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History of the Swimming Pool

Swimming pools have become so common in today’s world that we rarely every think about where they began. Have you ever thought about the history of the swimming pool? Well either way, we have information below about where it all began.

The very first swimming pool or first man-made pool was believed to be located in the Pakistani city settlement of Mohenjo-daro and was commonly called the “great bath”. It existed over 5,000 years ago, roughly 3,000 BC. The size 12 meters in height and 7 meters in width, with a depth of 2.4 meters. It had wide staircases on each end (north and south) and small holes at the edges of the stairs where it was led to believe that’s where they had wood planks.

The floor of the pool was designed and built with fitted bricks with gypsum plaster (hydrous calcium sulphate) as well as the side walls. Add make the tank of pool even. More watertight they added a thick layer of natural tar twice. It was laid along the sides and also beneath the floor. Brick columns were discovered on the eastern, northern and southern edges of the tank with stepped edges that may have held window frames. Two large doors were also discovered, and a series of rooms followed. They believe one of the rooms may have held some of the water to fill the tank or pool when needed, no inlet drains were found. Most historians would agree that this tank would have been used for special religious functions where water was used to purify and renew the well-being of the bathers.

A majority of the known ‘pool history’ comes from the ancient Greeks and Romans. Their quality of life improved when their wealth increased, which brought about luxuries such as pools. Water played a very important part of society for thousands of years. Pools were built all over for enhancing the beauty of property as well as used for bathing, health, religious ceremonies, gatherings and more.

Greek and Roman militaries also used pools during this time to train for war. They would exercise in the water.

Plato, the famous Greek philosopher believed that all children needed to learn to swim. He felt, along with math, writing and other basic educational studies, that swimming should also be added. And, in fact, it became standard education to teach children to swim dating back to 400 BC.

Romans built a huge pool in AD 305, that was over 900,000 square feet. It was heated by giant fires beneath the floors of the pool in the basement. It was used mostly for bathing and adorned with marble statues from roman architecture.

People began using pools more for public and social activities and gatherings versus bathing. Many grew to have live fish in them. In fact, the first Jacuzzi style pools was designed by Gaius Maecenas, sometime around 8 BC. It has been told this pool was amazing and designed with lush gardens, waterfalls, terraces, villas and other exquisite décor.

As pools became more common, naturally they followed suit in the United States. In 1868 on Cabot Street, Boston the first in-ground pool was built in the US. Most homes back then couldn’t afford a pool and the area was heavily populated.

In the 1930’s hotels began building pools to lure in more customers. The Biltmore Hotel was one of the first. Located in Coral Gables, Florida and soon became ‘THE’ place for famous and popular people to socialize.

From here, pools became more and more popular for the upper class and were found to become a part of many people’s homes throughout the world.

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How often must your pool be cleaned and maintained?

In short, the answer is ‘Everyday!”. There is always something you can watch for and clean up and maintain, it’s best to clean things and resolve issues as soon as possible, don’t wait until the weekend, if you want to maintain your pool at the highest level. Doing smaller tasks throughout the month help so you don’t have to do a ton of tasks and maintenance in a weekend. It’s best to spread them out and do a little bit regularly throughout the month, so al the things on your to do list don’t add up. Keeping your pool clean and maintained, you prevent problems from occurring and thus you are increasing the life and usability of your pool.

The most important thing you can do on a regular basis is to vacuum your pool. This should be done at least once a week, ideally twice. However, if you don’t have a lot of debris, such as leaves, bugs, etc. or if you have a screened in pool, once a week should be sufficient. Vacuuming helps control the pH level in your pool much easier, so it’s a great regular maintenance and cleaning task you can do to keep your pool clean and safe.

Another weekly task to keep your pool in tip-top shape is to test your pH levels. Generally, the pH level of your water should be between 7.4 and 7.6. Be sure to adjust your chemicals as needed to maintain the correct numbers. Remember: vacuuming your pool regularly will help keep your pH balanced easier and more controlled.

Skim your pool for debris, such as leaves, bugs, etc. and be sure to check your skimmer and empty that regularly as well.

