Monthly Archives: December 2015

Take Advantage of the Health Benefits of Hot Tubs & Home Spas

Hot Tub Home SpaThe health benefits of hot tubs and home spas are many, and combine to create holistic wellness in varied ways, including:

  • Reducing stress
  • Relieving muscle pain
  • Exfoliating skin
  • Improving circulation

Warm water therapy and oxygen bubbles allow you to indulge in benefits to your physical, emotional, and mental health, fortifying overall wellness. Warm water therapy works because, in addition to improved circulation, it provides all-around support for stiff joints and sore muscles while reducing the effect of gravity on your body. Continue reading

What to Do With Your Outdoor Furniture During Winter in CT

Patio furniture covered in snow.When summer comes around there’s nothing better than a quality set of outdoor furniture. How else can you turn your backyard or patio into an outdoor living room, allowing you to entertain your friends and spend relaxing nights under the stars? But summer invariable turns to winter, and when that happens it’s time to take care of our outdoor furniture so that it will live to see another midsummer night.

There are two basic steps when it comes to taking care of your outdoor and patio furniture pieces through the winter: winterize them and store them. Let’s take a look at how to do both so you can make sure your furniture is in top shape for years to come. Continue reading

How Much do Hot Tubs Cost?

An illustration of a price tag with three question marks.There are a lot of reasons to buy a hot tub or spa for your home. They’re relaxing, they have a number of health benefits, and they can increase your house’s resale value. But like most people, if you’re thinking of buying a hot tub your foremost concern is probably cost.

It’s impossible to say for certain how much a hot tub or spa would cost you personally, as there are a number of factors that go into determining price. If you’re curious, here are a few things to keep in mind that will contribute to the final price tag.

If you’re in Connecticut, get a more certain answer by calling Brothers Pool in Wallingford at (203) 265-5980. Continue reading

Everything You Need to Know about Hot Tub Covers

Marquis Hot TubIf you’re lucky enough to have a home hot tub or spa, it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible about proper care and maintenance as possible. This will not only prevent costly repairs, but also enhance the enjoyment you get out of your investment. But hot tub maintenance isn’t just about taking the right care of the water, filter, and other hardware: you also need to treat your hot tub cover right. Keep reading to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about your hot tub’s cover.

What Are Hot Tub Covers?

Hot tub covers are, of course exactly what they sound like: heavy covers to keep the interior of your home spa clean and safely contained. Hot tub covers are typically made with a solid foam core, sometimes many layers thick, which affects the strength of the cover as well as how much heat it retains.

Hot tub covers usually have one or more hinges to help you in putting them on and taking them off of your spa. They also tend to have faux-leather vinyl or PVC covers – a stylish, and more importantly watertight, way to make sure the spa’s interior stays warm and secure.

Do Hot Tub Covers Need to be Cleaned?

Yes, like anything else you hot tub cover does need to be cleaned. Luckily,

What happens when you don't take care of your hot tub cover!

What happens when you don’t take care of your hot tub cover!

it’s not that arduous a task. Simply find a gentle, non-abrasive cleaning agent (like simple soap and water) and a soft sponge or damp cloth. Wet the cover with a garden hose, apply the non-abrasive cleaners, and wipe clean. Be sure to rinse the sponge or rag and re-apply cleaner regularly. DO NOT use harsh cleaning agents such as those containing alcohol, bleach, oil, detergent, or dish soap.

Once the spa cover is washed and rinsed, apply an oil-free, UV-blocking protectant spray. These products can be purchased at most pool and hot tub supply stores, and prevent cracking, fading, and other damage to the cover.

This process should be repeated every month or so, or as often as is needed.

What about Mold and Mildew?

It’s very common for hot tub covers to develop a problem with mold or mildew forming on the inside of the vinyl cover. If you think this is the case with your hot tub cover (the smell will give it away), don’t worry. Simply remove the vinyl jacket from the inner foam core and set the core aside in a dry, shady place.

Clean the inside with a cleanser like watered down ammonia or bleach. Thoroughly scrub, and then rinse with clean water and towel dry. Leave the cover out in the sun for another couple hours of air drying. Then, when the inside of the cover is spic and span you can replace the foam interior as good as new.

However, if the foam core itself seems rotten, waterlogged, or highly mold-ridden, it’s almost certainly time for a replacement cover.

Is Moss Normal on a Hot Tub Cover?

Yes. Especially during winter months, moss can start to grow on the exterior of your hot tub cover. This is common on or around zipper and surrounding stitching. Scrub the vegetation away and apply a cleaner like you normally would to the inside and outside. It’s nothing particular to worry about.

Can You Use a Hot Tub Cover as a Table or Shelf?

No. While hot tub covers are fairly sturdy, it’s not advised to use them for seating or storage. It would take less weight than you might expect to break the inner core and leave you without a cover.

If you have any more questions about hot tubs, hot tub covers, or other home spa accessories in Connecticut, contact Brothers Pool in Wallingford.


How to Drain a Residential Pool in Connecticut

An aerial photo of a home's in-ground swimming pool. There are many reasons why you might want to drain the water from your residential aboveground or in-ground pool – for prepare the pool for winter (although draining the water isn’t always necessary), to prepare it for repairs or renovations, to have the pool removed, or simply because the water is old and it’s become impossible to maintain proper chemical and mineral levels. But draining a pool isn’t as easy as draining a bathtub. For one thing, there’s no drain plug, and for another there’s a lot more water.

Draining a pool can be done by yourself with the right equipment and know-how, or by a licensed pool maintenance company like Brothers Pool. Keep reading to learn more about draining different kinds of pools, in addition to environmental concerns.

Draining Aboveground Pools

Between aboveground and in-ground pools, the former is the easier kind of clean. The best way to go is to rent a submersible water pump, attach it to a hose, and simply let the equipment do its job. If you want to do the job without any fancy equipment, you can use multiple hoses to siphon the water out. Don’t use your much to get the suction going, as you might swallow some pool water. Instead, fill each hose with water by submerging both ends under water. Remove one end from the water and place it on the ground. The draining water will begin the suction. Draining the pool with an electric pump will probably take between 6-12 hours. Otherwise it may take up to several days.

Some things to consider when draining your above ground pool: Don’t drain water too close to the pool itself, as this can cause damage to its foundation soil. Pick a warm, sunny day if possible so that the lining can dry out and be cleaned. However, if left in the sun too long a liner can crack or warm as a result of heat shrinkage. Above ground pools are also vulnerable to damage from high winds when empty. It’s best to refill the pool as soon as possible.

Draining In-Ground Pools

Draining an in-ground pool is more difficult, and it’s usually much smarter to have it done by a professional. If you’re deadest on doing it yourself, though, here are the basic steps:

  • Close the pool’s return lines. Pool water is often cycling through the filtration system, and if the return lines are on as the water level drops air will be let into the suction lines.
  • Open the waste line. If you have a DE filter or a sand filter, turn off the pump and set the handle on the multiport valve to “waste.” With cartridge filters, it’s necessary to open the ball valve the leads to the waste line.
  • Close the top suction lines. This will prevent air entering the suction lines and possible damaging the motor.
  • Make sure the diverter valve to the main drain is open and not blocked. If it’s blocked there will be an obvious drop in water levels.
  • Drain the water using the built-in pump or by using an external submersible pump and hose.

This is a very complicated process and much can go wrong. Again, we advise using a professional pool maintenance company for draining an in-ground pool.

Environmental Concerns for Pool Draining

Because pool water is treated with chemicals like chlorine, it’s illegal in many states to simply dump it wherever is convenient. Connecticut is no different. For municipal pools and professional pool contractors, a license is required to dispose of pool wastewater. Such a license is not necessary for private residents tending to their own private pool, but there are rules that must be followed.

For ground discharge, what’s most likely for anyone draining their own pool at home, the Connecticut EPA has the following stipulations:

[S]wimming pool wastewater may be discharged to the ground surface provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The pH of the discharge shall be between 6.5 and 8.5 standard units.
  2. Total residual chlorine or bromine in discharges of swimming pool draining wastewater shall be less than 1.0 mg/l as determined by a test kit commonly used in the pool industry. Test kit must be accurate to at least 0.1 mg/l.
  3. Total residual chlorine or bromine in discharges of swimming pool filtration backwash wastewater shall be less than 3.0 mg/l as determined by a test kit commonly used in the pool industry.
  4. Swimming pool maintenance wastewater discharges resulting from the daily 0.5% chlorine solution (or an equivalent fungicide) deck Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance DEP-WD-GP-005 14 of 23 washing as required by RCSA §19-13-B33b(b)(8) (CT DPH Public Health Code) are exempt from an effluent limitation for total residual chlorine. Such solution shall infiltrate the ground completely and shall not be allowed to discharge to storm drains or surface waters.
  5. The discharge shall infiltrate the ground completely and not run off into a surface water body, stormwater collection system, wetland or onto adjacent property.
  6. The discharge shall be located at least 25 feet from any water supply well, subsurface sewage disposal system or surface water body.


Click here for the Connecticut EPA’s complete document on swimming pool wastewater.

Click here to contact Brothers Pool about pool draining, and other pool maintenance services.


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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