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Installing Automatic Pool Covers On Fiberglass Pools

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Installing Automatic Pool Covers On Fiberglass Pools

The demand for pools has indisputably increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the demand for fiberglass pools has been on the rise due to their simple installation process. Likewise, there was an increased demand for automatic pool covers. Most homeowners are now looking to improve their outdoor living area. Nevertheless, installing both a fiberglass pool and an automatic pool cover can be a challenge. 

Installing Automatic Pool Covers On Fiberglass Pools

Tips for installing automatic pool covers include:

Size

Occasionally, pool professionals end up requesting wrong-sized automatic covers for their fiberglass pools. Typically, finding the correct automatic cover will need you to determine the fiberglass pool’s inner measurements. The inner measurements of fiberglass pools are often smaller. For example, if you have a 17 feet pool, the inside measures 16 feet wide. Thus, a 17 feet automatic pool cover would be too big. It would be best if you ask your fiberglass manufacturer for the inside measurements of the fiberglass pool. This way, you will buy the right sized automatic pool cover.

Width

Maintaining a consistent width from the top to the bottom of a fiberglass pool can be difficult. Since fiberglass pools vary in width, they may be 16 feet in the deep end and 17 feet wide in the shallow section. It is critical to note that automatic pool covers can only accommodate a difference of one inch. Consequently, installing APCs on fiberglass pools is not a walk in the park.

Usually, fiberglass pools tend to bow along the length of the pool due to pressure.” One way to keep the width consistent is by filling and backfilling the pool.

Pool patrol owner in british columbia, ALLAN HORWOOD

Tip for installation

Simplifying the installation process entails put up the track on both sides. Horwood says, “Often, we spread out the track over the pool. We ensure all sides and corners are equal. Simply put, what you do on the right side should be done on the left as well. It will help if you start dealing with the corners first. Then, spread it out proportionally. Before you start cutting any track, it is best to layout the coping first. The good thing with aluminum extrusion tracks is that they offer both excellent functionality and beauty. Also, it is essential to let your cover manufacturer know that you have a fiberglass pool. This way, they’ll be able to get a cover with the correct dimensions.

Elevation

It is challenging to install an automatic pool cover on an elevated surface. By nature, an automatic pool cover requires that the cover be installed on a completely level plane. Horwood says that the solution for this is to use an automatic pool cover made for a vinyl pool. From there, you can adjust it to complement the pool’s landscape. You would need to use such covers for pools with built-in spas and raised tiles on the pool’s shallow end. Pool experts should identify the elevation angle to get a clear picture of the most suitable automatic pool cover to purchase.

Polybox housing challenge

The automatic pool cover should get attached to the deep section of the pool before you finish backfilling. Start with supporting the slide on the poly box using an encapsulated coping. Horwood states, “We use a vinyl liner retainer and support the polybox by free-staking into the ground.” When doing this, always ensure that you level the poly box to boost the cover’s functionality. All this should happen before you pour the concrete.

Dealing with the corners 

When installing APCs on fiberglass pools, it is always challenging to deal with the corners since they have a radius. The best thing to do would be to inform the fiberglass manufacturer to prepare the cover installation corners. This will make the work much more manageable.

Lid challenge 

Typically, the poly box has to boost proper functionality. In most instances, the manufacturer gives you a walk-on lid to promote quick and straightforward installation. Even so, there is a wide range of lids that you can use for this. Horwood says, “Since there are many lid options to choose from, some customers always want finishing options that don’t complement the lid tray. And this makes the installation process challenging.”

Outsourcing is a better solution

In this present age and time, pool contractor can always outsource cover installers during pool construction. This way, they don’t have to go through the installation challenges or spend hours training their staff on cover installation. Horwood has a specialty in automatic pool cover installation. And most pool contractors make their work easier and faster by hiring him. Nonetheless, it is always essential to communicate with the pool contractor from the start of the project to avoid misunderstandings. Chris Hunt, an auto cover specialist in Wichita, says, “Professional automatic cover installers know particular tricks that help them install the covers much faster.”

Increased demand

Due to the fast and straightforward installation process, fiberglass pools are increasingly becoming popular. Likewise, the demand for automatic pool covers is on the rise. Combining the two products is a plus for pool companies, especially in the middle of this global pandemic. It means more sales, revenues, and profits.

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Chlorine Shortage Has Public Pools Feeling The Pinch

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Public Pools Closing Due To Rising Cost of Chlorine

It’s been over a year since many public pools across the nation were forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now some are being forced to close all over again due to ongoing chlorine shortages.

Those that have managed to stay in operation are watching the soaring cost of chlorine prices closely, which has nearly doubled in many areas of the country and is expected to continue to increase through the summer.