Ensure to check your chlorine levels are between 1.0 and 3.0 PPM, by getting a free chlorine level test at your local pool store. Simply bring them a small amount of your pool water and they will test it at the store for you. Then if you need any more chemicals, you can grab them while at the pool store.

Basic cleaning of your pool tiles where your water surfaces. Along that line, if you keep those tiles clean it helps to keep it looking clean. A tile cleaner can be bought at your local pool store or there are many options you can buy online and shop for the best price. Some options can be found here.

Also be sure to brush your pool walls with your wider brush with long handle. A simple light brush over will do.

Weekly, you should also be sure to give your pool a routine shock treatment. You will need one bag of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. Note: this is not the same major shock treatments most professionals will do, using large amounts of chlorine).

A weekly algae preventative will also help maintain your pool and keep algae at bay. A green pool isn’t safe to swim in or make a pretty pool. Keep on top of your algae before it forms so your pool can stay crystal clear blue.

In addition to weekly tasks that we suggested above, we also recommend you do the below task bi-monthly.

Close your pool for 2-3 days every 2 months. Then use filter cleaner and degreaser to clean your filters and remove built up grease and oil. Also dose your pool with metal remover or flock. Allow these to work for 2-3 days you don’t use your pool and then vacuum it afterwards.

Note: Please do not perform these tasks on rainy and/or windy days. You must do these tasks on ideal swimming days, BUT do not go swimming.

Pool maintenance is not a job to take lightly if you want to maintain the value of your pool and care for it, so it lasts a long time. It requires a certain amount of knowledge, skills and abilities to do it correctly. So, we do recommend hiring a pool professional and letting them tackle a lot of these tasks if not most. Throughout time you will learn more and can probably lessen the professional pool company’s tasks as you take them over.

 

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6 Tips to be an Environmentally Conscious Pool Owner

‘Being Green’ has become a healthier and more responsible way to live and we make taking care of your pool no exception. Below we provide you with 6 ideas and tips to maintain your pool while being environmentally conscious.

1 – Use a robotic or solar pool cleaner

Robotic cleaners are a great solution for the environmentally conscious. They reduce the amount of chemical cleaners needed for your pool. They are also over 90% more efficient that a traditional system and cost less to run. Roughly, less than five cents an hour! They also reduce the amount of times you’ll have to change your pool filter and clean it.

All these reasons alone are exactly why this is listed as #1 on this list. Robotic pool cleaners are very inexpensive and one of the simplest and quickest ways to ‘green’ your pool. Solar pool cleaners use even less energy and work just as well.

With this simple purchase you can get started today with a simple plug, charge and go!

2 – Use a greener cleaner or none at all

Chlorine is the most common chemical used to keep your pool pristine, however it’s not the best for the environment or you. There are numerous alternatives to chlorine that you could grow accustom to. For example, bromine, natural mineral sanitizers, Ozonator systems and PHMB (polyhexamethylene biguanide).

With any of the choices above, you still need to add chlorine or algaecide with them, however you simply don’t use as much, so its effects are less harmful and therefore more environmentally friendly.

Now if your looking to go completely chemical-free, a natural swimming pool is a wonderful option. It takes more work and time to maintain but the outcome can be a wonderful solution for the environmentally conscious family. A natural, chemical-free pool uses plants to clean the water. With this type of pool, a ‘balance’ needs to be in place with the environment and then it can be a very safe swimming environment.

3 – Switch to a solar heater

Some question whether a pool heater is a ‘green’ option at all? However, a solar heater uses less energy to heat your pool, so the less energy you use the ‘greener’ you are. On the other, a heater allows you to use your pool for more months out of (or even the whole) year.

If you want to conserve your water and get the most out of what you have, there is no doubt using a solar heater is the answer. Solar-powered pool heaters use a series of tubes that absorb heat from the sun to warm the water after it passes through the filter system. This will also help you save money on your energy bills each month! Now we are getting ‘green’ (wink, wink). Your return on invest ment with a solar heater will come back ten-fold. The sun will be able to heat your pool forever.

