Pool Shock: Shocking for Algae Removal


Welcome back to school, students! Spring is the perfect time to discuss algae and how to remove it by shocking the pool with Calcium Hypochlorite – Ca(OCl)2.

Chlorine is a Great Algaecide, I like to say. Faster kill rates and a more complete reaction than using algaecide or other oxidizers.

Cal Hypo is the perfect chlorine type to use to eradicate algae blooms – powerful and economical.

Our discussion will focus on how much pool shock to use for a complete algae removal treatment, plus other tips on effective pool shocking.

Preparation for Shocking

1. Clean Pool Thoroughly. If your pool has debris or leaves on the bottom or floating on top, this will interfere with the process. Chlorine will attack this organic matter, rather than the algae.

If the pool is too dark green to see the bottom, use a Leaf Rake, or the Leaf Gulper and clean as much of the debris as you can from the pool before shocking the pool.

2. Lower the pH. Cal Hypo (and in fact all chlorine products) have greater efficacy at a lower pH level. Add an acid to adjust the pH to 7.2. Check your Alkalinity first, to make sure that it’s in the range of 80-120 ppm, before adjusting your pH level.

3. Assess the Algae. Determine the level of severity of this algae attack.The dose listed on a bag of shock (1 lb. per 10K gals) is really just for clean and clear water, for algae, you need much more! What is the level of algae in your pool?


LIGHT GREEN: Water is mostly clear, with areas of visible algae.
MEDIUM GREEN: Algae in all areas, visibility low at 18-36 inches deep.
DARK GREEN: Thick algae deposits, visibility limited to 12-18 inches deep.

Shocking for Algae Removal

It’s a generally accepted notion that 30 ppm of chlorine residual will kill all algae. Assuming that your pool is clean, and you have adjusted the pH, you can now add the granular chlorine to the pool.

Most pool shock packages will list directions to add 1 lb. (1 bag) of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. That may be fine for normal conditions, but if you have a severe algae attack, a triple shock is needed. 1 bag will get reach 7-9 ppm, but for 30 ppm, you need 3, 4 or sometimes even 5+ lbs per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

“Shock it until the water turns Blue-ish”, said one of our pool guys on staff here. “That’s what I do”. Not a bad technique – you do want to add shock to the pool until the water loses the green color, and turns a blue-gray color.


Here’s a chart that can be used with our Pool Shock and Super Pool Shock products. The numbers indicate the amount of shock, in pounds. You may need more to see the blue color begin to return to the pool.

8 Tips for More Effective Algae Removal

  1. Put away the algaecide – pool shock destroys or deactivates algaecide.
  2. Lower the pH before shocking, 7.2 – 7.4 is best for shock efficacy.
  3. Dilute pool shock in a bucket of water for vinyl liner pools.
  4. Run the filter 24/7 until water is clear. Backwash only as needed.
  5. Brush the pool vigorously, several times after shocking the pool.
  6. Do not use a solar blanket until chlorine and pH level are normal.
  7. If chlorine level drops to zero within 24 hours, Repeat the shock treatment.
  8. Improve filtration with a pool filter cleaner or filter aid like Jack’s Filter Fiber.

Cleaning Up

After a few days, you can vacuum up the shock dust, or brush it daily and run the pool cleaner if you don’t have a way to manually vacuum the pool.

Brushing is an important step immediately after shocking and for a few days afterwards. Use a good quality pool brush for the best results.

pool brush

Using a pool filter cleaner after a major clean-up is a good idea. Depending on the age, you may also elect to change the filter media, with new filter sand or a filter cartridge replacement. In the case of Yellow Algae, Pink Algae, or White Water Mold, filter media replacement is strongly recommended.

Once you have things under control, you can begin using maintenance doses of a good quality algaecide, maintain a constant chlorine level, and operate the filter for 12 hrs +/- daily.

In Sum, shocking for algae removal requires a good pH, a good brush, and a Triple dose of Cal Hypo pool shock, available in bags and buckets.

"You want to reach 30 ppm, with a suitably low pH, and proper filtration, for a complete algae-cide."

Keep America Blue!



Dr. Pool


DIY Spring Pool Opening

pool's open! time to open the pool, here's howHow do I open my pool? It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. Maybe you just installed a pool last year, or moved to a new home. Or, you may be seeking tips or a refresher on how to open your swimming pool for spring.

It’s time for the great unveiling; the time when you finally find out what has been hiding under your pool cover for the past few months. Will there be damage? Will the water be green? As anxious as many people can be about spring pool openings, it’s really quite simple and easy!

This winter was mild for most parts of the U.S., which means less damage from ice, but maybe greener water, depending on your pool cover. No matter what’s under there, follow these simple pool opening steps, in order, and you’ll have the pool open in no time!

