Writing your specifications…

The 2010 Title 24 Swimming Pool Energy Efficiency Regulation requires that the pool’s filtration system must be hydraulically capable of filtering the pool’s water volume and completing one “turnover” every six hours.

Our calculations estimate the water volume and will have determined a prescribed flow rate. This flow rate corresponds to a specific pumping gpm rate, together with specific pipe sizes for both suction and return lines…and a design criterion for the filter’s approved flow rate.

These regulations also stipulate the mandated use of specific fittings (Sweep Elbows rather that Hard Elbows) due to what is deeded excessive friction losses characteristics in some previously allowed components. In discussing your requirements, be sure that all those you are speaking with have becoming familiar with these newly imposed (Title 24) regulations. If, failing to comply during construction this can become a serious delay.

A Hidden Culprit….

In deciding to imposed energy saving regulations on the swimming pool industry’s over consumption of power, the powers that be have failed to recognize the shortsightedness or flaws in the directions being given.

In mandating that pumps go variable speed and or two speed, together with changing elbow’s conformity from Hard 90-deg. to Sweep 90-deg. they missed meeting the objective, which is to accomplish the water volume turn over in the swimming pool in the most efficient manner.

What this means is that because we now have to contend with a much lower flow rate, that the plumbing design has become a very critical component in actually realizing a balanced and blended water volume turnover rate.

The slower pipe velocities in some cases can fail to accomplish the minimum flow rates required for surface skimmer functions (35 gpm) and the single pipe “Dumb Plumb” approach can often reduce or completely eliminate any suction pull from the bottom main drain device located at the bottom of the pool.

The Dumb Plumb Approach…

By clicking on the image below you can view the actual construction of a Surface Skimmer.

Skimmer Installation w/ 3.00 in. Overflow

These very important factors that are involved in truly accomplishing manageable water balancing capability were unfortunately missed. In slowing the water flows down the plumbing system has now become increasingly more important in allowing for a manageable and healthy swimming pool.

In deciding on an In-Ground Spa there are several elements for consideration. Please take a few moments and view our web-link video on how we build the most functional Spa made by clicking HERE

In the erection of steel reinforcements and the application of Gunite, a prescribed Steel Schedule / Gunite Thickness Legend is produced by a Licensed Professional Engineer.

The regulatory agency responsible for issuing a Swimming Pool Building Permit requires this from all those submitting plans for construction. This information that has been provided by the engineer is referred to as a “Standard Schedule” and in some cases special consideration may apply that can exceed this standard level’s intent.

It is important for you to make sure that those being delegated the responsibility for selling you a new pool, also provide you the level of skill and knowledge that should be required in delivering the level of standard deserving of a 1st class result.

Prior to erecting the prescribed steel specification called for on the schedule, a Site Observation of the geotechnical conditions that have become exposed during excavation can require technical expertise, as well.

If the sub-soils expose a soil profile that reflects an unusual new discovery, then the Engineer should be consulted. Generally, this involves requesting the Engineer to make a field observation as an insurance against moving forward with an inadequate specification. Such visits have an added cost of $450.00 to $500.00 but, if required, this will be money well spent.

Unfortunately, in the world of “production swimming pool selling” the sometimes stretched supervisor to pool 75:1 ratio, can fail to make such observances in between the individual sub’s performances.

At AMDI, we only utilize all inclusive Associate Builders in the performances of excavation and steel reinforcement thus allowing an employee transition to ensue between one to the other. This provides our clients with the added assurance that we remain connected to the entire process as promised, not just the design.

Tile and Topical Applications involve several elements of construction such as the Plastering of the pool’s interior, exterior stucco finishes such as walls, stone or rock overlay materials on vertical and horizontal surfaces and BBQ Islands / Shade Structures. In addition to these, there are other topical applications that can involve special Pool Plastering Surfaces and Concrete Flat-Work, such as overlays / staining products.

If any of these are to become inclusive in your selected performers expressed commitments, it should be important to identify these in a framework of accountability, as we exhibit here on this website.

In determining the operational conditions and providing for an Energy Efficient swimming pool, power consumption must be calculated and the electrical loads for pumps, heaters, lighting and other considerations must be fully understood.

