Facebook Twitter Google Plus Youtube

Book an Appointment (860) 673-6118

The Swimming Pool Store Blog


Winter Algaecide is a Must for Clear Pool Water in the Spring

James Ashner | Sep 21, 2018 11:09:09 AM


Please note our new hours : 

Monday - Friday:   9 am to 5 pm
Saturday:   9 am to 3 pm
Sunday:  Closed Starting October


When closing and winterizing your pool, it is important to remember to balance your pool water’s chemistry prior to closing and don’t forget the algaecide.  Algaecide is simple and effective with one quart of winter algaecide typically enough to treat 20,000 gallons of water all winter long.  By simply adding algaecide to your water prior to closing, you can prevent algae growth from occurring during the cold, winter months which makes for an easier opening in the spring. 

You can apply algaecide directly to the pool water and allow the pump to continue to circulate for approximately two to four hours.  Adding winter algaecide to your pool water when closing for the winter provides many benefits to pool owners which include: 

  • Prevention of algae growth including black, green or mustard algae
  • Prevents algae growth all winter long
  • Copper pool algaecide lasts longer to work throughout the entire winter
  • Winter algaecide is designed specifically for cold weather algae prevention
  • Adding algaecide to your water does not interfere with other chemicals

15% Discount on Classic  Winter Pool Cover

Winter algaecide can prevent algae from taking hold in your pool water during the winter months for up to 5 months.  Pools with mesh covers or no covers may require a second application prior to opening in the spring to be sure algae remains completely under control.  

Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, Pool Chemistry, pool closing | Comments

Don’t Forget to Balance Your Water Before Closing Your Pool

James Ashner | Sep 21, 2018 11:04:22 AM


Please note our summer 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 closed your pool you are probably making plans to get the closing process underway.  While you are thinking about cleaning out the debris, putting away your summer pool toys and accessories and getting the cover out, don’t forget to balance your water chemistry before closing your pool.  Preparing your water for the harsh winter weather is important to prevent your pool liner or surface from staining, protect pool equipment and makes for an easier spring opening.

There are some considerations beyond adding chlorine and algaecide that help to prepare your water properly and provide many benefits for a long, cold winter. The following chemicals should be considered when closing your pool:

  •  Chlorine shock – add shock in either liquid or granules at a rate of 1 gallon or 1 pound respectively per every 5,000 gallons of water. 
  • Algaecide – a poly or copper based algaecide will prevent algae growth with long lasting effectiveness and should prevent algae growth until you open your pool next spring. 
  • Stain prevention – If you experience any problems with staining or metal in your water, stain and scale control products help to keep metals such as iron and copper in controllable limits to prevent water discoloration and staining.

$25 OFF Your Pool Closing


Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, Pool Chemistry, pool closing | Comments

How Do Phosphates Affect Your Swimming Pool?

James Ashner | Aug 17, 2018 10:56:38 AM


Please note our summer hours : 

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


How Do Phosphates Affect Your Swimming Pool?

Phosphates cause algae growth in pools and spas, which can be a pain to clean up once it’s taken hold in your swimming pool.  Pool owners typically experience an algae bloom once or twice per year and fight those pesky phosphates off with a good vacuuming, lots of chlorine and algaecide.  Learning how phosphates get into your pool water and how to prevent an increase in phosphates to begin with can save time, money and provide no lapse in enjoying sparkling pool water.  

What are Phosphates?

Phosphates are biological building blocks for algae. Along with sun, water, air and nitrates, add phosphates to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for an algae infestation.  Phosphates are the primary food source for all types of algae and aquatic plants.  When left in pool water, spas or ponds, phosphates break down into their simplest form, orthophosphates, which is the only form digestible by algae. 

How do Phosphates Get into My Pool?

Controlling phosphates in swimming pools can be challenging at times, especially if you are unaware as to where they are coming from.  Phosphates are found in fertilizers, vegetation, rain water, oils and lotions on swimmers, lake water and even some chemicals used to treat pools. This means that phosphates can get into your pool in a number of ways which include:

  • Wind blowing dirt, twigs or leaves into the pool
  • Water from sprinklers running off into the pool
  • Fresh water from heavy rains entering the pool
  • People getting into the pool coming from lake water
  • People entering the pool wearing oils and lotions
  • Using chemicals containing any amount of phosphoric, phosphonic or other phosphorous based ingredients to clean your pool

$25 OFF Your Pool Closing

When this happens, phosphates can cause algae growth and will affect how well your chlorine and other pool chemicals work. 

Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, Pool Chemistry, pool closing | Comments

Simple Pool Closing Checklist

James Ashner | Aug 17, 2018 10:55:00 AM


Please note our summer hours : 

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


Simple Pool Closing Checklist

It’ll be September before we know it and as much as we hate to admit it, it’s time to start thinking about closing our pools. There are a few things that you can do to make the annual winter pool closing event go a little smoother. The Swimming Pool Store offers experienced pool closing services that ensure equipment safety during the winter and contribute to a smooth opening in the spring.

Even when a professional pool company closes your pool, you’ll need to prepare for your pool closing with a few simple steps.  You can save this year when you balance your water within two weeks of scheduling your closing.  Read more to learn how to have a successful pool closing.


$25 OFF Your Pool Closing


  • Clean your pool by vacuuming and skimming out any leaves or debris
  • Balance your pool water by making sure your chlorine is at a normal level of 1.5 - 3.5ppm, alkalinity is in the range of 80-100, pH is 7.6-7.8 and calcium hardness is between 150-250. The Swimming Pool Store will add shock and algaecide as part of the closing process.
  • Inspect your winter cover and make sure it wasn’t damaged over the winter. Some rodents like to make homes in pool covers stored for the winter, always use some mice deterrents when storing pool covers to deter pesky invaders.
  • Make sure you know where you’ll store your pool equipment. If your storage space filled up with other things over the summer, you’ll need to make room to store your pool equipment. Taking proper care of pool equipment is necessary to avoid costly repairs.
  • Check all equipment, your liner and winter covers for damage, wear and tear. Make sure that your winter pool cover is in good shape or ask The Swimming Pool Store about winter safety covers.
  • Call The Swimming Pool Store to close your pool within two weeks of balancing your chemicals.




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

Practice UV Safety While Swimming

James Ashner | Jul 19, 2018 9:27:12 AM


Please note our summer hours : 

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


We all love to spend time in and around the pool during the summer and it can be a chore to remember the sunscreen when we’re excited to get in the water.  It can be even easier to get a sunburn and skin damage when swimming as the water keeps you cool and you don’t feel the heat like you would out of the pool.  Wearing sunscreen is one of the most important things that you can do to protect your skin from damage and skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States with increasing numbers in the last thirty years.  There are some very simple steps you can follow to help prevent the development of skin cancer, with the American Cancer Society recommending the Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap technique which entails:

  • Slipping on a shirt
  • Slopping on sunscreen
  • Slapping on a hat
  • Wrapping sunglasses around your eyes

Swimmers should use water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when in the pool, protect your skin with a light shirt, a hat and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes when out of the pool.  Maintaining proper pool chemicals is also important for safety and comfort of your skin and eyes.

Maintain Pool Chemical and pH Balance for Eye Comfort

Maintaining the proper balance of all necessary chemicals in the pool is important for swimmer safety, which includes maintaining a comfortable pH balance.  The pH balance in our eyes is typically between 7.2 and 7.4, which makes the ideal pH balance of a swimming pool within that range slightly +/- either way of 7.0 to 7.6.  Keeping the pH of the pool within this range reduces side effects such as red, burning eyes. 


Save 20% OFF all UV Safety Products! 

pool floats and toys


With the pH in proper balance, chlorine is also working with optimum disinfection characteristics. Borate is a mineral that is increasing in use in both commercial and residential pool maintenance.  Borate provides many benefits which include: 

Categories: pool maintenance, Pool Chemistry, Borate | Comments

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

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

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 maintenance, Pool Chemistry | Comments