FAQ

The Most Frequently Asked Questions

What do you want to know about swimming pools? Hot tubs? Swim spas? We have plenty of information to share on those topics and more, based on the questions frequently asked by our customers over the years.

At Goodall, we offer both custom inground pools and above-ground pool kits to our customers. There are 3 types of inground pools you can select from our design department:

  1. Vinyl-liner Pool: a custom-designed pool lined with a heavy-duty vinyl material.
  2. Fiberglass Pool: prefabricated pools composed of a fiberglass shell that’s been molded/formed into a specific shape and size.
  3. Beach Pool by Biodesign: a custom-designed pool built to resemble a natural body of water with a beach entry.

The price of an inground pool can vary considerably depending on the pool type and the features you incorporate into the design. In general, though, a typical inground pool project, as of 2023, costs upwards of $75,000. That price can increase well into the six-figure zone as you add more features to the overall design.

The specific equipment required to operate a pool can vary depending on factors such as the type and size of the pool. However, there are some basic components that most pools require. These include a pump to circulate water through the pool's filtration system, a filter to remove debris and contaminants from the water, a heater to maintain a comfortable water temperature, and a chlorinator or other method of adding chemicals to keep the water sanitized. In addition to these tools, it is important to have maintenance equipment on hand including:

  • a leaf skimmer
  • a vacuum
  • a pool brush
  • water testing supplies
  • chemicals
  • pool cover

The simplicity of pool maintenance depends on various factors, such as the size of the pool, the type of equipment being used, and the level of knowledge and experience of the person responsible for maintenance. Basic tasks such as skimming the water, cleaning the filter, and testing and adjusting chemical levels are relatively straightforward and easy to do with the right equipment and guidance.

However, more complex tasks such as repairing equipment, diagnosing and treating water chemistry issues, and winterizing the pool may require more expertise and specialized tools. Overall, pool maintenance can be manageable and even enjoyable with proper education and preparation, but it is important to regularly monitor and maintain the pool to prevent bigger problems down the line.

To effectively sanitize a pool, a variety of chemicals are typically used. The most common and important of these is chlorine, which kills bacteria and other harmful organisms in the water. Other common chemicals used for pool sanitation include bromine (which is similar to chlorine ) and ozone or UV systems. Some pools are equipped with saltwater systems that use salt to make chlorine.

Additionally, pH-balancing chemicals, such as sodium carbonate and dry acid, are used to keep the water's acidity at an optimal level. It is important to follow proper dosing guidelines and regularly test the water to ensure that the chemicals are properly balanced and the pool remains comfortable, safe, and sanitary for swimming.

Algaecide is also an important maintenance item. Adding algaecide to your pool every week is the best way to prevent algae growth during hot summer days.

When you select Goodall Pools & Spas as your pool builder, we pair you with one of our dedicated specialists in our Design Center. Together, you and the design specialist will collaborate on a pool design that suits your ownership goals, your tastes, and your budget.

Each pool type offers a different level of customization. With fiberglass pools, the size, shape, depth, and color of the pool are predetermined by the manufacturer (we sell Latham Fiberglass Pools to our customers). Certain models, however, can be customized with the addition of special features like LED lights, tanning ledges, tile work, and certain water features.

Beach Pools by Biodesign offer a little more in terms of customization.The shape, depth, contours, and color of the pool are more adaptable to the client’s preferences. These pools can be a natural looking freeform shape, or a geometric shape. However, the required structural and material elements make the pool more shallow than most other inground pools.

Vinyl-liner pools offer the most customizability. The client can choose from geometric and freeform shapes in a wide variety of sizes. The liner itself comes in multiple colors and patterns ranging from classic blues to earthy tan. Also, thanks to the liner’s malleability, it’s easier to incorporate special structural elements (e.g., tanning ledges, custom staircase, etc.) and water features (e.g., bubblers, cascades, deck jets, etc.).

At Goodall, we assign one of our dedicated crews to install your pool. Overseeing the crew is a crew foreman and a project manager who ensure each procedure is executed efficiently.

The time it takes to install your pool, once again, depends on the pool type and the complexity of the design. Below are general estimates as to how long installation takes based on the pool type. These estimates do not include other elements of your new pool project like pergolas, concrete overlays, landscaping, etc.:

  • Fiberglass Pool: 3 to 4 weeks
  • Beach Pool: 4 to 5 weeks
  • Vinyl-Liner Pool: 6 to 8 weeks

The cost of a hot tub can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the size and features of the tub, the quality of materials used, and the location of the buyer. On average, a basic hot tub can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, while larger, more luxurious models can range from $10,000 to $25,000 or more.

The effort it takes to maintain a hot tub varies depending on the type of hot tub and the level of experience the owner has. Basic maintenance tasks such as monitoring the water level, testing and balancing the chemicals, and cleaning the filter are, generally, basic and are easily handled with the proper tools and practices. However, more complex tasks such as diagnosing and repairing equipment issues, draining and refilling the water, and winterizing the hot tub may require specialized procedures and tools.

