Yes. The same technology is used to purify drinking water in homes across America and around the world. They have been in use on swimming pools for about 20 years and are currently in use on over 20,000 swimming pools worldwide. These systems are the best because of all the obvious benefits like the fact that EVERYTHING on your pool lasts longer...a lot longer actually. So you reduce the cost of replacing pumps, filters, liners, ladders, plaster, etc. because each of these items will last a lot longer if they aren't under siege by corrosive salt or damaging chlorine. Your eyes won't burn like fire every time you go under water. You don't even need to shower after you swim. These systems are pretty cool but they are also more expensive then a salt system. The most expensive of two models goes for $4999. It is expensive because it is automated and it even controls your PH levels. If you absolutely have to have one but can't afford the automated version you can also get the Standard Turbo version which requires you to flip a switch manually about once a week. Going this route will save you a couple of thousand dollars. If a pool contractor tells you that these systems don't work simply ask them how many times they have installed one. The answer will be zero times!
Short Answer...About 10 Years. Long Answer...The longevity of a vinyl pool liner is based upon many factors. There are two main things that damage a pool liner every day of it's useful life...sunlight and chemicals. Sunlight breaks down the vinyl material very slowly and chemicals like chlorine or chlorine generating salt systems can more aggressively attack and break down the vinyl material in your pool liner. Together, these two elements slowly break down the liner's elasticity and fade the color of the liner as well. Once the elasticity is gone and the liner becomes brittle it will begin to crack and rip (usually above the water line at first). At this point, the liner definitely needs to be replaced. Some pool owners will try to tape or patch the part of the liner that has failed in order to buy some extra time. The problem with this is that IT NEVER LASTS LONG and it is very likely that the liner will fail while you are sleeping and dump tons of water behind your liner. My answer above was that a pool liner should last at least 10 years. This answer is based upon the assumption that you have not purchased a liner which was manufactured in china or whose vinyl material did not originally come from china. I estimate that about 65% of Pool Liners sold in Georgia are either manufactured in China or the vinyl materials come from China. If you get a Chinese liner I would be very surprised based on my experience to see it last more than 5 years. How much to people save on Chinese liners? About fifty bucks. Why on earth would they have one in their pool? Who knows. How can you make sure you don't get a Chinese Liner? Only use a liner installation company that guarantees in writing that your liner and liner vinyl comes from America or Canada. As of this writing I only know of one company that offers a guarantee in writing. Check them out HERE if you are interested.
Short answer....about 5 years. Long answer...it depends on a lot of factors. Pools that use chlorine to sanitize the water will decrease the life of a pump and pools with a salt system are even worse because of the corrosive nature of salt. It has been my experience that everything metal or containing metal parts will corrode very rapidly once salt is introduced into the system. If the pool uses a No Salt No Chlorine pool system then the pump will obviously last longer because there are no chemicals or salt in the water to damage the pump. A booster pump will last about the same amount of time as a regular pump assuming that it has been plumbed in correctly at installation.
Every Four Years assuming you actually have sand and not glass media. Lots of people are having their sand removed and replaced with Glass Media nowadays because you only have to change the crushed glass every 10 years and it filters roughly 5 times better than sand. There are tons of other benefits to using Glass Media but I won't go into those under this question. One of the reasons sand needs to be changed is because over the years it actually bonds to the bacteria and other things it is attempting to filter because of the porous nature of sand. The sand won't "let go" of the nasty things it has filtered out of your pool during the backwash process once it has bonded. Another reason is that the sand will form little pathways or channels that look like ant tunnels through the sand media which diverts the water around the sand instead of through the sand thereby reducing the filters effectiveness. If there is a reputable sand replacement expert in your area you will probably find him or her HERE.
In my professional opinion the best type of filter is a sand filter with glass media instead of sand inside of it. This gives you all the benefits of a sand filter (inexpensive, easy to clean / backwash, etc.) and the key benefit of an expensive DE filter (5 micron filtration) all in one. I have always seen great results using a sand filter with glass media.
