Thursday, July 30, 2020

Endless Pool detailed review

Ever since 2015, I've wanted an endless pool.  I had a vision of the pool being in the back yard inside of a greenhouse type structure with huge windows overhead as the roof, and huge sliding doors along the outside.  Basically a see through house structure around it. Inside next to the Endless pool would be the hot tub.  
Looking into the costs for such an endeavor I estimated would be
You can see the pre work for the pool
pad behind the tree which Isaac
was removing Jacob's pathetic
attempt at a treehouse.
around $40,000.  I got in touch with the Endless Pool people and they got back to me and allowed me to go in and configure the exact pool I wanted:

It had to be fast.  I did test swims of pools that blew bubbles at you and they sucked.  I could swim breast stroke at the level of their fastest speed.  They come with a tether for you to attach yourself to.  What's the point of swimming into weak current while tethered?  That defeats the purpose.  In 2016, I went to do test swim at a pool in Kaysville and he had the thing going full blast, and I was able to keep up with it.  So I wanted a pool that I would not even be able to hang with. This called for the High Performance pool which tops out at :56/100 yards.  

The year before the planned purchase we had the back yard completely overhauled.  Here is the step by step process in detail and broken into sections.

Concrete work

Our crappy back yard where we
raised chickens, turkeys and even
a goat.  All for food.  But Cathi had enough,
time for a overhaul of the back yard!

We put in a concrete deck, concrete stairs going up to the back door,  and the pad for the hot/tub and pool



Jacob demolished the back deck, so now we need
stairs. Let's go with concrete. Down to a big concrete
back patio!


After the gravel and compacting,
in goes the concrete!

This was starting to get really exciting!

Just like I had envisioned. A separate
pad for supporting the endless pool
and the hot tub.



Bullfrog Hot Tub

In Fall of 2018, Cathi and I went to the Bullfrog dealer in Clearfield and also the dealer in South Jordan. We found the model we wanted that was affordable.  We got a deal because it was a demo at the State Park and they gave us a discount.  The cool thing is we could choose what jet packs we want.  The neat thing about bullfrog is that you can pick and choose these jet packs in each corner. They remove and go in within seconds.  Each jet pack has unique features. We ordered the hot tub and within a month they came in and installed it.  They suggested an electrician that has lots of experience with installing the electrical needed for the hot tub, and they said he could also do the electrical for the pool at the same time and save some money.

Electrical Work 

After the Bullfrog purchase, which would take about a month to get delivered, we got a head start on getting the electrical work done.  That involved a licensed electrician who does this kind of thing, and he wired us for both the hot tub and endless pool from the main.  His name is Dave Warner, and he did a very quality job!  It involved not only getting the new wiring through the house to the back, but to shut off boxes to the back outside wall, and then underground over to the concrete pad.  The pictures above show the yard before the concrete work that was done.
Our panel didn't have enough slots for him so he had to install additional slots to accommodate the two 220 slots for the pool and hot tub, and moved things around in the breaker box. 

Then had to fish the wire through the ceiling in the basement thru the brick wall in the back under the back stairs.  Then he installed a couple of breaker boxes on the outside to turn off power to each.

Then he dug a trench to lay the electrical cabling over to the concrete pad for the hot tub and endless pool once they get purchased.

Once the hot tub arrived, they tested out the electrical and everything worked without a flaw.  Great work Dave Warner!

Endless Pool Delivery - Early March 2019


To be honest, I was disappointed with the condition of the pool shipping containers.  It all came in labeled boxes which was good, but the base of the shipment was lopsided and the pallets all broken up.  Whoever prepared the base of the shipment was new or didn't know what they were doing because there was a great deal of weight that wasn't on a pallet at all, and the base board broke. There was only one pallet with the entire shipment balancing on that one pallet.
Fortunately the only damage I found was to one of the corner underwater panels.  The follow up with Endless Pools however was very good. There was a small part that was broken and they sent me a whole new corner assembly which wasn't really necessary, but definitely fixed the issue.  

Endless Pool self install - Started mid March 2019

Shortly after getting everything organized, I watched the video and read the installation manual.  I'll tell you, this is why I am not a mechanic.  I must have read and reread several portions before I got it.  So I installed the steel walls and that took several hours.  There are 6 large 7x48" panels that you have to put together just right. I actually installed the fatter end down, which after setting it up, realized the fatter end is at the top.  So I had to move everything around.  What a pain!  

