Splashing Through The Snow

As the colder weather arrives, most people are looking forward to colorful foliage and preparing for the holidays. Those operators with seasonal facilities have likely already closed them, or will be closing them for the season shortly. Indoor facilities may even see a decline in patronage due to fewer people traveling during the colder months.

Now is the time to take care of pool maintenance for next summer.

Ironically, this is a great time to be thinking about your pools and spas.

This is a real opportunity to consider repairs, replacements, or updates that you may want to perform in the spring. Some purchases to evaluate are pool/spa covers, chlorine generators, and new energy-efficient products. These items not only aid in pool operations, but also offer cost-effective savings in the long run.

Preparing now allows plenty of time to allocate enough money in next year’s budget to cover these expenses.

Pool Covers

Pool and spa covers come in different shapes and sizes. For the winter, a safety cover with the proper pool-cover anchors is recommended for outdoor pools. A safety cover not only prevents intruders from gaining access to a pool over the winter months, but also provides an operator a greater likelihood of returning to a clear pool at opening.

Newer, advanced-grade mesh safety covers are woven in a way that helps reduce the chances of algae growth over the winter. Essentially, this helps reduce chemical consumption when the pool is open in the spring because the water is already clear, which also saves money.

Some pool and spa covers are used for energy conservation. These covers–known as “solar covers”–assist in retaining heat generated either by the heater or through natural sunlight. The theory is that collecting heat during the day and maintaining it overnight requires less energy to be used the following day, which helps save on energy costs and presents a more temperate pool in the early hours for bathers. These types of covers are great for both indoor and outdoor spas.

Chlorine Generators

Although the economy may be on the rebound, increased prices in items such as chemicals seem to indicate otherwise. A great way to reduce chemical costs is to install a chlorine-generator system.

Salt systems are becoming more and more popular, both among commercial and residential pool owners. In fact, in southeastern states like Florida, salt systems are used almost exclusively.

With a chlorine-generator system, a salt cell is installed in the circulation system, and pool salt is added directly to the pool instead of using chlorine. The salt–when combined with water–forms chlorine, which is used to disinfect and sanitize the pool water. Once complete, it breaks apart and reforms into salt. The only salt that needs to be replaced is from splash-out, backwash, or whatever is brought out by the bathers.

A salt system usually pays for itself in as little as one year, depending upon the size and seasonality of the pool.

Energy-Efficient Products

While everyone is looking to save money, people are also looking to save the environment. Since green is the new black, one way to “go green” with pools and spas is to consider some of the new energy-efficient products on the market.

One such product is the variable-speed pump. Many state codes dictate that commercial pools and spa must operate a circulation system 24 hours a day. A variable-speed pump presents the option to reduce the speed of the pump during hours when the pool is not open, which helps save on energy consumption.

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