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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Plan Outdoor Saunas

Consider the dimensions of the building to be used first. Let the sauna occupy an area of less than 10′ X 10′ so as to avoid having to acquire a building permit as is the case if a hundred square feet are exceeded. However, verification of this information with your local building-inspection authority can be done so as to be sure. The best dimensions to use are 8′ X 12′ which will allow you to have three rooms in your sauna: the entry as well as storage room for your wood used as fuel for the sauna, a changing room as well as the sauna itself. Let the sauna’s height be less than seven feet to avoid wastage of heat. Having a smaller room ensures more efficient heating as well as allowing the use of a smaller heater and smaller circuit breakers within your panel.

The layout of the room is also very important. For a better layout of the benches to be used, have the heater and the door on a long wall adjacent to each other. Allow six feet in at least one direction of your sauna if you like lying down in it The bench layout is normally 19″ for the depth and height is 38″ for the upper bench and 19″ for the lower bench. Shorter doors, with an opening of 26″ X 78″ encompassing both frame and door, are also used for the purposes of conserving heat within the sauna. The doors should also always to the outside of the sauna, never to the inside.

The sauna’s interior should be made from cedar, which does not discolor as opposed to many other types of wood although a sealant is still recommended. Cedar is also stable as opposed to other types of wood which swell and shrink under different temperatures. Using wood with knots could possibly cause burns in a sauna and thus it is important to obtain clear wood for your sauna’s interior.

Outdoor saunas also require to be well insulated and have a good source of heat energy. Insulation with a minimum R-Factor of R-11 for the walls and R-19 for the ceiling can be used Using fibreglass bats is essential. Do not use polystyrene foam board since gases such as formaldehydes will be given off by the boards when exposed to the sauna’s higher temperatures.

Heat energy in outdoor saunas tends to be provided by a wood-burning sauna heater. Ensure the chimney is well installed and passes the inspection by the local authority for proper dissemination of smoke from the wood. Also, it is not advised to buy an outdoor infrared heater if you plan on using your outdoor sauna all year round since they, the outdoor infrared heaters, do not work in winter.

Proper flow of air is a necessity in a sauna so as to ensure the users have a good supply of oxygen and also to prevent the fire from burning itself out This requires introducing fresh air which can either be supplied by leaving an air space of about 1″ between the floor and the bottom of the sauna’s door or by installing a non-adjustable vent in the wall under the heater. An adjustable exhaust vent should also be installed on the wall opposite to the vent holding incoming air so as to ensure proper air circulation and equal heat distribution. The exhaust vent can be installed anywhere from 48″ to 54″ from the sauna’s floor. The exhaust vent should have sliding doors to control the amount of air allowed into the room. It is advisable to place this vent within arm’s reach of your upper bench so you can adjust air circulation from the bench as you relax.

Using aluminium foil vapour barrier, rather than conventional polyethylene in residential constructions is also advised. Seal the aluminium foil vapour barrier by using aluminium foil adhesive duck tape for good results. Drape the foil loosely around the corners as it will shrink with the heating and the cooling. Don’t stretch it out like conventional polyethylene.

A drain in outdoor saunas tends to be unnecessary since only enough water to be converted to vapour is required to be poured on the rocks. If water pools on the floor then excess water is being used However, a drain can be installed if you plan to wash down the sauna often.

Ground Pool

The first thing you need to do is gather your pool closing supplies.These include the pool cover, the plugs for the skimmers, the winterizing chemicals and the air pillow (or tires, tubes, balls, etc that will break up the ice expansion and save your pool walls from damage). Once you have located all of these supplies, you can start winterizing the pool.

The first task is to backwash the filter to get all the dirt and grunge out. If you have a sand filter you’ll want to leave the drain plug off for the duration. With DE filter tanks, leave the backwash valve open. Anything you take off you’ll want to store in the pump basket or other safe spot till next summer. Next, plug all return pipes and take out all hoses. Disconnect the pump and filter, make sure they are free of water and store them in a dry place like the garage over the winter.

