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.

Thinking of Closing the Pool Early?

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 going still going to get some good hot weather.  And if the kids are back in school, that means the pool is all yours!

The other 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, not to mention 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.  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.

The Heat is Coming!

    We know that everyone is frustrated with the cool weather this season. Heaters are on full blast and some people are just downright staying out of the pools. But, even though you may not be swimming as much you need to continue to keep the pools water chlorinated, balanced and active. We tend to not pay attention to pools unless we are in them but it is certainly necessary to keep up with the chemical balance so when that week of 100+ degrees hits, you can be ready to swim. Come on in and get a free water sample tested. We can let you know what you need to do in order to keep the pool sparkling and clear.

    We have also started having a lot of people inquire about heaters. We carry heaters of 3 different varieties. Gas, Electric Pumps and Solar.

    Gas heaters have the ability to heat pools rather quickly and can run on either propane or natural gas. These are tried and true units that have been used for years to help heat pools. We have gas heaters that will heat small aboveground pools and units that will heat pools as big as 40,000 gallons. That’s 250,000 BTU’s heating the pool! With that kind of power you can heat the pool in a matter of 24-30 hours. Fast, efficient and effective.

    With Electric Heat Pumps we have a wide selection that can suit aboveground pools and ingrounds alike. The new ECO 500 heat pump was designed specifically to heat aboveground pools with great efficiency. From there the models get larger to suit inground pools all the way up to, yet again, 40,000 gallon pools. These heat pumps from Aqua Products are built with a 100% pure, commercial grade titanium heat exchanger and can pump up to 80 gallons per minute. It will take the heat pump several days to reach the desired temperature, but once at temperature and covered with a solar cover, these heaters retain heat better than any other heater in the business.

    Lastly, we have Solar Heaters. Everyone has used a solar blanket in the past and we are still major advocates for their usage. Covers help to retain heat and give you the ability to extend your swimming season. But, we all know the struggle of hauling them on and off the pool. A solar heater is in no way a replacement for the solar blanket but it harnesses the power of the sun in the same fashion to help heat the water through conductivity. These solar panels, domes or arcs pass water through black tubing. By placing the solar heater in direct sunlight it traps the sun’s heat in the black coils and then conducts that heat to the water as it passes through. Unique and inexpensive, these units have provided countless customers with free heat provided by the sun.

    Don’t let the colder weather get you down. The heat is coming and if not, we have some options to get you back in your pool. Keep the water clean and remember, if it stays this cold, we still sell spas!

Where Have All the Trapper Keeper’s Gone?

     Maybe its the fact that we were more easily entertained at a young age than the kids are today, but it seems as if attention spans are minimal and if it doesn’t plug in, it couldn’t possibly be important enough to claim the attention of our kids. The lack of electronics, I guess, made it an easier time back in the ancient days of the 1980′s and 1990′s. I realized this while taking the kiddos back-to-school shopping.

     Now, keep in mind, there is no way that I would do the clothing portion of the back-to-school ritual, but give me the supply list and I’m golden. While shopping, picking through to find the right colored heavy duty binders it occurred to me, there was not a single Trapper Keeper anywhere to be found. The most magical time before the start up of the new school year was sorting through the dozens of Trapper Keeper patterns to find “the right one”. Don’t get me wrong there were some pretty cool things, like the lunch box that looked and beeped like R2-D2, annoying but still cool. To my dismay, I didn’t find a single scented eraser, or pencil, or even scented markers for that matter. Every kid thinks that going back to school is a drag, and it was things like these that made the dreaded shopping trip for school supplies at least palatable. This brings me back to the what I asked in the opening, where have all the good times gone?

 

Fireglass & Beads

We just received our newest shipment of glass pieces and beads for firepit tables. If you’re looking for a new look for your firepit, come see our new options. They are made by American Fireglass and can also be used indoors with a gas log fireplace. These beads and glass pieces add a really attractive look to your fires!  DCIM100GOPRO

Tornado in Upstate New York

FW_Tough

We extend our sympathies to families affected by deadly tornados that blew through upstate New York.  I was drawn to the story on NBC.com and then zoomed in on their lead photo for the article.  Amid all the destruction is a seemingly undamaged Mira Grand Bahama hot tub.  We’ve had many just like this one on our sales floor so I immediately recognized the model.  It’s truly strange how some things survive  these deadly twisters and some things don’t.  There’s no explaining the force of nature when fully unleashed.  –Max

The End of an Era

     I started here at Eastgate Pools back in 2004, tooling around in a ’93 Mazda 626.  I loved that car until a series of unfortunate axle failures forced me to get something new.  While I received no end of grief for my selection, I bought a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta with 19,000 miles on it.  That was February of 2005.  Nearly 170,000 miles later my Jetta has found a new home and I’ve moved on to a “new to me” 2009 Subaru Forester.  I love the new car, and it is probably a bit more reliable, but that Jetta successfully delivered me to the home of many potential and eventual inground pool buyers.  Now you’ll know to look for something a little different than that old silver Jetta if I’m stopping by.

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.

Independence Day Sale!

Something is stirring in the back offices of Eastgate Pools and Spas. We were all told to be prepared because the big-time sales are coming. With discounted pricing on grills, spas, inground pools and pool toys, we are bound to have something to bring more fun to your 4th of July extravaganzas. We will be here from 10am til 3pm on Friday the 4th to help anyone who needs that last minute pool chemical or porch swing so please come and see us over the holiday and share in the celebration.

Apple Smoked Beef Brisket

The following recipe is for a Kamado Joe ceramic grill but will also work on a Swiss Grill.  On a Swiss Grill, simply dismiss the section on the potatoes, carrots, and onions.

 

Ingredients:

 

5-8 lb. beef brisket

Your favorite marinade (Cajun style recommended for spicy brisket)

Your favorite dry rub

1-cup Apple wood chips

2-3 medium-large sweet potatoes

6-8 small yellow potatoes

2 large sweet white onions

1 small bag of whole, junior-size carrots

¼ cup virgin olive oil

 

The night before cooking, prepare the brisket.  Turn so the fat cap is facing up and trim excess fat, leaving approximately 1/8” of fat.  Once trimmed, score the fat cap in a checkerboard pattern.  Drizzle marinade over both sides of the brisket and rub in. Seal the brisket in plastic wrap or tin foil, then place in the refrigerator over night.  Go to bed and have sweet dreams.

 

On the cooking day, cut onions into moderately large pieces then place in the bottom of a disposable foil pan, approximately 9” x 13”.  Slice sweet potatoes to 1” wide pieces or chunks and quarter yellow potatoes, placing everything on top of the onions.  Mix in carrots, and then pour the olive oil over the entire tray.  Add ¼ cup water.  (Optional:  Mix in a desired amount of whole, stringless green beans near bottom of the tray.  They will cook up country-style—very soft—so if you like your beans crispy or firm, this is not recommended.).

 

Unseal brisket and pat it with a paper towel to remove excess marinade, then sprinkle both sides with your dry rub.  Set the brisket off to the side and let it come to room temperature.

 

Soak 1 cup of apple wood chips in water for ½ hour, then place in then smoker tray. When cooking with the Kamado Joe, place the heat deflector below the main grid and add the grill expander on top.  Prepare your grill by bringing the temperature to approximately 260-265 degrees. (At 265 degrees, plan on 1 hour per pound but keep an eye on the temperature by using a temperature probe.  Smaller, thinner briskets will cook quicker.)  Once the Kamado Joe has stabilized at the desired temperature, put the brisket on the grill expander, fat cap down, making sure the grill’s thermometer probe does not go into the brisket.  Place the tray of mixed potatoes and veggies directly under the brisket on the main grid.  Set the smoker tray on the grid next to the tray then close the lid and relax.

 

Monitor both the brisket and the tray, cooking the brisket to approximately 160-165 degrees and the potato tray for at least three hours.  For a softer texture, leave the tray under the brisket for the entire cooking time.

 

Remove everything then tightly wrap the brisket in tin foil.  Let it set for two hours.   Cover the potato tray in the same fashion.  Remove foil, slice to desired thickness and serve.

 

Important:  It’s all about the temperature so closely monitor the meat’s temperature.  A small temperature variation in the grill will cause it to cook significantly slower or faster.  On a Kamado Joe at 250 degrees, it takes approximately 1 ¼ hour per pound.  At 275 degrees, the brisket will cook much faster at less than 1 hour per pound.  A Swiss Grill uses a more direct heat and will cook faster.

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