The following is an article written by Mark Andrews of H&A Inspection Services for his Spring 2011 client newsletter. Mark is a home inspector in the greater Phoenix area and can be contacted at 480-614-0015 or by emailing Lauren@HAInspect.com
Fantastic New Product: A Solar Pool Skimmer
I swim almost every day starting in late March. I used to start my swim by grabbing the leaf catcher and skimming the water surface to remove the big stuff that accumulates every day.
In March, we purchased a SOLAR POWERED POOL SKIMMER; “The Solar Breeze”. This guy is currently skimming the water surface about 16 hours a day! The surface of our water glistens all day. We also removed our pool vacuum because very little debris sinks to the bottom. I love getting home (hot from inspecting properties) and jumping right in; no leaves and no bugs to clean or fight through.
A friend of mine is the CEO of the company so I know that it is legit. The skimmer is patented and has won several prestigious “best new product awards”. After using the product for a month, I am more that satisfied; I’m ecstatic. I inspect 5 or 6 pools per week and never see one that looks like ours – even if the pool service just left!
There is no maintenance on the unit other that removing a tray about once per week to rinse out the debris. There is a separate tray for three 3 inch Chlorine tabs which I also re-fill weekly (with 2 tabs). The distribution of the Chlorine is great because it is being uniformly broadcast all day along the surface of the water. I have vacuumed the pool bottom once in a month to pick up dirt and debris that sank before being collected – it wasn’t much.
If you have a pool, you can see the device in action at http://www.solar-breeze.com
The unit costs $549.00 and in my opinion is well worth it.Read More...
It isn’t clear where or how the term Skinny-Dipping originated. It is the term we use for swimming without the clutter of clothing – of any kind. There is a swimmer and there is a body of water – nothing else. Skinny-Dipping is the activity of swimming with just those two basic elements.
When we want to know what the important news or information is about something, we ask that someone give us “the Skinny”. It’s just another way of asking for the basics – no superfluous details.
So, here is the Skinny on Pool Filters:
What is their purpose?
Are all filters alike?
How do they work?
Yesterday our community lost another child. This horrible tragedy involved a toddler, a pool and a doggie door. I feel deeply for the family’s loss as I have children of my own and each one is unbelievably precious.
May is officially Water Safety Month. It is a time to remind everyone of the ABCs of Water Safety.
- A Adult Supervision
- B Barriers
- C Classes
A backyard pool is your family’s oasis, playground and place to simply chill out. It adds value to your home and pleasure to your lifestyle but like anything of value; it requires attention and regular maintenance. People have filled in their pools in disgust because they can’t manage to keep the pool clean and sanitized. What a waste! Instead of waging war with our pool, we use a little green technology and win the battle before it has even begun.
Step 1 – Understand the Enemies of your Pool
Step 2 – Establish a First Line of Defense....
Earth Week 2013 is wrapping up and we have all gone down to the local hardware (shop local) to buy a couple of CFL bulbs. That's great and they really do have an impact on your energy consumption and electrical bills.
For pool owners, there's an even larger opportunity for energy savings using green technology. In a sunbelt home, the swimming pool is often the second largest consumer of power, right behind the heating and air-conditioning system. As my friend Hana said - "There's an SUV running around in your backyard."
That's not an exaggeration. If the energy to run the pool pump and filter the recommended one hour per ten degrees Fahrenheit is generated by fossil fuels, the Carbon Footrpint of the pool is over 15,000 pounds a year!
Cleaning, filtering and sanitizing the pool using solar energy is a great option for reducing that SUV-sized footprint. The Solar-Breeze solar robotic pool cleaner works all day and into the night using only free energy from the sun. Since it captures 90-95% of the dust and debris before it sinks, pool owners can reduce their pump's runtime by as much as two-thirds. That has a big impact on energy consumption and costs.
Solar energy is not going to solve all the world's problems but can be a big part of our environmental solutions.
This Earth Week I am marvelling at the bounty of sparkling clean water in my backyard oasis and watching my solar-powered robot keep it that way.Read More...
We have been running a contest for our current Solar-Breeze customers. They enter by telling us Why I Love my Solar-Breeze. Here are a couple of their recent entries.
The winner will receive a SolarChlor solar ion and chlorine generator. See our article on how SolarChlor works well in conjunction with a Solar-Breeze to give you a sparkling clean pool AND move your swimming pool further off the electrical grid.
I love my Solar-Breeze so much, I named it Fritz. I talk to it & it does what I say. Like, go ahead and get that little bug floating around. Best thing since sliced bread. Great product. Thanks. -- Larry S.
We have owned our Solar-Breeze for the past couple of years and I don’t know what I would do without it. We live in an areas that gets a lot of debris blown into the yard especially around spring time when the plants and trees are in bloom. The Solar-Breeze continues to pick up the top layer of debris that otherwise would sink to the bottom of my pool to be picked up later. When I get home from work, my pool is clean and ready to go. Another advantage of the Solar-Breeze as it has a container that will allow you to place chlorine tablets so the Solar-Breeze is not only cleaning the top of the pool it is helping chlorinate the pool as well. -- Mike W.
pH is a measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity. pH is also known as the Power of Hydrogen. It is the negative algorithm of the concentration of Hydrogen ions in the water. pH zero is pure acid. pH14 is the most alkaline and pH 7 is neutral. Each number on the scale represents a 10-fold change. There are 10 times more free Hydrogen ions in a pH of 6 than in a pH of 7.
Fish, amphibians and, most importantly, people are most comfortable in a fairly narrow range of pH. 5 and 9 are the outside limits for most living organizations that we are familiar with. A pH of 6 – 8 is comfortable.
The optimal pH for a swimming pool should be 7.4, the same pH as our eyes. Anywhere from 7.2 to 7.8 is acceptable. A pH that is too high will irritate the swimmer’s skin; too low and the pool equipment be damaged.
Guest blog by Merry Bevill of www.adventureinsolarcooking.com
The car slowed and came to stop in front of my house. After a moment, the passenger lowered the window and hung her head out. The driver was craning his neck to see as well. As I turned to greet another new found friend and neighbor, I could already hear their question, “What IS that?” They were looking at a black box with bright shiny reflectors on top from which I had just removed a fresh hot loaf of bread. They were looking at a solar oven or solar cooker.
Solar cookers are gaining in popularity due to a variety of reasons. First, they are environmentally friendly. Solar ovens use only the free energy from the sun.Read More...
1. Remove debris and organic material that can cause bacteria
2. Filter water to remove smaller particles and micro organisms
3. Add sanitizer to kill bacteria and micro-organisms
4. Control algae growth
The Solar-Breeze does the first three activities using free energy from the sun. As a result, Solar- Breeze owners significantly reduce their energy consumption and the overall cost and hassle of keeping their pool clean.
Pool owners who want to do even more with solar power can enhance the performance of their Solar-Breeze by adding a SolarChlor to their pool as well. The SolarChlor uses solar energy and a patented mineral anode to produce ions that inhibit algae growth. In addition, by adding simple salt (NaCl) to the unit, it will produce chlorine to enhance the sanitation you’re already getting with your Solar-Breeze.Read More...
Not many people are swimming yet. Even if you live in the sunbelt, the water is still a bit chilly. Further north there is snow on the ground and ice on the pool. Despite all that, spring is in the air and we are thinking about summer, sun and swimming in an outdoor pool.
The standard advice for opening your pool starts with "pump standing water off the cover and then remove the cover carefully to make sure that debris doesn't fall in". That is followed with removing the plugs, clearing the lines, checking for leaks, priming the pump, firing it up and then adjusting the water chemistry. For many pool owners, this sequence is still a month or more in their future. While you are chilling, there are steps you can take that will move you closer to the goal of opening your pool for the Memorial Day/Victoria Day weekend.
It is time to take a look at your equipment and make sure it is all in good shape. When the temperature hits your personal target, you don't want to be delayed because of a cracked filter or worn out equipment. There is still time to get your robots and other mobile equipment maintained and ready to go. If your pool equipment includes a Solar-Breeze solar robotic pool cleaner, consider sending it in for a Spa TreatmentRead More...