Plug the skimmer hole with a black rubber plug or alternatively you can drain the pool water so that it sits below the skimmer hole so there’s no need to plug it at all. Next, blow up your air pillow and toss it into the remaining water. Whatever you use for this step should be secured so that it sits in the middle of the pool. Remember you are using it to stop the water from freezing and breaking the pool walls.

Now you are ready to take any deck equipment from the area. This means ladders, slides, rails of any kind that need to be stored somewhere warm and dry during the winter months so they don’t get ruined. Now it’s time to add the winterizing chemicals. If you are using the liquid kind simply dump it in, but if you are using the granular kind, make sure you mix it in a bucket first so you don’t have globs forming on the bottom of the pool.

Spa Pool Indoors

There is a set of requirements, which have to be met, in order for a spa pool to be installed indoors. Firstly, you need to have sufficiently large space for the pool. You have to be able to run the required piping and cabling. You need to check with an architect and an engineer whether and how the facility can fit.

You have to provide for proper drainage as well. The floor must be waterproof, slip-resistant and easy to clean. This is necessary since approximately three litres of water spill out of a standard-sized pool of this type when people get out.

Since the water inside typically has higher temperature compared to the air temperature in the room, you have to provide effective ventilation. Most indoor spaces will require one vent fan, but other solutions may be appropriate as well. Even with good ventilation steam will still come out of the pool and fill the room. Given this, the room must have walls which do not absorb water and which are resistant to water damage and mould. In order to minimise the amount of steam which comes out, you can heat the room.

You can choose to set up a traditional spa pool indoors or a portable model. The portable model seems to be the easier solution as you can set it up in any room of the house with sufficient free space. However, you will have to deal with the setup more frequently. Besides, you sill have to ensure that the flooring, walls and ventilation are as required. The setup of a fixed model requires more time and effort and a larger investment, but once it is ready for use, it will require only maintenance. Furthermore, you can expect the whole system to be more reliable and durable as well.

One alternative to setting a spa pool indoors is to build a special enclosure for this facility. The enclosure will be built especially to meet the requirements outlined above. It can be connected directly to the house. It can also have extra features such as sliding roof. This option may be more cost-efficient compared to the indoor setup.

Types of Pool Filters

· DE pool filter: DE which stands for Diatomaceous Earth, is by far the most popular filter on the market. This is because it is the most efficient. The filter uses a powder to assist in the filtration process. This powder is made from the skeletons of Diatoms, an ancient sub-aquatic creature. This might sound bizarre but these skeletons are like tiny sponges. Which is why they are so efficient at being able to pick up the dirt that is filtered through. The powder gets dissolved as soon as it is added to the skimmer and floats down to the filter tank. Once it reaches the grid it sticks to the nylon fabric attached and coats the grid.

· Cartridge filter: this filter is normally used in small pools and even Jacuzzi’s. The filter, literally has a cartridge in side of it that is capable of picking up dirt that is 25-100 microns in size. It is simple to maintain and all you need to do is keep an eye on the pressure gage. As soon as it reaches 3.5kg-5kg over the clean mark you will need to take it out and clean it thoroughly with a hose at a high pressure, then put it back. Eventually you will need to replace the cartridge in its entirety.

· Sand filter: these filters offer the least amount of maintenance which is a major plus. The sand filter uses sand to catch the dirt and the more dirt that is captured the more efficient it becomes. Once it has reached about 5kg over the cleaning gage it will be necessary to do a back wash. In most cases you will only need to replace the sand every 5 years, which is why it is a popular choice if you want to have a low maintenance pool.

Ground Saltwater Pools

A saltwater design requires tests for chlorine and pH levels that may be adjusted with the relevant products. Ensuring that the generator is working properly can minimize the need to constantly adjust parameters to produce stable conditions. Assess all filtration and maintenance systems to keep the water clean and conducive for swimming throughout the year.

A test to examine the salt, calcium and alkalinity of the pool will need to be completed once a month. The ideal levels must be determined according to the size of the structure and the volume of water it contains. Applying corrective solutions ensures water remains clean and will not expose swimmers to harmful chemicals and harsh conditions.

