Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    In the Industry
    patrick3229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    245

    Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    This is a topic which has always intrigued me and I figured Trouble Free would be the best place to ask my question.

    Why are there regional differences across this US when it comes to pool equipment and pool types. Over the past 13 years supplying pool products across the united states I have noticed the following trends.

    1. Florida Pool owners - use Cartridge filters
    2. Southeast Pool owners (Alabama - Georgia) - use Sand Filters
    3. Northeast - uses Sand Filters
    4. California - uses more DE Filters
    5. South - Florida, Texas, Arizona & California - Predominately gunite pools
    6. Northeast & Midwest - Predominately vinyl liner pools
    7. Northeast, Midwest & Southeast - Big above ground pool markets
    8. California, Florida & Texas - Not as many above ground pools
    9. California - Big Pentair market
    10. Northeast - Big Hayward market
    11. Southeast - Big Jacuzzi market
    12. California - Higher adoption of dual speed and variable speed pumps (this one is probably pretty obvious based on cost of electricity and and incentives from power companies)
    13. Florida - Higher adoption of heat pumps, however we are seeing heat pumps going to much higher range of states compared to 5 years ago.

    Does the above coincide with the experiences you have had in your area?

    I have always attributed the pool type variations due the climate (freeze vs. non-freeze areas), soil and water table in the given areas..... And the filter & manufacture variations due to the manufacture having a large sales rep. presence in the given area. Both points are speculation on my part but I would be interested if anyone could shed more light on this topic and there experiences. Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    9,200

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Some of the differences are due to where companies have done a better job of marketing their product or they have just had a larger presence in that area. Government regulations and incentives did boost the acceptance of variable speed pumps on the west coast.

    Sand filters are popular where water is plentiful and cheap since they waste the most water. DE tends to depend on builder preference and how good a salesman you encounter when you are replacing equipment. After many years with a DE filter the advantages of super fine filtration are negated by the amount of work involved to clean the darn thing and the fact that I have so much tree debris I could filter the pool with a window screen and it would not make much difference in appearance! Cartridge filters are popular where water is more costly and in drought areas.

    Pool building still seems to be mostly on the job training, so the types of pools in an area will be more dependent on builder preference than anything else, in my opinion.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    The big pool companies were not always big. They started out as small regional companies before they started buying each other out and going national. Much of this has to do with the history of the various companies and who had the best products in each area.

    Some of it has to do with climate and energy/water pricing. For example, heat pumps are more energy efficient in Florida than they are many other places (they like high air temperature and humidity) and electricity rates have historically been reasonable in Florida. That creates a strong natural advantage for heat pumps in that area. Likewise, water is an issue in Florida. Pricing and regulation there has made cartridge filter much more common. In the North East water is plentiful and cheap and sand has done better.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry
    patrick3229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    245

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    That is interesting about the water consumption side of things and how it relates to water cost in the given area, totally makes sense. I had never thought of it from that stand point.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    It is not only a water consumption issue, but a water discharge issue. Another factor to consider is length of the swim season, Consider that in places like Florida and Texas that while the swim season may not be year round, particularly without running a heater, the use of the pool deck area can tend to, with entertaining and outdoor cooking areas, etc. Also In my region many if not most people never "close" their pools, the pools just go into a low activity, minimal maintenance mode for the colder months. As to gunite vs vinyl I suspect it may have to do with issues regarding ground freezing, but am not sure. Strangely enough there are very few gunite pools in my area, even though they are very common in Houston 150 miles away, although their popularity has been increasing in recent years, I would still estimate that 90+% of inground pools around here are vinyl. Another thing to consider with heating, is the relative change in cost of electricity vs gas over the years and the availability of natural gas, much the same also applies to solar.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  6. Back To Top    #6

    TFP Guide
    PAGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    2,388

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Wondering if there is a bigger chance of problems with gunite due to the extreme freezing and thawing in the northeast.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Not problems in the sense you probably mean, but problems with the install. It is very problematic to shot gunite when a freeze is expected, limiting the portion of the year that gunite pools can be installed. Gunite pools also take more calendar time to install, which becomes an issue with a short build season.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    The Great State of Texas
    Posts
    242

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    This is very interesting. I am a complete noob, but I will say that when house shopping the real estate agent steered me very hard away from vinyl liners toward gunite. She said that in my area vinyl has historically been seen as a step down. I didn't see a single fiberglass pool come up during the year that I was house shopping. I also think all of the pools that I looked at had DE filters. We keep our water forever here (no closing the pool) and we have a lot of dust so the DE filters seem a good choice for that (although there are more and more cartridge filters going in with new pool builds).

