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The Swimming Pool From It’s a Wonderful Life

Pool Magazine Editor



The famous pool scene from It's a Wonderful Life

Recently while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, I noticed the swimming pool scene where George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and Marth Hatch (Donna Reed) are at the school dance. It’s a defining scene where a retractable basketball court opens up to reveal a hidden swimming pool beneath it. As George & Martha are dancing they don’t notice the floor begin to open. The cheering crowds spur them on even further, as they think everyone is cheering their dancing they fail to see they are dancing right over the edge and plunge into the pool.

The Pool Scene from It’s a Wonderful Life

Many of the other people at the dance dive right on in and an impromptu pool party ensues. It’s a touching scene in a must see movie that should be at the top of everyones holiday movie list. Many people believe that the swimming pool wasn’t real. Frank Capra the director of the film had the entire set of the town of Bedford Falls created on an 89 acre back lot at RKO Pictures in Culver City.

The set was actually inspired from the real life town of Seneca Falls in New York. Film buffs suggested that the pool itself was also a prop. As it turns out, according to who did the fact checking for us, the pool has been identified and is real. It’s known as the Swim Gym and is a Beverly Hills landmark. The pool was built by the WPA historical pool contractors in their own right, and designed by Stiles O. Clements in 1939.

Historical Land Mark Swimming Pool Has Been in Many Movies

The retractable pool belongs to Beverly Hills High School and was actually used in the filming of the movie. What’s even more interesting is that the pool is still around today! The pool itself is 25 yards long and is still used in swimming competitions. With the turn of a key the inground swimming pool the retractable pool cover converts back to a basketball court / dance floor.

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed falling into the pool in It's a Wonderful Life
Swimming Pool Scene from It’s a Wonderful Life

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Is Pool Fence DIY All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

We take a look at Pool Fence DIY, one of the most popular fencing products for DIY pool owners. Is Pool Fence DIY a good product?

Pool Magazine Editor



Is Pool Fence DIY a Good Product?

Pool Fence DIY has fast become one of the most popular fencing products for Do-It-Yourself pool owners. The product touts itself as a super easy installation for homeowners looking for a relatively simple pool fence. With slick advertising commercials featuring an Amish family of homeowners with a swimming pool (you have to suspend disbelief a bit), the marketing is very entertaining to say the least. It takes a whimsical approach at branding while not projecting the tragedies of drowning that come from failing to properly secure the pool area.

The Amish Spokes Family Is A Hit on Social Media, but is Pool Fence DIY a good product for consumers?

With a positive score of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and very few consumer complaints, the consensus from pool owners is that Pool Fence DIY is actually a pretty decent product. It’s enormously popular and is regularly sold on Wayfair, Home Depot, Walmart, and Overstock. Pool owners looking to construct a pool fence on a budget have few high quality options to choose from. The one chief complaint that consumers seem to have is that it feels flimsy. Given that the product is constructed of a woven nylon mesh and a few steel bars, that’s not suprising. It’s meant to be able to be disassembled and quickly installed. The company itself provides a series of instructional videos to make the fence a more fixed structure.

As far as more traditional pool fences are concerned Pool Fence DIY is not an intraversable security fence. The product itself is meant to present a barrier, particularly to smaller children who may accidentally wander into the pool area. As a means of deterring family pets and animals from wandering into the pool, it probably performs just as admirably.

To be clear, this product is meant for homeowners operating on a budget. This fence system is ideal if you need to secure your pool area, but aren’t necessarily looking to shell out thousands of dollars on a permanent pool fence. The system starts at around $100 for each 4×12 section of the kit. For your entire total cost, you’d first need to calculate your pool area.

For more higher end pool fencing systems, you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. As budget friendly options, this is a good alternative for homeowners looking to stay in compliance with local pool fence rules and regulations.

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Pool News

Artificial Intelligence for Swimming Pools

Pool Magazine Editor



Artificial Intelligence for Swimming Pools

A wave of new AI (artificial intelligence) and IOT (internet of things) devices aim to help prevent drowning in residential and commercial swimming pools. Many custom pools now integrate smart technology devices such as sensors and alarms to prevent accidental drowning. As the technology advances, a few companies aim to make these products more mainstream.

Artifical Intelligence for Swimming Pools & Beaches Help Prevent Drownings

It’s clear that there is a demand for AI technology for lifeguards as well as for the pool industry. According to the World Health Organization, there were over 320,000 accidental drowning deaths in 2016. An Israeli company Sightbit is pioneering the technology with it’s revolutionary software which detects high risk areas and alerts lifeguards so they can act early to prevent a swimmer from drowning.

Lifeguard using the Sightbit drowning detection system. This system has also been deployed at commercial waterparks.

One solar powered device pool designers are using in residential swimming pools in addition to pool fences is the Coral Manta 3000 system by Coral Detection Systems. The technology utilizes underwater cameras to analyze and detect swimmers in a body of water. Co-Owner of the company and Olympic Gold Medalist, Bode Miller is passionate about the product. After losing his own 19 month old daughter in a tragic accident, he’s devoted considerable time and resources towards bringing pool safety to the front of the headlines. Pool service professionals universally have embraced the products plug & play ability.

AI For Swimming Pools - Read How Artificial Intelligence Can Help With Pool Safety
AI For Swimming Pools – Read How Artificial Intelligence Can Help With Pool Safety

“This system offers a new and critical layer of safety and provides peace of mind like no other pool safety device does,”

Eyal Golan, Founder & CEO of Coral Detection Systems

It’s clear that the spike in demand for pools this year will create a new flock of nascent pool owners. Pool Builders in general usually are quite aware of the latest pool safety products. As the technology for AI for Pool Safety becomes more prevalent.

We have added a few of these types of systems to inground pools this year. They can be pretty pricey so it hasn’t really hit mainstream yet.


Building Your Own IoT Pool Monitor

One Pool Magazine reader, Gerald Foray of Apple Hill, NJ wrote in. He assembled his own IoT pool safety device using a tutorial he watched on YouTube. Foray was able to build a swimming pool monitor utilizing IBM Watson IoT. He was able to create an alarm that would sound whenever someone jumps in the pool. The cost for building the device was certainly not cheap. Foray spent over $2,000 building his own prototype. Watch the tutorial below.

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Contractors and Builders

Prevention of Pool Cover Installation Mistakes

Pool News



Prevention of Pool Cover Installation Mistakes

The pool industry has been apt in both the safety and automatic cover sectors. Throughout the years, the pool and spa experts have become comfortable estimating and installing these items. Contractors are now familiar with the procedure.This article reviews the probable pool cover installation mistakes and how to avoid them.

There are minimal pool cover installation mistakes than before.

vice president of sales for Cover Pools, Barry Greenwald
Prevention of Pool Cover Installation Mistakes

Safety Covers

Improper overlap

Those who have no idea of how the safety covers functions may not comprehend the need for exact measurements. The cover should be a replica of the pool’s form. Installers ought to get the exact safety cover measurements to fit the pool. It is not about attempting to place an oversize cover on a pool.

At times, experts install the covers in a crooked manner, such that the overlap in one end is way smaller than the other. Proper overlap is key to achieving its safety function and avoid pool cover installation mistakes.

Overlapping can also reduce the covers’ lifespan. Wrong-shaped covers and improper overlaps make the fabric rub against the deck causing wear and tear. A material meant to last 12-15 years, in a worst-case scenario, only serves for 3 years. This is a great disservice to the user.

Errors in the A-B method implementation

The technique for estimating free form covers is a bit complicated, and some experts don’t get it correct. A number install the poles at an inaccurate distance from the pool or from each other. The poles should be 3-feet apart from the waterline, lest the image will be inaccurate.

Some interchange the measurements of A and B. When facing the pool, point A is to the left and point B to the right. Interchanging the measurements will have the cover made upside down.

Incorrect pool cover installation around obstructions

When placing covers around water features and high walls, the objective is to minimize interference. To work around this problem, installers support some parts of the cover on a cable system, making it less disruptive. This, however, should not be the lazy way out as it compromises safety and maintenance. Using this method will leave a 4- inch gap that permits the entry of debris as well as become a safety risk.

Moreover, producers report projects where builders place covers too high from the obstructions. The problem with this is it uses up extra material hence unable to fit the rest of the pool. Second, during winter, the material will be unable to bear snow loads. The best solution in massive features is to float using a raft as you drill through the wall.

When carrying out pool cover installation, it is best to begin with the obstruction to guarantee a cozy fit for the other features. Here, there is no chance of overlap, therefore minimizing errors.

Space to stretch

After some time, the fabric may stretch due to gravity and snowfalls. Many times, installers don’t create accurate tension to allow for this. This happens when they place the anchors near the cover, or disregard to change the spring tension appropriately.

The spring’s tension should be tight so that if the cover stretches, it will still maintain its tightness.

Automatic Cover

Not settling the pool or vault

The success of automatic pool cover installation lies in exact measurements. Even a small wrinkle can prevent the cover from opening and shutting.

This is the point of majority pool cover installation mistakes. It’s not about the shape you visualize; rather, it takes time to take accurate measurements, especially the width of the cover, cover drum, and lead edge bar.

Heavy masonry lids

The brick lids ought to be at a similar height as the deck. The trays and brackets anchoring them can’t be too low that they meddle with the capability of the cover to the spindle. If the lid is too bulky, place the brackets and tray low. The total of all the lid components ought not to be bulkier than the adapting.

In addition, use light and small pieces that one can be able to lift. Not only about the weight, but also avoid weird shapes such as long rectangles.

Inaccurate placing of the mechanism

The system ought to be level with the track. This lessens the measure of work by the system. If it’s excessively low, it delays the cover as it rises and lowers into the pool. This causes either the cover or motor to wear earlier. Furthermore, it ought to be between the tracks, failure to which the cover won’t open and close correctly.

Cutting the track or ropes too short

Cutting ropes and tracks are vital to fit the task. The problem is that most installers cut them too short. On the rope, a short rope means the cover can’t be fully open. To avoid this, cut the rope when the cover is open.

On the track, a short track has its misgivings. The track joins the guide and the end of the track, combining the plates. This is impossible if the track is short. Furthermore, when the track makes a sharp angle as the material spools from the roller, it wears the track and covers edge due to excessive pressure on the load.

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