Contemporary Pools installs primarily Jandy and Hayward products based on the customer’s needs. We have been in business for close to 30 years so the equipment we recommend is what has proven our track record of success. This will be a general overview of different kinds of equipment you can put on your pool.
Your pool pump is the heart of the pool. It is required to perform many tasks and requires different speeds to you do different things. There are 3 kinds of pumps to choose from:
Single Speed Pumps
Single speed pumps are the original pool pump. Once turned on, they run at a constant speed. These are the least expensive to purchase, however, they are extremely noisy and inefficient. Single speed pumps can quickly become the most expensive appliance in your house because they can only run at high speed. For new pools in Florida, these are not even an option due to building codes. You must go with a 2 speed or variable speed pump.
2 Speed Pumps
The two speed pump was the first attempt to create an energy efficient pump. Your pool requires different settings to do different things. The low speed setting on the pump is perfect for circulation while the high speed setting can run your vacuum and heat your pool. Statistics very from somewhat, but a 2 speed pump will save you 45% to 55% over a single speed.
Variable Speed Pumps
Variable speed pumps are by far the most efficient and popular pumps on the market. Single speed and two speed pumps use an induction style motor. Induction style motors are extremely inefficient. Variable speed pumps utilize what’s known as a permanent magnet motor. This is the same technology that you see in gas/hybrid cars. They allow the homeowner to adjust the exact flow rate they need for their pool. In pools the idea is slower is better. By reducing the flow rate of water, there is less friction, which makes the entire system dramatically more efficient. Studies have shown that variable speed pumps are 80% to 90% more efficient than a single speed pump.
Contemporary Pools recommends and uses variable speed pumps as part of our pool packages. We utilize single speed pumps when we need an auxiliary pump for water features.
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Contemporary Pools offers two kinds of filters: Cartridge Filters and Diatomaceous Earth Filters (DE Filters, for short) are what work best in Florida. Here’s how they each work:
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters
DE filters are the most effective filter system on the market. Diatomaceous earth comes from a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that crumbles easily into a fine powder. The DE filter has plastic grids covered with a plastic type of fabric. A layer of the diatomaceous earth filter powder covers the grids and filters the water. As the water passes through the filter powder, any debris down to 5-8 microns is filtered out.
One of the most popular choices among the filter systems is the cartridge filter because it can be removed and cleaned out easily. Cartridge filters use a paper-type cartridge as the filter media. They will filter down to 40 microns. Manufacturers offer cartridges for all pool sizes so they can be customized to your pool.
Chlorinated vs. Salt Systems
Standard Chlorination Systems
If you are reading this, then you have probably heard about salt water pools. What you are hearing about is a newer style sanitation system. Traditional pools use a chlorinator (pictured above) that uses chlorine tablets. These tablets slowly dissolve over time introducing chlorine and sanitizing the pool. The chlorine has to be checked and sometimes liquid chlorine will need to be added.
Salt Systems/Chlorine Generator
A salt system or a chlorinator is a swimming pool chlorination system that creates chlorine from sodium chloride (salt). For a salt system to operate properly the swimming pool water must have a salt concentration of 3,000 ppm (parts per million). For those of you trying to figure how salty of a pool you are going to have, in laymen’s terms, that is about a table spoon of salt in a gallon jug of water.
As salt walter travels through the swimming pool’s circulation system, it enters the salt chlorine generator and passes through a salt cell. As the salt water flows through the cell, a low-voltage direct current is applied to plates inside the cell, initiating electrolysis. Salt and water break up into hydrogen gas and hypocaloric acid. The hydrogen gas simply leaves the swimming pool water in the form of small bubbles. The hypocaloric acid sanitizes the swimming pool water and ultimately reverts back into salt, and the process repeats.
Benefits of a Salt System
Salt Systems offer three primary benefits over a traditionally chlorinated pool.
Lower maintenance costs
The salt system automates a large part of your pool’s chemicals. While it is a larger up front cost over time the reduced chemical costs pays for the salt system. These are great for homeowners that want to maintain the pools themselves.
