In this present age and time, you can listen to music when swimming or diving. As a pool owner, the newest water feature you can incorporate in your pool is an underwater speaker. Underwater swimming pool speakers are increasingly becoming popular among most homeowners. These functional features make swimming experiences more fun and entertaining. The majority of hotel and resort owners are embracing this distinctive feature to attract a wider clientele. Besides, it is relatively simple to install underwater speakers in your pool.
Underwater swimming pool speakers are expensive
Although underwater swimming pool speakers offer a broad spectrum of benefits, they are costly. Not many pool owners can afford to install this feature in their pools. On average, underwater speakers cost about $1,500 per unit. Most pools require two units. So, pool owners end up spending about $3,000 when installing underwater speakers. Commercial pool owners may spend more since they will need a compatible mixer and amplifier. Ultimately, underwater speakers are not cheap.
“Even so, first-class pool owners don’t get intimidated by these costs. Such pool owners often spend more than $100,000 on water features. So, to them, $3,000 is not a problem,” the owner of Oceanears, Edward Harper, says.
Despite the high costs, underwater swimming pool speakers are worth the purchase. Once you install them, you attract a lot of people to your swimming pool.President of littleton, bill philips
A scientific understanding behind underwater swimming pool speakers
Contrary to popular belief, sound waves travel much faster in water than in air. In fact, sound experts report that sound travels four times faster in water than in air. Partner at Colorado Pool + Spa Scapes, Marshall Foote, says, “Surprisingly, the sound underneath pool water is clearly heard.”
The sound originating from underwater swimming pool speakers is confusing to most swimmers. With underwater speakers, swimmers often think that sound is coming from outside the pool. “It’s a sound that plays with their mind,” Frank Giuffre, owner of Coastal Audio Video, says. And it gets more confusing when swimmers go to the bottom of the pool and hear the same sound even more clearly. Generally, it is hard for sound waves from above the pool to penetrate the water. So, the confusion continues until swimmers spot the underwater speakers.
Where should you place an underwater speaker?
When you are inside the water, it is hard to determine the side from which the music comes from. Sound waves travel very fast in the water. Thus, it is hard for you to identify the location of the speakers. Besides, most pools have more than one speaker. Pool experts often recommend installing one underwater speaker in a 20 by 20-foot section of the pool.
On the other hand, lap pools should have one speaker unit for every 20 linear feet. Moreover, pool owners should install underwater swimming pool speakers 18 to 30 inches below the tile line. During installation, avoid placing the speakers opposite each other. Doing this interferes with the production of sound waves. Also, don’t place underwater speakers near other water features.
Are underwater speakers safe?
The expansion of the pool industry brought about many discoveries. One of them was that pool lights can lead to severe electrocution. Consequently, most individuals are often left wondering whether underwater swimming pool speakers are safe.
- Pool experts advise using quality equipment for grounding and bonding when installing underwater speakers. Underwater speakers incorporate a ground fault circuit interrupter that boosts safety. Also, professionals install underwater speakers using an isolation transformer to make audio in the water safe.
- Another safety precaution you need to take when installing underwater speakers is using stainless steel grill to regulate the voltage. Note that incorporating a stainless-steel grill is mandatory, as stated by the National Electric Code.
Generally, underwater speakers are safe. There has never been a case of swimmers getting injured or dying as a result of underwater speakers.
How do you install pool speakers?
If you know how to install pool lights, then you can go ahead and install underwater speakers. The process is usually the same. Nonetheless, it would help if you employ an audio professional to connect the pool sound system for you. More often than not, it is hard to connect underwater speakers with above-ground sound systems. There are usually some complexities when it comes to wiring and tuning. Therefore, conducting a DIY project is not advisable.
Professional installation of underwater swimming pool speakers for pools usually entails connecting the above ground and underwater speakers. As you do this, ensure you are able to adjust the volume of each speaker separately. This way, you cater to the needs of your customers.
Consider underwater swimming pool speakers for your swimming pool
Currently, one of the most modern water features is the underwater swimming pool speakers. These speakers provide unlimited hours of fun and entertainment for you and your swimmers. Even though costly and hard to install, underwater speakers are worth the purchase. Moreover, if you have a commercial pool, installing this feature will expand your customer base. In turn, you’ll increase your sales, revenues, and profits.
