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The Swimming Pool Store Blog


Extend Your Swimming Season with a Pool Heater

James Ashner | Sep 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM


With limited hot, summer weather, renovating your pool with a pool heater will extend your swimming season by up to an entire month!   Pool owners located in the Connecticut and New England area are well familiar with the distinct change in seasons, and most of us would agree that we would extend summer time if we could.  Well you can with a Max-E-Therm® Pool Heater!

The Swimming Pool Store offers options to keep your summer season going a little longer, in most cases allowing you to open your pool two weeks earlier, and keep it open two weeks later at the end of summer.  In addition to the traditional gas heater most commonly used, we offer energy efficient heaters such as the Max-E-Therm Pool Heater, which features Sta-Rite’s latest advances in increased energy efficiency, rust-proof exterior and smart electronics. 



The Max-E-Therm Pool Heater by Sta-Rite offers several beneficial features including a high energy efficient rating providing economical operation, a specially designed fueling and igniting process that provides faster warming of your pool water, a user friendly and easy to operate control panel, and Dura-Glas™ housing that is durable in harsh weather and resistant to corrosion. 

The Eco Select™ Choice brand identifies Sta-Rite’s most energy efficient equipment with low emissions and best in class energy efficiency.   With an ideally balanced mixture of fuel and air ignited in the combustion chamber, the Max-E-Therm heats up quickly to reach your optimum temperature, saving energy while effectively heating your pool.


Categories: pool heater | Comments

Why You Must Balance Your Water When Closing Your Pool!

James Ashner | Sep 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM


Summer is nearing an end and many of us are making plans to close our swimming pools soon.  It is important to make sure that you balance your pool water’s chemistry before closing your pool for the winter.  Harsh New England winters can wreak havoc on pool water and equipment if not closed with the proper chemical balance.  Most of us know to add chlorine and algaecide, but what about the other chemicals that prevent staining and excessive algae growth?

Bring in a water sample for a FREE water analysis to determine how to leave your pool water in a healthy condition that will make for an easier opening next summer, free from equipment damage and unsightly stains. 

pool floats and toys


The Swimming Pool store recommends checking the levels of the following chemicals before closing your pool for optimum winterization:

  • Liquid or Granular Shock: Either chlorine or non-chlorine, add about 1 gallon of liquid or 1 lb. of granular shock per 5,000 gallons of water. 
  • Algaecide: A copper or poly-based algaecide will last longest after a fall application and will prevent algae growth until pool is opened. 
  • Stain and Scale Control: For pools with metal or staining problems, these products help to sequester metals such as copper and iron that cause surface staining and water discoloration. 
  • Phosphate Reducer: For pools with phosphate issues, phosphates often build up in winter causing algae growth and preventing proper chlorine sanitizing. 
  • Winter Clarifier and Enzymatic Refresher: Best for pools with mesh safety covers, prevents algae growth and cloudy water.

Categories: pool closing | Comments

Keep Your Pets Safe Around Your Pool Water

James Ashner | Aug 31, 2017 8:00:00 AM


Pools are fun, refreshing, and provide good summer exercise to all of us that like to swim, and that is also the case for many animals as long as you know how to keep your pets safe in the water.   Some dogs absolutely love to swim, and others are not good swimmers at all and may even drown in a pool.  Some dogs may be a lover of water but just need to be taught how to swim, like people need to learn.  Here are some tips on how you can help your dog to safely enjoy the water.


First of all, while it seems like common sense, make sure that your dog knows how to swim.  Contrary to what some people may think, dogs do not just naturally know how to swim.   Not all dogs will know what to do in the water or how to swim without being taught.  Buy a life vest for your dog, and get in the pool with them to help them get the hang of it.  It may only take a time or two until they feel comfortable enough to take the vest off and see what they can do.  It is highly recommended that you are in the water with your dog at all times when they are swimming but if you do not get in the water with them, be sure to keep an eye on your dog and do not leave them alone in the water even for a split second.  Always be ready to jump in if they are in any distress, look tired, or need help getting out.  It is important that your dog also learn how to safely exit the water, as well as how to jump in.  If your pool has steps, be sure to teach them to swim to the steps to get out safely.  If you don't have steps, remain in the water with them and lift them out when ready.

pool floats and toys

Bring in a water sample for FREE analysis and get $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.  Click on the above button for your coupon to print or show in the store. 


Categories: Pool Chemistry, chlorine | Comments

Don’t Forget to Test and Balance Your Pool Water

James Ashner | Aug 15, 2017 3:05:25 PM


Even if your pool water is clean and clear and passing your home test strips for healthy water, you should still have your water analyzed by The Swimming Pool Store for complete and accurate readings of all chemicals and minerals.   Test strips are very convenient, and necessary for home pool owners to check the main chemicals such as chlorine, pH, alkalinity and hardness, but a professional water analysis is much more accurate and may reveal an unhealthy situation you may not be aware of.

Here at The Swimming Pool Store we make it easy to balance your water to keep all swimmers happy, healthy and comfortable while swimming in your pool.   We use the sophisticated water testing system from LaMotte WaterLink® Spin Lab for incredibly quick and accurate results, and FREE to you just for bringing in a sample.



Comprehensive Water Analysis

Our complete water test includes accurate readings on all chemicals and minerals including:

  • Free and Total Chlorine
  • pH and Alkalinity
  • Calcium Hardness
  • Cyanuric Acid
  • Iron
  • Borate
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Phosphate
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Salt (for salt water pools)


Categories: Pool Chemistry, chlorine | Comments

Top 5 Moves to Splash Your Way to a Sculpted Body

James Ashner | Jul 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Top 5 Moves to Splash Your Way to a Sculpted Body

Exercising in the water is a great way to burn calories and sculpt your body with resistance movements that are low-impact and easy on joints but highly effective for building endurance and toning muscles.   

Practice the following exercises two to three times per week to have fun in the water while sculpting and toning, and burn up to 100 calories in just 10 minutes!  

 Always Warm Up First

 Start by jogging in place in the water at least waist deep  up to your chest, jog in place for at least 30 seconds to get your joints moving, and slowly bring up your heartrate.  If the following movements are too easy, add some water weights to increase the intensity and calorie burning movements. 

  1. Squat and Jump

In the shallow end of the water, submerged about  waist high, squat down with your arms outstretched, then jump straight up raising your arms overhead.   As this move gets easier with repetition, you can add water  weights or paddles  for increased intensity.


  1. Outer Thigh Leg Lift

Stand next to the side holding onto the wall in at least waist high water, and lift your right leg straight out to the side, then return to a standing position, and repeat.  Do twenty reps with each leg. 

  1. Elbow to Knee Twist

Stand in shallow water, and raise your left knee towards your right elbow, bending at the waist.  Alternate side to side doing at least twenty reps at a time.

  1. Scissor Move

Stand with one leg in front of the other in a lunge position, then jump and switch leg positions making a scissor kick move.  Move your arms up and down while switching positions, using water gloves, band buoys or water paddles to increase intensity.   

Categories: pool exercise gear | Comments

Benefits of Exercising in the Water

James Ashner | Jul 12, 2017 6:44:14 PM

Benefits of Exercising in the Water

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommends at least 2.5 hours per week of aerobic activity, which includes swimming that comes with many benefits in addition to getting your weekly aerobic exercise.  Exercising in the water not only gives you recommended physical activity, it offers several benefits including a resistance to developing chronic illness and diseases, and therapy treatment for those with conditions such as joint pain and arthritis.

Water Exercising Can Help Chronic Illness

Exercising in the water can help improve the health of people with chronic illness such as arthritis and joint pain, and can decrease pain from diseases such as osteoarthritis.   Swimmers young and old benefit from water activity, as the buoyancy in the water provides a safe environment for exercising joints and limbs. 


Buoyancy for Low-Impact Exercising

The buoyancy of water offsets the effects of gravity, supporting your body weight for low-impact exercising.   Unlike land exercises, water aerobics is easy on the joints, muscles and ligaments.  Water cushions weight bearing joints, reducing muscle soreness, stress fractures & potential injury. 

Pool Exercises for Arthritis Therapy

Hydrotherapy improves affected joints and symptoms in people with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis.  Swimming is a very important part of a therapy program for those affected with arthritis, inflammation or rheumatic disease.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have more beneficial health improvements after hydrotherapy than with other therapy activites.  

Categories: pool exercise gear | Comments

Make Lasting Memories with Pool Floats and Toys

James Ashner | Jun 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Make Lasting Memories with Pool Floats and Toys

Now that you are enjoying your pool with summer in full swing, add some pool floats and toys to make fun lasting memories.  Whether you prefer to relax by the water, or your pool is full of kids splashing and making waves, adding unique pool floats will give you the maximum benefit from your pool. 

If you enjoy floating around your pool on a lazy summer day, you might get the most benefit from a comfy lounger, one with drink holders and a headrest!  Or maybe you have a pool full of kids all summer, and they need something to encourage some good clean fun.   Pool toys come in all shapes and sizes, with something for all ages! 

Playing ball in the pool is a great past time, either volleyball or basketball, when you have to splash in the water to get the ball, it really doesn’t matter who wins the game.  Diving rings are a great way to teach children to dive and swim underwater, building their self-confidence as a good swimmer while playing a fun game at the same time. 


Never Leave Children Unattended

If your little swimmer isn’t swimming yet, there are many floats for babies and infants to introduce them to the water, while keeping them safe at the same time.   Never leave a child unattended in the water, even when in a flotation device or when wearing a life jacket.  All children that cannot swim should be wearing a life jacket or life-saving flotation device when around the pool, even if they are not in the water.

Never leave children unattended near a pool, even if they are not in the water and wearing safety devices.  This is the single most important thing that you can do to ensure the safety of children in or around your pool.  Walking away for even a brief moment can have dire consequences.  Make sure that everyone visiting your pool is aware of the rules, and be consistent in your pool safety procedures.  

Categories: pool floats and toys | Comments

Know the Risks of Dry Drowning

James Ashner | Jun 15, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Know the Risks of Dry and Secondary Drowning

Parents must be aware and know the risks of dry drowning and secondary drowning, which are very real threats to young children swimming in any body of water.   We often think that because our child is out of the water, that the risk of drowning has been eliminated.   Dry and Secondary Drownings make up about 1-2% of all drowning incidents, and while it is rare it can be fatal. 

Dry and secondary drownings occur when a child breathes in water when they accidentally get water in their mouth either by accident, from struggling in the water, or from being dunked or thrown in the water.  Dry drowning is a very real hazard that most parents don’t think about once they leave the pool, lake or ocean.

Difference in Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning

While both dry drowning and secondary drowning occur from breathing in water, and they both have the same symptoms, there are differences in the two rare instances. 

In dry drowning water never reaches the lungs, but breathing water in causes the vocal cords to spasm which closes the airway.  This happens after they have left the water.  Symptoms of difficulty breathing will usually happen right away after the incident. 

In secondary drowning, the airways are open and water gets into the lungs.  This causes pulmonary edema, a condition in which fluid in the lungs and prevents oxygen from getting into the lungs, and the bloodstream.  Symptoms of secondary drowning can occur anywhere from 1 to 24 hours after the incident.

 Symptoms of Dry and Secondary Drowning

Dry and secondary drowning can occur in adults, but is more common in children due to their smaller size.  Both have similar symptoms, which include:

  • Persistent coughing
  • Chest Pain
  • Increased trouble breathing (indicated by nostrils flaring or seeing the ribs or the gap above the collarbone which indicates trouble breathing.
  • Change in behavior like forgetfulness or sleepiness (indicates a lack of oxygen)
  • Vomiting which is a sign of the body under stress, and can occur from a lack of oxygen or persistent coughing

While the cause of dry drowning and secondary drowning are a bit different, the symptoms and results can be the same, and in some cases fatal. 

Categories: pool floats and toys | Comments

The Importance of Swimming Pool Water Balance

James Ashner | May 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The Importance of Chemically Balanced Pool Water

Maintaining swimming pool water balance is very important, for the health of everyone swimming and for maintaining proper equipment in good working order.   It can be confusing knowing exactly what to look for and how to treat swimming pool water, especially water that has become unbalanced.  If you need help getting your water in balance, and maintaining proper levels, you may need a free water test at The Swimming Pool Store.

There are many important reasons why you must keep your pool water chemicals in balance, the most important reason is the safety of all swimmers.   If your pool water is not properly balanced, the sanitizer in the chlorine won’t be working effectively to kill bacteria and germs. 



pH Level

If your pH is out of whack, it will cause swimmers to feel very uncomfortable with eye and skin irritation.   Your pH needs to be in the proper range for swimmers to feel comfortable.

A good range for pH is between 7.4 – 7.6 on a test kit.  If your pH is too high, it will cause the chlorine to dissolve faster, if it is too low it will inactivate the effectiveness of the chlorine. 


Alkalinity goes along with pH in that a highly alkaline pool causes a high pH balance.  Water with low alkalinity leads to a low pH balance.  A good midrange reading for the average swimming pool is an alkalinity close to 100 ppm.

Calcium Hardness

Measuring your calcium hardness is an important chemical reading for pools.  If this number is too high your pool water will become cloudy, forming scale and stains on the liner.  A reading of about 300 ppm is the ideal calcium hardness reading for the average pool.


Categories: Pool Chemistry, pool maintenance | Comments

Professional Weekly Pool Maintenance

James Ashner | May 18, 2017 10:31:46 AM

 Professional Weekly Pool Maintenance

Now that your pool is open for the summer, performing regular weekly maintenance will keep your water safe and clean for an enjoyable swimming season.  There are a few steps that you should perform on a regular basis to keep your water safe for swimming, and to cut down on any big problems developing.  Maintaining the chemical balance of your water is important for safe swimming water, and keeping the pool clean is important for the proper working of your pump and mechanical equipment.  

Maintain Water Level 

Checking the water level and maintaining the ideal water level is important for the optimum workings of all pool equipment, and for proper water chemical balance.  

Clean Skimmers 

Check and clean the skimmer baskets regularly and remove any debris stuck in the basket.  This clears the way for the water to filter properly and most efficiently.  



Cleaning the Pool 

Skim the surface of your pool water regularly with a long-handled skimmer to clear leaves and debris from the water surface.  Removing leaves and debris before they sink to the bottom will help to keep leaves from creating stains on your liner which can be very stubborn to clean.  

Brush and Vacuum  

You’ll want to brush the sides and the bottom of the pool, pushing any loose sediment towards the main drain for easier vacuuming.  When vacuuming, you need to submerge the vacuum head and prime the hose with water before hooking it up to your filter.  This keeps the air out of the line, and is better for the pump and to maintain a good suction with the hose.   

Backwash and Check Circulation 

Unless you have a cartridge filer, you should always backwash after vacuuming.  This helps to keep the pump in good working order, which allows the chemicals to work effectively.  Circulating the water is important to maintain optimum swimming water health and the smooth-running equipment.   


Categories: pool maintenance | Comments