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Chlorine Tablet Shortage Due to Covid-19 & BioLab Fire

Pool Magazine Editor

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If you’ve had trouble getting your hands on Chlorine tablets lately, you’re not alone. There is an industry wide shortage partially due to a large fire at the BioLab facility as well as to the ongoing impact Covid-19 has had on production. Contributing to the scarcity have been industry wide shut downs as many states adapt to closures and shutting back down due to a surge in cases of Covid-19 the past few months.

Chlorine Tablet Shortage Looms As BioLab Fire Cuts Off Production

With a limited number of available summer options for travel due to Covid-19, the pool industry saw a surge in demand this year. More homeowners opted to build a pool, and existing pool owners saw increased usage of their inground swimming pools throughout the summer. The increase in demand has led to a shortage of chlorine tablets. The recent fire that manufacturer BioLab had has currently put them out of production. The industry is sure to feel the pinch as prices and demand continue to skyrocket.

A shortage of Chlorine Tablets is being felt industry wide from coast to coast right now

“Trichlor is a really popular brand of sanitizer. It’s primarily used in residential swimming pools.” said Dago Cabral, owner of Custom Pools in Miami FL. Pool Service companies are certain to feel the price increase first. Paul Putscher of Pool Keepers in Lindale, TX said “The loss of BioLab can only mean another increase in prices. We’re sure to see an increase from the other manufacturers. We were already facing a shortage. This just makes matters even worse”.

“For service companies that rely on trichlor tabs and dichlor it presents a real problem” said Nilson Silva of Master Touch Pools in Boca, FL. “Shortage of any chemical can be disastrous for service companies. This is not simply a matter of inconvenience. We’ve had to deal with so many price increases and shortages this year, this is just compounding the problem”.

Panic Driven Market Has Led To A Surge In Pricing

Scarcity certainly does drive demand as well as increased prices. We’ve seen this across the board in the pool industry this year. Prices for everything have gone up in correlation with closures due to the pandemic. Manufacturers have struggled to keep up with the demand as pool companies continue to get little relief from the effects of Covid-19 related shortages.

Many pool service companies have opted to switch to liquid chlorine during the shortage. With many local suppliers being sold out of chlorine tablets, there was little alternative for some. “Thankfully in the winter we don’t need as many chlorine tablets as we do during the summer months” – Jeffery Johnston – Quality Clear Pools. “Homeowners routinely ask me for alternatives to santizing their pool with chlorine. I recommend Pool RX. It greatly reduces the amount of chlorine you need in your pool.”

The shortage of chlorine tablets has led to an increase in alternative products for sanitizing the pool. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of Ozone systems we’re installing now” said Jason De Bosky of Crystal Blue Aquatics. “They aren’t an alternative for chlorine. These products promote way less chlorine usage. I think we’ve done 11 of them this season alone.”

Certainly as scarcity continues to prices will increase. Pool companies are resorting to other methods of chlorinating the pool. “There is no need to panic. Pool companies have this well in hand. There is more than 1 way to get the job done” De Bosky continued “There are enzymes and algaecides that help sanitize the pool. Proper water chemistry can be achieved using a variety of other products”.

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Contractors and Builders

Automatic Pool Covers: The Perfect Season Extender

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Automatic Pool Covers: The Perfect Season Extender

Today, automatic pool covers help pool owners in safeguarding their pools as well as prolonging swimming seasons. Additionally, these pool covers can enhance your property’s aesthetics and save on costs.

Automatic Pool Covers: The Perfect Season Extender

With time, there has been an increased demand for covers in the pool industry. A broad spectrum of opportunities thus exists for pool companies. They can manufacture and install these products according to their client’s requirements, even during this global crisis caused by COVID-19.

Benefit 1: Extended swimming season

Homeowners seek to make the most out of their pool investments by using their pools frequently. Despite the covid-19 pandemic, most homeowners desire to enjoy and relax by the pool with their families. Fortunately, they can enjoy a short stay-cation in their resort-like pools located in their backyards.

