The world of pools and spas continues to evolve as leaders in product innovation set the pace for the newest trends.
From the latest ADA-compliant lifts and apps for handheld devices to construction equipment and portable hot tubs, manufacturers are continuing to redefine the trade with the most modern tools available. The proof is found in the Pool & Spa News 2012 New Products Supplement. Here, you’ll find the products that generated the most reader interest.
Information on our Top 50 Products list is based on data provided by the manufacturers. Want to learn more about an item? Visit the Website listed for each firm to receive additional details.
Infusion Pool Products
The energy-efficient, patent-pending V-Fittings by Infusion Pool Products are designed to increase flow, which improves turnover and creates an easier-to-service water quality. V-Fittings draw warmer surface water through strategically placed louvers, thrusting it to the pool floor. By installing the “green” venturi return line inlet fittings, it is possible to deep heat, eliminate algae growth, prevent sediment buildup and lower energy costs, according to company officials.
Industrial Test Systems
The Pool Check-i by Industrial Test Systems Inc. is a digital analyzer that tests for water quality parameters, including free chlorine, total chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid and total hardness. It uses specialized optics to provide fast diagnostics for all six parameters in 35 seconds. Also available are Pool Check 4+ Pool & Spa Test Strips that provide results on total alkalinity, free chlorine, pH and cyanuric acid in 20 seconds.
The new V-Green variable-speed ECM pool and spa replacement motor line by Regal Beloit can reduce energy use by as much as 80 percent over standard single-speed pump motors, according to company officials. Each has an integrated timer within a weatherproof enclosure; three variable speeds, programmed from 600 to 3,450 rpm; two adjustable override speeds and automatic adjustable freeze protection. It comes in square flange or C-face configurations and complies with California Title 20 and Florida HB 849 energy-efficiency statutes.
American West Windmill & Solar Co.
Lorentz solar-powered pool pumps from American West Windmill & Solar Co. achieved UL-1081 listings and NSF-50 certifications in April 2011. Lorentz also increased the efficiency of its pumps and now offers the PS600-CS-17-1 and PS1800-CS-37-1. These solar-powered filtration pumps utilize 93 percent efficient DC permanent magnet brushless motors powered by traditional monocrystalline solar panels to eliminate 100 percent of the electrical cost to filter the pool water.
Myron L Co.
Myron’s new and improved PoolPro pool meter provides fast, accurate water quality measurements of pH, free chlorine, mineral/salt concentration, TDS, ORP, conductivity and temperature with the press of a button, per maker. It also features an LSI/hardness calculator and wireless data transfer of stored readings with an optional bluDock accessory package.
Poly Solutions Inc. now offers UPOC Natural, an easy-to-use, earth-toned, VOC-free coating product that can be applied in one coat to nearly to all substrates for a natural-looking environment for fish and plants.
FlowVis by H2flow is a precise flow meter with an accuracy of plus/minus 2 percent and a robust yet unobtrusive design, according to company officials. Is available as a complete kit or a retrofit kit for existing check valve assemblies. It also serves as a fully functional check valve.
Speck Pump’s new Badu EcoM3 is an eco-friendly, high-performance, multispeed pump that offers energy savings of up to 80 percent, according to company officials. A push button controller allows users to manage water flow for various applications. It is designed with an Axial Flux Brushless DC motor driven by on-board advanced logic controls. As an added convenience, the Badu Eco Touch II lets users control on/off times and the duration of each speed.
International Code Council
The 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code is the first comprehensive model swimming pool and spa code coordinated with the current requirements in the International Codes and Association of Pool & Spa Professionals standards. The code establishes minimum regulations for public and residential pools, spas, hot tubs and waterparks using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. It is seamlessly integrated with the widely adopted family of International Codes and meets or exceeds Virginia Graeme Baker Act requirements, according to ICC officials.
Sider-Oxydro Inc.’s Power-Base ICF/Sider-Proof FF-PR is a cement-based polymer modified waterproofing coating system for ICF pools. It is composed of a flexible ICF mesh-reinforced base coat and a roll-on plaster finish, available in an array of colors, including pre-mixed colored quartz.