Additionally, hot tubs require regular attention and upkeep to prevent bacteria and other harmful organisms from growing in the water. With knowledge, readiness, and regular monitoring, you can effectively maintain your hot tub without having to worry about more costly problems in the future.

Hot tubs can be installed both indoors and outdoors, as long as certain requirements are met. Outdoor hot tubs are typically placed on a sturdy, level surface such as a concrete pad or reinforced deck, with easy access to water and electrical connections. Indoor hot tubs require adequate ventilation and may require additional structural support.

When deciding where to place your hot tub, you want to consider its proximity to other structures and privacy concerns. Also, you need to be aware of local zoning laws and building codes that may dictate specific installation requirements. The staff at Goodall is happy to help you determine the best location and installation options for your specific hot tub.

You can use your hot tub year-round with proper insulation and a spa cover to retain heat. Most modern hot tubs are made to be incredibly energy efficient, even during cold winter days. Regular maintenance, such as draining and refilling the water, cleaning the filter, and balancing the chemicals, is also crucial to ensure the hot tub remains safe and functional. We recommend consulting the specialists at Goodall and referring to the manufacturer's recommendations to determine the best practices for year-round hot tub use.

When selecting a hot tub, there are several features to consider based on personal preferences and intended use. First, consider the size and seating capacity of the hot tub to ensure it can accommodate your needs. Next, evaluate the jet system to determine the type, positioning, and adjustability for your desired massage experience.

Other important features include energy efficiency and insulation to reduce operating costs, built-in lighting and sound systems for ambiance, and ease of use and maintenance. Additionally, consider the quality of materials used and the warranty offered to help ensure a long-lasting and reliable hot tub.

A common myth in the spa industry is that the more jets you have in your hot tub, the better. This is not necessarily true. A hot tub loaded with jets may seem like a high-performance product but, in fact, you may be sacrificing quality for quantity. An excessive number of jets can reduce your plumbing efficiency and, thus, compromise the behavior of the water.

It’s more appropriate to examine the type of jets included in your hot tub and how they perform. Do they offer adjustable water pressure? Do they move in various patterns? These questions are more pertinent to your hydrotherapy experience.

Most hot tubs on the market are considered portable hot tubs which have no special plumbing requirements since all the plumbing is enclosed inside the unit. Typically you only need access to a garden hose to fill the tub, and a hose or pump to remove the water. Electrical requirements vary depending on the model and size of the hot tub. Most hot tubs require a 240-volt, 60-amp dedicated circuit to power the heater and motor. Smaller tubs, including certain Plug & Play models, require only a 120-volt, 15-amp connection.

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is necessary to prevent electrical shock. It's important to have a licensed electrician install the necessary connections to ensure they meet local building codes and safety standards. Regular inspection and maintenance of the plumbing and electrical components are also crucial to prevent leaks, damage, and other hazards.

It is critical to consult a medical professional before using a hot tub if you have a medical condition. While hot tubs can provide relaxation and therapeutic benefits for some conditions, they can also pose risks for others. People with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, may be advised to avoid using hot tubs altogether due to the potential for increased blood pressure and other adverse effects. Pregnant women and individuals taking certain medications may also need to exercise caution or avoid using hot tubs altogether. You should always discuss your specific medical history and needs with a healthcare provider to determine the safest and most appropriate use of a hot tub.

Controlling the water temperature in a hot tub is typically done using the hot tub's control panel, which allows the user to adjust the temperature and turn the heater on and off. You should monitor the temperature regularly to ensure it remains within a safe and comfortable range (typically between 100 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit). Higher temperatures can pose risks for overheating and dehydration, while lower temperatures may not provide the desired therapeutic benefits.

It's also important to consider the weather and outdoor temperature, as this can impact the heat retention of the hot tub and may require adjustments to the temperature or operating schedule. Finally, regular maintenance and cleaning of the hot tub, including monitoring and balancing the water chemistry, is crucial to ensure the water temperature remains safe and enjoyable.

There are so many activities you can enjoy in a swim spa besides aquatic exercise. Though not as large as a traditional pool, you can still gather and swim with a small group of friends and family. You may even find a swim spa is a great place to break out the body board and ride the current (almost like you are at the beach).

Also, remember that a swim spa is equipped with seating and jet configurations similar to that of a hot tub. That means that when your workout is over, you can soothe your body and mind with some high-quality hydrotherapy. So whether you want to work out, soak away your aches and pains, or hold a fun swim/hot tub party, a swim spa is a fantastic place to do it all.

Some swim spas, like the Hydropool Swim Spas we carry at Goodall, are made with energy efficiency as a top priority. Swim spas like these feature high-quality insulation to prevent heat loss and efficient pumps and heaters to reduce electricity consumption. Hydropool’s high flow-low energy pumps, for example, use 30% less energy compared to a standard pump. Every Hydropool swim spa also has adjustable vents that can be opened or closed on the sides of the cabinet to maximize efficiency in any season or climate.

A swim spa is usable year-round when it is properly insulated and maintained. At Goodall, we carry swim spas with insulation that stands up to Pennsylvania winters. Therefore, as long as you keep circulating sanitary, warm water through the spa’s plumbing system (that means keeping up with the maintenance routine), and you use and maintain the spa cover properly, you can certainly enjoy your swim spa year-round.

Swim spa maintenance, like hot tub maintenance, can vary in complexity based on the size of the tub and the quality of the water. Maintaining a swim spa typically involves regularly checking and adjusting of chemical levels, cleaning the filter, and keeping the water balanced and clear. This can take time and may require some technical know-how, but many swim spa owners find that regular maintenance becomes more manageable with the right skills and equipment.

Yes, swim spas can be customized to fit individual preferences and the space they are installed in. Many swim spa manufacturers offer customization options such as size, color, and jet configurations. Some swim spas can also be customized with additional features such as built-in sound systems, LED lighting, and/or exercise equipment.

The space surrounding the swim spa can also be customized with landscaping, decking, and other outdoor living features to create a personalized oasis.

The requirements for installing a swim spa can vary depending on the specific model and local regulations, but some general requirements include a level and stable surface to support the weight of the spa, access to a dedicated electrical circuit to power the spa's pumps and heater, and adequate space around the spa for maintenance and use.

Additionally, it may be necessary to obtain a building permit or follow certain zoning regulations, so check with local authorities before installing a swim spa. At Goodall, our spa specialists can help ensure that the installation meets all necessary requirements and is done safely and correctly.

While it is not necessary to have your pool opened or closed by a professional team, it could be a good idea if you are unfamiliar with the processes or your schedule makes it difficult. The key to success when it comes to opening or closing your pool is to plan ahead. How far ahead should you plan? Months are much better than weeks. In fact, if you anticipate needing help opening your pool, we recommend contacting Goodall in the winter. This way, we can help you establish a proper timeline for opening your pool once spring rolls around.

Similarly, advanced notice is key when scheduling your pool closing. Your best bet would be to ask the professionals at Goodall about pool closing services before peak swim season hits (i.e., before June/July). This way, we can help you gauge when you should plan to close your pool based on scheduling and weather conditions.

There are several ways to make a pool more energy efficient. Installing a variable-speed pool pump helps you save energy by allowing you to adjust the pump's speed to meet your pool's needs. It is also important to regularly maintain the pool's filtration system and keep the water chemistry balanced to ensure that the system is running as efficiently as possible. Cartridge filters provide a more energy-efficient alternative to sand filters and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters.

Another approach is to use a solar blanket to reduce water evaporation and heat loss, which can significantly reduce heating costs. This is particularly effective when used in conjunction with a high-efficiency heat pump to maintain an appropriate water temperature. Finally, LED lighting is another energy-efficient option that can save on electricity costs.

The vinyl liners we install at Goodall last an average of 10 to 15 years when maintained properly.

The extent of the pool renovation will determine whether or not it will interrupt your swim season. Minor renovations such as a liner replacement or installation of new pool equipment can typically be completed within a few days without disrupting the use of the pool for an extended period. However, major renovations such as changing the shape or size of the pool or adding water features will likely require a longer construction period that can interrupt your swim season. The design specialists at Goodall can help you determine the timeframe for any upgrades and how they will impact your season.

The cost of a pool renovation can vary significantly depending on the scope of the project. Therefore, we recommend asking a different question when considering a pool renovation/backyard transformation. Ask yourself “What is my budget?”

Share that information with the renovation team at Goodall, and we can give you a sense of what upgrades we can make based on that figure. Take, for instance, a vinyl liner replacement. This is something that will need to take place at some point (typically a little more than a decade into its lifetime). As of 2023, the cost of a vinyl liner replacement starts around $8,000.

Your backyard transformation can be as simple or as complex as you want. As we renovate the pool, we can incorporate other features into the surrounding environment including a concrete pool deck, an outdoor kitchen, fencing, pergolas, and landscape elements.

Route service is a type of ongoing pool/spa maintenance service provided by professionals, usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This service includes routine tasks such as cleaning the pool, checking and adjusting chemical levels, monitoring the filtration system, and addressing any minor repairs or maintenance issues. The goal of pool route maintenance service is to ensure that the pool is safe, clean, and functional for regular use. Goodall offers Prestige Pool Maintenance and Prestige Spa Maintenance route service packages, so pool and spa owners can save time and avoid the hassle of performing routine pool maintenance themselves.

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