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Posted @ 4/3/2013 10:00 AM By Kimberlee Courtney
Must-Have Pool Products for Fun, Fitness, and Faster Maintenance
Today’s high-tech pool equipment and accessories can boost your pool’s fun factor, improve your fitness level, and make pool care a breeze. Enjoy a great swim season this summer with the help of these top 5 pool products.
1. Swim Current Generators
A swim current generator can maximize your pool’s fitness factor. This portable, self-contained unit sits at the edge of your pool and produces a smooth adjustable current that you can swim in place against for a low-impact, high calorie-burning workout.
With a swim current generator you can enjoy continuous swimming without the interruption of flip turns or risk of injury. They can be used in aboveground and inground pools of any shape, size, and depth and are especially great for small or oddly shaped pools that are not conducive for swimming laps.
Variable speed settings offer a range of current paces to suit swimmers of any age or fitness ability.
You can also swim laps, jog, or walk in place while the rest of your family relaxes and enjoys the pool.
The new Stream by SwimEx is a convenient swim current generator that operates via a rechargeable battery and requires no installation or setup.
Check out swim generator photos and videos of Stream by SwimEx >>
Photo courtesy of SwimEx
2. Automatic Pool Covers
An automatic pool cover retracts open and slides closed over your pool via a motor-driven track system that is permanently mounted along the length of your pool. Most automatic pool covers operate at the push of a button or turn of a key and can be installed on any type or shape pool, old or new, and indoors or out. Additionally, the track system can be mounted on top of your pool’s existing deck, under the coping, or seamlessly built into your pool’s design during construction for an aesthetically pleasing look.
Using a pool cover can significantly reduce your pool’s energy consumption and operating cost by minimizing the evaporation of heat, water, and chemicals. A pool cover also helps prevent dirt and debris from entering the water so your pool stays cleaner longer and requires less frequent skimming and vacuuming. This also reduces the workload on your pool’s circulation system and equipment.
In order to reap all the energy, money, and time savings, however, you need to keep your pool covered between uses. Automatic pool covers make it quick and easy to cover your pool when it’s not in use.
View more automatic pool cover photos and videos from Cover-Pools, Inc. >>
Photo courtesy of Cover-Pools, Inc.
3. Control Systems
Swimming pool control systems allow you to manage all of your pool and/or spa equipment with the push of a button. Daily pool operations such as filtration, sanitation, and cleaning cycles are programmed or activated from a wireless, easy-to-use control panel located outdoors or inside your home. Most pool control systems can manage an unlimited number of pool equipment and features, including pumps, heaters, waterfalls, pool and landscape lighting, fountains, and more.
Additionally, some manufacturers offer optional remote controls, such as a spa-side remote or handheld wireless remote so you can operate equipment from anywhere in your yard. Automated pool control systems are available in various configurations, including pool only, spa only, pools and spas with shared equipment, and custom pools and spas with separate equipment.
With everyday pool operations on autopilot, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy your pool. In addition, having automated control over your filter pump’s run time can help you save energy and money. For instance, when manually operating your pool, you’re probably running your filter during the day (between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.) when demand for electricity is at its highest. What’s more, chances are you’ve forgotten to turn off the filter on more than one occasion.
With an automated control system, you can set your filter pump to run during off-peak hours (before 1 p.m. or after 9 p.m.) and for the minimum duration. (Note: Time requirements for filtering depend on pool size, bather load, equipment, and amount of debris. Generally, filter operation should be no less than 4 – 5 hours.)
Learn about automatic pool control systems from Pentair Aquatic Systems >>
Photo courtesy of Pentair Aquatic Systems
4. Pool Waterslides
There’s no doubt your swimming pool provides countless hours of fun and excitement for you and your family, but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of zipping down a pool slide and splashing into the water. From stand-alone units with a straight or corkscrew runway to custom built-ins that zig and zag around landscaping or take riders through a cave waterfall, there are a variety of waterslide options to fit every swimming pool.
Fiberglass pool waterslides have become a common choice among homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance, and customization. Pre-designed models are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes and can typically accommodate any pool design or decking allocations. If you can’t find the exact waterslide you’re looking for, the majority of fiberglass waterslide manufacturers will work with you and your pool builder to create a custom slide that’s just right for your pool, family, and thrill-seeking needs.
See more photos and videos of fiberglass waterslides from Dolphin Waterslides >>
Photo courtesy of Dolphin Waterslides/Creative Rock Formations
5. Robotic Pool Cleaners
Want to spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning? Replace your manual pool vacuum with a robotic pool cleaner. A robotic pool cleaner is a type of automatic pool cleaner that is driven by an electric motor, which can be powered by batteries, solar energy, or a low voltage water-safe cord plugged into a GFCI-protected outlet. The self-contained unit roves around the pool, sucking up dirt, leaves, and finer particles and transferring them into an attached filter bag; some models feature rotating brushes or rollers that scrub surfaces.
The majority of robotic pool cleaners contain a microchip that allows you to program the cleaner’s route for effective and efficient cleaning, though most pools can be cleaned in about one to two hours. Some models come with a remote control for easy spot cleaning.
The perks of a robotic pool cleaner go beyond not having to manually clean your swimming pool: Because a robotic pool cleaner does not hook up to your pool pump or filter, it reduces the use of your pool’s circulation systems, which lowers energy costs and extends the life your pump and filter.
Check out automatic pool cleaners from Pentair Aquatic Systems >>
Photo courtesy of Pentair Aquatic Systems
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Posted @ 6/27/2012 10:00 AM By Debra Maurer
By Patti Plummer
Getting a sliding board for your swimming pool is an ideal way to keep kids and their friends entertained during a hot summer day, but remember, security is the first and most important consideration. It goes without saying that children must always be supervised by a responsible adult when the pool is in use, and this holds especially true when children are using the waterslide. It is important to never compromise safety over price. Be sure to consider ways to maintain safety in and around a pool waterslide before you purchase and install it.
Remember these important safety tips when choosing a waterslide option for your pool:
First, choose a pool waterslide that can support a maximum amount of weight, preferably around 300 pounds.
Second, pick a waterslide that is manufactured with high-grade materials that can handle rain, snow, ice, sunlight, temperature changes, pool chemicals, and other environmental issues.
Third, and most importantly, always check that the pool slide complies with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Safety Standards for Swimming Pool Slides before purchasing. Visit www.cpsc.gov for more information.
For a list of recommended waterslide manufacturers, visit our Waterslides & Water Features Buyers' Guide.
Photo courtesy of Platinum Poolcare, Ltd.; Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan