Aboveground Installs

I know winter is not the typical time of the year when people want to start looking for a new pool. However, if you come in and purchase one now, you will get first dibs on install dates. Then when it starts getting warm out and people are just starting to look at purchasing their pools, yours is already there and starting to warm up. That means more usage out of your pool!!!

2013 Is Here!

We made it! The Christmas season has passed and we are headed full throttle towards 2013. If 2013 is anything like its predecessor 2012, we are sure to experience another incredible year. 2012 brought us ups and downs but as every new year proves to be more exciting than the next, we here at Eastgate are ready for any curveballs 2013 is willing to throw. We are prepared for new challenges with dedicated customer service, extensive product knowledge and a fabulous line of amazing products built to make your life one of luxury. So come on in and peruse our patio furniture and spas, pools and pool tables. You just might find something to make your 2013 an exploration in luxury.

Protect Your Cover!

Every year we see people bring in winter covers that look like they have virtually been shredded.  Since those covers are only protected against seam separation, these customers are left with little option but to buy a new cover.  Well, there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening.  The first thing to do is make sure your chemicals are balanced.  If you like to use chlorine to close up for the season, please make sure that the chlorine level comes back down to a normal level before putting the cover on.  Secondly, use either winter cover clips or some winter cover wrap to help prevent wind from getting under your cover.  When the wind is able to get under the cover it can literally whip the cover, which can easily apply undue stress to the threads in the cover.  Lastly, make sure you don’t allow too much water to collect on top of the cover.  If it is constantly applying pressure to the grommets it can not only damage the cover, but also potentially damage the pool.  Under no circumstances do you want to use jugs to help hold the cover in place.  If you follow these simple steps you fill certainly extend the life of your cover and help lighten the load on your pocket book every year.

Just Want To Say Thank You!

In the wake of the housing market collapse a few years back, financing for inground pools became very difficult to come by.  Most banks were only offering equity driven loan programs, while potential customers were quickly discovering that the equity they thought they had in their home had been all but depleted.  While we likely haven’t returned to the days of abundant equity, the banks are lending again and it shows.  The inground department has seen tremendous growth this year and I just wanted to say thank you to all of our customers.  The better the business performs the better our resources are to help out all of our customers.  The year isn’t quite done yet, but I would certainly consider it a success and we have you, the customer, to thank.

Craig

Hardworking, Tired Associates

Well, it was a GREAT summer for us.  Inground and aboveground pool sales were exceptional – one of our best years ever.  Casual furniture was a little sluggish while the 100 degree + heat wave was upon us, but rebounded this fall with lots of customers getting great deals on end-of-the-season specials.

The net result:  we worked hard and are resting up for the fall hot tub season.  We have lots of great deals on stock models as well as special purchases.

And our director of customer service?  Well, as you can see, Dos is tuckered out too.  Stop in and give her a gentle nudge.  She’s always glad to see you.  –Max

Swimming Pools, Hurricanes, and Casual Furniture

Okay—we’re not a big hurricane area, but on occasion, we get some pretty good leftovers from hurricane paths.  More likely are severe thunderstorms and the occasional tornado.  So what do you do if you have a pool surrounded by patio furniture?  You don’t want to see it blown into the pool or into the neighbor’s yard.  Or to another state!  Glass top tables are not meant to fly, especially into your pool.  So don’t let it happen.  Put the furniture in a safe place…in the pool!

Seriously.  The good people down south know this.  When a big storm is brewing, they gently place furniture in the pool and let the water act as a natural buffer or cushion.  Just make sure there are no rough edges on the furniture and get it out as soon as the storm passes.  –Max

Look how safe this is!!

Do you ever wonder about the safety of you pool cover? If you have

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little ones running around, you

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will love to see this video.  We do not recommend to use this like a trampoline or to walk on it all the time.  We are showing you this to help you make a decision on a safety cover or generic cialis winter cover!

Little Man on Safety Cover

By the way, the little man cialis 20mg in the video is my son at his Papa’s pool!!

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When Should I Close My Pool For The Year?

In short, don’t jump the gun.  Many people see Labor Day as the traditional end of summer so bam!—they close up the pool!

Don’t do it.

While most commercial pools get closed then due to budgetary concerns, residential pools will get at least another month of hot-weather use.  It never fails—people will schedule their pool closing for right after Labor Day, then watch their friends swim in 90 degree plus weather while they look at their winter cover.

And with a heater or solar blanket, many of our customers will swim until mid to late October.

Swim, enjoy, and don’t pull the plug on summer too soon. –Max

Winterize your Pool…Properly!