I then used the supplied drill hole to drill the holes in the walls for the lights and the hydraulic hoses.  At this point I was supposed to start putting the coping in at the top.  Not much instructions there at all. At this point I realized I was in way over my head.  

Endless Pool Professional installation continuation - late March 2019

I called Dave Christensen a professional and trained Endless Pools installer, who is located in Salt Lake.  I was desperate for his help. He came up and took a look at my customizations and what I had done so far.  He said that he could get the rest of it installed (minus the insulation and skirting install, which he suggested I do if I wanted to save money) for $2500.  I was like "Heck yeah!".  I guarantee I would have broke something or installed it wrong so I was very glad to hand it over to him.  I took some time lapse video of his work from that point on.


Pavers - Mid July 2019

I bought some pavers (166 to be exact) from Home Depot.  These cost about 5.00 each and were VERY heavy.  I had to make many trips to get the 2+ pallets worth of pavers to my home.  Each one is over 40 pounds.  They are over 2 inches thick and 16"x16". The concrete pad only allows for about 18 inches of concrete beyond the outline of the pool/hot tub base.  I realized there would be some water splashing and so I figured I needed another 3 feet or so of pavers to keep the chlorinated water off the grass.  This also included some gravel and sand from Travis Call.  The gravel and sand base enables the pavers from moving around and giving any water between the cracks some drainage.


Sprinkler System - late July 2019

Travis' brother Justin gave us a plan and estimate for the sprinkler system.  

Justin and his uncle worked many afternoons getting this work done.  Cathi would often go out and give them lemonade.  We gave them a tip for their hard work. They deserved it.

Pool Tent - August 2019

After swimming thus far through the summer, I quickly realized that having the pool exposed directly to the sunlight was heating the water way beyond I was satisfied with.  So I looked online for carports and other tent structures to cover the pool.  I talked to a friend of mine, Theron Watson, who owns Olympus Fireworks.  He said he had many used tents and that he'd give me a good deal on one.  I took him up on it.  He had a 15'x30' tent he'd sell me with walls for $500.  That was a great price.  That would cover the pad well enough.  
The kids really worked hard helping me wheelbarrow all that gravel and sand over and spread it out, and then help me lay the pavers.  That was hard work.  I bought twice as much sand as I needed so I gave the rest away on KSL Classifieds.
The delivery of the tent took forever.  It took many calls and texts to him to get his crew to come out and deliver it. Then when it got here I realized there were some missing parts which I was able to get resolved fairly quickly. I got the tent up and noticed that the water temp was no longer increasing.  But it wasn't really going down either.  

So I went to Smith's and bought 80 pounds of ice.  I dumped it all in and watched it all melt in a matter of minutes.  The water temp dropped only 1 degree!  I can't afford ice for that kind of effect. So I did some googling and found that the number one way to cool down pool water in the summer is with a waterfall.  So I rigged up my pump and hose to the tent poles and setup a waterfall system.  I even put in a fan to blow air through the dripping water.  The water temp dropped down over 10 degrees!  Wow!  That worked awesomely!


Sod Installation - August 2019

We really struggled with whether we should put in real grass (and skip the sprinkler system), or artificial grass.  After getting quotes, the amount of grass we would need would have cost us between 6-10K. 






However, sod for the same amount of land, was less than $2,000 so I reluctantly went with grass.  We ordered I believe 5 pallets and allowed for us to completely start over with quality grass in the back, and a good portion of the front that was weedy with dying rose bushes.  It was a lot of work, but it went quickly with all the help of the boys.  


Lighting

One customization I got with my pool was that it comes with two underwater lights.  I opted to get 2 additional lights.  That was money well spent.  In fact I kinda wish I did two more, for the back wall.  

I wanted some ambient lighting for those night swims or hot tub soaks, so I bought some led lighting to attach to the inside of tent poles at the top and also created a "led lantern" above the hot tub.  I also got some solar powered lights to got along the side of the pool.  In the night time, this really looks awesome! 



Swimming in Winter

Once I got to Halloween of 2019, I reached out again to Theron for tent walls.  You would think that they were making them in China still. It took me months of nagging and pestering until I got the walls.  Man that really was way too hard to get the tent and the walls finally here and installed.  But once I got them up, it was a life saver for the pool to keep operating throughout the winter.


Throughout the winter I kept the water temperature at around 68 degrees.  Which on a hot summer day would feel quite refreshing, but in winter when the air temps are down into the 20s, this made getting in a bit of a mental challenge.  But with open water swimming, you need to get used to cold water and the overcoming mental and physical challenges, so I saw this as an opportunity.  I kept an eye on my Sense energy monitor I have hooked up to my electrical system.  This enables me to know in real time my electrical usage and the AI built into the app is able to not only identify the appliance types in use, but allow me to setup notifications when certain appliances turn on/off.  

I found that over the span of several weeks in the middle of winter that the heater for the endless pool was going on approximately 4-5 times per night for 15 minutes each session to maintain the 68 degree temperature.  The usage for the heater was about 300-400 watts.  So that equates to less than 1 kwh per night!  That's awesome.  My hot tub was only slightly over that.  Keeping in mind the hot tub is leaking heat into the inside of the tent which kept the internal tent temperature about 10 degrees warmer than the outside. So heating the endless pool for one day in the winter was probably about 10 cents.  Just to be conservative, let's say a quarter.  I can totally handle that.

Swimming in the winter though was nice, cause I'd get in my swim and at the end the hot tub soak just felt awesome. 

I installed an Amazon Alexa device to the top of the inside of the tent so I could relax in the hot tub, tell Alexa to play some music, and then tell her to turn off the lights which I had connected to a smart plug.

Pool Maintenance

Owning a pool means that chlorine smell.  The pool where I did my test swim in Kaysville, the guy had his pool inside his house.  I could smell chlorine as soon as I walked into his house.  Not a bad thing for me, I like the smell.  But I didn't want visitors to have to deal with that.  One of the reasons I have mine outside.  

Anyway I found that with both the Hot Tub and the Endless Pool, I go through about 5 pounds of chlorine in about 3 months or so.  So I buy my chlorine from Amazon in bulk.  $100 per pop.  However part of keeping it clean is vacuuming.  I ended up getting a Dolphin E10 above ground vacuum, which for the size of the pool is overkill in a big way, but I love the convenience of turning it on and letting it just go.  

I also found that I need to rinse the filter every week.  I only replace the filter probably twice a year, which I also get on Amazon. In the summer I have to put water in from the hose for about 10 minutes every couple weeks.  With the waterfall and the front half of the pool uncovered I lose water to evaporation and a little bit of splashing while swimming. 

Other than that, the pool maintenance is a total breeze.  Just make sure you have the pump system configured to keep pumping and filtering.  I had originally configured it to only run the pump and filter when it was heating, and in the summer it wasn't actually filtering properly.  So I had to break out the owners manual and program the system to filter to my specifications (which is 20 hours per day).  Don't worry.  The pump is a tiny little motor that only uses about 150w (when the heat is off). 

Sharing the Endless Pool with "drowning" fish during Covid-19 hype

During the spring of 2020, recreation centers and community pools all over the country were shutting down, including here in Utah.  Many of my friends at the South Davis Rec center were out of the water and it was still too early in the season for them to do open water swimming.  So I opened up the pool to them via Salt Lake Open Water.  The only price: $25 to join SLOW.  

I realized I couldn't charge them for personal gain otherwise Syracuse City would come after me for proof of insurance, or for a business license. SLOW is a non-profit and it was my way of supporting the swimming community.  So we got about 15 swimmers from all over that were dying to swim and they had access to a google calendar where they could reserve time to swim.  Needless to say there were days the pool was almost running non-stop.  I calculated the cost of running the pool using the Sense Home Energy Monitor I already had installed.  I found that running the pool at a normal speed consumed a little over 3kw.  If I pay 9 cents per kwh, then each 1 hr swim would cost me about 30 cents or so.  That's not bad.  I can handle that.  With that information I didn't charge anyone a penny more than the $25 to join SLOW as members.

That made many people happy for the 2+ months that our wonderful Utah governor had everyone on lockdown. Now everyone is out at their own pools and open water swimming so it's back to just me, and I'm fine with that! I was having to really keep an eye on the water quality as it was getting cloudy at times.

Breakdown of Costs

Here is a breakdown of all the costs of this project. Not everything was directly related to the endless pool, so I've broken those out:

DescriptionWhoTotal AmountAmount Required for EndlessAmount for Beautification of Yard
Dirt Leveling/Trampoline HoleTravis Call$1,100.00$300.00$900.00
Concrete workTKT Construction$11,377.00$4,500.00$6,877.00
ElectricalDave Warner$2,395.00$1,197.50$1,197.50
Endless PoolEndless Pools$37,275.09$37,275.09
Pavers + gravel/sandHome Depot/Travis Call$1,228.10$1,228.10
Hot TubBullfrog International$9,576.00$9,576.00
Sprinkler SystemJustin Call$4,000.00$4,000.00
SodAlpha Sod$1,550.00$1,550.00
Pool Insulation PanelsHome Depot$450.00$450.00
Endless Pool InstallationDave Christensen$2,800.00$2,800.00
Used Fireworks TentOlympus$500.00
LightingHome Depot/Amazon$230.00$230.00
Dolphin E10 Pool Vacuum w/extra filterAmazon$548.99$548.99
Total$72,481.19$46,522.59$25,558.60

Summary

Would I do it over again?  Yes!  Would I do a few things differently?  Definitely.

Things I would do different

I would NOT get the skirting from Endless. I would go to Home Depot and make my own cedar skirting.  The synthetic skirting I got from Endless warps in the heat of the summer and looks like crap.  

I'm constantly nervous about getting a hole or tear in the vinyl.  I think to get around that I should have gotten a hard shelled endless pool, instead of a vinyl pool.  I'm pretty sure they offer those.  I originally was wary of those because they would need a crane to lift it up and over my house, but that may have ben worth it considering there really isn't much to install with it as a hard shell. 

Other than that. I love my Endless Pool system.  Here are the details of exactly what I got with their cost breakdowns:




I originally got a UV sanitation system, but they had safety recall on it just as it was going out, so I opted to just get a refund on it.  It was overkill anyway.





Friday, July 17, 2020

Bear Lake 2020 #2


This morning Cathi and I loaded up the Seadoo and got to the Bear Lake Marina at 6:30. This time I remembered the grease (which also included zinc oxide). Got greased up and left the shore just after 7:15am.

The prep for today’s swim included several things which I hoped would improve my time:

  • wearing a cap
  • wearing a proper speedo instead of a drag suit
  • full body shave.
  • Magnesium and Potassium supplements leading up to the swim.
  • Wearing channel grease.
The water recorded on the Seadoo came up as 68 degrees and the water felt great!

The first hour I was feeling sluggish and intentionally went a little slower so I could pace myself. After the second feed, I picked it up.

Cathi was the perfect support and pilot. I had Cisco beach navigation enabled on the Garmin and it was keeping her in line along to get straight to cisco beach and constantly reported the estimated time of arrival. She was so upbeat and cheerful. The feeds went much faster and were shorter than last time.

The downside to the swim was that I misplaced my goggle box in the packing for the trip, and left it at home. I was nearing panic as I searched for placing it could be in the car. Fortunately I had an extra pair in my glove box and an extra set of ear plugs in my wallet. Problem was that these goggles were pretty old and fogged  up constantly. I could barely make out her profile from 10 feet away. But it worked out. I just kept the sun to my 11 o’clock as it came up over the mountain.

At my 6th feed she said that I was on target for a sub 4 hour swim if I kept it up! That was
encouraging and I made sure to really keep my stroke count high and reaching forward to maximize each and every stroke. I've seen some swims where the swimmer in their fatigue robs themselves of several inches per stroke due to lack of extension, and proper hand entry.  Multiply thousands of stroke by several inches and that adds up to a slower swim, which equates to more time in the water, and increasing that fatigue even more.

I made sure not to look forward until I saw rocks underneath me. Meaning I was only 50 feet away. When I got to the point where I could stand, I made sure to just keep crawling as far as I could. Then I only had two feet of rocks to navigate to get to dry ground. As soon as I cleared the water I stopped my watch and it read 3:45:07.

So excited with that time. That’s very reassuring to get a time that is about 40 minutes faster than last time.

Thanks Cathi!!!



















Day after:
Saturday, July 18th, 2020

The official race was today.  My shoulders are feeling awesome.  It's such a confidence boost to swim hard and finish strong and still have energy to have kept going.  Deer Creek race 10 mile should be a good next step.

There were about 8-10 people registered (including relay teams) for today's 10k. It was really good conditions, and everyone finished without incident.  Jim joined Chad on his boat along with Mark. It was so fun being out on the water on the Seadoo.  Had a ton of fun.

Racing Chad back to the marina.  Didn't stand a chance. His
boat is a beast!  Thanks Jim Hubbard for the photo.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Bear Lake 2020 #1

Yesterday I swam a Bear Lake Width.  Sam, Oliver, Jack (my English Setter) and I jumped on the Sea Doo at Rainbow Cove Boat ramp and jetted over to the Garden City Marina pavilion/beach at 10am.

At the start of our journey. Starting
by cruising over to the start from
Rainbow Cove over to the
 beach north of the west marina. 
Took about 20 minutes
to get there @ 24 mph
I pointed out the "nipple" to the boys and off we went.  I felt on the verge of cramping several times throughout the first hour of the swim, but avoided a full on charlie horse by kicking gently through it.


Jack watches intently on his swimmer.


I took feeds on these intervals (35, 1:10, 1:45, 2:20, 3:50, 4:10).  There were several things learned from this swim:


  1. Just because you swim approximately 2 mph in an endless pool doesn't equate to that in open water.  (I was expecting a 3:15 finish)
  2. If you take two people on the boat, one to drive, and the other should have the feed ready, instead of searching the cooler, for something.  As soon as I stop it should be ready to go.
  3. Putting on waterproof sunscreen at the start, even though it says 90 minutes of protection. It really means just that.  After that, you're gonna burn like a raisin. 
  4. DO NOT forget channel grease.  Chafing simply sucks!  It's no fun swimming when every other stroke you feel a burning sensation from your right shoulder.  
  5. DO NOT look up near the finish wondering how much further.  I should know better than this, but I was concerned once I got to 3:30 and still wasn't done.
Spot GPS Track




Then I made the mistake of counting strokes.  Once I got to 1,200 I was getting super frustrated.  I quit counting, and did some backstroke, and getting discouraged.  I took a feed at 4:10 hoping it would be my last one.  I noticed the shore looked like we were about 500 yards away so I said to myself, don't look anymore until you can for sure see the bottom.  

4:21:58 
Once I got to where I could see the bottom was about 6 feet deep I told Oliver and Sam to just hang out at that point as I didn't want the Sea Doo's bottom to hit rocks.  So I carefully crawled in as far as I could, and then climbed out. I stopped at 4:21:58

Definitely a disappointing time.  More than an hour over my goal time.  I've never been so far off before.  Now I know what to expect for the race in two weeks.  I will shoot for a 4:20 time and know that I can definitely achieve on that if the conditions aren't terrible.  It was actually very good conditions throughout the swim. I can't complain at all. 

Enjoying the evening camping outside at the cabin
Bottom: Me, Cathi, Oliver, Sariah (Jonas' girlfriend), Jonas
Top: Sam, Isaac, Grandma and Grandpa Low
We went back to the van and got the kneeboard and let the boys have some fun on the water.  But they didn't last long. They were done and not super enthusiastic about spending any more time on the water.  Jack did well and watched patiently.

We went to the cabin and enjoyed our evening with the fam.

Next swim in two weeks: July 18th

Then I'm hoping to do a double on Labor Day.

Monday, April 20, 2020

High Fives for Five Os

When: Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 3am to 9pm
An 18-hour relay swim to raise money for our men and women in blue.


Cost: $50 to enter for one hour as a relay swimmer, in the 18 hour long relay swim.  

As of now, here are the available openings which we are hoping to fill completely:



18 hours @ $50 = $900 total donation

Spread the word and lets get a full 18 hour relay swim going!

Rules

  • Anyone can participate, as long as you have the endurance to pace yourself and swim for 56 minutes within a one hour period.  For every 15 minutes of swimming, you are allowed up to one minute rest, but the current will remain going. No more than 4 minutes of rest per hour.  
  • You may swim at any speed you wish, and can use any type of swim equipment/aid you wish.  Hand paddles, snorkel, wetsuit?  No problem!
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your start time so you are completely ready to jump in 1 minute prior to your start time and tag the previous swimmer out.
All the money collected will 100% go to a SLC Police Officer that I trust like a brother to be distributed to a peer that he knows which could benefit the most.  I will encourage him to report back to me what impact the donation made for those benefiting, to share back with you.

To register

Email me at ggridley@gordongridley.us, and let me know what times above (that are not already in red) which would work for you, and we'll get you on the list, and get your donation via Venmo.  


What you get

  • With the recent lifting of restrictions, and going to a "Yellow" (Low risk) status: We will be serving all you can eat pancakes for swimmers and their families, who may want to come see their loved one swim in this pool that they've heard about.
  • You will be included in a Facebook Live streaming of the event, and you can check out how the other swimmers are doing when you aren't in the water.

