also makes sense that healthier older adults and fewer obese people would bring down health care costs.

In the end, Dr Lachocki concludes “Pool, spa, and aquatic businesses, associations, health focused
organizations, and government must commit to supporting organizations that teach people to swim. More
swimmers will result in a healthier society, fewer drownings, and reduced healthcare costs, with more people engaged in a healthy spectrum of aquatic activities.”

If you would like to read the entire paper, please click here.

Platinum Pools couldn’t agree more and we are proud of our recent involvement in providing 500 free swimming lessons for children in Arizona.

Meritage Homes & Platinum Pools and Spas to Provide 500 Beginner Swim Lessons

Program kicks off on May 15 in honor of International Water Safety Day

Custom pool build and remodel

In an effort to keep Arizona kids safe this summer, Meritage Homes and Platinum Pools and Spas have partnered with the Valley of the Sun YMCA and donated $25,000 to provide beginner swim lessons for 500 children.

“The Y and Platinum Pools has been a leaders in water safety. The YMCA launched the nation’s first water safety and learn-to-swim campaigns in 1906,” said Jim Diaz, Vice President of Marketing at the Valley of the Sun YMCA. “Teaching children how to swim and educating parents on the basics of water safety saves lives.”

The Meritage Homes & Platinum Pools and Spas Water Safety at the Y program will kickoff on May 15 in honor of International Water Safety Day and feature day-long community open house events at all 15 Phoenix-Metro area branches. Additionally, each branch will host an open swim from 4-6 p.m. with family pool games, water activities and safety tips from swim instructors.

“Meritage is more than just a homebuilder, we consider ourselves a part of the community,” said Sherri Fastrich, Meritage Homes Regional Marketing Director. “It was important to us to support the YMCA and do our part to keeps kids safe this summer.”

As we head into the summer months, children are often attracted to backyard swimming pools, and without proper safety training, that temptation all too often can result in a tragedy. According to childrensafetyzone.com, there have already been 30 water related incidents in Arizona, including one child fatality.

“We design our custom pools and spas to provide fun, entertainment and exercise for homeowners,” said Sam Lewis, Owner of Platinum Pools and Spas. “The beginner swim lessons program with the YMCA is our way of adding a layer of protection for children in an effort to make a positive contribution towards youth water safety.”

For more information visit: ValleyYMCA.org.