While no pool can be considered truly “zero maintenance,” we’re getting closer and closer all the time, thanks to many new features and developments. Great minds in the industry have been working hard to take the drudgery out of swimming pool ownership. Check out some of these “secrets” that will make your swimming pool practically take care of itself:
- Automatic Cleaning
- Alternative Sanitizers
- Automatic Covers
- Long-life Interiors
- Computer Automation
- Maintenance Contracts
The latest development in automatic cleaning is “in-floor cleaning.” Somewhat similar to an automatic sprinkler system, these nearly invisible pop-up heads automatically drive all dirt and debris down to the drain and out of the pool. The most popular brand of in-floor cleaning is the Paramount PCC-2000.
There’s also “robotic cleaning,” which involves an automated cleaner working its way around your pool during its cleaning cycle.
Some of the advantages of these new robotic cleaners include:
- Faster cleaning – 1 to 3 hours
- Energy efficient motors
- Built-in scrubbing brushes
- The ability to float and clean the surface
The days of dumping powdered chlorine into your pool every week are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Several new technologies are combining to minimize chlorine use, and/or eliminate it altogether. As chlorine goes away, swimmers enjoy softer skin, while swimming suits and pool equipment last much longer. Swimmers can open their eyes underwater without any redness or soreness. And best of all, these automated systems manage the water for you, so you don’t have to mess with it.
A mineral system known as “Pool Frog®” and the XL Pro sanitizer, which uses allow the use of much gentler doses of chlorine.
“Oxidation” is essentially what chlorine does, but with ozone, the leftover byproduct is pure clean oxygen.
You may have heard of a "salt pool," which is actually a chlorine generator that converts simple salt into chlorine, thus saving you the hassle of ever having to handle chlorine. Rather than dump powdered chlorine into your pool every week, you add a few bags of salt to the water twice a year.
Mineral Springs developed a system that combines a chlorine generator with some simple and safe buffering agents, which allow you to leave your pool for weeks at a time and not worry about maintaining the chemicals.
Automatic Pool Covers
While an automatic pool cover offers safety around a pool, it also can greatly reduce maintenance requirements. On days when leaves are falling, just cover the pool and keep all the debris out of the pool. Throughout the rest of the year, the chemicals will last a lot longer if the pool is covered when not in use, because of reduced evaporation and also because of protection from the sun.
There are a lot of different pool cover brands available, and they’ll all help with cutting down on maintenance.
The high-quality plaster used on most swimming pools will typically last eight to twelve years, depending on conditions. Some newer interior finishes use a fine, exposed aggregate to create a beautiful and unique finish that will easily last twice as long as the typical plaster finish. These finishes are also less likely to show dirt and debris.
With computer automation, all the advanced controls of your pool can be put in the palm of your hand – literally. From pumps to lights to water features to sound systems to anything else you can think of, these modern controllers allow you to adjust any and all functions without ever getting up out of your chair or out of the pool. Naturally, these controllers are waterproof, so you can leave them floating in the pool or spa, or wherever you want. Most people have a second controller installed in the house, so they can make adjustments without ever going outside.
The other advantage of the new modern controllers is that the equipment can be programmed for optimum efficiency throughout year.
For the ultimate in a “zero-maintenance” pool, get a qualified service company to handle the maintenance of your pool. If you happen to use Ocean Quest, the trained cleaning technicians will visit your pool once a week, to clean your pool, empty baskets, and conduct a 28 point check of the pool, the chemicals and the operating systems. If anything needs adjusting, the tech will handle it during his brief visit. All you ever have to do is go outside and enjoy your pool!
Variable Speed Energy Saving Features
It may be surprising to learn that a single speed pool pump can be the second largest consumption of energy in your house after heating and air conditioning. With the installation of a variable speed pump, it is possible to cut the associated energy costs up to 90%, which can translate to hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.
As with most advanced, more efficient products, variable speed pumps cost more than single speed pumps. This incremental investment is often recovered in energy savings in less than two years. In addition, many municipalities and states offer utility rebates, further offsetting the initial cost.