Believe it or not, pool season is about to begin. And industry professionals are seeking the latest tools to optimize their businesses and meet customer demand for products worthy of their backyard getaways. From sanitation solutions and fire tables to safety equipment and pumps, innovations abound in the annual New Products Supplement. We tabulated reader response to each item to compile the Top 50 Products found here. Information on this list is based on data provided by manufacturers.
Pleatco now offers Filter Flosser and Power Pic, powerful, easy-to-use tools specifically developed for cleaning cartridge filter systems for pools, spas and industrial applications. These quick and user-friendly tools fit a regular garden hose, save 50 percent of time and water, and can be used for any filter cartridges regardless of size or make, say company officials. Contact: (516) 609-0200; pleatco.com
The octagon granite tabletop of Designing Fire’s Oriflamme Fire Table now is available in Absolute Black and Giallo Fiorito. It also comes with one of seven uniquely designed burners and artistic glass in 24 color options.
Contact: (800) 445-4559; designingfire.com
Balboa Water Group
MicroSilk for Hot Tubs from Balboa Water Group produces billions of oxygen-rich microsized therapy bubbles that increase oxygen levels in the water to improve a bather’s natural collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a young, silky feeling, say company officials. The bubbles enter the pore, remove impurities, smoothen and plump the skin, and neutralize free radicals.
Contact: (717) 384-0384; http://younglooking.me
Cover Valet’s new Spa Side Heat Premium Patio Heater has a striking, modern design with a flame that dances within a 4-foot-high quartz glass tube, offering even, safe heat distribution. It includes an infrared remote control.
Contact: (800) 730-7727; covervalet.com
Install the new patented Press-in Check Valve from Afras Industries by pressing it inside the standard pipe fitting such as adapter, bushing, elbow, nipple, coupling or tee. Available in ½-, ¾-, 1-, 1 ½- and 2 inches.
Contact: (805) 230-0011; afrasinc.com
Hayward Pool Products
Hayward Pool Products’ new Salt & Swim 3C Salt Chlorinator offers a natural and cost-saving approach to chlorination that also eliminates red eyes, dry skin and hair, and harsh chlorine odor associated with factory-produced chlorine, say company officials. Each unit produces 200 pounds of 100 percent available chlorine.
Contact: (908) 351-5400; hayward.com
Available in spring 2013, the International Code Council’s ISPSC Code and Commentary contains the full text of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, including tables and figures, and corresponding commentary at the end of each section. It also contains the APSP-7 Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance.
Contact: (800) 786-4452; shop.iccsafe.org
Black and Stone
EzyFlame outdoor and indoor tabletop decorative fire features from Black and Stone, models EZDF210 and EZDF230, are fueled with clean-burning denatured ethanol and feature a 304 grade stainless steel burner surrounded by tempered glass.
Contact: (800) 605-2515; blackandstone.com
The new Pool Bladder from Kayden Manufacturing is an easy-to-use, 5,000-gallon capacity, temporary water storage unit. Ideal for liner replacement jobs and other needs, the unit measures 16 feet square but is available in other sizes upon request.
Contact: (201) 880-9898; poolbladder.com
Frank Wall Enterprises
The new Smart Gasket by Frank Wall Enterprises, LCC, is a peel-and-stick gasket material for use on vinyl skimmers, main drains, return inlets, lights and steps that can be applied easily without the use of glue.
Contact: (800) 488-9146; frankwall.com
The Century Centurion PRO pool and spa motor’s new features include a hybrid end frame design, a PCB terminal board, voltage change device, a definitive shaft access path, and sealed ball bearings, among other enhancements to the accessible design that improves the installation experience.
Contact: (866) 887-5216; pool-motors.com
Myron L Co.
Myron L Co.’s new ORP and temperature tester, the ULTRAPEN PT3, features dip-and-scoop sampling for standing bodies of water and vertical streams for real-time analysis. Constructed of durable aircraft aluminum with an easy-to-read LCD and one-button functions.
Contact: (800) 869-7668; myronl.com
Great American Merchandise & Events
GAME’s SolarPRO solar heaters for aboveground pools are easy to install and provide an unbeatable price-to-performance ratio. The SolarPRO XD2, the larger of two dome-style solar heaters from GAME, can add weeks to the swim season using free energy from the sun in a space-saving footprint.