4 – Clean your filters

Making sure your filters are clean will ensure your pool runs as efficiently as possible. A dirty filter causes your pump to work more, this using more energy. It also causes your pool chemicals to not be as effective, therefore diluting them and basically tossing money down the drain.

Cleaning your filters is generally an easy process, if you don’t have a pool professional maintaining them. Even double checking your pool cleaners work, can help if they fail to check it one day.

5 – Add a timer to your pumps

Most pumps can be a hassle to turn on and off, so by adding a timer, there is less stress on you and your pump isn’t running unnecessarily. Most pool pumps really only need to be ran for six hours a day, as long as your pump is sized properly to your pool’s volume.

Adding an automatic time clock to your pump system is the best way to make sure your water gets filtered regularly without consuming unneeded energy.

6 – Cover your pool

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to conserve water and energy with your pool is to cover it when it’s not being used. Simply put, they keep heat in and debris out as well as minimizing water evaporation.

By keeping heat in you will use even less energy to heat your pool and by keeping debris out, you will use less energy filtering your pool. Minimizing water evaporation means using less water to refill it, which also keeps your water bill down. Win, win, win!

To top it off, using a solar pool cover will seal that heat in from the sun and warm your water even more with a smaller energy bill. Overall, a pool cover with offer you less energy consumption and cost.

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How Your Pool Can Help Heal an Injury

Swimming pools are most known for entertainment and a great way to keep the kids busy. However, they can also provide a great exercise and rebuild after an injury.

Water activity increases strength and flexibility, in a low impact and safe environment. It also is good for joints, so water exercise is often recommended for rehabilitation after an injury or surgery. Physical injuries can sideline you and really interfere with your daily life. Rehabilitation allows your muscles and ligaments to strengthen and provide more support for injured areas. So, utilizing a pool to gain your strength back will help ease the process.

Whether it be swimming laps, arm exercises off the wall or using a pool noodle to help you kick in the deep end, the amount of exercises to help you repair and get back to your busy life are almost endless in a swimming pool. Water exercises don’t need to be strenuous to be beneficial. Simple calisthenics in a seated position, back floating, water walking, or kicking exercises are all very beneficial.

Why are pools so effective?

  • The buoyancy of water is a force that acts on the body to balance the weight of a swimmer supporting the body weight. The buoyancy of the water protects joints, while water’s resistance increases the efficiency of the workout. Because swimming is not weight-bearing, it is exceptionally helpful for back pain. Utilizing different swim strokes or positions helps alleviate some pressure in the back, as the water can provide support. The backstroke is helpful for back injuries because you lie in a supine position as opposed to other strokes performed in a prone position.
  • Water exercise is low impact, meaning it is easier on your body than many other exercises, with less chance of further injury from falls or stumbles. There are many injuries that respond well to water exercises and swimming.

Water therapy can be great for almost any kind of stubborn pain. Immersion and floatation offer tremendous benefits. A partial relief from gravity, helps to make movement feel easy, cushioned, and safe — and these can lead to stepping-stones in rehabilitation and pain management after an injury or surgery.

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What Size Backyard is Needed for a Pool?

You just bought a house, the kitchen is AMAZZZZING, the bathroom shower rocks and your floors are heaven, but the backyard is small and nothing to write home about. You wonder, will a swimming pool bring life to my backyard and add value to my new home?

The best place to start this process is to ask a pool professional. They will come out to your home and give an on-site evaluation and provide you with a pool building estimate. For example, if you fill out this form here, Challenger Pools will provide you with a FREE consultation. Most likely you will need to provide them with a bit of help. For example, a copy of your yards plot plan or surveyor report. This will help them get started in the right direction by knowing of any obstacles or setbacks before getting started.

Most backyards can fit a pool, so you’re in luck. The only thing is that you may be limited to size and placement based on the layout of your backyard.

What are some reasons that can limit the size of your backyard pool?

  • Property Line Setbacks
  • Septic System or Underground Utilities
  • Drainage and Utilities Easements
  • Power Lines
  • Zoning Regulations and Lot Coverage Rules
  • Access to the area
  • Retaining Walls
  • Existing Structures

Fortunately, many of these reasons can be worked around or moved. Having any ideas of what you backyard contains will be helpful to your pool builder. Once you review your surveyor report and know how much usable space you have, you can begin to envision the entire backyard including your pool patio area and landscaping. Picture and imagine the kind of area you would like with the amount of space you have. Know what kind of space you desire around your pool to accomplish your vision.

Please keep in mind a few general rules of thumb when getting a pool built in your backyard:

  • Build your pool and pool surround to occupy approximately 25% of the total available area (especially if you have kids)
  • Ensure the pool surrounds occupy an area of approximately 50% of the pool surface area
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Top 3 Swimming Pool Accessories to Increase the Value of Your Pool

A pool has already added value to your home, but have you thought that the equipment and accessories that you purchase can also add additional value to your pool and home? Make smart purchases when shopping for your pool, and it will benefit you in the long run. Below we offer the top 3 swimming pool accessories to add value to your pool.

Solar cover
Adding a heating system to your pool is very costly. A great way to keep the costs down is to purchase a solar cover. This will help keep your pool water warmer, cleaner and controlled as it’s not effected by the outdoor elements as much.

Automatic Pool Cleaner
Keeping your pool clean and maintained is a must and having to manually clean your pool can be a pain and a hassle. Purchasing an automatic pool cleaner will ease your stress and annoyance of always having to worry about cleaning your pool. The best ones offer to clean not only the pool bottom, but also the sides, so we recommend this type of automatic pool cleaner.

 

Pool Lights
Adding pool lights to your backyard swimming pool adds a great aesthetic and also allows you to enjoy your pool in the evenings with ease. Underwater lights are very affordable and can be easily installed.

Keep your pool in top shape so it adds value to your home, by purchasing a solar cover, automatic pool cleaner and pools lights. Adding additional features such as waterfalls, stonescapes, etc, will also add value but our top 3 accessories should be your top choices when looking to add value through pool accessories.

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Is Too Much Chlorine Bad for Your Pool?

Put too much chlorine in the pool? What are the dangers and is it really bad?

Too much chlorine can be dangerous, so it’s important to know why and what the causes of too much chlorine can be. Over exposure can bring on irritation to the skin and eyes, can also provoke asthma and irritate lungs. In fact, putting too much chlorine into pools can actually lead to a type of poisoning that can cause acute pain and discomfort for you and your kids. As long as you understand the warning signs and symptoms of chlorine poisoning, then you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Chlorine poisoning is very rare, however pay attention to possible symptoms of itchy eyes, difficulty breathing, skin redness, quick onset of nausea and vomiting, throat feels like it’s burning, and/or dull chest pain. Though these symptoms are not life threatening and will go away after 24 hours, for most cases, they can be very uncomfortable and cause a lot of pain.

Now that we know the causes of too much chlorine on our bodies, let’s learn about the damage it can cause your pool. High amounts of chlorine in your pool can lower the ph level of the water, making it acidic. This could damage pool equipment, concrete and even metal piping. If the ph level in your pool is 8 or higher, you more than likely have too much chlorine in your water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a pH reading between 7.2 and 7.8 is ideal for an at-home swimming pool.

To keep on top of your chlorine levels at home, invest in a few testing strips so that you can check the chlorine levels in your pool. You can buy these at your local pool store or online here.

Keeping an eye on your chlorine levels help maintain a healthy and fun environment for you, your family and friends, so be sure to keep an eye on it or ask your pool maintenance professional to let you know when it’s getting high.

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Top Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Pool Professional

When you first get your new pool, hiring a professional to take care of it is the best way to receive quality and consistent care. Yes, there are some things you can maintain yourself from time to time, but regular cleaning and maintenance is vital. After invested a big chunk of cash into your home, you want nothing but the best for it, right? Right! So here, we are with some of the top reasons why you should hire a pool professional.

CONSISTENCY

Consistent and regular maintenance is important to keep your pool crystal clear and swim ready. Weekly scheduled appointments keep the water clean, motor maintained, filter clear and more, without you needing to worry about it every day.

