The Learning Never Stops

I’ve been in the pool business for 15 years now and in the outdoor leisure industry for even longer than that.  As with anything, offerings and information are constantly evolving, and new improvements continue to make pool and spa ownership even easier.  What I find remarkable is how much I continue to learn about the products I deal with on a daily basis.

While reading an article recently in the October 2018 edition of Aqua magazine I discovered a valuable bit of information that was right in front of me all this time, but I never really considered before.  The article explored the concept of hydraulic efficiency.  The last decade or so the industry has focused heavily on the efficiency of pumps.  What has seemingly been ignored is the filter type that is used.

For several years now we have focused primarily on selling cartridge filters with aboveground pools.  Once we had an alternative to sand that we could sell at the same price it made sense to give our customers finer filtration at the same price.  This article points to hydraulic efficiency as another advantage of cartridge filters over sand.  It isn’t the media itself that makes a difference, it is actually the multiport valve on the sand filter.  When you eliminate the head loss encountered by the filter valve you can accomplish the same amount of water flow with less effort on the part of the pump.

Naturally, there are a lot more specifics that can be detailed here, but this is strong argument to consider when selecting your filter type.  We frequently have customers that are insistent that they get a sand filter, but this might be the justification necessary to make the switch.  Just something for you all to consider with your pool or your pool of the future.

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Crab Shells For Clarity?

One of the most common concerns with pool and spa water is the clarity of the water.  Nothing is less inviting than cloudy water.  What is even more frustrating is trying to address that cloudiness and it can crop up at the most inopportune times.  As much as we would all like to expect our filtration system to consistently keep our water perfectly clear, it isn’t a miracle worker and there are any number of environmental and chemical factors that can muddy the waters before you know it.

Perhaps one of the best ways to address turbid water is to use Chitosan based pool clarifier.  Chitosan is a naturally occurring polymer that is found in crab shells.  When recycled crab shells are added to water it has a positive charge which will attract particles in the water.  Those particles can then be more easily filtered from the water.  Chitosan can even chelate metals present in the water to help prevent staining.  It removes oils and scum and thereby restores the clear sparkling quality of water.

What is better than a natural approach to a common problem with pools and spas?  It works with every sanitizer on the market regardless of chemical levels.  It is so safe that you can swim immediately after using it.  And unlike many clarifiers, you cannot over use it.  Some clarifiers, when over used, can create sticky waterline residue that is almost worse than the alternative.  That isn’t a risk for Chitosan based clarifiers.

So, the next time you need to clear your water up or even if you just want to help prevent that from being an issue, stop in and let us show you what a miracle recycled crab shells can be.  You help reduce waste and keep a shimmer to your pool that makes it the beautiful backyard oasis you always expected it to be.

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What’s New Big Green Egg Part 3!

In the last part of “Whats New” we will take a look at the new Egg Genius.  The EGG Genius effortlessly controls the temperature of your EGG through your smartphone, tablet or computer. Remotely manage and monitor cooking temperatures for worry-free cooking and monitor the temperature of your food. You can also view graphs of your past cooks. Lastly, you will receive alerts when your cook is finished or when the EGG temperature is too high or low.

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What’s New Big Green Egg Part 2!

In the second of three “Whats New” we will take a look at the Eggspander Kit. Unleash your culinary creativity with the ultimate expansion system for the Big Green Egg! The NEW Big Green Egg EGGspander System facilitates an extensive variety of cooking setups to easily utilize the full versatility of the EGG, and the 1 Piece convEGGtor Basket allows for easy and convenient placement and removal of the convEGGtor

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What’s New Big Green Egg Part 1!

This is the First of a three part “Whats New” series.  The first new product that we just got in, is Big Green Egg’s new Modular Nest System.  Build your outdoor kitchen one step at a time with the NEW Big Green Egg Modular Nest System! Start with an EGG Frame, then add to your custom EGG display with Expansion Frames and a variety of beautiful and functional inserts.

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Draft Time

In my eyes the biggest needs for the Bengals would be: Linebacker, Offensive Line, and tight end. With the upcoming NFL draft in April, I have gone back since the draft in 2000 to see what positions and players have been selected with the 11th overall pick in the draft.  You may ask why? Well the Cincinnati Bengals currently hold the 11th overall pick this year. There has been 1 safety, 1 defensive tackle, 1 running back, 2 quarterbacks, 3 Offensive tackles, 3 Defensive ends, 3 Linebacker, and 5 corners. With the history of the draft I hope Devin White is still available to be picked by the Bengals at 11.  I think Devin White is the best player in the draft, and if he can have a similar career as the three linebackers that have been selected with the 11th pick since 2000: Patrick Willis in 2007, Demarcus Ware in 2005, and Dan Morgan in 2001. I know some view the troubles of the offensive line is the biggest need but I do not think there is a lineman worth the 11th overall pick.  I think it would be better to wait in the other rounds to pick up a lineman and to sign someone in free agency, like Trent Brown or Roger Safford. If the Bengals can pry Trent Brown from the Patriots then he is the new left tackle and I would bounce Cordy Glenn to the right side. If they can not sign Brown then I would line the Brinks trucks up to Safford to have him play right guard or left guard and bounce Clint Boling to left tackle.  I would also try and re-resign Preston Brown, Darqueze Dennard, Tyler Eifert (incentive based deal), C.J. Uzomah, Trey Hopkins, and Jake Fisher to see how he does in camp. I would also try and restructure or cut Vontaze Burfict, I would also see if Dre Kirkpatrick would restructure his deal. I would also try and make it a high priority to re-sign Tyler Boyd so we don’t have the same thing as a few years ago when the Bengals watched Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones walk out the door in free agency.

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Benefits of Dogs Swimming

For dogs who love to swim, playing in the water has many benefits. Swimming is an all-around healthy activity for your dog. It provides everything from exercise to stimulation, and a needed release for all that energy dogs have.

Exercise and Playtime
The most obvious benefit of swimming for your dog is exercise. Dogs often have excess energy to burn which needs to be channeled into activities that keep them active and healthy, and keeps them from being destructive out of boredom. Swimming is good for the whole body, from cardio to muscles. When a dog can swim, they are naturals and adapt to it very quickly. A good swimmer is fun to watch in the water.
Dogs who love to swim get a great deal of pleasure out of the activity. Some dogs will swim for hours, which is phenomenal exercise. It is even more fun when you go swimming along with your dog in the sea, a pool, or a lake. To add a little more excitement to the activity, bring along a ball or other object that floats for your dog to swim after and fetch.

Stimulation
Even dogs can get bored and restless. Varied activities help to keep your dog alert, focused and happy. Exercise and play time help stimulate their minds, and varying their activities helps as well. Take advantage of the times when you can bring your dog to the water and give them needed stimulation.

Cooling Down
In the extreme summer heat, dogs can have a difficult time staying cool since they do not sweat the same way humans do. They cool off through the pads of their feet, and by panting, which pulls air in. Keeping your dog hydrated is important, but you can also help them cool down with water play. Even just a little kiddie pool helps, but a good swim will help keep their body temperature at a comfortable level when they are overwhelmed with heat. Dogs may enjoy a refreshing dip, just like we do.

Safety Tips
If your dog is perfectly capable of swimming but is hesitant to get in the water or seems afraid of it, try tempting them with a dog treat to help break the initial resistance. Be patient the same way you would be with a human child learning about the water and swimming. If you make it a pleasant experience, your dog will quickly learn that water play is fun and refreshing.
For dogs that can’t swim, you can purchase a life jacket which will allow them to join in on all the fun in the water. If you use that option, make sure you get the right size for your dog to enable the vest to do the job properly.
Enjoy the water with your dog, and let them benefit from all the pluses it provides!

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Importance of PH Level in a Salt Water Pool

The PH in a swimming pool is a critical factor that not everyone takes into account. I remember a customer purchasing a liner for his inground pool a few years ago and during our conversation he mentioned that he uses chlorine tablets only and never checks his PH or does anything but put chlorine in the pool and the water is always clear. I dug into the facts a little deeper and found out he was replacing his liner after 8 years of ownership, while our average inground customer typically gets about 15 years out of a liner. Well, what this particular customer didn’t take into account is that chlorine tablets are acidic and our typical customer that has their water tested regularly will need to put in about 60 pounds of alkalinity increaser every year to keep their pool’s PH in the proper range. When the PH isn’t maintained and runs low the liner puckers, shrinks and gets brittle. Therefore it is the main reason why this particular customer was replacing the liner in 1/2 the amount of time that our average customer would. The disturbing reason why his water always stayed clear is that nothing would live in the water. The water’s PH was so low that algae and most bacteria couldn’t live in the water. I personally would not want to swim in this water, nor would I want anyone else to either.

The advantage of a salt system is that creates chlorine from salt and it does it at a higher PH than tablet chlorine. Generally if the pool’s PH is allowed to drift on a salt system, it should go higher rather than lower. This is good news for the liner, your eyes and the over all feel of the water. One shouldn’t allow the PH to drift high and keep it high. There can be adverse reactions to this as well. The most common thing we see is calcium scaling on the salt cell which can reduce the efficiency of the unit.

While salt systems are much easier to take care of and the adverse effect of neglecting the PH in a salt system is less than a chlorine pool, one should always monitor the PH. Your pool and your family will thank you for it!

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Who likes meat loaf?

I like meat loaf, sometimes. My family went recently to a local restaurant that served meat loaf as one of their menu options. I was skeptical but I ordered it anyway because I know multiple people that had ordered the meat loaf and said it was great. I thought it was so, so. I am not a great cook but I have a great oven and I think this is what truly makes the difference. I have a Big Green Egg and people are surprised that one would put or even fit a meat loaf on their grill. The Big Green Egg is truly a flexible cooking system and I don’t know why or how, but the food that comes off of that grill is superior to any other method of cooking I have tried. I believe it has to do with both the size and mass of the ceramics that are used to give a very even heat and the all natural charcoal that gives the food the subtle smokey flavoring that is just barely perceptible.  All that I truly know is that when I follow the simple internet directions for a standard meat loaf and I cook it on a Big Green Egg, it tastes (in my view) far superior than what one would get if they went to a restaurant and paid $15 for a couple small slices. I am not a good cook but I got a great grill and this is why people that own a Big Green Egg are fanatics, it makes them look like a much better cook than they really are.