Contact: (888) 382-5988; game-group.com
Backyard America now offers the Trex Pergola, featuring the ColorLast finishing process. The highly durable coating resists scratches and chips, and performs well under extreme temperatures and moisture, say company officials. It’s available in nine standard colors to coordinate with Trex decking and railing, or can be matched with any custom color.
Contact: (877) 489-8064; trexpergola.com
The PVC grade 1 NFS-approved EZ Turn Compact Ball Valve guarantees easy turn operation throughout the life of the valve due to low friction seals and special assembly methods, say company officials. The valves are Schedule 80-150 psi rated and come in 1 ½-inch through 3-inch sizes.
Contact: (800) 461-4915; prahervalves.com
Kelley Technical Coatings
Olympic Clear Sealers from Kelley Technical Coatings are waterborne acrylic coatings available in semi-gloss and matte finishes. Perfect for salt protection on natural stone and rock, and ideal for patios, decks, pavers, waterscapes and more, the sealer can be applied by spray, brush or roller.
Contact: (800) 458-2842; kelleytech.com
Water Tech Corp.
The new Pool Blaster SpaVac from Water Tech Corp. is a simple, lightweight, easy-to-use spa vacuum designed to remove the smallest dirt and debris. The complete SpaVac kit comes with a sectional pool pole for extended reach cleaning. The cordless unit will vacuum for more than an hour using three C-cell batteries.
Contact: (800) 298-8800; watertechcorp.com
Pool Cover Specialists
Pool Cover Specialists has upgraded the Infinity 4000 Automatic Pool Cover Mechanism to include the new Quick Connect Cords for simple wiring; the new Reversible Double Dog, which allows a technician to reverse the double dog in seconds without having to pull the unit; and the new 2013 Smart Controller to change torque and sensor modes in the field using the key switch or touch pad.
Contact: (800) 369-5152; poolcovers.com
The all new, patent-pending Skimmer Grille by SimPoolTec conceals skimmer hardware while simultaneously keeping unwanted items, such as floating dispensers, noodles, toys, thermometers and more, from entering the skimmer. No installation or tools are required. Simply push the grille in place on just about any existing faceplate.
Contact: (800) 630-2456; skimmergrille.com
Mi-Way’s Pool and Spa Aqua Combs are U.S.-made, handheld devices that attach to a standard garden hose and feature a 3-inch water spray with a 9-finger pic comb to easily clean cartridge filters in three to five minutes. It will even remove marsite and desert dust fines from filters.
Contact: (941) 922-7786; miwayinc.com
Magic Plastics’ Retro Smart Check Valve can be used to switch out and upgrade an old-style restrictive Center-Poppet Spring or an old-style Swing Check Acme Threaded Valve. It is sold separately as a replacement body in 1 ½- and 2-inch sizes. The light ½-pound spring allows the valve to be installed in any orientation while still achieving a 100 percent full-flow opening.
Contact: 661-257-4485; magicplastics.com
Within seconds of landing on the pool bottom, BioLab’s Angry Egg clears cloudy water. Once the container is emptied, it uses sink-to-float technology and rises back to the surface for easy removal. After the action-cleaning foam has dissipated, the pool is ready for bathers. Angry Egg is recommended for use after events such as pool parties, severe weather, pool openings and more.
Contact: (800) 859-7946; biolabinc.com
Outdoor GreatRoom Co.
The new Uptown Fire Pit Table from The Outdoor GreatRoom Co. features a Super Cast surround for a sleek look and a stylish granite lower level that accommodates food and beverages while also creating a reflection.
Contact: (866) 303-4028; outdoorrooms.com
Splash-A-Round Pools’ Quik Swim pool is meant to fill the gap between inexpensive inflatable pools and premium quality soft-sided pools, say company officials. The cash-and-carry product measures 10-by-18-by-4-feet and includes a skimmer, skimmer basket, return line, underwater patch kit, two winterizing plugs and two wall fittings. It features 1 ½-inch galvanized steel framework, 27 mil polyfabric reinforced liner and a 20-by-20 scrim polyester fabric core.
Contact: (909) 980-7709; splasharoundpools.com
The new 60W Savior Solar Powered Surface Skimmer, Light and Control Center from Natural Current will skim any pool, spa or pond all day, say company officials. Available with a solar-powered rechargeable battery attachment, it features a light attachment with full RGB color palette range that can be operated using a smartphone or handheld device to change color, brightness or mood.
Contact: (855) 372-8467; savior.com
Red Leopard’s new Big Ole Brush features a weighted design and fanned nylon bristles for enhanced ergonomic cleaning. It also won’t collapse while sweeping walls, floors or steps, say company officials.
Contact: (352) 746-3869; red-leopard.net
The all new Confer Curve Pool Step starts out as a single unit and expands to form the complete curve system. Steps are available in aboveground and inground models. The new warm gray [beige] color complements today’s pools, and the snap-together construction makes assembly easy.
Contact: (800) 635-3213; conferplastics.com
Latham Pool Products’ new patent-pending Ultra-Seam process makes floor seams stronger and virtually invisible, say company officials.
Contact: (800) 833-3800; lathampool.com
The new Eyeball Seat Wrench III from Lass Enterprises is designed to fit a wide variety of threaded 1 ½-inch eyeball seats. Machined from a solid block of aluminum, the wrench slides into the slots of the eyeball seat and allows the user to provide balanced torque, which enables the removal of the eyeball seat without damage to it or the threaded fitting in the pool wall.
Contact: (407) 682-6334; toolsforpools.com
DEL Ozone’s new, sustainable and eco-friendly Solar Eclipse combines UV radiation and the antimicrobial oxidation power of ozone to work synergistically and independently to create hydroxyl free radical, which enables minimal amount of chlorine use.
Contact: (800) 676-1335; delozonepool.com
VacCare’s new automatic air relief safety valve, ASV3000, provides immediate release of trapped air inside a pool filter, guarding against injury or death from accidental blow-offs. Made of high-strength thermoplastic materials, the valve is equipped with a debris purge system, a filter cleaning vent plug, an automatic reset and a self-cleaning rotating mechanism. Regardless of pump or filter size, the valve adjusts itself to any pressure level of an existing pool system.
Contact: (818) 701-6200; vaccare.com
The new Color Splash LED lighting fixtures from J&J Electronics offer the same functionality as the company’s Color Splash replacement lamps and still only use 45 watts. The fixtures feature a zero pixilation lens and a rugged contemporary design. They also allow for multiple light synchronization and custom color selection, and are rated with a 50,000-hour life.
Contact: (800) 735-4553; jandjpoolspa.com
Aqua Creek Products
The new Pool Pro-XR lift is based on Aqua Creek Products’ original lift design. Certified by a third party for ADA compliance, it includes a 350-pound weight capacity, an extended reach, a higher seat for easier wheelchair transfers, and an increased setback of up to 38 inches.
Contact: (406) 549-0769; aquacreek.com
Poolmaster’s new Aqua Drifter Chair features a contoured body design, inflatable pontoon-style side floats, and a built-in pillow. Made with durable, non-corrosive PVC framing, weather-resistant textile fabric, and available in a compact, full-color merchandisable box, it also comes in a lounge style.
Contact: (916) 567-9800; poolmaster.com
S.R. Smith’s new salt-friendly, CPSC-compliant heliX slide features a water delivery system that provides “splashing fun” from top to bottom.
Contact: (800) 824-4387; srsmith.com
Delta UV’s new BlueLine UV Series removes the smell of chlorine; helps prevent red eyes, dry skin and damaged hair; and destroys microorganisms not eliminated by chlorine and salt systems, say company officials. Manufactured in the USA, the products are available to fit any size of pool or spa.
Contact: (866) 899-8765; deltauv.com
Pentair Aquatic Systems
Pentair’s commercial IntelliZone ozone generator uses ozone’s oxidation and sanitation power combined with traditional chlorine systems to produce the clearest pool water possible, say company officials. In addition to reducing chlorine consumption by as much as 50 percent, the NSF 50-approved unit reduces chemical odors indoors and has no harmful byproducts. It is available in eight sizes.
Contact: (800) 831-7133; pentaircommercial.com
ControlOMatic’s new MiniChlor spa saltwater system generates continuous spa sanitation without moving parts, separate buttons, control boxes or timers. The unit produces chlorine or bromine on three-hour cycles.
Contact: (530) 205-4520; controlomatic.com
Rec1Products now offers Mobile-Pings, a sales continuation tool utilizing sms, email and voice communication technology transmitted via a secured user gateway to remind and educate customers on the importance of regular pool or spa maintenance and filter cleanings. It also will send out coupons and incentives.
Contact: (801) 737-5750; mobilepings.com
Raypak’s new Professional Series Variable-Speed Pump line is available in two model sizes: PS165VSP at 1.65hp and PS270VSP at 2.70hp, the former of which utilizes a new technology motor and controller from Century. The pump features easy-to-read 24-hour scale and rpm, which can be set from 600 to 3450 with increments of 250 rpm, as well as built-in freeze protection and 2-inch quick-disconnect unions for easy installation and service. It also includes built-in power backup that protects programming.
Contact: (805) 278-5300; raypak.com
D&D Technologies’ new LokkLatch Magnetic features an “industry-first,” unique push/pull action magnetic latching system, say company officials. It uses patented magnetic/lost motion with dual re-keyable six-pin locks and vertical/horizontal adjustment. It can be customized with optional trim covers in black, brushed metal or chrome.
Contact: (800) 716-0888; ddtechglobal.com
The proven traditional design of SPAccessories’ Cover Classic Spa Cover Lift makes it simple and easy to install, say company officials. Featuring bottom mount and handles up to 99 inches, the unit is constructed of powder-coated black aluminum and is available with optional brackets for round spas and under-cabinet application.
Contact: (888) 772-5438; 888spalift.com
Flexible Solutions’ Heatsavr now is available in a new weekly liquid solar pool cover dosage rate for residential pool owners. Now customers can dose their pools just once every seven days, at the rate of 4 ounces per 15,000 to 20,000 gallons. A single bottle will last an average of two months.
Contact: (800) 661-3560; liquidpoolcovers.com
H2flow Controls’ FlowVis flow meter is the first and only one in the pool industry to receive NSF certification, say company officials. The unit underwent an extensive array of tests to confirm its accuracy, reliability and overall performance. The tests concluded that FlowVis has an average accuracy of 2.01 percent based on a flow rate of 20-110 gpm, regardless of proximity to elbows and tees.
Contact: (888) 635-0296; h2flow.net
Auraco’s new pH neutral and chemical-free Spa Filter Cleanser removes dirt, lotions, body oils and organic contaminants.
Contact: (855) 514-3370; auraco.net
Design Refine-Refine Design
The new patent-pending Skimmer Cover Animal Escape Device by Design Refine-Refine Design provides small animals and bugs an escape option when trapped in a pool’s skimmer basket area behind the weir gate. Two opposing white textured ramps with a center resting spot enable animals to climb out of the water and reach the sturdy hinged lid. Smaller animals and bugs can use the access hole to open the lid.
Contact: (480) 753-5753; designrefine-refinedesignllc.com
LASCO Fittings’ new line of fully engineered compact repair couplings, UltraFix, is compact in design to fit into small spaces, enabling the repair of a broken pipe or the installation of a new valve without replacing a large section of a pipe. The dual EPDM O-rings assure a leak-free installation. Because the O-ring seals in the full travel of the piston, UltraFix also can be used as an expansion joint.
Contact: (800) 776-2756; lascofittings.com
Designed for all pool shapes and surfaces, the new Aquabot Breeze 4WD from Aqua Products captures debris down to 2 microns. It features top-loading access for quick and easy cleaning of the filter, and a rotating brush underneath to loosen stubborn dirt.
Contact: (800) 221-1750; aquabot.com
Aquamatic Cover Systems
HydraLux by Aquamatic Cover Systems is a trackless, floating European slat-style pool cover that can be used on any converging pool or spa shape. Made of extruded, rigid PVC slats, the cover provides automation without the use of tracks, ropes and leading edge bars. Available in many models and up to six colors, it can be installed as a recessed, in-floor or deck-mounted system.
Contact: (800) 262-4044; aquamatic.com
Industrial Test Systems
The award-winning Pool Check-i handheld digital analyzer from Industrial Test Systems has been upgraded to include Bluetooth. This capability instantly transmits test results for six vital pool and spa water parameters with time and date markers from the analyzer to smartphone apps or computer software. It is compatible with pool maintenance software from App on the Run and RB Control Systems.
Contact: (800) 861-9712; sensafe.com