Maintain the cleanliness of filters and equipment to produce maximum performance and prevent stagnant water from forming. The flow must be kept at a powerful rate to circulate the salt and the chemicals applied to prevent bacterial formation. Apply the correct tests and management of systems during the summer and the winter months to prevent complications and expensive repairs.

The saltwater generator will have to be carefully assessed including an examination of the cells where dirt accumulates. The most common problem that occurs with the equipment includes the formation of scale and grit that limits the efficacy of apparatus to keep the water well maintained. Cleaning the dirt that builds on the surface and repairing defective cells will minimize problems and facilitate the full performance of filters and systems.

Pools that are not properly covered will have to be maintained frequently to remove the leaves and debris that fall into the structure and cause problems with filtration and operational systems. The accumulation of sand and particles can scratch the bottom and side of the structure increasing risk of damage and the formation of scale. Keeping chemical levels in check and suctioning the sides and bottom will minimize strained function at a later stage.

Fiberglass Pools

Traditional swimming pool maintenance frequently requires the services of a professional but with a fiberglass pool there is virtually no maintenance needed. These types of pools are also made from strong composite materials, which makes them able to withstand drastic changes in the temperature. They also do not need to be relined or resurfaced. If you get a hairline fracture in the bottom of this pool it rarely irrevocably damages the pool structure.

Traditional swimming pools are normally made of plaster or concrete, which can affect the pH level of the water but with a fiberglass pool that level is never affected. Because the pH level is never affected it is not necessary to apply so many chemicals to the water. The water also does not need as much circulation since there are not that many chemicals in the water. When there is a decrease in water circulation the pool pump is not working that hard so the utility bills are not as high.

With traditional pools they will often absorb algae and make cleaning the pool difficult but a swimming pool made of fiberglass does not absorb algae. When there are algae present all you will need to do is use a broom or some other tool to direct the algae toward the main drain of the pool. It is easy to clean any rings left by sunscreen or body oil or dirt from a fiberglass pool. You just clean it as you would your bathtub by using a simple cleanser on a soft cloth or sponge to wipe them away.

Although there are more advantages than disadvantages with owning a fiberglass swimming pool, one big disadvantage is that water must remain in the pool at all times. If it needs drained and is not done correctly it could cause the structure to crack or buckle because of the pressure from the ground. If it needs drained you should contact the pool installer to do it or get the directions on how to correctly do it yourself.

Spa Pool Accessories

Steps and Handrails

If your spa pool raises at a considerable height above the patio deck, you should definitely consider getting a set of steps. These are designed to be fitted right next to the pool. They are extremely useful especially for small children and people with limited mobility. The handrails can also be of great help to those who require additional support to get inside. It is worth pointing out that often people with injuries or disabling conditions such as arthritis can experience great symptom relief by soaking into warm water and getting a gentle massage.

Pool Umbrella

This accessory can be truly invaluable. You will get excellent protection from the blazing sun on the hot summer days. You will not have to worry about rain ruining your outdoor spa experience. You will always be dry under the umbrella. Whenever you decide to enjoy the view or want to marvel at the stars at night, you can readily close it. This practical accessory can give you great privacy as well.

Cover and Lifter

You can expect the spa pool which you buy to come with a cover. It is usually included in the package. If not, you have to purchase it separately. The cover not only protects the water from insects, fallen leaves and other vegetation debris. It keeps it warmer for longer and helps to reduce your energy bill. The cover must have excellent insulating properties. It must fit over the pool perfectly to prevent heat from escaping.

If you get soft cover, you will benefit greatly from pairing it with a lifter. The lifter will save you time and effort and make covering and uncovering the pool a lot less messy. You should not expect any glitches with one of these functional devices.

Portable Hot Tub

Construction. You need to make sure your hot tub is built to last more than one season. There’s no real way to know this ahead of time, but as a general rule of thumb, the inflatable hot tubs with interior reinforced construction seem to hold up best.

Price. You can expect to find most inflatable spas to be in the $350 to $800 range. That’s a sizeable investment. But, it’s nowhere near the cost of an in-ground spa.

Warranty. Check out the warranty provided by each manufacturer before you buy. This will adjust your expectations and should furnish you with a customer service contact if you need new parts or – worst case – a replacement hot tub.

