Category Archives: Love Pool

John Ellsworth
Splash Pools

In September, the Florida Swimming Pool Association hosted the 40th annual Industry High School Invitational Swim Meet. Our industry built the pools where thousands of high school swimmers learned to swim. When they decided to swim competitively, they practiced and competed in swimming pools that were built and maintained by members of our industry.

Competitive swimming and recreational swimming for exercise and fitness is often is, a lifelong activity. Children often begin with developmental coaches at 5-6 years old. They can continue with team swimming from ages 8-18.  After high school and college swimming, many will continue with a Masters Swim Club. There are currently 66 registered Masters Swim Clubs in Florida, with swimmers from 25 – 95 years old.

My high school and summer swim coach, Yoshi Oyakawa, who is now in his 80s, still competes in an Ohio Master Swimming Club. Coach Oyakawa was a gold medalist in the backstroke and a 1973 inductee into the Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale.

Competitive swimming has long been known as an organized sport with the least amount of injuries. It is low impact and provides unparalleled cardiovascular conditioning. Swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50 percent of its weight. When immersed to the chest the number is reduced to 25 percent. With the water all the way to your neck, you only have to bear 10 percent of your own weight. The other 90 percent of your body’s weight is handled by the pool. This means the pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, especially if you’re overweight or suffer from arthritis. Swimming can provide a full-body workout. Unlike some forms of weight training, which target certain muscle groups, swimming can challenge your entire body no matter what stroke you are swimming. Thirty minutes of activity in a pool is worth 45 minutes of the same activity on land.

PsychCentral.com states that swimming is not only good for your body, but also your mind. Several medical sources claim that swimming is one of the exercises that “stimulates brain chemicals that foster the growth of nerve cells,” as well as positively influencing serotonin, a mood related neuro transmitter. Swimming 3,000 meters can pull a person out of a “depressive cycle” for short periods of time more effectively than running. Swimming is also effective for quieting anxiety and prompting general de-stressing. In addition, swimming requires the alternating stretch and relaxation of the body’s skeletal muscles.

Through our FSPA industry-sponsored swim meet, we have the opportunity to inform and educate the swimmers, coaches, and parents about the licensed pool contractors, pool service providers, retailers, distributors, and pool industry manufacturers who are in business throughout Florida. Many of the swimmers who compete will be the future buyers of our products and services. Thanks to all those who were able to be a part of this annual event and I hope you will consider helping out as a volunteer next year.

Whether you’re celebrating Halloween this weekend, on Tuesday, or next weekend, transform your pool into a haunted spot. Here are some fun ideas for a Halloween pool party:

There are tons of ideas on how to use pool noodles for decoration. For instance, you can make a giant spider that greet your guests or trick-or-treaters.

Or you can have your giant spider tower over your pool!

Let’s face it: everyone loves a dip in the pool, even this skeleton.

Make it a pool game with this inflatable spider and rings.

Make it a night at the movies with a vintage horror movie pool party.

You can find these photos on FSPA’s Pinterest page. View our Pool Party Ideas board for pool party inspiration.

Happy Halloween!

*Always supervise children around the pool

 

Hurricane Irma’s path caused destruction across the state of Florida and the cost for homeowners is still piling up. While disasters can bring a community together they can also bring out the worst in people trying to profit off of tragedy.

The Florida Swimming Pool Association wants homeowners to be aware of unlicensed contractors during this recovery time. Unlicensed activity is a criminal offense and often scams the homeowner, creating more cost for the homeowner. You can verify a contractor’s license at www.myfloridalicense.com

Homeowners can also use the Disaster Contractors Network Portal where the contractors provided are verified with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) database.

Homeowners can also use the Find a Pool Prosm directory search at www.floridapoolpro.com where they can enter their zip code to find service professionals and contractors in their area.

Swimming is viewed as a fun activity, a competitive sport, and a form of exercise. We know why it’s a fun activity and the training that goes with competitive swimming. But what are the benefits of swimming for exercise?

Most people know that swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. It’s harder to move through water than through air. The resistance makes your workout harder, resulting in more calories burned. Swimming.org has a calorie burn calculator that calculates the number of calories burned based on the swimming stroke you used and the length of the workout. Dr. David Tanner, a professor at in the Kinesiology Department at Indiana University, says, “one mile of swimming burns 400 calories, on average. One mile of swimming is equivalent to four miles of running.” (This can be dependent on level of expertise.)

Swimming is low-impact exercise. Because of the buoyancy of the water you only bear about 10% of your weight when you swim. Swimming is a favorable exercise for people who suffer from arthritis and other conditions related to joint pain for this reason.

Swimming also reduces risk of diseases. Swimming controls blood sugar levels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.

If you’re looking for a way to revamp your current workout regime or even looking to start one, swimming is an excellent place to start.

 

Tomorrow is 4th of July, marking the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4,1776. This holiday is more commonly celebrated as a get-together with friends and family. If you’re celebrating poolside this year either before or after the holiday, take a look at some patriotic pool party inspiration. Visit our Pinterest profile for more ideas!

