The Solace Hydraulic Pool Gate Closer was introduced for the 2015 Pool Season, after a considerable amount of time working with the supplier to manufacture a gate closer suitable for the Australian Climate. FGS realised that pool gate soft closers operated in very aggressive outdoor conditions. We realised that the closer needed to operate on 15C days as well as 45C days. It also needed to operate in a salt and chlorine environment. Some pools are salt water, others are chlorine and a lot of homes are close to the Ocean. This presents very caustic conditions, that make it difficult to operate moving parts over a long period.
What did we do?
FGS managed to find a solution that enabled the closer to operate throughout a wide temperature range. This solution was tested over a few months in a specifically designed test rig. The Solace was tested for in excess of 52,000 cycles and more importantly it was tested across a broad range of temperatures, that were in line with the Australian climate. It was also tested by an independent NATA accredited test lab for 10,000. The Solace contains hydraulic fluid and during extremes of temperature the fluid can change viscosity, this can make a difference to the closing speed. However, the Solace is designed to operate over a wide range of temperatures but should the end user want to speed up or slow down the closer, they can do so using simple adjustments on the Solace body. We have even included a QR code on the body of the closer, which you can click on with your mobile phone and it will show you a video of how to adjust the Solace very easily.
The Solace needed to operate in caustic conditions, so we tested all parts of the closer in a Salt Spray Tank. This process speeds up the caustic process by creating a 5% salt solution that is heated up and turned into a mist, this aggressive test will show any weak points in the design. Where practicable parts were changed to stainless steel or left as aluminium but due to strength issues some parts couldn’t be changed and instead we introduced a specially treated felt washer to ensure no corrosion would take place. Once these changes were made, the Solace was retested in the Salt Spray Tank. We felt so confident about the Solace, we gave it a 3 year warranty.
One thing everyone needs to be aware of is that stainless steel is exactly what it says, it stains less. It isn’t stain proof steel, so it does need some care and attention. If you live close to the Ocean or have a salt/chlorine pool it is recommended that you regularly clean down all stainless steel surfaces with clean, fresh water. This removes any aggressive caustic products off of the surface of the stainless steel and will keep it looking better for longer.
The test rig for the solace Closer
All Pool Closers have to be NATA tested to 10,000 cycles
This Solace was tested for 42,000 cycles BEFORE the NATA lab tested for a further 10,000 cycles, so we tested this Solace over 52,000 cycles
The Salt Spray Tank was used to find weaknesses in the Solace components
Special coatings were tested on the Protective washer to find the best corrosion resistance
This shows how aggressive the salt spray is and how well our protective coating works
Different types of mountings
The Solace was originally designed to be base mounted. This meant you had to install a baseplate to the floor, which would mean drilling into tiles. Some people are happy to do this and some are not. We also knew that a lot of installers liked the option of fitting the closer off of another piece of glass, liked to mount it off a wall or even mount it at 90 degrees. FGS went to the drawing board and our Engineering Team designed a series of unique fittings that allowed the Solace to be
- Glass Mounted
- Base Mounted
- Wall Mounted
- 90 degree Mounted
The most difficult one to work out was how to attach the Solace to another piece of glass. We started to design numerous alternatives and came up with a design which we affectionately called the ‘underbelly’. This became the 180 degree. After much testing in the lab, FGS were confident to launch these new mountings to the Australian Market.
Our 3D rendered image of the 90 degree Solace Mounting
3D image of the Solace Bottom Wall Mount
3D rendering of the FGS Solace 180 Top Pivot
3 Year Warranty
As of Sept 2016 the Solace will have been on sale for one year and it has been a tremendously successful year. We have had very few issues and when we have had any our supplier has been great at putting corrective actions in place. As a result of the last year we are confident of continuing the 3 Year Warranty. Our supplier has a state of the art manufacturing facility with extensive testing capability. FGS are proud to offer the Solace as their No.1 Premier Pool Closer for the 2016/7 Pool season.
FGS have a wide range of Pronto Standard Pool panels, gates and hinge panels. As of September 2016 FGS will also be offering a new delivery methodology which will allow full pool fence components to be delivered Australia wide. This will mean that the whole of Australia will have the opportunity to install the Premier Pool Closer in the Australian Market. Get on board with the Solace and see what a fantastic product we have!
Installation and Adjustment Videos
Below are a couple of videos that show how to install the Solace in a base mount condition. The other video shows how you can adjust the closing speed of the Solace, this is so easy the end user can do it themselves.