1988-1989 | 1993 | 1994 | 2002 | 2003 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007
I started out in the pool services business while still in high school in the 70’s. Eventually we acquired our own house and a pool. Our Doughboy 28’ round pool was dished to a depth of about 6 feet and we had a bottom drain installed. Our first season with the pool, 1988 was none too pleasant as the pool was partially shaded and cold most of the time. Taking it upon myself to explore inexpensive heating methods for the pool, I inquired about solar panels. We decided to purchase a system for our pool based upon the factory rep and salesman’s assurances that it would in fact work and heat our pool. We were able to fit a 288 sq foot system on our garage roof which had the southernmost exposure. Six 4x12 collectors and a manual control valve were installed. This represented better than 50% of the surface area of our pool. Knowing we should try to approach 2\3 of the surface area we were anxious to see the results. 2 inch pipe was utilized to keep the flow rate high during the peak hours of the day. The rest is history. We were so delighted in the results we achieved, and how our pool became warm and thoroughly enjoyable, that we were anxious to spread the word about this wonderful, then relatively new, product technology. Mid-State Solar is formed. We signed on as Solar Industries dealers and distributors for the 1989 season. Several of the customers we serviced that year have become our friends and we have fond memories of our 1st year in the solar pool heating business. We were blessed with our first son in June of that year and I have vivid recollections of our wonderful times in the pool. While still an infant, our son Cory was introduced to the pool and he was a strong swimmer by age three. Round and round we would go on the level edge of the pool, sometimes for hours, while he shifted from my arms to hanging on to my back, gaining absolute trust in me and a respect and love of the water. Without warm water, the pool would not have been very much of a part of our life in those days.
We were able to sell about 10 systems that year but they were all special to us as we were building a foundation of very satisfied customers and a referral base. We often refer back to these older installations and customers to document the absolute lack of maintenance, repairs, or any kind of trouble these people have experienced with their product. And who better to tell you how their lives have improved and the enjoyment and great times they have had as a direct result of having a heated pool. As our customer base and referral base grows, so grows our business. We offer an outstanding product at a fair price, which gives respectable performance, requiring no maintenance, and lasts a very long time! We have found the recipe for success by fulfilling a unique market niche!
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In 1993, we were able to buy a new house, (thank you, customers!) and the first order of business was the installation of a pool. We were now “pool people” and unwilling to go without our heated pool. We installed a solar heater and no other source of heat on our custom Mountain Lake in ground liner pool. Some of my associates were stunned that we were using a solar heater for the pool exclusively. I had no doubts. We also began to offer an automatic controller around this time and I certainly wanted one on my pool. The original Solarstat from Goldline Controls has worked flawlessly since that time (15 years old this year!). We use a Polaris pool cleaner with a booster pump and have it on a timer set for two hours a day. When the maid (we call it) comes in to clean the pool from 12-2pm, she is inadvertently distributing the warmest water of the day around the pool via the cleaner! This setup works so well that the newest Goldline solar control, the digital Aqua-Solar has a special provision and relay for the Polaris type pressure side cleaners.
We had only a west\southwest exposure to work with this time so we ended up with twelve 10ft panels, 480 sq feet or 80% coverage on a 600 sq foot pool. This has proven to be more than adequate for our needs. In fact, we are often around 88-90 by late May (our target temperature) and do not go much below that until mid September! We are able to achieve about 90 days a year at our target temperature and about another 45 days above 82! Just try doing that with a gas heater and you will be in the poorhouse in no time! I contribute a good deal of the performance capability of these systems to the inclusion of an automatic control. We strongly encourage all of our customers to take advantage of the added convenience, accuracy and performance this option offers
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We are awarded Aquatherm Master Dealer status at a company ceremony, reflecting our Quantity of Sales and Quality of Service. As Master Dealers we must have show an outstanding commitment to the quality of our installations well as customer satisfaction. We are very proud of this status and of being recognized among a class of Solar Pool Heating Professionals.
Goldline Controls, formerly Independent Energy, Introduces the Aqua-Solar LCD Solar Controller at the NSPI northeast regional pool and spa show in Atlantic City. We order several dozen and offer the controller on our “Better Solar System” beginning March 2002. The Aqua Solar has 3 sensor capabilities and it is the current state of the art in solar controllers. It’s an instant hit! Our sales hit a new record high for the year!
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We post our first web site to promote our company and products. We decide on an informational web site approach and do not offer to sell any products directly online. We still feel that a respectable performing Solar Pool Heating System should have a knowledgeable and proven solar contractor behind it either in design or installation or both. Our solar collector sales can now be counted in the thousands.
We now have an impressive resume of installations, in all kinds of situations, and have been leading the field in custom ground mounts and subtly incorporating the collectors into the surrounding landscape throughout New Jersey.
We continue our campaign of direct mail, networking, referral forms and fees, web site, and discount pricing to meet our aggressive goal of doubling our sales for 2003. Although we have done installations as far away as Fort Meyers, FL, for a friend, Long Island, Bucks County, PA, and Rockland County, NY, our service area has been between route 70 in South Jersey and Route 80 in North Jersey. We now expand our service area to cover the entire state of New Jersey, Staten Island, and 13 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania. Beginning in 2003, we offer to beat any competitor’s written quotation on like configured systems!