A Look Back at Ocean Dome
Now only a footnote in the history of pools, once the largest indoor waterpark in the world.
One of the most incredible pools that I have ever seen is sadly a thing of the past, but there’s no reason why we can’t take a look back at the engineering marvel that was Seagaia Ocean Dome. This amazing indoor pool and artificial beach was located in Miyazaki, Japan.
Unfortunately the park was closed back in 2007 and ultimately demolished in 2017. Your opportunity to visit this one of a kind experience is long gone, but it’s lasting effect as one of the most phenomenal wave riding waterparks in the world has not yet faded from memory.
This mammoth structure was the artificial wave equivalent of Pipeline, which was capable of producing powerful waves. And, based on video clips from the time, it would be on par with modern-day BSR Surf Resort in Waco, TX in terms of the fun it delivered to wave riding enthusiasts.
The artificial beach featured 12,000 square meters of simulated sandy beach, crushed from 600 tons of stones; and an “ocean” six times the size of an Olympic pool, filled with 13,500 tons of unsalted, chlorinated water kept hot at 82 degrees.
At one time Ocean Dome was considered a destination for world travelers receiving an annual 1.25 million visitors a year. There was even an “active” volcano that erupted every 15 minutes and spewed fire once an hour. The structure was once listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest indoor pool in the world.
Ocean Dome was closed in 2007 for renovations to the resort and was later purchased by Ripplewood, an American private-equity fund. Sadly the park was never to be reopened and wound up being demolished in 2017.
Largest Indoor Waterpark In The World: Tropical Islands Resort
While a thing of the past, the project is reminiscent of Tropical Islands Resort an indoor pool boasting Europe’s largest tropical holiday and current title holder for the world record Ocean Dome used to hold.
Can’t get to Germany? That’s okay, you can still check out Kalahari the largest indoor waterpark in the United States located in the Poconos in Pennsylvania featuring a wave pool, lazy river, wave coaster, and funnel ride.
Know of some incredible indoor waterparks we should check out? Tell us your favorite ones in the comments below.
One on One With Rick Chafey of Ask The Masters
Rick Chafey is one of the top pool designers in the country and the co-owner of two design / build firms – Red Rock Pools & Spas & Red Rock Contractors, out of Chandler, AZ. He’s also an instructor at Watershape University as well as the co-host of Ask The Masters, a popular podcast that focuses on education and the more technical aspects of what folks who build and design pools for a living, really want to learn about.
When it comes to swimming pools, Chafey is a fountain of knowledge. We had the opportunity to sit and talk shop with one of the top designers in the industry. Chafey first got his start around 25 years ago as a general contractor and around 5 years in, got into the realm of pool design and construction. “Early on we weren’t a design firm much at all,” said Chafey, “We pretended to be designers like a lot of pool builders do early on, without any real knowledge or education about what we were doing. We made pretty pictures and hoped and got our subcontractors to help us stumble through being a builder.”
The Path Towards Becoming a Leading Design / Build Firm
As Chafey progressed in his career, he began acquiring an education and expanding his acumen eventually gaining an in-depth understanding of the way pools are designed and built. Chafey began building a team that would eventually comprise 40 employees that handle design / build construction projects throughout Arizona as well as the rest of the country and overseas. His design team consisting of 2 licensed architects, a civil engineer, and 3 drafters comprise the consulting arm of Red Rock Pools & Spas. This forward-thinking expansion has allowed him to provide services throughout the industry for other builders both locally and abroad and has helped propel him as one of the leading design consultants in the swimming pool industry.
As one of the top design / build firms in the country, his firm is frequently brought in to consult on some of the most over the top and elaborate pool construction projects in the world. A frequent collaborator with some of the elite names in the pool industry, Chafey has developed a wide network of experts whom he can call on to help assist with various aspects of a given project.
An $8 Million Dollar Resort Style Pool Is Par For The Course
Currently, Chafey and company are working on an $8 million dollar backyard resort style luxury pool complete with its very own shark tank. “Structurally and cosmetically, we can figure that part out,” said Chafey, “but then we need to get involved in safety, and life support for the fish, and access and all those parts.”
“It’s got a flowrider surf machine, full size commercial 1,000 hp surfing machine. This one’s, unique because it’s the second one they built that’s designed on the same platform as an inflatable paddle board or a rigid inflatable boat.” said Chafey.
In describing the unique complexity of the project, Chafey explained how the system will work. “We can actually deflate the system and then we’ve got a transversing hydraulic deck system that closes it off from view and UV rays. When it’s not in use – it won’t look like a giant inflatable jump toy in the backyard.” Twinscape USA will provide the expertise for that application, said Chafey
“It’s also got a lazy river tied to it,” Chafey explained, “The main pool section has big grottos and underground water features. To top it off, its got a go-cart track tunnel that goes all the way underneath part of that river for a few hundred feet, then comes back out and back to grade. Soup to nuts, that project adds up to 50 different small design projects and we’ve got 6 different consultants to try and put all that together.”
Did Someone Say Shark Tank?
This over the top resort style luxury pool has an incredible amount of moving parts and degree of difficulty rarely found in most residential pools. Swimmers can splash around in the swimming pool while viewing through a shared acrylic wall at a 30,000 gallon shark tank on the other side. To add to the complexity, the shark tank has to be load bearing and support several portions of the home. The remarkably intricate project has been years in the making and has included the collaboration of a different teams of individual consultants. Chafey was brought in by the general contractor early in the game before there was even a budget allocated to the project.
Putting The Best Team Out On The Field
Ultimately, Chafey explained that it’s his ability to organize teams and orchestrate the various moving parts of a given project that help differentiate his firm as an elite design / build firm in the pool world. Chafey’s project portfolio has grown substantially over the last two decades, helping him achieve recognition with both some of the most discerning homeowners as well as his peers within the industry.
Chafey had some advice for aspiring pool builders looking to get into the realm of high end custom luxury pools, “Part of it is you have to start building a body of work to where you start making those connections and getting the requests,” said Chafey, “That’s just something you have to build up over time. As long as your concepts and creativity are getting peoples admiration and you’re able to pull them off, you can slowly build that body of work to where those projects are getting bigger.”
Trying to advance to higher end pool projects before going through the learning process is a recipe for disaster insisted Chafey who said, “It takes time, no matter how much you try to accelerate your capacity, it takes time and opportunity and then you have to be able to pull them all off throughout that process.” Rick’s own path took him a while to begin to receive the notoriety and recognition as an elite design / build firm. “For us, over the last 25 years, we’ve built a lot of relationships with design teams and general contractors.” said Chafey.
When it comes to being one of the elite pool design firms in the country, Chafey said that lately he finds himself in a small field of competition when it comes to the firms that are able to tackle projects of the size, scope and complexity his firm takes on. His ability to scale Red Rock’s consulting services to other builders has dramatically increased the number of projects they find themselves involved in.
Co-Owner — Brett Blauvelt
Lead Designer – Jake Lupe
Field Superintendents – Jordan Walker and Ken Kauffmann
Project GC Regal American Homes
Aquatic Glazing International
Aquatic Exhibits International
This certainly isn’t the first large scale project that Chafey has been involved with. Widely regarded in the pool industry for his expertise, he’s a full time functioning contractor not just an educator. Given his role on Ask The Masters, it’s only natural that his own work is often critiqued and analyzed. Having that kind of visibility comes with a price which means that all of his projects are under the microscope and scrutiny of the rest of the industry. As a leading consultant Chafey is often closely studied by his peers and as an educator even more so by folks looking to benefit from his wealth of knowledge.
Rick Chafey on his move to Watershape University
Early on, Chafey placed a premium on education, becoming a staff member at Genesis where he was an instructor and Chaired the Advisory Board for several years before eventually joining Watershape University. Chafey is now an instructor and is helping to shape the curriculum for the new education program with Dave Penton, Dave Peterson, Michael Nance, and Bill Drakeley along with other well-known previous Genesis faculty.
