Swimming Pool Design Awards

July 27th, 2012

The 2012 Swimming Pool “Masters of Design” Awards have been announced in America. The awards are split in to various categories and are only for pools in the United States. We thought you might like to see some photos of the pools. Some of them are not designed with sober European taste but they are all spectacular in their own way.

This pool is on the edge of Lake Michigan

Built in to a hillside with landscaping all around

This pool is a masterpiece of clever construction

This pool overlooks the Hollywood hills

Built in to the side of a mountain

This is a fibre glass pool

Water falls, water spouts and lights are the main feature of this pool

Maybe a bit over the top but an interesting design

Keeping Cool & Staying Safe This Summer

July 9th, 2012

Last month brought us a wave of unsettling news stories and media warnings as to the dangers of being a weak swimmer, and the risks of drowning across the nation. Make sure that you and your family are kept safe this Summer while you beat the heat by brushing up on your swimming skills.

 

Swimming lessons are a compulsory part of primary school education today, with children in Key Stage 2 (aged between 7 and 11) required to be able to swim unaided for at least twenty-five metres. Despite this statutory requirement of the National Curriculum, it is still speculated that one in every three primary school leavers is unable to swim. Research conducted by breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s, in association with the Amateur Swimming Association, has revealed that 200,000 students will finish year 6 this year without the necessary training to swim safely unassisted.

 

Of these children, 80,000 will not even have been offered swimming lessons.

 

Swimming Pool Safety

Teaching them to enjoy the water safely is one of the best gifts you can give your kids

This lack of concern shown for the importance of teaching kids to swim is contributing to a worrying rise of drowning-related deaths. Every year, the United Kingdom loses over three hundred children younger than age five in swimming pool accidents – with over three thousand others ending up undergoing emergency treatment following a narrowly-averted tragedy.

 

Keep your kids safe this summer – enrol them in a swimming class, if they’re young or inexperienced in the water, and speak to the headmaster or headmistress of their primary school, to confirm that swimming lessons are provided for students. Most importantly, though, never leave young children unattended in (or even near!) a swimming pool.

 

Children can drown in less than two inches of water, and may be unable to raise the alarm, if you are too far to see what’s going on. Never allow children to be left alone near a swimming pool, unless the pool is completely inaccessible (behind a fence or a locked gate, etc.)

 

But kids will be kids – and in case your little ones do manage to slip past you into the swimming pool area, keeping some basic but essential supplies close at hand down by the pool can avert disaster. Ring buoys are a flotation device that can be thrown to toddlers (or any swimmer) in trouble to prevent them sinking below the surface, and a reach pole is used to pull struggling swimmers to the side.

 

As vital as it is to teach children of the dangers the water can pose, it’s equally important to teach them not to fear swimming unduly. Splashing around in a pool is one of the greatest and simplest joys a child can experience, and swimming is a skill that can be of huge benefit later in life. It would be a great shame to have that experience go to waste.

The Zodiac MX8 swimming pool cleaner. A suction cleaner that does the walls

June 29th, 2012

New to the UK market in 2012 is the Zodiac MX8 swimming pool cleaner. It was launched in the US last year and has been getting some great reviews.

zodiac mx8 pool cleaner

The New Zodiac MX8 Swimming Pool Cleaner

The Zodiac MX8 is unique among suction pool cleaners. The first thing you notice is the “tank tracks” at either end of  the unit it moves slowly along on these tracks and when it gets to the wall it just keeps going right on up the wall.

A look at the underside reveals two big circular intakes. These form a cyclone in the water to suck up the debris on the floor.

Side View

With the lid open

mx8 pool cleaner

Underside of the MX8

The internal drive system also means it keeps turning and moving and so it covers all of the floor of your pool (not just the deep end) and it should never get stuck in a corner or on the steps.

It has fewer parts that can wear out than other cleaners and a swivel head so the hose does not get tangled.

With a 2 year warranty we are quite impressed by this little machine.

A Guide to Swimming Pool Coping Stones

April 24th, 2012

Just about every in-ground swimming pool has coping stones around the edge. Over the years they deteriorate and need replacing. This article will tell you what your options are for replacing them.

Until recently all Swimming pool coping stones were sourced from UK manufacturers but now a nice range of Mediterranean style copings are available in the UK. The traditional UK made coping stone comes  in 2 foot lengths and are either 9 inches or 12 inches wide. There are two stlyes and two colours available. The two stlyes are called “bullnose” and “flat top”. Bullnose have a built in backward slope and flat top do not. The colour choices are White or Buff. The most popular choice by far is White Bulnose.

Flat top coping stone

Bullnose Coping Stone with backward slope

White swimming pool coping stone

Traditional White Bullnose Pool Coping

As well as the standard straight coping you can also get what are known as “specials”. These are the corner stones for internal or external corners and “radius” copings for going around roman ends (as shown in the image above).

The traditional copings always stand out from the paving surround and many people like the way they define the edge of the pool but others prefer the copings to match the surrounding paving. This matching style is typically Mediterranean and now there is available in the UK a Spanish pool coping that is not only great looking as a stand alone coping but comes with matching paving slabs if you want them.

The Sahara coping has the built in back slope while the Ardoise coping is a flat top. Ardoise has a riven finish while the Sahara is smooth.

Ardoise Coping Stone - Flat topped with riven finish and 330mm wide

Sahara Coping - back sloping, smooth and 270mm or 330mm wide

Surprisingly these Mediterranean swimming pool coping stones are not more expensive than their UK counterparts.  Below are the prices for a 12ft x 24ft rectangular pool for comparison.

Traditional 9 inch £740 .00
Traditional 12 inch £920.00
Sahara 270mm £680.00
Sahara 330mm £740.00
Ardoise 330mm £930.00

For more information on the coping stones and matching paving slabs featured here follow the links below

Click here for Traditional Swimming Pool Coping Stones

Click here for the Sahara Range of Swimming Pool Coping Stones

Click here for the Ardoise Range of Swimming Pool Coping Stones

The Intelliflo pump and why it might be worth £1,200

March 20th, 2012

£1,200.00 for a pool pump? You must be joking.

No. We are serious. Read on to find out why.



The biggest drain on your wallet if you own a swimming pool is the fuel bills for your heater. If you have installed a heat pump then you have cut those costs considerably. Often overlooked is how much power is being consumed by the circulation pump. Up until now there was not much you could do about saving electricity with your pump after all it has to be on to keep the pool filtered. You can either leave it on 24 hours per day as many people do or have it come on for about 8 hours per day. A  1 horse power pump will draw 0.75Kw per hour costing about 10p per hour. 8 hours per day for a 150 day season is £120.00, leave your pump on all the time and the cost is £360.00

Think on a 10 year time scale and that is £1,200.00 in electricity plus in a 10 year period you will have to buy at least one more pump at £400.00. If you are considering a purchase now then reckon on one pump now and another in 5 to 8 years time. Below we will see how the intelliflo pump will save your electricity bill but consider also that, because of the way they are made, they will last much longer than 10 years.

The basic premise behind the intelliflo is that a reduction in the power requirement of the pump is way out of proportion to the reduction in the flow rate. A 50% reduction in the flow rate can lead to an 90% reduction in the power consumption. So run your pump for twice as long on half the flow and your filtration rate will be exactly the same but your power consumption will be down by 80%. For example if you run a 1 Horse Power pump for 12 hours per day and it will cost you about £1.00 in electricity. The intelliflo would cost 10p for that 12 hours but you will have to run it for 24 hours because you have half the flow so it will cost 20p. 20p instead of £1.00 equals an 80% saving. See below how those cost savings add up.

We take a 10m x 5m (32ft x 16ft) pool as our example.  Such a pool could have either  a 1 horse power or a 1.5 horse power pump which would typically be run 12 hours per day. The intelliflo would run 24 hours per day. An outdoor pool would typically be open for 150 days per year. We also compare the cost of an indoor pool open 365 days per year.

Typical  10m x 5m pool Daily Cost 150 day cost Saving 365 day cost Saving
Intelliflo pump, 24 hours per day 21.3p £32.00 £77.00
1HP pump, 12 hours per day £1.65 £248.00 £216.00 £595.00 £518.00
1.5HP pump, 12 hours per day £2.48 £373.00 £341.00 £895.00 £818.00


Cost saving is not the only benefit. The intelliflo is so quiet at typical low speeds that you simply cannot hear it. Even at higher speeds it is the quietest pump on the market.

What we like about the pump is the very fact that you can alter the speed it operates at to suit what you want from the pump. You can pre-set 4 speed settings in to the controls. A high speed for a thorough back wash. You can set another speed button to get optimum performance from your heater. When you are not in heat mode it can drop down to minimum flow mode and save the pennies.


The technology behind the pump is cutting edge and the motor is made from a permanent magnet. This means there are no parts that rub together which in turn means there is nothing to wear out. The pump has been on sale in America for 8 years and, so far, the replacement rate is lower than 0.5%.

If all of the above is not enough then the intelliflo pump is the ultimate eco-friendly choice of pump. All that saving in power consumption is also a saving in CO2 pumped in to the atmosphere.

The Intelliflo Pump - saves you money in the long run

When you buy from PoolStore you get a 5 year warranty.

Click here to go to the product page for prices