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.

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.

I Love the 80′s!

My friends and family can tell you that I am an 80’s FREAK! I love it! Now, I don’t go so far as to dress in those terrible clothes, but I wish I were just a tad bit older during the 80’s, so that I could have enjoyed that decade a little more. I absolutely love 80’s music of all sorts. Hair bands would probably be my favorite genre, but I love them all, even the dreaded pop. The hairstyles absolutely crack me up, and the attached picture is of my older sister and I with her absolutely awful haircut my mom forced upon her. Classic 80’s hair. Hope you all get a kick out of it.

tina

Redlegs Unite!

So, its been a bit of a rocky start for our beloved Reds. They are seemingly having some trouble putting runs on the board and simple errors have been an achilles heel of sorts. Injuries have limited and even benched some of our greatest players and as the season progresses it seems these injuries are beginning to mend.

Aroldis Chapman faced a nasty injury that kept him out for the first few weeks but now that he is back in stride, the “Cuban Missile” has found his proper course. Matt Latos and Joey Votto being on the DL are certainly metaphorical thorns in the side of not just the team, but the city. Latos has been pitching some great games in AAA down in Louisville and hopefully we will see his return soon. Votto’s return is starting to look on the up as well. He began rehab yesterday and we can rest assured that he will make a recovery that gets him on the field close to the All-Star break.

Ultimately, we need to stay united as a team and as a city. We can not let the bad games and injuries get us down. We have a lot of guys who are producing at a very high level. Billy Hamilton gets on base every night and if you put him on first he will be on third 2 pitches later. Mesoraco has been solid with his bat and, as of late, has made some significant defensive plays. Hopefully he can keep this defensive display on the positive end to meet his bat power. If we can stay united as a city the hope is that the team will maintain this same unity.

P.S. – Pete Rose was asked to Manage a Bridgeport, CT baseball team that has no association with Major League Baseball. Is this a step in the direction of forgiveness? We may never know. But, it’s kind of nice to see Mr. Rose in a uniform again.

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….?

photo

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!

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