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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Help! My Pool Is Green!

It happens. No one means for it to happen, but it does. You go on vacation and the pool sitter doesn’t “sit” the pool. Life just happens and you have a million other things vying for your attention. The weather became cool and wet, and well, you just kind of forgot that the pool needed a little bit of attention. Stuff happens and the good news is that green water is fixable. Here are a few pointers, though I would encourage you to stop by the store with a pool water sample and talk more about your particular pool and any water issues you may be having.

Step 1. You need to kill the algae, as that is what is making the pool water cloudy and green. I would recommend our SPARCO Eliminator along with liquid chlorine or granular shock to activate the Eliminator. Eliminator along with the chlorine will go to work on killing the algae.

Step 2: After giving the Eliminator time to start killing the algae, we need to start working on getting the dead algae out of the water. Sometimes that is the hardest part of the battle, as algae cells are so small that they don’t filter or settle easily. A good Step 2 helper is our Simple Blue Chitosan Clarifier. Using Chitosan, which is a natural byproduct of crab shells, Simple Blue Chitosan Clarifier helps to clump together the dead algae cells, making the algae settle quicker and filter more easily.

Step 3: Make you sand or cartridge filter even more efficient and help it filter out these small particles even better with a Sparkle Pill, which is easily added to the filter by dropping it right down into the skimmer basket. Drop it in and you are finished. The Sparkle pill makes the filter more efficient and better able to trap even smaller particles than normal. Let the filter do its job and when it is time, simply backwash or clean the filter like normal.

Ultimately, this three-step process could be looked at as: Kill, Clump & Clean. What really matters is getting that green mess changed into beautiful, sparkling water once again. Following these three-steps will help you get your pool to its happy place. Happy swimming! 

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Welcome To The Family!

Asher Ryley Owen Stith. We’ve added our newest blessing to our family April 9, 2019! The little guy was too impatient, just like his mommy, and decided to arrive three weeks early! Weighing a whopping 7 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches long! So much bigger than his big sister, Cambria. Whom is super excited to have taken on the title as “big sister” and absolutely loves helping anyway she can with her baby brother. She will even get up in the middle of the night to help us! Even though the next morning she will say “mommy I’m tired, Asher kept me up all night” but she still loves to help out as much as she can. 

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Homegrown Tomatoes

The end is near. It is almost time to forget about those nearly tasteless imposters that I am forced to put up with during way too many months of the year. Yes folks, it is almost time for homegrown tomatoes. And I am pumped. Yes, some of you are probably already feasting on your own crop, but mine won’t be long. (I hope!) Every evening rain or shine I check my plants when I get home looking for the slightest change in the tomatoes color. And it is so agonizingly slow!!!!!! Seemingly the slowest part of the process that began in my kitchen way back in March when I planted all the seeds. For weeks I have been looking at the beautiful little tomatoes just waiting for them to ripen, waiting to pluck that first cherry tomato from the plant where its next stop will be my mouth. I am not sure that there is any fruit or vegetable that tastes better homegrown than the tomato does. And when that first ripe cherry tomato mysteriously disappears off of the plant, I know nothing!  

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Rain, Rain!

I am not one of those people that has my nose in my phone or computer screen all day, though I certainly know the type well, and I admit to still getting most of my news the old fashioned way, so maybe I will be off somewhat factually when I say that the wettest spring in 100-years has certainly been a challenge for many professions. Sure, it has been tough on the pool business, after all, it sure is hard to build a pool when it rains 60% of the days, but the #1 profession I feel for is the farmers. A challenging and difficult profession that only gets more difficult when Mother Nature doesn’t play nicely. I keep seeing and hearing how far the farmers are behind in getting crops planted and I believe I heard in many cases it was getting too late to plant even if the recent dry weather continues. All of us will share in the pain of the wet spring when food prices rise, but most of us will not really feel the full pain like the farmer and his family. Keep them in your thoughts!   

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The Learning Never Stops

I’ve been in the pool business for 15 years now and in the outdoor leisure industry for even longer than that.  As with anything, offerings and information are constantly evolving, and new improvements continue to make pool and spa ownership even easier.  What I find remarkable is how much I continue to learn about the products I deal with on a daily basis.

While reading an article recently in the October 2018 edition of Aqua magazine I discovered a valuable bit of information that was right in front of me all this time, but I never really considered before.  The article explored the concept of hydraulic efficiency.  The last decade or so the industry has focused heavily on the efficiency of pumps.  What has seemingly been ignored is the filter type that is used.

For several years now we have focused primarily on selling cartridge filters with aboveground pools.  Once we had an alternative to sand that we could sell at the same price it made sense to give our customers finer filtration at the same price.  This article points to hydraulic efficiency as another advantage of cartridge filters over sand.  It isn’t the media itself that makes a difference, it is actually the multiport valve on the sand filter.  When you eliminate the head loss encountered by the filter valve you can accomplish the same amount of water flow with less effort on the part of the pump.

Naturally, there are a lot more specifics that can be detailed here, but this is strong argument to consider when selecting your filter type.  We frequently have customers that are insistent that they get a sand filter, but this might be the justification necessary to make the switch.  Just something for you all to consider with your pool or your pool of the future.

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Crab Shells For Clarity?

One of the most common concerns with pool and spa water is the clarity of the water.  Nothing is less inviting than cloudy water.  What is even more frustrating is trying to address that cloudiness and it can crop up at the most inopportune times.  As much as we would all like to expect our filtration system to consistently keep our water perfectly clear, it isn’t a miracle worker and there are any number of environmental and chemical factors that can muddy the waters before you know it.

Perhaps one of the best ways to address turbid water is to use Chitosan based pool clarifier.  Chitosan is a naturally occurring polymer that is found in crab shells.  When recycled crab shells are added to water it has a positive charge which will attract particles in the water.  Those particles can then be more easily filtered from the water.  Chitosan can even chelate metals present in the water to help prevent staining.  It removes oils and scum and thereby restores the clear sparkling quality of water.

What is better than a natural approach to a common problem with pools and spas?  It works with every sanitizer on the market regardless of chemical levels.  It is so safe that you can swim immediately after using it.  And unlike many clarifiers, you cannot over use it.  Some clarifiers, when over used, can create sticky waterline residue that is almost worse than the alternative.  That isn’t a risk for Chitosan based clarifiers.

So, the next time you need to clear your water up or even if you just want to help prevent that from being an issue, stop in and let us show you what a miracle recycled crab shells can be.  You help reduce waste and keep a shimmer to your pool that makes it the beautiful backyard oasis you always expected it to be.

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