Hot Tubs and Spas (6)

How are spas insulated?

There are commonly two ways full foam, and warm air insulated.

-Good- Full Foam: The manufacturer molds a thin shell into its seating form, plumbs the jets, attaches three sides of the cabinet and then pumps foam under the shell of the tub. Many of these manufactures use the foam as the structural support of the tub’s shell. This fill foam also makes finding and fixing leaks difficult as it requires the foam to be dug away from the piping. The removal of this foam also compromises the structural support of the tub’s shell.

-Better- Warm Air Insulation: The shell is formed into its seating, then the jets are plumbed and only the underside of the shell and each individual pipe is given a layer of insulating foam. This makes it easier to service the tub. Inside the cabinet the motors (pumps) generate heat over 100°. This insulates the spa like a thermal pane window. Adding Reflex Foil Wrap inside the cabinet of a tub with this design will improve insulation in very cold climate areas.

Are All Shells Made the Same?

No, there are two different kinds of shells , acrylic and a Polyblend (like a truck bed liner.) Most manufactures use acrylic because of its shiny, swirled colors . Polyblend is a little dull but much stronger (you could throw boulders into it.)

What gives the shell its strength?

When a shell is formed into its seating arrangement it is still very flimsy until given strength. Some manufactures cut comers and just use full foam insulation for strength. A stronger shell includes a layer of abs thermoplastic backing which gives the spa great strength and long lasting durability.

Does more jets mean a better spa?

No, buy a spa first on comfort then how many jets it has. If you like a hard massage, buy a spa with a lot of jets, but make sure the pumps have the proper horsepower to accommodate the jet count. Too many jets and small pumps equal no pressure.

Why do some spas come with a dial that sends pressure to different areas of the spa?

This is called zoned plumbing.  The manufacture takes a pump and sends all the power to one side of the spa or to different seating areas. So if your the only one in the spa you can enjoy all the power to one seat. Also look for MassageAir therapy valves, this adds soothing bubbles through all the jets.

Why do some spas not use a sealed bottom floor?

This is an easy one “cost”. A lot of manufactures have cut comers to make more of a profit. They figure you are putting the spa on a flat surface so you don’t need a bottom. That’s crazy! What happens if you put it on a deck, there are gaps in the boards and critters will move in, tunneling through the foam (not good). Buy a spa with a molded ABS sealed floor.

Swimming Pools (6)

What is the best filter to use?

We feel that the cartridge filter is better then sand and D.E. (diatomaceous earth). A grain of table salt is 90 microns . The sand filter will filter down to 30 microns the cartridge cleans as small as 7 microns and the D. E. system will filter down to 5 microns. The D.E. systems filter to a smaller particle but they require much more maintenance then the sand or cartridge filters . This is because every time they are cleaned, they should be soaked in muratic acid, and then sprayed of and more D.E. needs to be added to the filter.

A sand filter is not bad because it is less maintenance then the D.E. system. For those who are on well water, be aware that cleaning a sand filter involves flushing dirt from the sand via water in the pool. This means that if more water is needed after the filter is clean the chemical level of the metals copper and iron, as well as the pH and alkalinity levels of the water have gone up and may have to be treated. When using a cartridge (also called element filter) the only water that is lost is what is in the canister (not enough to add more water) and simply spraying the cartridge with a garden hose should leave the filter clean and ready to put back. This is the best balance between filtration and less work!

Why would I want center (or floor) drains?

Every above ground pool has a surface skimmer, whether it is over the wall or through the wall. The skimmer can only take the top 6-8″ of water from the top of the pool and send it through the filter and back into the pool.

The purpose of the floor drain is to improve filtration and circulation by drawing the water in the pool from the floor drains as well as the skimmer. Now there is filtration from two spots instead of just one. The result is a cleaner, clearer pool and less vacuuming. Dirt and debris can be brushed to the bottom drain where it will be picked up and sent to the filtration system. Now that saves you time and work!

How do I know what size filter to use?

Horse power on motors can range anywhere from 1/2 hp all the way up to 2hp: running the pump and motor on your pool will keep it filtered and clean, the more you run the filter system the better. The only down fall to running the filter a lot is operational cost.

Depending on how large the hp is will fluctuate operational cost, the bigger the motor (hp) the more it will cost to run the motor.Look into getting 2 speed motors low speed and high speed to cut down on electrical costs. Contact your nearest viscount location to find out what size is right for the pool you want.

What is the difference between a one speed motor and a two speed motor?

A single speed motor would be considered to have only high speed. Most pool owners with one speed motor are running the filter ten hours on and ten hours off. This is enough circulation to keep the water clean as long as you remember to run the filter every day.

The advantage of a two speed motor is that you can run the motor on low speed 24/7 and it doesn’t cost any more to run then the one speed motor, but allows 24 hour filtration instead of just 10

Are there a difference in how oval pools are made?

Yes some pools use a traditional side bracing. These are known as those brackets that stick out in the yard about three feet. Then there are yard saving buttress supports that don’t stick out in to the yard. Now some manufactures use yard saving supports that have to be trenched into the ground and require blocking and concrete to hold them in place.

