Exposing The Jet Myth

Back in 2004 when I began my career here at Eastgate Pools we carried a brand of spas that focused on performance and durability, not showroom pizazz.  For cost reasons that manufacturer is no longer part of our product offering, but one of their fundamental features remains a constant in the products we’ve chosen to offer in the years since, and that is water flow.  We frequently have customers come in and ask about horsepower, and even more commonly the number of jets.  I won’t try to argue that jet placement, jet type, and even jet count don’t matter.  They do.  Number of jets, however, can be very misleading.

For frame of reference, I one time had the luxury of attending the pool and spa show in Atlantic City.  I saw a spa there with at least 100 jets.  Most of the seats literally looked like there was a jet to cover every square inch of a bather’s body.  While I won’t use this forum to get into details on how each jet differs, it is important to recognize that jets are not equal.  More importantly, the amount of water delivered by each jet can vary.  A greater concentration of water flow compared to the air mixture at the jet is going to deliver a deeper more therapeutic massage.  This more effectively takes advantage of the heated water.  Smaller jets tend to focus flow directly on the nerve endings.  That can have benefits, but generally progresses to an itching or tingling sensation.  Not the best way to relax.  So, when you’re looking at a spa it is important to understand that 65 jets aren’t necessarily better than 45 jets.  In fact, there is a good chance it just means you have more small jets and likely a diminished therapeutic experience.  You can have too few jets, also.  But remember that there is only so much water that a pump can move, so spreading that volume thinner amongst more jets is only beneficial to make the water bubble more on the showroom floor.  When in doubt, feel the actual jets to get a better sense of what the spa can do for you.  Also, find out how much water is being moved.  That is the only number that will give a reasonable number to compare from one spa to another.  We would certainly be happy to help you understand.

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Making Clear Even Clearer

Think your pool water is clear? It might be possible to make it even clearer, and I speak from experience. A couple of years ago I had the chance to try a 30 Day Clear Blue Cube on my own pool, and I became a huge fan, literally overnight. It was early season and my pool was just getting to the point of being pretty much clear. I added a Clear Blue Cube to the pump basket, restarted the pump and went in for the evening. The next morning, I was walking past the pool on the way to the shed. I did a double take. The water was unbelievably clear, and I became a true believer and a regular user. And I have made converts here around the store. Sometimes on new inground pool installations dirt from the construction will make the new pool’s water cloudy. My inground construction coordinators now come to me for a Clear Blue Cube to add to these new pools needing a little help in the clarity department as the past couple of seasons they have seen with their own eyes the amazing work of this little blue cube. Small. Powerful. East to use. Inexpensive. 30 Day Clear Blue Cubes really will make your pool water as clear as you have ever seen it.  

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When You Think You’re Early, You Might Already be Late

I’m in the middle of my 16th year here at Eastgate Pools and I’ve seen every kind of season you can imagine.  When the housing market crashed, there was a significant reduction of pool sales in the industry.  Lending institutions tightened their requirements and that nest egg of equity in houses effectively disappeared.   The last few years we’ve experienced steady increases, especially with the recent tariffs, and the demand couldn’t be any higher.  Each year we sell out of dates for inground pool installations sooner and sooner.  Combine that with historic rain fall and dates for installation get pushed out significantly.  If you’re in the market for a pool, whether aboveground or inground, there is no time better than the present.  We still have dates for installation on abovegrounds, but we are already scheduling for next year for ingrounds.  Stop in and see us so we can get you ready as soon as possible.

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Giving Tough News

In most cases, installing a swimming pool is making a family’s dreams come true. And that is a fun part of being in this business. What isn’t so fun is going out to install the pool only to find out that the yard cannot accommodate the pool for one reason or another. Sometimes we find that there just isn’t space or that there are some other conditions that make installing the pool impractical, unsafe or both. Even worse are the cases where we start the excavation for the installation and find problems. That problem might be hitting an old burial pit, rock or an underground spring. Dig enough above ground and inground pools and you find your share of them. Sometimes the installation can continue and sometimes it cannot.

When the installation cannot continue is when it isn’t so fun as most of us hate giving bad news. Telling a customer that the pool they have been eagerly awaiting cannot be installed stinks for everybody involved. Sometimes customers take it well, and sometimes not so well. The disappointment is very understandable. But in these cases, we need the customer to understand that we aren’t happy about not being able to install a pool for them as well. It is hard to make a living selling pools you cannot install, but Eastgate Pools hasn’t built a very successful company over nearly 40 years by installing pools in places or under conditions that don’t allow them to be built correctly.

Thankfully, it is a pretty rare occurrence that we cannot install a pool that we have sold as we try to address many of the possible concerns before the pool is ever sold. But it does happen, and when it does happen, hopefully after the customer’s disappointment dies down, they will realize that we are trying to look after everyone’s best interests.    

