• Away With Stains

    by Karen Erstad July 2006

    After getting stains out of swimming pools for 20 years, Jack Beane, owner of Jack's Magic, says, "There's only two types of pools: Those that are stained and those that are going to stain." Perhaps not every pool is doomed to be stained, but if not properly cared for, pools and their surfaces will likely succumb to staining.

    But all is not lost. A pool...

  • Setting The Testing Standard

    by Karen Erstad June 2006

    We tend to take safe and clean food, drinking water and indoor air for granted. But if it weren't for organizations like NSF International, a nonprofit, non-governmental standard-setting agency that also certifies products, our microwaves, toasters and blenders may not work as well as they do. Or, much worse, we might not be able to have any confidence in meat- and...

  • Scratching The Surface

    by Karen Erstad April 2006

    For years pool industry professionals have argued over the cause of plaster deterioration: did chemicals cause etching and cracking or was it something about the plaster or how it was applied? Or did all of this contribute to the problem? In an effort to find solutions to pool surface related issues through scientific research, in 2003 the National Plasterers Council...

  • Cleaners 101

    by Becky Strauss April 2006

    Automatic pool cleaners have stormed the scene in a big way in the last few years, making pool ownership ever easier and more convenient. Cleaners run the gamut from in-floor systems, custom-designed and installed when the pool is built, to pressure-side, suctionside and robotic cleaners. With everything that's available on the market today, AQUA offers the following...

  • The Dirt On Staying Clean

    by Karen Erstad March 2006

    Few service techs look forward to tearing down and cleaning out a D.E. filter, but it's something homeowners absolutely dread, and that spells opportunity. "Most homeowners only have to clean a D.E. filter one time before they decide they don't want to do that anymore," says David Hawes, owner of H & H Pool Service in Dublin, Calif.

    Even though...

  • Variable-Speed Pumps: Head Of The Class

    by Kirstin Pires February 2006

    It's pretty unusual to hear pool builders raving about pumps instead of cursing them, but recent developments in variable-speed motors for swimming pool pumps have some early adopters convinced they have come face-to-face with the future.

    Whether it's been motivated by heightened safety concerns, the California Energy Commission's looming energy efficiency...

  • Would You Trust These People To Take Care Of A New

    by Kirstin Pires January 2006

    There are plenty of strong and varying opinions in the industry about start-up procedures with regard to the pool surface, but there are a few big concepts everyone can agree on. If you care about the beautiful plaster or aggregate or quartz surface you've just applied to a new or renovated pool, you need to care about the start-up. The attention that pool receives in...

  • The Saline Routine

    by Barrett Kilmer January 2006

    By now the story of the salt chlorine generator's rise to prominence in the alternative sanitizer category is a familiar one to pool pros everywhere: its 25-year ascent to total dominance in Australia, its awkward first steps after immigrating to the U.S. and its rapidly widening acceptance here. Estimates vary, but most agree that at least one-third of new pools built...

  • A Spa Is Not A Tiny Swimming Pool

    by Scott Webb September 2005

    Water is water — two small atoms of hydrogen clinging to a single large oxygen atom. The formula is the same for both pool water and spa water. But when it comes to the chemistry and care of pool and spa water, you might as well be comparing apples and . . . pears.

    The two are related, of course. Both become contaminated during normal use. Both typically use...

  • Fine Redesign

    by Karen Erstad August 2005

    Since the Internet is quickly becoming the Yellow Pages of the 21st century, it may be time to invest some serious dollars in your Web site. Instead of hiring your cousin's friend's 14-year-old who does some Web work on weekends, you may want to hire a professional Web site designer. But how do you choose the person who will create this all-important Web presence? And...