The History of Unicel – Originally Printed in Swimming Pool – Spa Age, July 1997

On a spring evening in 1956, company president and founder Dick Meissner sat down in his garage to begin work on his first sewing contract. Phil Anthony of Anthony Pools had just given him his first order to produce the Anthony McIntosh filter bag. Working alone and at night, Dick laid the foundation for the company that has grown to become the largest manufacturer of swimming pool and spa filter elements in the world.

In those early years, residential DE filtration was in its infancy. As the market started to grow, Dick received additional sewing contracts, first from Swimquip, then from Landon, Pac-Fab, and Paddock of California. By 1959 this part-time venture had grown into a full-time business. The fledgling company hired two employees and quietly moved into a 2,000-square foot building in Van Nuys, Calif. Within one year the young company doubled in size and by 1962 it occupied 6,000 square feet and had five full-time employees.

With the advent of the cartridge filter, the company saw its next opportunity. Early cartridge elements were made of a paper-type material that did not hold up well in the swimming pool environment. Realizing the future potential of cartridge filtration, Meissner set out to develop a manufacturing process to enhance this new medium. In 1964, the research and development yielded the industry’s first cartridge element made with a new spunbonded, 100% polyester material called Reemay¬¨. Developed by Dupont and adapted to cartridge filtration by Meissner, Reemay has become the primary filter material used throughout the pool and spa industry.

The period from 1964 to 1972 saw steady growth of the new Reemay cartridge systems. At that time, however, individual cartridge size was limited to only 6 square feet. The filter system achieved its total surface area by manifolding numerous small cartridges. These early cartridge filters worked extremely well but were difficult to clean and maintain due to the number of small elements involved. Then in 1972, Meissner, working with Purex, developed the industry’s first extended surface, single element cartridge. Meissner’s new manufacturing technology yielded a 100-square foot filter system using only three individual cartridges. This concept quickly caught on and single element 25-, 50-, and 75-square foot filter systems utilizing Meissner’s cartridges soon were introduced by American, Baker Hydro, Hayward, Premier, Sta-Rite and others.

Throughout the early 80’s Meissner continued to work as a supplier to the brand name pump and filter producers to develop and improve cartridge filtration. By 1984 Meissner elements, both DE and cartridges, were being utilized in virtually every major brand name filter system. To meet this growing demand, the company developed state-of-the-art high speed production equipment. Unique to Meissner, this manufacturing capability allowed the company to carve a niche for quality and delivery that is unsurpassed today.

1985 became a pivotal year for Meissner when several brand name companies began producing their own Reemay elements. Faced with a loss of business, but having tremendous production capacity, the company re-invented itself. Retaining its core OEM business under the Meissner label, the company introduced and promoted the Unicel brand of replacement filter elements. For the first time, the entire range of replacement elements built to O.E.M. specifications was made available to wholesale distribution from a single source. Dealers and service technicians could easily obtain replacement cartridges from their local distributor, even if they did not carry that particular brand of equipment.

By staying focused and specializing in filtration, Unicel has developed expertise in a very critical area of the pool and spa industry. Today, Unicel services both the spa OEM market and wholesale distribution trade.

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Benefits of Chlorine Tablets in Swimming Pools

If you own a swimming pool, spa or Jacuzzi, then, if you haven’t done so already, you will need to sort out how you keep it clean and free from harmful bacteria and algae. The most widespread method today of keeping your facility sparkling clean and good as new is to use chlorine, usually in the form of tablets or granules. When used properly, chlorine tablets or granules dissolve in the water thus rendering it safe for you and your family to swim in.

Chlorine tablets or granules are the most cost effective and popular way to make your swimming facility a safe place to paddle. Just think how grimy your bath water is when you get out after a long soak. Now imagine all the germs that would be floating around in a pool after tens or even hundreds of people had been using it. Lovely thought isn’t it?

Chlorine is such an essential and widely used method of sanitizing public pools nowadays, that it’s pretty much taken for granted. When used properly, chlorine will do the following for your swimming leisure facility;

Destroy all harmful germs
Maintain a good ph water level (it should be the same ph level as human tears)
Stop algae from growing round the pool
In general keep the pool and its environs clean
Chlorine tablets usually come in a large bucket and should be kept away from pets and small children. They are, however, quite safe to use providing you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. A dispenser or chlorinator can be used in conjunction with the tablets and if all goes according to plan, they should dissolve safely in the water.
Again refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long it should be before you take to the water after using the tablets. You will have to measure your pool and work out the volume of water it holds (if you don’t know this already). You should be able to work out these details with the use of a yard stick and simple arithmetic.

You should get into the routine of checking your water once a week. It is advisable to check the ph balance. Lastly, it’s quite rare for swimmers to have adverse reactions to chlorine although cases of skin rashes, irritable eyes and breathing difficulties have been noted on some very rare occasions. All I can say is that the benefits of chlorine far outweigh the risks when it comes to cleaning your pool or Jacuzzi. After all, just imagine fifty people in your bath. Not a nice thought!

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