Swimming Pool Technology

Things are changing in the world of in ground swimming pools.  Technology has taken hold of the way things are done and the products that are available.  If you were to look at an in ground swimming pool that was built in the 50’s, it would be quite different than a swimming pool that was built last year.  So what are the differences, and how have they affected the industry?

To begin let’s take a look at the building materials that are used to build an in ground swimming pool.  Years ago in ground pools were primarily made out of concrete.  As I have said in previous posts this type of pool is typically more costly than other types that are available.  From there the industry has provided other building materials that are used to construct in ground pools.  Today vinyl liner pools are becoming more and more prominent in the industry.  They started with the use of steel walls that would be bolted together and then covered with the vinyl liner.

The latest and greatest material in the industry is composite.  The steel wall pools are still being installed, however with the growing trend of “salt water” pools a change had to be made.  Obviously salt and steel are not the best of friends, as anyone in the northern U.S. can attest to.  Salt is highly corrosive to steel and as a result the steel walls are corroding faster than ever before.  There have been a number of non-corrosive alternatives developed in recent years, however there is only one true composite wall panel on the market, and should not be confused with the other non-corrosive materials available.  The reason you don’t want to get this product confused with the others is that the quality of this product if far superior than everything else that is out there.  Only Alpha Pool Products has taken their non-corrosive pool panel to the next level… Well I should say that they have taken this panel to the next several levels.  There is nothing on the market that even comes close to the quality and structural integrity of Only Alpha’s composite panel.  You can see for yourself by checking out their website at http://www.onlyalpha.com/.  There you can see what makes their composite panel different and even find links to their youtube videos that demonstrate the difference in their composite panel’s structure.  You can also find more information about what makes their composite panel, and their company different by checking out the rest of my blog.  It goes without saying that this high quality, non-corrosive wall panel will naturally come with a slightly higher price tag.  However for those that have their wallets in mind, Only Alpha has also taken the standard steel wall and drastically improved it as well.

In the in ground swimming pool industry there is a basic understanding that steel is steel.  It will rust at some point in time.  In addition to that there is one common theme across the board of steel wall manufacturers.  That is that they all use 14 gauge g35 galvanized steel.  The 14 gauge is the thickness of the steel and the g35 represents the amount of galvanization on the steel.  Galvanization means that the steel itself is coated with a layer of zinc.  That zinc is there to prolong the life of the steel by sacrificing itself first.  It is a forcefield of sorts that protects the steel from corrosion.  However once that galvanization is gone the steel will begin to rust.  Only Alpha recognized this problem and has taken steps toward improving it.

They use the same 14 gauge, g35 galvanized steel and add another layer of what they refer to as their “Alpha Shield”.  It is basically another layer of protection that gets applied to the steel after the galvanization.  This does two things for the steel.  One is that it gives the steel an almost stainless look, which in my opinion benefits the builders by allowing them to offer their customers a product that looks as new as it is.  Other steel panels will often times appear to be weathered and aged before being installed in the ground.  Now imagine that you are getting a brand new in ground pool and you look out your back window to see these dingy looking panels that in some cases already have some corrosion on them being installed in your backyard.  You would wonder what your hard earned money is being spent on.  The other thing that this “Alpha Shield” does is it actually repels moisture away from the steel.

This gives the steel a much longer life and gives you and your family piece of mind knowing that you have a quality product.  If you visit http://www.onlyalpha.com/ you will see a series of logos that represent the different lines of pool building material that they offer.  Two of which are steel panels, the Titan Steel line and the Trimax XP3.  All of those logos are actually links to sites specifically about those lines.  If you click on either of the Titan or Trimax logos you will be directed to those sites and have the opportunity to find out more.  My favorite part of these sites is a video that demonstrates what this “Alpha Shield” really does.  Once you are at the Titan or Trimax site you will see a tab that says either “Why Titan” or “Why Trimax XP3” depending on the site.  If you click there then scroll down the page you will see the video.  I recommend watching that video because it is quite impressive.  Again you can also find more information on what makes Only Alpha’s steel superior by checking out the rest of my blog.

Technology has also allowed for huge improvements in the realm of how we maintain our pools.  As mentioned above “salt water” systems are taking the industry by storm.  Honestly I think that there is some misconception about what a salt water pool really is.  People tend to think that this type of pool uses salt to replace chlorine, so in turn it is a healthier pool for their families.  This is somewhat true, however they typically do need to have a residual amount of chlorine added from time to time.  It just doesn’t require as much so you would be saving money on chemicals.  However, what most people don’t realize is that the system changes the salt into chlorine for sanitation purposes, and then it changes back to salt.  So the pools still use chlorine, just not directly.  Again, you can find more information on that in another post I have written.

If salt is not what you are looking for, there are quite a few other ways to treat the water in the pool.  a couple other things that are growing in popularity are UV sanitation and Ozone sanitation.  These are systems that will likewise be plumbed in at the filter pad and either use ultra violet radiation to kill harmful bacteria, or ozone.
When used in conjunction with one another the result is clean and clear water.  Again, with these systems there would still need to be a little bit of residual chlorine added to the pool.

Another huge advantage that technology has made possible manifests itself in the form of pool cleaning.  It used to be that in order to remove debris from your pool, you would have to get out your pole and net and skim the water’s surface, or use the pool vacuum to remove debris from the pool floor.  Now you can have your pool installed with an in floor cleaning system that will eliminate the need to physically skim or sweep the pool.  Through the use of specialized returns, floor nozzles, and main drain, anyone can have a pool that literally cleans itself.  You can find more information on this technology and others by checking out the rest of my blog.

These are just some of the ways technology has improved the swimming pool industry.  If anyone has any questions please feel free to post them in the comments section below and I will do my best to address them in a timely manner.

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