Questions?

Text me at 384-238-9294









Sunday, March 29, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

3.2.1.

A coworker of mine, Heather Platz is raising money to support an organization she is passionate about.  Her son, Zeke has Down Syndrome, which is due to a third 21st chromosone, thus the theme "3.2.1 pledge":

https://321pledge.org

The money for this goes to various individuals with Down Syndrome to help get them through school, and to help them reach their dreams of full potential living with Down Syndrome.

I donated 3 x $21 to this organization and pledge to swim 3 x 3.21Km workouts before the end of this week in a nod of respect to this organization.


Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!

Well the last winter swim of the season is over.  The water temp was 37 degrees F. It was raining a little and we had a winter storm the night before so it was nice to have some snow on the ground for the swim.  Olga came and brought a friend.  Jim was visiting family but kept me updated with his own cold water adventures.

Cathi was making fun of me for being "6 eyes" with my goggles, glasses on at the same time.

It was raining slightly so I wanted to get it done so Cathi didn't have to just stand there in the rain, so our entry was relatively quick.

Here's the video she took:

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Winter Swimming, and new Endless PR

Winter Swimming is a legitimate sport that has thousands of participants worldwide.  It amazes me how the average person is close minded to the idea.  We are so engrained to protect ourselves, thinking that is accomplished by avoiding pain, or activities that stretch us beyond our limited imagination.

Most people have the ability, but very very few have the mindset to even try it. And when asked questions about it, it's difficult to convey the feelings of participating in winter swimming.

It's like explaining sex to a prepubescent child. To them it may seem sick, or disturbing.  But when the time is right and they participate under the right conditions, it is amazing and wonderful.  So until you've tried it, you're just a scared little kid unable or unwilling to comprehend.

This year, I decided to invite Sam to join me in the weekly swims early in the year.  And he has come every week without hesitation.  Here are the winter swimming stats so far:


DateTempDistance
10/3/1962f.55 miles
10/10/1954f.33 miles
10/16/1954f.53 miles
10/30/1944f.25 miles
11/13/1951f.25 miles
11/20/1949f.25 miles
11/27/1938f.25 miles
12/4/1942f.25 miles
12/13/1942f.25 miles
12/17/1940f.13 miles


The next winter swim will be on Christmas Day at 4:30pm!  

Last Saturday, 12/14/19 I put in 2.5 hours of endless pool swimming and got in 10,600 yards (6 miles). For a new PR in the endless.  I did it in sets of 4 x 40 mins with a 10 minute warm down. Ended up being 10,600 yards.  Sweet!


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Swimming to Moscow

Hit another big milestone..... Swimming from Salt Lake City to Moscow (A virtual stage swim obviously, which includes every stinkin' swim I've logged) Haha.

5,553 miles total


Here's all the swim's I've logged:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gVsWUALbblPVJTseGEnAyya18z7MvMzCFY-MXcpZ4jw

And yesterday's open water swim in the GSL was 44 degrees F!  Sam went with me and we both swam from the boat ramp to the outside of the marina opening and back.  About 7 minutes.  Sam swam waterpolo style the whole way.  Something you can get away with in the GSL.

Jim came too and got in and was in the water longer than we were.  He's amazing that guy!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Endless Pools Review

Quick Summary

ProsCons
PowerfulPrice ($41,123.76 after discounts/taxes/shipping)
ControlsInstallation is not easy. After setting up the frame I had hire help for the rest.
CustomizableHonesty/Competence of customization sales
ReliableCoping panels warp in the heat of the sun.


1) Power - I have a high performance Endless Pool. There are four models with varying power.  The model I went with is the second best with a maximum current of :56/100 yard.  The pool I did my test swim in prior to my purchase was an "Original" model, which is the lowest pool in terms of power.  I was able to swim at its maximum speed without much issue. (1:05/100 yd pace).

The High Performance model is more than enough for my needs. In fact, my workouts are for distance rather than speed, so to be honest I rarely include 1:05 pace in my workout, although its nice to have the option to be able to train a sprinter in my pool, should the need arise.  

2) Controls - the pool is controlled either manually through a remote control, or using an app that can be run on your phone/tablet, called Fit@Home.  This is actually an "extra" that you have to buy. It cost me an additional $400, and worth every penny.  The app allows me to program a workout with up to 20 different sets, for controlling speed & duration, and do intervals.  The app keeps track of the distance of your workout so you can know relatively accurately how far your actual distance was.  Otherwise manually controlling this with the remote, would be extremely boring and you wouldn't be able to get the overall distance.  You do have to be on a wireless network for this to work, so while you don't necessarily need internet access, you do need to be on the same wireless network with your phone, that your pool is connected to.  

In addition to the current flow control, I got the add-on for controlling the temperature remotely using a different app on my phone. The app is called in.touch 2.  Although I don't really mess with the temperature, it does allow me to turn the underwater lights on through the app (which I rarely use), as well as monitor whether the pump/heater are currently being used. This add-on cost an extra $295, which I would say is unnecessary. It's neat, but not really worth the money IMO. If you intend to increase/decrease the temperature for different swimmers often, maybe.  But the time it takes to increase/decrease the temperature would take too long for it to be useful.  It takes many hours for temp to increase/decrease depending on how cold/hot the air temp is.  And the water temp can't be decreased mechanically, only heated.  The only way the water temp can decrease is if the air temperature is lower than the desired water temperature.

In my case, I keep the water temperature at 70 degrees F at all times!  This is too cold for any of my non-competitive swimming family members.  In the summer, I couldn't get the water temp this low in my back yard.  Being exposed to the sun, in the early summer was making the water temp rise way up to 85+ and that was totally unacceptable.  I bought a large 15x30 tent to shade the pool (and the hot tub), but even in the shade it wasn't dropping below 85 degrees.  

I was desperate. I went to the grocery store and bought 80 pounds of ice.  That only dropped the temp by 1 degree! I did some homework on the topic, and read that the most impactful thing I could do to lower the water temperature was to build a waterfall system, to aerate the water.  So I rigged a pump system using a submersible 1/2 HP water pump.  This is the same pump I use to empty the pool.  It is supposed to empty 2000 Gallons per hour which is way too fast for my waterfall.  So I hooked up the pump to this Variable Speed Controller which would allow me to control the amount of water the pump would output. 

I connected the pump to a hose and connected it to the tent legs leading to the top of the inside of the tent so the water would fall down right back into the pool.  Then I placed it near the front of the pool, so I could cover it, except for the 3 feet of exposure for the pool water to pump out, and back in.  I had a powerful fan also flowing through the air into the stream of water to increase the air flow going into the water.  

This worked fantastic!  I was able to maintain a water temp of 73-74 in the middle of summer where the temps reached over 100 degrees.  In the early fall I was able to uninstall this waterfall system easily and the air temperature outside was low enough to not require any heating.  

Update (April 18, 2020)

I noticed while swimming that the current was spontaneously getting faster, then slower, then turn off.  I was worried something was seriously wrong with the computer running the system.  I was brainstorming the issue then thought I should check the manual controller which was in a waterproof box on the table with the swim gear.

I unscrewed the back of the manual control and the entire thing was totally corroded from water damage. I removed the two corroded batteries from the controller, and then the pool operated like normal.  Whew!  I never use the manual control, so no big deal. But you'd think a control to a pool would be fairly waterproof.  Not so.

Also, over the past month, I've opened up the pool to Salt Lake Open Water (SLOW) Club members who want to still swim while the Covid-19 pandemic is happening.  Community pools are closed.  With the endless pool being outside, accessible through a side gate, it seemed like a good way to help people that still want to get in a swim.  So the pool was made available for reservations, and typically gets 5-6 swimmers per day at about an hour each.  Lots of use!

Swimming during winter with the tent walls
installed. 
I was looking at the electrical costs.  I have a Sense electricity monitor, so I was wondering what the costs are with running and heating this pool.  I found that depending on the speed of the current, the usage ranges from 2-4kph.  My average kph cost is about 9 cents.  So when 3 different swimmers swim for one hour it will cost me about $1.00 for electricity.

Heating is about 400 watts when it is on.  In the summertime, that is not at all.  In the wintertime, according to Sense, the heater kicked on 4 times at night for about 15 minutes each.  I didn't check the monitor for heating during the day, but to be conservative let's say the heater goes on for 2 hours a day.  That's still less than 10 cents a day to heat in the winter months.

Granted I kept the pool in an enclosed tent throughout the winter to keep the wind chill out.  The temps were about 10 degrees warmer in the tent than outside air with the hot tub also being in there.


Video on getting the pool setup to swim in the early morning:
I have many more details on the things I would do different, so if you're interested in those details, just ask me.