Technophile Warning!!!

With my birthday fast approaching my Wife was peppering me with questions about what I wanted and I was absolutely striking out on ideas.  Then it occurred to me…a new TV!!!  I recently put in a nice, yet small, home theater system and the TV in that area has been struggling for the last year or so.  Literally, you have to wait for nearly a half an hour before the picture comes in correctly.  I figured my wife and the in-laws could all go in together and we could get something reasonable, but updated.

We set out to look at a few options and I found what seemed like an unbeatable deal at one of the big electronics stores.  Turns out it was too good to be true.  Someone had mislabeled the sign and I had to start all over.  I wound up finding an LG 50” LED LCD with 3D (why not), smart capability, 120hz, and 1080p.  Great price with a little mail in rebate, but the TV appeared to be a Canadian model.  After a little research I decided it was worth it and we ordered the new set.  That presumably beautiful TV has been sitting in the box in our office for nearly two weeks.  None of my gift givers will allow me to hook the TV up until my birthday on Thursday.  Thankfully the end of torturous waiting period is drawing to a close.  I will let you know how the TV looks.  Stay tuned as I’m sure all our blog readers are captivated by this tale of perseverance.

Craig

Happy Memorial Day!

I know we are a day late on the Holiday wishes but we have been working diligently to get pools up and running all weekend long. If you were in over the weekend you saw firsthand that summer is here and pool season is in full swing. The water test station is teeming with life and we encourage you to bring in a sample to get your pool water properly balanced and feeling great for swimmers. ‘Tis the season as we like to say, so come on in and get that pool setup for the season.

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.

Toby’s Smoked Chile Con Queso

Today we have a delicious recipe for Chile Con Queso that is sure to knock your socks off. If you came to Eastgate Pools anytime over the Anniversary Sale weekend at the end of April you probably saw a lot of cooks outside using the Kamado Joe smokers and Swiss Grills. One of the guys grilling was our regional representative for Kamado Joe, Toby Burke. Toby grilled a lot of different delights but one of his treats stood out so much that a customer called in for the recipe. I am excited to share with our blog viewers this delicious recipe today. Happy Grilling!

Toby’s Smoked Chile Con Queso

Equipment:

One Kamado Style BBQ Grill (Preferably Kamado Joe®)

If you don’t have a Kamado grill then you can use a Gas Grill (Preferably Swiss Grill®.)

If Charcoal use LUMP style charcoal or Wood Chips or Chunks for the smokey flavor.

If Gas Grill use one of the Stainless Steel Smoker Boxes available at Eastgate Pools & Spas. 

Of course you can also cook the Con Queso in an oven. 

Just DON’T prepare in a Micro Wave.

 

Ingredients:

One Block of White Velveeta® (Queso Blanco)

One Can of Rotel® tomatoes (hot)

One Can of Rotel® tomatoes (medium)

One bag of shredded or grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Smoked Paprika

 

Directions:

Start your charcoal fire – do not use lighter fluid!!

Cube the Velveeta® and place in a ceramic style casserole baking dish

Pour the two cans of Rotel® on top and mix around a little bit. No need to get carried away with mixing it up. 

Once your coals are lit place the dish in to the grill, The coals do not need to be fully lit. 

After the mixture begins to get heated up a little then spread the cheddar cheese over the top of the dish and sprinkle the Smoked Paprika over the top. 

Cook long enough for the cheddar to bubble up and brown a little bit. 

You can re-heat the dip up periodically or place over a chafing dish to keep warm. 

Great to use Day Two on Scrambled Eggs !!

Enjoy!

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.

I’m All Fired Up

About what you may ask? Is it the price of gas or groceries? Is it the fact that the thermometer is not hitting 80 degrees on a regular basis yet? The answer is no on both fronts, I’m fired up that May is national grilling month. For those of you like me there is no off season when it comes to grilling, but admittedly I grill more in spring and summer than in winter. To me, this is the perfect month  for national grilling month, completely shaking free from winter’s chill and the ability to be outside for long stretches in the evening on the patio around the grill. Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, use these nights to cook a great meal, and spend time with the family outdoors.

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Spring has Sprung

It finally seems as though spring has reared its head. For a while it seemed as though winter was going to continue its stranglehold on the midwest and continue snowing for our 4th of July celebrations. But lo, we are lucky to see the sun. The buzzing of crickets in the night air. The smell of charcoal. Finally spring has sprung and earth starts its awakening cycle. We are excited to start digging for pools. To burn our grills to their fullest and eat the spoils of spring and summer. This is our season in the pool industry. We thrive on spring and summer. Its our chance to step our best feet forward and create beautiful oases in backyards throughout the tri-state area. If you have ever wanted to have that escape right in your back yard come in and see us. You will see why Eastgate Pools & Spas emanates our tagline “Resort Living at Home”.

Anniversary Sale Live Blog #3

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Anniversary Sale Live Blog #2

Toby

 

Toby, our Kamado Joe Representative, standing by his Classic Joe and Big Joe as they cook up delectables.

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