Don’t Stay Indoors! UPF Clothing Helps You Enjoy Your Pool Again

There’s no better way to enjoy a summer day than by splashing in your pool with your family and friends! However, did you know it can take as little as 10-15 minutes of bright sun to get a bad sunburn? And since a sunburn is not only painful, but damages your skin, causes wrinkles, and can cause Melanoma skin cancer, figuring out a way to protect your skin from the sun while still being free to enjoy your pool is paramount.

Slathering up with sunscreen can be effective, but most people don’t use it in a way that provides the maximum protection. To really be effective, it needs to be applied about 30 minutes before you go into the sun and reapplied every two hours or every time you come out of the pool after swimming. What’s more, it’s recommended that you apply sunscreen before you put on your swimsuit because, while all swimsuits and clothing provide a little bit of protection, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate most materials and the protection they can provide is not enough. So, where can you find safer, more effective, and easier-to-use sun protection? With UPF clothing!

SPF vs UPF Sun Protection

Just like how sunscreen uses those familiar SPF (Sun Protection Factor) ratings, sun-protective clothing uses a similar scale. When it comes to clothes, you’re looking for the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. Unlike its sunscreen counterpart, which typically is tested to just block the sun’s UVB rays, UPF clothing blocks both UVA and UVB rays. When you purchase a UPF swimsuit or clothing, the label will show you the level of sun protection.

*UPF 15-20 is “Good” sun protection. This is the lowest UPF rating you can buy on clothing. Anything lower than 15 is not considered to protect against UV rays. For an idea, a standard, lightweight summer t-shirt has a UPF rating of 5.

**UPF 25-35 is “Very Good” sun protection. A rating of 25 means it blocks out 96% UV radiation

***UPF 35-50+ is “Excellent” sun protection. A rating of 50 means it blocks out 98% UV radiation. UPF ratings stop after 50, but 50+ means it blocks even more than 98%.

How UPF Clothing Works

It’s a combination of material and the tightness of the thread weave that allows UPF clothing to block ultraviolet rays. The fabrics, usually a nylon blend, actually have some of the active ingredients (like zinc oxide) that you find in sunscreen, but it doesn’t wash out. Over time, the protection fades and very worn or threadbare clothes should be replaced. Check the labels of the brands you’re interested in, but typically, UPF clothing is rated to last through approximately 2 years of normal wear.

Keep in mind that UPF clothing replaces the need for sunscreen, but only for the parts of your skin it covers. You’ll still want to slather sunscreen over your face, neck, and any other exposed skin. This means, for the most protection, you’ll want to swim with a UPF one-piece suit, long trunks, or a rash guard, at least during the sun’s peak hours during the day. You can always don your favorite bikini for evening swims!

Now that you’re in the know when it comes to protecting yourself against the sun’s rays, would you like to wear that UPF swimsuit in your own pool instead of the city pool? Check out our inground and above ground pools for inspiration for your own backyard!

Your Handy Checklist for Safe Swimming!

Pool season will be here soon and we know that beyond the swimming, splashing, and games, the number one priority for every pool owner is safety! With that in mind, we’ve compiled this checklist so you can know that you’re taking every precaution needed.

Physical Pool Safety Tips

►Have a fence or barrier around your pool.

► Make sure your fence and gate are in perfect working order.

► Never leave the gate open or prop it open, and make sure it has a lock (a self-locking safety gate is best).

► Invest in fence and gate alarms that will alert inside the house if the pool gate is opened.

► When your pool will be unused for a prolonged length of time, replace the pool cover.

► Don’t leave toys in or around the pool when it’s not in use. These can be a temptation to children to come close to the pool or reach in when you’re not around.

► Cover all drains and openings.

If you have old drain covers, replace them with anti-vortex ones. There is a surprising amount of suction at the drain – enough to hold an adult in place. An anti-vortex drain cover distributes the water from the sides, and not just the top, preventing a tight suction.

Best Practices

►Instruct all children and adults to keep away from drains and openings.

►Never leave children unsupervised.

►Be in the water and within arm’ reach of a baby in a float or a toddler in a swim vest.

►Make sure all household members know how to swim and take swimming lessons if needed.

►Get training in CPR.

►If kids are allowed to swim when a babysitter is present, make sure your babysitter is CPR-certified.

►Keep a phone at hand outside near the pool.

►Make a rule that no one goes in the pool alone unless there’s an adult outside watching.

►Stay vigilant and watchful when kids are in the pool.

►During swim parties, designate 1-2 adults (or more if needed) to monitor swimmers.

►Purchase basic rescue equipment, like a rescue tube, shepherds crook, and/or life jackets and keep them near the pool.

►Keep kids away from pool equipment, filters, and water chemicals.

►Use sunscreen and/or UPF clothing to protect against sunburns.

Make sure that all family members know the safety rules and make any guests follow the rules, as well. When you know that your family members all understand and follow pool safety, you’ll have peace of mind and be able to enjoy your pool that much more. Need any help making sure your pool drains or equipment are in perfect working order? Contact us!

The 11 Biggest Mistakes When Opening/Closing a Pool

If this is your first year owning a pool, you’ll probably want to call us to handle the opening and closing for you so you can get more familiar with the process. And while we’re happy to handle the opening and closing every year, many customers choose to take care of it themselves once they understand how it’s done. If you’re going to do it yourself, be sure you steer clear of these mistakes to save yourself extra work and to ensure you have the best water quality.

Opening Your Pool

► Forgetting to clear the cover. Use a pump to get rid of accumulated water and then use a broom or a leaf rake to pull off the debris. There’s no bigger downer when you’re opening your pool and you have to scoop ten times as many leaves out because you forgot this step.

► Forgetting to clear the surrounding area. Even if your cover is perfectly clear, the yucky water, leaves, sticks, and other debris around your pool will find their way in easily if you don’t clear them off first. Plus, when you remove the cover, you need a nice clean spot to place it.

► Storing the cover dirty or wet. Clean your cover and let it dry completely before you fold it up and tuck it in the shed or a plastic container for the summer. This will avoid you unfolding a mildewed, stuck together cover next fall.

► Not lubricating metal parts. It’s a good idea to lubricate bolts on your handrails and diving board and other moving parts at the start of the season. Skip this step and they may rust or oxidize over the summer and be a serious pain to remove when you’re closing your pool.

► Not balancing the water correctly. At the start of the season, we seriously recommend you bring your water in for a professional test. From there, you balance your water (alkalinity first, then pH, then calcium). It’s not until your water is correctly pH balanced that you shock your water.

► Not running the filtration system enough. You need to circulate the water for 12-24 hours before you bring the water sample in and balance the water (to let the new water you added get incorporated). There’s another 12-24 hours circulation after you balance the water but before you shock it. Then you’ll want to circulate the water for another day before you dive in.

► Not brushing enough. When you’re opening your pool, you want to brush the walls, floor, and steps with a good pool brush after you’ve vacuumed. Then you want to keep brushing daily for the first week or so. This will stop algae growth in its tracks and allow your chemicals and your filter to do their best work.

Closing Your Pool

► Closing a dirty pool. A minimal amount of floating leaves or dirt on the bottom of your pool will wreak havoc on your water during the winter and you’ll be opening to a much bigger mess. Part of winterizing your pool is using a skimmer to remove all leaves, brushing your pool, and vacuuming it.

► Not balancing the water properly. Sometimes people think all you need to do is throw in the winterizing chemicals and you’re good to go. Not so. Before you add winterizing chemicals, you want your water correctly balanced.

► Not lowering the water level. When you live in a zone where there’s a chance the water could freeze, it’s important you lower the level a little bit to prevent damage from expanding, frozen water. Just drop it about 4-6 inches below the skimmer and you’ll be good.

► Failing to remove water from the lines, filter, and other equipment. This is the big one that can have very costly effects if you forget. Water can freeze in your plumbing lines and burst them. Same for your filter and other equipment. Frozen water expands and can ruin them.

Make sure you don’t make any of those mistakes, and the process will go smoothly. And not to worry, even if things go awry while you’re taking care of the opening and/or closing, we’re only one call away!

Staycations Start with ‘Swimming Pool’

When you have a pool beckoning from your own backyard, the best vacation is a staycation! There’s no booking flights and hotels, packing, doing mounds of laundry when you return, or fighting off jet lag your first day back to work. Instead, your vacation, from start to finish, can be one fun and relaxing experience. Honestly, staying poolside and hanging out with your loved ones is a guaranteed way to enjoy your staycation, but we have a few more elements to get the most out of your time!

Plan Ahead

Just like you spend time planning for a trip, spend a little time planning how you’d like your vacation to go. Would you like to grill burgers, spend your day in your swimming suit, and sleep in tents for a camping trip-inspired staycation? Maybe you’d rather enjoy tropical drinks, have fine dining delivered, and end your night on luxurious sheets. Or maybe, when the sun is at its peak and you take a break from swimming, you’d like to take family outings and see your city like a tourist, going to museums, shops, and local attractions.

Stay “Out of Office”

When you’re at home, it’s easier to give in to the temptation to check your email or take care of “just one quick thing”, but in order to return to your normal routine feeling refreshed, don’t do it! Set your vacation responder on your email, change your work voicemail to “out of office”, and your personal voicemail to “we’re on vacation!” If you need to, delete your email app from your phone or tablet. For a serious break, power off your phone, take off your watch and enjoy living in the moment.   

Comfy Furniture

If you don’t love your outdoor furniture, now’s a good time to make some upgrades. When you’re not in the water, you want to spend your time poolside lounging in comfort. Need an upgrade? We carry a large selection of outdoor furniture, so you’re sure to find something you love!

Reading Material

Book worms rejoice; you can finally get caught up on a couple of those books you’ve been wanting to read! Hit up the library or place your Amazon order before your vacation starts, so fresh reading material will be waiting for you. While you’re picking your books, grab a few magazines and books your family might be interested in as well.

Tunes Set the Mood

Build a playlist of your favorite summer songs, and don’t forget to ask for input from other family members. If you don’t already have speakers around your pool, a small Bluetooth speaker on a nearby table should do just fine. You can even place your phone in a glass bowl to amplify the sound and make an effortless speaker!

Splurge a Little

With all the money you’re saving by choosing a staycation over a trip, you might want to go for a little splurge or two that will take your home vacation to the next level! You could hire a cleaning service to keep your house in tip-top shape so you can dedicate yourself to relaxing for the week. You might choose to splurge a little at the grocery store for a steak and lobster dinner, or even order your favorite Maine crab online. How about a poolside couples massage in your own backyard? Or, splurge and have your favorite food delivered every night so you don’t have to cook on vacation.

Pool Games

Before your staycation starts, treat your family to some new pool games and floaties. Then unleash your inner competitor as you compete in pool floatie races, sharks and minnows, airball (keeping a beach ball in the air for as long as possible), or a family water polo match. At Brothers Pool, we’ve got all the games and floaties you could hope to find! Browse our store or come in and see our full selection in person.

If you keep these tips in mind, we think you may discover a staycation is your favorite type of vacation! All ready to plan that staycation but your pool needs a renovation? We’ve got you covered with everything from liner replacement to hardscaping. Uh oh, no swimming pool yet? Check out our in-ground pool designs and then contact us with your questions or to take the first steps to own your dream pool!

May 4th Open House Specials & Schedule!

We look forward to seeing you at our Open House, Saturday, May 4th. Brothers Pool Vendors are available from 9:00 to 3:00PM to promote and educate you on our products. The largest sale of the year! A day of good food, good fun, education and most importantly SALES! Pizza truck lunch, face painting and balloon characters for all Fun Pass Holders (starting 12PM). Refreshments throughout the day.

SPECIALS

May 4, 2019 Only.  Cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts, special events or prior purchases

SAFETY COVERS (presented by Kenny Schaefer).
The strongest way to keep kids and pets safe.  Choose one of our durable mesh options.  Coverstar covers keep debris out of your pool, and block virtually all sunlight. 
SALE: 10% OFF Safety Cover & free shipping
SALE: 12 Months Interest Free on Safety Cover purchases
SALE: Free Safety Cover Pick-Up on Replacement Covers (all hardware & springs must be removed)
SALE: With the purchase of a new Safety Cover receive, FREE Winterization (cost of chemicals will be charged accordingly). 

INGROUND POOLS (presented by Kenny Schaefer from KAFKO & Viking).
“Make your backyard a showplace!” 
SALE: FREE 27/27 Mil Upgrade on Inground Liner Replacements (not to be claimed on prior purchases).
SALE: With the purchase of both an Inground Liner & Safety Cover, Redeem $200.00 Manufacture Rebate!

ABOVEGROUND POOLS (presented by Tony Collica from Doughboy Pools).
 “For a lifetime of family memories, It’s Gotta be a doughboy”
SALE: Dough for Doughboy:  Purchase a Doughboy Pool, Liner & Filtering System and receive $500.00 OFF
SALE: 60 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your swimming pool!
SALE: Fun Pass VIP “10% OFF In store purchases for 1 year”
SALE: FREE Ultra Auto Vac with any Doughboy or Embassy Pool Purchase (ending may 11)
SALE: 50% OFF Doughboys Enhanced Liner Warranty 

HOT TUBS (presented by David Katzman from Marquis Spas). 
“Rated #1 in quality in pool and spa news”
SALE: 60 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Hot Tub!
SALE: Free Bonus Package: Ground Delivery, Deluxe Chemical Kit, Cover and Cover Lifter
SALE:
Fun Pass VIP “10% OFF In store purchases for 1 year”

ATV-SWIM SPAS  (presented by David Katzman from Marquis Spas). 
SALE:
$1,000.00 OFF –ATV-SWIM SPA
SALE: 60 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your ATV or Swim Spa!
SALE: Fun Pass VIP “10% OFF In store purchases for 1 year”

HOT TUB “PLUG AND PLAY” (presented by Mitch Rosenfield from Dreammaker Spas).  “Simply fill, Plug-In & Play!”
SALE: 60 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Dreammaker Spa!
SALE: PICK TWO Promotion (Pick Two Upgrades for free)! 
SALE: Chemical Start Up Kit
SALE: Fun Pass VIP “10% OFF In store purchases for 1 year”

FIRE TABLES (presented by Bob Oresmen from The Outdoor Greatroom).
SALE: 50% OFF Glass Guards

CAST ALUMINUM OUTDOOR FURNITURE 
SALE:
60 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Patio Furniture!
SALE: Pick One Free Accessory with purchase of Cast Table Set:  Lazy Susan, Umbrella Base
SALE: 50% Off Backyard Comfort Cast Aluminum Umbrella bases (Available in Bronze & White) 

OUTDOOR FURNITURE (presented by Bob Oresmen from Malibu & Kingsley Bate).
SALE: 20% Adirondack Chairs (while supplies last, in stock only).
SALE: 60 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Patio Furniture!

HEAT PUMPS (presented by Bill Starkie from AquaCal).
SALE: $100.00 OFF, Free month supply of Therma Swim and Free Installation (water connections only) with your AquaCal Heat Pump purchase
SALE: 12 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Heat Pump!

FILTERS & PUMPS (presented by Rich Jones from PENTAIR).
SALE: $50.00 REBATE with purchase of Variable Speed Pump
SALE: Free month supply of Therma and Free Installation (water connections only) on Heater purchases
SALE: 12 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off Pool Equipment! 

CASH & CARRY LINERS:
SALE: 20% OFF (In stock liners only).   
SALE:  10% OFF Custom Above ground Liner Orders & Free Extended Warranty with purchase of any Vinyl Works Above Ground Pool Liner

ATRAHL GLASSWARE (presented by Greg Willie from Imperial Pools). 
SALE: 10% OFF All Glassware Special Orders 

ENJOY (presented by Robert McColgan from Jonas).
SALE: 50% OFF Conversions -If you have never tried Enjoy and would like to visit Bob from Jonas today!
SALE: 10% OFF ENJOY & a FREE Therma Swim “Liquid Solar Cover”with each box of ENJOY purchased
SALE:  $1.00 OFF Ultra Blue, Algaecide 30 OR 60 (limit 2 per customer) 

POOLIFE (presented by Jerry Mako from PooLife).
SALE: FREE 1LB OF TURBO SHOCK ($6.99 Value) With every 12 Pak of Turbo Shock Purchased
SALE: FREE 1LB OF SHOCK (Up to $8.99 Value) With every 2 Poolife Liquids Purchased
SALE: $25.00 MAIL IN REBATE WHEN PURCHASING YOUR SEASON OF POOLIFE BRTIE STIX, MPT, NST OR BAQUACIL

SR SMITH (presented by Craig Mocsh from SR Smith).
SALE: 12 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Slide!
SALE:  $100.00 Brothers Pool Gift Card W/ Purchase of SR Smith Slide 

AUTO VACS (presented by John Quick from Aqua Products).
SALE: 12 Months Interest Free or cash in for an additional 10% off your Aquabot Auto Vac!
SALE:  Rebate up to $200.00 

VOLT BATTERY VACS (presented by John Quick from Volt).
SALE:  FREE Filter bag replacement with your Volt vacuum purchase
SALE: $25.00 Manufacture Rebate with the purchase of   

UMBRELLAS
SALE:  20% OFF in Stock Umbrellas 

CUSHIONS 
SALE:
20% OFF in Stock Cushions 

SOLAR COVERS
SALE:  Double Fun Pass Points -For every 300 points receive $10.00 Reward 

CANDLES 
SALE:  BOGO 50% OFF Kringle & Country Candles 

SUCTION VACCUM CLEANERS  
SALE:  10% OFF INGROUND & ABOVEGROUND SUCTION VACCUM CLEANERS 

SUCTION VACCUM CLEANERS  
SALE:  10% OFF INGROUND & ABOVEGROUND

ANIMAL & STINGRAY MANUAL POOL EQUITMENT  
SALE:  Double Fun Pass Points -For every 300 points receive $10.00 Reward

GAME WIRELESS SPEAKER LIGHT SHOW
SALE:
$3.00 OFFGame Wireless Speaker Light Show **Voted #1 Pool Entertainment in 2018 

NOODLES 
SALE:
BOGO 40% OFF NOODLES 

GAME WIRELESS SPEAKER LIGHT SHOW
SALE:
$3.00

POOLIFE OPENING KIT 
SALE:
$2.00 OFF 

TOYS
SALE: 20% OFF  

SPLASH GOOGLES
SALE: $2.00 OFF 

ENJOY OPENING KIT 
SALE: $3.00 OFF 

CANTILEVER SPA UMBRELLAS
SALE: 50% OFF 

VENDOR HOSTED CLASSES

12:00PM – The dangers of High Cyanuric Acid “The troubles that come with over stabilizing your pool” By: Gerry Mako w/Poolife

12:30PM – Inground Variable Speed Pumps “Do they really save up to 90% on operating energy costs” By: Rich Jones w/Starite

1:00PM – Salt Chlorine Generators “Maintaining your pool has never been so easy” By: Bill Starkie w/AquaCal

1:30PM – Auto Vacuum Electric Pool Cleaners “Fewer chemicals and a healthy clean” By: Aqua Products / Aquabot

POOL SCHOOLS

10:00AM – “How to Summarize your Aboveground Pool”

11:00AM – “Aboveground Weekly Maintenance”

12:00PM – “How to Summarize your Aboveground Pool”

1:00PM – “Aboveground Weekly Maintenance”

2:00PM – “Hot Tub Maintenance”

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.

What Do I Do to My Swimming Pool After a Flood?

As Alexander Graham Bell said, “Preparation is the key to success.” So, to help you be prepared to handle a flooded pool should the need ever arise, we’ve put together a list of the key issues you might encounter in that situation, and how to manage them.

Electrical Dangers

One of the biggest dangers when flooding occurs is from electrical hazards. In fact, according to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals®, electrocution is responsible for many deaths after a storm. Your very first step, before even evaluating what clean up efforts will be required, is to disconnect the power to your pool at the circuit breaker. This includes the power to all pool and spa equipment, outdoor outlets, lighting fixtures, and appliances. Ensure you don’t touch the circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing in water. For safety, use a plastic or rubber tool to flip the switch, and use only one hand. If the fuse box is damaged, contact an electrician to inspect it before you handle it.

Even if wires and electrical equipment have dried out, they still present a fire hazard. You can anticipate that you’ll need to have all electrical components replaced by a professional electrician.

Contaminated Water

If flooding occurs, you’ll almost certainly see murky or cloudy water in your pool; however, even if it appears pretty clear, don’t use the water or let your pets swim in it. A catastrophic flood will contaminate your water with hazardous chemicals like fertilizer, and other dangerous contaminants like sewage. While the water can be rehabilitated in some instances of flooding, in the case of storm surge or catastrophic flooding, the water can’t be salvaged. It will need to be drained, the pool and all hardscaping cleaned, and the plumbing lines purged before the pool can be refilled.

It is important the contaminated pool water is disposed of according to the guidelines of local water and sewage regulations. Additionally, if groundwater levels are high, it isn’t safe to drain your pool. Believe it or not, doing so in that case can cause an inground pool to “pop” out of place and cause major structural damage. If you have any questions about whether it’s safe to drain your pool, contact us to verify or to let us handle draining the pool for you.

Wildlife

For our Florida friends, a flood can mean discovering alligators and poisonous snakes enjoying your pool when you return. Which, makes it good to live in Connecticut! While we don’t have to worry about alligators, mosquitoes love stagnant water and not only are the little buzzers annoying, they can carry infectious diseases. So, the sooner you can deal with a flooded pool and rid it of mosquitoes the better. If you’re unable to rehabilitate the pool immediately, you can use a larvicide or pesticide in the water, which would then make it a requirement to drain the pool completely.

For more information and further directions about handling a flooded pool, please read this fact sheet from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. Most importantly, remember that when you buy a pool from Brothers Pool, you become part of the family, so should a flood occur, we’ll be here to help you handle the situation safely, in the most cost effective way!

15 Fun Facts About Swimming Pools

Historically Speaking

*One of the earliest known structures similar to modern inground swimming pools called a “public water tank” is the Great Bath, which was found in the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan and built in the 3rd millennium BC. It was lined with bricks and covered with a sealant made from tar.

*But people have been swimming much longer! Egyptian drawings from 2,500 BC show swimmers using an over-arm stroke much like the front crawl.

*Swimming and enjoying pools as recreation was very popular in ancient Greece. In fact, it was Greek philosopher Plato that said, “A man is not learned until he can read, write, and swim.”

*Ancient Roman baths included cold water pools, tepid water pools, and heated pools. We’ll pass on the cold pool, thanks!

*The Deep Eddy swimming pool in Austin, Texas is the first recorded concrete pool. First established as a swimming hole in 1915, you can still visit the Deep Eddy today.

 

One for the Books

*The swimming pool at San Alfonso Del Mar resort in Chile is the longest in the world, measuring in at more than 3,000 feet long and covering 20 acres. At its deepest, it’s 115 feet deep.

*Perhaps the most unusual pool you’ll ever see, the Library Resort’s Blood-Red Pool in Koh Samui, Thailand is as red as you might expect from its name. The color comes not from anything done to the water itself, but from the red, orange, and yellow mosaic tiles used in the pool. How’s that for unique tile selection?

*Which US state is home to the largest backyard pool in the world? Texas, of course! Larger than most community pools, the Mobley Family pool in El Campo, Texas, holds 600,000 gallons of water and includes a lazy river and 6 waterfalls!

 

By the Numbers

*There are more than 10 million residential pools in the United States.

*A bit more than 50% of those pools are in-ground.

*An estimated 65% of Americans don’t know how to swim.

*One of the most popular pool additions? Diving boards! 38% of pools have one.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, swimming and other water exercises are the 4th most popular exercises in the US, behind walking, weightlifting, and using cardio machines like the treadmill.

*Swimming is a great workout! Depending on your pace and your body weight, you can burn 100 to more than 500 calories in 30 minutes. Not only does swimming work all the major muscle groups at once, but it’s also low-impact!

*The average person swims in a pool 6 times per year. Thankfully, you don’t have to be average! Add a pool to your own backyard and you can enjoy a daily swim all summer long.

5 Must-Know Tips for Opening Your Swimming Pool

If you’re like us, the thought of summer and pool season has you bouncing with excitement. We just have to get through spring and then we’re there! Speaking of spring, that is actually the perfect time to get your pool opened and ready for the upcoming season. Follow these tips, and your pool will be ready and waiting for you to jump in as soon as that summer sun comes out.

Remove, Clean, and Store Your Pool Cover

The first step in removing your cover is to clear off all the leaves and debris that’s accumulated on top. You don’t want any of that gunk to fall in the pool and make your job any harder, so use a broom or pool scraper to pull it all off. You’ll also need to use a pool cover pump to remove any standing water.

Here’s an expert tip for you on this one: remove the water first and then wait for the cover to dry for a day or two. Then you can use a leaf blower to blow off most of the debris from your pool cover and around the pool.

When it’s relatively clear, have a friend (or more!) help you remove it. As you pull it off, you can fold it inside on itself, accordian style to keep the leftover debris from falling into your pool.

Lay out the cover and clean it with a winter cover cleaner or soap and a gentle scrub brush. Inspect the cover as you clean it for any damage. Once clean, let it dry thoroughly before you fold it for storage. Pro tip: sprinkle it with talcum powder to prevent it from sticking. Store it in a plastic container to protect it until next winter.

Reinstall Your Equipment

Remove the winter plugs and replace the eyeball or jet fittings to the return lines. Next, out come the ice compensators, and then you can replace the skimmer baskets. Clean and install the drains. Clean and inspect your filter, pump, heater, automatic cleaner, and any other equipment. Then reconnect.

Inspect, clean and reattach hand rails, diving boards, ladders, etc. Pro tip: lubricate bolts, screws, and o-rings now. You’ll kick yourself for skipping this step if they rust over the summer!

Add Water to Your Pool

Assuming you didn’t drain your pool for winterization, you’ll just need to top it off with water until it’s at the appropriate level (right above the halfway point in the skimmer opening). Or, if your pool was drained, fill it up.

Prep and Turn On the Pool

Start with replacing the drain plugs and the pressure gauge on your filter and pump. Before you hit the power, make sure the valves are in the open position. Prime the pump by filling it with water, and make sure air is purged from the plumbing. Once the circulation system is going, check your pool for cracks, damaged hoses, and leaks. If there’s any damage, shut off the power and call us for service.

Clean the Pool, Shock Your Water, and Add Algaecide

Clean leaves and other debris from the bottom of the pool with a telescoping brush. Let your filter run for at least 12 hours to circulate the new water you added into the old. Then, take a water sample and bring it by for professional testing. Pro tip: to get a good sample, you should reach about elbow deep (around 18” inches) and fill a clean bottle with water. When you bring it in for testing, we’ll give you advice and recommendations on how to get your pH and alkalinity balanced.

You’ll want to first adjust alkalinity, next pH, and lastly calcium hardness. This is a good point to run your pool vacuum and brush your pool. That will start taking care of any algae in your pool and make the shock more effective. Then let your filtration system run overnight.

Finally, it’s time to sanitize and shock your water. For opening your pool, always do a double shock. Use 2 pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. Pro tip: use safety goggles and gloves when shocking your pool. Once shocked, let the filter run for a minimum of 2 hours before adding algaecide, an important step to prevent scale and stains.

Once you’ve done the shock and added algaecide, let the filter run another 24 hours and then test your water. Your pool should be ready to dive in at this point!

Our final tip is to call in the pros! If you have any questions throughout the opening process, or run into any issues, contact us, or if you prefer, let us open your pool for you so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

pool furniture

What’s in Style in Pool Furniture for 2019?

Your pool and patio furniture should be a reflection of your personal style, just like your home. But more than make a statement about your aesthetic, the pool furniture you pick for your outside can expand your living spaces and even inspire your family to spend more time together. We love helping our customers find the perfect furniture to create that outdoor oasis they’ve been dreaming of.

Far from the metal lawn chairs you might remember from your youth, some of our favorite style trends from 2019 can help you transform your space so it really feels like a part of your home!

Neutral color palettes

yarmouth-glider-w-cushionWhite, pale gray, cream, slate: this year’s most popular color palettes are neutral. If you want to try out this trend, add interest with graphic but neutral patterns like stripes, or global patterns; or texture with woven or other tactile pieces; or add in a few pops of your favorite color as an accent

Custom

One of our favorite things about outdoor furniture is that today, unlike when most of us were growing up, outdoor spaces are really an extension of your home. Soft, comfy cushions; sectionals that hold the whole family; conversation areas that encourage spending quality time together. There is no limit on how you can design your outdoor oasis—you can really build your family’s dream space!

Lounging

Daybeds, hammocks, and hanging chairs are popular this year and that makes perfect sense! In general, Americans work harder and are under more stress than ever, but more and more, we’re building time to relax into our lives with lounging furniture in our outdoor spaces, man caves and she-sheds, and hot tubs. When you add a daybed or a hammock to your yard, you may just find chilling at home is the best vacation you could take!

Fire pits

Brooks_CWhen you install a pool and build an outdoor space you love, you want to enjoy it for as long as you can! Fire pits not only allow you to stay outdoors on chilly spring and fall nights, but they create a lovely, functional focal point in your conversation area.

Nostalgic

yarmouth-adirondackAnother fun trend making a big splash in 2019 is classic nostalgic pieces that remind you of family cookouts and vacations at the lake. To incorporate this style into your own yard, add classic Adirondack chairs overlooking the pool, a pair of rocking chairs near the back door, or a retro picnic table on the patio.

Greenery

Large, statement planters filled with overflowing greenery, pots of kitchen herbs, or bold floral prints on your cushions; however you do it, greenery is in this year. Would you love to have overflowing planters, but you lack a green thumb? Try easier-to-grow plants like aloe and succulents, or fill your planters with the never-die plastic variety (we’ll never tell!).

Eco-friendly

We love that it’s easy to find beautiful outdoor furniture that stays in line with your sustainable values these days. More of our customers are moving to eco-friendly furniture that’s made from recycled materials, and we carry a large variety of eco-friendly pieces because sustainability is important to us, too!


Whether you take a tiny bit of inspiration from this year’s style trends or go all out with a complete makeover, we hope you’ll be inspired to incorporate some of these styles into your pool area. Are you ready to check out some of these styles (plus more!) in person? Stop in and see us, contact us to talk to one of our experts, or download a brochure.

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!

 

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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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