As of 01/12/2016 I have not seen any studies specifically addressing this concern. Because of the lack of scientific data we are forced to use the common sense approach. The one thing science has told us with certainty is that taking salt into your system via salty foods is bad for you. Salt can contribute to hypertension which in turn raises your risks significantly for heart attack and stroke among other things. Now I'm not a doctor but this is such an interesting and widespread topic of discussion in the pool industry that I can't help but contribute my humble opinion to the discussion. If salt is bad for you when it gets into your body the question of whether or not swimming in a Salt Pool is healthy depends completely on how much salt can get into your system just by swimming in salt water. I theorize that salt is probably absorbed into the body at significantly higher rates through the private parts of the body than through the skin. If this is true (which it may not be) then swimming in salt water pools would increase the intake of salt into your body and therefore would be bad for you. If you want to know for sure there is a simple way to prove to yourself if salt is or isn't bad for you over the long term. Of course you should check with your doctor before trying this to make sure it is safe for you. Go to your local pharmacy and have your blood pressure tested for free. Put One Cup of Swimming Pool Salt in your bathtub and fill it with water. Soak in salt water for 30 minutes. Repeat this soaking process for a period of 5 days then go back to have your blood pressure tested again. Interesting results?
This is a difficult question to answer because it is so wide ranging. However, I am here to serve so here we go. I am going to base all my pool price estimates on a 16 X 32 Kidney shaped pool. These prices are what you can currently expect to pay for a quality basic turnkey pool package with steps, a light, 5' of perimeter concrete, plumbing, electrical, permitting, pump, filter, and timer. All the basic stuff that usually comes with all pools. I am not including bells and whistles in these price estimates such as pool cleaners, waterfalls etc.. Bells and whistles can be expensive but they are also really.
A lot! It costs roughly the same amount as it does to build a new gunite pool (see above). The reason for the high cost is because even though the pool builder is going to save a little money because he doesn't have to dig the hole he will incur offsetting costs for demolition. BTW, the best pool renovators are HERE.
This is one of the most common questions I have been asked by my pool liner customers. Luckily I have good news for those of you who are tired of getting only 3 or 4 good years out of the printed design on your liner. There are two things that cause your pool liner to fade, harsh chemicals from chlorine or salt systems and UV rays from the sun. Salt and chlorine systems are horribly damaging to pool liner colors over the years. Sunlight is damaging but to a much lesser degree. If you install an ecosmarte "no salt no chlorine" system on your pool you will eliminate the vast majority of fading because you are eliminating chemicals in your pool water. The difference in fading on pool liners is night and day. When you look at a pool liner on a salt system pool after 5 years the liner is usually almost white it has faded so badly. Look at a 5 year old liner in an ecosmarte pool and there is almost no fading at all...it looks like a new pool liner! When you take the chemicals out of the pool water everything on the pool lasts longer. The pump, filter, liner, plaster, everything. This simple observation makes perfect sense but believe it or not people in the industry are still arguing about it. If you don't believe it just shoot us an email and ask to see the pictures of 5 year old liners in pools with different systems. It's amazing to see.
Is this a trick question? Here is the scoop. Both vinyl and gunite pools have good things about them and bad things about them. When choosing the type of pool you want just take into consideration the following pros and cons and you will be able to make a more informed decision. First, regardless of the type of pool you decide on getting you must make sure you hire a quality builder. Hiring someone who doesn't know what they are doing will really turn into a nightmare for you. Both Vinyl and Gunite Pools will last forever if built correctly. The best thing about vinyl pools is that they cost so much less than gunite pools. On the downside, the vinyl pool liner will need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years. The reason for such a large range of time for liner replacement is because there is such a wide range of quality ratings in liners. There are good liners and bad liners. Make sure you get a good one. Megna liners always performed well for me but there are certainly other quality liner manufacturers. Another potential downside to the vinyl pool is the public perception of the vinyl liner pool as being low quality. This perception is wrong but it is there. A gunite pool on the other hand is perc.
New Pools Prices are way down. If you can afford it now is the time to buy (2013).
There are four types of plaster to choose from: White Marcite, Colored Marcite, Pebble Plaster, and BeadKrete. White Marcite is the white plaster you see in most commercial or neighborhood swimming pools and it goes for $4 to $6 per square foot depending on the plaster crew's experience. Colored Marcite is just the White Marcite colored to your liking and it will go for $5 to $7 per square foot depending on the plaster crew's experience. Pebble Plaster is plaster (usually colored) with little pebbles mixed into the plaster to give a really natural look and feel which I have always liked. There are lots of variations to choose from so the price range is a little bigger...$8 to $12 per square foot depending on the plaster crew's experience level. Beadkrete is the coolest (and most expensive) of the plaster products because it has little glass beads mixed into the plaster which gives the plaster a smooth feel and sparkles when the pool light catches it. Beadkrete is my favorite and it goes for $10 to $16 per square foot depending on the plaster crew's experience level. Plastering a pool is hard to do and it takes a lot of time to learn how to do it right. My advise is to find an experienced plaster crew to replaster your pool. It makes all the difference.