Aqua Creek Products
The Rebel Portable Lift from Aqua Creek, LLC, is third-party verified to meet the new ADA standards. It’s a low-cost solution for facilities looking to become ADA-compliant by the March 15, 2012, deadline. With this lift, there’s no hassle or expense of anchoring or bonding a unit to the pool deck; instead, it’s fully portable. It has a 350-pound weight capacity, rechargeable battery with charger, adjustable footrest, seat belt and two-year warranty.
Global Lift Corp.’s chairs are laboratory-tested to meet ADA standards, and feature arm- and footrests, a safety seat belt and user-friendly controls powered by a 24-volt battery system. Each UV-resistant chair is constructed of stainless steel with a powder- coated finish and includes a lifetime structural warranty.
Great American Merchandise & Events’ simple, wireless and accurate ePool Smart System saves customers time and money, say company officials. The innovative system includes a floating sensor, USB receiver and user-friendly downloadable software that transmits a pool’s pH, sanitizer and temperature levels 24 hours a day. Effortlessly check a pool’s status from a computer or smartphone with e-mail and text alerts indicating exactly what and how much to add to the water, without the need to calculate, guess or test with a kit.
Jack’s Magic Products
Filter Fiber Stuff has earned the Water Quality Association Gold Seal for meeting the exacting standards for NSF/ANSI 50 certification. The biodegradable, nontoxic cellulous filter media filters down to 2 microns. Only 36 ounces are required for a 60-square-foot DE filter when used as a safe, high-performance replacement for DE, and only 3 ounces are needed for sand and cartridge filters, according to company officials.
Mosaicos Venecianos de México
Lumina by Mosaicos Venecianos de México is a new product line of reflecting glass tiles that combines a smooth, textured finished surface with translucent colors and iridescent hues. Offering high performance underwater, the line is suitable for pool tile as well as in-home applications. The standard tile size is 2-by-2inches, but 1-by-1-inch and 2-by-4-inch sizes are available in some colors and special orders.
Twirlybyrd, an interchangeable pool and spa fitting system, features customizable jet configurations, massage sensations and hydrotherapy effects. An easily installed universal housing for pool returns as well as spa jets simplifies the construction process and allows numerous customized options, according to company officials. The system is available in five designer colors to match most interior finish selections and is suited for new or remodeled pool and spa systems.
AquaStar Pool Products
AquaStar Pool Products’ 10-inch round Star anti-entrapment suction outlet cover, universal adapter kit and mud frame will retrofit up to 10-inch round frames/sumps; provides 170 gpm at 1.7 fps on floor, 164 gpm at 1.7 fps on wall; meets new federal standards; and is sumpless.
Vynall’s new Down & Out measuring tool for free-form pools holds the plumb bob and string in place with a welded eyebolt attached to the end of two aluminum measuring rods. The yardstick rods are angled to allow a cloth measuring tape to lie flat on the rod and not slip out. With this tool, taking depth measurements to determine the shape of a pool floor will no longer be a challenge for professionals measuring custom vinyl liners, according to company officials.
The evacuated tubes of JetSolar’s SS20 EVT tube-in-tube design attract and protect the heat that is delivered to the pool without being affected by cold ambient temperatures, according to company officials.
Main Access offers a variety of Illuminate Your Life light products in numerous shapes, sizes, colors and designs, including the Fiji model (shown). The waterproof products are powered by rechargeable batteries and offer up to 10 hours of mood lighting.
AquaPro Systems’ APEXVS1 variable-speed pool pump boasts highly efficient rare earth magnet technology. Weighing in at just 28 pounds, the unit provides energy savings of more than 90 percent compared with traditional single-speed pumps, according to company officials. The 1.25hp pump offers silent operation, TEFC and quad seal technology for motor protection, and tool-less service maintenance. The product is ideal for small bodies of water with new energy requirements on pipe sizing.
Black and Stone
The clean-burning, portable VioFlame fire tables by Black and Stone Inc. feature a marble top and a stainless steel burner that is fueled by denatured ethanol. The burners fit into a stainless steel container that doubles as an ice bucket.
The lightweight Ledge Lounger is designed for tanning ledges up to 8 inches deep. It is available in 11 colors and the finish is stabilized for UV, chemical and weather-defying resistance, according to company officials. It can be easily repositioned and stacked for storage.
