Did you know that tennis balls aren’t just for tennis and playing fetch with the dog? Tennis balls are actually rather absorbent and can assist you in keeping your pool water free of hair product, sun screen, make up and other oils left behind by your human and animal swimmers. Most tennis balls are made out of nylon and/or wool and the material attracts foreign substances in the water. Drop a few tennis balls in your pool or skimmer basket and let them float around to do their job removing these products from your water’s surface.
Are you using a bubble solar cover to keep your pool water warm? If so, you may be wondering which side of your bubble cover should face up. We recommend covering your pool with the bubble side facing down for the best results in warming your pool in the summer sun. The sun’s UV rays will heat the bubbles and in turn, transfer heat to your pool water. With the bubbles facing down directly into the water, the heating process works more quickly and the bubbles help the cover float on the water’s surface.
Applying your bubble solar cover with the bubbles facing up can eventually damage the bubbles on the cover, due to direct exposure to the sun. The sun’s rays need to be able to flow through the cover before it can reach the water. Think of your solar cover as a thermal blanket or magnifying glass for your pool, intensifying the warming effect. Putting the cover on with the bubbles upward will take longer to heat your pool water and shorten the useful life of the cover.
Does your collection of floats and toys seem to grow more and more each pool season? Keep your floats, towels, noodles, goggles and more neat and tidy with this fun DIY pool toy organizer project.
Use a recycled natural wood pallet (stay away from ones that may have been chemically treated) and paint it to match your patio decor or whatever fun design style you like! Get the kids involved and add unique hooks for each family member to hang their towels when they aren’t using them. The design options are endless!
For step by step instructions, check out this helpful video from HGTV.
Need a pallet for your project? Stop by or call our Retail Store, we usually have some available.
Did you know that both your skimmer basket and skimmer net can can be improved to be more effective cleaners?
Remove fine debris in your pool by wrapping a pair of old (or new) pantyhose around your skimmer basket. This quick trick will remove smaller particles than with the skimmer basket alone, and your filter will not have to work as hard. You can also use old pantyhose over your skimmer net for the same effect.
So the next time you get a run in your stockings, repurpose them into an easy pool cleaning tool. Replace the pantyhose when they are full of debris and rinse out the skimmer basket before putting on a new pair.
Safety is the most important element to pool ownership, but it is not just people that are at risk of drowning accidents in the pool. Our family pets, stray animals and wildlife can all run the risk of falling into your swimming pool and not being able to find their way out. Here are a few suggestions to keep your pets and neighborhood animals safe around your pool.
1. Install a Fence, Alarm and/or Pool Cover
Fencing and alarming your pool will help prevent unwanted animals from accidentally falling into the water and discourage them from using your pool as a watering hole. Be aware that many pool alarms only go off if an animal over 15 lbs. falls in. For this reason, alarms should be used as a backup safety mechanism, not your primary solution. Your first line of defense should be a quality fence that is at least 4 feet high. A sturdy safety pool cover will also keep animals from entering your pool and greatly reduce the risk of drowning accidents.
2. Trim Your Trees
If you have trees in your pool area, be sure to cut branches back so they are not hanging above the pool. Tree dwelling animals (especially baby animals) can easily end up in your pool when jumping from branch to branch. Reduce the risk by removing the branches.
3. Remove Trash Temptations
Make sure any trash you store outside is secure in barrels that are not easily opened. Trash cans with locking lids are preferable. Storing trash in a garage or shed also discourages critters foraging in your garbage. Having a potential food source in your yard will draw animals into your yard and pool area. Eliminate the temptation.
4. NEVER Leave Dogs Unattended
While some dogs are natural swimmers, others cannot swim at all. If they seem to like the water, it is wise to teach them to swim. If they do not seem to like the water, do not force them into it. Either way, it is important that your pets are aware of a safe way to exit the pool. Even if your dog is a good swimmer, he can become disoriented and panic if he can’t find a quick exit. Guide your dog in and out of the pool to show him where the stairs or ramp are located. Just as you wouldn’t leave your children unsupervised around the pool, the same rules apply for your pets. Fencing (as stated above) is the most reliable way to keep pets out of the pool area, while still allowing them to hang out in the yard.
5. Provide an Easy Exit
Having an easy exit strategy isn’t just for family pets. Installing a pool ramp (we like the Skamper-Ramp) will give wildlife and neighborhood animals that are not familiar with your pool a highly visible escape route. Try the Critter Skimmer as another safety mechanism. “The Critter Skimmer is an eco-friendly invention that allows frogs, turtles, mice, and other small critters to rescue themselves from in-ground pool skimmers. Replacing the pool skimmer cover with a Critter Skimmer allows animals that invariably end up in the pool to climb up the attached spiral rescue ramp and through the opening in the skimmer cover to safety.”
