Professional Service Since 1970

(816) 532-1155

Located in Smithville and serving surrounding areas

Pool Maintenance
Pool Skimmer
Pool Skimmer

Types Of Pools

What Pool Types Are Available?

Swimming pools come in three basic varieties: gunite plaster, vinyl-liner and fiberglass. They vary in materials and the process of creation. All have pros and cons, which can be determined by cost, regional area, building site conditions and the pool itself.

Vinyl - Liners, or package, pools are less time-consuming and, in some regions less expensive method of construction. These pools are especially popular in cold -weather states because they hold up well under freeze / thaw conditions. Installation of these pools requires assembling pre-manufactured wall panels and supports. The wall systems generally are made of steel, polymer or aluminum. The floor is generally a mixed or poured product called vermiculite, which is like a soft concrete. The liner is then installed to hold the water and add the esthetic beauty. Vinyl- liner's come in many patterns and colors. The liner will generally last 8 to 10 years if installed properly and chemically maintained. Today there are many types of copping that can be used for instance pictured brick is used. If vinyl- liners have a drawback, it would be that the 20 or 30-mil. Vinyl can be torn. In most cases they can be repaired even under water.

Gunite/Plaster pools are generally considered the most attractive of pool types. Being the most labor-intensive also makes this pool more expensive to build. These pools are completely built on site with steel -reinforced concrete, this allows for infinite design flexibility. Such as the negative edge pool pictured.

The structure starts with a cage made of steel rebar.

Pool builders can then use one of three methods to create the shell: guniting and shotcrete are two methods that are pneumatically applied, that is, they are applied with air pressure. The third is poured concrete that is a less commonly used method today. The pool then is plastered. With a properly maintained pool the plaster should last 12 to 15 years. Plaster can develop cracks and discoloration over the year's this is normal.

Fiberglass - although vinyl-liners and plaster pools are more popular, fiberglass is another option. A fiberglass pool arrives on a truck, the pool is then lifted by crane into a pre-dug hole. Fiberglass pools come in different colors, sizes and shapes. As there is no liner to tear or plaster to crack, many people enjoy fiberglass pools.

A few disadvantages of a fiberglass pool they are more limited on sizes and shapes. The fiberglass will not tear or crack however the gel coat can delaminate, blister and discolor in time. Also, a fiberglass pools should never be fully drained because of the possibility of floating or popping the pool.

Poured Concrete - Pools are primarily used in large commercial applications. In some cases poured concrete is use as a shell and then plastered. If the concrete is not plastered, it must be sealed with paint or fiberglass coating.

Recommendation we would make when building a pool:

Pool Structure and Decking:

  1. It is advisable for a builder to have a soil test performed. The cost is very minimal compared with possible problems that could arise
  2. Pool should have a minimum of 4 foot of deck.
  3. Equipment should not be next to house if at all possible do to noise.
  4. A large Deck should have adequate drains installed. Should also have drains installed if pool is very close house and deck is poured up to the house.
  5. The deck should have adequate slope away from the pool, with no low spots, so not to allow rain water to run off into the pool from the deck, yard or landscaping
  6. Avoid grass meeting pool deck directly unless deck is a minimum of 5 feet wide .Use landscaping materials (rock, mulch) to provide a buffer between pool and grass. Be sure to allow for proper drainage.
  7. We do not recommend cool deck products do to freezing and thawing conditions in the Midwest. We recommend concrete or a coating such as Sun Deck.

Equipment & Plumbing:

  1. Proper sizing of the plumbing, filter and pump are critical for proper filtration, sanitation and over all servicing of the pool.
  2. We recommend the using a minimum of 2" rigid PVC for all suction and return line plumbing.
  3. Minimum of 2 skimmers, with dedicated line to each. (Not run in series)
  4. Two main drains should be installed that meet APSP/ANSI codes to prevent entrapment.
  5. The number return line inlets should be a MINIMUM of 1 inlet per 600 sq.feet of pool surface area. The lines should not be run in a series. For serviceability and winterization we recommend Jandy never lube valves be used on the main drain lines and skimmer lines.
  6. Unions should be installed on inlet & discharge side of the pump and any filter with a multiport.
  7. A pool sweep-dedicated line should be installed, even if the pool sweep will not be installed at time of pool being built. This Allows for future addition of a pool sweep. A Booster pump pool sweep such as Letro or Polaris is recommended. Installation of a time clock to operate the pool sweep is also recommended, to make it truly automatic.
  8. Pump(s) should be sized properly based on a needed turnover rate of once every 12 hours. Over sizing a pump will decrease flow rates, cause the filter to be less efficient and cause hydraulic problems.
  9. Filters same as pumps must be sized properly; there are three types of filter media. D.E. filters provide the best filtration of the three filter types, due to its ability to filter out much smaller particles. A time clock should be installed, this will allow the pump to shut off for 2 to 3 hours a day. This is critical for proper filter operation. Two Maintenance requirements are Backwashing and seasonal cleaning of the grids.

Cartridge / modular media filters provide a close second in filtration compared to D.E. filters. Theses filters do not require backwashing so weekly maintains is simple. Some cartage filters may need to be taken apart, hosed off and degreased during the seasion, this will depend on the size of the filter and manufacture. In the case of Sta-Rite's system:3 modular media filter we find with a properly sized and maintained pool it only needs cleaning once a season, at closing. We have all so found the cartridge media lasting 8 to 10 years.

Sand filters are a distant third in filtering capabilities compared to D.E. and cartridge filters. Sand filters needs to operate 24 hours a day in this part of the country to provide adequate filtration. Generally sand filters need backwashed once a week, this will vary depending on the pool and filter size. The sand should be replaced every 3 to 5 years along with possibly degreasing in between sand replacement.

Heaters should be sized based on pool surface area not gallons. We would advise that a heater is installed at the time pool is being built. We only use and recommend electronic ignition heaters, for numerous reasons. Generally a by-pass should be installed in the plumbing for hydraulic purposes. The Gas line and gas meter should be sized properly, this is critical for proper operation.

Electrical and Lighting:

  1. All electrical should meet current City, County and State codes, as well as meeting NSPI / ANSI standards.
  2. All equipment, lights, ladders, etc. should be bonded.
  3. When it comes to lighting there are many more options today with the introduction of fiber optics. However fiber optics are for esthetics lighting only, do not rely on them to provide adequate light for night-time swimming. If your planning on night use of the pool also have a full size pool light installed.

Types of Winter Covers:

There are many types of winter covers on the market. The three main types are safety mesh covers, solid covers and water bag covers. Be sure to take into consideration the cost, longevity and serviceability of a cover.

Winter covers should provide three functions:

The first function is to protect the pool from debris and to help maintain the water balance over the winter months.

The second function is to provide a safe environment for anyone entering the pool area. The third function is esthetics, providing the means to an attractive yard during the winter months.


The only true safety cover is one that will not hold water or allow water to puddle and meets ASTM Standards. Most mesh covers meet these criteria by placing anchors into the deck, using straps and springs to pull the mesh material taunt. Mesh covers should last at least 10 years. They provide a safe, clean and attractive pool area. If they are ever damaged they can be repaired. They are easy to install at closing and removed at opening. As long as the water is properly treated, and there is not yard/landscape run off or direct application any yard, plant, tree fertilizer, pesticide, etc. the pool should open clear and algae free. Mesh Covers are what we believe would be in the best interest of most pool owners.


Solid covers can be anchored into the deck like mesh covers or are installed as an automatic cover. They do provide some of the safety benefits offered by mesh covers. However if rain/snow water is not kept pumped off the cover it should not be considered a safety cover. Solid covers also have a shorter life span than a mesh cover and stain or discolor over time. They require more time to install and remove during opening and winterization, unless an automatic device is installed, in which case maintenance cost increase considerably.


Water bag covers are a large tarp type material that is secured down with water bags. They should never be considered a safety cover, as they hold water and debris on top of them .We do not recommend or install water bag covers do to safety issues and the time involved to open and winterize the pool not to mention the unsightly view.

Diving Boards and Slides:

Diving boards and slides can add to the enjoyment of a swimming pool. Here are a few things to consider regarding the installation / use of them. If you're thinking of a slide, how old are the kids? Will they be too old to use it in a year or two? Do you think the slide will affect the esthetics of the pool or yard?

When dealing with diving pools one consideration might be size of yard required to install a diving pool. If you decide to have a pool built with a diving board and/ or slide, be sure the builder complies strictly with the NSPI, ANSI and manufactures Standards. These standards are in place to protect you and your family, friends.

Chemical Applications:

Swimming pool water should be clean, clear, safe and sparkling. This can only be done with proper chemical balancing.

There are many different chemical options available such as, Chlorine, Bromine, and Biguanide. These are the only EPA approved stand-alone sanitizers on the market today. There are other systems or devices that can help enhance a chemical application, however many of these devices have side effects in one way or another. All chemicals have pros and cons. The key to success is finding the person or company who can provide knowledge on the use these chemicals effectively. Many pool owners have become accustomed to cloudy or green algae filled water. After awhile they think this is normal. Well I'm glad to say thankfully it's not. Algae are not normal, cloudy water is not normal. Our expatiations are to have a clear pool with a beautiful sparkle, properly sanitized 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Our recommendation is to use a Halogen / (Chlorine) to treat your pool. These are the basic principles we use on eighty plus pools we service weekly. There are many other tests and chemicals we also use to properly maintain a swimming pool. We use a chlorine feeder (Hayward/offline) to maintain an even and consistent sanitizer reading.

  • Oxidize or shock once a week
  • Use an algaecide weekly to back up the chlorine.
  • Balancing the PH weekly
  • Balancing the Total Alkalinity weekly
  • Regular testing