    As to the above ground pool, you see very very few of them where I am. I have friends with one (interestingly she is from the midwest), but when they looked at selling their house a couple of years ago, they were told that they would need to remove it prior to listing. At that point the pool was only 2 years old and she was pretty livid when the real estate agent told her that they would have a hard time selling it with an above ground pool. I lived in Ohio for years, and up there they were very common and often with elaborate decking. Here they are kind of seen as "I have kids at home and wanted to keep them busy for the next 5 summers, after that I am taking this down and reclaiming my yard." For areas with HOAs, above ground pools tend to be a resounding "no".

    I wanted to edit to say that I am sorry if I sounded a bit harsh. I personally don't have any issues with vinyl liners and have seen some on here that are stunning. I actually thought that vinyl might be better in our area as there are lots of problems with foundations cracking so I could see gunite pools cracking (hopefully I won't be seeing that at my house). And the above ground thing I did see plenty of those up north with amazing decking - especially the ones that were on slopes with walkout basements with the pool set at "first floor" level with walk out decks. Above ground pools can be done very very nicely. I just don't see that kind of deck work etc done around here, they tend to be pools in the middle of the back yard with nothing around them.
    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    I will add that around here the attitude towards above ground pools is similar to what glitter&guns noted.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    400

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Here is my take on vinyl vs gunite. I am in MD, was visiting family in FL and was talking about putting our pool in. He assumed gunite. He laughed when we said vinyl and said "thats not a pool, thats a pond". After we spoke more, we figured it may be two things.

    1. Pool installers in FL have more experience in Gunite, so it is not as costly.
    2. Water table is so high in FL that vinyl may have issues.

    Where I am located, Gunite is 3x the cost of vinyl but from what he said in FL gunite is the cost, there is no option really for vinyl.
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Central Minnesota
    Posts
    5,079

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    I will add that around here the attitude towards above ground pools is similar to what glitter&guns noted.
    I'd say that's the attitude for the most part in our area too. There aren't alot of pools, unlike the southern US. But those who do choose to put in pools would much rather go for an in ground pool and if they did go above ground it would be a seasonal, small pool that gets set up and taken down every year like the smaller self setting Intex type.

    As far as liner, I haven't been in alot of other people's pools but all I've seen is vinyl. The only place I see plaster pools here are at indoor water parks and hotels. Not outdoor. I would be really worried with as cold as it gets around here that plaster would crack during our very cold winters. I know very little about plaster or gunite pool construction but the concrete roads around here fall apart due to frost heaves and ice intrusion. I think that scares alot of people in the Upper Midwest away from hardscape pool liner material. I don't even know myself if that's a valid reason to be leery of plaster pools here but it's so deeply ingrained in me and all Minnesotans that the cold winters rip up roads/concrete so why would it be a good idea to have your pool made of a similar material?
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    The Great State of Texas
    Posts
    242

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post

    As far as liner, I haven't been in alot of other people's pools but all I've seen is vinyl. The only place I see plaster pools here are at indoor water parks and hotels. Not outdoor. I would be really worried with as cold as it gets around here that plaster would crack during our very cold winters. I know very little about plaster or gunite pool construction but the concrete roads around here fall apart due to frost heaves and ice intrusion. I think that scares alot of people in the Upper Midwest away from hardscape pool liner material. I don't even know myself if that's a valid reason to be leery of plaster pools here but it's so deeply ingrained in me and all Minnesotans that the cold winters rip up roads/concrete so why would it be a good idea to have your pool made of a similar material?

    I totally understand what you are saying about the gunite pools. In my part of Texas we don't have basements because of ground shift especially during drought. Add to that last year my area had about 25 small earthquakes (some big enough to crack foundations and walls) - after every one I went out to the pool expecting to see cracks, but thankfully that didn't happen. I was thinking really hard about how I wished I had vinyl when all that was going on.

    I always assumed that NE Ohio didn't have very many inground pools because of the freeze/thaw cycle, but I never considered that it would be about shooting the gunite - I just assumed that the expansion would crack it apart - much like the roads.
    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

  13. Back To Top    #13

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Moberly,MO
    Posts
    978

    Re: Why the regional difference in Pool Equipment?

    Here in Missouri where I am we see more fiberglass and vinyl than gunite. One reason is the cost of gunite as we don't have the Spanish influenced workers seen in the southern states. Also the gunite builders have done a hard sell on the advantage of not having to replace the liner or fix gel coat. What they neglect to mention is the cost of replastering.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •