Health & You: Chemotherapy and Swimming


Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses chemicals to blast cells. It’s not a blast of radiation, but a chemical treatment that targets cancer cells.

Chemotherapeutic agents kill cells that quickly divide – such as cancer cells. How do infections and chemotherapy and swimming all relate?

  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Chemotherapy and Infection Risk
  3. Chemotherapy and Swimming


For over 50 years, chemotherapy or ‘chemical therapy’ has been a part of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy injections or pills can be used by itself or in addition to surgery or targeted radiation treatment. Surgery and radiation destroy the cancer cells in a given region, while chemotherapy works well throughout the body.

Cancer cells multiply at a quicker rate than normal cells; therefore chemotherapy is made to target multiplying cells. The more they divide, the stronger the effectiveness of the drug will be.

With chemotherapy comes the side effect of normal cells being destroyed as well. These cells can be found in the hair, mouth and intestines. Side effects of chemotherapy include exhaustion, mouth sores, nausea, hair loss and brittle nails.

Additionally, the immune system can become weakened which allows for more infections. Because of these risks and side effects that accompany chemotherapy, many patients can be devastated with the option of chemotherapy.

Cancer treatment in many cases requires the use and access of veins for different options for treatments – including chemotherapy, blood transfusions, antibiotics and intravenous fluids, or IV fluids. To make procedures and treatments such as these easier, doctors might recommend using a catheter or port, however these present another infection risk.

blue-crossCancer and Infection Risk

Infection occurs when germs are allowed to enter an moist opening on the body, multiplying and mutating. This is common with those who suffer from cancer, as the immune system is in a weakened state. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and treat possible infections.

Catheters are long plastic tubes that deliver treatments and drugs that can manage side effects and symptoms of cancer directly into a vein. Washing hands before you touch the catheter helps prevent infection. Germs from dirty hands can lead to germs getting into your system, which is worse when the immune system is weakened.

Other helpful tips include changing the bandages when necessary – as germs can build up on an old bandage. Prevent air from getting in the catheter by making sure the clamps are tight when the tube isn’t in use. Avoid breaks or cuts in the catheter, and keep the catheter from being underwater.

After a chemotherapy treatment is when one is most vulnerable to infectious disease. Viral infections like influenza or the common cold are easily transferred from person-to-person in crowded areas. Some ways to help prevent infection include washing hands often and avoid touching hands to mouth or eyes.

Mouth care is also important; keep the mouth clean by brushing teeth twice a day; use mouth rinses without alcohol, and do not use floss. Food safety is important as well – and it is even more vital during chemotherapy to remember tips you follow as usual such as washing hands before preparing and consuming food, cooking food well, keeping raw foods away from ready-to-eat food, wash vegetables and fruits, and keep cold food cold.

On a related note, those at highest risk for infection shouldn’t drink water that is not properly treated. Boiling water for a full minute kills cryptosporidium and other waterborne organisms.

Pay attention to white blood cell counts during cancer treatment. Your health care professional should let you know when you receive a treatment that will lower your white blood cell count, and you should ask when white blood counts are going to be at their low point, when your body will be less likely to fight off infection.

blue-crossChemotherapy and Swimming

The American Cancer Society’s message regarding exercise is clear – moderate exercise during treatment is beneficial. Chemotherapy’s side effects can reduce the motivation to exercise for some patients, though it is important to keep as active as possible. Why? Exercise can actually increase effectiveness of cancer treatment, boosting odds of survival. There are other advantages to exercise – a 1999 study showed that there was a significant decrease in fatigue among chemotherapy patients, and that there was an indication of less fear, anxiety and other psychological distress overall.

Swimming can cause accidental ingestion of water and can therefore increase the chances of obtaining cryptosporidium or other waterborne pathogens. It is important to make sure to avoid situations where you find yourself inhaling environmental spores found in and around moist, dark areas such as rotting leaves and compost piles. Public hot tubs and spas are not recommended because there are some bacteria that can survive in the warmer water. However, if the hot tub is disinfected properly, there is little to no risk.

Swimming pools and hot tubs are not the only risk – swimming in lakes, rivers and oceans can bring on recreational water illnesses. These can be spread from swallowing, inhaling and contacting contaminated waters with open eyes, or open cuts or sores. The most common recreational water illness is diarrhea. Other illnesses from contaminated water include gastrointestinal, skin and mild respiratory infections.

Pools and hot tubs that are disinfected properly can be a safer swimming experience, especially low-use residential pools – but pH and disinfectant levels should be checked on a frequent basis for disease-causing germ control, and the water should be over-filtered, with long daily filter runs.

In many cases, chemotherapy patients are fitted with a port-o-cath for injections. Cover a catheter or central line with a suitable water barrier like a Tegaderm and tape over the area fully before swimming, and change bandages after each swim.

The take-home from this is to be sure to bring up these points with your doctor. Ask about your specific case, and if swimming and/or hot tubs should definitely avoided altogether. All cancer cases and infection susceptibility vary so it is important to communicate at various stages with your doctor about when swimming during chemotherapy is beneficial or best avoided – for you.

Get your Swim On, America! 

Dr. Pool

Dr. Pool


“Catheters and Ports in Cancer Treatment.” Cancer.Net. N.p., n.d. Web.

Patural, Amy. “Chemotherapy 101 – Cancer Treatment.” N.p., 16 Feb. 2010. Web.

“Infection.” - Managing Side Effects. N.p., n.d. Web.

Facey, Dorian. “Exercise During Chemotherapy.” LIVESTRONG.COM, 21 Oct. 2013. Web.

Millehan, Jan. “Swimming & Chemotherapy.” LIVESTRONG.COM, 19 Feb. 2014. Web.


Swimming Pool Re-Painting Tips

paint-your-poolIt is that time of year again, spring has sprung and it is time to repaint your pool. We are here to help you learn everything you need to know about repainting your pool.

Let’s start by dispelling a few Myths about pool painting…

  1. You don’t have to drain your pool before painting – ha!, not sure where this started but it is absolutely FALSE! Of course, you have to drain your pool, in fact, the drier it is the better because the paint will adhere better.
  2. There is no difference in the types of paint – this is again FALSE! This is the second most important step in the painting process. If you purchase the wrong type of paint to repaint your pool it will start peeling off in the first month and your pool will look worse than if you had repainted it. We will discuss later the different types of paint and how to find out what you have.
  3. Any roller will work so just buy the cheapest you can find at the store. Well that depends, how do you feel about a hairy pool? My guess is that is not something you want for your pool so in that case you should purchase a roller that has a solvent resistant core with a 3/8” nap. The nap is the length of the fibers on the roller and the solvent resistant core will prevent the roller from falling apart.
  4. It’s already painted so I don’t need to prep – FALSE! Preparing the surface is the most important step in the painting process. These coatings are so strong and durable because they chemically bond with the previous layer of paint. If the surface is not prepared then the paint will not last as long, it may not even last a couple months. To see the pool prep steps please read this blog.

Testing to Determine Pool Paint Type

It’s very important to re-paint the pool with the same type of paint that was used before. If the pool was painted with Epoxy, repaint with Epoxy, and if Rubber based paint was used, then go over it again with Rubber.

epoxy-solventIf you are not sure what paint is on the pool, test a paint chip by dissolving in epoxy or rubber based solvents, or use acrylic (see below).

  1. Use Rubber or Epoxy pool paint solvents.
  2. Chip off a small piece of the pool paint.
  3. Rub the chip in a few ounces of one of the solvents.
  4. If it starts to dissolve within about a minute in one solvent while rubbing, it is that type of paint. If not, it’s the other.

Switching from Rubber to Epoxy

advance-plus-conversion-paintIn the old days, you had to sandblast the pool, to remove every trace of rubber paint, before you could repaint with the longer-lasting epoxy pool finish. Now, you can just use Advance Plus conversion paint as a primer, and then paint over with any Epoxy pool paint!

Epoxy pool paint is more expensive than Rubber Based, but it can last up to 7 years, wearing thin over time. It also produces a hard, ceramic-like finish – lustrous!

Acrylic Paint over other Pool Paint types

aqua-coat-acrylic-enamelAcrylic Enamel is a water based pool paint that can be painted over top of previously painted and prepared rubber or epoxy paints. Since it’s water-based, the surface needn’t be completely dry, which can save days on your pool painting project.

Acrylic paints however, have a shorter lifespan of 2-3 years, as compared to 5-7 years for epoxy. It may outlast rubber-based paint however, which may only last for 1 or 2 seasons.

Now you are ready to paint your pool, make sure to let the coating cure for the recommended amount of time then enjoy your swimming season in your beautifully repainted pool!

Painting a Previously Painted Pool

The pool prep is exactly the same as for a non-painted pool, only it should go a bit faster. Check the label for paint specific instructions, but the general procedure is:

  1. TSP wash the pool
  2. Acid wash the pool
  3. TSP wash the pool (again)

After the pool is dry, according to label, it’s time to re-paint your pool! Remove the pool light, and place on deck, and use masking tape, pressed to the bottom of the pool tile, and any trim tiles.

Clean the pool and pool deck with a blower, broom or wet/dry vac to remove all debris before you start painting, and check the weather forecast for rain or heavy winds.

Start in the deep end with a 5-gal bucket and a roller, and apply the new paint. Corners, and steps can be cut-in with a small roller or brush. It’s just painting, nothing to it!

Allow the pool some dry time, according to label, and then start filling! See our full selection of pool paints and pool painting supplies and get started!

Brett Rotelli
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

Go from Above Ground to In Ground

man-in-tubeAbove ground pools are a perfect starter pool, I like to say. And the water is no less refreshing than an inground pool. With a deck built around the pool, the only thing lacking is a deep end for diving.

However, if you’ve ever dreamed of an inground pool in your backyard, today we walk-thru the steps involved to remove an aboveground pool and install an inground vinyl pool kit in it’s place!

Prices for complete inground pool kits start at $5K, and you can build it yourself or hire our professional pool project manager, for another $5K, and have a pro on-site for the 4-5 day process. Total costs range from $13-27K, depending on the size and shape of the pool and pool deck.

Just one week of work, (and a few weeks of project planning), and you can be swimming in a beautiful in ground pool, with any deck style you choose and any feature or equipment that you can imagine.

Demolition of your Above Ground Pool

demolish-the-poolThis could be a fun process, or perhaps a tearful goodbye, but removing an aboveground pool is not a difficult task – unless you are giving it to someone else, in which case you have to be more careful…

  • Drain or pump out the pool water.
  • Slice up the liner with a razor knife and roll up sections.
  • Remove top rail, uprights, skimmer and equipment.
  • Remove wall bolts, roll up the steel wall, wrap with tape.
  • Pull up bottom rail and concrete blocks beneath uprights.

Most of the parts of an aboveground pool can be recycled, just drive it down to your local recycling facility to dispose of the aluminum, steel, vinyl and plastic parts of the pool.

Pool Project Planning

pool-permitsIn this stage, before you buy your pool kit, visit your local Building and Zoning division of your town, city or county to get info on permits and inspections for inground pool construction. You will find them very helpful, even if you’re not a contractor.

Planning includes finding a few good helpers for the project, and hiring an excavator, electrician and a concrete delivery company. You’ll also need to order the pool floor material which can be vermiculite, concrete or a sand/concrete mix.

pool-slide-optionAnd of course, planning involves selecting the pool size and shape that will best fit your design, and choosing any optional equipment or features such as built-in slide, spa or fountains.

Day One: The Big Dig

excavatorOnce all the supplies are on site, the excavator is the first to arrive. Using the pool spec sheet, he will have no trouble digging a pool with a Bobcat or a trackhoe, in under a day. You will only need about 20% of the dirt removed as backfill, so make plans to have the excess graded into the property, or have it hauled off-site.

Day Two: Pool Assembly

wall-assembly-day-twoThe next step is to erect all of the wall sections, using a level, plumb bob and a transit, to make sure they are all at the same height. Install the step section, skimmer and return fittings. Use a plate compactor to smooth out the pool floor, if the material is loose, and flat shovels and garden rakes to clean up loose debris and fine tune the angles of the floor slopes.

Day Three: Concrete Delivery

concrete-collar-poolsA concrete truck will need to make access to within 15 feet of your pool, to dump about half a load of concrete on the outside of the pool walls. The “concrete collar” is 30″ wide and 10″ deep, all the way around the pool, and this locks the walls in place, deep in the earth. As the truck dumps the material off of the chute, have 2-3 people with rakes and shovels to help push the wet mix around the pool.

trowel-the-floorThe pool floor material is next. Add 2″ of base material to form a smooth and durable surface. Vermiculite is a popular surface, either by itself, or mixed with concrete, known as Pool Base. A concrete floor is another option. While the truck is there, you can take the other half a load, and trowel it smooth for the pool floor and deep end hopper sections.

Masonry sand or stone dust can also be used as floor material, but are prone to divots and heel marks.

Day Four: Plumbing & Electrical

pool-layout-for-plumbingThe plumbing can be done by most handy homeowners, but the wiring of the equipment sub-panel, and the bonding of the pool, is required to be performed by a licensed electrician. You can make things easy for your electrician by having a trench from your main home breaker panel to the (already installed) pool equipment pad and another trench to the pool light location.

Plumbing involves connecting a main drain, skimmer and return line from the pool, to the equipment pad, and connecting the pump, filter and heater or other equipment. Real easy – just prime and glue the pipes and fittings, all coming into one trench dug from the pool to the equipment pad. Our inground pool kits even include PVC pipe and fittings!

Day Five: Pool Liner

new-pool-linerThe pool floor should be clean and smooth. With several helpers, drape the new liner across the pool and lock it into the track at the top of the wall. Use a large wet/dry vac or Liner Vac, to set the liner with a vacuum. Screw on the main drain cover and you can begin to fill the pool from a garden hose, or have some of the water delivered. Filling from a hose generally takes 1-3 days depending on size and flow rate.

What’s Next? After the pool is full, backfill and tamp soil up against the walls, on top of the concrete collar. Top with 4″ of gravel, leaving room for the installation of a wood, stone, paver, or concrete pool deck. Water everyday very thoroughly around the pool to help accelerate the settling of the backfill soil. Wait 2-4 weeks before installing a concrete deck, to be sure the ground has settled.beautiful-vinyl-poolsThe beautiful thing about inground pool kits, is that you can install it in under a week, and you can do it yourself – for half the cost of a local pool builder.

Whether you opt for our on-site project manager, or use our Free and unlimited project support team by phone/email, you’ll save about 50% – and be able to say that you built your own pool, with pride!

Call our Inground Pool Experts at 1-855-342-4741 and get started before it gets really hot outside!

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


How to Break Up with your Pool Store

crazy-girlfriend-working-at-a-pool-store-3What is so great about your local pool store? Remember the time you needed to make that quick run to find that one specific item that you really needed only to get there and discover they don’t carry it? Or the times you drove down there, but no one could answer a simple question?!?

And then there is always the struggle of lifting all those heavy supplies in and out of your car. And the prices! Pinching every last Penny in your pocket. Are you nodding your head “yes” to all of this?

It sounds like you’re ready to break up with your local pool store but maybe just don’t know how. Here are some ideas to help you drop your pool store like a bad habit and join millions of pool owners who use In The Swim to get the best customer service and supplies at prices that can’t be beat.

Fire your Pool Store! Here’s How:

  • BOOKMARK US and put 800.765.7946 on SPEED DIAL. It’s that easy! You’ll never again have to leave the comfort of your own home to get supplies for your pool! All you have to do is go online or call us to get expert advice and find whatever you need, at prices that are 20-50% lower than the local pool store.
  • STOP taking water samples to the pool store. With a complete test kit from In The Swim, you can test your own water at home yourself, saving time and money! You can do complete pool water analysis in under 5 minutes with a Taylor K2005 test kit. Free water testing lacks integrity, don’t stand for it any longer.
  • READ our Pool Self-Help Content! With our online e-Guides, Pool FAQ’s, pool blog, and our tips & tools page, you can find in-depth and relevant pool info, written by experts! We have made it our mission to put the answer to every question we’ve ever heard on the phone, on our website for your benefit.
  • ASK for On-line or On-phone Help! Having trouble finding what you’re looking for? In addition to our new and improved search features, In The Swim also provides an online chat feature where you can get live help from one of our pool experts. Prefer email? Send your troubles to Dr. Pool for a fast reply. Or, call our hotline at 1-800-288-SWIM to speak to a real pool technician.
  • ORDER On-line or On-phone! Whatever the size, shape or weight, we will deliver it right to your front door for only $11! You will never again have to worry about how you’ll get that large piece of equipment in and out of your car. Plus, you will Save Big over inflated pool store prices! Order online or by phone, and leave the heavy lifting to us!