If you’re ambitious enough, try this fun balloon arch for your pool!

How neat is this patriotic pool mat?

Create a different kind of firework display with pool noodles!

For fun photos by the pool, print out these props! (Link)

There are so many pets, mostly dogs, who just LOVE the water. For example, labs, retrievers, and spaniels were originally bred to hunt game in the water. While their hunting days may be over, their love for water is still inherent.

Kids always get a good laugh when their dog dives into the pool with them and if the dog can swim, what harm is there really?

Chlorine
There’s been debate on whether or not the chlorine in your pool is safe for your pet. According to the American Kennel Club, “A dog’s eyes, nose and ears are more sensitive than a human’s and as such may be a tad more susceptible to the effects of chlorine.” Just like dogs drink out of the toilet bowl, they don’t discern what is “good” drinking water so discourage them from lapping it up.

Filter System
How does your dog being in the pool affect your filter system? The go-to statistic is a dog in the pool is equivalent to about 50 people in the pool at one time. Think about that from a health perspective! That’s not to say your dog’s hair will damage your system but it will make it work harder.

Diseases
What risks of infections exist for your family if your dog is an avid swimmer in your pool? The jury is still out on this one. Most waterborne illnesses like crypto are associated with transmission from people. If your dog has been vomiting, has diarrhea, or skin infections it’s best to keep them out of the pool to prevent any kind of infection to your family.

Safety
Just as you want to keep your children safer around the pool, especially when it’s not in use, you need to do the same for your pets. Pets are our family too! Using pool barriers, covers, and locks will help keep your dogs out of the pool when you’re not using it! And a swimming lesson for your dog couldn’t hurt. It’s a common misconception that all dogs know how to “doggy paddle.”

So, the answer? It’s up to you! The important thing is to keep your pet and your family safer around the pool.

*Good rules of thumb for your residential pools.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) is a world-wide event supported by aquatic facilities, waterparks, pools, swim schools, YMCA’s, and more! The goal of this event is to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim in order to prevent drowning. The Florida Swimming Pool Association has chapters who participate in this event annually!

TEAM WLSL™ holds the current Guinness World Record™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson conducted at multiple venues. The official record was set in 2014 with 36,564 participants in 22 countries.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson will take place Thursday, June 22. Visit their website to find a facility near you!

 

A pool is a valuable investment. Like all other investments, you want to make sure you receive the most out of it. That is why it is important to keep it running properly. The following terms will help you to keep your pool running properly and allow you to get the most out of your investment!

Chlorination

In order to keep the pool water free of contaminants, it is necessary to add a chemical, which is capable of killing algae before it becomes visible, or a health hazard. As a rule, the presence of algae in water does not pose a significant risk to health, but it can enter open cuts or sores and cause infection. Once the concentration of algae in the water becomes great, it is visible to the naked eye as discolored water or blemishes on the pool surface.

The Chlorine Scale

The concentration of chlorine in water is measured in parts per million (ppm), that is, parts of chlorine per one million parts of water. A standard test kit is graduated on one side from zero ppm to 3.0 ppm. Most test kits are labeled with an “ideal” level for chlorine, usually between 1.0 and 1.5 ppm. While this level is adequate for most pools, it is recommended to maintain a higher chlorine concentration than this during the hot summer months often experienced in Florida. It has been found that a concentration of 1.5 ppm dissipates too quickly during days with temperatures above 95-100 degrees.

Superchlorination

Superchlorination refers to a process in which the chlorine level in the swimming pool is raised to abnormally high levels over a very short period of time, usually a few hours. Another common name for superchlorination is “shocking”. Over time and with extended use, organic wastes build up in the pool water. These wastes include body oils, sweat and other body fluids, and suntan lotions. Generally, 1 gallon of liquid chlorine is needed for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. It is recommended that superchlorination take place in the evening, after the sun has set, since this is when the pool is not being used and treatment will not be removed by UV rays from the sun before it has the opportunity to perform its function.

Conditioner

Conditioner is a name given to a chemical that inhibits the degradation of chlorine by UV light. Other commonly used names for conditioner include: stabilizer, sun-shield or the chemical name cyanuric acid. The recommended ideal level for conditioner in a swimming pool is between 40 and 100 ppm.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is a measure of the total amount of dissolved particles in the water whose pH is higher than 7.0. Examples of particles include dirt, sand, and baking soda. Alkaline particles in the pool water, at certain levels, act as a buffer to prevent rapid changes in the pool’s pH. Thus, when the total alkalinity of the pool water is within the ideal levels, the pH of the water will tend to stay balanced for longer periods of time. For all pool surfaces, the recommended level falls between 120 and 140 ppm.

The pH Scale

On a standard test kit, the pH scale is graduated from 6.8 to 8.2. The numbers refer to the concentration of hydrogen (acid) in the water but the scale is somewhat reverse. The ideal level for pH is generally the same for all swimming pools regardless of climate, amount of use, temperature, or pool surface. This ideal level falls between 7.4 and 7.6 for all pool surfaces.