The main wire that provides power to the swimming pools’ sub-panel is an important part of these considerations. Sizing this wire to the full load value under 100% of the operational conditions over the distance of this power run is important in order to stay within the allowable voltage loss guidelines.

Additionally, allowing for the possibilities of adding Landscape Lighting and other electrical uses such as BBQ GFCI receptacles and other power needs should be part of the complete considerations.

Be sure to reflect upon the current and future possibilities for your power usages in order to have your selected performer size conductors accordingly.

In determining the requirements for the site Utilities Distribution, the supply lines involve gaining insight for the ultimate build out requirements of the project. In planning these infrastructures utilities, considerations should anticipate the total usages that will be and intended. These considerations may involve additional electrical loads and gas consumption for future expansion and or add-ons components such as Space Heaters, Low Voltage Lighting and other needs.

If, the project is being constructed in phases, then the build-out regarding utilities should consider how the final results will appear and planning should project the requirements for facilitating these in the Preliminary Stages of the work scope.

Pool and Spa Lighting utilizes typically three options to lighting. Incandescent, LED Color and Fiber Optic lighting may include color lighting products called SAM and SAL and low voltage lighting with additional options. Basically, the LED type has become the most popular due to its light emitting diode life span and the lower electrical energy consumption.

The placement of lighting in a pool or spa should consider the illuminating value and the projection of this light as a source for peeling back the obscurity of the darkness.

Pool or spa lighting when positioned incorrectly can shine right back into the field of view and become most annoying. Our considerations apply good forethought in determining the locations of pool and spa lighting, as we have become familiar with a broader field of view, as it could be seen at completion.

It is our opinion, that Fiber Optic Lighting can be the useful in up-lighting some water features such as Sheer Descents, Spillways, Vanishing Edges and other forms of cascading or descending pool water elements.

In planning for the use of effective Fiber Optic Lighting placement, the three pieces to the puzzle in getting it right are; a.) The Illuminator’s Strand Capacity, b.) The Fiber Optic Cable Strand Sizing (and required span of distance between the Illuminator and the distribution point of the lighting emissions) together with c.) The Lenses and or fixture placements.

Several factors can affect the beneficial gains that can be experienced from Fiber Optic Lighting. So, it is important to understand how this type of lighting is best deployed into your water world and know the limitations.

Swimming Pool Pumps historically have been an energy bandit but, recent changes on the manufacturing side of things have produced a new product called a Variable Speed Pump. These types of pumps when running at the lower speeds represent a revolutionary approach to energy conservation regarding pool pumping.

Several manufactures now produce a similar product and upon making the determination for the turnover rate of the pool’s water volume the pump’s output can be selected from eight different speeds or can be set to deliver a desired gpm flow rate depending upon selections.

Spa pumps and or auxiliary pumping functions can deploy this type of pump or if variable flows are not a requirement a standard horsepower rated pump can match flow requirements with the desired effects. Our hydraulic evaluations for the intended performances are measured and these calculations insure that we have examined the planned operational intentions and that the directions represent all the required knowledge, which will be necessary in delivering upon the promise.

We have been building swimming pool for three generations and have always installed Sand Filtration. Why you may ask well, Sand is the most energy efficient, most economical to operate and least expensive to maintain. Sand is the most proven time tested form of filtration in the industry and is the preferred media in public and commercial pool applications.

Replacing Cartridges and or replenishing Diatomaceous Earth have a cost and are more inconvenient. Sand filters save $450 / per year on electricity energy on an average pool and save a $1/day on the replacement costs associated with purchasing new cartridges and recharging D.E. filtering media.

Additionally, a Sand Filter when at the dirty stage represents a flow restriction of 25% as compared to that of a D.E. or Cartridge style filter.

Often the cleaning of a pool filter, because of the messiness and time involved, gets put off. The dirtier the filter, the finer that the filter will filter out debris, it is this increasing restricting that can reduce the longevity of your pump motor and cause replacement far sooner than would otherwise be required. So, in selecting a filter don’t be sold on products that will marry you to a shorter life.

In selecting a Control System, it is easy to become distracted and confused. Basically, a control system can provide your entire outdoor living environment an operational personality. It can offer programmable functionality at the touch of a button or the simplicity of just turning pumps, lighting and other features on and off.

Turning on pumps that operate waterfalls, making the night light up with colored pool and spa lighting together with illuminating pathways and landscape accents can all make that outdoor living environment something truly enjoyable. Control systems, when fully understood can integrate all the controllability of your yards associated functions into an iPhone or wireless keypad’s interface.

In the distribution of “programmable” verses “switched” power capabilities, most of today’s control systems have electrical relays that can be connected to virtually any 120v / 240v power need.

In doing so, the relay will then have a designation within the menu of the selected control system and you will be able to turn anything on or off, schedule a timing duration, group functions together into a macro program which can turn on several simultaneous operations.

Such programming is possible with the IntelliTouch system, as well as other specialty modes such as “swim mode lighting” where lights can be programmed to change colors or lock on a preferred color.

We select the control system that will fit your needs, as we acquaint you with what is possible in today’s advancing technological world of building swimming pools.

In achieving compliance for the 2010 Title 24 Swimming Pool Energy Efficiency Regulation, it requires that a builder’s hydraulic design insures that the pool’s filtration plumbing system has considered pipe sizing adequately.

In these regulations, it stipulates that the system cannot exceed 6 fps velocity on the suction side and 8 fps on the return side of the system.

These new requirements are confusing to many of those selling swimming pools and equally confusing to those who have historically subcontracted to perform plumbing installations for production style builders.

What we believe is most important during the submission of pricing, is to connect the planned performance of the Work Scope to a pre-qualified checklist.

In this way, we state clearly and concisely that those you have selected as your performers equally possess the knowledge and understanding for these and other requirements.

Everyone in the trades continues to learn and improve but, you may not wish for them to be learning on your project, so our planned instructions insure both commitment and transparent accountability for what is commensurable with a Master Journeymen’s Level of acquired understanding.

In considering the need or desire for specialty water features, be aware that some manufacturers produce a verity of differing water affects. These include Laminar Jets, Deck Jets, Aqua Jets Systems, Sheer Descents and others. In some cases, these can be lit with LED or Fiber Optic Lighting and can add greatly to the overall enjoyment theme.

If you’re entertaining the addition of any of these pre-manufactured style components, be sure to identify your request during the design process and share what should be made part of the overall project’s considerations.

In deciding on your type, style and degree of preparation for your Concrete Flat-Work it is important to become familiar with all that is required in acquiring a high quality finished product. Please take a few moments and view our web-link video on how we prepare for the installation of delivering a top quality product at: http://www.aquaticmechanicaldesign.com

In reviewing how proper planning can greatly aid the establishment of a fully accountable estimating framework, you may now see how it is that establishing a “rock hard number” for the work being proposed must be complimented with the mirrored intentions for great planning.

The purpose of this strong beginning is to allow great design to affirm that anyone who may be contending for the work is actually talking about the same level of commitment for the products, installation practices, and procedural protocols, which we established as a common specification.

When established, these standards act as a framework for comparisons. The merits of a substantiated approach to the work performances become authenticated, which is necessary in being able to perform meaningful comparative analyses.

You may have now developed a greater appreciating for our level of commitment and how we have invested our time in the opportunity of which you have afforded us or it may be that you view this information as being more detail that desired.

The framework we have described in this narrative involves what we have come to appreciate as the prerequisites for successful completions.

It is Our Vision to work with like-minded Clients that place equal value on the importance of preparedness and organization, in the process of building meaningful relationships.

Budgetary expectations must be formulated into preliminary estimates, which will allow a Client to familiarize themselves with the many choices that are available. From that culmination of understanding, the informed choices provide us a firm direction for what elements and connecting components are to be made inclusive.

With your input, we can develop your plans, finalize your specification, and provide a firm price that will earn your business!

Please let us know when we can schedule a time to discuss your requirements further.


Michael Chaffee

Michael Chaffee, PRINCIPAL
Aquatic Mechanical Design Inc.
Toll Free: (800) 766-5259
email: aquaticmechanical@gmail.com

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