On the previous page you were provided with information about what you can expect to pay for maintaining your pool in the Phoenix area. By installing the proper equipment at the outset, you can ensure that you are minimizing your costs and saving energy. After all, we all want a green pool, don't we?
Must Haves For New Pool Builds and Pool Renovations
- An in-floor cleaning and circulation system. There is no good reason to use a hose cleaner any longer. You would not buy a car in the desert without A/C. Likewise, don't have a pool built without a quality cleaning and circulation system. This is the heart of the pool and over the years an in-floor cleaning and circulation system will more than pay for itself compared to hose cleaner repair and maintenance, chemical costs and more, not to mention the hassle of taking it in and out of the pool.
- A multi-speed pool pump. Install either a 2-speed or a variable speed pump, with the latter being the best choice now. Variable speed pumps will save you hundreds of dollars annually for many years.
- A large capacity modular media filter (cartridge style). The bigger the better, I usually install filters that need cleaning maybe once per year. These commercial grade 700 sq ft filters filter from the top down, another very important feature. Note: Don't install this type of filter if you have dogs using the pool.
- A chlorinator. Use this for chlorine tablets rather than a floating sanitation dispenser (crude and not very efficient). No matter what you have been told, a swimming pool in Phoenix in this heat will need some chlorine in it to stay safely sanitized and clear.
- A simple ozone system to cut down on chlorine demand; this will easily save you a couple hundred dollars a year.
- A swimming pool interior that can handle some abuse and be forgiving when you make a mistake, because that WILL happen. Plaster is old school and dated; the additives that enhanced its longevity are no longer used. It does not take much to ruin a plaster interior finish. Consider an aggregate interior finish like Pebble Tec, Pebble Sheen or Pebble Fina. At the very least, consider an enhanced plaster finish such as Ultra-Poz. If not, it may only be a few years before the interior will need to be re-finished and that is not cheap.
- An automatic pool cover. This will save water, energy and therefore, a lot of money. It will also allow you to enjoy the pool nearly all year long.
All the items above should be considered on renovations. Adding an in-floor cleaning system is possible on an existing pool but is not economically feasible. Automatic pool covers are a tough retrofit but not impossible -- it really depends on the pool design and deck configuration as well as obstacles in the way like raised areas and water features.
I am very concerned about saving energy, using fewer chemicals and the fact that we continue to fill our landfills up with construction debris. If you are proactive and spend a little more money now, your return on investment will be reasonable. You'll have lower energy bills and less chemical usage. Having an efficient pool will mean fewer repairs, less hassle and minimal frustration as you walk the path -- or rather swim the lane -- of swimming pool ownership.
Swim safe, and watch those little people.
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