Share these pool tips with fellow pool owners and check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.
When your pool turns green, your first assumption may be that algae is the offender. While this is often true, you could actually be dealing with increased heavy metals. Try these simple tests to determine the real cause of your green pool.
Test your chlorine levels. If there is free chlorine in the pool and it is green, copper is the likely culprit. If there is no free chlorine, suspect algae.
If your pool turns green after adding shock, copper is the likely cause. Other minerals, such as iron and manganese can turn the water brown, pink or purple. A metal remover will bind with the minerals in your pool water, allowing your pool filter to remove them.
A way to test to see if there’s metal in the water is to take a bucket of the pool water and add a small amount of liquid or granular chlorine. If the water turns green you’ve got copper! (turns another color you have another metal. Iron-brown, Manganese-purple)
If you add chlorine and your pool clears up? Hooray! Algae was the offender. Mystery solved!
Metal vs. Algae Tip: Metal stains won’t brush off the pool. Most algae will, with black algae as the exception.
Need a product recommendation? Stop by our RetailStore and talk to our team and get your free water test.
The long and short of it is this, you theoretically could run your pool/filter pump 24/7, the entire time your pool is open. However, doing so would not only be costly and use a great deal of energy, it would also be completely unnecessary.
We recommend that you run your pool filter for at least 12 hours per day, allowing all of your pool water to be run through the filter at least once each day. That being said, the more you run the filter, the cleaner your pool will be.
You can cut down on energy costs by running your pool filter at night or very early in the morning when energy rates are usually lower. Keep in mind, you need to run your filter when adding chemicals and while cleaning, which may be more difficult to do in the dark. If you’re swimming during the day and find the pool surface filling with debris, turn on the system so the skimmers can do their job.
Are you finding this information helpful? Share it with friends! Check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.
When the time comes to open your pool and put the cover away for the season, here are a few tips to help maintain the
integrity of your cover while in storage.
Make sure your pool cover is completely dry before storing. Most safety covers are mesh, and can be folded and put in the mesh storage bag while still wet. Once it is fully dry, it can be stored. If you are storing your cover in a plastic bin however, make sure the cover is dry before packing it away, to avoid mold.
Store your cover in an elevated location if possible. Safety covers are very heavy, so be sure your rack or shelf can handle the weight. Storing your cover on the ground will invite rodents and bugs to use it as a home and chew holes through your cover. No one wants that costly surprise at the end of pool season!
Plastic storage bins are perfect for pool cover storage. Make sure to choose a large enough bin with a tight-fitting lid. If you are going to put your cover in a bag, make sure to hang the bag high off the floor.
Add moth balls to the bin with your pool cover. PRO TIP: Put the mothballs in a large sock to keep them from getting all over your pool deck when you take out the cover later.
As a pool owner, you know that a considerate amount of work comes before, during and after the fun pool activities. Is that work overwhelming you and hindering your enjoyment? Do you dread the heavy lifting and continuous maintenance your pool requires? We encourage our customers to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a pool maintenance company to do the dirty work for you.
For some of you savvy pool owners, handling your own pool maintenance makes sense. You have the time, kids to help with the workload, or maybe just an interest in pool chemistry. You probably have a “do-it-yourself” mentality or simply do not want to spend the money to hire someone. If any of this sounds like you, you probably don’t need the services of a pool maintenance company.
On the other hand, not everyone has the time and energy to devote to constantly maintaining a swimming pool and/or spa. If this sounds more like you, you may be a great candidate for hiring a pool maintenance company. Our Hassle-Free Pool Care programis perfect for the pool owner who prefers not to have to open and close their pool, measure chemicals, scrub pool walls, skim debris or troubleshoot and maintain pool equipment.
If you can’t decide which route is best, talk to us! Our team will be happy to provide you with a pressure-free, customized pool care program estimate for our services.
We hope you are enjoying and sharing these pool tips with fellow pool owners. Please check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.
Join us in the new year to make pool safety a priority at your pool and hot tub. In 2021, we are taking a pledge and partnering with Pool Safely to keep watch over our pools and hot tubs to prevent drowning! If we all take the pledge to do our part, we can prevent serious injury and accidental deaths in our community.
Did you know that “drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4”?
Pool Safely is a national public education campaign that works with partners around the country to reduce child drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spa tubs. South Shore Pool Supply is taking the initiative to educate, encourage and collaborate with our customers, as well as other pool care professionals in our communities, to take the pledge to put water safety first.
As we head into 2021, South Shore Pool Supply encourages you to join us by doing your part to make pools and spas safer than ever before.
We hope you are enjoying and sharing these pool and hot tub tips with fellow pool owners. Please check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.