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Pool and Spa Corrosion – An Atomic Point Of View

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Pool and Spa Corrosion - An Atomic Point Of View

Today, corrosion is one of the most common problems faced by a majority of individuals. Statistical reports show that corrosion caused damages worth one trillion in 2016. In particular, the majority of swimming pools and spas are prone to corrosion. And the effects of this are damaging and often lead to significant pool repair costs. Fortunately, there are several techniques pool owners and contractors can implement to reduce pool and spa corrosion. But typically, as a pool owner, you need to understand the term corrosion at an in-depth level. This way, you’ll be able to help your customers prevent and treat this problem.

Pool and Spa Corrosion - An Atomic Point Of View

Foundational knowledge – The basic atomic model

Do you remember the term atoms in your science or chemistry class? Let’s rewind our knowledge a little bit. Usually, all materials consist of atoms. And a material that has one type of atom is an element. Every element has its atomic number. In the middle of the atom is the nucleus. The nucleus has both protons and neutrons. Also, electrons encompass the nucleus. Typically, electrons carry a negative charge. On the other hand, Protons always have a positive charge.

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So how is all this information related to pool and spa corrosion?

Usually, electron number will dictate the corrosion reaction. For example, Sodium always loses electrons, hence becoming a positively charged ion or a proton. Conversely, chlorine tends to gain electrons. Such elements steal electrons from other elements. Therefore, they are known as negative ions. When positive and negative ions combine, they become insoluble solids. And this is why rust is often left behind once pool and spa corrosion has occurred.

What are the main ingredients for corrosion?

Generally, certain factors have to be present for corrosion to take place. Below are all the ingredients needed for corrosion.

  • A cathode is responsible for gaining electrons. It is the oxidizer during corrosion. A good example is oxygen; Oxygen steals electrons from the metal in the pool equipment hence causes pool and spa corrosion.
  • An anode is Responsible for losing electrons. It is the element that gets oxidized. In our case, this could be the metal used to make the pool equipment. It loses electrons to the cathode.
  • An electrolyte: Electrolytes exist in liquid form. So, in our case, this is the pool water. Often saltwater is an exemplary conductor. Thus, it tends to be very corrosive. Note that the more the liquid dissolves materials, the more corrosive it becomes. That’s why salt water is more corrosive than normal pool water.
  • The electrical contact of the cathode and anode. Typically, there has to be an electric path for the electric circuit to become complete.

So, if you want to reduce or prevent pool and spa corrosion, you must eliminate one of these factors. Of course, you cannot get rid of some of the factors mentioned above in most instances. Thus, you would have to identify creative ways of how to prevent corrosion.

How does corrosion in swimming pools and spas occur?

First, note that corrosion is an electrochemical reaction. Corrosion occurs when the metal (material of the pool equipment) loses electrons to another element (e.g., oxygen) found in the electrolyte (pool water). When this happens, a corrosion cell gets formed. Note that the quantity of material lost to corrosion matches the corrosion current. On the flip side, the corrosion current is indirectly proportional to the cell’s resistance and directly proportional to the cell voltage.

So, if you increase the cell’s resistance, you will reduce the rate of pool and spa corrosion. A real-life illustration is a pool heat exchanger experiencing a buildup of calcium carbonate deposits. In case you continue having unbalanced water chemistry, the heat exchanger gets more and more vulnerable to coating, especially on its inner diameter. And when there is a partial coating, some parts of the heat exchanger are generally more susceptible than others. Consequently, the section beneath the coating will be anodic, and the one outside the coating will be the cathode.

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How do you prevent pool and spa corrosion?

If you have any metal equipment, corrosion should not come as a surprise to you. Corrosion occurs even on stainless steel. And it’s almost close to impossible to stop corrosion from ever happening on a metal. As a result, the techniques for preventing corrosion are often meant to slow down the reaction to 0%.

This method usually works pretty well only if done correctly. In fact, when you use the right techniques, you may not have to deal with corrosion for decades. As a pool owner, it would be best to identify the best practices that would help you prevent pool and spa corrosion. This way, you won’t have to deal with the massive costs that come with pool equipment repairs and replacements. Besides, you’ll prolong the durability of your pool.

it is clear that pool and spa corrosion is an electrochemical reaction. Understanding how corrosion works will help you find the best techniques for mitigating this problem.

