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The Swimming Pool Store Blog


Initial Pool Water Testing for a Healthy Swimming Season

James Ashner | May 16, 2018 3:51:19 PM


Please note our new hours : 

Monday - Friday:   9 am to 5 pm
Saturday:   9 am to 3 pm
Sunday:  10 am to 2 pm



If you haven’t yet opened your pool, you are probably thinking about it and planning for the long-awaited day.  Taking the time to open your pool properly contributes to healthy pool water that will last the entire season.  Begin with your initial cleaning and use of your pool opening kit which includes some form of shock and something to remove the winter buildup of elements. 

It is then important for your initial pool water testing to check all critical elements, and at the right time.  You should run the circulation system on your pool for 72 hours prior to conducting your initial pool water test. 

Start Your Swimming Season with a Well-Balanced Pool

Starting the season off with a well-balanced pool goes a long way towards minimizing frustrations with fluctuating pool chemistry during the initial start-up phase.  Testing and balancing your water now allows for peace of mind and early swimming without worry, along with providing an easier pool to maintain throughout the season.         

  Schedule your pool opening now through Memorial Day

to receive 20% Off your start-up chemical purchase


Opening pool chemicals discount

Your initial pool water test should include checking the following elements: 

  • Standard chlorine levels
  • pH
  • Total alkalinity
  • Calcium and hardness levels
  • Stabilizer levels
  • Phosphates
  • All forms of metals and total dissolved solids

Careful testing from a pool chemistry lab is required to monitor your pool water and maintain it within safe swimming limits. 

Categories: Pool Chemistry | Comments

Should I Use a Gas or Electric Pool Heater?

James Ashner | May 16, 2018 3:46:45 PM


Please note our new hours : 

Monday - Friday:   9 am to 5 pm
Saturday:   9 am to 3 pm
Sunday:  10 am to 2 pm



Should I Use a Gas or Electric Pool Heater?

 If you are considering purchasing a heater for your swimming pool you are probably trying to decide which is the best type of heater for your pool.  With many styles and options available, deciding which type of pool heater is best for you is a tough decision for most people.  The best option for you depends upon many factors such as your climate and location, the size of your pool, how much sun and wind exposure exist and whether or not a solar cover will also be used.  We’ll help you go through the advantages of both gas and electric pool heaters so that you make the best purchase decision. 

You’ll first want to think about how you wish to use your heater.  Do you want heating at a steady temperature all year long, or do you want your pool to heat quickly during the weeks of the year you really want it warmed up?  If you want a steady temperature all year long, electric may be the best option for you.  If you have two to three months throughout the season where you don't need to heat the pool, or if a solar blanket provides enough heat, then a gas heater may be best. 

$50 Off Pool Heater install when  purchased in April or May 2018

Electric Pool Heaters

Electric heat pump pool heaters extend the use of a pool on average by 2 to 3 months depending on the climate and location.    

Some advantages of heat pumps can be that they are relatively inexpensive to operate with monthly costs ranging between $50 to $150.  They are designed to be energy efficient, with a lifespan of up to 20 years, and are environmentally friendly emitting no air pollution by using renewable energy.

Some disadvantages of electric heat pumps are that they are typically expensive to purchase, are dependent upon the air temperature and heat the pool water slowly.  

Categories: pool heater, Opening and Closing Pools, swimming pool heater | Comments

Start Your Summer Early with a Swimming Pool Heater

James Ashner | Apr 12, 2018 7:37:57 PM


Please note our new hours starting April 16, 2018: 

Monday - Friday:   9 am to 5 pm
Saturday:   9 am to 3 pm
Sunday:   Closed  (will open from 10 am to 2 pm starting May 1)



Start Your Summer Early with a Swimming Pool Heater

There’s nothing worse than staring at your beautifully clean, sparkling swimming pool and not being able to swim because it’s too cold.  You can start your summer a little early with a swimming pool heater, and not let chilly evenings dictate whether you enjoy your pool on a nice sunny day.  With a Sta-Rite Max E-Therm pool heater, you can be in charge of your pool time.

Don’t waste the first few weeks after opening your pool due to cold water as is often the case without a pool heater. Even the best solar covers cannot keep water warm during some early summer seasons.   

The Sta-Rite Max E-Therm pool heater provides many benefits including:

  • High energy efficiency rating providing economical operation, certified for low emissions
  • Fast warming of pool water with the perfect blend of fuel and air ignited for fast heating to your optimal temperature
  • Smart electronics with an easy to program user-friendly control panel
  • Dura-Glas™ housing for durability in harsh weather conditions with a corrosion resistant rust-proof exterior

Sta-Rite’s Max E-Therm swimming pool heater is identified as best in class with the Eco Select™ Choice brand for high energy efficiency with low emissions.

$50 Off Pool Heater install when  purchased in April or May 2018

 The Swimming Pool Store Offers Installation of Your Pool Heater

The Swimming Pool Store is a full-service pool store and supply company, offering many pool services including opening your pool, water analysis with the needed chemicals for crystal clear water, and installation of auxiliary equipment such as swimming pool heaters.  We also offer a wide range of high performing solar covers, which will help to hold your water temperature during the chilly nights.   

Categories: pool heater, Opening and Closing Pools, swimming pool heater | Comments

Opening Your Pool for a Successful Swimming Season

James Ashner | Apr 12, 2018 7:36:42 PM


Please note our new hours starting April 16, 2018: 

Monday - Friday:   9 am to 5 pm
Saturday:   9 am to 3 pm
Sunday:   Closed  (open from 10 am to 2 pm starting May 1)


Spring is finally here, and it’s time to start thinking about opening your pool.  There are some steps you can take to make this a smooth process, to start off a successful swimming season.  With the warmer weather coming, it will be important to open your pool before the temperature heats up too much as there is a greater chance of algae growth in warmer water.  Algae begins to grow around 40°F (5° C), so it is important to open the pool and treat with chlorine as soon as possible.

You’ll have to shock your pool when opening for the first time of the season by following the directions relative to the size of your pool and how many gallons of water it holds. You will need to shock your pool, add chlorine and test the pH and alkalinity before you had any other chemicals.  There are three different types of chlorine forms to use; granules, tablets and liquid. 

Chlorine granules are added to the pool like shock by sprinkling around the pool.  Granules are safe to use with the vinyl liners, dissolve quickly and usually have a pH level near seven which is in between liquid and tablets.  Chlorine tablets are ideal to use in chlorinators which should not be placed in a skimmer basket as that may contribute to equipment erosion. Tablets come with a lower pH of around three, so you may have to use pH increaser when you use chlorine tablets.  Liquid chlorine is similar to bleach although it is 4 to 6 times more potent and has a higher level of pH than tablets or granules, closer to 13.   You can pour liquid chlorine directly into the deep end of your pool wearing eye protection and close you wouldn’t mind getting a bleach stain on. 

While some home test kits will give you very accurate readings on these levels, a professional water analysis will provide so much more, and could reveal a water condition that may be unhealthy. 

Save 20% OFF your entire pool opening chemical purchase when

The swimming Pool Store opens your pool Opening pool chemicals discount

The Swimming Pool Store offers sophisticated water analysis with our LaMotte WaterLink® Spin Lab, providing fast and accurate results.  It is very important to get your water balanced quickly after opening as improperly balanced pool water can lead to cloudiness in the water or may cause damage to your equipment.  Pool water that is not properly balanced and maintained could also create a situation where the chlorine is less effective and may lead to a greenish color of your pool water.

Categories: pool heater, Opening and Closing Pools, swimming pool checklist, chlorine, Pool Chemistry | Comments

Spring Has Finally Arrived – or Has it?

James Ashner | Mar 22, 2018 11:37:34 AM


Well the first day of spring has finally arrived although with the slew of Nor’easters slamming the East Coast it sure doesn’t feel like it in Connecticut. While it seems like warm weather is a distant thought, with April right around the corner it has to warm up soon in spite of the winter we are experiencing in late March. In like a lion for certain, it can head out like a lamb any time. 

While we are waiting for Mother Nature to get the memo, we should begin thinking about opening our pools for the summer and any necessary repairs that we are aware of, supplies we’ll need to purchase and any required pool renovations to make sure that our swimming pool is ready when we are.



The Swimming Pool Store is Ready to Help Plan Your Staycation

 The Swimming Pool Store is eager to get back into the swing of things and help you transform your backyard swimming pool into your own unique “Staycation”.  Until the weather cooperates we are always available by appointment, do not hesitate to leave a message or send an email to discuss your pool opening this spring. We will help to answer any questions that you have about equipment or renovations, and our store is fully stocked and ready to go with all necessary supplies.

Categories: pool heater, Projects, pool construction, pool renovations, swimming pool construction | Comments

Six More Weeks of Winter?

James Ashner | Feb 15, 2018 8:00:00 AM


It seems that the most famous groundhog in the world saw his shadow on February 2nd, also known as Groundhog Day.  According to legend, when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow upon emerging from his burrow, we should brace for another six weeks of cold weather.    If he does not see his shadow, then we can assume that we will be lucky enough to see an early spring (lucky if we are not a snow skier).  For those of us that love the summer and swimming pools, we were hoping for an early spring.

I guess we have to wait to see how accurate Phil the groundhog was this year.  In the meantime, we could still be planning our late spring pool opening and thinking about any necessary pool repairs or renovations that need to take place this spring or summer. 


The Swimming Pool Store Provides Pool Construction and Renovations

If you are considering adding a swimming pool this year, or renovating the one you have, contact The Swimming Pool Store for assistance with your pool project.  We have been constructing and renovating pools for over 40 years.  When it comes to experience, no other pool store comes close to the expertise we provide with any type of pool construction or renovation project. 

Categories: pool heater, Projects, pool construction, pool renovations, swimming pool construction | Comments

Preventing Winter Pool Cover Failures

James Ashner | Jan 20, 2018 3:36:29 PM


We have discussed winter pool cover maintenance, and the importance of inspecting your pool for accumulating debris or sinking and ill-fitting covers, but do you know just how bad it can be if you experience a failure with your winter pool cover? 

Pools are closed with a level of water still in the pool for a few reasons, one of those being to support the winter pool cover.  Your safety pool cover should not be lower than 12” to 15” from the top of the pool.

If your pool has a leak and your water level falls, you risk a failure with your winter pool cover as heavy snow will cause your pool cover to cave in under the pressure. 

 Snow Covered Pool back yard.jpg

Categories: pool closing, swimming pool checklist, Pool Safety, pool safety covers | Comments

Winter Maintenance for Pool Covers

James Ashner | Dec 14, 2017 9:35:04 AM


Winter is in full force and the harsh New England winter is no different this year with most of our pools now covered in snow.  While we prepare for the Holidays, with visions of pool floaties and lounging rafts dancing in our heads, don’t forget about your pool cover underneath all that snow.  

Follow these tips to maintain your pool covers even over the winter, as we wait for the next spring thaw: 

  • For inground safety covers, you’ll want to prevent water from touching the cover and trapping debris by using a cover pump near the steps or from the skimmer. 
  • Inground pool covers that use water bags should be inspected to make sure the bags are not deflated or leaking, and that the pool cover is still fitting firmly in place around the perimeter of your pool.


Categories: pool closing, swimming pool checklist, Pool Safety, pool safety covers | Comments

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. 

$25 OFF Your Pool Closing  with Closing Chemical Purchase

Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, pool closing | Comments