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The Swimming Pool Store Blog


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

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.

$10 Off Your $50 Purchase

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

Getting to know your pool filter

James Ashner | Aug 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Getting to know your pool filter

Every swimming pool needs a filter. Countless types of debris, grease, organic material, metals, etc. will inevitably enter your pool water, and it’s up to your pools filter to remove much of it, especially the smaller particles that are suspended in the water and can cause cloudiness, staining or algae growth.

Categories: Pool Chemistry, pool maintenance, chlorine | Comments

Pool maintenance during a heat wave

James Ashner | Jul 30, 2016 12:49:19 PM

How to Maintain Your Pool in a Heat Wave

Pools and heat waves should go together perfectly, when temperatures soar there is no more inviting sight than the pool you’ve worked hard to maintain all summer. But when heat waves extend past a few days, they can cause a few issues with your pool water which is why pool maintenance is so important.

Categories: Pool Chemistry, pool maintenance, chlorine | Comments

How do metals affect my pool water?

James Ashner | Jun 26, 2016 3:03:21 PM

How do metals affect my pool water?

It might be hard to imagine, but your pool or spa is loaded with metals! Microscopic particles of various metals are suspended in the water and it’s important to keep them at proper concentrations.

Categories: Pool Chemistry, pool maintenance, chlorine | Comments

Difference between stabilized chlorine and unstabilized chlorine?

James Ashner | Jun 14, 2016 10:06:24 AM

What is the difference between stabilized and unstabilized chlorine?

You may have noticed that the chlorine or chlorine shock is either labeled as stabilized or unstablized. This refers to the levels of cyanuric acid in the chlorine.

Categories: Pool Chemistry, pool maintenance, chlorine | Comments