You can get vinyl liner replacement prices HERE.
A swimming pool freeze guard is simply a thermometer switch which is attached to your pump timer (or is integrally installed on the timer during manufacturing) which turns the pump on regardless of what the timer is set for whenever it goes below the specific temperature you have set the freeze guard for. For example, if you set your freeze guard to 33 degrees it will trigger the pump to come on when the outside air temperature goes below 33 degrees. The coolest thing about a freeze guard is that it essentially gets you out of winterizing your pool every year. Swimming pools equipped with a freeze guard simply need to be covered during the winter because the freeze guard will turn the pump on when it gets cold to prevent the pipes from freezing by keeping the water moving. If you would like a freeze guard installed on your pool you can find an installer HERE.
A pool safety cover is much much better than a tarp cover. A tarp cover is ugly and dangerous. If a child or pet falls into a pool covered by a tarp the tarp will actually wrap around the child or pet and make it almost impossible to swim. The only good thing about a tarp cover is the price. A pool safety cover on the other hand is attractive if installed correctly and is strong enough to hold several adults at the same time. Safety covers come in mesh and solid materials. My preference is the mesh material because the weave is so tight on modern versions that somewhere between 95% and 99% of sunlight is blocked from going inside your pool when it is covered. This is important because sunlight contributes to algae growth and the degradation of vinyl pool liners. Another cool thing about the mesh safety covers is that they allow rain water to pass through the weave which means that you don't need a cover pump as with a solid cover. Some solid covers come with overlapping flaps in the center which does away with the need for a cover pump as well. Mesh safety covers usually come in three colors...blue, green, and beige. Safety covers should only be installed by a professional. If you would like a freeze guard installed on your pool you can find an installer HERE.
When a pool goes green most people go to their local pool store to have their water analyzed and to pick up the necessary chemicals to correct the problem. The problem with this approach is that the pool store (every pool store) is set up to sell you as many pool chemicals as they possibly can. I know of pool stores that require their sales staff to sell at least $400 worth of chemicals to anyone who has a green pool! This is insanity. There is a Do It Yourself Guide. available online that works for 85% of the pool owners that try it and best of all you will only spend around $85 in chemicals to take your pool from green to clean. The important thing about cleaning a green pool is the process. Miss one step and the whole process fails. This DIY Guide usually works overnight believe it or not.
A pool leak can be frustrating especially if the leak is in an underground pipe or conduit. Sometimes it is necessary to use a professional leak detection service but there are some things you can do to try to find the leak yourself. First, try to think of any major events that have taken place recently which could have caused the leak such as freezing temperatures/ice, child's birthday party, etc. You can visually scan the bottom of the pool for any obvious leaks. You can allow the pool to leak down until the water level stops dropping. This will indicate the level at which the leak is. Pay special attention if the leaking stops at the bottom of the skimmer, at the bottom of a jet, at the bottom of the pool light, etc. These are all clues as to where the leak might be. Remember not to allow the water level to go down below the shallow end break on a vinyl pool because the vinyl liner may be damaged as a result. You shouldn't allow any pool to sit empty for an extended period of time because major damage can occur. Another trick is to use dye or food coloring to around a suspected leak. If the pool is leaking at this spot you will see the dye or food coloring sucked out where the hole is!
The most common reason for the pump not priming is that the cap isn't tightly screwed on or the o-ring around the inside of the cap is breaking down causing air to be drawn into the system. Check that the cap to the pump is tight and check the o-ring by rubbing your finger along the length of the o-ring. If black stuff smudges onto your finger it means the o-ring is chemically breaking down and needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that the pump bowl or suction side plumbing is leaking/sucking air. This can happen even with a pinhole at a joint in the plumbing. Sometimes you can hear air being pooled into the plumbing if you get down close tot he plumbing. In my experience the most common plumbing problem is the male adapter that screws into the front face of the pump needs to be resealed with silicone or plumber's tape.