The following article addresses a challenge we often face in this industry. A challenge with a solution..., and the solution will open doors to more business and success for all.
First, I hesitated to write this as I know there will be some, who don't know me and will think I "being negative" or "uncaring", but that is not so. It is because I care deeply about both the industry and all of us who represent it that I created the Pool Genius Network, that I serve this industry each day in varying capacities, and now, write this post.
As you read it, try not "judge" whether what I say is "true or false" but rather, "does it contain something that can help me or others grow, prosper, or improve". (As much as is possible, that's how I try to frame everything)
Of all the beautiful water feature and pool design elements few are quite as dramatic and breathtaking as a well designed "vanishing edge".
Also called, "infinity" edge, and "negative" edge, these pools have the distinguishing feature of a section of the pools perimeter serving as an overflow permitting the waters edge to seemingly "vanish" into the distance.
These pools are special, and the engineering requirements are not obvious thus making them the most problematic designs a builder can undertake. That said, the absence of the "obvious" can also be a call to "learn more", and once these skills are mastered, the creation of trouble free "infinity" edge pools is flawless.
There are three catagories of "special" information that needs to be mastered:
- The "design" elements - the specific attention to detail required in the physical design of the pool and structure
- The "hydraulic" elements - the engineering of water supply, capture, delivery, transition, containment, and surge
- The "communication / documentation" elements - the clear disclosure of the operational differences of these pools including increased maintenance, water consumption, energy requirements, and part repair and replacement
The biggest problem with building a pool of this type however is "personal" rather than "technical" in nature.
You see if you "know" how to build it correctly, there is no problem at all. And if you don't know how to build it, the problem is easily addressed through research, education, and having a competent mentor available to discuss challenges until a complete understanding is reached. But the biggest problems arise not from "knowing", or even "not knowing", but from "not knowing that you don't know".
This last part of the equation, "not knowing that you don't know", is where the pursuit of the "obvious" results in "unintended" and often "huge" problems.
This not only occurs with contractors who build the original structure, but often is further exacerbated by the repair tech who applies further ignorance to solve the problem resulting in new problems, finger pointing, and a bad reputation to our entire industry.
I write this as I spent years developing the "craft" of constructing beautiful and technically difficult pools, and indeed made more than a few mistakes along the way, many of which were due to the total absence of training back if the early days of development of these now common features. I also write because I was recently asked to look at a job that was not functioning as it should and found two of the most common problems with these designs, 1) the pump elevation was 5 feet above the catch basin operational water level 2) the catch basin volume did not account for "bather surge"... at all.
The builder was blaming the pump manufacturer for a "faulty" design as the pump was cavitating badly and was nearly impossible to prime, and was looking for a non-existant way out for the catch basin design flaw. But underlying it all was the real problem, they thought they knew, but were wrong. It was the failure to understand or acknowledge that they "didn't know they didn't know".
You see, this characteristic transcends the challenges of "vanishing edge" design and carries itself to the furthest reaches of our experience..., if we let it.
Take a moment to examine your thought process. This trait can be hidden by a certain "pride" we as men often have, but if given focused attention it can be recognized. Once recognized, commit to open your heart and mind to learn new things. Become a "student" of life and of this wonderful industry which provides beauty, health, fitness, and happiness to so many.
And if I can every be of help to any of you, just ask!
May you all have the best year ever..., learning new and wonderful things as you traverse the challenges of each day.