Public pools are concerned about the rising prices of chlorine which may make this an abbreviated swim season.

Public Pools Losing Money On Chlorine

When it comes to public swimming pools, most facilities usually charge a fee for entry. Many community pools are considered a public service, consequently they often wind up spending more on pool maintenance than they actually get from the guest fees. The fact is that the rising costs of chlorine are a growing cause for concern for the nations public pools and aquatic centers.

The chlorine tablet shortage began last August, when Hurricane Laura triggered a fire at the BioLab chemical plant that produces the majority of the country’s dry chlorine tablets. The rise in demand for backyard pools as a result of the epidemic has aggravated the problem by increasing costs on limited supplies.

San Diego County has begun shutting down public pools. Photo Credit – San Diego Union Tribune

Chlorine Prices This Year Versus Last Year

“We used to pay $75 for a 50-pound bucket of chlorine tablets,” Steven Fox of Fox Pools in Virginia informed us. “The prices have gone crazy this year. You’re looking at $150 now for the same thing, if distribution even has stock. It’s getting crazy now with acid, DE, grids, you name it… prices have gone up across the board.”

Openings in many cities were postponed partly because chemical cleaning supplies took months to arrive. One neighborhood pool in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was cleared to open after the municipal council voted to spend up to an additional $60,000 on chlorine for the rest of this season and the pool season in 2022 (about $12,000 per month).

Public Pools Closing Early This Season

More and more financially strapped communities around the country have decided to close their pools early or close parts of their pools for the season. With many facilities stating they simply can’t afford the chlorine.

The majority of city-run pools in Los Angeles have had to close less than a month after being allowed to reopen by the Department of Public Health, which disproportionately affects minority children who don’t have other access to swimming lessons.

The LA Times reported public pools are competing against residential pools and privately run pools for chlorine.

“This chlorine issue is just exacerbating what is already an existing disparity,” Jeff Wiltse, author of “Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, told the LA Times. “There’s been a significant growth in private swimming pools [in recent decades], whereas public swimming pools have been generally stagnant, and in many cities there’s been a significant decline.”

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Olympics in Tokyo a Complete Bust

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Tokyo Olympics a Bust - Aquatics Facility Sits Empty

The Summer Olympics was postponed until this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For marketing and branding purposes, they are still calling it Tokyo 2020 which is weird, but okay marketing is expensive and to be honest, most of us are just fine with pretending last year never even happened.

This does nothing to address the elephant in the room which is, no one is allowed to attend these Olympic venues and a huge percentage of viewers forgot they were even happening this year. By no means should this diminish the incredible effort the United States swim team is putting on. Already they have won 8 medals and are expected to dominate most of this years 18 different swim events on the program.

There is a stunning new aquatics arena in Tokyo Bay that was built specifically for the Olympics. It’s a brand new facility, that in the normal course of events should have been packed to the rafters with 15,000 fans during a typical Olympic year. Unfortunately, there is nothing normal about this Olympics and spectators are not allowed. The facility which was part of the tremendous $15.4 billion dollar investment Tokyo made in order to win the bid for hosting the Olympics, sits nearly empty for all of this summers Olympic events. In actuality, the final figure for this entire folly will probably be closer to $20 billion making this the most expensive Olympics ever.

A new half billion dollar aquatic center which helped Tokyo secure the bid to host the 2020 Olympics sits nearly empty for all of this summers Olympic swim events.

A muted opening ceremony was televised to a dramatically reduced audience. With the stadium nearly empty, the momentus energy of the crowd was visibly missing. Most athletes wore face coverings and waved enthusiastically to tens of thousands of empty seats which further cemented the surreal oddity of all. Some athletes practiced social distancing, choosing to march alone, while others grouped together much to the dismay of event organizers. Despite the fact that its delegation has undergone several positive COVID tests since arriving, the Czech Republic joined the other countries in the opening ceremonies.

A largely empty half billion dollar stadium hosts the this summers Olympic games in Tokyo. Covid-19 restrictions are in full force as the nation of Japan struggles with a surge in new cases. Photo Credit – AFP

The opening event for the Olympics drew nearly 17 million viewers in the U.S. which may sound like a lot, but in actuality hit a 33 year low and was down nearly 36% since 2016’s Olympics. The reality is this Olympics has been a complete bust for Japan and the city of Tokyo in particular. The $500,000,000 dollar aquatics center is depressingly empty, and symbolic of the complete disinterest that has many diseffectionately refering to this Olympics as the Pandemic Games. To add insult to injury, the gleaming new insanely expensive facility probably didn’t even need to be built in the first place.

Experts who know the city of Tokyo well say that all of the swim events could have been hosted at the 45,000 seat Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants. Near by Yokohama stadium also seats 17,000 and could have easily hosted the events. The expenditure has been criticized as a needless waste of money. It is difficult to imagine a future for the facility, in fact it is scheduled to be downsized to accommodate 5,000 shortly after the Olympics are over.

The impression of being in a sterile, locked-down quarantine permeates this Olympics according to athletes and participants. There is no amount of simulated cheering and fake cardboard cutout fans that can assuade that feeling. Fans, who would ordinarily be screaming support for their countries and socializing with folks from all over the world in a carnival like atmosphere, have been barred, leaving just a highly vetted group of media, authorities, athletes, and staff.

There is an inescapable feeling of pity for the Japanese people, who will pay a colossal financial price for their government’s overzealous spending and a global pandemic which they had no way to predict would happen.

Feature Photo Credit: ABS / CBN

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Too Big To Fail – Olympus Pools Implodes

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Olympus Pools is out of Business - Tampa florida pool builder implodes

We first began writing about Olympus Pools back in April of this year after investigative reports broke news that the Land O’ Lakes pool builder was in deep trouble. Allegations of unfinished pools, unpaid subcontractors and distributors and a long list of angry customers put Olympus in the spotlight and for all the wrong reasons.

In the past few months we have had numerous interactions with owner James Staten, James Judge (a PR representative Staten hired to represent Olympus a few months ago), and Jordan Hidalgo, a well known pool builder who had supposedly partnered with Olympus Pools to salvage the ongoing projects they had, as well as the firms battered reputation.

In late May, Olympus Pools had released a press release stating that Jordan Hidalgo, a well respected figure in the pool and spa industry would be taking on co-ownership of Olympus Pools.

However, this week after rumors began circulating about impending foreclosures on homeowners as well as another major blow due to unpaid workers compensation insurance causing a work shut down, Hidalgo released this statement to the media.

“During our due diligence period, it became apparent that the company was not in the same position as it appeared originally,” Hidalgo said a statement on Tuesday. “As a result, I have decided to cut my losses and am walking away from the opportunity. I am hoping the best for Olympus Pools and their customers.”

Olympus Pools currently has hundreds of ongoing pool construction projects in various stages of development. Potentially a hundred open holes in the ground with only rebar according to one source.

We reached out to Staten’s PR representative James Judge to get a comment to which he replied “We actually no longer represent Olympus Pools”. His leaving directly coincided with Hidalgo’s announcement.

James Staten responded to Hidalgo’s departure to investigative journalist Shannon Behnken in an email contradicting Hidalgo’s version of the story. Staten stated that Hidalgo was “never able to ‘buy’ even a portion of Olympus,” and said that, “there has been no ‘due diligence period’ and Mr. Hidalgo has failed to perform even his most basic obligations.”

We touched base with Hidalgo this week to get his side of the story to which he replied, “That is an absolute lie. I tried to be classy about this entire thing but I can see he (Staten) is not going to let that happen. There is more information coming out in the media, just wait.” To which Hidalgo eluded that this week there would be a major announcement coming.

Olympus Pools is Out of Business

This morning Olympus Pools officially announced that they will be shutting down operations after the Department of Business and Professional Regulation asked them to surrender their license. This effectively means that Olympus Pools will be unable to continue working on any current projects they have contracted for.

“Over the last several months at Olympus Pools, we have endured constant negative media coverage encouraging viewers to file complaints with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. As a result, the DBPR has forced us to voluntarily relinquish our license. This means we are no longer allowed to continue working for any of our customers. We have fought hard and would have continued to do so for as long it took to complete every project.”

“Although we are greatly disappointed in the decision, we understand the pressure that has been placed on the Department to act. We do not feel the decision is beneficial to our community or our customers, however, it was not our decision to make. If it were up to us, we would continue working for our customers.”

“We have enjoyed servicing the Tampa Bay area for close to 10 years. We are proud of the thousands of projects we have built and the work we have done for our community in that time. We are grateful for all of the support the vast majority of our former customers, employees, friends, family, and neighbors have shown us during this time.”

Sources close to the organization disclosed to Pool Magazine that Olympus Pools currently has hundreds of ongoing pool construction projects and anywhere from 50-100 open holes in the ground.

It is expected that a variety of agencies will now descend to perform a collection of assets however, the south showroom for Olympus Pools has been completely emptied out according to a source close to Pool Magazine. How this bodes for the unlucky homeowners who entrusted Olympus Pools with their swimming pool projects remains to be seen, however already many have begun to receive lien and foreclosure notices on their homes.

Featured Photo Credits: WFLA

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