Still unsure how to make a clean break from your soon to be ex-pool store? You could just stop going by, but if you live in a small town, you may need to have the conversation, to bring your relationship some closure.

Sample Break-Up Lines (from wikiHow)

“I’ve felt disrespected by you at several times in our relationship. I feel like you don’t take what I say seriously, and you make me feel put down. Part of the problem is me. I should stick up for myself more, letting you know when I felt slighted. I’d like to take some time away from our relationship to focus on my [pool].”

“I want to express that I think our relationship has turned manipulative. I feel like you make me feel guilty in order to get the things you want. I also feel like you deflect whenever I try to bring something up. These are not healthy things in a relationship, and I deserve some of the blame for letting them go on for so long.”

“Over the last couple of months, I’ve realized that we are no longer moving in the same direction. I love [this store] so much and indeed we have grown a lot these past years. I feel that at this time in my life, we could better serve each other better as friends.”

i-can-test-my-own-waterSo forget about your ex-local pool store, you deserve better than that! In The Swim wants to give you all the care and attention you need. We have the highest standard of customer service and experience in the industry with the largest selection of pool stuff – at fantastic prices!

Dump your old Pool Store, and get out of a dysfunctional relationship ~ let In The Swim be your new supplier, supporter and pool partner!

Christine Silvestri
InTheSwim Staff Blogger



Pool Algaecide Reviews

pool-algaecide-reviewsProduct reviews are one of the best things about the internet – user-generated and unsolicited, they can provide insight not only to the potential like-minded purchaser, but good feedback to the manufacturer or retailers.

At In The Swim, we embraced product reviews early on, and have thousands of real reviews of pool supplies. For instance, we have over 250 pool algaecide reviews for you to read. Here’s a sampling:

In The Swim Algaecide

A multi-purpose pool algaecide, for all algae types. 10% quaternary formula, use 26 oz. per 10000 gallons for initial dosage and 16 oz. per week maintenance dose.intheswim-algaecide--

  • “Best algaecide I have ever used, both for removal and maintenance.”
  • “Easy to use. Easy directions. Pool clear of algae. I even used to close pool.”
  • “This product gives the same results as that from my local pool store at almost twice the price.”
  • “I have never had an easier pool season. I have tried other brands and they just didn’t accomplish the job.”
  • “I have bought other brands and higher priced algaecides for the pool and none of them work as effectively as this one.”

Super Algaecide

A concentrated copper algaecide for most algae types. Non-foaming formula contains 7.1% chelated copper to prevent staining. Use 4 oz. initial dosage, and 2 oz. per week as a maintenance dose.intheswim-super-algaecide

  • “The product arrived quickly and with one treatment, my algae problem was gone! Super Algaecide saved my swim season.”
  • “I thought when I bought this product, “How good can it really work?” I’m not skeptical anymore.”
  • “I used it according to directions and within six hours of the pump running, the algae cleared out.”
  • “This is the best Algaecide I have ever used. Since I tried it, my pool has not had any algae in it, as long as I remember to add it to the pool.”
  • “My pool service man recommended this product and I have never had a moments regret. Easy to use and really does the job.”

Algaecide 50

Concentrated all-purpose pool algaecide, for all types of pool algae. 50% quaternary formula, use 5 oz. per 10000 gallons for initial dosage and 1.3 oz. per week maintenance dose.intheswim-algaecide-50

  • “Water murky, thick and visible green algae beginning to show on steps. Used a whole bottle and the next morning the pool was crystal clear and no dead grey algae.”
  • “I had tried to get my husband to order it sooner but he wanted to support the small town pool store. Finally out of frustration I ordered it and he had to hear the I told you so.”
  • “When we switched from “store bought” to In the Swim – We don’t get algae-period. People see our pool and always ask what we are using.”
  • “It has done almost nothing but rain all summer, which is usually a recipe for all kinds of Algae growth. I just checked the pool this morning and still no sign of algae. I’m sold!”
  • “This is the best pool season in regards to maintenance in years. I was trying to decide on an algaecide this year and selected this based on the ingredients and something i had read on another pool care site”.

