An innovative thought for Earth Day. Install a variable speed pool pump and see lots of green!

Many people equate Earth Day with planting a tree. But if you have a pool, there’s an easy way to dramatically save water, chemicals and electricity – install a variable speed pool pump. How can one pump create such a difference on your pool (and your wallet)? Let’s take a closer look.

Energy efficiency Shocking fact: Some people pay more in one year running their pool than they pay to run the appliances in their home.

Variable speed motors run at multiple speeds. By reducing the speed of the motor, the water moves more slowly throughout the entire system and reduces damaging water torque to the filter, pump and other pool equipment. However, the pool experts agree that by moving the water at a slower rate, you can still cycle the entire pool but decrease your energy costs by up to 70% per year. How does this work? Compare it to a car. If you are driving at 80mph, you will use much more gas than if you are driving at 40mph. Now, you still want to reach your destination, but how much gas did you save by driving at a slower pace? The same amount of energy conservation can be applied to your pool.

Let’s break it down to actual numbers – if you are using a standard pool pump, your electric usage is approximately 2kW per hour. Installing a variable speed pump, your electric usage is approximately 0.29kW per hour. Now take your electric bill and figure out how much you are paying per kW. When you do the math, you will instantly recognize the dramatic difference in savings.

Water and chemical efficiency If you have water features on your system such as fountains or waterfalls, the precise controls on the variable speed pumps allow you to adjust the rate of water that moves through different parts of the system. This can substantially decrease the amount of water and chemicals that evaporate as the pool cycles.

One final note: Reduce noise pollution If you have a pool and a standard pump, you probably notice a tremendous increase in noise when you are running your system. The Jandy Variable Speed Pump product line includes a Stealth™ product that utilizes Jandy’s “Quiet Technology” so you barely hear it running!

How to choose? Call us. Tropical Pools and Pavers can help you design a complete energy efficient package for your pool. We supply a complete line of Jandy Variable Speed Pumps and will set them up to optimize your energy costs. If you would like to see how we can add a piece of paradise (and lots of earth-friendly vegetation) to your backyard, visit our website at

Where’s the Leak?

How to detect a leak

Although your pool will lose water to playtime and evaporation, how do you know when you have a leak in the system? In order to save water (and money), there are a few ways to quickly assess whether water loss is due to nature or potential breaks in the system. In order to eliminate different options, take a few minutes to review your system and answer a few questions:

  1. Do you see water around the base of the equipment when the pool is running (or even when it’s not running)?
  2. Do you have any areas in the pool deck that are settling, sinking or lifting?
  3. Is your equipment losing prime?
  4. Are you filling your pool more than once a week?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you MAY have a leak. In the springtime, as the water temperature rises, cracks or leaks can form in your equipment, lines or the pool. Over time, these little leaks expand. For example, a one inch leak can waste up to 500 gallons of water. However, if you catch it in time, most of the repairs are easy and inexpensive.

An easy way to detect a pool leak? Use a bucket.

If you have completed a thorough visual check of your pool and equipment, grab a bucket, fill it up with water and mark the water level in the bucket and the pool. Check the levels after 24 hours. If more water has evaporated from the pool than the bucket, you should have your pool checked by a professional.  In order to help our clients discover leaks, Tropical Pools and Pavers utilizes Bud’s Pool Service.

With over 20 years of expertise, Bud’s Pool Service deploys state of the art equipment to precisely pinpoint leaks in pools. To avoid costly repairs, call Bud’s today at 727.528.1928 to schedule your appointment.

Pool Safety – Beyond the ABC’s

Fact: The average number of children that die in a pool-related accident is approximately 200 per year.

Although the ABC’s of pool safety sound simple in theory – Adult Supervision, Barriers & Classes – we all know how fast children or animals can slip in without making a sound. As you are opening up your pool for the season, please reassess your pool safety options to make sure that there are multiple barriers to prevent access to your pool or spa.

For example, you have an existing fence surrounding your pool, but have you checked to make sure that the latches, locks and mechanisms are in good shape? Do you need to have any part of your safety fence replaced? Now is the time to address these and other easy safety preventative measures, including:

  • Adding an approved pool or spa safety cover
  • Adding an alarm to your pool, spa or any access doors to your swimming area
  • Installing new self-closing or self-latching devices that are safely out of the reach of your children
  • Checking the perimeter fence to make sure that the neighborhood kids can’t enter (use padlocks)

At Tropical Pools and Pavers, we take pride in creating a custom paradise, but we also adhere to the strictest of safety standards that are customized for your family. If you need assistance with your pool protection features, please contact us with your questions or contact Pool Guard of Tampa Bay at 813.929.8729.

Stay safe!

Relax to the sound of white noise

Last week, we reviewed how to change your pool to match your mood utilizing LED lights and other technologies. Why? At Tropical Pools and Pavers, our mission is to create a beautiful backyard paradise that you can use as your everyday escape. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t include another “lighting” option that can drown out all of your daily stressors – white noise.

A relaxing source of light and soundWhite noise (or white sound) is defined as “a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range that has been used to mask out unwanted noise.” The constant sound of moving water such as waves lapping onto the beach, a running river, or a waterfall creates white noise. Studies show that this continuous sound relaxes the human brain (and the body) because it becomes attuned to the main sound and drowns out other noise.

The multiple ways to add in white noiseBy installing one (or a variety) of water features and set the sensors to your preferred schedule, you instantly add white noise into your backyard paradise. There are multiple choices of water features including water jets, waterfalls, spillways or water arcs. Each of these options can be integrated into a custom new pool design or utilized in a pool renovation, but all of these water features provide the constant sound of running water and block out the everyday noise in your life.

Add in a spectrum of colorIn addition to adding white noise, a lot of water features also have optional fiber optic lights that can be used in conjunction with your other pool lighting to increase the beauty. So you can create a beautiful variety of color within the water jets that shoot into your pool or have the waterfall rotate colors as it spills into your hot tub. At Tropical Pools and Pavers, we can help you choose the right water features to enhance your backyard and increase your relaxation. To get some ideas, visit our website and take a look at the gallery section.

Swimming Pool Safety


The best way to keep everyone safe is to have an adequate fence that prevents unwanted access to the pool. If children can’t get to the pool, they can’t drown in it. You certainly don’t want anyone around the pool without your knowledge. When installing the fence, make sure it is at least 4 feet high and includes a safety latch. Only adults should be able to open the gate. There are also pool covers available that are designed for safety. Consider investing in a safety cover as a secondary way to restrict access to the water.

Safety signs are always great way to remind pool users to be cautious of certain dangers. Make sure you post a few signs in highly visible areas that list basic safety rules like no running. Don’t forget about shallow areas too. Children often don’t think before they jump. No diving signs are a great way to remind them of the dangers associated with shallow water.

Always keep floatation devices handy around the pool. Hang a life ring on the fence or post a sign showing the designated area where safety jackets are located. In the event someone is drowning, others will already know where to get a floatation device they can use to save them.

If you have children, seriously consider swimming lessons. They generally are not too expensive and can be lifesaving. Your children will learn good swimming techniques as well as safety guidelines and survival skills if they ever have to stay afloat in open water. There is also a good chance they will learn CPR skills.

Supervision is key. Never leave children unattended no matter how short a time they will be out of sight. When they are old enough to swim unsupervised, teach them the buddy system and insist they never swim alone. Also make sure they know what to do in an emergency. Have a plan set that includes calling 911 and using a safety kit.

Remember, proper planning and conveying safety guidelines to pool users is the first defense in avoiding those inherent dangers. Ensuring the safety of yourself and others will make owning your own pool a more enjoyable and less stressful experience.