safety cover

How to Choose the Perfect Safety Cover for Your Pool

A pool cover is a safety feature that cannot be overlooked. Besides being the first defense against accidents, a cover serves several purposes: it protects your pool from debris, helps your pool retain heat, cuts down on chemical use, and slows down evaporation to conserve water. Not all pool covers are created equal, though! Many pool covers are designed to help with maintenance and energy costs much more than safety. If safety is an important pool cover feature for you, go for one of these:

Mesh

Mesh safety covers are the lightest weight safety cover option (although, we’re still talking a substantial amount of weight) and when installed and used correctly, they can hold hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Tightly woven, with a trampoline-like design, they allow water to drain through but keep leaves, bugs, and debris out. When it comes to weight, a mesh cover is the lightest option and storage is relatively easy since it will fold up pretty neatly.

On the down side, mesh will still allow dust and dirt to filter through, so while you won’t have sticks and leaves on the bottom of your pool when you reopen it, you will have fine sediment to vacuum. Since rain and melted snow will drip through, you will probably need to pump out your pool periodically.They also allow sunlight to filter in, which encourages algae to grow during the winter months, although the highest quality mesh covers will block nearly all sunlight to minimize this issue.

Solid top

Solid top covers are usually made of heavyweight vinyl and their solid design makes them an effective barrier against water, sunlight, bugs, yard debris and leaves, even dust and particles. While heavier than mesh, they still fold up and store pretty easily.

On the down side, water will puddle in the center and you’ll need to pump it off periodically. If you don’t, it can break down your cover, shortening its life and quality. Plus, water puddled in the center can even become a drowning risk. You can make things easier with an automatic pump that will live in the center of your pool cover and turn on as needed.

Hybrid

A nice blend between solid top and mesh covers, hybrid covers might be a good option for you. They have a design that’s mostly solid with a line of mesh in the middle to allow water to drain away. Again, all debris will be kept out. You won’t need to pump water off the cover, thanks to the mesh in the center. While some sunlight will filter through, the hybrid cover blocks most of it, so algae growth usually won’t be a problem.

Automatic solid top

The mac daddy of pool covers! Once properly installed, they provide the highest level of protection against accidents. They’re also the easiest to operate. They simply roll open or closed on a track by turning a key or pressing a button. You’ll still need to pump water off the center when it accumulates and sweep off debris.

How to choose

As we said, not all pool covers are designed for safety. If you need a safety cover, this rules out solar covers and tarps.These types of covers either float on your pool or drape over it. Actual safety covers are stretched taught, anchored, and strapped into place.  

Now that you know what not to buy, how do you choose which safety cover is perfect for you? Consider which features are most important to you and then check out this ranking:

  • Most budget-friendly: mesh covers
  • Best for custom pools or ones with water features: mesh, solid top, or hybrid.
  • Easiest to open and close pool: automatic solid top

We carry a range of mesh, solid, and automatic safety covers, and would love to help you find the right one for you! Our bestseller, the Coverstar® 7000MS™ High Shade Mesh Cover, offers 99% shade protection to inhibit sunlight and algae growth, comes with a 20-year warranty, and can be custom designed to fit any shape pool.

In the same family, but more budget friendly is the 5000S™ Standard Shade Mesh safety cover. It’s strong, lightweight, easy-to-install, and comes with a 15 year warranty. Want the strongest mesh cover with the best protection? The 9000MX™ Max Shade Mesh is the cover for you! It comes with a whopping 25 year warranty.

More interested in a solid top or automatic option? We’ve got you covered. Click here to discover more about our selection, and then if you have questions or would like a free estimate on a cover for your pool, contact us, and we’d love to help!

Brothers Pool Holds Open House: Fun for Everyone!

On Saturday, May 4th, from 9 AM to 3 PM, Brothers Pool is holding an Open House. We invite everyone to participate!

All day long, you can enjoy:

♦ A variety of special savings opportunities throughout the day

♦ Face Painting

♦ Treats for the Kids!

♦ Refreshments

♦ A Pizza Truck Lunch for all of our valued Fun Pass Holders!

♦ Free Raffles

♦ Vendor representatives for all our products, so you can ask questions and learn directly from the source

♦ Fun for All!

Also, at 10 AM, Noon & 1 PM, catch our special Pool School, where we’ll go over How to Summerize your Above-Ground Pool. Whether you own a pool or are considering one, this is valuable FREE information you won’t want to miss.

Please RSVP, so we can prepare for all our guests.

Call to reserve your seat at one of our Pool School sessions, or to get more information on this event. 203-265-5980.

Are You a Square? Choosing the Perfect Shape for Your Swimming Pool

When you decide to install an in-ground swimming pool, the whole family is undoubtedly caught up in the excitement. The kids are probably imagining pool parties and lazy summer days floating away the hours. You might be picturing family water sports, swimming laps for exercise before work, or just relishing the idea of your kids playing outside instead of staring at their phones all day. Before you get started on the build though, one big design decision needs to be made: What shape swimming pool should you choose?

With almost limitless design choices, that can be a hard decision if you don’t already have a clear idea of your dream pool in mind. Not to worry, we have a couple of tips to help make that decision easier! When it comes down to it, there’s two things you should really take into consideration.

The first aspect of a great pool design is including the shape of your yard and landscaping. From lagoon-inspired natural designs to classic lap-style swimming pools, the size and shape of your yard matters. As you consider the lines of your yard, it might be obvious to you that a particular style will work best, but if not, don’t worry. We help you through every step of the installation process, including the planning phase! When you’re ready to begin the process, call us at 203-265-5980 or email lisa@brotherspool.com for an in-home appointment.

The second thing to consider in picking your pool shape is how it will be used and your lifestyle in general. Some designs are best for swimming laps and training. Some allow more room for splashing, playing, and family sports. Some shapes will even make it more obvious to little swimmers where the deeper end begins so it’s easy for them to stay in the shallows.

As you think about the shape of your yard, plus your lifestyle needs, here’s a few styles to consider:

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Rectangle

This classic shape complements many properties. If your yard is generally square or rectangle, this shape is probably a great choice for you. It also tends to work well in smaller yard designs. It’s excellent for swimming laps and comes in a range of lengths and depths.

 

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L or Lazy-L

A great choice for the family looking for both room to swim laps plus a designated shallow area for kids to play in, the L and Lazy-L designs are rectangle swimming pools with a short leg that forms an L shape, or in the case of the Lazy-L, a diagonal angle. The short side provides an easy visual for kids to see their safe zone.

 

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Kidney

An oval swimming pool with an indentation on one side, a kidney-shaped pool is great for homeowners going for a more natural looking pool. It fits aesthetically into most yards, and lends itself to many design styles. You could add an in-ground spa to the indentation; use that space for eye-catching landscaping; or make it a patio with comfortable seating so you can see the entire swimming pool, and all swimmers, while relaxing.

 

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Free Form

When you picture your dream swimming pool, do you see a lagoon oasis with a waterfall? If so, a free form pool is for you! A free form swimming pool can take nearly any shape and is designed to blend into the elements of an existing area, or when starting from scratch, to give your yard a nature-inspired design. There’s countless free form options, and this type of pool is a lovely choice for bringing character to your home, and showcasing your personality.

 

These are just a few of our favorite choices, but there are so many designs—you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your space! To see more swimming pool shapes, check out our Fiberglass Pools here, and our Vinyl selection here.

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The 5 Essential Ingredients of the Perfect Pool Company

When you’re ready to buy a pool, visions of summer days packed full of family fun are probably dancing in your head, but nervous butterflies might be dancing in your stomach, too. We understand! After all, it’s a big investment and crooked contractors can turn your dream pool into a nightmare. So, how can you be sure you’re picking a great pool company? Well, ahem, we do happen to know a good one who’d love to build your pool, but here are a few tips you can use to vet any company or contractor!

Verify they have a license

Your cousin’s friend’s great uncle might be willing to install your new pool for pennies, but we’d ask to take a look at his license. A license not only indicates you’re dealing with a professional and cuts your chances of ending up in a nightmare situation, but if things do go wrong, you’ll be in a better position to be compensated.

What do other customers have to say?

One of the great things about the digital age we live in is that feedback and reviews are easy to find for almost any company! Check Yelp, Google, the Better Business Bureau, and the company’s website for reviews and ratings. If a customer has a very bad experience with a company, chances are good that they will take the time to share their story so others might be warned.

Experience makes a difference

Every company gets their start somewhere, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but hiring a new contractor who gained years of experience working with a reputable company before branching out on his own is a lot different than hiring a newbie with no work experience to speak of.

Speaking of experience, did you know we’ve been in the business since 1988? We pride ourselves on our well-trained, exceptional staff, but even so, there always is, and has been, a family member on every job. Every. Single. One.

Check references

This is a biggie! For most people, after receiving great service, they’re happy to pass that info along to other potential customers. Any company you want to work with should be happy to give you a list of references.

When you call the reference, ask questions like:

  • Were you happy with the experience?
  • Would you choose that company again in the future?
  • Was the project completed on time?
  • Were there any surprises?
  • Do you still use them for maintenance and service and for opening and closing the pool?

Ever felt like you didn’t matter anymore after a company won your sale? Not to our customers! We’ll never bounce on you after we get your business. We’ll be here when you need maintenance and service or when you have questions about pool ownership.

Are you excited about their designs?

One of the funnest parts about picking your pool is finding the design that you love and works with your yard. We love that part, too! Here at Brother’s Pool, we have creative designers who are sold out on making your pool wishes happen. Whether you go for an in-ground or above ground pool, we love finding the solutions to get you the pool you want.

Does your chosen company tick all 5 of these boxes?

If so, you should probably feel pretty confident to move ahead with your pool. Ready to have Brothers Pool design your perfect pool? Contact us and we’d love to help you plan and select yours!

Stress-eating this holiday? Your hot tub may help!

Whether it’s a hard day at work or bad news on the television – if your first reaction is to down a bag of your favorite chips or to dig up some old candy in the bottom of your desk drawer – you may be a stress eater!

While it likely makes you feel awful, it’s actually a very common way for humans to deal with stress. (Don’t believe us? Rent a popular chick flick and watch as the friend of the girl who just got dumped grabs a pint of ice cream and two spoons!) Unfortunately, food and stress seem to be linked together. But why? Why do we go straight for our comfort foods as soon as something stressful happens?

Our bodies have developed a number of ways of dealing with stress. One key response is when your adrenal glands release cortisol, a hormone that can increase your appetite. This would all be well and good if we craved carrot sticks when we’re stressed out, but unfortunately we usually crave foods that are high in sugar and high in fat.

So, what can you do the next time the stress-munchies strike? Try taking a brief soak (15-20 minutes) in your hot tub!

Hot tubs are a great place to relax and help relieve your stress. Soaking in your hot tub can help balance your nerves and increase your dopamine levels. This will help you process all your feelings – and do a better job of it than that tub of mint chocolate chip. You’ll be saving your waistline and improving your health!

After your relaxing time in your hot tub, you will not only feel clearer-headed, but you’ll likely have a better night’s sleep, too! So, put down the cookies and chips and drown your stress in your hot tub next time you start feeling stressed out!

Hot Tubs – No Building Permits Required

A lot of questions pop up once you’ve decided to bring home a spa. One of the most common we get here at Brothers Pool is whether a building permit is required. Nope, no building permit required!

In general, a prefabricated, above-ground pool, (a hot tub applies in this sense), that holds less than 5000 gallons of water does not require a building permit.

That said, there are a few other things you’ll want to consider. First, while you don’t need a building permit, you’ll almost certainly need an electrical permit. And whether you’re installing your hot tub on an existing deck or patio, or you’re working with a contractor to put in a new foundation pad, you’ll definitely need an electrician to do the installing.

If you’re putting in a new foundation, or installing your hot tub any distance from your house, you may need a plumber and a plumbing permit as well.

Along this same vein, before you go ahead with picking the location and installing your hot tub, it’s a good idea to double check if there are any neighborhood or Homeowner’s Association covenants that would throw a wrench in your plans. What kind of cover will you have on your hot tub? If it’s not a locking one, your subdivision or city may require a safety fence.

Installing your hot tub and then discovering you’ve violated your subdivision’s covenants in some way would be a terrible surprise, but with a little prior planning, all of these issues can be overcome pretty easily. We’re always happy to help with any other questions that may come up as you’re deciding on the perfect hot tub for your family. Contact us with any other thoughts. Ready to choose your ideal spa? With our large selection, it won’t be hard to find!

Change Vector21 Jetpods to Customize your Massage

There are normal hot tubs – and then there are hot tubs with a purpose! The Vector21 series by Marquis is precisely that and so much more! Vector21 hot tubs will leave you feeling as if you have stepped into a five-star spa – but instead of having to schedule weeks in advance, it’s right outside your back door!

Every Jetpod in the Vector21 series is meticulously placed so that it meets a different need. Each spa has three different types of Jetpods, each with a special feature to help target specific problem areas. Directional Jetpods are perfect for a deep tissue massage. They have a high flow and low impact that will reach deep into your muscle without causing inflammation in your skin. Orbital Jetpods are optimal for a shallow tissue massage, focusing on surface muscles. Conal Jetpods emulate a more gentle, Swedish massage.

While the Marquis team carefully thought through Jetpod placement in each Vector21 spa, they knew that not every body is the same. So they made each Jetpod interchangeable! Never has a spa been so customizable! If you feel like you need more pressure in are and less in another, simply more the type of Jetpod that will benefit you most into that location. It’s that easy!

“How do you change Jetpods?” you may ask. Well, all you have to do is follow three simple steps:

To change a Jetpod:
1) Insert a flathead screwdriver between the top tab and the Jetpod face
2) Push down on the grill and pull forward to slide up
3) Once disengaged, slide the grill up to remove – the tabs are small, so be sure to slide up carefully

To insert a Jetpod:
1) Locate the three flanges – they are left, right and facing down on the grill
2) Slide the tabs towards the flange to engage all three tabs in their location on the side of the grill face
3) Press the top bar toward the bottom pushing inward to engage the top tab.

Marquis has thought of everything when it comes to the ease of using and maintaining these beautiful hot tubs. You will not find a more customizable therapeutic hot tub on the market!

Requirements for a Spa – Deck, Pad, and Electrical Permits

So, after learning about all the relaxation and health benefits that come with soaking in a spa, you decided to make the purchase. But now what? Are you wondering about the logistical part of preparing your home for your new hot tub? Let us help you with a few things you’ll want to consider.

Deck Set-up

Many people choose a deck as the home for their spa. This works for a lot of reasons, not least is that the more convenient the access, the more use you’ll get out of your spa. But, not just any deck can support the weight of a full spa, plus occupants. To figure out if your deck can take the weight, you’ll want to have a professional contractor inspection to determine the weight it can handle.

The amount of weight is calculated individually for every spa, based on its size, water capacity, and seating capacity. So, once you know which one you want, we’ll be able to tell you the exact amount of pounds per square foot for the hot tub you’ve chosen. You’ll give that calculation to your contractor, who can determine if your deck is compatible. Not to worry, if it’s not. That’s an easy problem to correct with additional support beams under the deck.

Foundation Pad

If you’re not setting your spa on an existing deck or patio, another foundation can be used. A concrete pad is the most common, but concrete bricks, compacted crushed rock, compacted pea gravel, or concrete pavers also work perfectly. We recommend you work with a professional contractor to pick the best one for your location.

Electrical Permits

Bringing home a new spa means running electric to it, which yes, will require an electrical permit. You’ll definitely want to work with a professional electrician to do the install.  There will also be some coordinating with your contractor.

At Brothers Pool, we’re also happy to help you every step of the way to answer any of your questions and to help coordinate, so on delivery day, you won’t have a thing to worry about! Still considering which spa is for you? Check out our selection. We have a range of options, from all types of above ground spas to luxurious in-ground ones.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Hot Tub?

Enjoying a daily soak in your spa is more than just a relaxing activity (although, it is definitely great for relaxing!). From decreasing stress to easing muscle aches and improving your blood pressure, the benefits are endless. Only one thing could ruin your evening soak: a dirty hot tub!

We’d hate for that to happen. But not to worry, as cleaning your spa is easy and doesn’t require too much work. We have a few guidelines, outside of your regular chemical maintenance, so you can make sure your spa stays in tip-top shape.

Clean the Filters

A quick rinse with warm water or even with the garden hose will keep your filters working properly. A good standard is to clean them once every 2 weeks, but do it more often if you’re using your spa heavily or having lots of guests over.

Circulate the Water

As many spas do this automatically, you may not need to think of it at all, but if your hot tub doesn’t, twice a day circulate the water for 10-15 minutes. The more the water circulates, the cleaner your spa stays.

Weekly Wipedown

Once a week, give your spa’s shell, the jets, and the waterline a quick scrub with a sponge. White vinegar makes a simple, all-natural cleaner and does a great job of removing any scum building up at the waterline. Every other week, give your cover a quick wipe to keep mildew away (a 10% bleach solution is a great cleaning option for the cover).

Monthly Drain and Clean

During regular use, to keep your spa clean, you’ll need to drain it and clean it every 3-4 weeks. Again, if you’re using your spa heavily or having a lot of guests over, you’ll want to do this step more often. After the hot tub is clean, refill it, and test the water to ensure your pH level is between 7.2-7.6.

Combined with your regular spa chemicals, it requires very little physical effort to keep your hot tub clean and sparkling, so it will be ready for a soak any time you need one!

Why Shopping at a Local Pool and Spa Store is Best

If you were given the choice between buying vegetables from the local farmers’ market or buying from the nearest box store, which would you choose? Most people would choose the farmers’ market. Why? Well for one, most veggies and fruits just taste better when you buy from the local market. But also, the overall experience is better, too. The smells, the smiles, the polite chit chat about the products being offered can be a great influence on your decision of what to buy and where you shop. Why should buy your next hot tub, pool, spa, or even the chemicals you use to maintain them be any different? 

Not only does “shopping local” make a world of difference in the products you buy, it also offers a boost to the local economy. Now more than ever, keeping money local can have a big impact on how your local area grows. Purchases from local shops mean local jobs, a strong local tax base, and more!

The other upside is that when you buy from your local mom and pop pool supply store, you are creating the opportunity for a beautiful relationship to develop. Just think about it! The moment you walk through the doors of a local store, you should be treated with A+ customer service. Why? Because they want you to continue coming back! Over time a friendship develops and much like the opening song from the old sitcom “Cheers”, you become a valued customer and everyone will know you by name. So, the next time you have a question about your hot tub, pool or spa, you know exactly where to go. Simply go see “your” pool guy and you’ll get the answer with a smile.

Having trouble with your pool or spa chemical balance? Bring in a sample of your pool water and we’ll determine what you need to get your pool or spa back to the way it should be. Come into Brother’s Pool today!

 

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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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