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Spas Are Not Miniature Pools

Pool water. Spa water. Pretty much the same thing, right? Wrong! Spa water is a lot different than pool water and there are several reasons why.

Number one is the water temperature. A pool generally will be kept somewhere from the mid-70’s to mid-80’s (Fahrenheit) versus the spa typically being kept somewhere from 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. These 20 to 30 degrees are huge in the chemical world. The warmer the water, the quicker the chlorine or bromine is used up/depleted. Chemical reactions just happen quicker at the higher temperatures. So, a spa just needs or uses sanitizer more quickly. Hot water also makes things like calcium a bigger challenge as calcium comes out of solution at higher temperatures. Finally, the warmer the water the more body oils and perspiration will be released by the users into the water. I know, it sounds gross, but do you really think you don’t sweat when you are in a spa or for that matter swimming in a pool?

The other reason why a spa water is different than pool water is the simple fact that you are talking way different gallonages. While a pool might need pounds or gallons of chemicals when being balanced or chlorinated, a spa requires teaspoons, tablespoons and ounces to treat. And here is an example of the volume difference in real life. Let’s say you have a 500-gallon spa, which would be a big spa by the way, and you have 5 people in the spa. That is one person per 100 gallons of water. Now let’s say you have a 16’ x 31’ inground pool with a volume of 20,000 gallons. The same ratio of 1-person per 100 gallons would equate to 200 people in your pool. Now that is quite the pool party. I think I will just sit in one of your chaise lounges and drink a beverage if you don’t mind.

So hopefully you can see that while pool water and spa water have similarities, they do require a little different treatment to keep them both clean, clear and safe for the users.    

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Pool Kings

Eastgate Pools has built its reputation on building beautiful back yard pools at an affordable price. There is a show on HGTV called Pool Kings and they specialize in extremely high end projects. While Eastgate Pools does not specialize in building custom waterfalls, rock water slides and other custom amenities, we can and do a lot more higher end additions to pools such as sun decks, benches, and automatic pool covers. It seems that the market has changed to more of these additions to pools in which the lady of the house can relax on a raised platform with a lounge chair and soak in the sun. I have a sneaking suspicion the market is shifting towards these types of additions because of the show Pool Kings. It gets brought up in a lot of the conversations that I have with customers.

Whether you are looking for a standard inground rectangle pool in which the kids can jump in after soccer practice or you are looking to do your dream pool, give Eastgate Pools a call and talk to one of our designers. We specialize in summer fun!

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Swim And A Show

Recently my wife and I were lazily floating in the pool on our water noodles when we were treated to a nature show in the treetops of our backyard. For the past two years, there has been a pair of hawks nesting in a large tree at a home that sits on a street behind us. Their name by the way is the Hectors. Mr. and Mrs. Hector that is. I won’t say who named them, but it might have been me. Anyways, we were floating around in the pool and Mr. or Mrs. Hector flew over the pool and landed up in one of our trees. Hector proceeded to sit in the same spot for a good 10 minutes or so, occasionally spreading his or her wings. Wow, what a wingspan. When they fly over you can certainly see their size, but when they are sitting still and aren’t too far away, it is amazing how large their wingspan really is. We kept on viewing this beautiful bird until it must have been time to head out to hunt for food for the calling babies that we could hear. Thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Hector, for adding to the enjoyment of our pool. We are glad you choose our neighborhood to raise your family once again this year.   

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Simpler Days

On these hot summer days it makes me think back to my childhood when summer days were so simple. We didn’t worry about air-conditioning, or the price of gas. We cranked up homemade ice cream by hand on the back porch, and spent days as children riding bikes from sun up to sundown.  Now that I’m an adult I am constantly looking for things to make my life more simple. To take stress away and give me more time with people that I love. If you're an inground pool owner you know a lot of time is spent taking care of that pool. You do this so that your family can later on remember simpler times at home. Make your life simpler and allow them to have more memories of time with you by simply adding a salt system to your in ground pool. This will make life easier and free up more time to make those memories.
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Who Dey!!

As many know from some of my previous blogs and those that I work with, I am a huge Cincinnati Bengals fan and a season ticket holder.  I have taken my soon to be two year old son to more than a dozen bengals home games already. We have had season tickets for many years and this was the first year we decided to do the stadium tour that they offer to season ticket holders.  One of my most happiest moments yet, has to be seeing my son run his way through the tunnel just as the bengals do on Sunday, and him running around the field with my brother. The last time I was on the field was when I played football growing up and we got to play at Paul Brown Stadium, Nippert Stadium and to show my age I got to play at Cinergy Field (most know as Riverfront Stadium).

