Inground Swimming Pool Kit Designs
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vinyl-pool-kitsSo you want an in-ground pool but you are not sure where to start? In The Swim has dozens of inground pool kit styles, with complete pool kit prices ranging from $5-7 grand.

Dreams of putting an inground pool in the backyard can come true with a total price that can be half of what local pool builders charge!

Vinyl Pool Kit Designs

Here’s a few things to think about when planning your own inground pool installation.

1. Pool Size: Think about the space you have for a pool. What do you currently use if for? This is important since most of us don’t own backyards that go on for acres and you want to make sure that you still have room to use it for everything else. For example, my family loves to grill, eat and relax outside. So we still need a patio that is not right on the edge of the pool. For others you may not use your backyard as much or you have space for both.

diving-pool2. Pool Shape: Inground vinyl pool designs have come a long way from the standard rectangle. We have 10 different modified rectangle designs, with Grecian or Roman ends, Lazy L or Full L shapes.

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freeform-pool-shapeIf you want a freeform shape, we have 8 pool designs with flowing curves, with names like Mountain Lake and Lagoon, or other modified kidney shaped pool designs, like the Tahiti or Oasis pool. freeform-shapes

lap-pool-design3. Pool Depth is your choice, from 4′ to 10′ in depth, depending on the pool shape and size. Sport pools, with two shallow ends and a center well, or Diving pools with an 8-10′ deep diving well, or Lap pools, built to any depth you want.

Vinyl Pool Kit Options

A nearly infinite number of options can be added to your pool kit. Our pools are sold complete, with all equipment and plumbing included, but you may be interested in…

waterfall-featuresWater features – Waterfalls, cascades, bubblers or deck jets and wall fonts all have huge effect on the audio and visual of your pool. From small spouting frogs to large waterfalls built on the edge of the pool, water features are easily planned into your pool design.

pool-with-attached-spaRaised spa – Raise the spa over the pool slightly to create a spillover into the pool and it becomes a focal point. Spas not only add to the beauty and balance of your outdoor space but also expand your season by another month on each end.

vinyl-pool-with-slideSlide & Dive – No matter what shape and size pool you have, if you want a diving board or pool slide, add that to your pool plans – it’s much easier and safer, to install it at the same time as the pool deck is installed. We can help you with the safety calculations.

vinyl-pool-with-led-lightsLED Pool Lights – Create ambiance with LED lights in the pool which change color to match your mood. They can also be added to water features, to create dramatic colored water falls or water spouts.

Vinyl Pool Kit Plans

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The first step is to contact your local building and zoning commission, and get their inground pool packet, outlining all of the rules for building your own inground pool. Pay the permit, and give us a call!

We have 3 former pool builders, who are on staff to help the DIY pool builder. Bob, Chris and Larry have not only installed these pools professionally, but also self-installed vinyl pool kits in their own backyards.

bob-larry-chrisCall them today to help you with your inground pool kit plans. Unlimited support from real pool builders, who also happen to be real nice guys.

855-342-4741

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Brett Rotelli
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Health & Aging: Depression & Swimming
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drpool-med-bookHow can swimming in a pool reduce depression? Depression is not simply sadness, or feeling down. Depression is considered an illness that occurs as a result of  chemical imbalances in the brain.

Swimming actually can help reduce depression for several reasons, one of which is that it helps stimulate production of brain chemicals that elevate mood and outlook.

1. Depression – What is it? Who is affected?
2. Symptoms of Depression.
3. Swimming and Depression.

bluecrossDepression – What is it? Who is affected?

Depression is not any typical sadness. Sadness is natural for any human being, and everyone will experience sadness throughout their lives. However, depression is a physical illness with more symptoms than just being unhappy.

Depression is an illness caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, but it is treatable. Medications and psychotherapy are just a few treatment options available for those who suffer with depression.

Chemicals in the brain are responsible for the mood control, and when they are out of balance, a person can feel upset even if there is nothing wrong in their life, ranging from emotional guilt or apathy to physical afflictions such as weight loss or weight gain.

bluecrossSymptoms of Depression

Depression symptoms can vary for many people. Some can feel sad or cry regularly, or have a decreased interest or enjoyment in what they used to find pleasurable, including regular daily activities.