Removing the pool cover

how to remove a mesh pool cover - Intheswim ImageIf you have a safety cover, begin by first clearing debris from the cover using a pool brush and/or a leaf rake skimmer net. Pop off most of the springs to reduce cover tension – this can make cleaning easier.

Use a leaf blower to clean the deck, and release the remaining cover springs from each anchor. Before folding, lower all of the brass anchors into the deck to prevent your cover (and toes) from snagging.

Carefully pull one section at a time up onto a clean area of the pool deck. Fan fold the cover, accordion style, seam to seam. Use a leaf blower or garden hose to clean (if needed), before you make each new fold. When it’s all on deck, fold the cover in half, in half again – then roll up tightly.

Stuff it into the cover bag, like a big pillow into a bigger pillowcase, and set up on a chair to drip dry. Store indoors, if possible, or use moth balls or mint bags to keep nesting rodents away.

solid winter pool cover shownIf you have a water-bag type, solid pool cover (or an aboveground pool cover), use a cover pump to remove any water on top of the cover. As the water is pumping from the cover, clean off any leaves and debris with a pool brush or pool leaf rake. Try to not leave any debris behind if it may fall into the pool as the cover is removed.

For inground pools, remove the water bags one at a time. Be careful not to drag them across the concrete, or drop one end to the ground, or holes will result. Drain them completely and lay them aside for some cleaning, drying and folding (or rolling).

pool cover winch, loosen to remove the cableFor aboveground solid covers, after pumping off all the water and removing debris, gently pull your cover pump from the surface. Loosen the winch & cable system, or cover clips holding the cover in place. With at least 2 people, fold the cover on itself, rolling it up from opposite sides.

When rolled up, take the cover to a large area, such as a sloping driveway, to clean and fold the cover. If space is limited, clean one section at a time. Allowing it to dry before folding will reduce mold & mildew. Store indoors if possible, or inside of a plastic bin or large trash can, or placed up across the garage rafters.

Winter Freeze Plugs

winter-pool-plugs-intheswimSince your pool was winterized at the end of the last swimming season, you had installed winterization plugs into the pool wall returns, cleaner lines and skimmers. Make sure that all winterization plugs are removed from the pool before you start the filter pump.

There are also drain plugs for the pump and filter that were removed in the fall. Now is the time to re-install these plugs again, using Teflon tape or other thread sealant to prevent pump air leaks or filter drips. Drain plug o-rings should get a bit of Teflon-based pool lubricant to help maintain a good seal and protect the o-ring.

You should also use some of this Teflon lube on the pump lid o-ring and on other rubber o-rings on the pool filter or push-pull backwash valve, if you have one.

Starting the system

Starting up the system will be different for every system. First of all, if you have a multiport valve with the option to send the water to “waste,” select that setting. Doing this will prevent dirty winter water to your filter as you are priming the system. Roll out your backwash hose, and pump the wormy water out from the skimmers and drain.

Make sure that all valves, to and from the pool, are open before turning on your pump to begin priming. If you have a separate main drain line, you may have more success starting the system with this valve closed, starting it “off the skimmer”, as they say.

When the pump is running full steam, from the skimmers only, s-l-o-w-l-y open the Main Drain valve, to introduce a little bit of air at a time, until you can open it fully, without losing the “prime” of water.

worm image by pixabayHere come the worms! Yuck ~ some pools have more than others, worms that drop in the pool, and end up in the main drain pot. Shut off the pump and empty the pump basket (birds will love it). Move the multiport valve to the “Filter” position, and open up the air bleeder on your filter.

pressure gauge for poolsStart up the pump again, and keep an eye on the pressure gauge. If it spikes above 30 lbs, shut off the pump immediately and look for the reason – maybe a closed valve on the return line, or plugs left in the pool? If you have a DE filter, add the D.E. powder into the skimmer quickly.

Cleaning the pool

The initial cleaning is very important after opening up your pool for the season. Make sure to first brush the tiles and pool walls, then use a skimmer net or leaf rake to clear off the surface, and finally use a vacuum head and hose attached to your pool pole to clean the bottom of the pool. Depending on the amount of debris and leaves on the bottom of the pool, you may need to use a Leaf Canister or a Leaf Gulper so that you’re not overloading your hair/lint strainer.

If you have an automatic pool cleaner, brush the pool well, but wait for high chlorine levels to subside before putting it in to clean the pool for you.

Chemical balance

The proper chemical balance of a swimming pool starts with a high quality pool test kit. A good test kit will test for: chlorine, pH, calcium hardness, alkalinity, and cyanuric acid. Accurate testing is important for accurate treatments. Be sure to replace your test reagents annually, and store them in a cool and dark location.

Depending on your chemical levels and volume of water, calculate how much pool shock, calcium hardness increaser, pH Up or pH Down, and Alkalinity Increaser you need to add to the pool.

To make this simpler, take a look at our Spring Start-Up kits. These all-inclusive kits are sold by pool volume (gallons) and contain chemicals to get your pool up and going each spring. After adjustment, re-test to make sure the water is balanced. Test once more within a day or two to be sure the chemistry of the water is still balanced.

If you had followed a winterizing procedure (and/or used a winterizing kit) when you were closing the pool at the end of the previous swimming season, your chemical balance should not be very far from where you need it to be. All you will need to do is use a quality algaecide and clarifier, -or- extra pool shock to kill the algae. Treat until the water turns a grayish-blue color, and then filter, filter, filter!

Fixing leaks

fix-a-leakAs you have been running the pool system throughout the steps of opening of the pool, you should be able to tell if there are any leaks in any of your plumbing. If you spot any leaking water, shut off the system and locate the crack or loose plumbing. Patching up small cracks or leaks in plumbing with a pool leak sealer or pool putty is acceptable, however if the cracks or problem areas are larger – replace the damaged section of pipe or fittings.

Skimmers are common areas for leaking, on inground pools especially. As you are inspecting the skimmer weirs, take a look around the area where the plastic skimmer meets the pool wall. Cracking of the plaster mix around a concrete skimmer, or rusty spots around a vinyl liner may indicate a leak. If you spot debris stuck in theses areas, this is another clue of a leaking pool skimmer. Use epoxy putty or pool plaster mix to fix up a concrete skimmer, and for vinyl skimmers use a vinyl patch kit or replace the skimmer faceplate gaskets to fix the leak.

As you are checking for leaks in the plumbing, also remember to check for gas leaks for a pool heater. If you smell gas, turn off your system immediately. After allowing enough time for any gas to clear the area, use a mixture of dish soap and water to spray the gas line coming into the heater, and the tube that leads to the pilot light.

The sum of all things

Understanding how to handle a successful spring pool opening is the key to setting yourself up for a great swimming season. As long as you maintain regular water testing, and a cleaning schedule you can worry less about major water treatments or repairs.

Happy spring pool opening!


martin knows how to open a pool
Martin Ratchev
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

Swimming Pools Shaped like US States

Hello my friends, summer is almost upon us, and in the spirit of fun, frivolity and friday, how about a post about swimming pools shaped like U.S. states?

Maybe you’ve seen our Valentine’s Day post about heart shaped pools, but today we explore pools that take statehood pride to whole ‘nuther level!

Many of these are at travel hotels, or Governor’s mansions, and of course, most of them are located in Texas, (my) home to the most state shaped swimming pools!

Our first state shaped pool isn’t a pool at all, actually it’s a shallow fountain in the state of Alabama at the Centennial Memorial Park in Anniston, AL.


Another Alabama shaped pool, this one at the Governor’s Mansion in the capital city of Montgomery.


Of course, a pool shaped like California, except it isn’t anymore. Inset is what the San Diego Hyatt pool looked like once, before being replaced with a lagoon pool complex.

Florida, the hottest state and the one with the more pools per capita than any other state. The Florida shaped pool at Cypress Gardens was made famous in Esther Williams movies.

Minnesota is full of proud Minnesotans, who will tell you about the pool at the Best Western in Fergus Falls, shaped just like the North Star state.

And over in Michigan, in the middle of the state, in the small town of Gladwin, you can find a pool in the shape of Michigan, at the Rivertown Inn.

In Nebraska, at the popular town of North Platte, you can swim in a pool shaped like Nebraska at the Holiday RV Park & Campground.

At the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City, you can find this pool in the shape of the Okie state, with the panhandle being an attached spa (with solar cover).

Texas is home to more state shaped pools than any other state, here’s a few of the more well known, including the famous “Texas Pool” in Plano.


Another well known Texas shaped pool is new – in downtown Houston, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, this lazy river style pool is the toast of the town!


Did I miss one? Surprised that Arizona did not make the list! If you know of a pool that should be on our list of pools shaped like US states – Leave a Reply below!


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Solar Covers – Does Color Matter?

Dr-PoolWelcome back students of pool! Today we ponder the question, does the color of a solar blanket affect performance?

Light energy, in the form of visible light, infra-red light and ultra-violet light, bombards your swimming pool during sunny summer days.

As light penetrates the water, heat energy is released into the water, which raises the water temperature. This is why the surface water is warmer than deeper water, and also why free chlorine levels are lower near the surface of the pool.

How a Solar Cover Works

A solar cover, placed bubble-side down, provides a dual purpose. First, the solar cover will absorb the heat energy into the plastic, and heat-up the air-filled bubbles. The solar energy is then transferred to the water, by the simple act of conduction, in the same way that a cup of coffee will warm your hands.

The second purpose of a solar cover is to prevent evaporative heat loss. An uncovered pool loses surface heat at a rapid rate, especially with a steady breeze and during cool nights. For many pools, stopping radiant heat loss is the major benefit of using a solar cover.

Recent research has shown solar pool covers to be over 95% effective in stopping heat loss and water evaporation. And although they will also warm your pool, your pool will absorb solar energy without a solar blanket, but just can’t hold on to the warmth without snuggling with a solar blanket!

Another less often touted benefit to a solar cover is that solar covers can reduce chemical degradation from UV radiation, making a smaller chlorine dose last longer. It does this by absorbing UV radiation and shielding the pool water, and also by reducing off-gassing of chlorine at the surface.

Solar Cover Color – Does it Make a Difference?

Yes it does, but in ways that may be unexpected. There are many colors of solar blankets now available, in light blue, dark blue, silver/grey colors, and translucent clear blankets.

solar blanket clear with silver bottomClear solar covers will allow more light energy, across the spectrum, to penetrate the water. Because of the easier passage through the plastic, clear solar covers may absorb less heat, although the heat gain provided by the blanket can be more than colored solar covers.

However, clear solar covers also transfer most of the UV light directly into the water, which can degrade chlorine levels near the water surface, and raise your overall chemical cost. And, some people remark that a clear cover is not as attractive as the blue.

solar blanket clear light blue colorLight Blue solar covers do a better job at trapping heat in the pool, reflecting the heat back into the pool that can radiate out of a clear solar cover more rapidly. Blue Covers also will help conserve chemicals as they can block UV rays more effectively.

However, blue solar covers also block some of the heat, and according the the US Dept of Energy, opaque colored solar covers can block nearly twice of the pool warming light energy, as compared to transparent covers.

solar blanket dark blue with black bottomDark Blue solar covers do the best job at keeping the heat in a pool, and although heat absorption and convection is higher with a darker colored solar blanket, the net heat gain during the day is less than with clear blankets.

Thus, a clear solar cover would be the best cover to use for heat gain, and a dark blue solar cover would be the best cover for heat retention. And the light blue solar covers appear to be a happy medium between heat absorption and retention. It’s also the most popular color.

If you only use the blanket at night, go with a darker cover and if you only use it during the day, go with a transparent color, or for the best of both worlds, go with standard light blue – the original. 🙂

Solar Cover Thickness – Does it Matter?

Solar pool covers can be found in 8 mil, 12 mil or 16 mil. In terms of performance, a thinner blanket will allow more heat to pass through to the water, but a thicker blanket will absorb more heat. Thicker blankets are also more durable against UV rays and chemical levels, and punctures or tearing.

However, 16 mil solar blankets are heavier to move on and off the pool, and long blankets can make even stout solar reels sag in the middle, or roll-up too thickly to fit beneath the diving board. Most people purchase the 12 mil cover thickness, it’s the most popular.

How long do Solar Covers Last?

The largest killers of solar blankets include: high chlorine levels, low pH levels, and leaving the solar cover laying folded or rolled, in direct sun.

If you have read the reviews of solar cover owners complaining about the bubbles falling apart “into a million tiny pieces”, I can guarantee you that one or more of the above situations happened, and probably many times.

Never place the cover on the pool after shocking the pool, or when the chlorine level is above 2.5 ppm. High chlorine level or low pH levels slowly eat away at a solar cover, making it brittle.

When folded on-deck or rolled upon a solar reel, the air bubbles act as prisms to focus the UV rays, which deteriorates the plastic bubbles very rapidly. Be sure to cover your solar blanket when off the pool, or place it safely in the shade.

When protected from sun when off the pool, and not used when chlorine levels are high – a solar blanket can last 5-7 years.

However, and ironically, strong solar rays can destroy a solar cover. If your pool gets 8 hours of direct daily sun, in the hotter parts of the country – you may only get 2-4 years of use, even with good care.


Dr. Pool


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Favorite National Pool Opening Day!

National Pool Opening Day! YAY!National Pool Opening Day is near! An annual holiday on the last Saturday in April, and this year it’s April 27! Pool covers come off all across America on this day, as swimming pools emerge from hibernation. Let the 2019 pool season begin!

Not everyone opens their pool on the last Saturday in April, of course. Many northern pools stay buttoned up for a few more weeks, but this weekend is the perfect time to start the ball rolling by ordering your start-up pool chemicals, supplies or equipment now for the summer season!

To help you start the season early, we’ve got National Pool Opening Day specials and free shipping, all week up to April 27, on the pool opening supplies you need the most!

Until then, see our Pre-Season Sale and our Spotlight Savings pages. Just don’t wait until May, and miss out on these great early bird savings!

Now, because this blog is all about pool information, here’s some tips to help you open the pool on April 27 – or at least to help you get prepared for your pool opening day!

Take a Pool Chemical Inventory

Test kits - from In The Swim image from istkYou may not need all of these or may need other pool chemicals that aren’t listed below – every pool is different in what is needed for a pool opening. Check your stock of pool opening chemicals and season chemicals needed. See our Start-Up Kit specials and Chemical Value Packs or buy just what you need to get started. Take an inventory of your:

  • Chlorine tablets and chlorine shock >>>
  • pH increaser and decreaser >>>
  • Alkalinity and calcium increaser >>>
  • Cyanuric Acid or stabilizer >>>
  • DE Powder or Dica Perl >>>
  • Algaecides, Clarifiers, Enzymes >>>
  • Test kit reagents or test strips >>>
  • Metal control or Stain removers >>>

Inspect your Pool Equipment

pool filter clipart image from istockphotoAh, the big reveal – what will the pool look like underneath the winter cover? On National Pool Opening Day, take the time to closely inspect the pool, deck, equipment, tools and supplies – to be sure you have everything you need to open the pool successfully. And if you run into any trouble, let us know how we can help you!

  • Inspect pool cover for holes or winter damage >>>
  • Install filter system drain plugs and pressure gauge >>>
  • Test pump motor briefly for a few seconds >>>
  • Check pool lights briefly for a few seconds >>>
  • Lube pump lid and filter o-rings with Teflon lubricant >>>
  • Inspect pool cleaning tools; pole, brush, nets, vac >>>
  • Inspect filter, pump, heater, chlorinator for damage >>>
  • Inspect pool cleaner for worn and torn parts >>>
  • Inspect skimmer baskets, lids and weirs >>>

Pool Safety Audit

pool ring buoy clip art image from istockphotoIt’s easy to become complacent about pool safety in your quiet little backyard pool, but staying vigilant could prevent tragedy. Spring pool opening time is the perfect time to reassess your Layers of Protection around the pool, and take steps to protect family and friends.

  • Inspect fence slats for gaps greater than 4″, or gaps below fence.
  • Remove anything near the fence that could be used to climb fence.
  • Check that pool fence gates are self-closing and self-latching >>>
  • Keep pool chemicals closed, clean, dry, and out of reach of children.
  • Inspect pool pump wiring and other equipment pad electrical.
  • Push the TEST button on your GFCI outlet and circuit breakers.
  • Check that main drain and suction covers are securely attached.
  • Plan a Pool Safety meeting for all, and lay down the law!

Happy National Pool Opening Day!


We wish you an uneventful pool opening this Saturday, with blue water and nothing leaking, creaking or squeaking!

One of the best benefits of opening the pool at the end of April – is that you have more time to get things right, just in case things go wrong.

Pool opening questions? Please know that you can email me Dr. Pool, especially with your vexing chemical and water balance questions! You can also call our helpline any time at 800-288-7946 and speak to someone about your pool.

Or leave a reply below and David Merino, my esteemed colleague will answer your blog comments on any pool opening problems you may have.

Finally, don’t forget to save! Celebrate National Pool Opening Day this year with some of our lowest pricing of the season, plus Free Shipping and Handling! But you’ve got to time it right ~

Tell your friends ~ Share below! #PoolOpeningDay


Dr. Pool

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Poolside Wedding Ideas

Image by Inside Weddings

Image by Inside Weddings “7 Dreamy Poolside Weddings…”

Poolside weddings and/or receptions have become very popular in recent years. It can make a great wedding more affordable, and is a very special place for the bride or groom, as they usually grew up in the backyard. Poolside weddings also create great memories for the parent pool owners.

And of course, many weddings or receptions around a swimming pool are also held at destination resorts or spectacular homes rented for the special occasion. Pinterest is full of great ideas for pulling off a memorable wedding and/or reception surrounding a pool.

Here’s a collection of pins from our pinterest page: Poolside Wedding Ideas.


The first thing to decide is what to float on the pool surface. Floating flower arrangements are the most common, or simply just flower petals. Flowers will present better if floated on the water, using pool noodles or florist foam.

Candles are also popular, but be sure they are steady so they won’t tip over, and tied off with fishing line, so they don’t float away, but stay in position. Monograms are also popular – A+B type of thing, using the first letter of the bride and groom’s names.

Images via Weddingomania “36 Inspiring And Fresh Poolside Wedding Ideas“.


If you are planning to feed your guests the traditional wedding feast, dining al fresco can be a wonderful experience for your guests. Be sure that you have enough room so that guests and waiters don’t have to step-off into the grass, and chairs will stay safely supported.

