Pool Closing Supply Cheat Sheet
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winter-pool-suppliesToday we present a helpful checklist of everything you need to close your pool like a professional, and ensure an easy and inexpensive pool opening in the spring.

Don’t think of it as a sales pitch, 🙂 but rather a cheat sheet of 10 pool winterizing items that pool owners and pool pros rely on to close a pool properly.


pool-antifreeze-from-intheswim-smPool Anti-Freeze: There is one thing that all pools have in common from Intex pools to elaborate custom inground pools: After you blow the water out of your pool’s plumbing it is always better to be safe than sorry and protect the lines with Non-Toxic Pool Anti-freeze. Pour it into the skimmer, or use a funnel and hose to drain it into return lines or pool cleaner lines. Do Not use in pumps, filters, heaters or chlorinators – pipes only.

winter-pool-plugs-intheswimWinterizing Plugs: In many sizes, threaded plugs and rubber expansion plugs all serve the same purpose and that is to plug the skimmers, returns and cleaner lines. Winter plugs keep water Out of your pool’s plumbing and to keep the anti-freeze In the pipe. One of the smallest, least costly accessories for closing your pool is also one of the most important. Without pool plugs, your pool cannot be considered really “closed”.

chlorine-free-pool-shock-intheswim-sm Chlorine-Free Pool Shock: Another versatile universal pool closing go-to is our oxidizing non-chlorine shock. It’s safe for any pool surface, and helps your chlorine by burning-off dead chlorine cells to create more free chlorine in your water. It will not affect your pools pH level or add calcium, binders or cyanuric acid to the water. One of the best reasons to close a pool with non-chlorine shock is that it won’t break down winter algaecides, like chlorine shock will if both are added at the same time.

winterpill-from-intheswim-smAquaPill’s WinterPill: Unlike the indie rock band band from Massachusetts Winterpills, the WinterPill is a winter pool chemical that combines enzymes, clarifiers, stain fighters, and scale treatment into one set-it-and-forget-it pill.  All you have to do is poke a hole in the the pill with the provided pin and drop it in the water. It does the rest of the work and slowly releases the solution throughout the winter. For both above and inground pools.

Spring & Fall Pool Magic Spring and Fall + PhosFree: Another popular winter pool treatment combines two of Natural Chemistry’s products, Pool Magic and PhosFree. Pool Magic has enzymes specially designed to work best in cold water, and with a  tremendous appetite for dirt, oil and grime. With the phosphate remover Phos-Free, algae will not have the nutrients it needs to grow in your pool as the water warms-up in Spring. Great for any pool owner, but especially useful for pools with mesh safety covers that allow fine particles and sunlight to sift through.

ultimate-winter-kit-smUltimate Winterizing Pool Kit: Save money with an In the Swim Winterizing Pool Kit. Dr. Pool’s closing kits are chlorine free, so they’re safe for all pools and all pool surfaces.  The Ultimate kit has a bottle of Metal Free and also Pool Magic+Phosfree, 3 lbs of Non-Chlorine Shock, and a slow-release floater with 4 lbs of winter oxidizer (chlorine free). Also available is the less expensive Winter Kit which features the same products as the Ultimate Kit but with Winter Algaecide and Stain Away instead of the Natural Chemistry Products.

water-bags-water-tubes Water Tubes: For inground pools without a safety cover, the humble water bag, or water tubes. It’s the pool product that everyone hates to buy, but every year you need to buy at least a six-pack of water tubes to replace those that pop holes. Double tubes are best, because they are still usable if one side gets a hole. Instead of water tubes, try Aqua Bloks, 3 ft long plastic water tubs with a snap-on lid. Don’t use bricks, blocks or lumber. Besides looking bad, it could damage your pool cover.

cover-pump-for-pools-aquaproCover Pumps: Solid winter covers have the added benefit of not allowing sunlight through, which can lead to an algae bloom, and they are not mesh so they prevent dirt, pollen and other unwanted debris from passing through as well. However, they also do not allow rain water or snow melt through either. Automatic cover pumps are activated when a small amount of water collects turning on to pump off the water, thru an attached garden hose. Large cover pumps like the AquaPro 1/3 hp can also be used for lowering pool water level, draining hot tubs, boats or flooded basements.

wetdryvac-smA Wet/Dry Vac: Perhaps a Shop Vac isn’t the first thing that pool owners think of when they think of pool supply necessities. No pool can be safely closed with water still in the lines, and no one wants to run the risk of burst or cracked plumbing due to water freezing. A large shop vac (5 HP) can be used to blow out skimmer and return lines. To blow out pool pipes best, and to force water out of main drain lines, use something like the Cyclone Vac to get enough air volume and pressure.

pool-heater-cover Covers, covers, and covers: A pool cover is de rigueur of course, but we have other covers too. For inground pools with solar cover reels, the Solar Reel Cover protects your solar blanket from sun and snow. It’s a cover for your cover! And using a Pool Heater Cover protects your heater from moisture, debris and critters. Cover the surface of diving boards to add years to its lifespan. Nobody wants to jump off a cracked and peeling board and a simple Diving Board Cover can keep that from happening.


Winterizing your pool like a professional is not so hard when you have the right stuff! Sometimes the smallest accessories can make the biggest impact and prevent a spring surprise. Spend a few extra dollars in the fall to save big in spring clean-up costs.

Take it from me, I’ve gone the cheap route before, or given my pool less than it needs at closing time, and paid a big price for it the next spring!

 

ryan-dornan
Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Swimming Pools as Works of Art
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artsy-pools-2Water has inspired artists since the beginning of art, and in the latter half of the 20th century, the swimming pool lifestyle has soaked into popular culture.

Today’s pictorial is about swimming pools that have inspired art, or maybe the other way around? Either way, here’s a look at the intersection where art and pools and popular culture – collide.


Sonoma, California; all the way back in 1948, we have what was then a very modern pool design with sweeping curves, designed by Thomas Church. Pool owner Dewey Donnell added the freeform sculpture by artist Adaline Kent.

thomas-church-designed-pool-with-sculpture-by-adaline-kent-sonoma-calif

In 1961, Pablo Picasso was visiting the home of his friend Antonio Soler, at Villa El Martinete, in Marbella, Spain. With the pool empty for cleaning, Pablo found some paint and a brush and left this priceless doodle on the pool floor.

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In 1987, artist David Hockney donated a morning of his time painting squiggly marks on the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, as part of a downtown renovation effort. L.A. city officials closed the pool for a few days because it didn’t conform to safety regulations for public pools, but soon after relented, when they learned of its value.

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In the early 90’s, Argentine artist Jorge Macchi was painting abstract watercolors. In one set, an address book (or little black book) had morphed into a bench for a seated man. Two years later he used the design again on this installation, aptly named piscina.

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In 2000, Houston, Texas artist and painter Allan Rodewold installed this pool at his studio in the hip Ward 1 district, complete with tiled paint splotches, thumb hole pedestal and oversized paint brush!

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Artist James Turrell, best known for his works with light and space, unveiled the Baker Pool, in 2008. Built in the basement of a Connecticut estate barn, the large window and LED perimeter lighting gives this pool – effect.

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In 2009, At Villa Emslieb, gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac’s estate near Salzburg, Austria, Swiss conceptual artist Sylvie Fleury adorned the bottom and edges of a granite pool with inspiring phrases. In the yard is a whimsical bunny fountain by American sculptor Tom Sachs.

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New Jersey pool builder Cipriano Landscape Design pulled out all the stops in 2013 to create a 1700’s era Stradivarius Violin Pool, the only one of it’s kind. Half a million glass tiles line the interior of the 90′ long pool, luminous with LED and fiber optic lighting.

cipriano-landscape-design-violin-pool

In 2014, artist Alfredo Barsuglia created a secret pool, in the middle of the Mojave desert. Part art project and part social project, the GPS coordinates for the pool, and the location of the key to open the rolling pool cover were a guarded, but obtainable secret. Social-Pool is now closed, but may be opening again soon!

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And in 2016, the New York City Commission for the Arts commissioned this sculpture in Rockefeller center, named “Van Gogh’s Ear”, by the Danish artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. Reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, which featured cultural objects elevated to the level of high art.

rockerfeller-center-nyc-art-project


10 swimming pools inspired by art, or is it art inspired by swimming pools? A little of both, perhaps. I hope you enjoyed this timeline of swimming pool art-work!

See you next time;

davy-davy-davy
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Pool Equipment Enclosure Ideas
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If you’ve ever wanted to hide the pool pump and filter, this post is for you!

Pool equipment enclosures not only hide your big ugly pool filter, but help protect it from rain and snow, or damage from high winds and tree branches.

Although it’s not necessary to enclose pool equipment; it’s built to be outdoors, many pool owners like having something to hide or cover the pool filter.

There are 3 types of pool equipment enclosures, walls, boxes and houses.

Walls to Hide Pool Equipment

The simplest way to hide your pool pump and filter is to put up a small wall or screen to block the view, and the noise from the pump.

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If you are handy with wood, you can saw-up your own pool filter screen to hide the pool pump, or you can buy vinyl privacy walls at most home stores and garden centers. As a third option, hire a carpenter to take care of it all for you!

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Glass, steel, wood, concrete or vinyl – you have many materials to choose from! And how many sides? 1, 2, 3 or 4 sided pool equipment screens are all possible.

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Pool Equipment Boxes

A box has more protection for your pool equipment than a walled enclosure. These fine boxes were made by poolblanketboxes.com.au – and are quite popular down under!

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Boxes usually have hinged lids, with a piston, prop rod or hook of some sort, to prevent a knock on the head. Slats provide good ventilation for the pump.

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Pool Equipment Houses

When you want to combine a seating area and storage space with your pool equipment enclosure, start to think a little bigger, and build a pool house or garden shed around your pool equipment.

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I hope you enjoyed this look at pool equipment enclosures. From a simple 2-Wall wood enclosure, to custom pool cabanas, there’s a lot of ways to hide your pool pump!

 

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Sheryl Sollis
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

Swimming Pools and Meditation
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A swimming pool is the perfect place for serene relaxation, and the natural choice for the practice of meditation.

When rowdy kids aren’t splashing and yelling, you can find your happy place, in the pool. Try a swimming meditation, floating meditation or seated meditation.


Swimming Meditation

pool-meditation-3One of the great things about swimming is that immersed in the water, you can tune out the outside world, and tune in to the rhythm of repeated movement and breathing. There is a sensory deprivation while swimming that makes a mindful mediation easy to achieve.

Buddhist monks have practiced moving meditation for centuries, just walking. Swimming can be a moving meditation, focus on the stroke and your breathing, and let other concerns slip away…

  • Swim Slowly: Save your sprints for later, this is all about rhythm.
  • Count it Out: Counting your breaths, strokes or laps helps focus.
  • Breathe: Deeply, in through the mouth, and out through the nose.

 

Floating Meditation

pool-meditation-2Surrounded and supported by buoyant water, floating softly – either on a pool float or just by yourself, is great all by itself, but when you add a mindful meditation exercise into the mix, you are truly getting the most out of your pool time.

If you find a back float uncomfortable, you can tread water with a slow eggbeater kick and gentle sculling with your hands, leaning your head back so water covers your ears.

Rest the mind, focus on the sensation of floating, and on your own breathing. Breathe deeply, and when thoughts compete for attention, let them float out of your mind…

  • Back Float, in a Savasana pose, or arms out to the side.
  • Tilt your head back, allow water to cover your ears.
  • Cover the eyes, with sunglasses or a small towel to block the sun.

 

Seated Meditation

pool-meditation-1A shady spot next to any pool of water can be the perfect spot to practice meditation. Mixing in some pool yoga stretches can help keep focus, while concentrating on the pose.

A swim out or large bench can be the perfect spot to sit in chest high water. Sitting on the top step or the second step of pool entry steps is another good spot. You can sit on a yoga mat or a pool noodle, for rough or hard surfaces.

  • Get Comfortable: No need for the Lotus position, sit however you like.
  • Breathe Deeply: Long and slow. Try a few Pranayama breathing techniques.
  • Flowing Water: A small pool fountain, or set a hose on the edge of the pool.

Start slowly, practicing for 10 minutes, eventually working up to 30 minute sessions. Remember that it’s a ‘practice’, so don’t beat yourself up when your mind wanders. Gently bring your focus back to your breathing, letting other thoughts drift away…

With a smartphone or tablet you can download one of the many meditation apps available, for a guided meditation.

Get your Calm On, America!

Dr. Pool

Dr. Pool

Polaris Pressure Cleaner Retrofit Installation
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polaris-pool-cleaner-retrofit
The Polaris pressure cleaner revolutionized automatic pool cleaning when it was introduced in the early 70’s.

Before then, pool cleaners were really just ‘stirrer-uppers’; they didn’t actually vacuum the pool. Polaris took the booster pump design advanced by Arneson, and attached a pool cleaner with a venturi vacuum.

polaris-380-cleaner-at-intheswimThe nation’s largest pool builders began offering a choice of a vacuum cleaner line, or the newer, pressure cleaner line. Anthony Pools installed thousands of “Antho-Sweep” cleaners, a private labeled Polaris 180.

Today’s post is about installing a Polaris pressure cleaner on an inground pool – where none has existed before. In a nutshell, installing a Polaris cleaner involves 3 Steps:

  1. Install or Convert a dedicated cleaner pipe
  2. Wire up the booster pump to a Timeclock
  3. Cut the Polaris hoses to proper length

DEDICATED POLARIS CLEANER LINE

Dedicated simply means that the pipe is used only for one purpose, to connect the pool cleaner. You need a pipe (or hose) that carries water from the booster pump to the cleaner.

Converting a Suction Cleaner Line: Older pools, or pools in a suction cleaner market (Hi, Florida!), may have a dedicated suction cleaner line that brings water into the filter pump. By cutting and capping the pipe that goes into the pump, and redirecting the pipe to connect with the Polaris booster pump, you can convert the suction line into a pressure line.

Converting a Jandy Ray-Vac Line: Sylvan pools and others often installed a low-pressure pool cleaner line, after the pump but before the filter, with a 3-way valve to divert water through the Energy filter and to the Jandy Ray-Vac pool cleaner. Cut out the Energy filter and cap the pipe after the 3-way valve. Install a Tee fitting in the pool return pipe, after all other equipment, and after any spa jet line, to supply the booster pump with water.

Installing a New Dedicated Cleaner Line:  The first thing to do is to call811, and have a guy come out to mark the property for underground utilities, so you don’t hit any power or gas lines.

dig a trenchDig a Trench: After underground utilities are marked, trench from where the booster pump will be located on the equipment pad, to a point midway along the longest wall of the pool. From the edge of the deck to the pool, you can either go under the deck and thru the pool wall, or over the deck hose installation.

Thru the Wall:  For this method, you continue the trench underneath the pool deck, digging a tunnel beneath until you reach the wall. Then use a rotary hammer drill with a 7/8” bit to drill through the pool wall to the other side. Slide a ¾ inch PVC pipe through the wall with a ¾” threaded female fitting on the wall side. Chip out the wall on both sides so that you can make a thick, rounded patch around the pipe on both ends. Inject an epoxy sealant around the pipe on both sides of the wall, and then pack it  at least 1” deep and 4” wide with hydraulic cement. Finish around the pipe with pool plaster mix on the pool side.polaris-thru-the-wall

Over the Deck: For this method, stub the pipe up out of the ground next to the pool deck, and use a 90° fitting just above the height of the pool deck. Using quick connect garden hose fittings, attach a short length of 3/4″ HD garden hose, to run across the deck. On the pool side end of the hose, a garden hose adapter and Polaris G-9 adapter is used to connect the Polaris cleaner.Polaris over-the-deck

WIRE BOOSTER PUMP TO TIMECLOCK

For the Polaris pressure pool cleaner to be fully automatic, one of it’s best features, you wire it to its own timeclock, which is powered by its own 15 or 20 amp breaker. If you have a 100 amp sub-panel (small grey breaker box) at the equipment pad, you probably have enough juice to add a new breaker.

intermatic-timer-for-polarisFrom the booster pump breaker, wires connect to the time clock, and from the timeclock, wires connect to the booster pump. Wires must be encased in conduit with proper connection fittings, and the booster pump must be connected to the bare copper bonding wire. An electrician should perform the work, or at least certify that your work meets local codes. See the Polaris booster pump owner’s manual for specific wiring specs.

The booster pump timeclock should be programmed or set to turn on the pump, only within the time that the filter pump is operating. In other words, the filter pump should always be running, when the cleaner booster pump is running. Most Polaris pool cleaner timers are set to run about 2 hours per day.

SIZE THE POLARIS TO YOUR POOL

Polaris cleaners come with 32′ of hose, which is more than is needed for most pools. To prevent tangling and improve performance, excess hose is cut-off or trimmed.

The first step is to cut the 10′ section of hose that attaches to the pool cleaner, to the depth of your deepest part of the pool. You can measure your pool depth with a Tele-Pole, and then cut off any excess. In other words, cut the clear hose to match the depth of your pool.

With the hose connected to the wall and the cleaner, stretch out the hose to the furthest point of the pool, and mark the point on the hose. Remove equal amounts of excess hose from the second and third 10′ sections to total the amount of extra hose. Slide the hose floats down and reconnect hose swivels, with arrows in direction of water flow.polaris-hose-schematic


It’s a bit of work to install a Polaris pressure pool cleaner where none has existed before, but not impossible! If you want the best performing pool cleaner, you have to work for it, I suppose.

Or call your favorite pool service guy to install your Polaris Pool Cleaner. You’ll save hundreds buying it online, and he’ll be glad for the extra work.

ryan-dornan
Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Cool Nights in a Hot Tub
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spas-and-hot-tubs-at-fair-pricesIntroducing our new line up of Hot new hot tubs by AquaRock ~ and just in time for cool fall evenings, too!

My first piece of advice I have for you is to forget about those “Plug & Play” models, those spas or hot tubs that plug into any 120V outlet. Call an electrician to wire up a 240V, 50 amp breaker, with a safety cut-off switch, and do it all up to code.

Why? Because plug-in spas are hard to keep hot in cold weather, and many models can’t run the heater while you are using the jets. Plug-in type of hot tubs just don’t have enough power (amps) to run all of the spa features, and with only enough power for a 1 kw heater element, they are slow and costly to heat. They also tend to have small filters that make it hard to keep the water clear.

Here’s 4 models that are full size and full featured: with big 4kw heaters, large filter cartridges and powerful jet pumps. In other words, real spas and hot tubs!

Hampton Bay II 28L Spa


hampton-bay-ii-28l-spa$3999

  • Rotomolded Shell with Full Foam insulation
  • 75″x75″x32″ – holds 300 gallons
  • Voltage: 240V/50amp
  • Pump: 4 hp, 2-speed
  • Filter: 50 SF cartridge filter
  • Heater: 4 Kw element
  • Lights: LED, 8 points of light
  • Ozone Purifier included
  • Balboa Digital Controls w/ LCD display

 

Pacific 33L Spa


pacific-33l-spa$4999

  • Rotomolded Shell with Full Foam insulation
  • 84″x84″x34″ – holds 310 gallons
  • Voltage: 240V/50amp
  • Pump: 2 hp, 2-speed
  • Filter: 30 SF cartridge filter
  • Heater: 4 Kw element
  • Lights: LED, 11 points of light
  • Ozone Purifier included
  • Balboa Digital Controls w/ LCD display

 

Coral Coast 28L Spa


coral-coast-spa-28l$5299

  • Acrylic Shell with Full Foam insulation
  • 75″x75″x32″ – holds 300 gallons
  • Voltage: 240V/50amp
  • Pump: 2 hp, 2-speed
  • Filter: 50 SF cartridge filter
  • Heater: 4 Kw element
  • Lights: LED, 11 points of light
  • Ozone Purifier included
  • Balboa Digital Controls w/ LCD display

 