Okay, the time has come to close up the old swimming hole for the season and your Uncle Joe says that all he does is drain about a foot of water out of his pool then throw in a case of shock.  Then to make sure his cover doesn’t blow off, he fills chlorine or milk jugs with water and hangs them from the grommets.


No.

NO!

NO!!!

First ‘No’:  We recommend you do not drain your pool down.  It can allow an inground liner to float when their isn’t enough weight on top of the liner to offset hydraulic pressure from under the liner.  On abovegrounds, it will cause the cover to abrade against top rails and can put extreme stress on the rails and walls and cause damage to the cover and the pool.  We will give you complete step-by-step instructions if you stop in the store.

Second ‘No’: Don’t winterize using liquid shock.  It is an oxidizer and will hurt your cover.  The shock weakens the webbing and the seams and is the number one reason why covers split out and dump what is on top into the water.  We have a specially formulated 3-part winterizing kit that will not hurt your cover, and unlike most other kits, it has an extra ingredient that serves as a time-release algaecide.  It is the same kit we have sold for over 30 years.

Third ‘No’:  Don’t hang anything from the grommets! The grommets on an aboveground cover are exclusively used to weave the cable through them.  If you hang weighted jugs from them you will put too much stress on the grommets, resulting in them ripping out or shredding the cover.  Want a better option?  Try cover clips that snap the cover to the lip of the top rails or use our Winter Seal wrap.  It is a heavy-duty shrink-wrap that wraps around the toprail and extends down the wall about a third of the way.  At less than 10 bucks, it’s effective and economical.  And one last NEW item is the Pool Pillow Pal.  I wish I had thought of this.  It is an adhesive pad that connects you air pillow to the cover and helps hold the pillow in place all winter, thus making it a cinch to keep the cover pumped off.  Again, less than 10 bucks.

Protect your pool and winterize it properly.  Uncle Joe might disagree with us, but hey—we’ve been doing this for over 33 years now.  –Max

Keep That Water Stirred Up!

Pool owners are sometimes mystified when they get little patches of green algae on the bottom of their pool. Hey—they just tested the water and the chlorine level is right.  So why is there algae there on the bottom?

The most likely cause is inadequate circulation, especially down on the bottom.  As the water heats up, chlorine rises to the top and when it is returned to the pool, the bottom remains undisturbed.  In short, you may have 3-5 parts per million of chlorine at the surface and almost none on the bottom and bam—there comes the algae.

So stir it up!  The easiest is way is to use an automatic cleaner.  Whether you are pulling from the bottom or returning water via a return-side system, this will help stir the water.  If you have an in ground pool with a main drain, keep it open at least half way so you are pulling from the bottom.  On above grounds, make sure your return eyeball is aimed towards the bottom. The best way?  SWIM!  Nothing stirs up the water like a family cooling off and playing in the pool.  –Max

Haziness In The Pool

This season we have been dealing with an innumerable amount of algae, mold and cloudy pools. I would like to address the issue of cloudiness and give a few ideas for remedies. When you get a cloudy pool, typically caused by chlorine levels, dead algae and elemental change, you need to work on removing that using your filter as much as possible.
Using filter aids is the greatest way to remove haze from a pool. Clarifiers, flocculants, natural enzymes and alum salts are all great options. A clarifier will be added through your skimmer and will coat your sand. By coating the sand it acts to pull finer particles from the water. It will increase your filtering capacity by 10 microns and, in some cases, even more. The way a clarifier works is the same way an alum salt “sparkle pill” or flocculant will work as a filter aid. Both the sparkle pill and the floc will be added through the skimmer. They will also coat the sand and work like a fly-paper to attract those pesky particles that are creating the haziness in your pool. *Note: clarifiers, “sparkle pills” a.k.a. alum salts and flocculants will only work with sand filter systems.
The alternative for systems using Diatamaceous Earth or cartridge filters is a natural enzyme. Using a natural enzyme, like our product Pool Pizazz, is another fantastic way to eliminate haze from a pool helping keep that haze from re-occurring. You can eliminate a haze with natural enzyme and continue to keep it away using the treatment weekly. This enzyme will also help keep metals and organics, which cause phosphate build up, at ease.
So, there is a solution to the ghosty haze that has been seemingly taking over pools this season: Clarifier, alum salts, floc and natural enzymes are all ways to keep your pool clear and attractive.