Algaecide 60 Plus

Non-metallic, non-foaming, low-odor polymer based algaecide. Use 12 oz. per 10000 gals for initial treatment, and 4 oz. per week maintenance dosage.algaecide-60-plus

  • “1st time user and LOVE it! Had some mustard algae starting and this stuff knocked it down in 1 day. Never used algaecide before, it really works fast.”
  • “Bought it to squash a bloom of green algae. Have also used it in previous years to deal with pink algae.”
  • “This stuff is AMAZING. My dogs quite often swim in our nasty pond and then swim in the pool. No more algae since I started using it regular.”
  • “I have a loop lock cover and every year when I take it off in the spring, the water was black with algae. It was recommended to me 2 years ago to add algaecide 60 as soon as March weather turned 60° WOW!!! What a difference!”
  • “I have been using this for a few years with no problems. Seems to work, and is more reasonably priced than the pool stores.”

Black Algaecide

A special blend of copper sulphate softens the head of the black algae, allowing Black algaecide to penetrate deeply. Use 16 oz. per 10000 gallons when black algae is

  • “Patience—it does work. Takes a couple days to kill it all, along with a few vacuums and brushing, if your pool is as close to the black lagoon as ours.”
  • “We have gotten other algaecide to take care of black algae and they have not worked. This one was better, although it’s not a complete cure :-(.”
  • “Struggled to keep our chlorine level up all summer. Noticed signs of black algae, we decided to try this. Amazingly, our chlorine level is now staying at the right level and the black algae is gone.”
  • “For some reason this summer, we got a huge outbreak of algae and nothing we had used in the past would break it up. We dosed the pool with black algaecide and within one dose we had a cleared problem.”

I hope that these pool algaecide reviews are helpful. If you want to know more about the chemical differences between the many types of algaecides, you can check out two great posts Dr. Pool wrote on the topic: here and also here.

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

Inground Pool Heater Buyer’s Guide

img purch'd from iclipart.comLast summer I had a guest at my pool who refused to go swimming unless my natural gas pool heater was set to 90 degrees. The pool was already a comfortable 86°, yet he stubbornly claimed that 4° warmer would make a huge difference in his comfort level.

It was early September, and the nights were gradually getting colder, and the end of the swimming season was near. Heating the pool was becoming costly, but I was trying to be the gracious host, so I walked around the corner of the garage to where the heater and filter were hidden away out of site. I stood by the heater for awhile then came back to the pool. “There you go, buddy! NINETY Degrees, just for you”.

TESTING-THE-WATERSHe dabbed his foot above one of the jets and claimed to feel instant results as he jumped in ~ I hadn’t changed a thing. Clearly he did not understand much about what it takes to heat an inground pool.


There are several options when it comes to heating your inground pool, and the benefits certainly outweigh the operation costs. In my case, gas pool heaters offered quick heating that could warm-up the water for the weekend or a few hours before I had guests over. With the digital control panel, I can accurately gauge the current temperature, keep track of target temperatures, and measure the costs of maintaining a given temperature. A natural gas heater can range from $1000-$3000 and generally can last 15 years or longer.

pentair-mastertemp-pool-heaterPentair MasterTemp Pool Heater is designed with easy operation in mind. The straightforward digital, rotating display is complete with indicator lights makes for simple system operation. The compact design quiet operation makes for a discreet heater that will not be an eyesore near your pool area. It’s built to last with tough corrosion-resistant components can withstand exposure to low pH, high water flow, and heavy use-age. With a hot surface ignition it does not require lighting of a pilot light, and push-button, digital control panel is easy to operate. The MasterTemp incorporates PMG combustion technology giving it the a high 84% efficiency rating.

jandy-lxi-pool-heaterConnectivity is certainly a factor when considering the best inground pool heater to fit your situation. Jandy’s Legacy LRZ Natural Gas Heater features universal union connections for up to 2-1/2 inch PVC, and Jandy’s exclusive copper-finned heat exchanger. The design allows for electric, water and gas connections to be made on either side of the unit, making it extremely versatile for both new or replacement installations. You are not limited by its installation orientation—a factor that many pool owners tend to overlook. Similar to the MasterTemp Pool Heater, the Legacy LRZ boasts a high tech but easy-to-navigate, backlit control panel with a simplified menu along with the pilot-less electronic ignition, making the LRZ extremely user friendly.