Images via Wedding Forward "33 Decor Ideas for your Backyard Wedding"

Images via WeddingForward “33 Decor Ideas for your Backyard Wedding


After the meal, after the dancing, have some areas for the guests to mingle and relax. Poolside seating, cabanas and day beds can be rented for the day and into the night. Wedding bouncy castles are the newest thing for outdoor weddings!

Images via Martha Stewart Weddings "30 Fun Ideas for a Poolside Wedding"

Images via Martha Stewart Weddings “30 Fun Ideas for a Poolside Wedding


Lights, cameras, action! What else can you add to make your poolside wedding memorable? Lighting for one – be sure to have cool and comfortable lighting if your event goes into night time hours. Balloons and floating orbs are popular pool decorations. How about a runway or a dance floor built right over the pool? Anything is possible – it’s your day!

Images via HappyWedd "33 Cool Poolside Wedding Ideas"

Images via HappyWedd “33 Cool Poolside Wedding Ideas

Poolside weddings show no signs of slowing down. If you have a backyard venue for your wedding, there are dozens of poolside wedding ideas awaiting.

Just another great example of how swimming pools are truly part of the fabric of our lives. See more on our pinterest page: Pool Wedding Reception Ideas.


Davy Merino
In The Swim Blog Editor

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Choosing the Perfect Pool Chaise

well equipped pool shown with outdoor dining set, chaise lounges and other seating areas

There’s no better way to spruce up the backyard patio or pool deck areas than with new pool furniture, and a cool pool lifestyle demands comfortable conversation sets.

Step-up your pool entertainment game, and hone your pool relaxation skills with some of our newest offerings from major outdoor furniture manufacturers.

Today’s post is a buyer’s guide, to introduce you to what’s happening in the world of outdoor furniture. New style chaises and chairs and complete sets of what I like to call “outdoor living room furniture”, for the most comfortable conversations and fun times.

Wicker Pool Furniture

Most wicker pool furniture being sold today is not really wicker, which is a natural reed that is woven by hand. Real wicker work is quite expensive, and it can suffer from weathering, fading and breakage.

Crosley 4pc wicker pool patio set shownToday’s Wicker furniture is an extruded form of plastic, woven to look like natural wicker. High quality Wicker pool furniture like our new line from Crosley, including comfy conversation sets, chaise lounges, deck chairs and storage bins.

Wicker Chaise Lounges look great, are cool to the touch, and are weather resistant.

We’ve gone all-in with wicker pool furniture this year, new processes have made it less expensive to produce very high end outdoor furniture sets, that don’t cost thousands of dollars. And it’s actually woven, not just stamped plastic panels with a weave pattern, like you may see.

Crosley wicker furniture is solid and sturdy, will not ‘wick’ moisture, but dries quickly. Colorfast finish will fade only slightly after many summer seasons in the sun.

Aluminum Pool Furniture

To be honest, I don’t think there has been much technological improvement to aluminum pool furniture with vinyl straps. You can now choose from 12 colors for straps and the frame, and we have a strap repair kit, but the classic style is still produced relatively unchanged.

Aluminum Pool Furniture with Vinyl Straps, Classic & Timeless.

A time-honored design that has been around 50-years, vinyl strap chairs and chaises have graced America’s pools for decades. Popular due to light weight, low maintenance, low cost, fast drying characteristics, vinyl strap pool furniture is also easily stackable for off-season storage.

In The Swim has a huge stock of quality aluminum pool furniture from Windward and Tropitone – available as classic Strap Furniture, or as Sling Furniture, with a durable mesh fabric stretched over the frame.

As with vinyl strap chairs and chaises, you can choose your frame color and seating surface color, for a near endless variety of color combinations.

Resin Pool Furniture

Resin pool furniture is also not new, Grosfillex company, headquartered in Pennsylvania, are celebrating their 50th anniversary. In The Swim is proud to offer the most popular lines of Grosfillex pool furniture, made with Air Molding Technology; smooth flowing lines offer superior comfort and style. The look of cast metal without the weight or fear of rust.

Resin pool furniture, affordable and durable. Classic White shown.

Resin pool furniture can be so affordable, allowing you to buy larger numbers of easily stackable resin chairs, tables and chaises, to have ready for special events and occasions. Resin chairs are easy to clean, cool to the touch, and contoured for comfort.

Marina-Sling-Lounge shown in tan/brownIn The Swim has a large selection of resin outdoor furniture – tables, chairs and lounges. Choose from our Economy Resin Furniture, Contract-Grade Resin Furniture or our Commercial-Grade Resin Furniture with sling fabric surface.

We try to have a good, better, best offering in each furniture sub-category. Something for every wallet!

Take a look at our huge selection of affordable outdoor pool and patio furniture – and give your backyard an upgrade this summer!


Davy Merino
In The Swim Blog Editor


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Favorite Biophins: Natural Pool Filter & Sanitizer

BIOPHINS-IN-POOLSHave you ever wondered what it would be like to own a pool and not have to do any of the work?

Introducing Biophins®, a revolutionary new swimming pool treatment system to keep your pool clean and clear, without filtration or sanitation!

Like Sea-Monkeys™, they grow as pets – Biophins also clean the pool!

Biophins – Natural In-Pool Filter & Sanitizer

As some of you may already know, Biophins® are aquatic creatures that live off the scum, dirt and germs in water. Much like a sponge, Biophins absorb the water around them and create a clean, germ free water by ingesting bacteria, algae, dirt, oil, metals.

After many scientific studies, these harmless creatures, first discovered in remote ponds in Greece, have been found to clean pools better than any chemical or filter on the market today.

biophin-pool-purifier - image purch'd from istockphotoAbout the size and thickness of a piece of a piece of paper, these friendly creatures swim in the pool slowly, passing water through their porous membrane, filtering and purifying your pool water – naturally!

Biophins® are an eco-friendly solution for any pool or spa; and it removes the need to use mechanical pool filters and chlorine to keep pool water clean.

biophin-floating-pool-filters - image purch'd from istockphotoNot only do they filter the water as they slowly swim and dive, but they also oxygenate the water, while removing carbon dioxide, which starves algae and bacteria of a vital food source.

I know what you are thinking; are they safe to swim with? A study from Harvard University put this question to the test. What they found is that Biophins are no different than swimming with a harmless fish in the ocean. In fact, with proper training, they can even be trained to do flips and dips which makes a great source of entertainment for the children and adults alike!

Their skin is also very sponge-like making them safe to touch, and they don’t bite! If you don’t want to swim with your Biophin friends, remove them with a skim net and place them in a kiddie pool or large bucket. They’re easy to catch, and are at home in any body of water!

  • Destroys Algae, Bacteria and Pathogensbiophin-creature-in-a-pool
  • Filter your water to 5 microns
  • Consumes oils, minerals and metals
  • All Natural solution for clean & clean water

Biophin Pool Water Treatment FAQ

Q: Do I still need to run the filter?
A: The water does need to circulate, but a filter may not be necessary.

Q: What about chlorine or water balance?
A: Chlorine is not recommended, but you still need to test pH, alkalinity and hardness levels, to protect pool surfaces.

Q: How many Biophins are needed for my pool?
A: We recommend 2 (1 pair) for pools up to 16×32 or 20,000 gallons.

Q: Do I still need to clean the pool?
A: Yes, Biophins can’t eat leaves and sticks, you’ll need to remove.

Q: What happens to the Biophins during Winter?
A: They die unfortunately; simply add a new pair each spring.

Q: Pair? Do they reproduce?
A: Usually, when conditions are right, offspring can arrive in weeks!

Biophins are an exciting new discovery that will revolutionize the pool industry. They are even working with the genetics of the animals to develop ones that can heat your pool! They make great pets and even better house guests, allowing you to enjoy your pool without all the work.

Want more information about Biophins® and their amazing ability to replace existing filters and sanitizers? Unfortunately, Biophins are extremely rare, and fall under the category of “Too Good to Be True!” because it’s April 1st – Gotcha!

Happy April Fool’s day!


Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


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The New Science of Swimming

Welcome back, students of swimming. Our first topic this semester is some new science behind the benefits of swimming.

I have lectured before on joint pain and swimming; how the water adds resistance yet also cushions the body, for a low impact, yet impactful, water workout.

We also learned that swimming burns more calories than nearly any other activity, and can be the most efficient way of toning muscles and shaping the physique.

Yes, swimming is great exercise and good for the body. The cardiovascular and respiratory benefits of swimming are well established, but did you also know that swimming is good for the mind?

A Pool Prescription

Recent reports by health and wellness researchers brings to light the many mental health benefits that come from regular water exercise. And many doctors are now prescribing swimming as a form of aquatic therapy – but not just for lower back pain, arthritis or for heart health, but also as mental health therapy.

Guidelines published in the UK for Chief Medical Officers, advise that adults aged 19–64 years should aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Increase your heart rate for periods of about 10 minutes, done about 15 times per week, is an average exercise prescription.

You may recall our study of the correlation between depression and swimming, and how swimming stimulates brain chemicals that promote nerve cell growth. You can actually replace those lost brain cells by regular swimming!

From the article The Real, Scientific Benefits of Swimming, Heather Ansell points out that chronic stress can lead to brain cell loss, but that brain cells can be regenerated through swimming and other forms of water exercise!

According to a 2014 study in Australia, Dr. Howard Carter and team found that simply being immersed in water sends more blood flow to the brain. Essentially, the pressure of the water pushes more blood up into your head. The increased blood and oxygen improves cognitive function, mood and clarity of thought.

Swimming makes you smarter and happier, by growing your brain. Swimming increases the blood flow to the hippocampus region of the brain, which regenerates the brain cells lost each day. Researchers also see promising results in swimming as prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Swimming Elevates the Mood

Swimming and water exercise makes you feel good, producing a ‘swimmer’s high’ afterwards that also helps with getting a good night of sleep.

Exercise affects serotonin levels in the blood. Serotonin produces ANP, a stress-reducing hormone that controls a brain’s response to anxiety and stress. With regular swimming or other forms of vigorous pool exercise, you can feel calmer, happier and serene.

Just floating around in the pool is not enough, you need to break-a-sweat, be out-of-breath and feel your heart pumping a little bit. And if your muscles are somewhat sore afterward, that’s a sign of a good workout! Remember that I’m not a medical doctor, consult yours for a personal pool exercise plan.

Swimming produces feelings of calm and well-being, for hours after water exercise. It may not come at first, and won’t come at all unless you exert enough energy to increase your heart rate and oxygen uptake for several minutes at a time. But the feeling of ‘well-being’ or ‘swimmer’s high’ is real, as measured by scientists!

Meditative Swimming

Swimming requires deep-breathing in a repetitive pattern, combined with a repetitive sequence of muscle stretching and relaxing.

With goggles and a swim cap, the insular nature of the water tends to block or muffle a lot of external stimuli, and allows you to focus on breathing. Swimmers often count each breath, stroke or lap repetitively, which further allows one to enter a blank, meditative state.

Swimming combines elements of other mind-body methods of relaxation, such as yoga, tai chi and even jogging or biking. Such exercises that involve rhythmic movement and coordinated breathing produces the largest oxygen uptake and blood flow – to the muscles and the brain.

Dr. Pool, ready for a swim!Burning up to 800 calories per hour, you can escape the noise and slip away into ‘the zone’. When you are in ‘the zone’ of a 20-minute swim for example, you will be surprised how time will fall away, and your mind will become calm, yet focused – at the same time.

Swimming is really good for you! In addition to using your own pool more for vigorous water workouts, I urge you to consider a winter membership at your local public pool, so you can be like me, a year ’round swimmer!


Get your swim on, America!


Dr. Cornelius Pool

Dr. Pool


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Pollen Problems: Remove Pollen from Pools

pollen problems in pools - image by istockphotoSpring time is a time of renewal and growth, and also a time for love – tree love that is. Tree pollen allows trees to produce seeds, from which they can produce offspring, or baby trees.

So we put up with it – a week or two of yellow dust covering our cars, and allergy sufferers retreating indoors with tissues and a box of Claritin. Let the trees have their fun.

But when pollen starts to make a mess of swimming pools – that’s when we step forward, and provide pool owners with good information about removing pollen from pools. 🙂

Is Pollen in Your Pool?

It may be a smart deduction that during spring, a yellow layer on the surface, or all-over yellowish color to the pool water, may be pollen. But sometimes, it could be a form of yellow algae.

Pollen can be identified as such:

  1. Pollen tends to stick to the pool tile at the waterline
  2. Pollen will also stick to the inside of your skimmer
  3. Pollen on the surface is easily wind blown into a corner
Pollen on Pool Tile, image courtesy of Brian Maffitt, via youtube

Pollen on Pool Tile, image courtesy of Brian Maffitt

  • However, pollen will eventually dissolve and pollen will sink to the floor, or can discolor the pool water, making it appear to be yellow algae.
  • Algae will not (usually) float or stick to the tile, but will stick to underwater surfaces, often on the shady side of the pool.
  • And if on the floor, algae will not ‘dust-up’ when hit with a brush, like pollen will, but requires firm brushing to remove.

Removing Pollen from Your Pool

Eventually the pollen will filter out on its own, but if you want to speed the process along, there are ways to remove pollen from a pool very quickly.

7-ways to Remove Pollen from Pools

  1. Natural Chemistry First Aid; a blend of clarifiers and enzymes
  2. The Slime Bag; heavy fabric filter bag attaches to pool wall return
  3. The Skim Bag; heavy fabric filter bag drops into skimmer basket
  4. Filter Savers; fine mesh socks stretch over skimmer or pump baskets
  5. Jack’s Magic Fiber Filter Stuff as a filter aid to improve performance
  • pollen grain closeupAnother way to combat pool pollen is to shock the pool with a granular oxidizer, either with a basic Pool Shock, or you can also use our Non-chlorine Shock.
  • Running your pool pump a little overtime during pollen season, and keeping your pool and pool filter a little extra clean, also helps to remove the pollen from a pool faster.

Thanks for reading this short post about pollen problems in pools. If you have any specific questions about your pool, leave a reply below for a quick reply!


Davy Merino
In The Swim Blog Editor


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