Facebook Twitter Google Plus Youtube

Book an Appointment (860) 673-6118

The Swimming Pool Store Blog


Off Season Swimming Pool Checklist

James Ashner | Nov 20, 2017 12:13:27 PM


With cold weather upon us and snowfall just around the corner, your pool should be cleaned, covered and winterized for the harsh New England weather.  It’s always a good idea to do an off-season swimming pool checklist to ensure a damage free winter and smooth opening next spring.   An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that couldn’t be more true for winterizing your swimming pool.

 Read the following checklist to make sure you have a worry-free Winter and a happy Spring with a clean and damage free swimming pool:   

  • Make sure that your pool cover is properly attached around the perimeter to avoid a sinking cover that will allow leaves and debris to enter and possibly damage your pool. 
  • Check the water bags around your cover if you use them, to make sure they are not leaking or deflated. 
  • Keep your pool cover clean even during the winter, heavy ice can damage and even rip winter pool covers.

Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, pool closing, swimming pool checklist | Comments

Pool Closing Tips to Prepare for Winter

James Ashner | Oct 19, 2017 2:00:19 PM


It is important follow these recommended pool closing tips to avoid damage to your pool and equipment during the winter.  Save time and money in the spring by following a few simple steps in the fall.  You’ll want to close your pool at least a few weeks before you could experience a damaging freeze, which may vary depending on the climate in your area.   

The first thing you’ll want to do is balance the chemistry of your pool, adjusting chlorine, pH, alkalinity and hardness to the proper levels.  Check out this post Why You Must Balance Your Water When Closing Your Pool for more information on the importance of pool chemistry, even when closing for the winter. 

Once your pool water chemistry is balanced you’ll need to shock the water with a strong sanitizing shock, either chlorine or non-chlorine but not the type of shock that allows immediate swimming as this will not be strong enough for a winter closing.  Add your winterizing algaecide next for help in preventing algae growth over the winter. 

pool floats and toys

Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, pool closing | Comments

Prevent Drownings with Swimming Pool Safety Covers

James Ashner | Sep 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM


While we all enjoy a leisurely, summer day lounging by the pool, pool owners should never forget that the number one priority must always be safety.  According to the Center for Disease Control, there were an average of 3,536 fatal accidental drownings annually in the United States, not related to boating, based on data from 2005 to 2014.  This equals about ten deaths per day due to drowning, with at least two deaths per day from children younger than fourteen, and is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 years old. 

With these alarming statistics, pool owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of people, especially children, that visit or have access to their pool.  The majority of these tragic drownings occur in pools owned by family, friends, or relatives, and the child was typically not out of sight for more than 5 minutes.  Take action to ensure the safety of your pool, and be part of a solution rather than a statistic.   Swimming pool safety covers are a great way to help protect people and animals from accidental drownings.


Swimming Pool Safety Covers

A swimming pool safety cover provides a high level of security over the water surface that prevents children, animals and even adults from falling in, and can easily be opened and closed.  Safety covers can be either manual or motorized for ease in opening, but must have the ability to be removed quickly in case of emergency.  When installed correctly, pool safety covers must support the weight of two adults and one child to accommodate possible rescue.

Your pool safety cover should also meet the requirements of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).  ASTM F 1346-91 outlines the standard for Pool and Spa Covers, establishing three classifications for covers including power safety covers typically found on swimming pools, manual safety covers, and the category of “other”, which do not qualify as a safety cover as they do not provide a barrier for children under the age of 5. 

In order to bear the proper safety label, a pool safety cover must pass all tests and performance standards detailed in ASTM F 1346-91.  If your pool cover does not say “safety”, it only meets the non-safety standards for pool covers. 

Categories: pool safety covers, swimming pool safety covers | Comments

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