Water Workout Calorie Burn Guide
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As the weather warms up, it’s hard not to want to spend all of our time outdoors. Whether we are relaxing in the sun, or going for a jog, this weather calls to us! But what to do when you love the sun, but it’s too hot and miserable? Water Exercise of course! Let me introduce you to some great water workouts and the amount of calories burned, while staying cool in the pool!

Simple Swimming

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Our first exercise is very simple! One of the best ways to get a full body workout in the pool, is by simply swimming. Not only does this work out arms and legs, but it gives a killer ab workout as well. You can swim from one end of the pool to the other, the perimeter or your pool, or if you have a water resistance belt, you can swim in place. This helps burn major calories, and keeps pressure off your body for those of you coming back from or battling injuries.

Treading Water

calories-burned-treading-waterTreading water is another great full body exercise. Not only can it provide great practice if you are ever stuck out deep at sea, but It can strengthen your core which can help build muscle in all other areas of your body. Try not to overexert the legs, but balance your feet, legs and arms in a rhythm. Bonus points for burst intervals where you tread as fast as you can ’til time is up! Triple bonus points if you wear our AquaJogger Water Fitness Belt while doing this water exercise!

Water Walking

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I’m sure you already know how to walk; but water walking may be something new! In waist to chest deep water, walk with an exaggerated gait, swinging your arms and stepping high. Lean slightly forward and lead with your chin as you jog (or walk) back and forth across the pool, or in a large circle pattern. For added buoyancy, straddle a pool noodle or use a pool exercise belt, which allows you to do Water Jogging in deeper water, without touching the floor.

Pool Lunges

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Our third exercise is one that should be done when you are in a section of the pool where the water is waist deep. Similar to normal lunges, alternate lunging your right and left foot forward, bending at the knee, keeping the opposite thigh parallel to the floor. Water lunges take this same exercise, but put it under water. This allows the body to strengthen your thighs without putting excess strain on the knee. As a runner, this is one of my favorite workouts in the pool!

Pool Squats

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Squats can be one of the most dreaded exercises! We all know that they help build strong glutes, but can be tough on the knees. However, when you do Pool Squats in shallow water, the stress on the knees becomes very minimal. Just like a normal squat, begin in the standing position. From there, bend at the hips and knees, until your thighs are parallel to the floor, or just enough to feel the burn. Once you have mastered the normal squat, you can challenge yourself by adding handheld weights.


The weather is getting hotter, be sure to take advantage of your pool this summer, and burn some calories!

If you are just starting back to exercise, take it slow and steady, and work up to longer sessions, and for safety’s sake (and just for fun), get a pool workout partner!

 

dana-katz
Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Waterproof Music for your Pool
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high-school-musical-pool-sceneAdding music to your pool is a lot easier than the ‘pool scene’ from High School Musical, and you don’t need supporting cast!

Today we look at the best waterproof music devices, for adding a soundtrack to your pool time and other outdoor pursuits.

Waterproof Speakers

Waterproof speakers are the first order of business. Outdoor speakers are not all waterproof, and not all are Bluetooth enabled, but here’s 3 that are!

AudioBOMB Speakers

whaley-speakerPortable, rubber covered speakers go anywhere, even underwater! The Whaley and Squishy Bluetooth speakers can play for up to ten hours on a rechargeable battery. Connect 2 or more together easily for bigger sound. Priced from $30.

Patio Speakers

rock-speaker-for-poolsIf you have an existing sound system in the home, extend it outside with outdoor speakers. Typical mounting is under the roof eave, or use free standing speakers or faux rock speakers, to tuck into the landscaping. Priced from $100.

Floating Speakers

floating-speaker-and-lightshowFloating Bluetooth speakers are a fun way to enjoy your playlist or listen to the radio by the pool or in the backyard. Our Floating Speaker & Lightshow plays music from the top, and displays color light patterns below. $60.

Underwater Speakers

underwater-speakers-for-poolsUnderwater speakers are the newest high end pool accessory. The surprise is that the sound quality is really good underwater, not warped as you may think. Underwater pool speakers mount in pool light niches or Lubell makes a free standing unit. Priced from $1500.

Waterproof MP3 Players

For those who like to listen to music while swimming laps or while engaged in other wet endeavors, waterproof MP3 players let you take your music anywhere, even underwater.

Sony Walkman

sony-walkman-newThis is not your father’s Walkman, today’s Walkman is all about compact wearable music. The Waterproof MP3 player weighs only ounces, and has a fast charging 8 hr lithium battery, and 4 GB storage. Priced from $100.

Swim Buds & Syryn

syryn-waterproof-mp3-playerSyryn MP3 player has 8 GB of storage in a compact waterproof device that clips to your goggles or swim suit. Combine with Swim Buds Original underwater ear buds for endless underwater music. Priced from $60.

Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle

ipod-shuffle-by-underwater-audioUnderwater Audio takes Apple iPod Shuffles and makes them waterproof. 2 GB storage holds hundreds of songs and supports multiple playlists. Includes short cord ear buds and has a 15 hr battery life.  Priced from $125.

Waterproof Music Accessories

Portable Charger

audiobomb-reflex-solar-charger2The Solar Reflex portable charger stores power for the speakers or other devices. Lithium battery can be charged with its solar panel or included Micro USB cable. Charges 2 devices with Dual USB Ports. $40

Device Cases

Turata-Waterproof-case-dry-bag-with-armbandIf you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may consider a waterproof case for your smartphone or tablet. Absolutely water proof (to a certain depth), and also adds some protection from breakage or damage. Priced from $5.

 

Music has come a long way since the transistor radio, and it’s easier than ever to add a sound track to your life and take your music with you, wherever you go.

rock-and-roll-poolAdd some music to your pool this summer, no matter how you decide to do it!

 

davy-merino-sm
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

Water Therapy for Pain Management
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Daily pain is a fact of life for millions of Americans, and the healthy way to manage pain is through water therapy, or pool exercises.

As anyone who has ever slipped into a warm tub at the end of a long day knows, water can be incredibly soothing. For people with osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia or lower back pain, water is more than comforting; it provides relief to an aching body and a pain-free way to exercise.

Pool therapy (also known as aqua therapy) is especially beneficial for people with these conditions because the buoyancy of the water helps support a large percentage of their body weight. If even a short walk around the neighborhood is difficult for you, you may be able to improve your strength and endurance through these pool exercises.

Water Therapy and Osteoarthritis

Pool exercises offer people with osteoarthritis an opportunity to stretch their muscles using the gentle resistance of the water.

Once you’re in the water, stretch your lower back as well as your hamstrings by raising your knees up toward your chest. Then, stretch your neck and upper back by standing near one end of the pool, leaning forward, and using your hands to “catch” yourself.

Another good aqua therapy for osteoarthritis is any type of water aerobics. Try walking through the water, working up to a slow jog across the shallow end and any other similar movements that stretch the hips and back and make them more limber.

Using Aqua Exercises for Fibromyalgia

As Complete PT notes, many people who are living with the pain of fibromyalgia find the pool is the only place where they can get relief from their discomfort. A warm-up conducted in the deep end is a low-impact way to exercise and get the body ready for other aqua therapies.

Using a noodle or other similar equipment to keep the head above water, people with fibromyalgia can typically do a variety of warm-up motions and stretches. Once the body is ready, water-power exercises can help alleviate the pain of fibromyalgia; these include quick scissor kicks, deep back kicks, heel lifts and bent-knee twists.

You can do kicking exercises with either a paddle board or with your hands on the steps or side of the pool. If you enjoy lap swimming, use the stroke that is the least painful. In many cases, a backstroke or flutter kick are great choices—they can provide much-needed exercise while not putting a huge strain on shoulders, neck and upper back.

Hot Tub Therapy for Back Pain

People living with osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia usually find that hot water soaking relaxes them and reduces their pain, and the same is true for lower back pain. Hot tubs and spas are outstanding options for water therapy. The moist heat in the warm and bubbly water can help lessen both stiffness and pain, and it also works to boost blood flow to the affected areas.

For those who wish to relax in a hot tub or spa at home, we have a full line of portable spas to choose from, from the Intex PureSpa at only $500, to our full-featured Pacific Spa, for $5K. Home spas and hot tub therapy prescribed by your doctor to treat chronic pain can often be a valid insurance claim or tax deduction, check with your tax adviser for details.

Always talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, and take it easy at first, until you can build up to longer water therapy sessions, with more active water exercises.

 

dana-katz
Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Versatile Pool Floats: Deck & Pool Lounges
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Cool Pool Floats for pool and deckPool Lounges that work in the pool and on the pool deck – what a great idea!

But many pool floats that are great in the pool, aren’t so great on land. Uncomfortable and prone to popping from being dragged around over bricks and concrete.

Today’s blog is a list of ten dual purpose pool lounges, for relaxation in and out of the pool.

Ultimate Fabric Covered Pool Lounger

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Relax in the sun, in or out of the pool, with this versatile pool lounger.

Fabric coated with plush padded nylon surfaces, this is one of the few inflatable pool lounges that is tough enough for rough pool decks.

55″x38″x17″ – $59.99

Aqua Cloud

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The Aqua Cloud is is filled with thousands of foam beads and covered in soft mesh fabric.

Oversized cushioned pool float keeps you high and dry while you relax in bean bag comfort. Super soft float molds to your shape.

68″x30″x6″ – $99.99

Aqua Sofa

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The AquaSofa has a thick vinyl base to handle rough surfaces without worry about leaks or tears.

Big enough for 2 or 3, you can gently float in the pool, or use the Aqua Sofa in any location around the home.

68″x36″ – $124.99

Ultra Fabric Coated Mattress

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Like it’s cousin, the Fabric Coated Lounger, this oversized pool raft is inflatable covered in soft nylon fabric.

Large head rest cradles you in comfort – it’s a big pool float. Nylon sheath protects from deck abrasions.

72″x38″x7″ – $53.99

SunChaser SunSoft Luxury Lounger

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Most pontoon floats aren’t quite well balanced enough or are too much of a ‘sling’ design to work well on land.

The SunSoft is well suited for wet or dry uses, with the low slung frame and ultra thick padding.

50″x32″ – $159.99

Baja II Pool Lounger

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Most foam pool chairs aren’t great deck chairs because the foam is too soft for rough pool decks.

The Baja II is soft, but has large solid armrests that evenly distribute weight; one of the sturdiest pool lounges made.

63″x34″x21″ – $319.99

Capri Inflatable Lounge

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Soft and ultra durable 6-D polyester over a strong air bladder. Unique hammock design is super comfy!

Bright colors and chic design make the Capri pool lounge suitable for many places besides the pool.

73″x31″x24″ – $79.99

Margaritaville Oversized Pool Lounger

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Part of our new Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville series of pool floats, the lounger is available as single (shown) or double.

Super soft top has water activated graphics that magically appear when wet! For the pool or poolside.

69″x38″x8″ – $79.99

Aruba Inflatable Lounge Chair

aruba-inflatable-pool-chair

Inflatable lounge chair is stable on land or water. Filled with air, you can adjust the inflation to your liking.

3 bright vibrant colors and a unique shape make this funky inflatable chair a hit indoors and out!

45″x32″x26″ – $49.99

Aquaria Chaise Lounge

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Aquaria Chaise Lounge is made with Aqua Cell foam that never cracks, chips or peels.

Durable Aqua Cell lounges resist sun and chemicals and have the color all the way through.

42″x39″x29″ – $349.99

 

 

With these sturdy and strong pool chairs around the pool, you’ll never be without a place to sit – in sheer comfort! Combining your pool furniture and pool floats into one was just bound to happen – welcome to the future!

 

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Pool Party! Kid’s Birthday 7-12
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birthday-pool-party-yeah-istkSummer is right around the corner, and if you have a summer birthday in the house, the backyard swimming pool is the perfect party venue!

Pool parties for 7-12 yr old kids are a blast for kids and parents, and with a little bit of planning, can be safe for them and sane for you.

Pre Pool Party Planning

First, decide how many pool guests you can accommodate, and stick to a firm number. If you have more than 4-6, bring in some help, or ask parents to help watch and attend to the kids.

pool-noodles-for-pool-parties33Secondly, go shopping! Hit up the party store for some cake plates and napkins, maybe some cute party hats? Instead of goody bags, what about a pool party gift like splash balls or pool noodles?

beachball-invitation-2Send out your invitations a few weeks in advance, for busy summer schedules. I still like using postal mail for pool party invites, but you can be more inventive.

Finally, check water balance and clarity, and your pump and filter as the party draws close, to make sure all systems are go for blue pool water!

Pool Party Games

marco-polo-33Marco Polo: Classic pool game, and as the first game, take the opportunity to gauge the swimming ability of your guests. For an extra challenge, use a swim mask or goggles with the inside lens taped over, worn by the person calling “Marco!”.

Sharks and Minnows: If your pool has a large deep end area, this works best. One person is the Shark, and he/she is in the deep end, treading water. At the ‘go’, the minnows jump off the edge, or push off the wall, and swim across the pool without being touched by the shark.

Pool Basketball or Volleyball: Two classic games on land that are also great pool games, especially for the older 10-12 kids. 4-5 kids can play pool basketball comfortably, but pool volleyball games can accommodate more players.

pool-noodle-rider-swimwaysSeahorse Races: Give each player a noodle and line up on the shallow end wall, with ‘jockeys’ mounted on their ‘seahorse’. While riding the pool noodle, the object is to make it to the other end of the pool and back. First one to reach the finish line wins the first heat.

Pool Party Food

Most birthday parties I’ve been to lately are still going with the traditional birthday cake, candles and song. ‘Cupcake cakes‘ are an easy to serve alternative.blue-pool-water

You may want to have some light snacks – my favorite pool food is green grapes, if they get in the pool, they end up in the skimmer basket! Don’t forget to keep your guests hydrated with juice boxes or you could fill a clear water jug with blue Gatorade or Kool-Aid for a fun Pool Water beverage.

Pool Party Safety

Designate a pool lifeguard, and that’s probably not you if you are busy hosting the party. A responsible adult should watch the pool during the entire party, and referee any rough play.

Have a no diving rule in place, although you may want to have a ‘funny jump contest‘, if you have a deep end.

We also sell Lifeguard apparel and accessories!If the party moves inside, keep the pool off-limits, unless you can have your dedicated lifeguard maintain constant watch.


Mostly, have fun – pool birthday parties create powerful memories of home, and how fun it was!

 

dana-katz
Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

 

 

Need Pool Help? Pool Owner Resources
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pool-help-istkMay is here, the month in which most pools awake from a long winter slumber.

All swimming pools require repair and maintenance at some point, and today’s post is about In The Swim’s many resources for pool help or support.

InTheSwim Blog:

IntheSwim Swimming Pool Blog Banner
You know this one, you’re reading it right now. The In The Swim blog has over 440 helpful posts for pool owners. Topics like Pool Chemistry and Cleaning, Pool Design and Decor and Pool Repair and Renovation. We also talk about pool equipment, party planning, and pool safety. 3 Main Categories; How-To, Buyer’s Guide and Fun Stuff – or you can search the blog for any topic.


InTheSwim eGuides:

eguides-bannerIn our eGuides section, we have 30 articles for beginning to advanced pool owners. About half of them are Product Guides, useful to point out the sometimes small differences in product use and application. The other half cover loftier topics such as water conservation, aquatic therapy, learning to swim, or other pool safety discussions.


Pool Care FAQ:

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FAQ style question and answer format is a quick way to find help on pool chemistry, pool equipment and seasonal pool maintenance tasks. The Pool Care FAQ covers perennial topics like algae, pH, shocking the pool, and also help in determining your pool capacity, in gallons. You’ll find pool maintenance info, like how to clean and service the pump and filter, or how to open and close your pool.


Water Test Calculator

pool-water-testing-tool-5A relative newcomer to the club, our online Water Test Calculator has been hit up over 10,000 times already! Just plug in your test results – pH, FC, Alkalinity and Calcium, and hit submit button. The tool returns a page to compare your readings and show you what chemicals need to be added to achieve proper water balance.


Other Pool Help

HOW-CAN-WE-HELP-YOU-2Our Help page has lots of customer service information; everything to do with ordering, payment, shipping and returns. But you can also find the link to email Dr. Pool, for pool help and repair questions, or for more information about certain pool parts or products. You can also pull up a Live Chat conversation with our Pool Experts or call them directly anytime, 24/7 at 1-800-288-7946.


So many ways to find pool help with product questions, maintenance or repair concerns, I just had to let you know!

 

davy-merino-sm
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Water Workout: 5 Pool Noodle Exercises
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pool-noodle-exercises-istkWorking-Out can often be a battle between your commitment to a better life and an internal dialogue telling you to stay inside all day and watch Netflix.

A great battle plan is to break up your routine. Cross train to mix up your exercises and work different muscle groups.

For a combination of resistance training and aerobics, try working out in the pool with a pool noodle.

Let’s explore a few pool noodle exercises to try, keeping in mind that the number of reps you do will vary based on your current level of fitness.

Noodle Pull / Push

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on Self.comThis exercise focuses on your upper body but can be modified to an entire body workout as well. Standing in chest-deep water, hold the pool noodle near your chest with your palms down just beneath the surface of the water. Push the noodle down keeping it submerged until your arms are fully extended. Then slowly allow it to come up for one rep. To engage the whole body, do this exercise while walking through the water at the same time.

Noodle Tucks

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on self.comDo this in deeper water with the pool noodle wrapped behind your back and under your arms for stability. Starting with your legs straight below you, toes pointed toward the bottom, engage your abs and bring your knees up toward your chest as far as you can. Hold for two seconds, then move your legs back down to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps.

Noodle Push Downs

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on self.comStanding in waist-deep water, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the pool noodle in front of you on the water’s surface with your hands slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Push down on the noodle while simultaneously raising one leg straight behind you until your body is parallel to the bottom. Repeat with the other leg.

Pool Noodle Lunges

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on self.comStart in chest-deep water with one end of the pool noodle in each hand, arms extended in front of you underneath the water. Your hands should be close to each other, so the noddle forms a U in front of you. Step forward, lifting your leg high enough to step through the U while pushing the noodle toward the bottom of the pool. Make sure your forward foot goes all the way down before stepping back to the starting position.

Pool Noodle Running

Self-Magazine-pool-running-with-noodleIn waist-deep water, put the pool noodle around your back like a belt, with the U shape hugging your body. Place your hands on the front of the noodle. Start on one side of the pool and make your way to the other side, moving your legs in a running motion. The resistance of the water will make it difficult to run, which will build muscle in your legs and get your heart pumping. Turn the noodle around to the back, and you can also engage your arms.


Image by Aqua-Exercises.com - click to visit their siteThanks to Self Magazine for their inspirational pool noodle workouts article! Want more ideas? This Pinterest board features more pool noodle exercises you can try. And you’ll find lots of great pool noodle exercise animations on the aqua-exercises website.

 

dana-katz
Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Affordable DIY Solar Pool Heating
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solar-pool-heaters-bannerSolar pool heating is the perfect DIY home project, something that nearly anyone can accomplish with simple tools.

And you can feel good about solar pool heating, as it appeals both to your altruistic side and also to your economical side.

Solar pool heaters can add 15° F (or more) to the pool, depending mainly on sun exposure and solar panel size, or square footage.

How do Solar Pool Heaters Work?

Installation involves unrolling the solar panels and securing them to a flat surface, facing southerly with 4-8 hrs of uninterrupted daily sun.

Then you run the pool return pipe (or hose) in and out of the solar panels, and use a 3-way valve to control the flow.

solar-heaterSolar panels are modular, connecting to each other easily. Water moves from panel to panel, soaking up the heat.