National Plasterers Council
The National Plasterers Council Start-Up Certification Program is a day-long session that certifies an industry member as a Start-Up Technician. It instructs on the NPC method of properly starting up the water chemistry and the care of a newly surfaced pool and spa. Five primary areas are covered: history of pool surfaces, water chemistry, using a water test kit, start-up procedures and pool surface start-up issues. It concludes with a 60-minute written exam. For dates/locations, contact NPC.
The new 8-foot Performance Step N Lounge by Latham International is manufactured from a thick co-extruded sheet of thermoplastic and features a four-tread walk-in step accompanied by two lounges. Each is designed to accept two optional therapy jets. The radius step comes with a scalloped perimeter edge and is molded with the patented TES bracing system. Step N Lounge is available in standard and cantilever models in white and the new blue granite and gray granite colors.
The redesigned IGAT-180 series of ADA-compliant pool lifts by Aquatic Access Inc. includes bariatric units and a variety of seating options and versatile features.
Allied Innovations has added items to its extensive inventory of factory-direct brand spa controls and parts listed in the 2012 Parts Catalog, including accessories, maintenance products, cover filters, fragrances, salts, plumbing kits and more.
Aquatherm Industries Inc. introduces the UltraSun Solar Pool Heater. Calling it a breakthrough in solar heating design and technology, company officials say it has been awarded three U.S. patents, including an extremely durable insert-molded manifold and a proprietary venting system for increased wind-load relief. When installed using the patent-pending Eagle Claw Mounting System, UltraSun offers a different solar heating solution. Sales and installation training as well as marketing and technical support are available.
Water Tech Corp.’s new Pool Blaster Pro 1500 is a lightweight, battery-powered cleaner that can vacuum items as large as golf balls and filter debris as small as 2 microns, according to the manufacturer. It includes an Energy Star-qualified battery charger and two interchangeable battery packs, each with 1 ½ hours of running time for up to three hours of use. In addition, the product features a patented Universal Vac Head Adaptor and a 19-inch vacuum head.
D&D Technologies USA
D&D Technologies USA’s SureClose is made to replace conventional hinges, closers and header arrangements with its unique design, which hides the closer’s hydraulics inside the fencepost. The corrosion-resistant device tested to 500,000 cycles with a 1,500-pound point load capacity, self-closing gates up to 260 pounds. For added protection, pair SureClose with D&D’s MagnaLatch Top Pull pool safety gate latch.
The new ELP Series by DeltaUV utilizes low-pressure Clean Light Technology ultraviolet light to clean water and reduce unwanted smells and eye and skin irritations caused by chloramines. It is particularly effective in reducing the chloramines of indoor pools while simultaneously disinfecting pool water to eradicate cryptosporidium, giardia and other harmful contaminants, according to company officials.
Hayward Pool Products
The Aqua Connect Remote Pool Management System from Hayward Pool Products allows service professionals and pool operators to remotely monitor the conditions, parameters and settings of more than 100 pools and spas, and diagnose problems using a WiFi device such as a laptop, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Users can perform energy audits; reduce service calls, check inventory and chemical costs; and receive alerts, service history reports, charts and graphs to help identify trends, according to company officials.
Perry’s Pool Pump
Perry’s Pool Pump offers the V.I.P. Vak, 1 ¼- and 1 ½-inch vacuum head adapters with V notch design, which are placed on the hose, then the vac pole is attached to the handle with butterfly clips to effectively remove algae, mud, DE powder and sand, without sticking fast to a pool’s bottom.
Artistry in Mosaics
These easy-to-install, frostproof ceramic tile step markers by Artistry in Mosaics Inc. are available in Shell, Sand Dollar and Starfish designs, measure 2.5-by-2.5 inches and are sold by the linear foot.
Pen Fabricators’ new CleanLine Safety Cover has no stitching and does not use straps across its entire length and width. The cover is manufactured using reinforced vinyl materials and is lighter in weight to create a clean line cover that is attractive, easy to install and conforms to all ASTM safety standards, according to company officials.
Periodic Products Inc. has improved its CuLator Metal Eliminator and Stain Preventer by adding more polymer to each PowerPak, Spring Opener and Winter Closer. The PowerPak now removes 1.0 ppm total dissolved metals. The Spring Opener and Winter Closer now remove 1.5 ppm. New this season is CuLator Ultra, which removes 4.0 ppm TDM, providing an efficient way to eliminate large amounts of metals quickly.
