Best & Worst Pinterest Pool Ideas

pinterest-pool-logoPinterest is full of great DIY tips, and easy life hacks that you can implement to improve your lifestyle. Pinterest was (and still is) mostly about recipes, but recipes for more than food.

Pools are a natural for pinterest, visual and visceral, with charm and appeal galore, they make beautiful gallery boards. Look deeper below the surface, and you will find endless pinterest pool hack pictures, or ways to improve your pool appearance, warmth or water chemistry. But not all pinterest pool tips are winners…

Here then, is my Top10 Best & Worst Pinterest Pool Ideas.

1. Glow in the Dark Mosaic Tiles

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pin by

Glow in the dark pool  tiles soak up energy from the sun during the day, then put on a light show through the evening. I love this idea for several reasons. Obviously, it looks really cool! But it’s also a nice safety measure as well as a eco-friendly way to add so evening illumination and ambience to your pool sans electricity. You don’t have to completely tile your pool to use glow in the dark pool tiles, but can use it for step trim or as accent art. Underwater Art!

2. Solar Cover Reel Bench

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pin by

Not only does the solar reel bench protect solar blankets and solar reels from unnecessary UV exposure from the sun but it also is much more aesthetically pleasing than a rolled-up blanket and reel. Of course, the best part is extended pool deck seating for about, eh, 20 or so swimmers. You can build your own solar cover box with a steel or aluminum powder coated frame and varnished wood top (and back/sides if you like), or hire a craftsman like Ian.

  1. Beluga Solar Pool Heater:

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Here’s one you could find on an In The Swim pinterest board! We love our Beluga Solar Heater. This hose adapter is an exceptionally brilliant way to use solar energy to warm your swimming pool. In tandem with a black hose (or two) purchased separately, the Beluga diverts an adjustable stream of water through the black hose to collect heat from the sun—it’s that simple. Just screw into any 1.5″ wall return, connect (any color) garden hose, and adjust the diverter for a slow 1-2 gpm flow rate.

  1. Hula Hoop Solar Sun Ring:

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Ok, so not all ideas are gold. This pool is green first of all, and secondly, this seems to me a flagrant waste of a hula hoop, a garbage bag and a pool noodle, and – some poor kid is stuck with half a noodle. Although it technically does add some heat, depending on the size of your swimming pool, it would require several dozen hula hoops and noodles. The real Solar Sun Rings or Solar Squares, are 5′ in diameter and made of ‘space-age materials’ and design to amplify the sun’s rays, and magnets that lock themselves together. Nonetheless, Kudos, to this crafty pinterest pool owner!

  1. Pallet Noodle Racks

pin by jfishkind (left) and 1001pallets (right)

It doesn’t take long into a DIY Pool Project search to realize that pool noodles and wooden pallets are like peanut butter and chocolate, in the world of crafty re-purposing. In this case, the pallets provide a way to tame unruly and rebellious pool noodles. We like these because they are incredibly simple. You don’t even need picture instructions to figure these out. No Allen wrenches, no hot glue – just a couple of nails, and VOILA! you are done.

  1. Water Balloons or Glow Sticks – in the Pool?

    pins by smartschoolhouse (left) and loafersandcocoa (right)

    pins by smartschoolhouse (left) and loafersandcocoa (right)

So, I’m on the fence about this one. The adult in me says, “No Way – Think of your skimmers, think of your pool plumbing! All those balloons are going to pop and create a mess!”  My inner-child however says, no screams, “BELLY-FLOP!!!” You make the call. Another popular pool party parlor trick is to add glow sticks to the pool for a night time soiree. Again, you make the call, but don’t call me if that stuff leaks out in the pool or pokes a hole in a pool liner!

  1. Caulking Your Pool Vulkem caulked being applied to pool expansion joint

pin by Seastead

You can find excellent DIY ideas and tutorials all over pinterest. But some are particular favorites because they cover important things like caulking your expansion joints. Updating your pool caulk is a great DIY pool task that won’t cost you a small fortune. Cut out the old caulk, push in a layer of foam backer rod, and squirt in the Vulkem self leveling pool caulk (Lock up the dog first!). Inground pools with coping should caulk the pool / deck expansion joint every 5 years, to keep out debris and grit, and prevent damage from freezing water.

  1. Hair Chlorine Removal

Pin by 1crazyhouse

To be fair, we’ve never tried this, and to be honest, we’re pretty sure that shampoo and water works just fine. In fact, we’re pretty sure just water will rinse out most chlorine. If you’ve tried this (to any effect) let us know how it went. And, if you do, does it work with blueberry Kool-Aid, or just Lemonade? I hope so, because I’m partial to blueberry. Might be easier to wear a cap – how about  one of those flowered retro swim caps? 🙂


  1. Pool Noodle Cooler

Pin by onecrazyhouse

Pin by 1crazyhouse

There’s dozens of variations of the floating noodle cooler, and we like them all. We’re just concerned that it might increase the frequency in which people have to use the restroom – if you know what I mean. Anyway, this clever pool hack has all the elements of brilliant design. Take your basic plastic tote box, cut a noodle into 4 pieces, and tie a sturdy rope or twine through the noodles (the ones with the center hole), and you’re done!


  1. Tennis Ball in the Pool to Absorb Oils

image by istockphoto, on account

pin by photo by istockphoto


This may be the very first pool hack ever posted on the internet.  But you know what, it works!  So clocking in at number ten, is the ole tennis-ball-in-the-pool-hack. Now, although a ScumBall is a bit more effective, tennis balls will absorb some surface oils, too.

Check out all of these and much much more on our DIY Pool Ideas Pinterest Board!

Did we miss one of your favorite DIY Pool Ideas?  Do you have one that you feel should be added to our list?  We’d love to here from you! Leave a comment or shoot us an email at


Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


Slash Swimming Pool Maintenance Costs

Pool owners are all-too-familiar with the continuous cost of maintaining a swimming pool.  Many of us accept the high pool maintenance costs of outdated pool equipment because an existing pump or heater still perform, as they should.

And some of us just accept higher energy bills in the summer. Take a look at the big picture to spotlight some opportunities to save some money on pool expenses by spending a little more on pool equipment and accessories that could potentially pay for themselves!


solar-pool-heatersInground and above ground pool owners can take advantage of surprisingly affordable solar panel heating for their pools. If you have a sunny southern exposure for 6 hours of daily sun, each 100 sq. ft. of solar panels can add 10 degrees to the pool, without burning fossil fuels.

Swimming pool solar panels absorb heat from the sun as the pool water passes through a series of coils or tubes and transfer the heat to your pool water. Solar panels are daisy- chained, modular, so you can add as much as you need. A small solar system can cut your pool heating costs in half, and a larger solar pool heater can replace the need for gas or electric pool heaters.


Solar blankets, for both inground and above ground pool owners, can work all on their own or in tandem with your pool heater or solar panel heaters. During the day, they help collect the sun’s energy to heat your pool (up to 10°!), but their best use is to stop heat loss when the sun goes down. Warm pool water coupled with nighttime temperatures accelerates evaporation, which can be reduced by over 90% when you use a solar blanket.

Solar blanket covers are a little bit of effort when you don’t have a solar reel, but when you pay to heat a pool, solar covers pay for themselves in just a month or two, by reducing heating costs and stopping pool evaporation, which also saves money.


The biggest return on investment on our list could be Variable Speed Pumps. The Variable Speed model of Hayward’s Super Pump can use 70% less energy and as cliché as it may sound, spending a few hundred dollars more on a variable speed pump as opposed to a single speed pump can literally pay for itself!

Running a pool pump at half speed doesn’t use half as much energy, it uses 1/8 as much energy! You’ll notice this efficiency on your very first electricity bill of the season. Many VS pumps qualify for a green energy tax rebate making it that much smarter of investment.


Heat pumps work like a reverse air conditioner, they capture heat from the outside air and transfer it to your pool water. Heat pumps only work if the air temperature is over 50 degrees which may not be an issue for most fair-weather swimmers.

A pool heat pump can reduce your pool heating costs by up to 50% or more when compared to gas pool heaters, and also tend to require less repairs. They are more expensive to buy than gas pool heaters, but can pay for themselves after just a few seasons. Heat Pumps often qualify for green energy tax rebates as well!


There are less obvious, less costly ways to invest in your pool that can save you money in the long run. By spending a little more on the top-of-the-line Taylor K-2005 Test Kit you can expect commercial grade test results.

Improper pool testing practices can lead to a domino effect of unbalanced water and algae, and a pool chemical spending spree to restore well-balanced pool chemistry. Spending $80 on a test kit can directly lead to saving hundreds on pool chemicals. It’s pool ownership 101 but it’s a lesson that is time tested.


safety-cover-meycoInvesting in a high quality pool safety cover is not only a wise investment from a safety perspective, safety covers can save money on a much grander scale. Mesh safety covers save water (the pool refills), they save electricity (no cover pump needed), they reduce cover and water bag trash (good for landfills), and they save you time and effort in not having to pump and clean a slimy solid pool cover.

Since safety covers are made of interconnected squares, the cost for rectangular safety covers is quite low, and a quick payback is assured. And for custom shaped pools too, the benefits of a safety pool cover for winter far outweigh the cost savings of the alternative.


Pool Caulking is used in the expansion joint between inground pool coping and a concrete pool deck. It’s important for two reasons; the first being that the joint needs to remain clear of grit and dirt, to allow room for expansion of the pool deck, without hitting the pool. The second reason to caulk your pool is to prevent water from freezing during winter. Ice can be very powerful as it expands, and over time this can damage your pool.

Vulkem Pool Caulk, is pool owner friendly pool caulk. Put backer rod foam in the expansion joint, and then squeeze in the self-leveling caulk to seal up the expansion joint on the back of the coping stones, all the way around the pool. It’s a small step that could save you thousands in repairs to tile and coping.


Filter cleaner, last and least costly on our list of money saving investments for your swimming pool is again, back-to-basics. An optimized pool filter is everyone’s friend, requiring less pump run time, and fewer sanitizers or clarifiers, and it makes you work less by effectively filtering larger quantities of smaller debris.

It’s a small investment to to use a Pool Filter Cleaner to deep clean your cartridge, DE, or sand media. Like well-balanced pool water, a clean pool filter creates a positive domino effect, making water management much easier.

From small investments like filter cleaner to big ticket investments like a pool heat pump, technology and modern chemistry is leading the way to more eco- and wallet-friendly ways for  pool owners to save money for the more important pool accessories like giant inflatable slices of pizza and ride-on Pegasus floats.

Do you have a money-saving pool investment that we missed?  We love you hear from our pool community and welcome your comments or emails to


Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


Hot New Pool Products 2017

new banner sales tags by istockphotoSwimming pools have long been the largest area of innovation around the home.

Pools inspire people to invent gadgets of fancy, and pool owners and pool techs around the world are constantly dreaming up new ways to clean, heat, sanitize and enjoy the water.

Technology never sleeps, and since we haven’t done a new pool products post in several years, the time is right to look at what’s hot and new for swimming pools.


bioactive-cyanuric-acid-reducer-smBioActive Cyanuric Acid Reducer:

Stop draining half the pool to lower cya levels. BioActive is the only chemical that reduces cyanuric acid levels, saving thousands of gallons. One 8 oz bag of Bio-Active treats 25000 gals, and can reduce cyanuric acid levels from 100 to 50 ppm – overnight!


EZ Pods natural clarifier for poolsEZ Pods Natural Clarifier:

Ultra-Concentrated EZ-Pods are a natural clarifier tablet that you drop in the skimmer. No measuring, each pod treats 10000 gallons to restore water clarity. Natural water clarifier is made with chitosan obtained from sea crustaceans. Now that’s science!


HAYWARD UVO3 SYSTEMHayward Hydrorite UVO3 System:

The Hydrorite UV and Ozone system produces UV, Ozone and Hydroxy Radicals, to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria. Designed for commercial pools, see also the Pentair Bioshield UV Sterilizer. For residential pool UV purifiers, see the Solaxx NUVO 3000 UV System.



Yawn! What’s so special about pool ladders and hand rails? Saftron pool ladders and rails are made from 1/4″ thick, high impact ding and dent-free polymers. Impervious to stains, salt, sun and chlorine, they also remain cool to the touch, in any weather. Plus, they come in six cool colors!



The Skim-A-Round is a floating pool skimmer that attaches to a skimmer, vacuum line, low-water suction, even to a main drain. Floating skimmer moves around to trap debris in a lily pad style basket. Great for above ground pools with no skimmer or inground pools with a vacuum line.


filterballs shown inside sand pool filter cutawayFilterBalls Advanced Filter Media

FilterBalls filter better, last longer and improve flow rate during filtration and backwashing. Made from extruded polyester, these tiny sponges trap particles down to 10 microns in size, twice as good as pool filter sand. New this year are FilterBall Minis, smaller FilterBalls, for filters that use less than 150 lbs of filter sand.


Derby Duck Ride-On Giant Duck by GAMEDerby Duck Ride-On:

Not sure if you saw the viral video last week of a guy riding a giant rubber ducky down a flooded street. The Derby Duck Ride-On is a new pool float by GAME, a giant version of their popular Derby Ducks, so famous all around the world for charity fund raising. Giant Inflatable Duck is huge!


Pool Candy LED Float

Pool Candy pool float is a classic 18 pocket sun tanner pool float by day, but at night, this pool lounger lights up with 18 super bright LED lights, that change color to brighten your pool and your mood! Choose from 3 light modes to flash fast, slow, or simply glow. AAA batteries included.


Capri pool loungeCapri Lounge

The Capri pool lounge offers luxury and comfort, with chic styling and colors. Capri lounges are covered in a soft and durable 6-D polyester cover that is removable for cleaning. Unique curved design and tall profile makes it super comfy in the pool, or on the deck. Measures 73″ x 31″ x 24″, and comes in 5 cool colors.


pool boy III battery powered solar blanket reel for poolsPool Boy III Solar Reel:

Pool Boy III is the world’s first battery powered (rechargeable) remote control operated solar blanket reel. Earlier versions operate with a power cord, which is so – last century! Wireless remote works from over 50 ft away, to remove and replace the solar blanket automatically.


Supreme Duo-Brush by Red LeopardSupreme DuoBrush:

Yawn! Now we’re talking about pool brushes!?! The Supreme Pool Brush has over 20,000 bristles attached in a fan-style, to do more work with every brush stroke. Duo Brush is easier to use and much more effective. Aluminum handle and V-clip fits all standard pool poles.


SkimDevil Solar Pool SkimmerSkim Devil Solar Skimmer:

The Skim Devil Solar Skimmer is a solar powered, app controlled pool skimmer. Customizable and programmable, or you can guide the Solar Skimmer with remote control using the Android or iOS app on your smartphone or tablet. Sucks up leaves, before they sink.


rebates - image by istockphotoThere are rebates every year from the manufacturers, usually given in the form of a Visa gift card, send to you after you fill out the form and mail it in to the manufacturer. In 2017, rebates are available on the following items:

Pentair Rebates: Racer, Legend, and Warrior Pool Cleaners, UltraTemp Pool Heat Pumps.

Hayward Rebates: Pool Vac XL, AquaVac 500, TigerShark, SharkVac, TriVac 500 Cleaners, AquaRite and Swim Pure Plus salt systems.

Zodiac Rebates: Nature2 Mineral Cartridges, Polaris 3900 Sport, 9450 and 9550 robotic pool cleaners.

I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the new pool products we have available at In The Swim. Is there a hot and cool new pool product that you just simply can’t live without? Let us know by ‘Leave a Reply’ below, or email to


Sheryl Sollis
InTheSwim Staff Blogger




Things to Consider When Buying A Home With A Pool

Imagine the following scenario: After searching dozens of neighborhoods in five different towns, you finally find your dream house. It’s perfect in every way – and has real curb appeal. As you take a tour through the house’s interior with your real estate agent, that’s when you see it – a swimming pool in the backyard. Yeah, that might be a show stopper. So now what?

I asked Elizabeth Graffagna for some advice on how to approach this situation. Elizabeth has managed her family’s home construction and renovation business in Illinois for the past 10 years. She’s had a few moments where a deal was nearly perfect but the pool ruined it, or vice-versa where a house was not distinctive but the pool and backyard was a home run. “First, you have to be pragmatic and realistic about the situation,” she says. “It’s an absolute must that you ask yourself and your husband, wife, business partner, or anyone else buying the home with you, if a pool is something you want.”

Pools are great. There’s nothing like having your own pool to use on those perfect summer afternoons and evenings, but there’s a lot to owning a pool, kind of like getting a dog. If you’ve never owned a pool before, keep in mind that your pool will require regular maintenance and cleaning that will take time and cost money.

how-much-do-pools-cost-to-maintain - istock photoWhat’s a Pool Cost to Maintain? Maybe an hour per week, and $100 per month, might be usual. This covers unexpected repairs, replacement parts and fun accessories that you’ll want to buy, in addition to pool chemicals.

For professional pool service, prices vary widely from south to north, up to $100+ per week to clean your pool, add pool chemicals and maintain the pump and filter. If you want to save the money and do it yourself, which we recommend ;-), you can find all the pool parts, supplies, chemicals and accessories you need, right here at In The Swim.

If you don’t clean your pool regularly it will eventually turn into a swampy mess so there’s no skimping here. For the DIY inground pool owner, you may spend $250 per year in chemicals and $250 in parts and accessories, plus costs for running the pump and heating the water, if the pool has a pool heater.

What About Pool Safety? If you currently have children or are planning a family, pool safety is at the top of your list. Pools can be made safe for small children with safety products like mesh fencing and mesh covers, door alarms and pool alarms, in addition to swim lessons and vigilant parental supervision.

In some cases, homes being sold by older folks may not have a lot of pool safety accessories, but you can child-proof a pool.

You Go For it! Nevertheless, it’s your dream home, you say. If that’s the case, here’s what you should do before you make final decisions and especially before you make any deal or sign on the dotted line.

First, look closely at the pool and see if there are any warning signs you should be concerned about. Are there any large cracks in the pool, tile or deck surfaces? If the pool is above ground, are the walls and top rail in good condition? You should also check and see if all of the needed equipment and accessories are there such as filters, pumps, ladders, cleaners. Inspect the plumbing and valves for any signs of leaks. What’s the overall condition of the pool and all of its equipment and accessories? How about the vinyl liner or plaster interior, does it look to be in good shape with few stains? Have your realtor ask the home owners for pool maintenance records – the more detailed the better.

pool-inspection - istkAfter looking over everything, if you’re confident to move forward and purchase the house and your offer is accepted, you should have a pool inspection with a local pool company. Home inspectors focus on the house and might miss possible issues with the pool, which is why you should consider a pool specialist who can test for aspects of the pool that may be a challenge for a general home inspector.

Beyond the home and pool inspection, it would be wise to find out as much information as possible regarding the pool. Ask the sellers questions like, who built the pool? What year was it built? How much does the pool pump (or heater) cost to run every month? What conveniences or accessories does the pool have? Does everything related to the pool convey with the home sale? And for snowbelt pools, what type and condition is the winter pool cover?

You will also want to check out ancillary items like the condition of the pool fence and gates, pool drain covers, and if there’s a pool cleaner, what condition is it in, and how effective is it? You can also ask about repair, replacement or renovation work that has been done in the past.

After everything with the pool checks out and you purchase your dream home, consider hiring a pool company to give you a pool orientation, to show you how to maintain the pool on your own. In The Swim has a plethora of information to help pool owners educate themselves on pool maintenance, pool chemistry and pool equipment repair and replacement.

Although it’s not easy and can be expensive, removing the pool is an option, and Graffagna explained that her company has removed pools in the past. “Houses with pools that need very extensive repairs and were built 30-40 years ago can be removed.” she says. “It’s not easy and it’s not cheap, but in some cases it’s the right thing to do for the home to sell fast. It’s not just a matter of filling in an inground pool however, the floor must be broken up so water can permeate, and the top half of the wall must be removed. $10-12K on average.

To sum all of this up: if you find your dream home also has a pool, don’t be scared off. Most inground pools take less than an hour per week to maintain, on average, and about $100 per month in parts, chemicals and accessories, or about $500-$1000 per year. If you have pool safety concerns, possibly not shared by the current pool owner, you can make the pool safer with good fencing, alarms and covers.

If you’ve bought a house with a pool, what things did you learn after closing the deal and moving in? What would you tell others in your situation to look out for?

This is the third edition in a four-part In The Swim blog series with the focus of providing valuable information and ideas to home owners, home buyers and real estate agents regarding swimming pools. You can find the first and second editions here.


Larry Andersen
InTheSwim Staff Blogger