At the last panel, a pipe carries the heated water back to the return line, after the 3-way valve. A check valve is used to prevent cycling or looping of water.

DIY Solar Panel Projects

Here are 4 DIY Solar Pool Heater projects, along with estimated costs for solar panels, lumber and plumbing supplies.

Lean-To Solar Panel Rack

In this simple solar rack, you use an existing fence or structure to support the rack, which saves space and cost. This solar pool heater is using two 4’x20′ solar panels, or 160 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 12,000 gallons. basic-solar-rack
Materials:

  • 2 – 4’x20′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $681
  • 85′ board feet of 2’x4′ lumber, and Screws     $ 45
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $ 95

Total: $821


Rooftop Solar Rack

A fortunate garage roof next to the pool equipment, this solar pool heater is using five 4’x10′ solar panels, or 200 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 15,000 gallons. Panels can be installed 2 or even 3 stories high.

solar-panels-on-roof-of-garageMaterials:

  • 5 – 4’x10′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $1161
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $  95

Total: $1256


Freestanding Solar Rack

This platform rack is made entirely of 2×4’s, plywood and lattice, and also makes a nice storage area for lawn care equipment and supply. This solar pool heater is using four 4’x20′ solar panels, or 320 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 25,000 gallons.  solar-rack-2 Materials:

  • 4 – 4’x20′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $1301
  • 155′ board feet of 2’x4′ lumber, and Screws  $    95
  • 10 – 4×8 Pine Plywood & 2 – 4×8 Lattice        $  181
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $   95

Total: $1676


Pergola Solar Rack

Doubling as a shade relief area, this simple pergola design is using six 4’x10′ solar panels, or 240 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 18,000 gallons. If this pergola was 12′ x 20′ (instead of 10′ x 25′), it could use three 4’x20′ panels, for a $400 savings, with the same solar area (240 sf).pergola-solar-pool-heaterMaterials

  • 6 – 4’x10′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $1376
  • 170′ board feet of 6’x6′ lumber, and Bolts      $   622
  • 39 – 2×3 Pressure Treated Pine, and Screws $  133
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $   95

Total: $2226


DIY Solar Pool Heaters that actually heat the pool! Free heat from the sun with no carbon footprint. With a 5-year warranty, our Smartpool Solar Heaters are the smart way to heat the pool!

mailbox-animationIf you have questions about installing solar on your pool, leave a comment below, or send us an email!

In The Swim started with Solar Pool Heaters as our very first product ~ you can always find knowledgeable solar help here to answer any questions you have about solar pool heating!

davy-merino-sm
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Go Pro! Commercial Pool Cleaning Tools
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pool-cleaner-jameslee1-istkCleaning pools is hard enough, without suffering with inferior kids stuff pool cleaning tools.

I’ve been in a lot of backyards, and few pool owners upgrade from the cheapo tools they got free when they built the pool.

Commercial pool cleaning tools cost more, but last longer, and save tons of time and effort.

 
Telescopic Pool Poles

commmercial-pool-polesYou can’t clean your pool with a bent half-pole! SkimLite poles are super rigid and durable Aluminum with lengths of 16′, 18′ and 31 ft.

Or, our virtually unbreakable fiberglass pole has dual locking cams, 8-16 ft. It may be the last pole you ever buy!

 
Pool Vacuum Heads

commercial-vacuum-headsFor serious suction, commercial pools use 2″ vac hose, connected to extra large vacuum heads, like our 24″ Flex Vac with dual suction ports, works great even with residential pumps.

For a very large pool, wider than your pool pole is long, wishbone steering on the classic aluminum 18″ vac head flips the pole to the other side of the pool.

 
Pool Leaf Rakes

commercial-leaf-rakesIf you have ever used one of those flat dip-n-flip skim nets, you know how worthless they are. Pool Leaf Rakes are the best way to skim the surface and dredge the pool floor.

With a sturdy aluminum frame, unbreakable handle and durable polyester net, they last for years! Commercial Leaf Nets are available in 20″ and 24″ widths.

 
Pool Brushes

commercial-pool-brushesI’ve seen your pool brush, and it’s seen better days.

Make it easier on yourself by brushing the pool with a larger brush. Step up to the commercially sized 24″ or 36″ pool brush.

Or try the 18″ Supreme pool brush. 4 inch row of over 20,000 bristles deep cleans your pool.

 
Pool Test Kits

taylor-commercial-test-kitsWhy not maintain the pool water like a pro, too!

The Taylor K-2005 test kit is the preferred pool test kit by lifeguards, pool operators, and is the same kit used by many pool store test jockeys!

The Taylor K-2006 is the same, with titration for super accurate chlorine readings.

 

Step up your game this summer with commercial cleaning tools that you can count on for years of service.

You might even enjoy cleaning the pool! Maybe, a little bit? 🙂

davy-merino-sm
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

 

Deck Design Tips to Transform your Pool
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flagstone-pool-decksWhether you have an inground or above-ground swimming pool, a well-designed deck makes the whole backyard more attractive, fun and functional.

A great deck can also cover and camouflage a pool’s less aesthetic features by creating new focal points.

Design with a variety of decking materials including wood, pavers, natural stone, or composite decking to transform an average pool into a backyard destination that’s mind-blowing!

Different Decks for Pretty Pools

Decks for inground pools can have surface treatments. Years ago, surface treatment options were limited to bare concrete covered with Cool Deck, a colored spray-on cement.

Today, homeowners can choose from a variety of surface materials intended to enhance the aesthetics of an entire backyard to create a beautiful outdoor living space.

deck-materials-galore

Inground pools can be surrounded with cast cement pavers, natural stone pavers, concrete, patio tiles, wood, composite. While materials (like natural stone like slate and granite) can be expensive, stamped concrete decking can be used to mimic more expensive materials at a more budget-friendly price.

Broom finished concrete is still the basic pool deck, with the lowest cost per square foot installed. Plain concrete can be accessorized with a quartz, rock salt or exposed aggregate finish. Stamped color patterns or stained concrete slabs are some ways to jazz up an old standard, and make a bold decorative deck upgrade.

stained-concrete-pool-deck

Above-ground pools are usually limited to wood and composite or resin materials, but creative deck builders use designs featuring stone or imitation stone walls wrapping the pool.

Regardless of the materials, aboveground pool decks should include adequate room between the deck and the pool wall to avoid maintenance and repair problems later.

Wooden decks made from cedar, redwood or oak will require periodic sealing for protection from cracking, warping and discoloring. Resin or composite pool deck kits don’t require this, but can also be kept looking new with regular sealing.

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Deck Resurfacing Options

ConcreteNetwork shows that resurfacing concrete decks surrounding inground pools gives them a new look without the expense and effort of a completely new installation. Coatings can be used to beautify and protect concrete decks.

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Thin pavers or ceramic tiles can be placed over top of an existing pool deck with level slabs. And if the pool coping stones are replaced at the same time, thicker stones can be used, to match the rise in vertical height.

Wood deck platforms can easily be placed over top of pool decks or scrubby patches around the pool, with small planter areas for a mix of ground cover, bushes or ornamental trees.

Pool Deck Maintenance

Keep your pool deck looking good with an annual pressure washing, especially important if you have a salt pool. Pool deck sealers are recommended for most custom finishes, to help prevent stains from leaves, dirt and such.

Maintaining wood surfaces surrounding pools is even more important. Tighten screws and fittings, check railings and sand any rough surfaces, then power wash, followed by staining and sealing. This Old House features a comprehensive guide to deck maintenance.

Pool Deck Design Style

Pool deck designs can be as simple or elaborate as your time and budget allow. Pool decks can use a combination of materials like wood, brick and natural stone for interest and variety.

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The design style you choose can help to limit your color and material palette choices and help guide material choices. Desert, garden or tropical, an overall theme will help you to consolidate elements into a cohesive design.

It’s hard to change the shape of the pool, but the pool deck and landscaping is more fluid, like putty in the hands of a sculptor.

 

dana-katz
Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger