One of the many benefits of a concrete/shotcrete swimming pool is its customizability. You can truly design your swimming pool to fit and express your personality. Whether it's comfort and relaxation you are looking for, therapeutic reason, exercise, luxury, a contemporary look, a modern, natural, artistic look, or just pure fun and kid friendly you can make your swimming pool one of a kind. Some features that can be built as part the swimming pool structure are:
• Sun shelf
• Sunken bar stools
• Bar top
• Beach entry
• Negative edge
• Perimeter overflow
• Hidden in pool cover box
Concrete pools also have the freedom to be shaped and sized to almost any means you want. Just to express the shape freedom concrete pools have, in the past Manny Pools has built a pool shaped like a fish and a round equine (horse) therapy pool! Some popular concrete pool shapes are:
• L shaped
• Grecian & Roman
• Lap pools
Visual features always add an awe factor. Visual elements can be many things from a custom rock waterfall to various colored LED lights. Adding visual features not only will make your pool area spectacular but can serve a practical purpose while looking good too. Some features are:
• Colored pool lights
• Bubblers (light colored)
• Laminar jets (light colored)
• Deck Jets
• Pool & spa jets
• Fire & water bowls
• Fiber optic pool stars
• Fire pits
There are also tons of other complimentary features that can be part of your pool. A benefit a concrete pool can provide is freedom of shape and depth which gives you the option to have your pool be designed for the use of a diving board. Depending on many factors such as type of diving board and health & safety code a required depth will be needed to have a diving board installed. Also, there are some specialty features that can be added to your pool like pool access equipment such as handicap pool lifts and built in ramps. Some additional features include:
• Diving board
• Water slides
• Deck anchored basketball hoop
• Volleyball nets
• Lift chairs
• Hand rails
• Starting blocks
With a concrete pool your “must haves” can be completed and with so many options you may discover a previously unheard of “must have!” What are some of your swimming pool “must haves?” I know as a dad it would probably be a diving board, for my wife probably a sun shelf and for me some sunken bar stools and bar top.
Today there are two popular secondary swimming pool sanitation technologies available to help eliminate algae, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your pool water. The first is Ultraviolet (UV) pool water sanitizer which is a non-chemical process that uses UV light to eliminate organics in the water. Water is pumped from the pool into the filtration system then passed through the UV housing chamber. In the UV chamber is a powerful UV bulb that eliminates pathogens and chloramines and does not allow organic replication. Although this is a highly effective pool sanitizer, it is considered a secondary sanitation system because the system will only disinfect the water that is being pumped and passed through the system. Water in the pool that has not been pumped will still need to be sanitized for swimmer protection. The UV system combined with traditional chlorine or salt water systems is highly effective in eliminating pathogens, and the UV system will significantly reduce the need for chlorine or salt needed (30% or more) to sanitize properly. Also, UV sanitation systems are much more efficient at killing protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium (crypto) which is are highly chlorine resistant viruses. With the UV system eliminating chlorine by-products chloramines and the reduced need for chlorine, the UV system helps reduce chlorine irritants such as strong asthma induced chlorine smells and red itchy eyes and skin. For the UV system to work most efficiently the water being treated must not be cloudy which can absorb the UV light making it difficult to sanitize.
The second secondary pool sanitation system is called ozone sanitation. Ozone sanitation is set up similarly to the pump and filtration system but also utilizes a venturi system. Two different ozone process systems can be used for swimming pools. They are corona discharge and UV light. Corona discharge and UV light both create ozone (O3) through splitting oxygen (O2) molecules in the surrounding air. The single oxygen molecule attaches itself to unaffected oxygen creating ozone (O3) which is a volatile gas that is then pushed and mixed with water through the venturi system which will then kill and eliminate unwanted organics from the stream. Ozone systems are very effective, and some units can reduce the need for chlorine up to 90% or more. Ozone systems also kill protozoa up 99.9%. Like UV any water that has not been oxidized may be contaminated and will need to be eliminated through residual means such as chlorine.
Better sanitation and technologies are always being tested and created, but the proven sanitation system that has killed more algae and bacteria than any other systems combined is chlorination. Although there has been a push for complete elimination of chlorine, it is arguably the simplest, most common and recognized system. Personally, I would opt for a combination of UV or ozone with a chlorine/salt water system just to be safe and to have a piece of mind.
Concrete swimming pools are the oldest most reliable and durable swimming pool you can invest in, and they come with an abundant array of personal customizations and options. One of the many aesthetic options is the pool finish. Pool finishes come in a variety of material, color, and texture associated with different costs and benefits. The oldest and one of the most popular pool finishes is the classic white plaster finish. Classic white plaster is made up of white cement crush marble powder and water. When the pool is filled with water, this beautiful finish reflects a clean light blue and is very smooth to the touch. Classic white is also the least costly compared to other finishes. Some concerns of traditional white plaster finishes are that it is more susceptible to chemical attacks from improperly balanced pool water which can lead to etching, stains, and spotting when compared to more modern pool finishes. Additives such as color and chemical resistance can be added to classic white giving the homeowner more options. Some concerns when using additives is the inconsistency of color and spotting. It is imperative that you hire a professional with experience and that the homeowner or service tech correctly maintains the pool chemistry. Other more modern pool finishes have quartz, glass, or pebble aggregates that replace the white sand or crushed marble powder. Aggregate finishes can be applied to a relatively smooth finish with some natural feeling texture. Aggregate finishes with minimal exposure effort can look great and over time by natural aging and proper maintenance the finish can start to transform look and feel exposing beautifully smooth aggregates slowly. For more immediate aggregate revelation there are options to have your aggregate pool finish either polished or chemically exposed. After the aggregate pool finish is applied and partially cured, the contractor can polish the finished surface with a wet grinder/polisher with various diamond grit polishing pads. This physically removes a thin layer (microns) of plaster paste exposing the aggregate. Chemically exposing aggregates requires using a ratio of muriatic acid and water. The acid mix is poured and spread onto the finish while being brushed and washed with water chemically removing (microns) of plaster paste. Aggregate finishes are more resistant to chemical attacks because of its natural material, and they are less porous by nature making this finish option more desirable. Of course, no finish is fool proof, and by maintaining and balancing your pool water, this will ensure a beautiful finish that will last a very long time.
Automatic pool covers are awesome, are convenient, will save you money and can keep you and your family safe! One of the biggest reason people get automatic pool covers is for safety reasons. If the pool cover is installed correctly and is undamaged, it acts as a safety net preventing accidental child and adult drowning. Covers also keep unwanted guest from getting in the pool such as bugs, animals, and the neighborhood menaces. With the increasing trend of staycations, many people will not even consider a swimming pool without a safety cover. Another big reason people go for an automatic pool cover is for the energy savings. When the pool cover is in use, it reduces water evaporation, use of less chlorine, and the need to heat the pool. With today’s energy concerns water conservation is becoming more of a concern. Chlorine also dissipates from the evaporation and sun rays. Keeping the free chlorine in the pool not only makes your pool more efficient and eliminating algae and bacteria but it also reduces having to handle, add, or produce (saltwater pools) the chlorine needed. Covers also keep debris out of the pool and will let the pump and filters run more efficiently. The less unwanted organics and debris in the pool the more efficiently your pool pump, filters, and chemicals will work. Covers will also keep the heat inside the pool requiring less use of the pool heater and work more efficiently than a solar cover. Another big reason people choose to include automatic pool covers is out sheer convenience and cool factor. Most homeowners just want to jump in the pool at no particular time and day without having to clean debris, balance, or wait for the pool to heat up. Also, it looks pretty cool watching the immense pool cover unveil the inviting beauty of the swimming pool!
Some cons of (hidden track) pool covers are the initial cost and that they can compromise the shape of the pool. Pool cover requires a built in concrete housing and lid, the motor, cover and automation controls. Pool cover systems can range from $12,000 to $24,000. Of course with the energy savings, most pool covers will pay for themselves in 6-8 years. For under-mount hidden track pool covers to work properly, swimming pools must be of rectangular shape. This may or may not be a con since some of the most beautiful pools in the world are of rectangular shape.
Swimming pool automation is becoming more prevalent, more convenient, and more advanced every day and there is an array of products to choose from. For example, some of the more advanced systems will allow homeowners to control pool & spa lights, filters, pumps, auto covers, landscape lighting, water features, fountains, waterfalls, bubblers, water jets, sprinklers, fans, spa jets, spa blowers, water temperature, chlorinators, salt water systems, water chemistry, and much more. The advanced systems conveniently and efficiently allow users to control these function through their iPhone or Android cell phone or tablet from just about anywhere in the world with internet service. You can even connect your voice command system such as Alexa or other similar devices to monitor or change your pool and spa area controls. You can even track the history of pH and other chemical balances of your pool and spa. Pool automation can also be linked to an existing pool and has different price and sophistication levels from simple automation controls to more far-reaching advanced controls.
Salt water pools are becoming more and more popular among homeowners. But what is a salt water pool? A salt water pool is a swimming pool that uses dissolved pool salt that runs through a salt water generator that chemically produces its own natural chlorine that helps eliminate bacteria, algae, and other unwanted organics. Yes, a salt water pool still has chlorine in it (or produced by it) but is less harsh on the body, eyes, hair, skin, and smell. Traditional chlorine pools comprise of “free available chlorine” "total available chlorine" and “combined available chlorine.” Free available chlorine is unused chlorine to sanitize the pool, total available chlorine is the combination of used and unused chlorine, while the combined available chlorine is the difference between free chlorine and total chlorine. When combined chlorine is high by the reaction of chlorine and human sweat, skin, and other organics it creates “chloramines” which is responsible for the pungent chlorine smell. The strong smell means there is not enough free available chlorine, so the pool is not efficiently eliminating organics. To compensate we add more chlorine or shock the water. Saltwater pools continuously produce free available chlorine that helps remove chloramines through the use of a salt water generator. Of course insufficient salt and other balancing will not produce enough chlorine which can result in a less sanitized pool. Salt water pools are not free of maintenance and must be monitored to sanitize efficiently. If you are concerned about handling, transporting, and storing harsh pool chemicals such as chlorine, have breathing issues, dealt with red itchy eyes or skin, had stained clothing or dry skin or hair you may want to consider a saltwater pool. There are some drawbacks of saltwater pools, for example, the initial cost for a salt water pool is much more than a traditional chlorine pool (but may balance out in the long run). Because salt at high concentration can be corrosive to pool equipment including pumps, filters, diving boards, pool lights, etc. must be designed to resist salt water corrosiveness which can be costly.