Some Do’s and Don’t’s of Pool Ownership:

  1. Don’t take the skimmer or vac head off the vac pole.  Kids sometimes will drop the pole in the pool and the ‘bare’ end can punch a hole in your liner.
  2. Don’t curl up automatic vacuum hose.  It will develop a memory and your auto vac will not work properly.
  3. Do shock your pool weekly, regardless of your chlorine level.  Shocking keeps your chlorine in a free, working state and failure to shock weekly will ultimately result in your water getting algae.
  4. Do use our Power Magic shock.  It is a bagged chlorine shock that has sodium tetraborates in it.  This is a proven algae fighter.
  5. Don’t use big box store or grocery store liquid shock.  It is usually weaker and frequently old, which further reduces its effectiveness.
  6. Do keep all gates closed and locked when nobody is home.  If you have an above ground pool, keep the safety ladder in the ‘up’ locked position when not in use.
  7. Don’t ever dive head first into a pool that you are not familiar with.  Make sure the pool is rated as a diving pool and know where the shallow end is and where it is safe to dive.
  8. Don’t let anyone swim in your pool wearing a swimsuit that has been used in another pool that has algae.  This is the most common way that algae can move through neighborhood pools.
  9. Don’t just add chemicals arbitrarily because you think the pool needs them. Some things stay in the water from year to year.  Let us test your water for FREE and we can guide you through the process.
  10. Do have a safe, fun filled summer with everything you need for your pool easily found here at Eastgate Pools & Spas.  And did I mention that hot tubs go hand-in-hand with swimming pools?

–Max

No Chlorine?

Are you having a hard time maintaining your chlorine level in your pool? It could be many things. The first easy check is to test your stabilizer level (cyanuric acid). This product helps protect the chlorine from the effects of the sun’s light, which eats away the chlorine level in the pool.

The things that I see most often is the start of an algae problem or one that lingers around for a long time. Chlorine goes looking to oxidize organics and if there is any algae in the pool that algae will consume your chlorine. The problem is, unless the algae is effectively dealt with the problem doesn’t go away. Each treatment for algae can be different. That’s why it’s important to talk to a pool professional and eradicate the algae outbreak. Even if you don’t see it, it may still be there. I hear all the time pool owners say they put a shock or two in their pool every day and the chlorine still won’t hold. Treat the pool for sufficiently for algae and the problem, in most cases, will go away.

Heat Pumps—there is no downside!

I’ve been working at Eastgate Pools for a very long time and when I first started, there were two constants.

  1. Dinosaurs were present on the earth.
  2. When people wanted a pool heater, they purchased a gas-fired heater (natural gas or propane).

While dinosaurs are now extinct (are they really?), gas-fired heaters are approaching the same status.  Heat pumps have become the rage and for good reason.  Even though they cost more up front, they offer several advantages.

  1. They cost less to run. For example, if you had a 200,000 Btu propane heater, you would burn over two gallons of propane every hour it is on.  At $2.75/gallon, that 200,000 Btu heater would cost you approximately $6.00 EVERY hour it is fired up. (1 gallon of propane generates approximately 91,500 Btu).  A quality heat pump will operate for about 10-15% of that.  Natural gas costs are not as high, but the estimated savings are still well over half.
  2. A gas-fired heater operating in a pool with low pH will quickly get damaged or destroyed by the acidic water, and the copper that etches out of the heater can stain your pool’s liner.  Remember that big rainstorm that dropped your pool’s pH from 7.4 to 6.7 seemingly overnight?  That’s a doubly-whammy!  Hello heat pump!  Low pH will not affect the heat pump in the same way.  While we always recommend keeping your pool in balance, heat pumps are a lot more ‘forgiving’.
  3. Environmentally, the heat pump will have a less significant impact and is considered a ‘green’ product.  Mother Earth will appreciate your consideration.

We are proud to sell Aqua Pro heat pumps.  We’ll stack them up against any system on the market and our customers seem to agree as our sales on these double every year.

Now…about the dinosaurs.  Yes…they still are around.  They are called ‘birds’ and scientists generally agree that birds are indeed ‘living aviary dinosaurs’.  As Casey Stengel said, “you can look it up.”  Now there’s another old-timer.  –Max

The Urge for the Immediate Pool Install

One thing that has always confused me is the tendency of our society to seek instant gratification even if that means making major compromises.  As the economy appears to be turning a corner and business is picking up I have run into this very situation with some of my potential inground customers.  Some of these customers have chosen an opposing company simply because that company can install the pool a few weeks sooner.  In most of these situations the other companies have that luxury because they don’t have as many pool sales…and I’m willing to bet there are reasons for that.  I never try to speak ill of our competition, but I encourage anyone looking for a pool to think long term.  If you would have chosen company A over company B because of quality, service, and reputation why would you give all of that up for a few extra weeks?  I can tell you with our pool you will have it for a lifetime and I hate to see anyone sacrifice what they want for the short-term effects of an earlier install.  If you happen to be looking for a pool I hope you will consider the long-term advantages of a company like Eastgate Pools over “Bill’s Pools” just because he can start your pool tomorrow.  The costs are certainly likely to outweigh the benefits.