BGE Modular

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Cincinnati Red Stockings

The United States consisted of 37 states. Ulysses S Grant was sworn in as President. The Golden Spike was driven into the ground in Promontory, Utah to create the first trans-continental railroad. Jesse James committed his first confirmed bank robbery. The Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first Major League Baseball team. Let’s think about this for just a minute first train across the country, only 37 states, and a Civil War general has just been inaugurated as president. This should really put into perspective how long the Reds organization has been a part of the Cincinnati landscape. Happy anniversary to the club, and here is to hoping they are around for another 150 years.

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35th Anniversary

For those of you out there that loved that certain prehistoric family from Bedrock, the Flintstones, you may recall my all-time favorite episode. Its Fred and Wilma’s anniversary and Fred decides to buy Wilma a piano. As is usual, Fred gets Barney involved and the hilarity begins, culminating with Fred and Barney rolling through the streets of Bedrock while playing the piano and singing the Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary song! (I am sure the video clip is readily out there with a quick search!) Boy do I love that episode and I can’t celebrate an anniversary without at least humming the song and thinking of those two nuts at the piano.

Why am I bringing up this episode? Well because its anniversary time! March marks my 35th anniversary here at Eastgate Pools. So, queue up Fred and Barney and start the music. How quickly the years have gone, but thanks to great customers and great coworkers there have been far more good days than bad, and I am sure glad I made the change all of those years ago from one of the competitors to Eastgate Pools. Even better, a year from now I can sing Happy Anniversary to myself again when I celebrate 40 years in the pool business. Yes, 2020 will be 40 years. Wow! Where the heck did the years go? I am starting to think that maybe Fred and I were punching the same time clock all those years ago. Just can’t remember whether I had a boss named Mr. Slate???? Wilma!!!!!!!!!   

 

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Could This Be The Year?

Every year it seems multiple times per year hope springs eternal that this year will be the year. Whether it is the Reds, the Bengals, the Bearcats or the Musketeers, we have that undying hope that this is the year that one of them brings home a championship. As a fan this is almost to a point maddening as it seems every year something seems to derail all promise. This year hope once again abounds with the Bearcats playing well, the Reds making some serious off-season moves to contend in the division, but also FC Cincinnati joining the MLS this season. They drafted well, have a solid nucleus of returning talent, and a passionate fan base. The inaugural season looks very promising, and hopes will be held high that the city can once again hang a championship banner.

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Pothole Season

No one is ever excited to think of this ongoing menace of the roads, but if you think about it it is a good sign. The freeze and thaw cycles that open these kidney rattling asphalt craters are a sign that spring is just around the corner. As long as you don’t lose a tire or rim, think of this as a harbinger of spring weather soon to be upon us.

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Mother Nature

The calendar still says winter and Mother Nature seems to be playing along with this script, but anyone that has been around Cincinnati any time at all knows that with a seeming flip of the switch spring can be here. Need I remind anyone of the Polar Vortex a couple of weeks ago that was followed a couple of days later by a 60 degree or close to it day? A couple of things are certain, time flies and before you know it great spring and summer weather will be here. Its time to start thinking outside!

While thinking outside take a good look at your outdoor casual furniture. Is it worn out? Out of date? Uncomfortable? Just plain ugly? Worse yet is it non-existent? Rectify these problems and check out Eastgate Pools. The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity here as some showroom remodeling was followed by many sets of 2019 furniture finding their way to the showroom floor. Our selection of the latest styles and colors for 2019 from great manufacturers like Telescope Casual and Berlin Gardens is huge, but we also have a tremendous selection of 2018 models and they have been priced to move. When spring is solidly here, you’ll be relaxing in comfort and style!

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Salt system advantages

Most customers have heard of a salt system by now. The decision whether or not get one can be tough. Out of our last roughly 500 pools, all but 1 has gone with salt. The reason our sales guys push so hard to get our customers on the system is, ease of use. There is a rather large learning curve in the day to day care of taking care of a pool. The biggest and simplest thing that make it tough for customers to keep a clean sanitary pool is not being consistent with their chlorine levels. A salt system keeps the chlorine level in a pool automatically, so it takes the learning curve out of the equation. It sounds like keeping a constant level of chlorine in the pool should be relatively easy. Well, sorry to tell you it is not. We all have busy lives and its rather hard to keep an eye on the pool all the time. If the pool goes a day or two without chlorine, then an algae bloom breaks out. If you ever heard of the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Well, that is the situation people get in when an algae breaks out. Except they don’t usually put in a pound of cure. They first go with a few ounces of cure and a day or two later 4 ounces of cure and the problem continues. To sum this up, if chlorine would have stayed constant in the pool, the algae problem never would have surfaced and the pool would have remained clean and inviting looking. Salt system simply do a fantastic job of keeping chlorine in the pool easy and will make your summer much more enjoyable.

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