Premier 54L Spa


premiere-54l-hot-tub-spa$6999

  • Acrylic Shell with Full Foam insulation
  • 85″x85″x36″ – holds 400 gallons
  • Voltage: 240V/50amp
  • Pump: 2 hp, 2-speed and 1 hp, 1-speed
  • Filter: 50 SF cartridge filter
  • Heater: 4 Kw element
  • Lights: Color LED, lighted waterfall
  • Ozone Purifier included
  • Balboa Digital Controls w/ LCD display
  • Dual speakers, Blue Tooth Stereo

 

>> Spas and Hot Tubs don’t have to cost $12K, but a real hot tub will cost more than $1500. If you want a full featured spa, with full insulation, powerful pump and heater and a filter that won’t let you down. Take a look at our AquaRock spas by Strong Spas. Real Spas for only $4000 – $7000!

 

davy-davy-davy
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

Cool Swimming Pool Cabanas
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In my previous post, we talked all about adding a pool bar to your backyard paradise, and today we look at pool cabanas, small pavilions for lounging by the pool.

Pool cabanas not only provide shade and comfort, but are used to break up a boring fence line, or hide pool equipment or a less than perfect view beyond. Larger cabana roofs can also be used for mounting solar pool heater panels.

Take a look at these cool pool cabana ideas, and dream up your own ~ cabana boys not included!

Contemporary Pool Cabanas

Minimalism is the calling card of the modernist designer, with clean lines and smooth textures. Add your own touches to bring color and comfort. cool-pool-cabanas-1cool-pool-cabanas-4

Classic Pool Cabanas

For a more formal look, look to the gardens of the Mediterranean, an elegant style using classic lines and arches, blended with ornamental trees and manicured plants. cool-pool-cabanas-9cool-pool-cabanas-11

Southwestern Pool Cabanas

Southwestern design blends Mexican and American styles into a motif to match the house and grounds. Earth tone stone, wood and adobe materials.cool-pool-cabanas-10cool-pool-cabanas-13

4-Post Pool Cabanas

From a simple pergola design with a flat roof and curtains, to coastal and mountain themes, the 4-post pool cabana is quick to build and easy to accessorize!cool-pool-cabanas-3cool-pool-cabanas-6

3-sided Pool Cabanas

For pools in chilly climates, a 3-sided room can offer 3-season use, blocking prevailing winds and rain, and neighbor’s prying eyes. cool-pool-cabanas-2cool-pool-cabanas-5

Pool Cabana Installations

I looked up some pool cabana prices with a friend who builds home additions and the occasional cabana or pavilion. He told me that the average outdoor pool cabana “runs around $15K, but that could swing $10K in either direction, depending on size and materials”.

Oh well, my new backyard pool cabana may have to wait another year before the dream is realized. It’s going to happen though, I have the perfect space for a 3-sided cabana! I’ll post pictures when it’s completed!

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Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Favorite Dogs on Pool Floats
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Dogs have always loved the water, and for some dogs there is nothing better than a comfortable pool float on a hot day.

Disney’s Goofy certainly enjoys the pool, but not all dogs do. If you want to see if you dog likes to float, see my tips at the end.

Here’s a fun look at some water dogs that are enjoying the dog days of summer while floating in the swimming pool.

 

image-credit-toastmeetsworld-via-instagram

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GETTING YOUR DOG IN THE POOL

giphy-dog-jumps-on-pool-float-4When shark dogs attack! Haha, many dogs aren’t comfortable when wet or are intimidated by the size of the pool.

For small dogs, start slow by carrying them into the pool, cradled in your arms. Larger dogs can be led into the steps. Although you can lead a dog to water, you can’t make them swim.

If they are comfortable and not resisting the water, encourage them to swim, and reward their efforts.

Practice swimming to the safety of the pool steps, until they know where all the exits are located.

BEST FLOATS FOR POOL DOGS

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It may seem obvious, but your run of the mill inflatable pool rafts and mattresses could be punctured. Dogs also need enough support to lounge like this one shown here.

Closed foam pool floats are durable, but most dogs prefer the larger pool floats filled with eps foam beads and covered in a sturdy mesh fabric, like the Aqua Cloud pool float.

Larger dogs, or more than one can stretch out on the 5’x6′ Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville NeoSoff Mattress. Neoprene covered PVC bladder is tough and comfy.

 

Get your dog in the pool, but remember to watch dogs closely while in the pool, to lend a hand if needed.

 

ryan-dornan
Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Who Invented Pools? A History of Swimming Pools
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history-of-swimming-pools

There’s over 10 million pools in the United States today, but swimming pools were not always so prevalent. The last 50 years has seen an explosion of growth in backyard pools, once a luxury only available to those with names like Vanderbilt and Getty.

Pakistan 2500 B.C.

The Great Bath is credited as being the first man-made pool, built of stone and brick and coated with Bitumite tar. Discovered in 1926, it was thought to be used for spiritual bathing by the ancient Indus Valley people, who lived in the south of modern-day Pakistan. No lap swimming or water polo.

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The Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro in Sindh, Pakistan

Greece 700 B.C.

Ancient Greece is well known for the love of public baths, and as the Greek Philopsopher Plato stated, “A man is not learned until he can read, write and swim“. And Hippocrates recommended a daily scented bath and oil massage. Bathing is popular, but swimming, or playing pool games? Not so much, not even Marco Polo.

ancient-greek-baths

Ancient Greek baths were especially popular during summer!

Rome 100 A.D.

And public baths were also a way of life in the Roman empire, and they were built in typically grand Roman style. The Caracalla baths in Rome, were fed a constant supply of fresh water from hills over 50 miles away, via a system of aquaducts. And, the first heated pool was installed by Gaius Maecenas during the first century. However, still not too much swimming, although ‘state swimmers’ trained in Roman pools for competition.

Artists Rendering of the Caracalla baths in Rome

Artists Rendering of the Caracalla baths in Rome, imgarcade

The Dark Ages 400 – 1800 A.D.

These were dark times for swimming pool builders, and I’m sure many were forced out of business after the fall of the Roman empire. Exercise eventually grew out of fashion, and bathing also unfortunately became a rare event.

England 1830

The modern era for pools was ushered in by Great Britain, who made great strides in water treatment and management, and due to alarming drowning rates, had 6 public pools built in London by 1837. Popularity in swimming as a sport grew as a result, and in 1869, the Amateur Swimming Association was formed to promote the skill, the sport and the exercise of swimming .

St. George Baths, London

St. George Baths, London

Olympics 1896

The modern Olympic games began in 1896 with competitive swimming as an Olympic event, which has undoubtedly has had a lasting effect on the popularity of the sport. At the 1896 games in Athens, Greece, 20,000 spectators viewed 4 swimming events, held in the open water ocean, because funds could not be raised to build a suitable pool.

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Swimming at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens

Texas 1915

Deep Eddy pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas which began as a popular swimming hole in the Colorado River, became a resort in the 1920s, and is today a popular swimming pool operated by the City of Austin. Deep Eddy is not the very first swimming pool in the US, that claim belongs to others, but I’m from Texas!

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Deep Eddy Pool – image from Austin Historical Center

California 1920

William Randolph Hearst built the spectacular Neptune pool, and filled it with 350,000 gallons of water from the Santa Lucia mountains. Built to grand proportions, it’s one of the first pools to use Gunite for construction. Surrounded by Greek and Roman statues, pavilions and collonades, it features the facade of an ancient Roman temple.

hearst-castle-pool-stan-shebs

Hearst Castle image by Stan Shebs, CC BY-SA 3.0, WikiCommons

Hollywood 1940

As Hearst castle became the playground to Hollywood elite, the pool was featured in many early Hollywood movies. Hollywood blockbusters soon would feature pools as the toys of the rich and famous, and later in the decade, movies by Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller glamorized the ‘cool’ pool lifestyle (and synchronized swimming).

Florida shaped pool at Cypress Gardens, from the historic postcard collection of Russell Hughes.

Esther Williams at Cypress Gardens, Florida, from the collection of Russell Hughes.

Hotels 1960

Give some credit to the American hotels and motels that began installing swimming pools  to lure guests during the 1950’s. By the time I was growing up in the 70’s, nearly all hotels had to have a pool, if they wanted to compete for family and business travelers. That hasn’t changed much, pools are still a popular resort option for hotel guests.

Cabana Bay Resort, Orlando, Fla -

Cabana Bay Resort, Orlando, Fla – a New Hotel completed in 2016

Homes Today

A tip of the hat to all 8 million pool owners in the US – you are the real reason that the swimming pool has evolved from a community bath tub, to a source of backyard entertainment and exercise. Since 1949, companies like Anthony Pools and Doughboy pools have put a pool within reach of millions. Construction methods and technology has made swimming pools affordable and nearly maintenance free, with fun pool floats and shark robots!

modern-pools-with-shark-robots

Cool Pool Conveniences like Shark Robots!

OK, maybe not shark robots, but other cool pool conveniences that make pool ownership easier and more fun. Thanks for reading this history of swimming pools, you are part of it – if you own a pool, count yourself among the leisure elite!

 

davy-davy-davy
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

Winter Pool Cover Reviews
avatar

drpool-cover-lgWelcome students of pool, take your seat and today’s lesson can begin.

Now then, winter pool covers is the subject for discussion and specifically, pool cover reviews. What does America think of InTheSwim pool covers?

I naturally think our covers are great. Having been on hand in the development of our Polar pool covers, I can vouch for their quality of construction, but how do our customers feel about our covers?

Summary of Winter Pool Cover Reviews

Being a scientist, I wanted to look at the review data, make comparisons and draw some conclusions. My hypothesis was that through analysis of hundreds of individual pool cover reviews, an overall community consensus would become apparent.

I was excited to discover which of our 5 swimming pool cover grades would be voted the most-loved pool cover! Surely it would be our best cover, the Polar Protector, or perhaps the mid-grade Polar Plus cover would emerge the winner.

After tabulation of hundreds of pool cover reviews, an average review score or rating was produced for each of our 5 cover grades.

May I have the envelope please?

 

economy-winter-pool-coversEconomy 3.73 Average Review Score

  • 8×6 filament scrim
  • Double stitched borders
  • Navy Blue top, Black bottom

“I did not want an expensive cover because of the size of my pool. Covers are always hard for me to clean so I just throw them away each year. I was also looking for something that is light weight and this fit perfectly.” – Veer

 


 

swimming-pool-cover-reviewsPolar3.90 Average Review Score

  • 8×8 filament scrim
  • Triple dipped coating
  • Navy Blue top, Black bottom

“Covers fits very well. Material appears very durable. The aluminum eyelets in the reinforced edge are spaced around the perimeter in pairs. The cover does appear strong so I am hoping it will last a long time.” – Solosi

 


 

polar-plus-winter-pool-cover-reviews-3-6Polar Plus3.59 Average Review Score

  • 10×10 filament scrim
  • Triple dipped coating
  • Green top, Black bottom

“I purchased a pool cover for a 15’×30′ pool and am happy that the cover comes larger. Other places don’t give you that extra material, and they slip when water collects on top of the cover. Very happy with it.” – Robbielu44

 


 

intheswim-winter-pool-cover-reviewsSuper Polar Plus 3.57 Average Review Score

  • Rip-Stop Intelligent Weave
  • Triple dipped coating
  • Heat Welded seams

“Just installed this cover and it looks good. The real test will be the Vermont snow and the load of leaves that come down. The longest we have had any cover last is about 6 years and most covers last less.” – Patty

 


 

polar-protector-winter-cover-reviewPolar Protector 3.60 Average Review Score

  • 12×12 filament scrim
  • Triple dipped coating
  • Tan color, 5 ft overlap

“Bought this 3 weeks ago. We put the pool away today and this cover is a must. It is lighter than most covers, very strong and durable, and easy to pull across the pool. It made closing the pool a lot easier.” – Happy Camper

 

 

Fun experiment, but it turns out that my hypothesis and assumptions, were incorrect. All five pool cover types have similar customer review scores, with average star ratings of between 3.6 and 3.9 stars, out of 5.0 total.

The reason we have so many pool cover types, is to match so many wallet sizes. We like to say that we have a cover for every budget, but what we really have is 5 different grades of quality pool covers.

Let us know your review of our winter pool covers!

 

Dr. Pool

Dr. Pool