My wife is from Estonia. I met her there teaching English back in the late 90’s. Every winter we go back to visit her parents and family. It’s always fairly cool in Estonia and in the winter, even more so. They don’t have many back yard swimming pools but people still like to vacation and unwind. So, people either take a trip to a neighboring city or take a trip to a neighboring country and stay in a hotel that has a heated indoor pool, spas and the most important of them all, the sauna.
To say that saunas are popular in Estonia, would be an understatement. Saunas are part of their ritual and family culture. In these hotel/spas in Estonia, they have many various types of saunas. They have a salt sauna, which entails a medium heat sauna in which stands a pillar of salt and one gets salt in their hands and wipe it all over their body. This is supposed to clean the skin. It might, but it burns a little too, so I am not a big fan.
They also have the steams saunas, menthol saunas, regular sauna and the hot sauna. The hot Sauna is at 100 degrees Celsius, which is the boiling point of water.
The hot sauna certainly was noteworthy. They were performing a sauna ritual. Probably 20 people sat in this rather large sauna in a big U shape. The person conducting the ritual was in his early 20’s. Everyone was tense a head of time when the ceremony was beginning. I was about to find out why. 100 Celsius is pretty hot by itself, but when the young man poured water onto the hot coals, what felt like a boiling cloud of steam enveloped us. I came to find out that the higher in elevation one was, the hotter is was. Heat does rise. I happened to be on the highest row of seats in the sauna. We did this a couple times and then our master of ceremony brought out several hand fulls of birch branches with dried leaves on them. We dipped them in water and smacked each other on the back with them. This is supposed to be a massage but I can’t say for sure if I got any therapeutic benefit or not. More water on the coals and more steam and it is getting unbearably hot, we do some loud chanting and he sprinkles cold water on everyone and it feels good. We are done with the sauna and a few people dart away through the door outside. A small round pool is open to the elements and running. The last part of the ceremony is dipping our bodies in the nearly freezing cold water. It felt great believe it or not, after being in the sauna.
So, if you happen to go on holiday somewhere in Europe, don’t be surprised if run into something new.
Heres a link to the blog of the hotel http://www.narvajoesuu.ee/klassikaline-ravipakett-(alates-4-ravipaevast)
My favorite inground cleaner is the Aquabot Z-2. Cleans the average pool in 2-3 hours and doesn’t use your filtration system, it has its own filter. It also cleans the water line a big plus in my book. The control box has a timer that can be set from 1-7 hours. Very easy to use, put it in the pool, plug it in and turn it on. Comes with a 3-year warranty. My favorite aboveground cleaner in the Aquabot Cyclone Scrubber. It will run for 2 hours then shut off. You can turn it on again just by pushing the power button on the power pack. It also has its own filter, so it doesn’t use the pools filtration system. This unit comes with a 2-year warranty. Now with all the time you have saved not vacuuming your pool you could have a cookout for your friends, like hamburgers and hotdogs cooked on a Big Green Egg Grill.
Our main competitor has used the same Above Ground pool presentation for a very long time. We talk to a lot of customers and we got to know what they have been told and know the question that will be asked before the words are uttered. This is a small sheet to compare and contrast their story to what Eastgate Pools proudly installs.
Do you sell resin pools?
Our competitors go to great length to sell the customer on the benefits of a resin pool. First off, when referring to resin it is important to point out that the pool wall itself is never resin. Resin simply isn’t strong enough to hold the water that goes into a swimming pool, so galvanized steel is used for the wall because steel provides the strength needed to hold together the enormous amount of weight and outward pressure in an above ground pool.
Eastgate Pools once carried resin top rails and uprights but we were not satisfied with its performance. Resin indeed does not rust, but it does deteriorate when exposed to prolonged UV rays. Resin starts to chalk fairly quickly and at about 5-7 years we noticed that customers were replacing top rails on resin pools. We noticed that customers that had galvanized steel top rails got a much longer life and provided a more durable and stronger product.
Do your pools have a stainless steel panel?
This stainless steel panel I refer to is in the section of the pool that has the skimmer and return. Our competitors story suggests that regular skimmer panels have the steel of the inner core of the wall exposed to the water if there is a leak in the skimmer, thus causing rust in the skimmer area. This is true if there is a standard gasket in the skimmer. The gasket used by Eastgate Pools is a U shaped gasket, it completely seels the steel wall away from any possible water intrusion, therefore protecting the pool wall from the leak. Keeping the standard pool wall keeps the wall looking the same all throughout instead of a silver panel that looks completely different from the rest of the pool.
Another reason we feel it is unwise to use a stainless panel is because, the stainless panel is not the same material as the rest of the pool and when you put two dissimilar metals together it cause deterioration of the weaker metal. It is true that going with a stainless steel panel will prevent the skimmer hole from rusting, but what isn’t mentioned, the area where the panel is bolted together will fail more quickly because of the use of two different metals.
