E.L. Wagner Co. Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Since 1919, E.L. Wagner Co. Inc. (Wagner Pools) has been making life more enjoyable for homeowners and commercial clients alike as the oldest specialty swimming pool builder in the country. “We’re a fourth-generation-owned and -operated family business,” reveals John Gedney Sr., president of Wagner Pools. “I own the company with my wife, Mary Louise Wagner Gedney, as well as my sons. We’ve been building high quality pools for nearly a century; in fact, we’re the oldest company in America doing it.”
The 95-year-old company builds high-end residential and commercial pools up and down the East Coast and even top luxury markets in the Caribbean. “We don’t subcontract anything -everything is done in-house,” notes Gedney Sr. “We have been, and continue to be, on the cutting edge of swimming pool construction and use.”
A class of their own
The Connecticut-based company has been building top-notch swimming pools since 1919, when E.L. Wagner founded his namesake company. Wagner was one of the first to introduce New England to the leisure activity of swimming in the backyard with his first masterwork for Hollywood producer Adolph Zukor.
“For Wagner, it was an exciting time of discovery and craftsmanship. If it didn’t exist, he invented it. Far ahead of his time, he developed the first swimming pool purification system to use ultraviolet rays. He was committed to building the strongest, most beautiful and easy-to-maintain swimming pools in the world. Today, Wagner continues to bring the most sophisticated systems in heating, cleaning and automation,” reads Wagner Pools’ website.
Wagner Pools continues to uphold the same tradition of excellence that the company has brought to America’s backyard for generations. Wagner’s vision lives on today through Gedney Sr. and his sons John, David and Michael. “My sons run different parts of the company,” reveals Gedney Sr. “John is the head of construction, David leads the service department and Michael is our lead accountant.”
Today, Wagner Pools spans the Northeast, from its home base in Darien, Conn., to New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont with approximately 50 employees. “Our in-house construction, high-quality work and service reputation that’s unparalleled is what continues to set us apart,” adds Gedney Sr.
Diving into the most innovative technology in the industry
Since its inception, Wagner Pools has been a leader in swimming pool technology and innovation. While most think of the fun and enjoyment that comes from owning a pool, there is the drawback of considerable time spent cleaning and maintaining the unit. However, the professional team at Wagner Pools has developed a solution to the problem: pools that clean themselves.
John Gedney III, fourth-generation vice president of Wagner Pools, explains the company’s intricate self-cleaning system. “Our pools are monitored by computers,” he details. “They monitor the chemical levels and the flow rate of water in the filtration system. The in-floor cleaning systems are similar to a sprinkler system in a yard and the cleaning heads are nearly identical to the pool’s finish. They pop up and shoot out chemically treated, filtered and heated water and they slightly rotate as they go around and eventually they go in a full circle and force all of the dirt into the deep end of the pool. Everything is removed though the main suctions in the pool to a canister at the filtration equipment.”
It is evident that Gedney III is proud of what the company has accomplished. “It’s so much better than those robot-type cleaners that get in your way while you’re trying to swim,” he continues. “Those are so big and bulky when you take them out and so heavy and slippery that they inevitably get dropped and broken.”
From the mechanisms that make the pool stay fresh and clean for a daily dip to the design of an aesthetically-pleasing unit, Wagner Pools can fill every client’s vision. “We recently completed a high-end residence in Jamaica, right on the ocean,” details Gedney Sr. “Working with a trusted independent landscape architect, we designed a Vanishing Edge pool to fit into the palm trees with the water flowing over the edge. The final result was a seamless design that blends perfectly into the surroundings.”
Wagner Pools also offers its industry-leading Pebble Finish, which the company has been installing for more than 15 years. The interior pebbles provide beauty and longevity. “Pebble Finish is a patented surface of tiny river pebbles worn down by millions of years tumbling down streams, then hand-finished to bring smooth, natural stones in virtually every color – from ocean sky to forest. In fact, the only unnatural thing about Pebble Finish is the exceptional longevity,” reads Wagner Pools’ website.
From seamless design to materials that stand the test of time, Wagner Pools delivers great value. As a member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), Gedney Sr. says the company is always looking for new products, techniques and ways to continuously improve. “There is always a new technology or upgrade and it’s our job to constantly stay on top of that,” Gedney Sr. adds.
Even after 95 years, E.L. Wagner Co. Inc. is improving the backyard swimming pool experience, supported by four generations of dedicated family ownership.
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