The better way is a yard saving buttress that is referred to as a no dig support sits on ground and is connected to the other one opposite of each other. Which self squares itself a great design for a do it yourself installation.

Do I have to pull a permit for a pool?

Yes, you should contact your city or townships building department for rules and regulations on where you can place the pool in your yard. You should also check on requirements for safety you may need a fence on the pool.

Pool Tables (7)

How big is the room in which I wish to place the table?

When choosing a pool table, there are several questions that you must first answer for yourself. These questions are geared to several different categories. The first thing that you must determine is what size table you wish to purchase. Sometimes, this will be decided by your room dimensions, and other times it may be decided by the intended use of your table. Although pool tables are commonly referred to as 4 x 8′ or 4 1/2 x 9′, the table itself will not measure those dimensions. Tables come in four different sizes;

Common Size
3 1/2 x 7′
4 x 8′
4 x 8′ oversized
4 Y2 X 9′
actual playing surface
39″ x 78″
44″ x 88″
46″ x 92″
50″ x 100″
outside dimension
52″ x 91″
57″x l0l”
59″ x 105″
63″ x 113″

What size table do I have room for and what size table do I wish to own?

When deciding what size table to buy, most people will incorrectly want to know the outside measurements of the pool table. While there is nothing wrong with having this information, it is more important to consider the playing surface measurements.

The reason for this is that the ball will never travel beyond this perimeter; therefore, your shots always come from within those dimensions. You then allow room around the playing surface for cue stick clearance. If you have room for your cue sticks, you will have plenty of room to walk and move around your new pool table.

What considerations should I consider when buying a pool table?

For the kids to use? If you are buying the table mainly to entertain the kids, then the styling may not be as important as the quality. For the adults to use? If mainly the adults will use the table, then you may want the largest size available to you along with the fancier styling.

As a piece of furniture for the home? If you are buying the table as a piece of furniture for your home, then obviously, you will want to get the most attractive table that your budget will allow. Your answer may actually be a combination of all three. That is OK; tailor your table to your own desires.

What can you tell me about the slate of a pool table?

Slate can come in either a 1- piece section or a 3-piece set. 1-piece slate is very cumbersome and difficult to level because it covers such a large expanse of space. It is generally only 12″ in thickness and does not have any guarantees concerning the level. The most common place that 1 piece slate can be found is on coin operated, or very inexpensive tables.

3-piece slate is the best type of slate because it allows for more precise leveling. With three different sections of slate, each can be leveled individually to achieve a perfect level. This, of course, will allow your table to play better. 3 piece slate is available in several different thickness including, 3/4″, 7/8″, and 1″.

How thick is the slate?

This is one of the most important questions to ask about slate. The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) requires that the slate on tournament tables be 1″ thick and three pieces.

3/4″ slate, when in the 3 pc. configuration, is generally used to give the convenience of leveling and handling while keeping the cost of the table as low as possible. This slate is usually, but not always, used on less expensive tables.

7/8″ slate is often used as a substitute for true 1″ slate. It comes only in three pieces and it is hard for the untrained eye to tell the difference between 7/8″ and 1″. A table with this slate should be a little less expensive than a table with 1″ slate. This can also be a good indicator that a manufacturer is trying to save money on the construction of the table.

1″ thick slate is the only slate approved by the BCA for tournament use. It comes only in 3 pieces. It will provide the truest and most accurate play of any of the three slate thicknesses . It is the very best slate, as it is the only slate guaranteed by the slate mines not to warp. Although it is only slightly more expensive than 7/8″, it is 12.5% heavier in total weight. It is important to note that the weight of the table will have direct impact on how true a ball rolls and rebounds.

What style of pocket is used?

There are basically three types of pockets used in the industry today. Each is unique in the way that it mounts to the table. #6 and #3 pockets both have the pocket cover wrapped around a metal iron that forms the shape of the pocket. The #6 has pins that insert into the end of each rail. A bolt is then inserted from the underside of the rail to secure the pocket. The #3 has pins which usually flush mount to the top of the rail. Many antique tables have #3 pockets. Both of these style pockets are exposed to the eye when looking at the table. They actually form a joint, which connects the rails. Because of the shape of the iron, they will play better than other style pockets.

Enclosed pockets are the third type of pocket. It is totally enclosed within the rail system. The pocket is actually inserted within a cutout inside the rail. It is usually used on very inexpensive style tables, commercial style tables, or modem style tables. These pockets are generally made of plastic or rubber, but may be leather on more expensive tables.

Anything else I should know before buying a pool table?

You are about to make a major purchase. You should assume that the table you purchase would last the rest of your life. Take the time to compare tables from several different manufacturers and be sure that you are getting the best quality table that your budget will allow. Armed with a little knowledge, you should be able to ask the right questions and make the best choice for yourself.

If you any further questions or comments please use our contact form and we will be glad to answer any question or concern you may have.