Top 5 Upgrades for a Modern Swimming Pool

A modern pool doesn’t necessarily have to be a new pool. Instead, a modern pool should be low maintenance, it should use the minimum necessary chemicals, and its energy usage should be low as well. On top of those attributes, a modern pool should be easy and simple to use and it should operate reliably and predictably. A modern pool should put you in control, allowing the pool to stay beautiful with minimal effort, and doing so without locking you into overly-complex technology.

Since electronic chlorine generators have been on the market for around 40 years and as of 2007 over 70% of new pools utilized them, we’ll simply state that automatically generating the chlorine your pool needs from a low level of salinity in the pool is fundamental to a truly “modern” pool. However, if you’re not yet benefiting from salt chlorination, you should take a quick read here and reconsider making that your first step to modernizing your pool.

For those of you who are already enjoying the many benefits of a salt system, or already intend to do so, here are the five key upgrades you should seriously consider to bring the rest of your pool up to the same level. The focus here is new technological improvements to your pool system which can significantly reduce the effort and expense required by pool ownership, while also ensuring the pool stays looking beautiful.

What’s not to like about saving up to 85% in energy costs?1 That noisy, old single speed pump may have served you well, but it is likely the second largest user of electricity in your home, right up there next to your air conditioner.

Variable Speed Pumps (VSPs) are programmable and so they eliminate the need for a timer and allow you to program their operation for optimal circulation, sanitation and convenience. Oh, and VSPs are also whisper-quiet. Forget about trying to run your pump when nobody’s outside or having to turn off the pump just to fully enjoy your time in and around the pool.

Even better, the optimized water flow provided by a VSP also improves your filtration, allowing your pool filter to more easily capture finer particles. That means your pool filter system works better while also using less energy - that’s win/win.

TIP: Have a single-speed pump that’s still working away noisily (and soaking up electricity like a sponge)? Don’t wait! Put that relic in your storage shed for emergencies and let the energy savings pay off a new VSP as quickly as 1-2 years.

1Savings based on Energy Star savings calculator with 2.0THP variable-speed pump compared to a 1.5HP single-speed pump running US average run times and energy costs on a 20,000 gallon pool as of 2023. Actual savings may vary based on local utility rates, pool size, pump run time, pump horsepower, pump RPM, plumbing size and length, pump model, service factor and/or other local or hydraulic factors.

Filtering your pool’s water is vital for the safety and appearance of your pool water. But nobody looks forward to the time and aggravation of cleaning filter cartridges or wasting hundreds of gallons of water backwashing a sand or DE filter.

Since cleaning out a pool filter can be such a pain, using a cyclonic pre-filter like the CircuPool TJ-16 Typhoon can cut maintenance on your main filter, making it need cleaning up to 4-6 times less often. So for example, if you clean your filter cartridges maybe once a month, you can expect to only do that once every 4-6 months.

The Typhoon prefilter accomplishes all this by intercepting up to 80% of incoming dirt, capturing it in its clear sediment chamber. This makes it simple to periodically purge the pre-filter on demand, using as little as four gallons of water and taking virtually no time at all.

TIP: Since a pre-filter will intercept so much of what otherwise reaches your main filter, the pool capacity a filter will handle is increased by 50-66%. This could potentially allow you to effectively use a lower capacity - less expensive - filter if that cost savings is important to you (depending on your pool’s filtration needs).

By virtue of your pool’s saltwater chlorine generator, you’ve already eliminated the single biggest hassle associated with a pool, ie. buying, storing and adding chlorine to the pool. To eliminate the second most time consuming aspect of routine chemical maintenance, simply upgrade your pool with a pH control system like the CircuPool TOTALBalance pH Control system.

Your pool’s pH is the backbone of your water balance and is central to the interaction between the other components of your water chemistry. The more consistent you can be with your pH level, the better it is for your pool water and your swimmers.

On top of all this, a CircuPool TOTALBalance pH control system will allow you to accurately and steadily manage your pH without using and handling muriatic acid.Unlike most chemical automation systems, the TOTALBalance is simple to use and easy to install.

