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    Heads Up

    In-floor cleaning systems are designed to ease the ownership of pools by sweeping the interior surfaces, steps and benches of a pool while evenly distributing filtered water, heat and chemicals. In-floor systems are relatively simple; they consist of a mu

     
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    Be a Friend

    For pool builders, the question of how to handle low-ball bids from competitors has come up many times.

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Taking the Power Back

    A portable spa decked out with hundreds of jets, an 80,000-BTU electric heater and a surround-sound LCD flat screen doesn’t exactly yell green.

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    A Smarter Kind of Clean

    Hydraulic design and filtration also have played a role in improved efficiency

     
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    Water Softener Law Mistaken as Salt Ban

    Misunderstandings about a new California law led some to believe — incorrectly — that salt chlorine generators have been banned there.

     
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    Industry Pioneer Passes Away

    Marilyn L. Diamond, the Northeast service-company owner known as “The Pool Lady,” died Nov. 14 at her Atlantic Beach, N.Y., home after a brief battle with cancer.

     
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    Record Verdict in Diving Suit ‘Strikingly Low’

    A recent Illinois diving lawsuit has resulted in an $8.1 million judgment, an amount that’s been called the highest award for a pool-related case in the state.

     
  • Photo courtesy Hanley Wood Exhibitions

    IPSPE Boasts Strong Showing in Vegas

    Crowded classrooms and brisk booth traffic helped the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo complete another successful year in the face of economic uncertainty.

     
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    Prominent Firm Returns to Spa Market

    Another nationally recognized brand has re-entered the spa market after an unsuccessful venture with Living Water Products.

     
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    Major Vinyl-Liner Firm Files Chapter 11

    Industry giant Latham International has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

     
  • Photo courtesy Hanley Wood Exhibitions

    Joining Forces

    What do hot tubs have in common with Harley-Davidsons?

     
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    Start Me Up

    Communications expert and consultant Kare Anderson has worked with everyone from scientists to sales associates on ways to convey a clear, compelling and business-generating message.

     
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    All Systems Go

    Investing in a new management software system may be the furthest thought from your mind right now.

     
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    Purchasing Tips

    Software programs can go a long way toward improving efficiency for your company — but only if you invest in the right system.

     
  • Photo courtesy Dimension One Spas

    International Connection

    When Swiss spa dealer Laurent Frenzel decided to hire a full-time designer to create beautiful environments around the hot tubs he sells, some associates in America initially chuckled.

     
  • Photo illustration by Denise Baker

    Cutting Corners

    Photo illustration by Denise BakerJim Kuenzi has seen how new-pool prices have dropped, and he’s had enough.

     
  • Photo illustration by Denise Baker

    These are the Times

    I have a family friend named Jim whom I’ve known my entire life.

     
  • Photo illustration by Denise Baker

    Filtering for Maximum Efficiency

    A topic of much conversation in the industry lately has been energy efficiency in swimming pool systems.

     
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    Fiberglass Pools & Coatings

    The company’s AquaBright is a pneumatically applied thermoplastic powder pool coating; cures in seconds and can be installed on concrete and fiberglass pools by a crew of two; made to resist etching, scaling, mottling, chemical damage; outlasts convention

     
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    Pool Industry Expo Turns 23

    Celebrating its 23rd year, the Pool Industry Expo hosted another successful show on the California coast.

     
  • Photo courtesy PoolCorp

    PoolCorp Conference Highlights Market Trends

    More than 900 employees gathered last month for the third annual PoolCorp National Sales Conference and Trade Show.

     
  • PoolCorp Reveals Industry Statistics

     
  • California to Cut Two-Speed Pump Rebates

    California utilities are phasing out rebates for two-speed pumps to focus solely on incentives for variable-speed models.

     
  • Photo courtesy Cal Spas

    Spa Industry Sees Two Acquisitions

    Hard times in the spa industry have created opportunities for two manufacturers.

     
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    Hot Tub Market In Limbo Amid Sales Decline

    Not long ago, the Phoenix metro area was home to 60 hot tub stores.

     
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    Florida Increases Enforcement Against Unlicensed Contractors

    As the Florida pool market continues to flounder, pool builders and local enforcement agencies have increased their efforts to stifle unlicensed contractors.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pool Service America; graphic by Nick Orabovic

    White Collar Service

    In our culture, service techs often are portrayed as lackadaisical surfer-types who slid into the job.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pool Service America; graphic by Nick Orabovic

    Above and Beyond

    James Hawkins’ company has thrived, in part, because of its commitment to “The Pool Service America Difference,” a marketing manifesto that details the firm’s policies and credentials.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pool Service America; graphic by Nick Orabovic

    A Tradition of Growth

    James Hawkins is not your typical pool guy.

     
  • Healthy Rivalry

    He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper.”

     
  • Winning Them Over

    Dawn Danik may know her market as well as any hot tub dealer in the country.

     
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    Bearing the Burden

    In the realm of traumatic situations, losing your job ranks among the top, just below death of a loved one or going through a divorce.

     
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    Audit Time

    Taking on a new pool is almost always an opportunity to improve the backyard.

     
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    Selling to the Homeowner

    Service technicians often experience a tentativeness with new customers.

     
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    A Fundamental Truth

    Recently, I needed some shampoo, so I rode my bike to the local Target.

     
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    The Price of History

    At 401 feet long and 200 feet wide, Sunlite Pool is considered the largest re-circulating swimming vessel in the world.

     
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    Amazon Expands Pool, Spa Product Offerings

    Online giant Amazon has boosted its presence in the pool and spa market.

     
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    Key California Bills Pass Legislature

    California’s legislature has passed two highly anticipated bills — one to address the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act and another to help combat unlicensed contractors.

     
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    Steady Registration Builds Anticipation for Expo

    Though dwindling sales across the industry have trimmed staffs and reduced travel budgets, registration remains steady for the 2009 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo.

     
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    Pool Safety Group Emerges in Florida

    Could Florida Safe Pools succeed where other drowning prevention campaigns have fallen short?

     
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    Former Zodiac Executives Launch New Business

    A husband-and-wife team of Zodiac alumni are making an ambitious move.

     
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    Back in Time

    When it comes to renovations, some projects are minor, some are major, and some are let’s-just-pull-the-whole-thing-out-and-start-again

     
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    Trapping the Enemy

    Properly maintained sand filters do a fine job of keeping swimming pool water free of much of the undesirable bits and pieces that become suspended in it during normal use.

     
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    Being Here

    Pool & Spa News doesn’t generally make big mistakes.

     
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    State of the Market Forces

    Even as builders slash margins and drop prices to unthinkable lows, it’s never been more expensive to maintain a pool.

     
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    State of the Market

    Navigating the waters of chemical sales can be more hazardous than a leaky barrel of gas chlorine.

     
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    3M Exits Pool Plastering

    One of the most recognizable brands in pool plaster has become the latest casualty of the economic downturn.

     
  • BioLab Refocuses on Distribution Channels

    In hopes of reversing the effects of a historically unpopular move, BioLab has revived its SUN brand and re-entered the distribution market.

     
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    Multistore Firm Closes Doors

    Last year Dave Cintorino initiated a bold plan.

     
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    No Credit? They’ll Find a Way!

    The near absence of financing has caused builders and consumers to become increasingly creative in their efforts to get pools built.

     
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    Florida Eyes New Approach to Service Licensing

    While the road to licensure is being redrawn for Florida contractors, service technicians are already plotting their new route.

     
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    Hawaii Researches Pool Safety

    The Hawaiian state government has partnered with a pool and spa association to research pool owners’ knowledge of safety.

     
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    Inaccuracies Surround Reports of Entrapment

    A Florida toddler became entrapped in a condominium pool on Aug. 24, prompting headlines across Miami news outlets, along with a slew of misinformation.

     
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    Bob Rasp Leaves Zodiac

    The president/CEO of Zodiac Pool Systems Americas is stepping down.

     
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    Market Swells for Pre-Owned Spas

    In 2005, Billy Stallings sold upwards of 80 new hot tubs

     
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    Top 50 Builders Issue Correction

    In the Top 50 Builders Issue of Pool & Spa News ( August 28, 2009), data for Anthony & Sylvan was reported incorrectly.

     
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    Problems Arise Amid VGB-Required Retrofits

    In the months since the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act went into effect, problems have come to the surface and compliance is far from complete nationwide.

     
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    Winterizing Salt

    Closing a traditionally sanitized pool is a routine event that many of us have done over and over again. But the spectacular growth of saltwater pools brings new considerations to this old routine

     
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    Salt Pool Primer

    The following links will provide you with greater details on the unique characteristics of saltwater, especially in regards to conductivity and temperature

     
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    Getting More For Less

    In this economy, companies must make cuts large and small.

     
  • Photo courtesy Bella Vista Pools / APSP

    Art and Architecture

    In a push to come up with evermore creative backyard designs, many builders are mixing and matching multiple surfacing products to great effect.

     
  • Photo courtesy Paragon Pools

    Making an Impact

    Certain applications call out for different surfacing materials. Here are just a few places where multiple materials will heighten the look and/or function of the poolscape.

     
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    A Test of Endurance

    Proper execution is all about learning from experience. You may have to burn the tongue a few times before enjoying a taste of success. The design process on this fiberglass poolscape was no exception.

     
  • Photo courtesy MRM Design Group, PA

    Project Pictorial

    The leading edge of the pool cover was tinted black for two reasons — to blend in with the overall color scheme of the aquascape, as well as to appear transparent.

     
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    Putting on a New Hat

    Tim Murphy didn’t ask for a new job, but the economy gave him one.

     
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    Residential Specialty Trade Contractor Employment

    The construction boom of the early 2000s created a historically tight labor market. Specialty tradespeople, including tile setters, masons and electricians, had more work than they could handle.

     
  • Photo courtesy Paragon Pools

    Feeding Frenzy

    The way Americans perceive suction entrapment is changing rapidly.

     
  • Photo by Denise Baker

    The New Bully

    To say that some homeowners have become brazen in this economy is an understatement.

     
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    Solving Stains

    Salt chlorine pools have become popular over the past few years.

     
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    A Test of Endurance

    Proper execution is all about learning from experience.

     
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    Clash Over Cal Hypo Headed to Court :Two

    A Phoenix retailer is embroiled in a legal battle with the city fire department over the storage of calcium hypochlorite, a powerful Class 3 oxidizer.

     
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    Questions Surround VGB Work in Florida

    A variety of issues surrounding the VGB Act are causing concern for industry professionals across Florida.

     
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    VGB Media Coverage Takes a New Tone:One

    Media coverage focusing on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act has intensified in frequency and tone, due in part to national television spots initiated by the Pool Safety Council.

     
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    Honoring the Masters

    To be honest, I was not particularly excited about compiling this year’s Masters of Design issue.

     
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    Clash Over Cal Hypo Headed to Court:One

    A Phoenix retailer is embroiled in a legal battle with the city fire department over the storage of calcium hypochlorite, a powerful Class 3 oxidizer.

     
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    Questions Surround VGB Work in Florida

    A variety of issues surrounding the VGB Act are causing concern for industry professionals across Florida.

     
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    VGB Media Coverage Takes a New Tone:Two

    Media coverage focusing on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act has intensified in frequency and tone, due in part to national television spots initiated by the Pool Safety Council.

     
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    The New Bully

    To say that some homeowners have become brazen in this economy is an understatement.

     
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    APSP Drops Hot Tub Initiative

    The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has abandoned its nationwide hot tub campaign.

     
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    Industry Reacts to Increase in Drowning

    Faced with record high drowning numbers in Texas, the Independent Pool & Spa Service Association is campaigning for stronger water safety education.

     
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    Off the Map: Law Jeopardizes Minimum Pricing

    Under a new state law, retailers in Maryland may no longer have to set minimum prices for certain products.

     
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    Calif. Delays Title 24, Cleaner Rebates

    Two California programs targeting energy efficiency have been delayed.

     
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    Studies Show Pool Hygiene Poor

    New research reveals that people’s pool hygiene may be a lot worse than you think, and swim diapers aren’t helping matters.

     
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    Verifying Vacuum

    Six months past the compliance deadline for the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, pool professionals are still learning the nuances of the law.

     
  • Maintenance Mode

    A common concern among techs is setting off the SVRS while vacuuming. By plugging a vacuum into the skimmer, a tech can cause the vacuum level to increase and the SVRS to trip.

     
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    In Complete Compliance:one

    For a pool to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, it takes more than just connecting two drains to the pump and adding a VGB-approved drain cover.

     
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    Below the Surface

    Javier Payan has had a change of heart. When the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act first passed, the president of Payan Pool Service in El Cajon, Calif., agreed with many in the industry. Then he and his crews began conducting the site evaluations necessary to help bring public pools...

     
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    In Complete Compliance:two

    For a pool to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, it takes more than just connecting two drains to the pump and adding a VGB-approved drain cover.

     
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    Entrapment Claim Spurs First VGB Lawsuit

    The first entrapment lawsuit citing the federal Pool and Spa Safety Act has been filed, yet the series of events that actually occurred are in question.

     
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    Wal-Mart Sued Over Inflatable Pool Drowning

    A woman in Philadelphia has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart after her son drowned in an inflatable pool purchased from the retail giant.

     
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    New Website to Market Excess Inventory

    A down economy has given rise to a new type of business for the pool and spa industry. Using a model similar to Craig’s List, AquaLiquidators.com brings buyers and sellers of excess inventory together.

     
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    Two Employees Buy Top 50 Pool Company

    Pulliam Pools, one of the nation’s largest builders, has been purchased by two of its employees.

     
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    Slowdown Squeezes Industry Margins

    Competitive pressures have forced many builders into survival mode, where they often settle for significantly lower profit margins.

     
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    Industry Scores Licensing Victory In Texas

    Texas service technicians should soon be able to change out pump motors with peace of mind.

     
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    Diving In

    About a week ago one of our reporters, Rebecca Robledo, walked briskly into my office. “I have a news story,” she said.

     
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    Cover Stories

    I’ve had my share of customers who are particularly abusive to their safety covers.

     
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    The Winner’s Circle

    In 1999, Buzz Ghiz established the Paramount Advisory Committee Enterprise. Buzz’s mission was to assist his fellow pool companies with business practices to grow our industry.

     
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    A Force to Reckon With

    As pool industry professionals, we are being directed by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act to install anti-entrapment drain covers and safety vacuum release systems (SVRS) on many public pools.

     
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    Outrun the Bear

    You’ve probably heard the joke about the two guys walking in the woods who accidentally startle a hungry bear.

     
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    Abandonment Issues

    When Phoenix-based Riviera Pools declared bankruptcy in fall 2008, president and CEO Ron Ostlund vowed to complete the 50 or so projects his company had not yet finished.