Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tips for Avoiding Cryptosporidium in Your Hot Tub

A Person Relaxing in a Hot TubCryptosporidium is a parasitic infection that causes illness. The most common symptom is diarrhea, but the parasite can also cause abdominal cramps and vomiting. Cryptosporidium can make anyone sick, but it is most serious when it infects young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. The illness usually resolves itself in two to 14 days.

Cryptosporidium is transmitted from soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with human or animal waste that carries the parasite. People often contract the illness by ingesting contaminated food or water from public water parks, pools, lakes, and drinking fountains.

Cryptosporidium is more common in public areas than in residential hot tubs. The parasite cannot be killed by normal sanitizers, such as chlorine, that are used to disinfect pools.

Ozone can eliminate Cryptosporidium. Ozone is a strong oxidizer that can kill bacteria on contact. If your hot tub has an ozonator, make sure the feature works properly. If your hot tub does not have the feature, contact Brothers Pool to discuss adding it to reduce your chance of contracting Cryptosporidium.

You can also protect yourself by quickly rinsing off before you get into your hot tub to reduce the amount of bacteria, hair products, and sweat that wind up in the water. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, preparing food, or eating. Do not go in your hot tub if you have diarrhea or for two weeks after you have a digestive illness. Children should be taken for frequent bathroom breaks if they are using a pool or hot tub.

For more information about hot tubs, spas, and all the accessories you need to keep your tub safe and comfortable in Connecticut, contact Brothers Pool today.

Can I Keep My Fire Pit Table Outside Through Winter?

Outdoor GreatRoom Company Fire Pit on a Snowy Winter DeckIf you’ve got an outdoor fire pit or fire pit table from the Outdoor GreatRoom Company, there’s no doubt that you’ve had the benefit of a beautiful piece of outdoor furniture to help warm your bones through chilly autumn nights. After all, sitting by a fire on a crisp autumn night is one of the best things about living in Connecticut, right?

Now that autumn is winding and winter is fast approaching, though, you might be wondering if it’s time to unhook your outdoor gas fire pit and put it into storage until spring. Is this necessary?

The short answer is no. Outdoor GreatRoom Company fire pits are made from quality, weather-resistant materials and are generally very low maintenance. However if you do plan to leave your fire pit outdoors through the harsh New England winter, it is recommended that you get a vinyl cover to protect it from the worst of the elements. The Outdoor GreatRoom Company offers custom-fitted vinyl covers for each of its fire pit models for this reason.

In fact, if the weather is mild or you’re willing to brave the winter cold, there’s absolutely nothing keeping you from using your outdoor fire pit through the entire winter. Because it runs on gas or propane, there’s no need to worry about stacking wood and keeping it dry, eliminating one obstacle to traditional fire put use. It might even be a good way to reward yourself for an afternoon spent shoveling the driveway and steps!

There are a number of good reasons to invest in a good outdoor fire pit from the Outdoor GreatRoom Company: they add a stylish touch to your back yard, stone table tops make them ideal for entertaining, and they might even add you’re your home’s appraisal value and curb appeal. That you can use one year-round, even in Connecticut, is certainly a plus too.

If you’re interested in purchasing an outdoor fire pit, outdoor fireplace, spa, hot tub, or other outdoor living accessories in Connecticut, head to Brothers Pool in Wallingford.

Tips for Enjoying Your Hot Tub or Spa in Cold Weather

hot tub spa winterMany people enjoy using a hot tub or spa in the winter. This can be a relaxing experience, but there are some steps you will need to take to keep your hot tub or spa working properly so you can enjoy it.

The greatest concern in the winter is the possibility of water freezing in the piping system. Most portable or self-contained spas have a system to keep that from occurring. Many have a switch on the main control box labeled “timer/thermostat” or “timer/no-freeze.”

If the switch is set to the timer mode, the spa will only heat up at pre-set times. The heating system will be off the rest of the time, creating the possibility of freezing. Set the switch to the “thermostat” or “no-freeze” setting to maintain a constant temperature and turn it to the normal operating setting.

If your hot tub or spa does not have this setting and only operates on a timer, you will need to program it to turn on the heating system for at least 15 minutes every hour to prevent freezing. This will keep hot water circulating through the pipes and equipment. If it is colder than -10 degrees Fahrenheit, 15 minutes per hour may not be enough time to keep water from freezing in the pipes.

The colder it is, the longer it will take for your spa or hot tub to heat up. It will need to run longer in the winter than in other months to maintain the same temperature.

You can reduce your energy requirements by covering your spa or hot tub with an insulating cover. You can also use a floating thermal blanket to keep heat in, reduce the amount of chemicals needed, and prolong the life of the insulating cover.

Most spa covers are not designed to support the weight of snow. Lay a tarp over the cover so you can remove snow with a shovel without damaging the cover or just pull off the tarp.

Draining and cleaning a spa or hot tub in the winter is not fun. Do this in late fall so you will be ready for winter and will not have to do it again until the cold weather is over.

If you are interested in purchasing a hot tub or spa to enjoy this winter, visit Brothers Pool. We have a selection of products from leading manufacturers to help you relax and enjoy the season outdoors.

How to Take Care of the Water in Your Hot Tub or Spa

Spa Water

If you own a hot tub, it can say a lot about who you are. It could mean you enjoy relaxation and the finer things in life, that you’re in a position to make such an investment, and that you take your home and your health seriously. Unfortunately without the proper care, your hot tub could also say something else about you: that you don’t take much of this seriously at all.

Like anything else, hot tubs and their water need regular, routine maintenance. It’s nothing too hard, but it’s important to educate yourself. If you own a hot tub or spa, read these tips for hot tub water care and give your investment the attention it deserves. It’ll last longer, feel better, and most importantly be safer.

Measure Chemical and Mineral Levels

If you’re like most people, you’ve filled your hot tub with regular municipal water from a garden hose or other source. Unfortunately, this water is made for water pipes and faucets, not hot tubs. Salinity, pH balance, alkalinity, and other chemical balances might not be appropriate for your hot tub.

Spa test strips, which are available at any hot tub store, can be used to test your hot tubs water easily and quickly. Just dip a test strip in the spa’s water and wait for the colors to show you the results. Water should be checked once or twice a week, depending on how often your spa is used.

Balance the Water with Chemicals

Depending on what your spa test trips tell you, you may need to balance the water with chemical treatment. There are specific chemical treatments to adjust each measurement.

Note: if multiple chemicals need to be added, do it in this order: alkalinity, calcium, pH. These chemicals can be purchased at spa supply stores, for more instruction ask the employees at your local store or follow the instructions that come with the chemicals. Your hot tub’s manufacturer may also have more information about balancing the water according to its specific needs.

Add Sanitizer

Warm, bubbly water is an excellent environment for bacteria to grow, so sanitizer will need to be added to your hot tub’s water regularly. Mineral sanitizers are a popular choice – ceramic beads coated with silver that are placed into the spas water filtration system. Over time silver ions are released into the water, inhibiting bacterial growth.

Biguanide (peroxide), bromine, and simple chlorine are other popular options for sanitizing a hot tub’s water. Chlorine and bromine are probably the most popular options, as they’re easy to use and work in most spas. They can irritate some people’s skin and eyes however. If this is the case with you, another mineral-based solution might be preferable.

Don’t Forget to Change the Filter!

Every two weeks you should change your spa filter. Take out the cartridge and clean out any dirt or debris from the pleats using warm soap and water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly! Some people change the filter cartridge in their dishwasher – if you’d like to take this route, make sure that the dishwasher doesn’t get any hotter than 140 °F (60 °C), as this could cause permanent damage.

If you find yourself needing to wash your filter more and more frequently, it’s probably to replace the cartridge.

For more information about hot tubs and spas from Marquis, Dream Maker, and more, contact Brothers Pool in Wallingford, CT. In addition to sales and service, Brothers Pool has a full retail selection of test strips, treatment chemicals, and more.


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Brothers Pool

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

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