As a pilot, I have had the opportunity to fly and meet customers for estimates when the prospect lives near an airport. One farmer who was interested invited me to land right in his field. So I did! He bought a ground mounted 8 panel automatic system for his 16x32 in ground pool. We used the dirt left over from the pool excavation to create a south facing knoll on which to mount the collectors. What appears as a beautifully landscaped berm from the pool area houses a very well thought out pool heating system on the opposite side, hidden from view. We remain friends to this day. We have many examples of these custom designed solar installations. Solar engineering, solar design, and solar living, we are proud of our accomplishments and of our commitment to building a “Better Solar System” for us all. We are also able to collect some really nice aerial photos of our solar collectors and the beautiful estate homes where many of them reside. Some of our better photos have been blown up and presented to the customer as a gift in appreciation for their business. Most people are thrilled to have an aerial photo of their home and yard and are fascinated by how things look from the air. Ask us about this little perk when we come to install your new solar pool heating system.
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After a winter of some hard freezes, we are for the second season experiencing several problems with the Aquatherm collectors. Namely freeze ups and reduced flow rates. In my humble opinion, they have stepped outside their core business of manufacturing professional solar collectors and have been concentrating on the aboveground, packaged, do it yourself market. In order to profit at this game the production must speed up and as a result they have sacrificed the quality that we had grown accustomed to. After dissecting several collectors it was evident that they were being poorly constructed. In the words of a competitor and fellow Aquatherm dealer they are now selling “cheap crap for a lot of money.” My customers deserve better than cheap crap, and I didn’t feel very good about having to explain why entire sections of some customer’s solar panels were not receiving flow, while other sections were allowing the water to just trickle through. Although they were never a true full flow collector, the Aquatherm flow rates had been respectable. For years, the panels had been durable and long lasting, and the quality had been consistent. Beginning in 2004 and very evident in 2005 was the inconsistency and general decline in product quality that caused us to look elsewhere. We need to offer the best product available. Period.
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In our continuing effort to “build a better solar system”, we are extremely pleased to announce that we are now able to offer the #1 selling solar pool heating collector in the world! One look at the Heliocol collector and you can see for yourself the unmistakable look of quality! In addition to offering a full 12 year guarantee, these collectors are the only ones in the world to offer a true full flow design. With today’s high capacity pumps, water features and automatic cleaners, a full flow collector is essential to keep your filter running at peak efficiency and reduce stresses on your pump. Any engineer will assure you that the faster you flow the water through a solar collector, during the peak hours of the day, the more efficiently they will transfer heat to your pool water. So just from a guarantee and engineering standpoint, these collectors are superior! But there’s so much more!
Heliocol solar pool heating collectors are the only pool heating collectors to have achieved the coveted I.S.O. 9002 certification!!! This means that they have demonstrated a commitment to quality manufacturing and consistency that few other companies can match! Sharing this high level of quality certification are companies that you may have heard of such as General Electric, Rolex, Intel, Jacuzzi, Microsoft, and Rolls Royce! We are proud to have this quality assurance behind us and proud to offer the finest solar pool heating collector system than money can buy!
Because of their attractive close coupled design, the Heliocol collectors will appear as 1 large collector on your roof, eliminating the unsightly gaps between collectors necessary in monolithic designs. These gaps are necessary in other designs to accommodate rubber hose connectors and clamps. The Heliocol design uses a patented O-ring attachment system eliminating the need for hoses and clamps and there are virtually no areas where a leak or failure can occur!
But perhaps the most brilliant design advantage offered by the Heliocol collectors, putting them far above the rest, is the individual tube design. 156 tubes per collector plate are bracketed together to give the appearance of a monolithic design, but the difference being that they are not subject to wind load! The Heliocol collector will receive radiant heat from both above and below keeping your roof cool while allowing the roof to breathe! Other monolithic designs can trap moisture under them as they are essentially solid sheets of plastic on the roof. During windy days, the monolithic designs want to behave like airplane wings, they want to lift and fly away! Not so with the Heliocol design. In fact, Heliocol is the only solar pool heating collector that does not require invasive hold down strapping! Eliminating the need for hold down strapping means that they require only 1/3 the number of roof penetrations of other designs! This is of paramount importance in the Northeast where harsh winters can wreak havoc on hold down strapping, pulling them loose from their mounts, degrading the integrity of your roof, and eventually causing a leak. A true ‘roof friendly’ design, it is no wonder that Heliocol has emerged as the #1 selling solar pool heating system in the world.
After the hurricanes last year in Florida, most of the insurance adjusters began to specify Heliocol to replace solar heaters that were damaged or blown off the roof entirely. Their observation has been that while other monolithic designs were torn from their mounts in the high winds, the Heliocol systems were still intact after the storms! Heliocol is now the mandatory replacement pool heating panel in coastal Florida areas by code! The elimination of wind load, the I.S.O. 9002 quality certification, the attractive appearance, the 12 year full guarantee, the elimination of 2/3 of the roof penetrations and the ability to allow the roof to breathe will make the Heliocol system the #1 selling solar pool heating system in the Northeast!
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After 15 years doing business as Mid-State Solar, we decided we needed a new name to more accurately reflect the true nature of our business. As of April 21st, 2007, we are now SolarSwim Pool Heating Systems and proud and honored to offer this truly world class product line to you in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.
We can give you the pool you’ve always dreamed about at a cost you’ve only dreamed about. Now you can have a cure for the common cold. Call today for your free estimate!
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