Suction side automatic pool cleaners, Kreepy Krauly, Zap Vac, Dirt Demon just to name a few, do a really nice job keeping inground pools and above ground pools clean. However, we occasionally receive customer inquiries about a cleaner that just isn’t moving. Since a suction side cleaner (at least the ones I have personally worked with) only has one moving part, a flapper valve, that ultimately gives the cleaner its movement, a suction side cleaner that has stopped moving often has a problem with its flapper valve. Twigs or sticks are a common culprit and once removed, off the cleaner goes to do its job. But I have done this a long time and thought I would share a couple of my favorite stories for suction side cleaners that stopped moving.
True Story 1: Many years ago, when Kreepy Krauly’s were very new, I had a customer bring in their no longer functioning Kreepy. I took the cleaner out to a demo pool, hooked it up and could tell that the flapper valve wasn’t flapping. The question was why? A few minutes later I was holding a diamond wedding ring. The ring had been sucked up and it then stuck in the flapper valve causing the flapper to stop moving. Needless to say, the customer was happy that his wife’s wedding ring had been found. A double win! And I absolutely promise this story is true.
True Story 2: A few years later I am working the floor and a less than happy recent new pool owner brought in his automatic suction cleaner, a Zap Vac if I remember correctly, and proceeded to less than calmly tell me what he thought of his cleaner. I took the cleaner out to a demo pool and hooked it up, and just like in story 1, the flapper valve appeared stuck. The customer at this point felt even more compelled to tell me what he thought of the cleaner. About that time though, I dislodged the beer bottle cap that was stuck in the flapper valve and handed it to the customer. I calmly told him that I found his problem and then put the cleaner in the demo pool and showed him just how nicely the cleaner moved around when it wasn’t ingesting beer bottle caps! The customer didn’t act surprised that I found the bottle cap and I was just happy that his cleaner was now functioning properly. After all, I am a pool professional and I love a clean pool!
So in summary, if you have a suction side cleaner and it has stopped moving, always check the flapper valve. You never know. You just mind find a diamond ring!
When it comes time to have your liner replaced I think it is fair to say that the main goal is to have your pool looking like new again…or as close to it as possible. There are a lot of factors that you want to consider when having this work done. Perhaps the most important thing when replacing your liner is the fit of the new liner in a pool that has almost certainly shifted in some form or fashion. We consider that to be as a critical as any component of a new liner installation, so we always perform measurements before finalizing any liner order. We even do this on pools that we have installed because we want to make absolutely certain that our customers have the best possible fit for their pool. A poorly sized liner will be quite obvious, and if you’re anything like me it will bother every time you see it. We do a lot of liners every year, so if you want to pursue getting a new one and you want the peace of mind that it will be the best possible fit, come see us early so you can get a full season. It’s our goal to keep that pool as the center piece of your own backyard oasis.
For a few years now we have been predominantly putting new spa customers on our Simple Spa program. I won’t get into every detail of the program, but I thought it important to elaborate on the one component that most frequently gets ignored.
The actual Simple Spa solution is a combination of 12 inert salts that you add weekly to break down what we call the slime layer in your spa, or more specifically to combat biofilm build up. If that doesn’t sound pretty, it isn’t. Within two hours of adding water to any container this biofilm layer will begin to form allowing a safe place for bacteria growth to occur and making it more difficult for normal sanitizers to eliminate said bacteria. Simple Spa is the only product proven to eliminate biofilm and prevent it from coming back. It is so effective that the medical industry in Europe uses a similar solution to flush and clean wounds.
What does that mean for the user? Your water is cleaner, clearer, safer, and feels better. All of this results in a better overall experience for the spa user. Many of us have switched over to using synthetic oil in our cars to improve performance and keep engine components cleaner and longer lasting. This product does many of the same things for your spa. Calcium deposits don’t build up in jet bodies, on heating elements, on seal sets, or in plumbing lines. It is the ultimate measure of service prevention.
More than anything customers that use the product know the quality of their spa experience. When customers start out on the Simple Spa program it isn’t uncommon for them to stick with the basic components and eliminate the solution the next time around to save a few bucks. The vast majority of those customers are back in no time because that experience suffers. The water just isn’t the same without it. We have always tried to improve the experience of pool and spa ownership and this is one of the most effective products we have ever offered to do just that. Reducing maintenance, reducing chemical consumption and necessity, simplifying ownership, prolonging product life, and providing worry free comfortable and fragrant water all benefits of this remarkable product. Even better, this can be used with any chemical system we offer. If you are looking to change what you use on your current spa or just want to enhance the quality of your spa experience I would absolutely recommend adding Simple Spa to your routine.
Our industry has a gap in product between the above-ground and the in-ground pool
markets, the Sensation Pool fills that void with your choice of a round or oval pool, there
are many sizes available. We are able to install the Sensation pool Above-ground,
Inground, Semi-inground or even into a hillside without the need for a retaining wall,
which makes this a possibility for just about any backyard. The Sensation Pool wall is
2” thick and has an insulation factor of R10 which helps with heat retention and the wall
height is 52” across the entire pool, you have two printed beaded liners to choose from
and the liners are thicker than the standard Above-ground liners.
As the weather warms and things return to green it seems every year we are looking spruce up our outdoor living space. From the standard items of mulching and leaf clean up, to figuring out what to plant in what locations. Once you have the yard set, come see us for ideas to furnish the enhanced outdoor space you’ve created. From a full dining set, to a single accent piece we can outfit your outdoor space.
It seems like on a weekly basis one of my friends is asking me if we are busy around the store. With the cold and the snow, they figure that there must not be anything to do. And while things are certainly quieter than the crazy busy spring and summer months, there is still a lot going on around here. 2018 shipments continue to arrive, and the warehouses are getting close to packed full, equipment is being cleaned and repaired so that it is ready for the season, product training is being conducted so that we can be helpful and productive for our customers, and we continue to sell pools, spas, casual furniture and more.
The winter months are a very important to our sales success each year as now is the time to plan for getting an inground pool. Each winter prospective inground customers come into the store in January and February and from the conversation I find out that that they think they are planning “early” for a pool. In reality, contracts for the next season’s installations began being written in September and have continued since then.
So, the moral of the story is that while the store is certainly quieter in the winter months there is still a lot going on here to prepare for the next season. Moral #2 is that if you are in the market for an inground pool for the 2018 season, now is the time to see one of our inground pool specialists.
When your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews or just your friends are all out hunting for eggs in the yard you could be grilling on the Big Green Egg. I remember in years past I would just sit back and watch a lot of my cousins run around the yard picking up Easter eggs, well what better way to enjoy Easter while you could still sit back and do some grilling, smoking, baking, or searing on your Big Green EGG this holiday. There is so much versatility with the Big Green EGG that you could grill burgers for lunch, make some kinda roast for dinner or even just make your favorite breakfast casserole. Heck, even try and make Cinnamon rolls on the egg, I know it may sound odd but you get the Big Green Egg to the right temperature and bake Cinnamon Rolls to your liking.
Enjoy this Easter with your family outside and around the Big Green Egg!
The advantage to opening a pool earlier, rather than later is that it is much easier to grow algae in a warmer pool. As the temperature increases outside and the water temperature starts warming, algae is starting to thrive. If it is left untreated, it will take you about a week of clean up time to get it ready for the season with some heavy shock treatments and algaecide. It’s also much nicer to look at when it’s clean and open.
The Reds pitch off against the Washington Nationals to start the 2018 season here in
Cincinnati. And I can not wait until the MLB season starts, means the spring is here and the
summer is on its way. But what will the Reds 2018 Roster look like as it has changed a lot since
their last playoff run in 2013 ending in the wild card game against the Pirates. Since the end of
the 2013 season the Reds have since promoted a new GM, traded Brandon Phillips, Todd
Frazier, Jay Bruce, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, Alfredo Simon,
Tony Cingrani, Jonathan Broxton, Chris Heisey, Ryan Hanigan and have let Shin-soo Choo,
Bronson Arroyo, and Zack Cozart walk in free agency over the last few seasons among many
other roster changes. Granted they have gotten some decent returns in trades, but what is the
2018 roster going to look like, here is my projection before spring training starts (assuming
players are healthy):
Lineup Starting Rotation
1.Bill Hamilton CF-(S) 1.Anthony DeSclafani
2.Jose Peraza-SS 2.Homer Bailey
3.Joey Votto-1B (L) 3.Brandon Finnegan
4.Adam Duvall-LF 4.Luis Castillo
5.Scooter Gennett 2B (L) 5.Tyler Mahle, Robert Stephenson, Amir
6. Eugenio Suarez 3B Garrett, Cody Reed, or Sal Romano
7.Jesse Winker-RF (L) Bullpen
8.Tucker Barnhart-C (S) CL: Raisel Iglesias
9. Pitcher RP: Michael Lorenzen
RP: Wandy Peralta (L)
Bench RP: Jared Hughes
1.Devin Mesoraco C RP: Kevin Quackenbush
2.Scott Schebler OF (L) RP: Kyle Crockett(L)
3.Phil Ervin OF RP: Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett,
4.Dilson Herrera INF or Alex Blandino Barrett Astin or Vance Worley
5.Philip Gosselin INF/OF
The only open roster spots I think that are open would be the 5th starter, the last one or two bullpen spots
and to see if Alex Blandino or Dilson Herrera has a better spring training for the backup middle
infielder job, as I think the Reds will put Peraza at short. I also think Nick Senzel is ready for the
Majors but can see the Reds giving him the Kris Bryant treatment and not having him on the
opening day roster. For the 5th starter I think Tyler Mahle starts in AAA but think he should take
Homer Bailey’s starting pitcher spot and move Homer into the bullpen/swing man. If I got my
way Suarez would be at shortstop Senzel playing third base with Jose Peraza the backup
middle infielder. But I can’t wait until the the spring starts to see the Reds playing and the