Jets. Again, just so you won’t be disappointed when you climb into your hot tub for the first time, pay attention to how many jets your hot tub comes equipped with. Generally, four-person inflatable units have 120 jets, while the larger six-person tubs have 140. And please understand that they produce a powerful stream of bubbles, not real jets of water, as you might be used to in the big commercial hot tubs.

Covers. When you are making your selection, try to make sure it comes with a suitable cover. If not, you’ll need to buy one separately. They are important in order to keep heat in from day to day and in order to keep things like falling leaves out.

Cleaning. This is an important weekly task. Try to ascertain how often the filters might need to be changed and what kind of chemicals you’ll need to keep the water nice and sparkling. Some of them come with chemicals. Some do not and must be purchased separately. If in doubt, scroll down and read the fine print and specs on the Amazon product page. Or contact the manufacturer. In most cases, a simple trip to your local pool supply store will get you what you need, no matter what brand you might have.

Reviews. If they’re available on the model you’re thinking about buying, check to see what people who have already bought the product have to say about it. The more five-star ratings and positive reviews, the better. Any product will have its share of discontented customers, for one reason or another. Take these reviews with a grain of salt, but see if you can tell what the company’s customer service department did (or didn’t do) to rectify the complaint.

Tips pick Right Pool Shape

Shapes and sizes of pools are determined by the amount of space available on the property. The area selected for installation will influence the style of the feature that will best work in terms of practicality and ease of maintenance. Do not make a rushed decision, but carefully consider size as it is expensive and complex to have to fill or remove pools at a later stage.

Create a budget for the addition and consider the options available that are valuable and cost effective. Contacting a professional contractor in the installation of pools will include an estimate of the materials and labor involved. The smaller sizes are less expensive than a large and complex design and require a fair comparison that will prove most suitable for a budget.

Swimming pools can be constructed for training and athletic purposes or a simple feature to lounge in during the warmer temperatures. Determine its use before proceeding with a particular style because it looks good in a catalog or the backyard of a neighbor. The feasibility of pools will have to be assessed as a lack of regular usage may call for less expensive alternatives.

Pools must prove functional and fit within the environment, but it must deliver appeal and provide an outstanding feature for the property. Modern landscaping solutions discussed with the professional guidance of a contractor will deliver the best outcome. Ensure that the selected size and style are compatible with the surrounds for a valuable result.

Testing Water in Pool

Test Kits

These kits are more accurate than the strips, but can also be more difficult to use. These require the use of reagents to check the water. Users are required to combine a small sample of the water and then drop a few drops of reagents into it. It will then change colors, and users can determine the results according to a chart that is included.

These can be more accurate than other methods, but they are also more likely to produce the wrong results due to user errors. If a user uses more of the reagents than required, it can easily alter the results, resulting in users not knowing the chemical levels of their water. These are typically used by individuals that want the most accurate results possible without having to use an electronic system.

Electronic System

Owners that want the most accurate results possible with easy to use equipment often spring for an electronic system. These kits work by using the same reagents that other kits do, but they are simpler to use and result in less errors. Users insert a sample of the water into the device, press a button, and then can easily see the results.

As with every other method, there are benefits and downfalls. On the plus side, these are more accurate and easier to use than any other method. On the downside, they are a lot more expensive, and when errors do occur, it can be difficult to tell whether it is an error or not. Individuals usually are aware that they may have dropped a little too much reagent into the sample. Electronic devices are not.

Whatever method consumers choose to use; it is all about what works for them. Many consumers choose to go with test strips because they are easy to use and cost effective. On the other hand, other individuals choose to go with an electronic system due to the higher accuracy.

Whichever method is utilized; it is vital to remember that guaranteeing the safety of the water is the main priority. When pH and chlorine levels are not balanced properly, harmful algae and bacteria can grow rather quickly, making skinny dipping out of the question and posing a potential threat to swimmers. Bacterial infections will ultimately be the result. These can result in the loss of a limb if they are serious enough. Lastly, even if swimmers are not in danger, not checking the water on a regular basis can cut the lifespan of your pool in half, if not more.