“When it comes to education, the main thing is to get involved, regardless if it’s Genesis, Watershape University, PHTA or whatever program you choose.” said Chafey, who said that he feels that Watershape University gives him to opportunity to adapt the new program towards more high end pools rather than production pools.
Chafey explained that the new program will provide a complete textbook level class that features distance learning options as an alternative to the costly in-person events that attendees typically spend thousands of dollars to attend in addition to the courses they are taking.
“Everyone learns better face to face. However that’s also what has been holding us back as a group because we were only teaching at certain locations at certain times a year, it made it very difficult and much more expensive for people to travel.” said Chafey, “If you’re on the east coast and have to travel to Las Vegas and spend 4 or 5 nights in a hotel and spend money on airfare and meals and pay for education… it’s not always practical. What Watershape University is currently doing is putting as much online as possible, hour by hour – each segment can be done online on your own time.”
“The intensity and requirement of doing our hydraulics class is pretty thorough. Dave Petersons class on hydraulics is the best class any pool builder in the entire country can ever take. If you’re a guy like me that wants to do higher level work, once you start taking a class like that you will get sucked in and realize how much you didn’t know and how much you have to learn.” said Chafey as he was describing what Watershape University brings to the table in terms of it’s offering.
After a long hiatus due to Covid-19, the program plans to have a big presence at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in Dallas in November. Chafey who co-hosts the Ask The Masters Podcast with Dave Penton, says he plans close integration between the two online platforms.
Get to know Rick & Dave on the Ask The Masters Podcast. We feature their content in the Pool Magazine app and you can also find them on Facebook where they host one of the most active groups in the pool industry consisting of thousands of members.
Listen to our entire interview with Rick Chafey on the Pool Magazine podcast.
Deepest Pool In The World – Deep Dive Dubai
Visitors can free dive and explore an entire sunken city at Deeb Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest swimming pool.
The world’s tallest building and the world’s largest mall are already located in Dubai. The world famous city now has the distinction of having the world’s deepest swimming pool.
Deep Dive Dubai debuted on July 7, barely ten days after Guinness World Records designated it the world’s deepest dive pool.
The new indoor pool has a depth of about 200 feet and a capacity of nearly 3.7 million gallons of water. It also has a large underwater attraction that looks like a “sunken city” that divers can explore on their own or with a guide.
Explore a Sunken City in Deep Dive Dubai
Dubai’s new vertical diving pool contains the vestiges of a forgotten sunken city, with graffiti, collapsing structures, and a big photo of Marilyn Monroe hanging on the wall. There’s an arcade featuring a classic Pac-Man game, foosball, and a pool table, as well as an apartment complex and library.
Guinness World Records has certified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving. It holds the equivalent of six Olympic swimming pools. According to Deep Dive Dubai, it is 15 meters deeper than any other dive site.
According to the firm, the facility, which is shaped like an oyster in honor of the UAE’s pearl diving legacy, is also the region’s largest underwater film studio.
Beginners can dive to a depth of 40 feet, while certified divers can explore the entire pool with or without a guide. Certified divers can also “free dive” while attached to a fixed ascent line, which means diving without a tank and relying solely on their own air. There are also courses offered to educate a variety of new talents.
Bookings are only accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Will Smith, an actor and rapper, documented his visit in an Instagram post that has received over 3 million likes in just four days.
Deep Dive Dubai’s pool is 196 feet deep and contains 3.7 million gallons of freshwater, roughly the same equivalent of six Olympic-sized swimming pools. Scuba diving and freediving are two ways for swimmers to explore the pool. The pool also boasts 56 underwater cameras monitoring the sunken city.
The pool breaks the world record of 147 feet set by Poland’s Deepspot pool. According to the website, due to the scale of the underwater city, numerous dives are required to thoroughly explore it.
The new Deep Dive Dubai pool is regulated at a pleasant 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which should make exploring the depths of the pool a comfortable experience for divers. The sheer magnitude of this new attraction, has captured the world’s imagination and is creating a long waiting list of visitors eager to try out the new pool.
Featured Photo Credit: Antonie Robertson/ The National
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