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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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Tesla Pool – Automaker Adds Swimming Pool To Charger Station

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Tesla Swimming Pool

One of the primary reasons consumers opt to purchase a Tesla is the robust availability of convenient charging stations. Recently, the automaker has experimented with adding amenities to its charging stations. New cube lounges at a Supercharger station in Germany come equipped with automated coffee, food, and more. Tesla is also adding other options and fun activities for drivers to enjoy while they wait for their vehicles to charge. The newest amenity they’re currently experimenting with is an above ground swimming pool.

A clip of the pool being installed prior to launch was shared with news sources.

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The swimming pool can be used by up to 4 people at a time for 10 minutes, giving folks just enough time to change into their swim suits and enjoy a quick dip while their vehicle charges. There are even Tesla-branded beach balls to play with while they’re swimming in the shipping container style above ground pool.

This promotional popup will open at the Tesla charging station in Hilden, Germany; which incidentally is one of the largest in the country with 40 chargers and 8 superchargers. The pool will be open from Thursday until Sunday. Tesla owners can drop in for a swim from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

What do you think about this idea? Is this something you’d like to see in the United States? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

3/5 - (2 votes)

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Pool Rental App Swimply Is The New Side Hustle For Homeowners

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Pool Rental App Swimply Is The New Side Hustle For Homeowners

Pool rental marketplace Swimply has created the ultimate side hustle for homeowners. Spending upwards of $100,000 to create the ultimate luxury outdoor living area is an investment some are willing to make. This is especially true if one can be confident they will recoup that investment quickly. Renting the pool to friends and neighbors is one smart way to do just that.

The Pool Rental Concept

Pool rentals are sweeping the nation and the innovative online marketplace Swimply is leading the charge. Described as “Airbnb of swimming pools,” Swimply debuted last year. According to the firm, there are over 20,000 swimming pools in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and Australia.

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After recently raising $40M in funding from AirBnB and Lime co-founders last year, Swimply is poised for tremendous growth moving into 2023. The service has been rapidly gaining traction with consumers who are attracted by the ability to rent a swimming pool by the hour.

Renting a pool by the hour may can be very profitable. Swimply has created the marketplace for renting a pool.
Renting a pool by the hour may can be very profitable. Swimply has created the marketplace for renting a pool.

Swimply’s Business Model is Unique

In the sharing economy, Swimply, definitely deserves recognition for their offering. Providing a marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to connect and rent a pool is at the core of the company’s business plan. The model is simple, Swimply takes 15% of the booking fee from hosts and 10% from guests.

Swimply’s pool rental marketplace can be lucrative for hosts and may not be as weird as it sounds. As water recreational facilities were shut down by COVID in the last two years, Swimply has emerged to fill the vacuum. Consequently, the company has grown exponentially.

We spoke with Swimply Co-Founder and COO Asher Weinberger last year about the revolutionary new technology which is connecting homeowners with an open marketplace of consumers looking to rent a backyard for a few hours.

Listen to our conversation on the Pool Magazine podcast:

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Pool Rental Marketplace Grew 5,000% During Covid

After a soft launch back in 2019, Weinberger quickly realized that the public was elated with their offering. “There was a tremendous amount of interest and at the time we could only meet 10 to 15% of the demand,” said Weinberger. “That helped set the stage for us because we learned a lot about what people wanted and how they were using the platform.”

“We caught huge tailwinds in light of Covid and grew roughly 5,000% year over year,” said Weinberger. Since then, Swimply’s marketplace has exploded with consumers searching for a safe recreational experience with friends and loved ones in an open outdoor setting. This has been true both on the guest side and the host side.

Homeowners Look To Monetize Their Pool

It appears that word has definitely begun to spread that renting your pool is a sweet new side hustle. One man in particular recently made the news after he reportedly netted $177,000 just by renting out his pool and backyard.

Jim Battan of West Linn, Oregon, told news sources, “I love to say that the pool has paid for itself and more. I built a man cave last year, and also credit that to my Swimply pool.”

Swimply As a Side Hustle

Being a Swimply host isn’t for everyone, according to Battan. The side hustle does require a fair amount of work on the part of the host. Maintaining the pool between guests involves much more than simply setting out fresh towels. His 26-foot by 18-foot pool and its accompanying pool house has cost him roughly $37,000 in maintenance over the last decade. On a typical week, Battan estimates that he and his wife Lisa spend approximately 12 to 14 hours cleaning and testing the water’s chemicals as well as managing all of their bookings.

“I love the income, but I generally caution people from it,” Battan told reporters. “Unless you’re retired or don’t have a day job, it takes a lot of time to learn about pool chemistry and management. It’s not good enough to just rely on a once-a-week service to come out look at your stuff. I look at my pool chemicals probably five to 10 times a day.”

Renting Your Pool By The Hour Can Be Profitable

It’s also important to note that Battan’s pool represents the best-case scenario. Currently, he’s Swimply’s top earner out of 25,000 pools in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The average host earnings are between $10,000 to $20,000 per year.

Ned Gilardino is another top earner from Aurora, Colorado who is cashing in on the lucrative side hustle. Last year he rented his pool out roughly 500 times clearing close to $50,000 in the process.

“Not only has the extra money paid for the cost of maintaining the pool,” Gilardino told news sources, “it has actually brought in an entire new revenue stream for my family.”

Pool rentals vary by price and can be filtered to meet price, features, and amenities. - Photo Credit: Swimply
Pool rentals vary by price and can be filtered to meet price, features, and amenities. – Photo Credits: Swimply

Homeowners who are looking for MSI’s (multiple sources of income) can certainly put Swimply on their list of resources. Typically most swimming pools on the platform rent between $15 and $75 an hour. However, there appears to be no limit on how much hosts can earn. We’ve seen some pools in premium areas such as Beverly Hills rent for as much as $200 an hour. Those with luxury amenities in their backyard obviously can charge towards the higher end of the spectrum.

Guests can search for an ideal backyard in their price range to throw a pool party and even filter their search to show properties that have specific amenities. Finding a backyard with a fire pit, or an outdoor grilling area, or one that allows pets, is easy. Swimply made it simple to narrow down selections with the ideal features consumers are looking for.

The interface is simple and intuitive to use on both ends. Swimply also made it super easy for homeowners to track their reservations, communicate with guests and quickly get their pool rental up in their easy-to-use marketplace.

Swimply’s Contribution To The Shared Economy

Given that public pools are closing at an alarming rate, Swimply has also started filling a gap in underserved communities, much the way Uber and other sharing economy platforms have.

While the shared economy is a young concept itself; Swimply’s arrival simply ushers something we will undoubtedly see even more of in years to come. Though unexpected and a newcomer; one thing is certain, homeowners and consumers have embraced the concept of renting a pool by the hour.

4.6/5 - (17 votes)

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Sinkhole in Swimming Pool Kills Man, Swallows Guests

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Sinkhole in Swimming Pool Kills Man, Swallows Guests

A man was found dead after being swallowed by a sinkhole that opened up in a private swimming pool. The incident transpired in Israel where authorities are still trying to figure out what caused two men to be swept away by the receding water after a sinkhole sprang up within an inground swimming pool at a private property in central Israel. One was recovered dead at the scene on Thursday afternoon.

The body was located by search crews in the town of Karmei Yosef after a four-hour recovery operation conducted by rescue personnel who were lowered deep underground. The search was hampered by concerns that tunnels extending from the sinkhole could lead to a second collapse.

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It took rescuers several hours of searching before they were able to uncover the body of the man who had gone missing. The other 34-year-old man who had been trapped for some time, was saved and treated for minor injuries to his lower body.

Rescuers worked for hours to find the missing victims body. - Photo Credits: Fire and Rescue Services
Rescuers worked for hours to find the missing victims body. – Photo Credits: Fire and Rescue Services

Employees of a private company were having a pool party when the incident occurred. About 50 people were present at the time of the accident, according to one guest.

“The water level suddenly started receding and a hole opened up, creating a vortex that swept two people inside,” the guest told news sources.

She said a sinkhole opened a vortex formed which swallowed up the victim in a matter of seconds. She yelled at her coworkers to get out of the pool as the sinkhole emerged, but they initially assumed it was a game. Authorities say, fortunately, there were only 6 people in the pool at the time or injuries and casualties could have been far greater.

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“Seconds later, the ground just dropped… I watched two people just disappear,” she added.

According to police, an investigtion into the incident is currently underway, and they plan to find out if the pool was operating with the proper license.

4/5 - (8 votes)

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