Posts Tagged ‘pools’

NJ Pool Plaster–Hydrazzo, Pebble Tec or Glass Tile, Which is Best for You?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Hydrazzo Pool Plaster – Pebble Tec Plaster or Glass Tile Which is Best for You?

Pool plaster options and other pool finishes offer a pretty standard formula for determining durability. The more aggregate in the finish, the longer it will last. In terms of lifestyle and aesthetics, there are plenty of options. Smooth, polished plasters, like Hydrazzo, are great for active families. These plasters are reasonably priced, last 10-20 years, and look great.

Textured, pebble finishes, such as Pebble Tec or Pebble Sheen, cost more, but they last 20+ years (under optimal conditions). They also have a unique, sparkling look. Because the pebbles can be rough in texture if  too much aggregate is exposed (which is when this plaster looks its best), I normally don’t recommend this finish to active families with young children. For those young, active families who insist on a pebble-like finish, I would recommend a glass bead finish like Beadcrete as a better alternative. Glass tile is another popular pool finish. It’s the most expensive, but it lasts 50 years if installed correctly. It is also, without a doubt, the most aesthetically appealing, offering a brilliant shimmer of varying colors across the entire surface of the pool. Glass tiles can also produce beautiful mosaic designs that give the pool additional character. Outside of these options there is the standard, white Marcite finish. This is the cheapest plaster option. It will last 5 to 15 years and is very limited in appearance. Overall, proper pool maintenance will extend the life of any finish; however, the better plasters tend to be more forgiving. If you’re planning a NJ pool renovation and need more information, call us to discuss which pool finish would be best for you. (Information based on Properly Balanced Pool Chemicals)

NJ Swimming Pool and Spa Controls ? Pentair has an APP for That!

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Mahwah NJ

Swimming Pool and Spa Controls? Pentair has an APP for That!

Do you have an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad? Do you have an inground pool in your back yard? These questions may seem completely unrelated. (Or, you may be thinking about how horrible it would be if your new iPhone fell into the pool.) But today, the swimming pool and communication technology industries have collided in an exciting way.

With the help of a wireless interface and a handy iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch app, you can control all your swimming pool and spa functions from the comfort of your living room, your train ride home from work, or even another country while you’re on vacation. Warm up the spa on your way home from the gym. Attract a dinner party out into your outdoor living space by discretely turning on colorful pool lights, waterfalls or landscape lighting. With the addition of a video module, you can even use your phone to keep an eye on your teenagers while you’re away for the weekend! (My parents would have loved that feature!)

The free iPhone app works in conjunction with the Pentair controls and wireless interface. An easy-to-use layout and a number of cool, convenient features make the app well worth your while. Remotely managing the pump, heater, and filter allows the pool to save on excess energy costs. Swimming pool lighting options allow for set themes and sweeping color displays. The system can track pool temperatures over time, provide handheld video surveillance, and send you an email if any problems are detected with the pool or spa. In this day and age, we have the world at our fingertips, and your swimming pool is no exception.  This is by far the one of the coolest swimming pool features we installed for 2011! Mahwah NJ


New Jersey Swimming Pool Solar Heating, Solar Pool Heat Systems Save Big $$$

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

New Jersey swimming pool company explains how heating your vinyl lined pool, fiberglass pool or gunite pool with a solar heating system can reduce  monthly heating costs by 95%.

Solar heating is one of the simplest and most cost-efficient methods for heating your pool. If lowering your carbon footprint is important to you, or you just want to greatly reduce your monthly heating bills, there is no better source of energy than the sun.

Solar heating works by installing solar collectors onto the roof of your house or cabana which connect through pipes to your pool’s existing pump system. The pool water is pumped through the existing filter. Then, depending on which solar heating system you choose, it is pumped through a heat exchanger or up through the solar panels on the roof. Once the pool reaches a desired temperature, the system automatically switches off and the pool water simply bypasses the solar heating system on its route back to the pool. The system automatically switches back on as needed to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature. On a sunny day, a solar heating system will raise the temperature of the pool about 1 to 2 degrees a day (under optimal conditions), which is significant when you remember that it’s free heat.

It is important to know that there are two main types of solar collectors, simply referred to as glazed and unglazed. An unglazed solar collector does not include a glass cover (glazing) and is generally made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic treated with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to extend the life of the panels. With the unglazed collectors, water is physically pumped through the solar collectors, warmed by the sun, and then pumped back into your pool. Due to their inexpensive parts, unglazed systems are usually 20 to 30% less expensive than glazed panels and more common than the glazed. The unglazed panels, which come in many different designs, require a substantial amount of area; usually 65% of the total pool area if you’re facing due south, and an additional 5% for more easterly or westerly exposures. Glazed solar collectors are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering. Glazed systems, which utilize a heat exchanger, capture heat more efficiently than unglazed systems and thus require less roof space, usually between 15 and 20% of the total pool area to be effective. However, the glazed system is quite noticeable due to the high reflective qualities of the panels, and it does not blend in with the roofing as well as the non glazed systems. If you are planning on building a cabana in conjunction with the pool, the glazed system will also allow you to heat your domestic water on the solar system because it runs on a heat exchange and the water does not pass directly through the solar panels like an unglazed system. Both systems have been weather tested against snow, wind and hail and have proven to last for up to 20 years. There is also little to no maintenance required as long as your pool’s filtration system is checked and maintained on an annual basis.

Either type of solar collector will serve you well by significantly reducing your operating costs; depending on your roof size, aesthetic concerns, and budget, you can determine which system better suits your needs. On a 900 sq. ft. pool with spa and waterfall, a natural gas heater has an operating cost ranging from $800 to $1200 a month depending on the usage habits and weather conditions. Given this same pool, to operate a solar system would have negligible operating costs. Add in the operating cost of the backup gas heater which would be $100 to $300 per month (depending on ambient temperature and usage habits). The average consumer could expect a $700 to $1100 per month savings. Depending on the solar model and usage habits a consumer could recoup the cost of the solar system in just 2 to 4 years. After that, you can find comfort knowing that you’ll be in the green every year you spend enjoying your beautiful custom inground pool!

It is our recommendation that a solar heating system should always be supplemented with a natural gas system. Solar heating is great for maintaining a constant temperature but is not intended to quickly raise the temperature of your pool. A solar heating system will also typically struggle to produce heat in extended periods of cool, shady or rainy days. For pool designs with spas, a natural gas system is essential to quickly heat up the spa and maintain a temperature over 100 degrees.

Solar heating will not be the best solution for everyone. The benefits should certainly be evaluated by a trusted contractor and then compared to the costs of other options. Having a trusted contractor with years of experience in custom swimming pool design and build can aid you in the process of figuring out what system will work best for your particular property. It is always important to know the real facts behind all of your options so that you can make the best decision when it comes to making such an important investment.

Pool Heat Pump VS Gas Heater, New Jersey Pool Company Says Pool Heat Pumps Save Thousands

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

New Jersey pool company explains how pool heat pumps reduce the monthly heating costs of inground swimming pools by up to75%. So if you are an inground swimming pool owner who is looking for an efficient way to heat your vinyl lined pool, fiberglass pool or gunite pool a heat pump may be the best heating option for you!

Heat pumps are a very popular and cost efficient way to heat your  pool and reduce heating costs. Heat pumps are installed just as effortlessly as any other pool heater and the new advanced controls make operating the heat pump easier than ever. The heat pump is a great benefit because it allows you to significantly reduce your operating cost and extend your pool season without breaking the bank. NJ pool design ideas that move towards energy efficiency prove to be a worthwhile investment.

heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another; usually by pulling heat out of the air or ground to heat a home or pool. It works much like a refrigerator in reverse by extracting the heat from the air, intensifying it with a compressor, and delivering the heat to the water as it passes through the system. The process is clean, efficient and most importantly cost effective. On average the heat pump operates at about ¼ the cost of your typical natural gas heater.

The heat pump is designed to maintain a constant higher temperature for the pool at a lower cost, but it is not intended for quick heating. Heat pumps are greatly affected by ambient temperature so if there are successive days of  bad weather the heat pump will take significantly more time to heat the pool. A standard gas heater normally raises the pool temperature 1 degree per hour. A heat pump may take 3 to 5 times longer depending on the ambient temperature. It is our recommendation that the heat pump be installed as the primary heat source with a natural gas heater as a backup. If you have a spa attached to the pool a natural gas heater is essential to raise the spa to a desired temperature in a short amount of time. What the heat pump effectively does is demote the expensive natural gas heater to secondary usage. With the dual system you can run the much more cost efficient heat pump constantly and only use the natural gas system when you want to raise the temperature to use the spa, when you’re planning for company that night or after extended bad weather.

What is the real life costs associated with this product? Let’s look at the additional costs involved with the heat pump and determine the time it will take to get a return on the investment. A +120,000 BTU heat pump, the minimal plumbing and wiring associated with installation could range from $4500 to $6500 depending on the manufacturer. A 900 sq. ft. pool with spa and waterfall on a natural gas system has an operating cost that ranges from $800 to $1200 a month depending on the usage habits and weather conditions. Operating the same pool on an electric heat pump system would cost about $250 to $450 per month. Now add in the operating cost of the back up gas heater which would be $100 to $300 per month (depending on ambient temperature and usage habits). The average consumer could expect a $400 to $450 per month savings and could recoup the cost of the heat pump in 2.5 to 4.5 years. Pool owners can find comfort knowing that going green will save them green!

By: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping

A 5X International Design Winning Pool Company

Mahwah, New Jersey