A Creative Way to Make an Infinity Edge Beautiful and Functional

You may think that the infinity edge feature is reserved for the pools you see sitting atop a fancy hotel in Los Angeles where the water appears to run right over the edge. Or maybe you’ve enjoyed a pool with this feature while on vacation where the infinity edge appeared to drop off into another body of water like a lake or the ocean. While these are all excellent uses for an infinity edge, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not limited to using this feature only when you have a steep drop off near another body of water. 

In this unique project, we want to showcase how we built a custom pool to include not only an infinity edge, but one that includes a second lower pool all its own. There were several reasons why this became the dream design for our client. Foremost, they wanted to find a way to work with a challenging slope in their backyard while enhancing the aesthetics of their pool. They also desired a separate pool space that felt more intimate and secluded. Finally, their property is along the Yellow Breeches, and they wanted to find a way to incorporate the sound of running water to reflect the sound of the creek. 

Take a look at how we were able to accommodate all of these wishes by incorporating an infinity edge feature into their pool design. 

Working with the grade of the landscape.

This particular project presented the challenge of a sloped landscape that would require some substantial excavation and regrading to make it level for a swimming pool. The property was known to have limestone underground, so there would be the risk of hitting rock if we did any major excavating. It would also add to the cost of the project, more so than starting on fairly level land. 

The alternate option we recommended to this client was designing the pool with an infinity edge to work with the existing grade of the property as much as possible. The infinity edge accommodates a slope by allowing for an exposed wall and for the water to run over the edge into a catch basin. The end result is not just a solution to the grading challenge, it’s an outstanding feature that greatly enhances the aesthetics and wow factor of the pool.

Enhanced aesthetics. 

To dive a little deeper into the enhance aesthetics of this pool, the infinity edge and the lower catch base, as well as various areas of exposed sides of the pool were all finished with natural limestone. We recommended using natural stone over a veneer to ensure that as water runs over the edge of the pool, deterioration or a buildup of salt residue would not be an issue. Natural stone is far better at holding up to this daily wear and tear. 

The stone was selected to perfectly blend with the house’s existing stone finishes, and gave a nod back to the area that is known for its limestone. When standing at the lower end of the pool, you can see how the many layers of stone and hardscaping create a stunning backyard scape that certainly grabs your attention. 

Filtration and Function. 

Many people don’t fully understand how the hydraulics and filtration systems for these magnificent looking features work.  And they shouldn’t really need to! It is the job of the pool professional to understand and design the system to meet all pool and spa codes along with meeting expectations from the client on how things look and will operate. 

Keeping the correct amount of water moving and circulating between the main pool and the catch pool below can be tricky depending on what you are trying to accomplish. As the water from the “upper” pool spills over the edge to the “lower” catch pool, leaves and debris will spill over with it.  A well designed hydraulic system will incorporate a pump and filter for this lower pool to ensure that it stays clean. In this particular job, we installed variable speed pumps, cartridge filters and tied the plumbing system into a pool heater so that the water is sanitized and crystal clear as well as heated!  The water then returns to the main “upper” pool via fittings in the pool floor to create the overflowing edge. By returning the heated water to the floor of the pool we ensure efficient heating as well as a water surface that doesn’t show “ripples”, giving the glass like appearance that clients find desirable in vanishing edge designs.

Two separate and functional swimming areas.

What’s most unique about this particular pool is that the client wanted to make the lower basin, which is typically a slender catch basin, into a fully functional second swimming area. Because we custom design each and every one of our pools, we were happy to accommodate this special request. More than just an additional swimming area, the lower basin includes several jets to give it a spa-like feel. The end result was two pools in one, each with a very different feel and view. For a family with small children, this is an ideal setup where the kids can enjoy splashing in the upper pool while the adults enjoy calmer waters in the lower pool, along with the soothing sound of the infinity edge’s waterfall. 

Have you ever envisioned building a swimming pool that includes an infinity edge feature? We can help you explore all the possibilities! Contact us today so we can start a conversation


Tips to Keeping Your Pool Looking Nicer Longer

For pool owners, you might feel like designing and building your pool was the biggest part of the process. However, the ongoing maintenance for your pool must be a consideration, if you wish to get the most life out of your investment.

Pool maintenance doesn’t have to consume your schedule. Rather, putting in place some simple habits will ensure your pool is getting the attention it needs to function properly and give swimmers the best experience. Here are our top five tops for keeping your pool looking nicer longer.

Ask and learn.

Be sure to utilize your pool company as a resource for knowledge. Before they hand over the “keys” to your new pool, you should feel well equipped to be able to take care of its basic maintenance. Do you know what you need to be monitoring and at what times? Various apps and new technology can help make monitoring your water levels and the pH of your pool easy, however you still need to know how to use them and understand what they’re telling you. Look to your pool professionals to ask and learn what you need to know.

Develop good habits from the start.

Next, you want to form good habits early. From your very first week of pool ownership, it’s important to get on a routine of what you’ll be doing. To start, put reminders on your calendar so you don’t forget to clean and monitor your pool. If you make the effort to turn these tasks into habits, soon it will become second nature and require just a small part of your time. It’s well worth doing this so that you can spend more time enjoying your pool.

No pool maintains itself.

Simply put, there is no such thing as a no-maintenance pool. Even salt water pools require maintenance and monitoring to keep them functioning as they should. If you want to keep your pool looking nicer longer, you have to adopt the mindset that there will be some work involved. If you simply can’t keep up even with the most basic pool maintenance, you might consider hiring a company who can clean and monitor your pool on a regular basis. This is especially helpful if you travel frequently and are not always home to do it yourself.

Keep your deck clean.

When people think about pool maintenance, they often forget that this includes the area around your pool as well. By keeping your deck clear of dirt and debris, you will prevent this dirt and debris from entering your pool. Be diligent about sweeping off your deck to ensure unwanted leaves, grass and mud aren’t brought into the pool on swimmers’ feet or blown in by the wind. You might also consider removing trees or shrubs surrounding your pool that drop a great deal of debris. Preventing this stuff from ever entering your pool in the first place will reduce your cleaning and keep your pool looking nicer longer.

Properly winterize your pool.

Finally and most importantly, you need to invest in the proper winterization of your pool. The winter months can wreak havoc on a pool if it has not been properly winterized. You can damage essential parts of your pool like its pipes and filtration system. You can also damage the gunite, fiberglass or liner of your pool (depending upon what type of pool you own), if this material is left open to harsh winter conditions. It requires an investment to purchase a properly fitted pool cover and to winterize your pool, but it’s only a fraction of what it would cost you if your pool was damaged and needed repair before it could be opened again in the summer.

Whether you are a current pool owner or someone who hopes you own a pool someday, education is key. Be sure to ask and learn from your trusted pool professionals so that you understand everything that’s involved when it comes to owning and maintaining a pool. By developing good maintenance habits early, you can add significant life to your pool and save yourself from costly repairs down the road.

Have another question about owning a custom pool? Contact us today!


What You Need to Know About Owning a Salt Water Pool

One of the most important parts of owning a pool is maintaining good water chemistry. This not only keeps your bathers safe, it also keeps your pool water sparkling and clear. Overall, keeping proper water chemistry allows you to fully enjoy swimming in your pool while preserving its longevity.

There is a lot that goes into pool water chemistry, but at its most basic level the water needs to be sanitized and free of bacteria, viruses, and algae. The tried and trusted way to sanitize your pool water is to add chlorine to the water. You can use liquid chlorine, chlorine pucks or tablets, or sometimes a pre-packaged powdered “shock.” While chlorine certainly gets the job done, it can have some drawbacks such as drying out your skin, burning your eyes and bleaching bathing suits and hair.

A New Normal for Pool Sanitation

The biggest sweeping “change” that has come through the pool industry is an alternate to traditional chlorine sanitation.  Salt/chlorine generators are more and more common as people are seeing major benefits from owning a “salt water” pool. A salt water pool requires less maintenance because the salt system actually produces its own chlorine, which also means less handling of chemicals. Additionally people enjoy that salt water pools are gentler on the skin, eyes, hair and bathing suits and overall the water feels “softer.”

To install a salt/chlorine system on a new pool or an existing pool, your pool builder will plumb a “cell” into your circulation system which all of your pool water will pass through after traveling through your filter and possibly a heater. A pool professional will then check how many gallons of water are in the pool and carefully calculate how much salt to add the pool. This salt is manufactured and sold specifically for the pool industry. Never use salt crystals or pellets meant for home water softeners in your salt water pool!

It’s important to also clarify that salt water pool systems are not “chlorine-free.” Your pool is still being treated with chlorine. The difference is that instead of the pool owner or service company having to add chlorine to your pool water, the salt system automatically produces its own chlorine.

How the Process Works

Once you have placed the required amount of salt into the pool, your pool professional will start up your pool filtration system. As the salt water travels through your salt cell, there is a small amount of electricity that goes to the cell and starts a process known as electrolysis. The salt water molecule (NaCl) is spit into Na (sodium) and Cl (chlorine gas) and returned to the pool. The chlorine will sanitize the pool water and then recombine with the sodium where it will once again go through the filtration system and salt cell and split again where the process continues.

You can adjust how much chlorine is being produced in your system to provide you with the ideal sanitation level, usually between 2 to 4 parts per million (ppm). This may need adjusted based on temperature and the amount of swimmers using the pool. You can make this adjustment right at your salt cell or on your automation system or smartphone. By having a consistent amount of sanitizer being constantly produced and added right into your pool water, you can avoid constantly having to manually add chlorine tablets or “shock” to your pool.

What You Need to Consider

If you’re not sure if a salt water pool is right for you, there are several things you should consider to help you make a wise decision. First, installing a salt water pool does require an initial investment that averages about $3,000 more than a traditional chlorine pool. Keep in mind that over time, you will not incur the regular cost of needing to add chlorine pellets or “shock” to your pool, so over the life of your pool there could actually be a cost savings to salt water.

Next, consider your lifestyle and how much time you want to dedicate to maintaining your pool. If you’re busy, or simply want to spend more time enjoying your pool than caring for it, a salt water pool might be the best option for you. This upgrade allows pool owners to be more “hands-off” with their water sanitation, which means more time to relax!

Finally, no matter what type of pool you choose, you want to be sure you work with a trusted and experience pool professional. Both systems can be complex to balance. Having a pool technician you know you can rely on to answer your questions and get the job done right is key to fully enjoying your swimming pool.

Want to learn more about owning a salt water pool? Contact us today and we’ll gladly answer your questions!


The Better Way to Remove Debris From Your Pool

No matter where you live or how you use your pool, inevitably debris (pollen, leaves, grass clippings, etc.) will find its way into your water. For many pool owners, keeping up with the debris in their pool can be one of the most labor intensive and time consuming tasks.

The good news is there are options and new technology available to you so that this doesn’t have to be your pool-owning experience. We want to discuss three different options for debris removal and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The “Old School” Methods

The two old school ways to manage debris in your pool is to manually clean it out with a pool vacuum or by purchasing a “robot” style automatic cleaner that drives around the pool sucking up dirt and leaves.  While both of these options can be effective, they have their drawbacks. Manually vacuuming the pool is the cheapest option, but also by far the most labor intensive.

The robot cleaners will significantly cut down on your labor, but keep in mind that they must be manually removed from the pool to empty the debris or when anyone wishes to use the pool. From a strictly aesthetic point of view, a robot cleaner roaming around the pool is not the most attractive look for your beautiful project. Additionally, they can be a significant investment. A good quality robot cleaner has a price range of $1,200 - $2,000, with an approximate replacement lifetime of 4 years.

The Better Way to Remove Debris

At Aquavisions, we recommend and install something completely different than these old school methods. We incorporate “in-floor” cleaning technology into most of the projects we build. Designed and supplied by Paramount Pool and Spa Systems, our PVR system places nozzles throughout the floor of your swimming pool to manage the debris that collects on the bottom of the pool. The nozzles pop up and put out a jet of recirculated, filtered water to push debris toward a drain in the deepest part of the pool.

From here, the debris is collected in a canister that mounts flush with your pool patio. Simply empty the basket as needed. Additionally, the nozzle colors are selected to closely match the color of the pool interior making them an appealing option from a design point of view.

An Investment with Benefits

The side benefit of a PVR system is that by returning all of your filtered and chemically treated water throughout the entire pool floor, you get better circulation and more thorough heating (if your pool is heated). Like any technology that aims to lessen your workload, it does require an investment. The cost of these systems are determined by the size of the pool, but generally land in the $6,000 - $8,000 range. Many pool owners feel this is one of the best investments they made in their pool because of how much it allows them to enjoy their pool without all the manual maintenance.

It’s important to note that any “automatic” cleaner you choose will not get every speck of dirt out of the pool. There will always be a little manual work to do. With an in-floor cleaning system, you have the benefit of simply brushing any dirt that collects in “dead spots” into the middle of the pool. Your PVR system will handle the rest!

Do you have a pool-related question? We can help you answer it!

Contact us today to start a conversation.


Key Things to Know About Your Pool’s Pump and Filtration System

Your pool’s pump and filtration system is essential to circulating and maintaining great water quality. One of the best investments you can make in your pool is purchasing good quality equipment, suited to the size and needs of your pool. Too small, or too large of a pump and filtration system will have an ongoing, negative impact that could cause you additional work and money in the long-run.

This is why it’s so important, when designing your pool, to also pay attention to the design of your pump and filtration system. While it may not be the most exciting aspect of your pool, a high quality, well-functioning pump and filtration system will make the entire experience of owning a pool a lot more fun and easy.

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your options for owning a pool, or your current pool’s pump and filtration system is due for an upgrade, here are a few key things you need to know to make an informed decision.

The Benefit of Variable Speed Pumps

One of the more recent advances in circulation system design is the availability to install variable speed pumps on residential pools. A variable speed pump enables you to program up to eight different speeds into your pump motor so that you can dial in exactly how hard you need your pump to work to get the job done. Factors like the size and location of your pool will have an impact on the speed at which your pump needs to run. The benefit of a variable speed pump is that this can be customized and adjusted to run exactly as needed while working as efficiently as possible to save energy. This feature alone can result in a savings of up to 90% (compared to a standard 1.5 HP pump) on pump operation costs.

Bigger is Not Always Better

You may have heard an antiquated sales pitch similar to “Well, if they are selling you a 1 Horsepower pump, we’ll include a 2 Horsepower pump!” In contrast, a good pool professional will instead encourage the use of the smallest pump possible to filter all of your pool water in a given amount of time. The reason is simple, the smaller the pump, the less electricity you have to use to run it. Bigger is not always better, and in this case it is simply not necessary! Be wary of any pool professional who tries to tell you otherwise. This will cost you more money both upfront and in the long-run.

The Key to Efficient Pool Filtration

The best option for your pool filtration is going to be a cartridge style filter as opposed to the old standard sand or D.E. filters. Using a cartridge filter eliminates the need to “backwash” your filter system where you lose pool water as well as pool chemicals. Typically, you only need to clean your cartridges once or twice a season and doing so is quick and easy. Simply remove the cartridges from the tank, thoroughly rinse them with a hose and place them back into the tank. Though the wet cartridges can be a little heavy and somewhat cumbersome, the time you save only washing them a few times a year combined with keeping your water and chemicals where they belong (in your pool, not in your yard) makes it well worth it.

How Technology Makes It Simple

Technology is making things easier and more automated than ever been before. The same is true for how technology is shaping the homeowner’s experience of owning a pool. New capabilities of pool automation are now on the market and are something you really want to think about incorporating into your pool’s pump and filtration system. It is so convenient to be able to control elements of your pool through your smartphone, especially if you’re away for an extended period of time traveling or on vacation.

The bottom line to getting the right pump and filtration system is to find expert advice you can trust. A good pool professional can advise you on every detail that will ultimately impact quality and longevity of your pool. A variable speed pump, sized appropriately for your pool will save you ongoing work and money. Additionally, you want to use a cartridge style filter, cleaning it twice per season. Finally, you want to consider incorporating certain pool technologies to help you save time and give you peace of mind.

Do you have a pool-related question? We can help you answer it!

Contact us today to start a conversation.


Upgrades to Enhance Your Pool Owner Experience

Owning a swimming pool should mean fun memories spent with family and friends, not hours of maintenance that become an overwhelming chore added to your to-do list. We understand, you want to experience all the benefits of owning a pool, without the unnecessary burden of extensive daily upkeep.

Many clients come to us with the concern that their new pool will be “too much work.” Thirty years ago, this may have been the case. However, technology has drastically enhanced the way we handle everyday pool tasks, making them fast, simple and automated.

When first discussing a new swimming pool project with a client, we carefully explain that there are three main components to maintaining your pool: standard pool filtration, debris removal, and water chemistry. Each of these three areas of upkeep have options available to pool owners that can help you work on your pool less and enjoy your pool more!

If you’re considering a new swimming pool, or even if you already have one, we want to outline some options that may be a good fit for you to incorporate into your pool maintenance system. As part of a series of articles, we will dive much deeper into each of the following three topics, but for now we want to provide a general overview to give you a basic understanding. Take a look!

The pump and filter is the heart of your pool circulation system.

Investing in good quality equipment will give you an excellent start on maintaining great water quality. Contrary to what you may have heard, a good pool professional will encourage the use of the smallest pump possible to filter all of your pool water in a given amount of time. The smaller the pump, the less electricity you have to buy to run it!

One of the more recent advances in circulation system design is the availability to install variable speed pumps on residential pools which enables you to program up to 8 different speeds to control exactly how hard your pump needs to work to do the job right. This can result in a savings of up to 90% (compared to a standard 1.5 HP pump) on pump operation costs.

For your pool filter, we recommend using a cartridge style filter as opposed to the old standard sand or D.E. filters. Using a cartridge filter eliminates the need to “backwash” your filter system where you lose pool water and pool chemicals. Better yet, you typically only need to clean your cartridges once or twice a season!

Learn more about your pool's pump and filtration system. 

You are not limited to “old school” methods for removing debris.

When your new pool construction is complete or your existing pool is opened up for the season, there will inevitably be some debris (pollen, leaves, grass clippings, etc.) that finds its way into your beautiful pool. Sure, you could manually clean the debris out with a pool vacuum or by purchasing a “robot” style automatic cleaner that drives around the pool sucking up dirt and leaves. While both of these options can be effective, we recommend something much better for our clients!

At Aquavisions, we incorporate “in-floor” cleaning technology into most of the projects we build. Designed and supplied by Paramount Pool and Spa Systems, our PVR system places nozzles throughout the floor of your swimming pool to manage the debris that collects on the bottom of the pool. The nozzles pop up and put out a jet of recirculated, filtered water to push debris toward a drain in the deepest part of the pool. From here it is collected in a canister that mounts flush with your pool patio.

Your work is simple; empty the basket as needed! The nozzle colors are selected to closely match the color of the pool interior making them an appealing option from a design point of view. The side benefit of these systems is that by returning all of your filtered and chemically treated water throughout the entire pool floor, you get better circulation and more thorough heating.

While any “automatic” cleaner that you choose will require a little hand work to be get every part of the pool clean, it is far less labor intensive than manually vacuuming your pool.

Learn more about debris removal options for your pool. 

Maintaining good water chemistry keeps your pool sparkling clean.

There is a lot that goes into pool water chemistry, but at it’s most basic level the water needs to be sanitized and free of bacteria, viruses, and algae. One of the biggest advancements to the pool industry is that salt/chlorine generators are now the norm for pool sanitation. It’s important to note that event with salt water systems, your pool is still being treated with chlorine. The difference is that instead of manually adding chlorine to your pool water, the salt system produces its own!

To install a salt/chlorine system on a new pool or an existing pool, we plumb a “cell” into your circulation system which all of your pool water will pass through after traveling through your filter and possibly a heater. Our pool professionals add the right amount of salt to your pool based upon gallons of water. Another important thing to note is that this salt is manufactured and sold specifically for the pool industry and is not interchangeable with the crystals or pellets meant for home water softeners.

The chlorine (produced through electrolysis) will sanitize the pool water and then recombine with the sodium where it will once again go through the filtration system and the process continues. The result is a highly customized sanitation level which you can even control through your smartphone!

Best of all, the salt water has a much “lighter” feel when you are in the pool and does not have some of the undesirable effects that standard chlorine methods do such as drying out your skin, burning your eyes and bleaching bathing suits and hair. But the real win is a safe, simplified and automated sanitation system for your pool that allows you to work less and enjoy more!

Learn more about maintaining good water chemistry in your pool.

Be sure to stay tuned as we diver deeper into each of these three topics in our next blog series! You will learn all of your options, and their pros and cons, for pool filtration, debris removal, and water chemistry.

If you’d like to know more right now, we welcome a conversation! Contact one of Aquavisions’ pool experts today at (717) 697-7610.