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The Swimming Pool Store Blog


How to Keep Rodents Out of Pool Equipment During the Winter

James Ashner | Oct 19, 2018 9:24:30 AM


Please note our store closing date is November 1st, we are always available by appointment!

One common problem that pool owners have over the winter months is keeping mice and rodents away from their pool equipment.  When the weather turns cold and we close our pools, mice and other rodents like squirrels, rats and chipmunks love to nest in a warm place like the inside of your pool heater, equipment and pool covers.  They can quickly chew holes right through thick pool covers and chew up wiring inside of expensive equipment causing irreparable damage and costly repairs.

Here are a few tips to help keep your equipment safe from rodent damage:

  • Use moth balls. Mice and rodents hate the smell of moth balls. These come in handy little packets which make it easy to drop a few inside packed away covers and around your expensive equipment. 
  • Use hardwire cloth to cover any openings on your equipment and do not cover with a winter cover as this provides a nice warm safe haven for rodents.
  • Stuff steel wool inside open cracks and holes of equipment. This is one thing rodents cannot chew through and if they try it will hurt them.  Be thorough as tiny rodents can squeeze through some incredibly tiny spaces.

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  • Use mouse deterrents such as Mouse Busters® sold at The Swimming Pool Store around all your pool equipment and entrances.
  • Throw some rubber snakes around near your equipment as rodents hate snakes for obvious reasons. This may not be quite as effective as some of the steps above but it couldn’t hurt and just might deter them from coming any further towards your equipment.
  • Store any equipment and items that pose a risk to rodent damage indoors if possible.

Categories: pool closing | Comments

Tips to Protect Your Swimming Pool During Harsh Winters

James Ashner | Oct 19, 2018 9:21:01 AM


Please note our store closing date is November 1st, we are always available by appointment!

Now that fall is officially here to stay and harsh winters are just around the corner, it’s important to make sure your swimming pool is properly winterized.  Following a few simple tips will ensure that your pool is not damaged from the freezing cold weather providing a worry free opening in the spring.  Follow these tips to make sure that your swimming pool is properly winterized and avoid costly repairs:              

  • Properly attach your winter pool cover around the perimeter of your pool to prevent the cover from sinking in the middle, which allows leaves, dirt and debris to accumulate and cause damage to your pool.
  • If you use water bags, make sure that they are not deflated or leaking.
  • Keep your winter pool cover clean as heavy snow and ice can rip or damage winter pool covers.
  • Make sure that you added winter algaecide to prevent algae growth while closed
  • Don’t forget the antifreeze in your plumbing after blowing out the lines. Cracked pipes underground are costly and challenging to repair.
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Categories: pool closing | Comments

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

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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.

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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

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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.


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  • 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

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. 

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Categories: Opening and Closing Pools, pool closing | Comments