What Are The 3 Most Popular In-ground Pool Options Of 2014?

As a pool experts, the question we get asked almost all the time is "What are the most popular options for in-ground pools and why?" I would say the three most popular options are salt water chlorinators, LED pool lights, and automatic safety covers. Here are the pros and cons of each.

 Salt Water Chlorinators

 Quality Salt water chlorinators provide exceptional water quality without the odor and irritation typically associated with traditional chlorine pools. Most people don’t know that a salt water pool is actually a chlorine pool. The machine actually converts salt into chlorine, and does so in such a way that the nasty odors and eye irritation associated with Chlorine aren’t present.

 Another huge advantage of salt water chlorinators is they are extremely low maintenance. To maintain chlorine levels simply add four to eight bags of granular salt directly to the pool each season. Salt can be purchased from any store that sells pool chemicals, comes in 40 LB bags, and costs about $12 per bag. Even though salt water pools are extremely low maintenance, water chemistry should still be monitored weekly. The initial cost of a salt water chlorinator is typically between $1,400 and $2,000. The salt will usually cost between $50 and $100 per season.  If you compare this to a typical chlorine system where you spend between $200 and $300 on chemicals each season, the long term costs are virtually the same. If there is any disadvantage to a salt water system it is the initial cost, but most people find that it is well worth it.

 LED In-ground swimming pool light

If you have ever seen a pool lit up at night or even looked at some of our pictures on our website, you can see why a lot of our customers consider lighting a need rather than a want. When comparing the cost of lighting to other accessories that beautify your pool, a light gives you the best bang for your buck. LED lights allow you to change light colors, rotate colors, and even project patterns into your pool.

 The life expectancy on the bulb is 10,000 hours so rarely, if ever, will you need to replace the bulb. If you do need to replace the bulb, it is easy and can be done without lowering the lever of water in your pool. We find that one light is adequate for pools less than 30’ and recommend an additional light for pools greater than 30’. You can expect to spend between $700 and $800 per light.

In Ground Pool Automatic Safety Covers

 Automatic pool covers are often referred to as inground pool covers, electric pool covers, or retractable pool coversThe primary purpose of automatic safety covers is to protect children and pets, but they also keep debris out of the pool and require no maintenance during the winter months while the pool is closed.  

I sometimes get asked, “Are these covers really as strong as they claim?” The answer is “Absolutely”. If you look at pictures of these covers it is easy to see why they are so popular.  Retractable pool covers run on a set of tracks. Tracks that run in a straight line are utilized to transport the cover over the pool. The tracks run parallel to each other for the length of your pool.

The biggest benefit is the saving on your heating costs, and this is where the cover can actually pay for itself. 90% of the heat loss from pool water occurs from the surface. Keeping it closed overnight or when you are not in the pool will keep you from running your heater, letting the cover do the work instead.

 A security cover will be between $8,500 and $10,000 installed. The manual option is definitely cheaper (about $4500), but works best on midsize pools and smaller.

Automatic covers provide these key benefits to the inground pool owner:
  • Safety and piece of mind.
  • Negates the need to incur these significant costs: fence around pool, winter cover and solar blanket/solar reel (potentially as much as $7,000)
  • More aesthetically pleasing especially since no fence is required in some cities with an approved pool cover.
  • Dramatic savings on heat and chemical costs.
  • Less maintenance due to debris not being able to get into pool when cover is closed.

 So here are the three most popular pool options for in-ground pools. I hope this helps you to make a more informed decision when deciding how to spend your hard earned dollars. If you would like to learn more about salt systems, pool lighting, or security covers check out our Pool Options page. It covers these options plus many more. Good luck this 2014 pool season!

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