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Coaching The Young

This past year I had the pleasure of coaching an AAU league basketball team with my best friend Sam, and his dad Rick. We had an 8th grade team that finished with 12 wins out of 40 total games, and if you ask me that’s not too bad for our first year coaching. One highlight was getting close with all the kids, all of them got a lot better throughout the year, but three of them improved the most in both skill, and personality. One being a kid named Aiden. He used to be the most arrogant player on the court, but he turned out to be one of the most humble. The best part was getting to watch the kids, and our team chemistry grow. It was also pretty cool to find out that one of players parents had purchased a pool from Eastgate Pools and Spas.

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Sled dogs: Siberian Huskies

Intelligent, strong willed, stubborn

Who love dogs? My Husky is my best friend, the best companion a girl could ask for, and her name is Khaleesi. (Where are my Game of Thrones fans at?!) She’s definitely a queen, always getting what she wants. She’s currently 4, but the first time I saw her she was only 8 weeks old, and that’s when I fell in love with her. One look into those beautiful blue eyes, and I knew I had to have her.

Huskies become very attached to their owners, if you’re gone for minutes they will miss you so much that they’ll yell and howl at you to let you know. They love to speak their mind and let you know how they feel, or what they need. Huskies are friendly dogs that are great with other dogs and children, very gentle. Though they will go after small animals like rats, and bunnies. It might be about the chase, or just thinking they’re playing with them. They are also pulling dogs so they need to release that energy by either playing (which is there favorite), or going on walks. They have thick coats of fur so they get hot easily, they shed a ton so you have to keep up with grooming, and they have natural oils in their fur so you only bathe them a couple times a year, but you have to brush them weekly. If you wear a lot of black, you might want to get use to husky hair being a part of your wardrobe.

Huskies are a smart but stubborn breed which makes them more difficult to train than other breeds, you have to let them know YOU are the alpha quickly (and don’t get me wrong they will definitely test you to see what they can get away with). They’re a lot of work to train/care for, so unless you have a lot of time and patience.. they might not be the breed for you.

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The Problem With Social Media

When you see the included photo, do you see three, that’s three rocks? Neither do I which is good. Means my yearly eye appointments are keeping my vision acceptable or it means I learned to count at some point. Or both! The reality is that a customer recently posted a 1-star review saying that the installer hit three rocks and stopped the install. Wow! “Three rocks” is just a little bit of an exaggeration. When my installer sent the photo, I thought I was looking at the side of I-75 in the mountains of Tennessee or something. (Yes, that is a joke and an exaggeration.) I saw the photo and then read the review again. How can someone in good conscious call this three rocks? Maybe three large slabs of rock that prevented the pool from being able to be built properly, but not three rocks. And yet in today’s world someone can so easily post a review with what is essentially a lie, and it is out there to tarnish a person or a company’s reputation. I know social media is here to stay, but it would be nice if people would remember to treat others as they want to be treated; fairly! As this picture so clearly shows, “three rocks” is not a fair assessment of the issue. Enough said!    

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Time Goes Fast

But you never really realize how fast until there are milestones that are surpassed, or you have a moment of quiet reflection. It seems that we are so busy in the track meet that is our daily lives that we do not have the time to stop and quietly reflect on what is going on around us. One day we are putting our kids on the bus for the first day of kindergarten, and the next you are looking at the dorm they will be moving into during college orientation. Use your pool as the spot for family gatherings to make the memories because the opportunities will be gone before you know it.

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This date in Reds History! July 22nd, 2012

On July 22nd of 2012 one of the best Cincinnati Reds players was inducted to Major League Baseball’s Hall of fame.  During his entire 19 year career he only played for the Reds. He was a 12 time All Star, 9 time Silver slugger award winner also won a few gold gloves, one MVP award and also has a World Series ring. He played the majority of his career at shortstop but also logged just over 18 innings at a different infield position (2B, during his rookie year).  Can you name one of the best Cincinnati Reds players? It is none other than Barry Larkin.

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Yes, It is important.

So, your pool water is perfectly clear. Is it really necessary to check the water balance and adjust it as needed? After all, the water looks great, how can there be anything wrong with it? YES, it is necessary!!!! And clear isn’t the end all. I have seen many a pool that has perfectly clear water that when the water is tested has an incredibly low pH and total alkalinity. The pool is crystal clear because the chlorine actually works better at a lower pH than at a higher pH. But the low pH is more uncomfortable to your eyes and skin and it can damage other pool components. Want a perfect example? I remember on a few of these pools making the comment to the customers that I had just found their pool heater’s heat exchanger. It was dissolved and floating around in their pool as the low pH and alkalinity destroyed it. The copper test of the pool water proved that point. They might not have known it yet, but they soon would when the heater was leaking and no longer functional. So, while they were happy that their pool water was so crystal clear, they were kind of bummed that their heater was trashed due to improper water chemistry, an easily prevented problem with a little testing an adjusting. So YES, it is necessary.

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