Physical symptoms include changes in weight or appearance. Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or oversleeping can also be a symptom of depression. Physically there can also be a change – agitation can show itself, in addition to restlessness or physically slower movements.

Someone who experiences depression often experience guilt, even guilt over something they have no control over. It may be difficult to concentrate or make decisions because of depressive thoughts. Those who experience depression can also have thoughts of death and suicide, regardless of actually having an intent do carry out any such actions.

bluecrossSwimming with Depression

What can swimming in a pool do for someone with depression? Swimming stimulates brain chemicals that promote nerve cell growth. Exercise affects serotonin, which produces ANP.

ANP is a stress-reducing hormone that controls a brain’s response to anxiety and stress. Swimming requires deep-breathing in a pattern, combined with muscle stretching and relaxing. These are elements of many other exercise methods of relaxation, such as yoga.

When mental health is affected by stress, the body will also feel a change as well. Meanwhile if the body feels better, it can make the mind feel better, which is why in cases of depression, stress and anxiety, exercise can be seen as treatment. Exercise and physical activity allows for the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain. Endorphins act as painkillers, with the addition of improving sleep patterns, which ultimately reduces stress.

Some studies indicate that exercise can not only be the solution to stress, but it can also remedy depressive moods in people. Even if only a temporary relief, exercise can still be beneficial. There is evidence that those who are more physically active have less anxiety and depression than others.

It appears that exercise helps the brain cope with stress. In one study, those who rigorously exercised were 25% less likely to have an emergence of depression within the next five years.

While exercise is good for boosting mood, swimming in particular holds some advantages to jogging, such as being easier on the knees, since it involves being weightless in water, thereby eliminating the possibility of wear and tear that comes from running and jogging.

Swimming allows an output of energy, and with energy that is expended, also too the depression is lost in the pool. Whether or not temporary, swimming can allow you to gain control some over depression.

Dr. Pool

Dr. Pool

References:

[1] Schimelpfening, Nancy. “Top 5 Facts You Should Know About Depression.” About.com Depression. 10 Dec. 2011. Web.

[2] Schimelpfening, Nancy. “Top 9 Depression Symptoms.” About.com Depression. 7 Oct. 2012. Web.

[3] Borchard, Therese J. “How Swimming Reduces Depression | World of Psychology.” Psych Central.com. Web.

[4] “Exercise for Stress and Anxiety.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Web.

 

Deck the Halls: Festive Swimming Pools

santa-by-poolIt doesn’t matter if you live in a warm climate, or in the great white north – if you want to throw a Holiday party near the pool, you can!

Regardless of whether the pool is going to be open for use or not, there are plenty of fun activities that will be sure to keep you and all guests happy.

The Ultimate Holiday Pool Party is just around the corner!

FIRST THINGS FIRST – POOL SAFETY:

ronald-reagan-as-a-young-lifeguardNo matter if the pool is in use or not, safety is always an important factor for parties. Whether you are able to keep the pool open for the party for swimming, or just show off decorations in the water, ensure guest safety.

Designate two people as “pool watchers”- to watch swimmers, or help any “accidental” swimmers safely exit the pool. If there are any children at the party, also designate a “kid watcher”, in and out of the pool. Make name tags for your watchers, to remind everyone of their importance.

IF THE POOL IS CLOSED:

pool-closed-signIf your pool is closed and winterized for the season, covered or not operating, it would be best to close off the pool area, unless you have a safety pool cover.

Solid pool covers can be dangerous if one of your guests fell onto the pool cover, in addition to damaging the pool cover.

IF THE POOL IS OPEN:

If swimming in the pool is a viable option for you and guests, turn up the heat! Gas heaters are normally required this time of year, except for the very southern parts of the US, which can still use heat pumps or solar heaters.

tahiti-floor-lampLight up the night with LED Globe Lights – made to be hung right under the patio umbrella. Lights are 110 volt low voltage and change colors for even more entertainment appropriate for a holiday party. LED Globe lights can be programmed to be a solid color such as white, red or green, or set to cycle between colors, fading or blinking.

Tahiti Lamps are outdoor floor lamps and table lamps that hold 40 pounds of sand to keep them in place.

Pool Volleyball or Basketball can still be enjoyed if weather permits – and are always popular at pool parties, because everyone can participate.  Use a beach ball for a slower paced game.

skwimFor an active water sports game, try the Skwim Disk, the newest pool game which is kind of like Ultimate Frisbee, but in the pool! Our Flying Foam Disk is a similar toy that skips off the water surface.

DECORATING A FESTIVE HOLIDAY POOL:

chill-lites-poolAdditional decorative pieces that can be added to any holiday party are ChillLite pool and patio lighting. Pool lighting can be festive for any outdoor party, even if you’re not using the pool.

Pool Party Dye is fun for all parties. In The Swim has Red and Green pool dye – the most appropriate colors for the festive holiday season. Too bad you couldn’t add them both, but if you do – you’ll get a brownish-gray color!

floating-pool-candlesFloating Candles use a tea candle inside of the floating blossoms, which can also be a great decorative piece. As the sun sets earlier in the winter months, pool lights are even more beneficial to any pool party.

HOLIDAY PARTY DRINKS AND FOODS:

Hors d’oeuvres are great for any party but how can you keep them warm and fresh? Keep the food warm with a low setting on electric griddles or gas grills. Make traditional holiday cookies or desserts or pick a theme for the party and play it up with the food selections!

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A nice bowl of holiday punch would be fitting; or a homemade eggnog, or a signature drink with lots of warm winter spices. Be sure to offer lots of non-alcoholic beverages, for balance.

Break out the music and let the party really get lively. Set up a dance floor area around the pool, patio or deck and let guests enjoy the holidays with something memorable.

HOLIDAY PARTY GOODY BAGS:

Finally, a fun thing to incorporate to any holiday pool party is goody bags or grab bags! Whether it’s a party for adults or a kid party, there is plenty that can be done with goody bags for guests of any age group. Sugar cookies, candy canes and fudge can be thrown into the bag.

earmuffs-and-coffee-mugImagine getting a goody bag with warm mittens, socks or earmuffs! For a finishing touch, you can even include an ornament in the bag or wrapped on the top of the bag. Or put drink mixes such as apple cider or hot chocolate bags into festive mugs for the guests to take home.

You Can throw a party that will be really remembered by all guests! A holiday party doesn’t seem so overwhelming now, does it?

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Alex Malamos
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Protecting Pool Liners from Ice Damage
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frozen-pool-beachballIce and vinyl liners normally play nice together, but there are a few situations where large and heavy ice sheets can damage a pool liner.

Most pools in the northern half of the US will freeze solid across the surface, during winter, from just 1/4″ to 6-8″ thick in colder regions.

Protect your pool liner from ice damage, with these simple tips!

Winter Pool Liner Ice Protection

jumbo-air-pillowsAir Pillows: The first problem with an ice sheet forming across the pool, is it’s 10% bigger than the pool. This puts enormous pressure on the walls and on a vinyl liner. Air Pillows break up the ice sheet, and relieve the outward pressure, because the water won’t freeze beneath an air pillow. Use under aboveground or inground pool covers.

air-pillowsSmall pools can use one Air Pillow, but larger pools should use 2 or 3. Inflate them with a shop vac, about 2/3 full, and position in the middle of the pool. A rope or twine can be run through the air pillow grommets, to hold them in place in the center of the pool.

air-pillow-under-coverPull the cover tightly to push the pillow into the water surface slightly. Cover clips or wall bags are useful on above ground pools, to keep the cover taught. In ground pools can keep a small amount of water on the cover, under 1″, to help hold the cover in place over the air pillows.

Winter Leaks: The second big problem or fear with winter ice sheets is that if the pool begins to leak water, below the ice sheet, it has no support. When the ice sheet thaws very slightly, it will fall and possibly sharp edges could rip the pool liner.

Check your pool during the winter for leaks by walking around the outside of the pool, looking for spongy spots, and pulling the pool cover back, and checking the water level in the pool.

add-water-to-a-leaking-poolIf you do find that your frozen pool has a slow leak, add water to maintain the level until warmer weather will allow using a pool vinyl liner repair kit.

Pond Heaters: I’ve known 1 or 2 pool owners use a pond heater inside their pool to stop a continuous ice sheet from forming. These are floating electric heaters used for koi ponds or farm animal water troughs. They plug into an outlet and sense the water temperature, coming on when needed.

pond-heaterAs a solution to the problem, pond heaters do stop an ice sheet from forming, unless the power is turned off. They are affordable, at around $50, but they consume lots of watts, and can be expensive to operate.

What Not to Do with Ice

what-not-to-doWe’ve covered 3 things you can do to protect your pool liner from winter ice. Here’s several things Not to Do with ice in your pool.

  • Don’t chip or break up the ice sheet.
  • Don’t float logs or tires to break up the ice sheet.
  • Don’t use a garden hose to try to melt the ice sheet.
  • Don’t walk or skate on the ice sheet.

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Christine Silvestri
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

 

The Secret to Successful Hot Tub Repairs
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top-ten-spa-and-hot-tub-callsA follow-up to my recent post “Hot Tub Not Working“, which addressed all the possible problems that could lead you to utter the phrase. Part II will expand your new knowledge with the “secret” to successful hot tub repairs.

What’s the Secret? Knowing how to order spa parts – correctly, so you don’t have to end up returning items that don’t fit or are slightly different.

The problem is ~ there are so many spa manufacturers, and a lot of different jets, controls, and spa paks in use today. And even within one make of spas, there can be dozens of slightly different components used.

That’s where the InTheSwim Spa Parts Finder makes ordering spa parts correctly so easy to do! It’s nearly error proof, as long as you know what you’re looking for!

How to Use Spa Parts Finder

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Spa Parts Finder we have an alphabetical drop down menu for Category of spa parts. With over 50 items, It’s a long list, but we wanted to be all-inclusive.

You can use the drop down menu, or if for some eyeball exercise, find your hot tub part in our SEO friendly spa parts list-o-links. ;-)
To make it easier, I like to break it down into 5 main categories: spa-parts-categories

  1. Spa heaters and heater parts
  2. Pumps, motors and wet ends
  3. Spa packs and spa controls
  4. System Components
  5. Other

Spa Heaters and Heater Parts

spa-heaters-and-heater-partsWithin the spa heater category you can find entire replacement heaters in half a dozen types, or heater elements in Flow Thru, Hair Pin, Hot Spring or Spiral designs. We also have just the manifold, or housing for the heater element, and union connector parts.

TIP: Make sure your heater problem is really a heater problem, and not an issue with flow rate, or another system component.

Spa Pumps, Motors and Wet Ends

spa-pumps-motor-and-wet-endsIn this category, we have all the parts for spa pumps, including parts for motors and wet ends. If it’s part of the pump, you’ll find it here. There’s a huge number of diagrams to explore, if you don’t know your make and model spa pump, grab your glasses and a flashlight and take a look!

TIP: For pumps or motors, you’ll need to know motor type (fr), horsepower (hp) and whether it’s single speed or two speed.

Spa Packs and Spa Controls

spa-packs-and-spa-controlsWe carry hundreds of items in this category, for Balboa, Brett Aqualine, Hydro-Quip, Len Gordon controls and packs. Topside control panels, timers, and accessories for far too many systems to list here. If it’s part of the spa pack or topside control, look here.

TIP: Air control systems can convert to digital spa packs or digital controls – contact our spa techs for help with control or pack selection.

Spa System Components

spa-system-componentssOne of the largest spa parts categories, these are switches connected to your spa pump, filter and heater. System components are often the cause of a heater or pump not working, but more often, they point out a problem in the pumping, filtering or heating of the spa.

TIP: Most system components could also be called safety components, designed to shut things down when an unsafe condition exists.

Other Spa Parts

other-spa-partsThis is where we keep the air blowers, chemical feeders, filters, lights and tools. Didn’t know where else to put them, so they each have their own little category. These items can be very specific, for certain spa applications.

TIP: Many items in this category can be somewhat universal, or substitutions can be made many times. Need help? Give us a call!

As mentioned earlier, the secret to successful spa equipment repair is ordering correctly, the first time – using our Spa Parts Finder.

call-us-todayOr, you could always just call – we’ve got real, bonafide spa techs available to take your questions!

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor