Custom Inground Pools & Spas: May 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Color Changing Pool Lights

When the sun goes down and it's time for a night time swim, why not make it an experience to remember. You don't have to have the standard white swimming pool light anymore, these days there are automatic color changing lights that will enhance any swimming pool and create drama in your backyard.

Enjoy watching the pool and/or spa turn from blue to green to red and shades in between. These lights have the ability to stop on whatever color you might desire or just let them continually change color of the pool light all evening long.

For brand new pools, be sure to request one of these automatic color changing lights for your project. It's a small expense with big enjoyment and dramatic effects for your visual experience.

On existing pools, it is usually possible to change the standard swimming pool light to the newer automatic color changing lights. Contact your pool builder or pool service representative to find out how to get your pool light updated. You'll love having an automatic color changing light for your swimming pool. It is a great option that doesn't cost that much and makes a big difference for your pool.

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Prevent Drowning- Basic Pool Safety Tips

To prevent drowning it is imperative to have good swimming pool safety for your fmaily pool enviornment. Basic pool safety always includes adult supervision, never leave children alone near or in the pool, even for a second. Additionally, drowning prevention and pool safety measures must include safety fencing for the pool area. There are removable types of fences available which provide the safety you need for children on a daily basis yet they are easily removed when entertaining. Be aware of your children at all times, drowning prevention must be taken seriously as drowning is the second major cause of death for children. Don't let a tragedy occur, take the steps needed for drowning prevention and swimming pool safety.


- Never leave a child alone near the water. Not even for one second!

- Designate a pool lifeguard at all social events.

- Never assume someone else is watching your child at any time.

- Never rely on flotation devices or swimming lessons to protect a child.

Limit Access to Water

Most safety fences for new swimming pools to meet requirements for swimming pool safety inspection by local building departments state that the fencing must be a minimum of 5' high with no openings greater than 2" and they must have self cloing, self latching gates and gates must open to the outside. (Children have a more difficult time to pull a gate open rather than to push one open to gain access to the pool.)

- For safety fencing around existing pools, fences must be a minimum of 4 feet and surround the water on all four sides.

- Enclose the pool or spa with a mesh type material made for this purpose.

- Or use standard fence that has no gaps greater than 4 inches wide.

- Use self latching locks. Locate them above a child's reach.

Multiple Barriers

- Barriers are supplements, not substitutes, to supervision.

- A barrier is only effective if properly installed, maintained and operated.

- Install separate locks at least 5 feet above the floor on all doors leading to the water.

- All doors and windows from the house to the pool should be protected with an alarm.

Additional Water Safety Tips

- Do not leave your child alone in the tub.

- Remove stairs from above ground pools.

- Wear life jackets

- Sign up for a CPR class today!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Swimming Pool Safety

Tips On Increasing Swimming Pool Safety

(NAPSI)-If you want to make a splash with swimming pool safety, here are some tips. While pools and spas can be great fun, care must be taken to enjoy these water activities safely.
When it comes to safety, there is no substitute for the watchful eye of a caring adult or parent when small children are present in and around a pool. Because small children can drown in a matter of seconds in as little as 2 inches of water, always be sure to drain standing water from the surface of your pool and spa covers. NSF International has put together a series of safety tips to help parents and families reduce the risk of drowning, injury or illness around the water:
• Establish and enforce sensible rules for pool and spa use. Kids should never be allowed to run or play games near the pool.
• Keep electrical appliances, such as televisions and stereos, away from the pool or spa so they cannot be knocked into the water accidentally. Extension cords should never be used around pools.
• Never allow anyone to use the pool or spa unless the cover has been completely removed to ensure no one gets trapped under the cover.
• Installing a barrier or pool alarm is another way to increase safety.
• Check with your local building officials to ensure your fence and gate meet local codes. Most building codes require a minimum 48-inch-high fence surrounding inground pools.
• Gates leading to the pool area should have a self-closing and self-latching mechanism to prevent unauthorized entry.
• Take special care to evaluate your pool or spa for suction grates or intake fittings at the bottom of the pool or spa. Make sure your drain covers are NSF Certified to meet the newly revised ASME A112.19.8 (2007) standard for preventing one’s body parts, limbs and hair from becoming trapped.
• Always follow manufacturers, operating instructions for filters, chemical feeders and other equipment.
• In the event of threatening weather, especially thunderstorms, make sure everyone leaves the pool area and seeks shelter indoors.
Since 1944, NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has been committed to making the world a safer place for consumers. Its Consumer Affairs Office offers a series of fact sheets and tips on its Web site to help keep families safe, as well as to help pool owners select drain covers, filters and disinfection systems that have been independently tested and certified.
Further information is available at or by calling the NSF consumer hotline at (800) 673-8010. Consumers can also e-mail questions to
When it comes to safety, there is no substitute for the watchful eye of a caring adult or parent when small children are present around a pool.

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Electrical Safety Around Swimming Pools

Of course there is danger of electrical shock when directly performing manual work on an electrical power system. However, electric shock hazards exist in many other places, thanks to the widespread use of electric power in our lives.

Skin and body resistance has a lot to do with the relative hazard of electric circuits. The higher the body's resistance, the less likely harmful current will result from any given amount of voltage. Conversely, the lower the body's resistance, the more likely for injury to occur from the application of a voltage.

The easiest way to decrease skin resistance is to get it wet. Therefore, touching electrical devices with wet hands, wet feet, or especially in a sweaty condition (salt water is a much better conductor of electricity than fresh water) is dangerous. In the household, the bathroom is one of the more likely places where wet people may contact electrical appliances, and so shock hazard is a definite threat there. Good bathroom design will locate power receptacles away from bathtubs, showers, and sinks to discourage the use of appliances nearby. Telephones that plug into a wall socket are also sources of hazardous voltage (the open circuit voltage is 48 volts DC, and the ringing signal is 150 volts AC -- remember that any voltage over 30 is considered potentially dangerous!). Appliances such as telephones and radios should never, ever be used while sitting in a bathtub. Even battery-powered devices should be avoided. Some battery-operated devices employ voltage-increasing circuitry capable of generating lethal potentials.

Swimming pools are another source of trouble, since people often operate radios and other powered appliances nearby. The National Electrical Code requires that special shock-detecting receptacles called Ground-Fault Current Interrupting (GFI or GFCI) be installed in wet and outdoor areas to help prevent shock incidents. More on these devices in a later section of this chapter. These special devices have no doubt saved many lives, but they can be no substitute for common sense and diligent precaution. As with firearms, the best "safety" is an informed and conscientious operator.

Extension cords, so commonly used at home and in industry, are also sources of potential hazard. All cords should be regularly inspected for abrasion or cracking of insulation, and repaired immediately. One sure method of removing a damaged cord from service is to unplug it from the receptacle, then cut off that plug (the "male" plug) with a pair of side-cutting pliers to ensure that no one can use it until it is fixed. This is important on jobsites, where many people share the same equipment, and not all people there may be aware of the hazards.

Any power tool showing evidence of electrical problems should be immediately serviced as well. I've heard several horror stories of people who continue to work with hand tools that periodically shock them. Remember, electricity can kill, and the death it brings can be gruesome. Like extension cords, a bad power tool can be removed from service by unplugging it and cutting off the plug at the end of the cord.

Downed power lines are an obvious source of electric shock hazard and should be avoided at all costs. The voltages present between power lines or between a power line and earth ground are typically very high (2400 volts being one of the lowest voltages used in residential distribution systems). If a power line is broken and the metal conductor falls to the ground, the immediate result will usually be a tremendous amount of arcing (sparks produced), often enough to dislodge chunks of concrete or asphalt from the road surface, and reports rivaling that of a rifle or shotgun. To come into direct contact with a downed power line is almost sure to cause death, but other hazards exist which are not so obvious.
When a line touches the ground, current travels between that downed conductor and the nearest grounding point in the system, thus establishing a circuit:

The earth, being a conductor (if only a poor one), will conduct current between the downed line and the nearest system ground point, which will be some kind of conductor buried in the ground for good contact. Being that the earth is a much poorer conductor of electricity than the metal cables strung along the power poles, there will be substantial voltage dropped between the point of cable contact with the ground and the grounding conductor, and little voltage dropped along the length of the cabling (the following figures are very approximate):

If the distance between the two ground contact points (the downed cable and the system ground) is small, there will be substantial voltage dropped along short distances between the two points. Therefore, a person standing on the ground between those two points will be in danger of receiving an electric shock by intercepting a voltage between their two feet!

Again, these voltage figures are very approximate, but they serve to illustrate a potential hazard: that a person can become a victim of electric shock from a downed power line without even coming into contact with that line!

One practical precaution a person could take if they see a power line falling towards the ground is to only contact the ground at one point, either by running away (when you run, only one foot contacts the ground at any given time), or if there's nowhere to run, by standing on one foot. Obviously, if there's somewhere safer to run, running is the best option. By eliminating two points of contact with the ground, there will be no chance of applying deadly voltage across the body through both legs.

*Wet conditions increase risk of electric shock by lowering skin resistance.
*Immediately replace worn or damaged extension cords and power tools. You can prevent innocent use of a bad cord or tool by cutting the male plug off the cord (while it's unplugged from the receptacle, of course).
*Power lines are very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. If you see a line about to hit the ground, stand on one foot or run (only one foot contacting the ground) to prevent shock from voltage dropped across the ground between the line and the system ground point.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Get Children Swimming

There's nothing like a dip in the pool on a hot day. Swimming is a great way to escape the heat and it is great entertainment and exercise for children and adults..... and let's not forget about the family dogs, often they like to join in the fun too. We can say that swimming is great entertainment and exercise for everyone.

These days it is popular to get the kids swimming early in life. Swimming classes for kids are popular and highly recommended for the little ones. Swimming classes for kids will usually also provide them with some basic swimming pool safety rules they can learn and which you should also learn and enforce swimming pool safety rules around your home swimming pool.

We often see babies swimming even before they're able to walk alone or talk. It seems impossible but really, the earlier they are exposed to swimming the better it can be. Of course, teaching baby to swim should be done by professionals and all safety precautions should be taken around the pool. While babies can learn to swim, most kids start swimming from age three and up.

Swimming instruction for children should be done by a certified swimming instructor. If you have a local YMCA, this is a great place to start when you're looking for swimming instruction by someone who is qualified.
Don't teach the child yourself, get them enrolled for lessons so they can be taught properly whenever possible.

Choose the right teacher. You can rely on most certified swimming instructors to be competent but it never hurts to interview them. Ask them where they were trained, how long they have been teaching and their approach. Try and choose an instructor that best fits their child’s personality.

Make sure that all kids above the age of 4 attend a certified swimming class or at least learn basic flotation techniques.
Start Early. The sooner the child starts the more comfortable they will be in an around the water. Many YMCAs and recreational city pools offer parent-tot classes beginning as early as 6 months of age. Individual lessons generally start around age 3.
Make sure the child is well rested. Studies demonstrate that children who are well rested are more apt to learn than if they are tired and stressed.
Make sure your child behaves appropriately.

What they learn in swimming class may very well save their life.
Expose children to water early.
Obviously under strict supervision, expose your child to pools, beaches, lakes and let them enjoy themselves around the water. The more experience they have with water the more comfortable they will become.
Practice swimming year around. Just like everything else, children’s skill levels drop when they are not doing the activity. Try and find a pool open in the winter to polish their swimming skills they learned. The more they swim the better they become.
Be a good role model.
Be a safe swimmer yourself.
If parents are fearful or careless around water their children will pick up on those traits.
If you are not a strong swimmer yourself, enroll in swimming lessons along side your child.
Explain the benefits of swimming.
Tell your child why learning to swim is important.
Swimming is good physical exercise, it can be a lifesaver and it is a whole lot of fun.
Be knowledgeable to help with common mistakes.
A parent should strive to know enough about swimming to gently point out common mistakes that young swimmers make. You do not want to have bad habits reinforced away from the watchful eye of a swimming instructor.
Reward success.
Find a reward system that works for you child when they achieve certain swimming goals.
Establish pool safety rules.
Learning to swim is never a substitute for watching what your kids are up to in and around the pool and always supervise their pool activities. Never leave them alone around the pool even for one second.
Never allow kids to run around the pool.
No diving unless the pool is equipped for diving with proper depth.
There is no substitute for adult supervision. Never leave kids alone and keep doors locked that lead to the pool area. Toddlers will find ways to open the doors so locking mechanisms need to be out of reach of the kids.
Whenever possible, have a safety fencing placed around your pool to separate it from the rest of the yard.
There are removable fences available today that look nice and provide the safety you need with kids in the home.
Keep a phone handy when around the pool so you don't have to leave to answer it and it will be readily available in case of emergency.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

California Swimming Pool Contractors

California has many quality swimming pool contractors which provide everything from very simple pools to elaborate custom pools and spas that have everything imaginable.

Swimming pools are very popular amongst California homeowners and for good reason. Home swimming pools provide good family fun and recreation without every leaving the comfort of your own home.

With the moderate climate, swimming pools for California are usable for most of the year. At the very least, we can say that California has an extended swimming pool season when compared to other parts of the country.

California swimming pool contractors offer some of the finest quality inground pools available anywhere in the world. Fortunately, the swimming pool builders of California are tightly regulated by the California State Contractors Board. It is always best to choose a licensed pool contractor for building in pools and spas. For that matter, anytime you're doing a home improvement it is a good idea to use a licensed contractor. Using a licensed pool contractor for California usually means that you'll avoid problems associated with "fly by night" companies and any issues that you might encounter during construction will normally be resolved by a properly licensed pool contractor.

Most pool builders can help you with complete backyard pool design and planning, your pool contractor can usually help with everything else related to your backyard design including concrete decks and walkways, firepits, bar b ques, patio covers and more. Usually it is less expensive to contract for the pool portion separately from the pool decking, landscaping, etc. While this does mean you will work with a couple of contractors, it also means you could save substantially as you'll be getting "direct" pricing for your additional work. Some California pool contractors have well developed programs which allow you to easliy combine their swimming pool design and pool planning to incorporate the additional items by others. Some pool contractors and pool builders will allow you to work directly with their associates for the concrete work and landscaping for the pool area. This means you don't have to go looking on your own for every part of your project. Many homeowners seem to already have concrete masons and landscapers for their work and if this is the case for you then you only need a cooperative pool builder that will work with you on the overall project. Most of the time, if your pool design is planned properly the work will proceed smoothly and you'll end up with a beautiful new backyard swimming pool that will give you years of enjoyment.

Your pool contractor should take time with you to discuss the specifications desired for your new pool. Basic items will normally always be included, such as the pump and filter. Just be sure that they are big enough to adequately filter your pool. Too small a filter will mean that it needs to be cleaned often. Too small a pump will mean it needs to run longer, thus costing you more in electrical consumption.

Automatic pool cleaners are usually included when building with a pool contractor. Other items are not necessarily included but you may be interested in automatic color changing lights, remote control systems, salt purification systems, waterfeatures, etc. If budget concerns are an issue, some items can be added later so you should inquire to your pool builder as to what can be added later and which items must be installed during the initial pool construction phase.

Whether you're looking for a simple pool or spectacular custom designer pool, proper pool planning and design are the first steps.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Advantages of Swimming

Beginning swimmers need to know that ones resting heart rate decreases 10 beats per minute in water, and maximum heart rate decreases by 10 to 30 beats. The heart puts out just as much blood as in other exercises because it pumps more volume with each stroke, but more slowly. A great thing about swim meets is the camaraderie between the swimmers. Each swimmer is vying for first place, but the emphasis becomes more about beating yourself.
Swimming is undoubtedly the most worth while excercise as no other sport or activity allows you to utilise as many muscles as you do in swimming. By choosing enclosed swimming pools, you're not only adding a pool to your life, but you're also adding a place where you can relax and hide away from the world.
Many Adults think that they are too old to swim competitively. From a fitness standpoint,swimming has physical and mental benefits. And whereas some people with physical limitations cannot perform land exercise,water exercise offers a perfect fitness fit.
Many people understand swimming as a great pleasure and enjoy every time they go the beach or swimming pool. Mainly the upper body strength because you are constantly moving your arms and legs in order to get from one end of the pool to another. Its great in summer because when it gets really hot, just jump in the pool for a workout and cool down.
Swimming is a very honest sport. This sport uses almost all major muscle groups and places a vigorous demand on your heart and lungs, it's better than any training machines that usually use only one group of muscle.
Salt water Pool water becomes more balanced due to lowered chemical use. Seldom requires brushing. Less vacuuming due to constant coagulant effect. Less backwashing.The pool remains free from bacteria, viruses and algae. The use of chlorine is reduced, and so are its harmful by-products(chloramines, chlorinated hydrocarbons). The use of pool chemicals that are harmful to the environment are reduced(chlorine, acids, alkalis) or made redundant (algaecides,flocculant/ coagulant).
What are the advantages of the swimming?
Swimming does not put the strain on connective tissues that running, aerobics and someweight-training regimens do. It is extremely good for your lungs.
Swimming is a healthy activity with both physical and mental benefits.
One of the first advantages of salt water swimming pools is the level of comfort you experience.
Salt is softer on your skin than chlorine.
Cancer and asthma-causing chlorine use may be reduced by up to 75%.
Algaecides and flocculants may be eliminated completely.
Less chemicals means healthier pool water.Better muscular endurance and balance.
Swimming exercise is great for lowering blood pressure, easing depression and stress,and losing extra weight. The breast stroke will help tone your abs and upper arms.

Author: Sander Bel

About the author:Sander Bel writes articles for health care.
Healso writes for home remedy
and get rid of stuff

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