The water feels more silky and soft
Scientifically salt cells reduce the number of irritating chloramines in the water. The “softening” effect of electrolysis reduces dissolved alkali minerals in the water. So what does that mean? In a nut shell the salt cells produces a better chlorine than what you can get at your local pool supply store.
Less harsh chemicals
If you have ever been behind a pool service truck you may have noticed the bed of the truck rusting away to nothing. Liquid chlorine is a very corrosive chemicals which are causing these trucks to rust. Salt generators create the exact amount of chlorine needed for the pool to be sanitized without the need for concentrated chemicals.
There are three kinds of heating systems to consider when building or upgrading a pool. Solar systems, electric heat pumps and gas heaters are the three kinds of systems you can utilize on your pool. To decide which system is needed you have to figure out how you are going to use the pool. Are you looking to swim in the pool during the colder months or are you looking to heat the spa in less than an hour? These questions will affect what system you need.
For pool only applications this is great low cost way to heat your pool. It uses very little electricity because it is powered by the heat of the sun. It works by pumping your pool water through a series of black tubing on your roof. The sun heats it and it is then returned to your pool. There are 2 disadvantages of this system. First, after a few cloudy days the pool will not maintain the desired temperature. Second, if you experience a cold snap the solar system will be unable to keep up. What many people do to make sure their pool stays warm is they combine the solar system with a heat pump. This is the best of both worlds because the solar system does most of the work and the heat pump can augment the solar system when needed.
Electric Heat Pump
Heat pumps are very similar air-conditioning system in your house when it is in heating mode. HVAC systems transfer the heat to air; pool heat pumps transfer the heat to the pool water.
The pool’s pump circulates the water from the pool to the heat pump heater. The heat pump sucks in the outside air and flow it over an evaporator. Liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the outside air expands and turn it into gas. The warm gas in the coil goes through a compressor. The compressor substantially heats up the gas. A condenser acts as a heat exchanger and transfers the heat from the hot gas to the pool water that circulates through the heat pump. From the heat pump the warmer water returns to the pool.
Most heat pumps are operating on electrical power. Their operation is reliable and consistent and they maintain the water temperature at the desired level. They are very efficient but slower than a gas heater when it comes to reaching the desired temperature. One major benefit of a heat pump is that it is flexible for your pool needs. It can both heat a spa and the pool.
Gas heaters work pretty much like a gas range and a pot of water. Turn the gas on and it heats up the water with a burner. They run on propane and natural gas. Gas heaters are very expensive to run in long durations, which makes it a bad choice for heating a pool. That being said if heating a spa is your primary concern it is by far the best option. Most gas heaters will heat a spa within an hour. If you pair this with a phone base pool automation package you can remotely turn on the spa. What is means is that you can be out to dinner with your spouse, push a button on your phone and come home to a hot spa. No more waiting 3 hours for your spa to heat up to use it. The big consideration with gas in Southwest Florida is how are you going to get the gas? There are a few subdivisions that have natural gas lines. So if you do not live in those subdivisions you’ll need to bury a propane tank. Burying a tank depending on the size can cost thousands of dollars but in the long run maybe worth it because it makes using your spa much easier.
Hayward Color Logic Light
Our standard pool packages come with standard white lights. Very simply, your traditional pool light is a high power halogen bulb with a 100 watt transformer. Very seldom do we actually install one. Recent advances in LED technology are impacting how you view your pool at night. Now most of the pools we build are using LED pool lights. The light can change to virtually any color you can think of, rotate colors randomly, and perform light shows. They a great low cost upgrade to any pool and can be synced to match lit bubblers and landscape lighting.
Automation refers to the control system for your pool. We offer a number of different automation packages to choose from. The options range from a simple light switch on the wall to control your light only to a phone driven app that can control every aspect of your pool. Prices vary based on your needs.
There a lot of cleaners on the market and tons of websites that review pool cleaners. Here are the ones that we recommend, as we have had good luck with them.