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Tips for Lower Hot Tub Energy Costs This Winter

“Ka-Ching!”

You love your hot tub, but those power bills? Not so much. It takes a lot of energy to keep the water in your hot tub at the right temperature. And when the weather turns colder, it costs even more.

But don’t worry! It’s not a lost cause. There are some things you can do to wrestle that power bill to the ground and still get the enjoyment you’re used to from your spa.  

Turn it down

Are you really going to notice a difference between 103 degree and 100 degree water? Probably not. But the heater on your hot tub will – and so will your power bill! It’s no different than managing the temperature in your house, where a couple of degrees can make a big difference when the bill comes due.  A smaller monster to wrestle, if you will.

Cover it up

Invest in a quality hot tub cover that fits your spa properly – it shouldn’t be too big or too small. And be sure to choose a cover that’s made for where you live. Here in Connecticut, for example, you want a cover designed to hold up to cold winters. Consider upgraded covers with fully insulated hinges and energy reflective undersides, too.

Stuff it full

There’s room in the cabinet for more insulation. Fill garbage bags with insulation and gently stuff them into the empty spaces. It’s like a coat for your hot tub, keeping the cold air just a little further away from the warm water inside.

Turn it off (the air, that is)

When you get out of your hot tub, turn off the air controls. The air they draw in is cold, and that just makes your heater work more.

Break it (the wind, that is)

If your hot tub is outside and exposed, you’d be shocked to learn how much heat you’re losing to the wind. Erect a simple windbreak and your energy bills will likely drop significantly. Plus, you’ll gain some privacy for your hot tub. Win-win.

Try these tips and instead of “Ouch!” your wallet will say “Ahhh!” this winter.

Looking for a hot tub? Today’s models combine comfort, technology and energy efficiency. Implement these tips for lower hot tub energy costs after installation and you’ll be one happy hot tub owner.

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Hot Tub Yoga is Your New Happy Place

Namaste.

There’s nothing quite like yoga class for helping you find your zen. Pack your gym bag, drive to the gym, change in the locker room, try to nail your poses in a room full of other people who all seem better at it than you.

Maybe not so zen-like after all.

But that’s OK. There’s a new trend you might really like, that combines two of your favorite things – yoga, and your hot tub!

Many yoga poses (OK,not the downward facing dog) can be easily done in your hot tub, and not only will you get the benefits of yoga – you’ll get the benefits of the warm, soothing water of your hot tub, too.

The warmth from the water helps relax your muscles, and the natural buoyancy eases the strain on your joints. Plus, you get to skip the yoga pants, the drive to the gym and the audience – and as soon as your workout is done, you can slip right into your favorite seat for a soothing hydrotherapy massage!

Interested? Try these hot tub yoga poses to get started:

The Half-Boat
Take a seat, keeping your legs half-bent and lift them so they’re parallel to your hips. Hold the pose, and then slowly lower your legs to the starting position.

The Breakwater
Stand up straight, and simply twist from side to side.

The Diver’s Pose
Similar to the half-boat. Extend your feet out, and touch your toes with your fingers. Hold the position, then relax.

The Tree
Stand with your feet together. Place your right foot on your inner left upper thigh. Place your hands in a prayer position. Hold the pose, the switch sides.  

Experiment with other yoga poses that you’re comfortable with, and that the space in your hot tub will allow. And, as always, talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program. If you’re interested in hot tub yoga but you don’t yet have a spa of your own, come see us. We can help you choose a Dream Maker, Marquis, or Celebrity spa that will fit your needs.

All together now: “Ommmmmm …”

Marquis Spas

Top Hot Tub Problems (Plus Solutions)

Hot tubs are all fun and games until something goes wrong. Fortunately easy routine maintenance will prevent most hot tub problems. However, if a problem does occur you can find solutions for the most common hot tub problems right here.

Chemical Imbalances

One of the most common problems with hot tub maintenance is improper water chemistry. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest problems to fix. Every time you use your hot tub, you will want to do a visual check of the water to make sure it is not cloudy and that there is no algae or mold growing. If you notice these things, they can easily be taken care of by adding sanitizer or draining the water, cleaning the tub and refilling it with fresh water. It is recommended that you test your water often using test strips to ensure proper balance. Being proactive with water maintenance will prevent damage to your hot tub cover and filters.

Filter Problems

A clogged filter is another common hot tub problem. When too much dirt and grime accumulates, your filter won’t work properly. This can lead to dirty water and water maintenance issues. Depending on the cause of your filter clog, you will either need to clean the filter with water or with a degreasing agent that will cut through the body oils that tend to accumulate in the filters. If a proper cleaning won’t clear the clog, a new filter may be needed to get your filtration system back up and running.

Tripped Breakers

Sometimes when your hot tub is not working it could be something as simple as a tripped breaker. Hot tubs come equipped with GFCI or RCD breakers that shut things down if they sense any electrical currents flowing in an unsafe path. These are typically set pretty sensitive to safe guard against electrocution. If your hot tub isn’t running, this should be one of the first things you check, as the fix couldn’t be easier. You simply need to reset the breaker.

Heater Failure

It is never good when you go for a soak in your hot tub only to find that the water isn’t hot! This could be the results of heater failure. There are several causes for heater failure. Some of these things are easy to check for and fix others are not as easy. First you should check all of the switches and breakers that could be tripped. The low flow pressure switch, the high limit switch, the GFCI , and the door interlock should all be checked to ensure that they are not tripped. You should also check to make sure there aren’t any loose wires. All connections should be tight and not have any oxidization. Any of those things could be causing your heater not to work. Other things that are not as easy to fix, include a faulty thermostat or heating element. These items are not as easy to fix and you may want to consult a professional if your heating problems are not fixed by checking wires and switches. Heater failure can usually be avoided by making sure that you keep the water PH at a proper level. Low PH for an extended period of time can cause damage to the heating element.

Leaking Seals

Leaking seals is a common problem. O rings and pump seals don’t last forever and unfixed leaks can lead to nasty build-up and could eventually cause shorts. Periodically check the seals and replace any that are found to be leaking, as soon as possible. This is a quick maintenance procedure that can save you a lot of headache later.

Pump Malfunctions

If you find that your pump has water seeping from it or is making unusual noises, these are signs of pump malfunction. You could have broken seals which lead to leaking water. A grinding noise might indicate a jammed impeller. A whining noise could be a sign of worn out bearings. For many of these things, you can buy replacement parts to fix the pump. Seals and O rings are easy enough to replace on your own. Anything that deals with electrical components should be handled by a professional. Keeping up with routine maintenance is key to preventing pump malfunction.

Weak Jets

Weak jets are another common problem. They can be caused by a number of things. Dirty filters, low water levels, pump problems, air in your lines, or poor jet seals can all be the culprit of weak jets. Fortunately all of these things are fairly easy to fix. If you find yourself with weak jets simply check each of the items above and make the proper correction.

The common factor in all of these problems is that they can be prevented by properly checking and maintaining your hot tub. Quick visual checks of water, wires, jets, and connections will alert you to any potential problems early and can save you lots of time and money in the future.

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Winter Pool Closing Tips

Here come the snow storms! Okay, maybe not next week (fingers crossed) but winter will be here before you know it and your pool can suffer damage if you’re not prepared. Winterizing your pool can be a chore (thankfully you only have to do it once a year), but it’s worth it to avoid the expense of pool repairs next year before you can use it again.

Before You Cover the Pool

There are a few things you need to do before placing the cover:

Shock the pool water by following the manufacturer’s directions on your pool products.

Remove any debris from the pool, clean out the skimmer and vacuum the pool.

To prevent algae growth and staining, you’ll need to make sure your pool water pH is between 7.2 and 7.8.

As an added preventive for the growth of algae, we recommend you add an algaecide to the water. If algae grows in the water and then the water freezes, you’ll have all sorts of problems during the thaw.

Based upon your pool manufacturer’s instructions, lower your water level. More than likely, you won’t need to drain your pool completely (which will make things easier when you open it next season). Fortunately, most pool designs can tolerate freezing temperatures and below better when there is some water in them.

Turn off the pool equipment and remove the filter, the pump, the heater and anything else that has water run through it and can be disconnected. Drain and clean this equipment based upon manufacturer’s instructions and then store them in a place that will be warm and dry.

For any equipment that remains and cannot be moved, turn off the power at the breaker box. It may also be a good idea to remove and store fuses.

Remove and store a slide or diving board.

Cover the Pool

Properly covering your pool is one of the most important aspects of effective winterization. Be sure that you use a high quality cover that is capable of bearing heavy loads (ice and snow) for long periods of time without giving, cracking or tearing. We can help you research to find covers that have been quality tested for these standards.

A few things to keep in mind:

Make sure that the edges of the cover seal completely so that wind cannot get under it.

Indicate where the edges of the pool cover are located with some sort of visual representation that will stand out if there is enough snow on the ground to cover the surface of the pool (such as stakes). That way, no one will accidentally walk onto the cover and risk falling in (though you should have a cover that is strong enough to prevent that, you don’t want to take chances).

Keep debris off the cover. However, you shouldn’t need to worry about removing snow accumulation. A sturdy cover should be able to withstand three or more feet of snow.

If you should need assistance winterizing your pool, Brothers Pool will be happy to help you. Just give us a call and our service experts can walk you through any questions or take care of it completely.

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Jacuzzi vs. Hot Tub – What’s the Difference

When someone says “Klennex” what is it that you think of? Those thin papers in a box you wipe your nose with, right? While many people call them Klennex, the truth is, Klennex is a brand — the actual word for that particular product is “tissue.”

This is a cultural phenomenon, if you will; a brand name is so saturated in the market — or has simply been around for so long — that it becomes the norm to associate it with all of the products in an industry, rather than only the ones made by that particular manufacturer.

Such is the case with hot tubs. When people hear “Jacuzzi” they think it is a stand-alone product, in a completely different industry. But the reality is, Jacuzzi is simply a brand of hot tub. While a Jacuzzi may have differing components and designs than other hot tubs, it’s virtually the same product. It’s like comparing Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks; sure, they have different features and customizations, but they’re all trucks.

It comes down to a matter of finding the brand that provides the quality, features and elements you want in a hot tub within your budget. At Brothers Pool, we like to attach our name to brands like Dream Maker, Marquis and Celebrity spas. Through our research, we’ve found these brands to be favorable in quality and offering several different options for varying budgets.

Dream Maker portable hot tubs, for example, are designed and engineered to be simple, durable and long-lasting. Marquis spas are not only appealing to the eye, but feature advanced hydrotherapy and powerful performance in their Signature series, E-Series, Vector21 series and even their swim spas. And energy-efficient Celebrity hot tubs are designed with therapy, ease of ownership and just plain fun in mind.

Don’t let a name you’ve heard before be the deciding factor in the brand you choose for your hot tub purchase. Do some research and learn about other brands to find out what the best option for your backyard is before making a purchase. And, as always, we’re here and happy to help!

Join us for an online tour of our showroom

Attention, everyone! Your tour guide is here. Please stay together and follow along as we travel through today’s stop, the Brothers Pool showroom. Ready? Here we go …

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Our first stop is an incredible display of hot tubs. Check out the luxurious Marquis line, with features like high-output therapy massage zones, reflexology footbeds, programmable cleaning cycles and more. Or the Celebrity line, combining hydrotherapy, soothing waterfall features, energy efficiency and more, in one slick package. Oh – and be sure you don’t overlook the Dream Maker collection – simple, durable, long-lasting portable spas that may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Ok, everyone. We’re moving … we’re moving …

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And we’ve arrived at the Water Lab, Brothers Pool’s state-of-the-art water testing and analysis service. Bring in a water sample and the staff will test it, then provide the exact chemical solution your pool or hot tub needs. Plus, the water lab is fast – results are available in 60 seconds and stored in your Brothers Pool history.

Next up …

store display of chemicals

Brother’s Pool also keeps all the pool and spa chemicals you need in stock. Just look at those shelves! Whether you’re looking for traditional chlorine, easy-care or chlorine-free systems, Brothers Pool has it. Near here, you’ll also see a large selection of toys to make pool and spa time fun.

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Ok group, let’s keep moving. There’s still so much to see.

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Rounding out this corner is outdoor living. Kamado Joe grills, outdoor furniture and kitchens, firepits – it’s all here, folks. Already have a Kamado Joe? Stop by Brothers Pool for all the accessories you need to make the most of it – charcoal, wood chips, seasonings, racks, grates and more. Dreaming of an outdoor kitchen? Check out the display and choose the features you like the most. Try out the furniture. Need a patio umbrella? You can purchase one and take it home today!

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And we’re moving again – believe it or not, there’s still more one more stop!

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Here we are – swimming pools! Check out the above ground pool displays. Learn about the options. Questions about pump and filter sizes and types? Above ground pool wall designs? Liner options? It’s all here, plus an experienced staff that can answer all your questions.

That concludes our tour of the Brothers Pool showroom! Thank you all for coming, and we hope to see you again soon!

Come on Baby Light my Firepit

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Backyard firepits are hotter than ever. Like moths to a flame, friends and family love to gather around an open fire for weenie roasts, making s’mores, or simply for the cozy atmosphere and great conversation. Plus, firepits can greatly extend your outdoor season – making your backyard a place you can enjoy nearly all year long.

Once upon a time, adding a firepit to your backyard oasis meant building it yourself – no small feat. Levelling the ground, properly constructing the pit from heavy materials, hauling and stocking wood for burning and more. While traditional firepits are enjoyable, they can be a lot of work.

Today’s firepits are unique and available in a variety of configurations to fit any backyard environment.  Propane or natural gas powered, so there’s no messy wood. Just flip the switch and you’re enjoying a nice, cozy fire.

Many modern firepits are a table style, making them a great place to set snacks and drinks, or to rest your feet. As with any firepit, be sure to follow common-sense precautions:

*Don’t place anything flammable near the flame.

*Don’t set your firepit too near your home, outdoor furniture, or other flammable materials or foliage.

*Don’t use your firepit in an enclosed area. They’re for outdoor use only.

*As with any propane or natural gas appliance, periodically check the valves, attachments and hoses to make certain there aren’t any leaks or holes. Make sure you know how to cut off the gas supply in case of an emergency.

Don’t let your firepit dreams go up in smoke. If you’ve been dreaming of a longer outdoor season and a better way to spend time with your family and friends, this may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Stop by the showroom to see what we have to offer. We won’t hold your feet to the fire – but we’ll happily answer all your questions.

Our Best Patio Furniture Shopping Tips

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Your outdoor space really comes to life when you add great patio furniture. A functional table and comfortable chairs can transform a boring patio into a delightful dining space. If you pick the right furniture, your outdoor patio will act like a second family room when the weather is nice! We know that finding quality patio furniture can break the bank, but you don’t want to choose items based solely on the price, either. Here’s a guide to help you choose the best patio furniture, and get a good deal at the same time.

Try Before You Buy

There’s a big downside to ordering furniture online… you don’t know if it’s comfortable! We highly recommend sitting on your potential patio furniture so you know it’s comfortable and the materials are the same quality you expect. After all, it’s not a good deal if you never use it.

Look for Patio Furniture That’s Easy to Maintain

Spend your time outdoors enjoying the view… not washing the cushions! Patio furniture that’s easy to maintain might cost a little more in the beginning… but it’ll last for years to come. And – truthfully – the time you spend cleaning cheap cushions is worth a lot.

Patio Furniture Storage

Our winters are cold and downright ugly sometimes. Many people choose to store their patio furniture over the winter to protect it from ice and snow. Before you buy, determine if it’s a set that requires winter storage… or if it can sit outside all year long.

Consider Dual Purpose Patio Furniture

Make the most out of the outside with pieces that work just as hard as you do. Perhaps you want an ottoman that doubles as extra seating. Or maybe you can find a garden bench that you can pull up to your table when you host a large dinner. Any piece that adds extra seating or extra storage (or both) is worth a lot!

Size Matters

Don’t buy a dinky patio table from a big box store if you have a large deck or patio outside. On the flip side, it doesn’t make sense to buy a large table just because it’s a good deal… but then you don’t have room for all of the chairs in your space. Make sure you buy items that are the appropriate scale for the size of your space.

Remember to Add Shade

Sitting outside in the hottest part of the day quickly feels really unpleasant. If you don’t have a big shade tree placed in the perfect location, you’ll need some sort of shade cover… like an umberella. Cheap patio furniture sets come with stationary umbrellas that only work with your table, or you can choose stand-alone umbrellas that you can adjust as the sun moves across the sky each day.

The team here at Brothers Pool would love to be part of your patio furniture shopping journey! Before you buy, come check out our selection of quality patio furniture that will complement the exterior of your home and will provide you with a wonderful space for your family and/or guests to relax.

Labor Day Grill Recipes on Your Kamado Joe

Labor Day: the unofficial end of summer. There’s no better way to say “so long” to the dog days of summer than with a cookout. And when you own a Kamado Joe, your Labor Day grill recipes come together with ease… and so does the clean-up!

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BBQ Brisket on the Grill

Labor Day is a great time to fire up your Kamado Joe to create the best beef brisket you’ve ever had! If you haven’t tried this technique yet, there’s no better time than now to enjoy the ultimate in tenderness and flavor.

Hasselback Potatoes

The best side to brisket is… potatoes! This outstanding Hasselback Potato recipe will have your guests begging for another cookout at your place!

Strawberry Pizza

For dessert… try a little something different this year.

Labor Day grill recipes are just the beginning when you own a Kamado Joe. You can use your grill year round to make meals for a crowd, or for just yourself. There are numerous accessories you can add to your grill to tailor it to your specific cooking needs. If you don’t already own a Kamado Joe, give us a call or stop by the showroom to see for yourself the highest quality ceramic grill on the market today. It’s a purchase you’ll never regret!

How to get the most from your new hot tub

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So. You did it. You finally made the decision to invest in a hot tub. 

We know it wasn’t an easy decision. But we also know you’re going to love it. 

The nightly relaxation, letting go of the stress of the day. The morning invigoration, getting you energized and ready to face whatever the day may bring. After-workout hydro-therapy. Romantic date nights under the stars. Whatever your motivation, you’ll experience years of enjoyment and convenience from the spa right out your back door.

To make the most of your purchase, there are a few additional items you’ll need.

Cover

A cover for your new hot tub is a must. A quality cover keeps the heat in, and debris out. A clean hot tub means less work for you, and a well-insulated hot tub means more energy efficiency. Be sure to ask us about covers and cover upgrades for your new spa.

Cover Lifter

Removing a hot tub cover can be a chore, especially for one person. Cover lifters make the job simple. They also help you replace the cover when you’re done using the spa.

Matching Steps

Unless you’ll be installing your spa in a unique way, you’ll want matching steps to help you easily and safely enter and exit your hot tub. Nearly all spa models are available with matching steps for pleasing aesthetics. Some even include built-in storage.

Chemicals

We carry everything you need for clean, bacteria-free water. Keep the proper chemicals on-hand at home, and you’ll spend less time running to the store and more time enjoying all your hot tub has to offer. Different varieties of chemicals are available, so be sure to ask for help to determine which best fits your needs and desires.

These accessories will help you get the absolute most enjoyment from your new hot tub, for years to come.

 

Want a Marquis Spa?

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Marquis spas are the perfect addition to your outdoor living space, contact Brothers Pool to help you get started.

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Brothers Pool

250 Main Street. (RT 150)
Wallingford Connecticut 06492
P: (203) 265-5980
F: (203) 294-1601
E: info@brotherspool.com

Driving Directions

In Connecticut take I-91 North or South to exit 15. Take Route 68 West towards Wallingford and Cheshire. Turn left at the intersection of 68 and 150 (Main Street). Brothers Pool is about 1 mile on the left.

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 3pm

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