Technical Briefing

Jet Setting
People who design and build swimming pools with attached spas are always on the lookout for ways to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the client.  The spa, I think, is the perfect place to start. But the cold fact is that a great many watershapers who build spas do so very conservatively, whether out of habit or
Water Under Pressure
Of all the concepts of hydraulic-system design, there are few that have more importance than the correlation between water flow (that is, capacity expressed as gallons per minute) and line velocity (the speed at which the water travels). As water travels through a pipe, its increase in speed (that is, its line velocity) results in an increase in resistance (expressed as feet of head) and in a reduction of end pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch (psi).  In other words, an increase in friction losses and a drop in pressure is the result of increased water velocity at a given flow. If that makes sense to you without further explanation, then you know much of what you need to know when it comes to
Tank Command
In many ways, installing a surge tank is simple.  If you get it right, all will be well.  As is the case with so many watershape systems, however, getting it wrong can lead to serious problems. Let’s start with some terminology.  Surge tanks are receptacles used to accommodate the surge of displaced water in systems that can be generally defined as
Making Connections
It seems obvious that all watershapers would have a clear understanding of the materials commonly used in pipes and fittings and would know all about the primers and glues and mechanical approaches used to connect plumbing joints. That’s not always the case, however, which is why I’m rarely shocked to see
2013/1.1, January 9 — Framing Perspectives, Eco-Friendly Landscaping, Rockefeller Plaza and more
                    January 9, 2013      …
2012/12.1, December 5 — Water and Sculpture, Rain Fall Features, The Magic Fountain and more
 December 5, 2012                             …
The Skinny on Skimmers
Skimmers are found in just about every type of watershape imaginable, including gunite, vinyl-lined, fiberglass and aboveground pools as well as in-ground and portable spas – not to mention ponds, streams and fountains. In each case, specific skimmers have been designed to serve the individual applications. For purposes of this discussion, let’s keep things simple by
Crystalline Clarity (pdf version)
In conceptual terms, watershape filtration is about as simple as it gets: Water that picks up insoluble organic materials in the form of dirt, debris, dust and algae is drawn by the pump to pass through a filter medium of one type or another. The medium – whether sand, a cartridge or diatomaceous earth – traps these materials and lets only
2012/11.1, November 7 — Naturalistic Watershaping, Fire Features, Pond Renovation and more
               November 7, 2012              …
Hydraulics in Hot Water
Of all the features associated with inground swimming pools, attached spas almost certainly have the most complex designs.  Achieving proper hydrotherapy-jet action requires the interweaving of air lines, water lines, fittings, jets and associated pumps, blowers and motors in a way that delivers results the customer wants and expects. And making mistakes is definitely costly: Once the plumbing is set in concrete, there’s no easy way of turning back.   The bottom line: You have to