Automatic pool covers are flexible enough to close and open, based on the weather conditions of the day. Thus, a pool owner can prolong the swimming pool season and maximize all the benefits their pool has to offer. Furthermore, the pool can remain open during the first days of winter when the weather is relatively favorable.

The covers generate their heat; thus, water will still be suitable even in cold weather. Furthermore, the pool owner might buy a pool heater to keep water warm during the spring and fall season.

Several pool owners desire to use their pools throughout the year. Often, pool contractors encounter various customers who request for a heater to warm their pool up to 90 degrees. This enables them to swim during the festive season, including New Year’s Eve. In such cases, builders advise their clients to get an automatic pool cover installation.

Besides, automatic pool covers maintain a safe, clean, and healthy pool through balancing out the water chemistry. Undoubtedly, pool companies should hire reliable sales crew. As a result, they will develop an effective sales pitch for marketing and selling. Also, sales experts should ensure their potential customers know that these pool covers prevent the waste matter from getting into the pool, especially when no one is using the pool. As a result, covers go a long way in cleansing the pool during the fall season; APCs are worth trying. Once potential clients become aware of all these benefits, it is normally much easier to sell automatic pool covers.

Benefit 2: Safety

Pool experts should not leave out the safety function of automatic pool covers when presenting a sales pitch. Apart from convenience, covers safeguard the safety of everyone in the surrounding environment of the pool. Additionally, pool covers only give the owners access to their pools, as they have to open the cover using a specific code.

But in many instances, pool owners buy covers for safety purposes. Once sales professionals from pool companies assure them of this function, most of them don’t think twice about buying the cover. Unlike a manual pool cover, customers have an easy time when removing the automatic cover when necessary. The fact that pool owners can open automatic covers in less than a minute is also quite fascinating.

Benefit 3: Savings

Automatic pool covers reduce maintenance costs for homeowners, thus allowing them to save in the long run. They store heat and prevent pool chemicals and water from vaporization. This leads to a decrease in maintenance and repair costs.

According to statistics, gas-heated pool owners with these pool covers end up saving more than $1800 in one year. They also save roughly 3000 liters of water lost from vaporization. Meanwhile, operation costs for pool covers are cheap and go for about $5 in a year.

Benefit 4: Beauty

Most pool owners don’t purchase automatic pool covers to enhance their home’s aesthetics. Nonetheless, covers play a huge role in improving the beauty of a homeowner’s outdoor living area. Once completed, the cover contains an attractive, seamless appearance that looks good even during the winter. Some pool owners fall for the beauty aspect once they set their eyes on the covers.

Pool contractors should encourage their customers to get automatic pool covers before the building process begins. Buying the cover before enables contractors to position it beneath the coping in the right manner. What happens if homeowners buy the cover after pool construction is over? The installation of covers is likely to interfere with the track, and it won’t look attractive as expected. Ultimately, there is a broad spectrum of colors to choose from for your pool cover. It would be best if you chose a shade that befits your outdoor theme color.

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Contractors and Builders

Fiberglass Pools Look As Gorgeous As Concrete

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Fiberglass Pools Look As Gorgeous As Concrete

Fiberglass is well known for its eminent attributes. The material contains a uniform, high-standard shell. The shell is resistant to damages caused by adverse chemical reactions and algae breeding grounds. Even so, compared to gunite and concrete pools, fiberglass pools are not considered appealing. But it depends on how the pool owner decides to design their fiberglass pool. Designer at Sage Outdoor Designs, Kate Wiseman, states that fiberglass pools offer several design opportunities.

Fiberglass Pools Look As Gorgeous As Concrete

Moreover, Wiseman provides tutorial classes on how to design fiberglass pools at Genesis construction school information in South California. The course aims to assist contractors in realizing that fiberglass’s limitations do not have to affect the final appearance and standard of the pool. 

Wiseman says, “In the class, we learn how contractors can improvise fiberglass pools to look like a concrete pool.” She says that it all begins with the builder’s mindset. In fact, the first question asked once you attend the first class is, ‘Why should you presume that fiberglass material offers limited pool designs?’

Step Back

Furthermore, the course at Genesis talks about the usual layout failures in building a fiberglass pool. But the most common reason for design failures is usually limiting your mind to see the broad spectrum of designs fiberglass pools can offer. 

“If you are a pool builder, don’t just focus on constructing and installing the pool.” Once you reason from this viewpoint, it will be much simpler to build something attractive and high-quality with fiberglass, says Wiseman.

If you are in charge of constructing a swimming pool in your client’s backyard, you are also responsible for the design.

Designer at Sage Outdoor Designs, Kate Wiseman

Kate also says, “Today, it is evident that the majority of homeowners frequently build a rectangular pool. It is normally located at the center of the backyard, thus eliminating all the designs owners had in mind.”

Suppose your backyard contains little space, pool builders can place the pool at the furthest end of the yard. So, there will be some space left for your outdoor living area. “Additionally, coming up with priorities is important. In my class, we mostly focus on what the highest and the least priority should be.” “Besides, pool contractors have to know the areas where people will use for relaxation and entertainment. Once you identify these first before determining where the pool will be, the outcome will be an attractive and unique pool design.

On the contrary, if you have an unlimited outdoor living area to work with, your client has provided you with a golden opportunity to express your creativity.

Reading Your Customer‘s Mind

Beauty lies in the beholder’s eye. When constructing a pool, the only beholder you should consider is your client. Thus, as the contractor, you should seek to lure your client by providing various unique, eye-catching pool designs. Wiseman also teaches how to do this and develop a great sales pitch to win your client. 

Wiseman says, “The design ought to have gain approval from the client.” Thus, the first thing to do once you meet your customer, try as much as possible to understand their tastes, preference, and, most importantly, their budget. When you become aware of all this information, pinpoint and present pool designs that best suit your client. During the first consultation, observe your client and ask them questions to get the right information. 

Furthermore, if your client is a bit reserved and prefers not to talk much, look at their stuff. By doing this, you can identify your client’s taste and preferences. For instance, you can observe their car, house, clothes, and accessories to determine the things they like. Frequently, you may notice their preference for either simple, sophisticated, or conventional designs. So, when formulating various pool designs, ensure they complement your customer’s taste. 

Another example that Wiseman gives is if the customer appears to have money and likes to flaunt, present classy, elegant pool designs. The chances are high that they will love the design, and they might hire you in the end. Additionally, investigate models that the customer had constructed before, if possible. You can use this to come up with similar pool design options. In the end, it all depends on the little things you notice about the client. 

Great Design

In this present age and time, the fiberglass pool market is significantly growing. More homeowners continue to show interest in such pool types once they realize they offer a wide range of design options. Besides, fiberglass material is very robust. Thus, contractors can use them for expensive and large pool projects. 

It is also important to note that the secret to a successful pool project is the design alongside the shell. Pool design is everything. Undoubtedly, it is the distinction between a dull pool and an appealing pool; the material doesn’t matter.

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Contractors and Builders

Tips to Successful Backyard Pool Cover Installation

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Tips to Successful Backyard Pool Cover Installation

Today, a pool cover provides a broad spectrum of benefits compared to most pool protection products. One of the significant functions of pool covers entails providing safety and saving energy. Even so, pool owners should ensure proper installation of pool covers to enjoy the accompanying perks.

Tips to Successful Backyard Pool Cover Installation

Automatic Covers

During the installation of automatic covers, there should be an efficient communication system between the owner, contractor, and the installer for an excellent performance. 

It begins with the pool

As the pool contractor, make sure the edges of the automatic pool cover are parallel enough to slide evenly alongside the paths. Occasionally, the water table gets tampered during the installation process to complement the pool cover. Various contractors prefer maintaining a high waterline, which leads to a polished appearance. However, in the case of automatic protection, a bigger space would be best for the leading edge.

Vice President of Pool Cover Pros, Shawn Unger, says that too much cantilevering of the coping is not a good idea. He recommends that stones should cantilever only one and a half inches above the retainer. He reports that one of the main problems they encounter is a hanging coping stone that pushes the bolts and leads to rubbing the stone.

But upon purchase, ask the manufacturer on the cover box size. Many pool owners have pool covers that don’t fit the pool. Pool builders think that more significant pool covers are better, but this isn’t the case.

When it is much wider, the cover can’t stretch. Other contractors buy smaller covers because they want to make it tight. But this may not fit a large-sized pool.

area manager serving San Diego County for Poolsafe, John Moss

Generally, a larger pool requires a larger pool cover, among other pool equipment. For example, suppose the cover vault needs to be more comprehensive by 1.2 meters than the cover, it is okay for one side to be 0.9 meters and 0.3 meters on the other size.

Moss says that calculations should not be guesswork. Also, it is wrong to determine the size based on previous installation projects. Make sure you ask a pool cover expert. “There are a lot of trends in the industry, you cannot base your calculation on previous installations,” Moss says.

Use the correct anchors

Installers should use the proper anchors for the cover. Note that the deck type will dictate the type of anchor required. So, suppose you integrated the deck surfaces, you will need a mixture of distinct anchors. Usually, for decks made with concrete, pool experts recommend brass anchors fixed in a 2-centimeter hole. 

Make sure the correct anchor stays in place. Implementing incorrect anchors could lead to damages, especially in cold seasons. Piles of snow on the pool cover could displace the anchors. 

New apps to ease the measurement process

The measuring process usually consumes a lot of time and effort. Cover installers have to move from one point of the site to another to record measurements. The tiniest mistake during this process could cost the whole project.

With the evolution of technology, there are online applications that ease the measuring process. The apps enable the installer to record measurements on a smartphone and alert them if the numbers do not add up. Consequently, these apps pinpoint various issues onsite during the measurement procedure. 

Provide adequate drainage

Even though the cover box could be waterproof, it is not advisable to leave it in water for an unspecified period. Unger says, “The cover box comprises water-resistant elements and contains electricity, which possibly leads to corrosion. Thus it is advisable to keep the cover box and water away from each other.”

Additionally, there should be a proper drainage system in the pool. Moss recommends a 7-centimeter channel that removes excess water when rainstorms occur. Other contractors put in place a French drain. These types of channels are commendable in areas with well-draining soils. Installers should design these drains to handle large quantities of water. 

Be cautious with custom-made vault lids

During the installation of customized stone cover box lids, ensure that service technicians or pool specialists can lift them.

Cover boxes promote the property’s aesthetics. Most contractors build their cover box with a lid that suits the outdoor theme color. The main materials used for lids are stone and pavers.

Suppose you desire a tailor-made cover lid, make sure it befits the deck and coping. Additionally, evaluate the bulkiness of the material to it is well supported. Besides, consider the manageability of the cover box lids. As a result, pool technicians won’t have a hard time during revamp procedures.” Installers can customize stones to a sizeable length of 2 by 2 feet for manageability,” Moss says. 

Use the right strap length and spacing

The majority of pool owners desire a limited number of anchors on their decks and the lengthiest straps. But implementing this affects the efficiency of the cover. The straps require sufficient spacing to create a grid framework used for support. For instance, in irregular pools, the installer should fix straps one meter apart to make up for the loop.

From this article, it is evident that a wide range of information on installing an automatic pool cover exists. It is essential for pool owners, contractors, and technicians to be aware of this kind of information. But remember that even the best pool professionals need help at times. If you are a pool expert, the best thing to do is be open to learning different things as you progress in your career. 

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