EARLY DETECTION

Pool professionals are taught and trained to detect issues early on. From leaks, repairs, motor and pump issues, failures, even electrical problems, they can detect them and fix them before growing into a potentially larger problem. Catching issues early on, will save you money and time.

PEACE OF MIND

If you plan on maintaining your pool on your own and you don’t know the first thing about caring for a swimming pool, this could cause some major issues. Teaching yourself how to clean, maintain and fix all the issues could lead to doing it incorrectly and causing bigger issues that in turn would cost you more money, time and frustration. Pool professionals are educated on how to maintain your pool with top quality care, so let them do what they do best.

Consistency, early problem detection and peace of mind are the top reasons you should hire a pool professional for your new pool. Having your pool ready to dive-in at any moment is why you even have it, so keep the work to the professionals. Then sit back, relax and enjoy your pool!

 

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Challenger Pools Celebrates Top Ranking at Top Golf

Challenger Pools 2019 Celebration

The right employees are the catalyst to any company’s success and recently Challenger Pools celebrated its staff with an event at Top Golf in Tampa. There were 55 attendees who enjoyed an afternoon of golf-related activities, food and drinks with their colleagues and families. Challenger Pools is part of Cody Pools, recently named the #1 pool builder in the nation by Pool and Spa News for the 7th year in a row — a recognition that the event highlighted.

“Being named the top pool builder is an honor we don’t take lightly, even several years in a row. We also know that a huge part of that honor is due to our fantastic staff,” said Mike Church, President and CEO of Cody Pools.

2019 marks 25 years of service for Cody Pools, headquartered in Austin, Tex. Since 1994, Cody Pools has won 60+ design and business awards, including recognition as a Top 100 Companies to Work for in Texas.

“Our company has been built on the strength and expertise of our employees. We celebrate them any chance we get,” Church said.

About the Pool and Spa News Ranking

The 2019 Top 50 Pool Builders list is the latest of an annual list compiled by Pool and Spa News that highlights the most dependable and successful pool builder companies in the nation. Cody Pools topped the list, ahead of 18 other companies that are headquartered in Texas. In 2018, the 50 pool companies listed accounted for approximately $1.4 billion of the industry’s revenue and more than 12,000 of its residential pools, creating 331 new jobs.

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Why Should I Use a Pool Cover on my Pool?

You work hard and spend money to maintain your pool and keep it in top condition. A pool cover will not only help you keep your pool clean but, will also save you time, use less energy, reduce costs, and help lessen water evaporation. A simple cover can tackle so many things to help you keep your pool in tip top shape. Let’s dive in a bit deeper about why you should use a pool cover on your outdoor swimming pool.

why use a pool coverSave time with a pool cover with less maintenance. The wind and storms throughout Florida are not always predictable, and after you have spent the afternoon cleaning your pool nothing is more frustrating than a storm filling your outdoor pool up with leaves, twigs and yard debris. If you were to have a cover on your pool, the leaves, twigs and yard debris would only remain on the top and not enter your pool. The next day there is no need for you to take another hour of your time to clean up from the storm in order for you to enjoy your pool.

Use less energy by allowing your new pool cover to help retain heat in your pool. Using a pool cover at night will keep the heat in your pool instead of exiting and losing it. Using a pool cover during those hot sunny days will heat your water quickly and without cost. A warm pool brings you and your family comfort, so take advantage of that suns energy when you can.

Using a pool cover reduces a pool’s chemical consumption by 35 to 60 percent, thus reducing costs. A pool cover will also lessen your heating bill and reduce water waste. This benefit alone is worth your investment in a pool cover.

Reduce water evaporation from your pool by using a pool cover. Science proves water evaporates. Using a pool cover will lessen evaporation and maintain your water level, so you don’t have to add as much water back into your pool.

With all these reasons alone, a pool cover is worth every dime you spend on one. There are a lot of pool cover options out there, so you don’t need an expensive, top of the line pool cover. It’s simply not necessary to get the job done. So, get out there and stop throwing your money and time into the air, go get your pool a pool cover.

 

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