Raypak Inc.’s Professional Series Heat Pump is designed for the light commercial market and available in one model size, 170,000 BTU. It is the largest single compressor heat pump on the market, according to the manufacturer. Built with an appliance-grade 304 series brushed stainless steel cabinet, each comes standard with a titanium heat exchanger, scroll compressor, swept wing fan blade, digital controls and flow switch, and uses newly patented refrigerant charge technology for extreme cooling and charge spike suppression. It is available in 208/230V 3Phase or 460V 3Phase options.
Vastec’s flexible coping now incorporates a fully painted notching process. Compatible with salt-chlorine generators, each piece of coping is pre-punched and fully painted and is available for the company’s Standard Coping Line (Single and Double Track) and its new 3-inch coping.
Version 6.1 of Evosus Business Management Software is a fully integrated program designed specifically for the pool and spa industry, and offers many innovative, built-in controls. Version 6.1 focuses on advanced inventory management enhancements and vendor integrations, such as loaded unit cost on AP invoices, auto-generated serial numbers, stock transfer recommendations and more. It also has features such as retail pricing by location, special order item management and customer points reward programs.
Flexible Solutions has reformulated its liquid solar pool cover Heatsavr by replacing the isopropyl alcohol with ethanol to create a 90 percent bio-based product. Heatsavr’s patented active ingredient makes up the remaining 10 percent, which is biodegradable along with the ethanol.
The new X-Stream 2 slide from Inter-Fab, computer-designed for more stability and improved fit and finish, boasts a two-turn ride and the patented Zoom Flume water delivery system, which supplies up to 25 gpm of water to this 6-foot-tall structure. The updated version offers a wider, faster runway and a larger entry section than its predecessor. It assembles in either a right or left configuration and features fully molded treads to provide safe slide access.
Thanks to a licensing deal signed in late 2011, Pebble Technology Inc. now markets and distributes Beadcrete’s branded glass bead products throughout the United States. It can be installed as an all-glass pool finish or combined with PebbleTec brand finishes for a beautiful, natural finish, say company officials.
Poolmaster is introducing the Club Island, a brand-new float. This oversized, 14-gauge inflatable features large backrests, beverage holders, a perimeter rope and a swim hole for easy access. It comes in turquoise with a white serene design on each backrest, and seats up to four.
Quikspray Inc.’s Model #15010HP-3 Carrousel Pump and UB-2 Mixer are designed to spray industrial applications, including stucco, cement or plaster interior/exterior coatings, epoxy/cement grouts, waterproofing and many texture-type products. This newly designed system is powered with 220 vac/60hz motors and controls.
Resodyn Engineered Polymeric Systems
Resodyn Corp.’s new ResoCoat, a durable, green, zero-VOC, easily repairable polymer thermal spray coating, is applied using the PTS-30 flameless system to completely seal a pool’s original surface from chemical absorption and calcium leaching. The fluid nature of the coating covers and seals porosity and spider cracks, while resisting UV and organic staining, according to company officials. It will bond to fiberglass and concrete, and is available in a wide color palette.
The new Florida Three Step Waterfall is RicoRock’s first cast rock kit that a homeowner can install without the need of additional coloring or mortar skills. The five-piece kit weighs 500 pounds and is ideal for retailers who require a high-profit aftermarket product.
Spa Loops’ new prefabricated PVC plumbing kit for inground concrete spas is available in 7-, 7 ½- and 8-foot diameters. Using the kit greatly simplifies the plumbing of a round spa, according to company officials, who also indicate it can be assembled and easily installed by one person before or after the steel rebar and helps to ensure alignment of the jets.
S.R. Smith’s third-party-verified, ADA-compliant Multilift comes standard with the new LiftOperator Intelligent Control System and features a 350-pound weight capacity. It can be installed as a fixed or removable unit. The Wheel-A-Way option provides the flexibility to remove the lift for poolside events or seasonal storage. The lift can be right- or left-side mounted.
Zodiac Pool Systems
Zodiac’s iAquaLink is a Web-based pool control system that users can access any time and anywhere, using a free smartphone application or other Web-enabled device to remotely monitor and access all elements of the pool.
The Aquabot JetStream by Aqua Products is an American-made, eco-efficient system designed to completely clean the floor, walls and waterline of any pool in approximately one hour, regardless of its shape or surface type, say company officials. It features the patented NeverStuck system for raised drains and pop-ups; a self-contained internal pump; and