raypak-pool-heatersIf you live in a region with a dramatic climate one of the best heaters on the market specifically built to withstand the elements is the Raypak Digital Pool Heater. Many consider the Raypak Digital Heater to be among the best heaters specifically designed to defend itself from factors that can decrease performance in a typical heater: wind, leaves, rain, sleet, snow, airborne debris, downdrafts, updrafts – it has an answer for all of these would be antagonists. It would pretty much take a hurricane or apocalyptic ice age to slow it down. Rust is also not a problem with this pool heater – equipped with polymer headers, a copper finned-tube heat exchanger and stainless steel tube sheets. The Raypak Digital interface includes a self-diagnostic center that clearly explains the problem without the use of confusing codes.

lochinvar-energyrite-pool-heaterThe Lochinvar EnergyRite Low Nox Heater combines long-lasting outdoor construction, energy efficiency, and digital accuracy that results in a high quality heater that offers high performance season after season. It’s 88% thermal efficiency rating certainly makes it the most energy efficient gas pool heater. It’s built to commercial grade standards and Lochinvar is a company that is known for their rigorous inspection process ensuring that every single detail is considered. The EnergyRite is rust-proof, with exterior surfaces molecularly molded with a porcelain and glass hybrid mixture that will not rust. The combustion chamber is fully shielded and windproof which also makes it spider and wasp nest proof.


On the slightly more expensive start-up side (but ultimately pays for itself) heat pump pool heaters are ultimately one of the most cost-effective options on the market thanks to their advanced heating technology. Heat pumps do not rely on gas like the heaters we previously discussed in this article. While they do rely on electricity to run, they also take advantage of solar heating technology. Actually, heat pump pool heaters suck in heat from the outside air and then a compressor heats it up before transferring it to the water. Regardless of rain or shine, as long as the temperature outside is above 50° – the heat pump can heat the pool water.

Heat pump pool heaters cost between $1900-$3700 and you will enjoy low maintenance during the course of an approximate 15 year lifespan. Sure a heat pump may carry an initial sticker shock, but ultimately it will pay for itself due to very low operation costs. It uses a fraction of the energy a gas heaters and after just a few seasons of use the savings will add-up.

aquapro-eco500-heat-pumpLet’s take a look at the Aqua Pro Heat Pump as it is one of the best available on the market in terms of efficiency and trouble-free maintenance. As I mentioned, after the initial purchasing cost, the Aquapro is the cheapest system to heat your inground pool, and includes features typically reserved for commercial grade heat pumps like a 100% titanium heat exchanger, automatic defrost (effective on temperatures down to 38 degrees), programmable timer clock, and Pro Smart controls. The Aquapro heat pump is extremely quiet and a compact size makes it easier to hide than the larger pool heaters.

tropical-heat-pump-for-poolsAnother fantastic heat pump option, especially if you live in a cooler climate or intend on extending the length you plan on keeping your pool open, is the AquaCal Heatwave. It also features a titanium-built ThermoLink heat exchanger, is built to resist corrosion, sun-fading and rusting while producing higher heating power than most heat pumps. The AquaCal Heatwave is considered to be one of the quietest, user-friendly heat pumps available. It offers a surprisingly long list of features for such an affordable system making it one of the best values on today’s market. More on the AquaCal Heatwave here


solar-pool-heaters-at-intheswim-While more common for above ground pools, inground swimming pool heaters are becoming increasingly popular with environmentally conscious and budget savvy pool owners in search of a renewable energy resource for heating their pool. Solar inground swimming pool heaters harness the sun’s energy, transferring the sun’s heat into the pool water as it circulates through a solar panel heater.  Solar inground pool heater systems can cost between $1000-$2500, depending on your pool size. Solar Pool Heaters can last 15 years and are certainly an excellent investment. The key limitation of solar heaters is that because they do require sunshine; cloudy days can limit their effectiveness and it may take a few days of sunny weather to raise the pool to a comfortable and pleasant temperature.


The size of your pool, how quickly you want to heat the water, the temperament of your region’s climate, and how long you want to extend your swimming season are all important factors when determining what kind of heater you require. Budgetary concerns from initial set-up fees can often be curbed by low operational costs.

which-pool-heater-type-is-bestIn such a feature rich market, it’s a difficult decision to decide on the best pool heater for you. If you have a nearby gas meter, a natural gas heater may be the best choice, or if you have a perfect sunny spot for mounting solar panels, that may be the way to go. And if you have neither, take a look at an electrical pool heat pump.

Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger