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Pools and Stuff

  • January Swimming Pool News Roundup

    It might be the middle of winter, but there's plenty going on with swimming pools right. We've collected some recent swimming pool news for your enjoyment.

    Cow Rescued From Oregon Swimming Pool

    McMinnville cow rescue

    In McMinnville, Oregon, a cow wandered through an open gate and right into a family's swimming pool. The pool owner herded the animal into the shallow end so it wouldn't drown, and even tried to create a ramp to help it escape. However, it was finally with the assistance of local firefighters that the cow was pulled to safety. The cow was exhausted, but uninjured.

    And on the topic of critters in swimimng pools:

    Why Do Animals Fall into Pools?

    National Geographic recently pondered this question on their website, with YouTube clips of animals ranging from bears to moose to baby deer splashing around family swimming pools. Perhaps the animals get spooked and fall in? Perhaps the reflective water attracts them? Maybe they are trying to cool off? Or, just maybe, wildlife aren't so different from us and also enjoy playing in a big pool of water.

    Children Evacuated From Public Pool Because of Prosthetic Leg

    Children visiting a swimming pool in Kent, England, were evacuated when a man's leg was spotted in a changing room cubicle in a room being used by the children to change their clothes. Mistaken for a real leg, the children were quickly removed from the room and the pool facility was locked down while staff approached the suspected pedophile. It was then discovered to belong to a 60-year-old man who had removed it prior to swimming.

    Nine Crocodiles Discovered at a Public Pool

    Nine baby crocodiles found in pool

    Swimmers at a public pool in Queensland, Australia, were somewhat surprised to discover six baby freshwater crocodiles swimming laps beside them. Three more were discovered under tables nearby. What ensued was apparently a Benny Hill-like effort to capture all the little crocs, which was successful with no one injured. Sadly, one of the babies didn't make it, but the remainder were picked up by a local wildlife ranger for release back into the wild.

    Speaking of unwelcome things in the water ...

    High School Swim Teams Sickened by Pool Parasite

    Several members of swim teams in Durham and Orange counties in North Carolina tested positive for Cryptosporidiosis, also known as Crypto. Crypto is a water-borne illness with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. The parasite can survive several days even in properly chlorinated pools. For this reason, it is highly advised that individuals experiencing any kind of diarrhea upset avoid using swimming pools.

    Have swimming pool news happening in your area? Send us your stories at [email protected] and we'll share them in our next roundup!


  • The Health Benefits of Swimming


    We hope that everyone reading this resolved to swim more in 2014! Swimming is both fun and a very good exercise. Swimming is a unique exercise because it allows you to work your body without the harsh impacts to your skeletal system that you find in running or jogging. The human body becomes very light in water: in waist-deep water, your body bears only 50% of its weight. In chest-deep water, your body bears only 25-35% of its weight. In neck-deep water, you bear merely 10% of your own weight. Since the water supports the rest, your body is free to move without stress on joints or bones, making for a more gentle workout.

    So you know the pool is a great place to exercise, but what exactly is that exercise doing for your body? The health benefits of swimming are almost too many for one article, but we're going to do it anyway:

    Provides Relief From Arthritic Pain

    Water's amazing supportive ability means that the pool is the perfect place to workout if you're overweight or suffer from arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that those who suffer from arthritis should stretch muscles, strengthen muscles, and perform aerobic workouts. Swimming combines all three into one activity.

    Builds Muscle Strength and Tone

    Water is about 12 times as dense as air, so every movement in water becomes a resistance exercise. Resistance exercises are known to be the best way to develop muscle strength and tone. In one study, men who participated in an 8-week swimming program saw a 23.8% increase in their triceps (the muscle at the back of the arm).

    Improves Bone Strength

    The resistance exercise provided by swimming also helps improve bone strength. The benefits of swimming on bone strength are especially notable in post-menopausal women who are highly susceptible to osteoporosis.

    Encourages Muscle Flexibility

    The broad range of motions that are possible and involved in swimming encourage joints and ligaments to become and remain loose and flexible. Additionally, swimming strokes lengthen the body, stretching muscles repeatedly from head to toe, developing elasticity in muscle tissue.

    Improves Heart Strength and Efficiency

    Aerobic exercise, also known as "cardio", is known to strengthen the heart. It helps make the heart larger and also improves pumping efficiency. This results in increased blood flow throughout the body. In one study, sedentary men and women participated in swim training for 12 weeks and at the end saw their maximal oxygen consumption improve 10% and the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat improved by as much as 18%.

    Can Lower and Control Weight

    As a general rule, for every 10 minutes of swimming, the average person burns 60 calories doing the breast stroke, 80 calories doing the backstroke, 100 calories swimming freestyle, and 150 calories doing the butterfly stroke. And because of the low-impact nature of exercising in water, it's easy to workout for longer periods of time.

    Relieves Asthma Symptoms

    Swimming is done, by necessity, in a moist environment, which helps alleviate exercise-induced asthma symptoms. For regular asthma sufferers, swimming can actually improve the condition overall. In one study, children who completed a 6-week swimming program saw improvements in the severity of their asthma symptoms, snoring, mouth-breathing, and experienced reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Even more impressive, these health benefits were still apparent a year after the program ended.

    Swimming regularly can increase lung volume and teach proper breathing techniques, both beneficial to asthma sufferers.

     Lengthens Life Expectancy

    It's true! Swimming regularly can lengthen the span of your years. In a huge study of over 40,000 men aged 20-90 over the course of 32 years, those that swam had a 50% lower death rate than runners, walkers, or sedentary men. It's believed that the results would be similar for women. And because swimming is such a great exercise for older people, regular swimmers experience good health for longer than those who don't swim.

    With a list of health benefits like this, who wouldn't want to go swimming? Make it your New Year's resolution and have a safe, healthy 2014. Happy swimming!

  • Happy Holidays from Poolsandstuff.com!

    'Tis the season for family gatherings, trips to grandma's house, for cooking feasts and sharing gifts with loved ones. Everyone here at Poolsandstuff.com would like to wish you and yours a very happy and safe holiday this week.

    Helpful Holiday Tips

    A few things to think about this holiday week:

    • If you are traveling to visit friends and family, remember to winterize your pool properly and cover it up. Expecting snow? Make sure to use weights or aqua blocks to ensure the cover stays in place. Check out our pool closing kits if you need anything.
    • Visiting family with a pool? Remember to pack pool alarm wristbands for children if there are uncovered pools at any houses you are visiting.
    • If you are in a sunny location for the holidays (lucky you!), remember that alcohol and swimming don't mix! Swim first, drink later--this will ensure a happier holiday for everyone!
    • Need a last minute gift? Pick up a gift card and let the recipient do the shopping.

    Let us know if you need anything or have any questions about how to make this a great holiday!

  • Announcing Saunasandstuff.ca!


    Everyone here at Poolsandstuff.com is excited to announce a new member to our Storesandstuff.com family: please welcome our new website Saunasandstuff.ca!

    We've been selling saunas online since 2005, and we are so pleased to now be expanding into Canada. The new website will serve our Canadian friends by providing quality saunas at great prices. We'll offer a selection of top-of-the-line sauna rooms, pre-built and pre-cut sauna kits, heaters, and other other accessories. We are pleased to offer free shipping, just as we do with our US customers.

    Connect With Us!

    If you have friends or family in Canada, please send them our way! Be sure to join us on our website, blog, and social media outlets. Please share our links! We love connecting with our customers.

    We look forward to being Canada's foremost supplier of quality, affordable saunas and sauna supplies. Thanks to all of our customers, everywhere. We couldn't do any of this without you!

  • APSP Honors Top Pool Designs

    On November 12, 2013, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) honored the best in swimming pool designs at the 43rd annual International Awards of Excellence at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's LIGHT Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada. Eighty-eight awards were presented in forty categories, five of which spotlighted international installations. There were over a hundred entries from six countries.

    "This year's winning installations showcase our members' superior ability to transform backyards into magnificent environments that cultivate lifelong memories of fun and family. Consumers seeking ideas as they consider building their own aquatic oasis will be able to view the 2013 winners, and even past recipients’ installations, via APSP.org's new Inspiration Gallery coming this winter." -- APSP President and CEO Rich Gottwald.

    Some of the highlights we liked most here at Poolsandstuff.com include Caribbean Blue Pools & Spas' amazing multi-tiered pool with slide; Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping's cello-shaped pool; Claffey Pools' cliff terrace pool; and Silver Fox Contracting's stunning pool and hot tub in Dubai.

    See the award winners here in this video:

    Getting any ideas for your own home pool or hot tub design?


    * http://www.newsday.com/business/press-releases/apsp-celebrates-the-finest-in-pool-spa-hot-tub-design-1.6540506

  • Holiday Gift Ideas from Poolsandstuff.com

    The holidays are in full swing and there's not much time left to order gifts for your loved ones! Poolsandstuff.com has some really great gift ideas for everyone. With our great discounted prices and free shipping, make us part of your holidays this year!

    Gift Ideas for Everyone

    Holiday Gift Ideas from Poolsandstuff.com

    ProSeries™ 15' Round, 48" Soft-Sided Pool ($650) -- Not even joking. Maybe you live in an area where you can set this up and use it right away, maybe you'd have to wait for the summer to roll back around. Regardless, this easy-to-assemble pool would make a great gift for the family. And the price is ridiculously affordable.

    Shot Kind Sisal Dart Board ($61) -- Did you know we carry in-home games as well? We do! Made of superior grade self-healing sisal fibers, this tournament-style board features a moveable metal number ring so you can easily rotate your board and extend playing life.

    Carmelli™ Hoops Dual Electronic Basketball Game ($254) -- Beat the competition in the comfort of your own home. Unlike other basketball games, this game is built to last with a rugged steel frame and a solid wooden backboard.

    Holiday Gift Ideas from Poolsandstuff.com

    Carmelli® Deluxe Shuffleboard Table ($969) -- Enjoy this pub style shuffleboard table fun in the comfort of your home. Our shuffleboard tables are packed with quality features and are offered in rich cherry or walnut finish.

    Click here to check out our full selection of indoor games, including table tennis tables, air hockey tables, pool tables, and more!

    Click here to check out our full selection of fun winter toys, including really awesome inflatable sledding toys, many of which can also be used in the pool during the summer!

    Sign Up for Our Newsletter for Great Deals

    Sign up for our newsletter and stay current on our deals and new products all year round! Sign up form is on the right. It takes just 30 seconds!

  • Should You Convert to a Saltwater Pool?

    Should You Convert to a Saltwater Pool?

    The topic of saltwater (or saline) pools versus chlorine pools is one that triggers hot debate among swimming pool enthusiasts. Certainly, there are pros and cons to each. At the end of the day, it's all about your preferences and your family's lifestyle.

    I Don't Even Know What a Saltwater Pool is.

    Everyone is pretty familiar with the traditional chlorine swimming pool, as well as with the red eyes, frizzled hair, and itchy skin the pool chemicals can cause. Saltwater pools are a very different experience, one you should try before you make the decision to convert or not to convert.

    The biggest downside to saltwater pools is that salt creates greater wear and tear on everything in and around the pool. It can also leave a white, dusty residue around the pool area. There are lots of benefits, too. Here are just a few:

    • The water in a saltwater pool feels softer and silkier, making for a luxurious swimming experience.
    • There are no harsh chemicals in the water, so there will be no red eyes or itchy skin after swimming.
    • You'll find that you float more easily in saltwater.
    • It is much easier and cheaper to maintain a clean saltwater pool. No more algae blooms!
    • The annual savings on chemicals and cleaners is considerable.
    • They are environmentally friendly.

    The Saltron Conversion System

    Adding a mild salt solution to your pool changes the salt ions in the the water and, when used in conjunction with a chlorine generator, to sanitizes your pool. Salt levels are nearly undetectable and the concentration is less than in human tears.  A conversion system like the Saltron® system makes switching to saltwater easy, as it retro-fits onto almost any above-ground and in-ground pool up to 20,000 gallons. Constructed of commercial-grade components, its operation is efficient and affordable. It arrives at your home with a power cord and a pool-safe transformer and it can be wired for 110V or 220V. The Saltron® system also comes with a 1-year warranty.

    We offer Saltron Saltwater Chlorine Generators for the low price of $289 with fast and free shipping to the lower 48 states. If you have any questions about saltwater systems, please contact us and we'd be happy to assist you.


  • Pool Safety--Make it a Priority!

    Pool Safety -- Make it a Priority!

    Swimming pools should be fun, but above all else they should be safe. The Center for Disease Control reports that about 10 people die everyday, and two of those people are children aged 14 and under. Most of these deaths occur in residential pools, turning a fun family play area into a scene of tragedy. By taking a few simple precautions and with the aid of a few affordable products, you can greatly decrease the chances of a tragic accident and increase overall pool safety.

    Tips to Maximize Pool Safety

    • Install a fence around the pool area, whether you have an above-ground or in-ground pool. This will prevent people from using the pool without your knowledge and keep small children and animals out. This one step is the priciest on our list, but it alone can be the greatest safety precaution you take.
    • Never leave small children unsupervised in or around the pool, not even for a minute. This is worth repeating: never leave small children unsupervised in or around the pool. This means any child 14 years of age or under. Small children can drown in just seconds, so there should always be an adult who can swim actively supervising.
    • Keep children away from pool filters. The suction may injure them or prevent them from reaching the surface.
    • Be sure all pool users know how to swim. Teach children to swim as early as possible. Children can learn to swim as early as age 1. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend teaching children before age 1 due to development issues. Teach small children how to get to the nearest steps or where they should go if they accidentally fall in. Supervising adults should absolutely know how to swim.
    • Implement a buddy system: no one swims alone, ever.
    • Don't allow anyone who has been drinking alcohol or is otherwise inebriated to swim in the pool.
    • Never dive into an above-ground pool. Always check the water depth before plunging into an in-ground pool. Obey all pool rules about diving and running.
    • Don’t allow glass containers in the pool area.
    • Keep radios, CD players, blow dryers, and other electrical devices away from the pool.
    • Everyone in the home aged 14 years and older should take basic first aid and CPR training. These are often offered through local community programs. Check your local library for nearby classes.

    Products to Maximize Pool Safety

    • Door alarms, locks, and safety covers create a barrier of protection around the pool. These are all useful in alerting you if a child is trying to get out to the pool area.
    • Keep a secure cover on the pool during the off-season. We carry covers for above-ground pools and in-ground pools.
    • Keep a first aid kit, ring buoys, and reaching poles near the pool in case of emergency.
    • Have very small children wear pool alarms like this Safety Turtle alarm. The moment it is immersed in water, it activates a very loud alarm.
    • Invest in an anti-entrapment system to prevent small children from becoming trapped by drain and filter suction.
    • Have small children wear life vests in the pool.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your pool's safety, give us a call! We'd love to help you find resources and products that will keep you and your family safe.

    * Check out this great site on pool safety: http://www.poolsafely.gov/
  • Pool and Hot Tub Safety Code Reaffirmed

    Pool and Hot Tub Safety Code Reaffirmed

    The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) announced on October 30, 2013, the reaffirmation of American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/APSP/International Code Council (ICC)-8 2005 (Revised 2013) Standard for Model Barrier Code for Residential Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs. The Standard protects children from accidental drowning by limiting or delaying unintended access to swimming pools and hot tubs through layers of protection.

    The first and most important layer of protection to keep everyone safe around a pool, spa or hot tub is constant, adult supervision. This Standard provides the layer of protection options in easy to understand language and illustrations for the builder, the code official, and the consumer to ensure safe and responsible swimming and soaking. -- APSP Senior Director Technical & Standards Carvin DiGiovanni

    ANSI/APSP/ICC-8 2013 provides the most up-to-date layers of protection for incorporation into national or regional building codes and for adoption by state and local jurisdictions. The Standard contains a complete description of the layers of protection with annotated pictures of their application. The Standard can be purchased and downloaded in the APSP store. For more information about APSP’s standards, parties may contact DiGiovanni at 703-838-0083 Ext. 149.

    At Poolsandstuff.com, we are dedicated to keeping you and your family safe while you enjoy your pool. That's why we stock so many products that will help keep your pool environment safe, including the following:

    Please let us know if you have any questions about the reaffirmed Standard or about pool safety. Happy Swimming!

  • Swimming Pool Exercises: Water Walking

    Swimming Pool Exercises: Water Walking

    Water walking in a pool can provide an excellent aerobic workout. It is a great option for those with an injury, pregnant women, or for older folks who want to increase their activity level without putting stress on their joints. Water provides gentle resistance to your movements, which helps strengthen and build muscle. Over time, you can increase your endurance while enjoying this low-stress exercise.

    Water walking is simple: stand in water that is at least waist-deep, with your abdominal muscles firm and flexed, shoulders back, and chest lifted in a neutral position. Walking in chest-deep water provides even more resistance and a more strenuous workout for those wanting to work a little harder.

    You then walk as you would on land, placing your heel down first and following through with the ball of your foot. Try not to walk on your tiptoes, but instead walk normally as you would if you were walking on the street. Remember to keep your back straight and your stomach muscles tight. You can also walk backwards to work different muscle groups. Press your palms against the water to also work your arms.

    While no equipment is necessary, there are some products that can assist you in your water walking workout. Poolsandstuff.com offers great accessories for water walking, such as The Underwater Walker. Constructed of durable PVC tubing and stainless steel swivel casters with solid rubber wheels, it's designed to assist the injured or elderly who need additional assistance walking and remaining upright. It also has armrest cradles that provide extra support and can be attached or removed. We also have an aquatic floatation aid (shown above) for adults who can support themselves in the water in an upright position but need assistance to walk.

    If you have any questions about water walking, or are looking for products that can help you exercise this way, please contact us! We can get you in the water and working out in no time.


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