Pool Surface

The type of surface on a swimming pool can also affect the pH of the pool water. Plaster or plaster based pool surfaces such as quartz, are porous, alkaline materials. They can absorb and neutralize acid in pool water, thereby raising its pH. In this case, small amounts of acid are generally needed to maintain a proper pH balance. Fiberglass, vinyl, and painted plaster pools, on the other hand, do not have porous surfaces, and thus do not absorb or neutralize acid in the water. Here, small amounts of soda ash or baking soda may be needed to keep the pH at a proper level after acid is added in the form of rain, citrus leaves, etc.

The Pump

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system. It pulls water from the pool through the skimmer and main drain, pushes it through the filter and returns it to the pool through the main returns. The entire operation of the swimming pool is dictated by the operation of the pump. The cleaning system cannot, in general, operate without the main pump, and the pool water cannot be filtered without the main pump operating. It is crucial, therefore, to be aware with the proper schedule for the operation of the main pump. It is recommended that the pump run 12 hours per day during the hottest summer months, and 4-5 hours per day during the winter months, and to varying degrees during the spring and fall. The daily cycle can be divided into multiple cycles, but each cycle should be no shorter than 4 hours since this is the minimum time it takes for all of the water in the pool to pass through the filter at least once, it is also the recommended time between the addition of chemicals and the next water test/or pool use.

Brushing the Pool

There is no substitute for a thorough brushing of the walls and bottom of the pool. Most automatic cleaners can’t scrub the floor to remove small debris and algae spores from the pores in the pool surface, and this must be done to ensure a stain and algae free pool surface. Be sure to brush the pool while the pump is operating, and to cover the entire pool from the tile line to the main drain. Sweep slowly and push the brush toward the main drain so that the debris will be pulled into the drain and then into the filter, where it will be removed from the water. If large amounts of debris were removed during the process, it is advisable to clean the filter afterward.

Vacuuming the Pool

If the amount of debris in the pool is too great to be removed by either the automatic cleaning system or by brushing, the pool should be vacuumed to remove the debris before it becomes attached to the pool surface and requires special methods to remove.

Skimming the Pool

While vacuuming and brushing remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool, they do not remove the debris such as grass, leaves, and bugs which float on the water surface. The skimmer built into the pool deck usually removes this debris, but it can accumulate in large amounts, and it may take the built-in skimmer an appreciable time to remove it. By using a hand skimmer, the debris can be quickly removed before it has the opportunity to become saturated with water and sink to the bottom.

Energy Efficient Pumps

Trying to get the kids out of the pool for lunch or for snacks is no easy feat. They’re having so much fun and don’t want to stop just to eat! Make it worth their while by creating fun, irresistible snacks!

We have a Pinterest board dedicated to snacks by the pool. Check it out for more inspiration!

sourwormpopsicles

Beat the heat with DIY popsicles! Add sour gummy worms for a tart flavor (and they’re fun to eat!).

pizzawheels

Pack some protein with pizza wheels! Easy, hands-on snack that’s guaranteed to get them to take a break.

lunchbox

Are you heading out to a pool? Pack a lunch in advance!

goldfish

What a fun way to “go fishing!” Kids will have just as much fun getting their goldfish as they will swimming.

sprite

If your kids have friends over, this is a cute idea for beverages!

Want more ideas? Visit our Pinterest page!

Hurricane season takes place June 1 through November 30.

There are many myths regarding throwing outdoor furniture inside pools and even draining a swimming pool before a hurricane. Both of these actions can be dangerous and detrimental to a swimming pool. Below are some tips from FSPA to help you become better prepared for a storm.

  1. Do not drain your pool before a storm. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the important weight to hold sides and bottom in place.
  2. Before and after the storm it is recommended to super chlorinate pool water.
  3. It is important that all electric power be turned off at the circuit breakers before a storm hits. Any exposed electrical equipment such as motors for the pumps should be tightly covered with plastic wrap. If flooding is expected, disconnect and remove.
  4. Storms can cause ripped lanai screens which can be expensive to replace. This can possibly be avoided if you provide a “vent” for wind to escape through. Screen panels may be removed on either side of the pool area.
  5. Remove any loose objects such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and even toys. These items can become weapons in high wind storms. Do not throw your furniture in the pool, or anything else for that matter. If you cannot store items inside a building, carefully place items in the pool, this is not recommended.
  6. After the storm use a “pool rake” or other net/skimming device to remove small debris from inside the pool. Do not use your regular pool vacuum equipment or pool pumps as they are likely to clog the plumbing.
  7. Before touching any electrical equipment after the storm, be sure that everything is dry. Check circuit breakers to be sure they are off before attempting to reconnect electrical equipment such as pump motors. Inspect wiring for proper connections. If electric motors have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a professional.
  8. Be sure clocks, timers, etc. have been properly reset and balance the water chemistry. Keep a close eye on your operating systems for a few days to ensure everything is in working order.

For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, click here!