As the Weather Turns….

We are going through a swift change into fall and there is much that can be done to prepare for the cold months here at Eastgate Pools & Spas. Fall and winter are my absolute favorite weather for the spa. Don’t be fooled, as the temperatures drop, the spa is absolutely wonderful for cold stiff bones. I love going out after dinner, queuing up my favorite relaxation song on the iPod and slowly slinking into my tub. 102 degrees is my preferred temperature but some prefer a little more heat in the colder months. Keep a towel close because the moment you exit the tub you will want to dry off and head inside. Your best bet is to use a tablespoon or two of the White River Oxidizer after each use to prevent the build up of organic matter. Oxidizer is a Potassium Monopersulfate and is completely safe to enter the water after using Oxidizer to treat. Therefore, if you want to use the tub after treating with Oxidizer feel free to do so as it is safe and comfortable to the human body.

The other reason I enjoy fall around here is we have a lot of great options for indoor entertainment. Bumper Pool is my favorite of all the billiards games and we have multiple tables in different styles to choose from. Along with Bumper Pool tables we have a wide variety of 8′ Pool Tables. We have more cues than any other dealer in the city and our selection of balls, racks, chalk and accessories is unparalleled. If you got a cold basement that is just perfect for a pool table and a bar, come on in and see us. We can help you fit the room with lighting, bar options and even space heating!

Winter is slowly approaching but we still have the ability to provide you with toys and ideas to keep your indoors entertaining all year long.

Thinking of Closing the Pool Already???

You might want to think again.  Trust me, I know that we have not had the hottest of summers and some of you are just plain fed up with cool water.  But don’t close yet.  First, you are still going to get some good hot weather.  Secondly, if the kids are back in school, that means the pool is all yours!

The ultimate issue is that if you do close early, you are really going to be stretching the capacity of your winter closing kits to handle the inevitable hot weather still to come. This doesn’t even factor in what is in store next spring.  We’ve been selling the same winterizing kit for 30 years and it works!  But don’t press your luck. If you do indeed close early, add the proper winter kit(s) but consider adding a little extra—either an extra kit or a quart of Algae Destroyer algaecide.  I would avoid any algaecide in a gallon jug.  It is basically soap.  And for those that plan on adding a few gallons of shock to the pool, know this:  It gasses off very quickly and if your cover is on the pool, this vaporized chlorine will ultimately weaken or destroy your winter cover.  Hey—it’s an oxidizer.  That’s what it’s supposed to do.

The simple solution is to keep the pool open and enjoy it.

Water Chemistry Misconceptions

     There is no system that we can put you on to sanitize your pool that requires “no work”. No matter what sanitation program we set you up on, you MUST continue to balance your pH, alkalinity, stabilizer and calcium hardness. This goes for traditional salt systems, simple salt hybrid systems, FROG systems and chlorine tablets.

 

     If you do not keep every other chemical in check, you’re going to run into problems all over the board. If pH is run low for extended periods of time, it becomes corrosive to any metal components on your pool, for instance your pump. Also, when your pH is out of balance, it allows for other items such as copper to fall out of solution and stain your liner. A high pH can cause cloudy water, and a drop in chlorine effectiveness.

 

     If your alkalinity is not balanced, you will have a continuous struggle getting your pH and chlorine to balance out. A low calcium level in your pool can cause pits (holes) in your liner. Where a high calcium level can cause scaling on the liner.

 

     Stabilizer prevents the sun from burning through your chlorine so quickly. If you let it get low, you will not maintain a high enough level of chlorine in your pool. So you will burn through chlorine very fast. On the flip side if stabilizer gets too high you can get into what’s known as chlorine lock. Basically, what chlorine lock is, is when you have chlorine in the water but it is “locked” to where it cannot do anything for the water sanitation.

 

     The best thing to do is come in bi-weekly to get a professional water test done. This way you will have an exact amount and a regiment procedure to keep your pool balanced. Remember, if you work for your pools balance, the pool will work for you.

Time to Turn Up the Chlorine

The heat has come and with that comes a necessity for more chlorine. When the sun begins its trek across the summer months your pool will need more chlorine on those weeks of intense UV exposure to the pool. The ultraviolet rays of the sun burn chlorine out of solution at a very fast rate thus requiring more chlorine on a regular basis. For those of you who use salt systems, turn up the cell 10%-20% so that you don’t end up with a moment where no sanitizer is being administered to the system. For customers who use liquid shock and tablets, you will want to open your chlorinators up a notch or two to generate more chlorine flow through the unit and you may want to start shocking the pool a little more frequently. If you shock the pool once every 7-8 days you may want to up the ante and start shocking once every 5 days so the pool doesn’t bloom with algae. Basically, if you have any doubts about the chlorine level in the pool, your safest bet is to test the water for chlorine and if the level is low, shock the pool to keep it from turning green with algae.

With All This Rain….?

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It has been raining for days and I know some of you new pool owners are wondering; “How will this affect my pool and the water chemistry?”.  When rain water pitter-patters the surface of your water it brings hydrogen into the water. The pH of a pool, by definition, is its potential for hydrogen so as it adds hydrogen to the water it will subsequently raise the pH. If only lightly, this is something to keep in consideration when a heavy, multi-day rain comes through the area. You will also want to shock the pool with liquid chlorine an extra time or two during a multi-day rain so a major algae bloom doesn’t present itself. You will especially want to shock the pool at the end of a major rainstorm. Liquid chlorine has a high pH factor so it can lightly raise the pH of the pool as well. Testing the pools water after a major rain is almost necessary as the rain with dilute certain things such as chlorine levels, salt levels and stabilizer levels, requiring additions to re-balance the pool as well as it will throw of the pH levels.

We also want all of our pool owners to keep in mind that as the water levels raise in your pools you will need to keep close watch so the skimmer can properly skim the surface of the water. There are multiple types of filtration systems out there so I will try to detail how each of the filters can be used to drain some water off of the top of the pool to skim the pools surface properly.

With a sand filter you will need to start by shutting down the pump and system. The top of your valve-head will have a port for waste. Switch the valve handle to waste and then re-start the pump. This will run water directly out of the system without passing your sand and enables you to drain directly out of the system. Drain as much as needed, turn the system back off, reset the valve-head to filter and turn the system back on as you will be ready to go at that point.

With a cartridge filter on an aboveground pool it is a little different than on an inground pool as there is a gravity feed on an aboveground compared to the inground. To drain water off of an aboveground you will start by shutting off the pump system. The bottom of your aboveground filter tank will have a drain cap that will need to be removed to drain water out. Remove this cap and allow to drain until the pool is at the ideal water height. Re-plug the filter, you may have to shutoff the valves to re-insert the plug as water will be rushing swiftly from the system. Most importantly, once the system has been restarted you will want to “bleed” all of the air out of the tank so you get optimum filtration. This is accomplished by rotating the wing nut on the top of the tank head and allowing all the air to hiss out until it sprays water. Once it sprays out you seal it back tight and the filter is ready to go. Inground pools with cartridge filters are best drained by dropping in a cover filter pump or a sub-pump to drain the water out as desired. Most inground cartridge filters have a drain cap on the side of the system where you can drain but they tend to drain very slowly. This is why a submersible pump or cover pump comes in handy.

Diatomaceous earth filtration systems vary depending on the unit. Most are going to have a ball valve on the bottom side of the unit that can be rotated to drain out all the excess water but it will drain out your diatomaceous earth media. You will need to recharge the system with more diatomaceous earth.

Water Clarity

     I know no one likes a cloudy pool! If you’ve been to the store recently you probably have noticed all the construction going on around Eastgate.  With that said, we have noticed that our pools closest to the road have had a lot of dust and dirt migrate to the pools while they work on the roads.
     Vacuuming is typically the easiest way to combat the issue, but as most know, as you vacuum you are stirring the pool up with all the particulate matter. So, what do you do to assist the filter to get the finer particles out?  Depends on what filter media style you have, if you have a sand filter you can use clarifier or floc.  If you have a cartridge filter, as most of our aboveground customers do, you can use a natural enzyme and can take your manual vacuum (as if it was hooked up to vacuum) and flip over in the center of the pool with the vacuums underside aiming toward the sky to act as a bottom drain. This will give you circulation throughout the entire pool and enable you to filter 100% of the water.
     If for whatever reason these suggestions do not clear up your cloudy pool come on in and see our water test experts. You could be low on chlorine or have an improperly balanced alkalinity that could be making the pool hazy. Testing the water is recommended once every two weeks to assure properly balanced water.

Algae: Killer of Dreams

      I am the strikingly handsome water tester here at Eastgate Pools and Spas, and as this handsome chemical specialist I have seen pools that looked as if they could easily pass for swamps, complete with mosquitoes, frogs, and the occasional crocodile. Algae is the scorn of the pool owner’s existence. I am not saying that as a person who sits behind a counter and tests water all day; I am a fellow pool owner and I have felt your pain first hand.

      Last year, I purchased a high end, blow up pool from Wal-Mart for my second story patio deck in Clifton. Now, I know what you are thinking: hundreds of pounds of water, sitting on a worn down second story deck at a college house in Clifton is an idea worthy of Nobel Peace Prize consideration, and let me say, for the first few weeks you were right. Complete with a homemade skimmer net, artfully crafted from the finest 50 year old window screen we found in a Clifton dumpster, the pool was the envy of the town.

     Until algae wrapped its clutches around my beloved pool. The crystal clear water that my roommates and I heaved up in buckets from the neighbors’ house quickly turned into a black abyss where my dreams went to die. In time, the pool evolved into a smoldering lagoon and a small militia of mosquitoes started to call my patio home. Eventually, I’d had enough and tossed the pool off the balcony.

      The purpose of me sharing this story with the people of Eastgate is to show that I am a man of the people (as well as an advocate of never buying a blow up pool from Walmart). I have felt your plight and I have come bearing great news. We at Eastgate can put your algae woes to rest! Don’t let your dreams get thrown off a balcony like mine viciously were. Take action, before it’s too late. Get tested.

Welcome the Aquatica X10

We recently added a new spa to our already extensive line-up of spas with the Aquatica X10.  This isn’t your typical spa, either.  When customers come in and say that want a spa to seat 6 to 7 people that usually means they will get one that comfortably seats 4 but can squeeze in up to 6…not anymore.  Measuring 90” x 114”, the Aquatica X10 has 7 clearly defined seats with the ability to get in one more.  Each seat offers tremendous hydrotherapy that is supported by a total of 4 pumps.  If you are looking for features, I can assure you this model won’t disappoint.  With a deluxe LED lighting package, stainless jets, a 4 speaker deluxe stereo system with subwoofer, beautiful cabinet, deluxe cover, and molded bottom there is no stone left unturned.  If you are in the market for a spa that fills all your therapy and entertaining needs, look no further.  Stop in and see this impressive new model.  It may just be the right fit for you and your family…or family of friends.

 

We also now have the ability to order swim spas for those that want the best of a spa and the ability to exercise without the need of a much larger swimming pool.  Training and therapy all wrapped into one beautiful spa.  At Eastgate Pools & Spas we continue to offer the latest in quality and innovation and these new models are our latest step in that direction.  While we don’t have the swim spas on display I’m sure we can show all that you will need to see if it is right for you.  As always, I look forward to seeing you all in the near future.  Have a great day!

 

- Craig

 

There is a First for Everything

We’ve already had a couple of people schedule their pool closings and our first winter closing kit was sold earlier this week. The season is rounding out with a lot of rain and intermittent sunshine but do not let that discourage you from keep ing your pool open. We always say, “the later you close and earlier you open will grant you a cleaner pool.”. With that said, it is never too early to start getting prepared. We have closing chemicals ready to purchase and our service guys are ready to start some closings. Sam, our service technician, said to me just now, “Just closed my first pool for the season. It begins!”. So, as the closings begin for us, the season ends for our customers. Please see us with any questions and concerns about the upcoming closing season. We are always happy to lend a listening ear and offer suggestions to get your pool in suitable condition for closing and re-opening next season

Scientific Method of Water Testing

As two budding scientific minds, one in chemical engineering and the other in neurobiology, Taylor and Kyle, two of the most strikingly handsome employees at Eastgate Pools and Spas, man the water test station a good majority of the time. Being such bright gents, they have developed a scientific method for testing the water of the exquisite customers of Eastgate Pools and Spas.

1. The first step for every water test is to ask the customer how they are doing and if there are any issues with their pools. This way, Taylor and Kyle can have a good idea of what to look for when the results are run.

2. The next step is to do background research into the issues that the customers express. They inquire as to what they see in the pool, what treatments the customers have tried already, and what has worked for them in the past. By doing this, the “Tall Twins” can further customize a treatment for any customer’s specific needs.

3. Based on the information provided by the customers, our water tester extraordinaires generate a hypothesis of what could possibly be plaguing the poor pool owners.

4. At this point, water testing can commence. The mighty water magicians used their water changing capsules to determine the exact amount of each specific chemical in the water. After crushing the capsules, our heroes insert the vials into the water reader of truth.

5. The water reader of truth reveals its findings to our suave, urbane, young gentlemen, and the results can be analyzed. From here, our two masterminds can resolve any chemical issues that may be pestering the pools of our beloved customers.

6. Finally, the results can be communicated with their clients and a step-by-step process can be personally created for each matter of concern.

Knowing that they have once again saved the day, Harry’s tenderfoot prodigies, their fame only continues to increase. They stay humble; realizing the ground beneath their feet is revered as hallowed. They stay focused, because they know it is their job and above all else, their responsibility, to help the great customers of Eastgate sleep comfortably at night, knowing their pools are under the watchful eye of Kyle and Taylor.

 

By: Kyle Idoine and Taylor Haack

So Your Pool is Cloudy?

Don’t Panic! There are a number of reasons that your pool could be murky. A pH imbalance, low chlorine, dead algae and the beginning of an algae bloom can all be the culprits. Lets address each issue so you have a better idea of how to attack your problems.

The summer is in full swimg and as the summer drudges on you will need to use more chlorine than the standard doses. When chlorine levels get low algae has an inviting pool to grow and flourish. The sun, swimmers and rainwater will all affect your pools chlorine level. We recommend checking your pools chlorine levels and chemical balance after any long hot weeks or heavy rain. Keeping a constant chlorine level in your pool is the greatest prevention against algae blooms.

If the pool is not green and test strips show pH out of range, you can adjust according to the strips and sometimes this will eradicate the haze in the pool. The best thing you can do is bring the water into the store and we can give you an exact regiment of pH adjusters to get your pH in check. A professional test is always the greatest guarantee and procedure to keep your pools chemical balance and clarity in order.

Dead algae is a suprisingly pesky problem. You use algaecides and shock to kill off algae but what do you do with the dead particulate matter that is floating around in your pool? Depending on your filter there are a few different options. Sand filters have the ability to use clarifiers to assist in filtering out the fine particulate matter of dead algae. Coagulants and alum salts like our Crystal Clear and Sparkle Pill are two different styles of clarifiers.

Coagulants meet with the particles in the water and “coagulate” to make the particle larger and easier to filter out.  Alum salts work by coating your sand and giving it more abrasion to pull out the finer particles. Both are highly effective and available in store. To eradicate the dead algae both salts and coagulants will work on sand filters but need to be used with caution if you have a cartridge filter. Cartridge filters are designed to remove very fine particle from the water and if clogged up with coagulants and salts they can build pressure and prevent passage of water. This can break a filter and create pressure build ups that can be dangerous. For cartridge filters we recommend using a Miraclear Pill which is a safe clarifier for cartridges or a steady cleaning on the cartridge as it filters out the fine particle may be necessary. You can also use enzymes like our Pool Pizazz to help break down and burn out these particles in cartridge and sand filter systems. DE filters should not need clarifiers. If your DE filter is not clearing haze out of your pool you  need a little more media added to the filters or to “bump” the system to clear the grids/fingers internally. All of these treatments should help eradicate haze caused by dead algae in the water.

The final issue we are going to discuss is the beginnings of an algae bloom. When chlorine drops off and algae begins its terror in your system it will first come in looking like a light white haze. This is the “seedling” stage of algae before it blooms. If your chemicals look in order and the chlorine has seemingly fallen low, you should shock the system to prevent algae from taking hold. If you are already seeing some light white and possible patches of green go with the following regiment. 2 Gallons or 2 Bags of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. This is double the normal dosage and should prevent the haze from turning into an all out bloom in the pool. If the haze persists and turns green you need to triple your chlorine dosage to 3 Gallons/Bags for every 10,000 gallons along with the proper doses of algaecide. This should eliminate your problem.

We have touched on most of the primary reasons a haze or cloudiness will come into your pool. For any other solutions or thoughts please visit the store and have your water sampled by our professional water testing staff. And as always, happy swimming!

Chemicals for the pool. Boring, boring , BORING! Right?

Maybe, but the quality of the chemicals you put in your pool may be the difference between a yucky green, algae infested pool and one that looks like crystal clear drinking water.  I’ve preached this in the store for nearly twenty years.  All chemicals are not created equal!  Seldom do box stores or groceries have the same chlorine strength as what we have.  If chlorine tablets they sell are 10% less but you need to use 50% more, is it a value or a disaster waiting to happen?  And if their algaecide comes in a gallon jug…just move over to the detergent aisle and pick up some liquid dish soap.  It’s just about the same chemical composition and the foam in the pool will remove any doubt.

 

Sorry, but when I start carrying steaks, burgers, lumber, or bathroom faucets, I’ll agree that it’s okay to get chemicals at a lumber yard or supermarket.  –Max

Rolling Along

The 2013 season is truly here. We have been water testing tons of pools on a daily basis and it appears nearly everyone has their pools open and running at this point. But, do not fret. If you have not gotten your pool open yet and are fearing what might be under your cover, give us a call. We are still actively opening pools across the city and would be happy to assist you in getting the ball rolling. If you have pulled back that cover and the swamp that you once called a pool is staring back at you, come on in and we can help put together a remedy to get your pool clean and shimmering. So, if you are having any issues with the pool water or just wanna add some outdoor fun come on by and see us.

Chlorine & its Alternatives

If you’ve had your swimming pool for a few years and are not really enjoying using chlorine tablets, come see us to hear about a few different options. We carry salt hybrid systems, FROG systems, automatic chlorine feeders, Baquacil and for inground pools we also have salt systems. If you’re interested in hearing about these different options, please come and see us so we can show you the differences or feel free to give us a call and we’ll gladly try to give you as much information over the phone as we can!

Time to Open the Pool!

Is it something you look forward to or put off til the last minute? I have a 27′ aboveground pool and it holds 17,200 gallons of liquid fun. I work here at Eastgate Pools so opening my pool green and dirty is not an option. I have the simple salt system on my pool and that takes the chance of a nasty opening out of the picture. When it’s good swim weather outside I’m here at the store doing what I do best, sharing my knowledge with the masses but it doesn’t leave a lot of time for me to care for the pool. I don’t have a lot of time because in the pool business summer is king. Therefore, simple salt was a necessity. This system takes the worry out of opening, summer care and closing, and it keeps me swimming comfortably all season long.