To all our customers, we will no longer be keeping regular store hours but are available by appointment in the store or by phone throughout the winter months. If you need something for your hot tub or indoor pool or want to discuss a project for next year, feel free to call us at 860-703-2489 or 860-673-6118 and I will be happy to open up the store for you or discuss over the phone. Thank you for your continued patronage and we are looking forward to another successful season in 2016.
It’s time to close your swimming pools for the season and we have everything you need to do it yourself or call us to schedule our expert technicians to close your pool for you. Take a look at the resources available on our website and our YouTube channel:
We have completed several large swimming pool projects this summer including replacing above ground and inground pool liners; complete pool restorations; installing new above ground and inground pools plus many smaller maintenance and repair projects. We have added video and photo galleries of some of our largest projects on the website. If you are thinking about installing a new pool or replacing your liner take a look at these projects and be sure to call if you have any questions or would like to schedule your next pool project:
Pool safety should be the primary concern when deciding to put in a pool and pool safety covers are a great way to protect your children and animals from falling in the pool water. Visit the following government website on pool safety for tips and ideas on securing your pool or visit our page on pool safety:
There are some misconceptions that I see many pool owners have when it comes to salt water systems. One of the biggest is that salt waters pools are chlorine free. Salt water systems are still using chlorine, its just getting in your pool differently. As you may already know, salt is sodium chloride, or NaCl. All the salt generator is doing is breaking apart the salt molecule to produce its own chlorine. Pool owners with these systems still have to maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3 ppm just like any other chlorine pool would. Another misconception when it comes to salt generators is that these systems make it so you no longer have to worry about balancing your water chemistry. This is definitely not the case. Pools with salt generators still need to be balanced for pH, alkalinity, hardness, and stabilizer just like any other pool. In my experience pool owners with these systems either think they are the greatest pool invention ever or they want to throw it in the garbage, there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. I generally don’t recommend salt generators because I think its just adding another layer of complexity to something that should be as easy and hassle free as possible.
For homeowners with an aboveground swimming pool, there is the choice between beaded or overlap pool liners. The major difference between these two types of liners is how they attach to the top of the pool wall. Overlap liners come up to the top of the wall, flip over and have 4-6” of material visible from the outside of the pool. Beaded liners will come up to the top of the pool wall and snap into a bead receiver. These types of liners are not visible from the outside of the pool wall. There really is no difference between the two types of liner when it comes to quality. Both are generally the same thickness and come with the same warranty coverage. The major advantage of beaded liners comes in when it’s time to replace the liner. Because they come up and over the top of the pool, overlap liners require the installer to remove all of the top rails to both remove the old liner and flip over the replacement. This can be tricky for older pools with lots of rusty parts. Beaded liners do not come up and over the top of the wall so the top rails do not need to be removed to install them. This saves both time and money in the future. In addition, beaded liners generally come with more attractive pattern choices than overlap liners, so if it were my decision, I would choose a beaded liner.
Winter has come and gone and the spring is now upon us. This time of year brings the usual problems of ripped pool covers, rusted out pool walls, torn liners and broken pipe lines.
Severe pool cover and liner damage after the winter
This winter was especially severe and long which means these problems will be worse than normal. While many of these problems are unavoidable, some can prevented by following some simple do’s and don’ts.
One of the single biggest problems we encounter in the spring during the pool opening and by far the easiest to solve involves pumping off solid pool covers. A solid pool cover is essentially a large tarp that is normally held down with water bags for in-ground pools and a cover cable for aboveground pools. As soon as the snow starts to melt homeowners instinctively want to start pumping the water off of their cover to prepare for the opening. When doing this most people run their garden hose somewhere in their yard thinking that the only water leaving the pool is the excess on top of the cover. Because these covers have small pin holes and are not completely water tight, pool owners end up
draining several feet of water right out of their pool. This is when we get the frantic calls saying that there must be a huge leak somewhere and we need to come out immediately to check it out. All you have to do to avoid this is to run the hose back underneath the cover so essentially you’re just transferring the water from the top of the cover back underneath again and no water is lost in the process.
Customers visiting or calling the store, ask me about pool maintenance and what they need to focus on to keep their pools looking beautiful all season long. Maintaining the proper pH is critical to the health of your pool water and the equipment you use to operate your pool.
We like to say that balancing your pool’s water chemistry is like building a new house. The foundation of your house is the crucial building block needed before the framing, windows, roof, etc. can begin. The same is true for the pH of your pool water. For example, adding algaecide would be like putting in new windows or adding chlorine would be like putting up the frame of the house. Without the foundation pH in place, the other chemistry will not be able to do their jobs.
Most of the chemicals you add into your pool (especially chlorine) are designed to work in a certain pH range (normally 7.2-7.6). If you add chemicals to that pool and the pH is either too high or too low, then these chemicals will not work properly.
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. Pure water has a pH very close to 7, which is why the closer your pool water is to 7, the more comfortable the pool water will be for your eyes. In general, we try to keep pool water in the slightly alkaline range of 7.2-7.8.
Something else to keep in mind with pH is the type of pool you have. Vinyl liner pools in this area always tend to have low pH, so you will more often than not be putting chemicals in your pool that raise the pH. Gunite or plaster finish pools tend to have a high pH (the plaster finish is responsible for this phenomenon) so you will usually be adding liquid or dry acid to lower the pH into the appropriate range.