TIP: You might not realize how vital it is to keep your pH in balance! Unbalanced pH can make your pool’s chlorine significantly less effective, it can cause discomfort for your swimmers, and can contribute to etching of pool surfaces as well as deposits of calcium scaling or crystals on pool surfaces and salt cells.

Remember, a truly modern pool is one where you can maximize the time spent in and around your pool and minimize the time lost to maintaining the pool. One of the best ways to achieve this is to eliminate the need for vacuuming, scrubbing, skimming, netting leaves, or any other similar maintenance routine that requires elbow grease. Robotic Pool Cleaners are a drop-in “plug-and-play” way to easily take your pool to the next level. Not only will they reduce the maintenance that would otherwise fall on you, but at the cutting edge of this field, these cleaners are cordless, rechargeable, and sometimes even solar-powered.

There are two primary types of robotic cleaner and one or both can certainly take over a considerable amount of pool maintenance. The first type is the robotic vacuum/scrubber which will collect dirt, sand, algae, and debris from the pool bottom and even scrub the pool walls.

The second type is the robotic skimmer which patrols the pool surface and removes debris such as: leaves, dust, pollen, pet hair, and insects. As a “surface dweller,” robotic skimmers are even able to be solar powered, giving you one less item to plug in.

Tip: When choosing a robotic cleaner, keep in mind the unit’s capacity, battery life/runtime or cord length, weight, and the programmability or pre-programmed operating modes that are available.

Previously, we’ve talked of upgrades that save time and aggravation caring for your pool. Ozone and UV systems are both non-chlorine, water sanitizer upgrades and while neither one will save you time, they will enhance the pool experience with the cleanest, crystal clear water possible.

Ozone or UV will also reduce the pool’s chlorine demand and consequently extend the lifespan of your salt cell and eliminate chlorine by-products.

Ozone and UV are highly effective sanitizers and disinfect pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms including cryptosporidium and other chlorine-resistant microorganisms as well as breaking down chlorine by-products. However, unlike chemical or salt-generated chlorine, Ozone and UV systems have no residual effect and only sanitize the water when the pump is running. This is precisely why both these systems should be thought of as secondary systems or enhancements. By that, we mean they should be used in conjunction with your modern pool’s saltwater chlorinator.

On the surface, Ozone and UV sound pretty similar, but they sanitize differently with Ozone working by means of oxidation and UV by disrupting the reproduction of the microorganisms. Both of these systems will give you broader spectrum sanitation, improved water clarity, and the ability to let your salt chlorinator work less hard and extend the life of your salt cell.

TIP: Setting aside any cost factor, Ozone’s powerful oxidizing capacity - greater than chlorine - makes it able to break down nonliving organic matter including sweat, urine, fecal matter, and personal care products (including sunscreen), as well as inhibiting the formation of scum lines at the waterline. Additionally, Ozone acts as a “clarifier” which allows your filter to capture much finer particles that it would otherwise be able to. If this sounds attractive to you then Ozone is your better choice. If you’re only after simple, effective, supplemental sanitation, then consider a UV system.

A Modern Pool System Should Automate The Most Important Aspects Of Pool Care

Regardless of how new or old your pool is, how modern is it? Is it giving you all the available cost savings and reductions in maintenance time that it could? Is it extending the lifespan of your equipment, or giving you the highest water quality and the best clarity that it can?

All of these upgrades are able to provide automatic operation to ensure a beautiful blue pool that you can rely on to be swimmable and as hands-off as possible.

While no pool can ever be free of the need to give it attention and regular maintenance, a smartly-designed pool system can minimize your chemical maintenance, eliminate much of the manual effort a pool typically requires, all while dramatically reducing your energy costs. At CircuPool, our goal is to empower you to take control of your pool, and to have a simple & effective pool system which works for you. Let us help you upgrade your entire pool system and achieve a modern swimming pool.


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