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Pools and Stuff

  • Above Ground Pool Installation: Things to Consider

    Above Ground Pool Intallation: Things to Consider

    Even though the temperatures are dropping across the nation, now might be the perfect time to start thinking about your new above-ground pool. By the time the weather begins warming up again, you'll be all ready to go and can get the pool installed in time to enjoy every minute of summer.

    There are several important things to consider before you buy an above-ground pool. Consider the points below:

    • Water and Electric – Both are nice to have close to where you would like to assemble the pool. For most pools, it works the best if you run an underground conduit from your house outlet to where the pump and filter will be located. This also makes sense if you want to add a pool light or cleaner, as you do not want to have cords running across the yard. You may also want to extend an underground water pipe if your pool will be more than 50 feet from the water source. That will give you a cleaner look than having a garden hose stretched out over the lawn.
    • Visibility from the House – You might want to be able to enjoy the view of the pool from your house, especially if you have younger kids and want to keep a close eye on them. Do not leave small children unattended. Be prepared and safe with pool alarms and safety equipment. Conversely, you may want the pool to be hidden from view, in order to preserve the appearance of landscaping from the house.
    • Level is Key – The ground beneath your pool will need to be absolutely level before you begin to assemble your above-ground pool. This is so important to ensure the structural integrity of the pool and to have a nice even water line when the pool is full. A badly lopsided pool is a safety hazard--at best, it could fall over and flood the backyard; at worst, it could fall over and injure a swimmer.
    • Access to the Pool – You want to be able to jump into the pool quickly on a really hot, sweltering day, or run back into the house at rapid speed on a cold night. You also want to make sure there is quick access for emergency personnel, in case there is an emergency. You should also verify local government regulations for how far away a pool must be from the house. Keep a buffer zone around the pool so it is easier to walk around and clean once assembled.
    • Let there be Sun – Finally, you really want to consider where in the backyard the sun and shade exists during different times of the day. You might prefer partial shade, or want to make sure your pool is in the sunniest part of the yard. If you live in a really hot location, the sun might make the pool too warm in the middle of summer. We also suggest not placing your pool under a large tree, as the leaves might make cleaning the pool a major challenge.

    Poolsandstuff.com has a great selection of the top-brand above-ground pools. Check out our selection and contact us to help you determine the best option and style for you and your family.

  • Is Your Pool ADA Compliant?

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    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stipulated that all public accommodations including hotels, resorts, timeshares, and more must bring certain elements of their facilities into compliance with the 2010 ADA standards as of March 15, 2012. Elements of these new standards include that any commercial pool under 300 feet must have a sloped entry or a pool lift. Commercial pools larger than 300 linear feet need two forms of access, one of which must be a sloped entry or pool lift.

    Pool lifts come in all different shapes and sizes, and the options available to you depend on how large your pool is and if you have multiple bodies of water or just one. You can purchase a portable option like the Patriot Portable Lift or a stationary lift like the Pro Pool and Spa Lift. There are options for both in ground and above ground pools, while some lifts might be for one or the other.

    You can also look into purchasing pool access wheelchairs or beach access wheelchairs to cater to those that need assistance. We also have flotation and training aides available.

    If you want more details on the complete ADA compliance regulations, please visit http://www.ada.gov/.

    PoolsAndStuff.com has a variety of options for ADA pool lifts and aquatic wheelchairs for all of your ADA compliance needs. Our qualified staff can help figure out the best option for your pool set up, as well as offer free shipping in the 48 states.

    *http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/ada.htm

     

  • Winterize Your Pool

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    Fall is here! Except in Montana, where it's already winter. : ) Everyone is throwing on their jackets and putting away their flip-flops. It's time to think about winterizing your pool and getting it ready for the cold winter months.

    The first step is to balance the water chemistry of your pool. We suggest a pH of between 7.2 and 7.6, an alkalinity of between 80 and 120 ppm, and a calcium hardness of 180 to 220 ppm. You should also shock the pool with a chlorine or non-chlorine shock. You want to make sure the chlorine levels return to 1.0 to 3.0 ppm before adding any winter algaecide and putting on your winter pool cover, since the chlorine tends to break down both of these.

    For the winter months, you also need to remove any skimmer baskets, cleaners, ladders and solar covers. You should store these in a safe and stable location during the winter. You should also lower the water level in the pool with a submersible pump to 12 inches to 18 inches below the skimmer for mesh covers, and 3 inches to 6 inches below the tile for solid, floating covers. You should also drain or blow out all pumping, filtering, heating, and chlorinating equipment so it doesn’t freeze and crack.

    We also suggest lubricating the pump lid and push-pull valve’s o-rings. You should skim, vacuum, and brush the pool as well. The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering for the winter. You also need to winterize the pumping to and from the pool. For above ground pools, this means disconnecting the hoses to and from the pump and filter and plugging the wall outlets.

    After you finish all of the above, you should add winterizing algaecide to the pool. You should never add algaecide and shock at the same time since the chlorine will just break down the algaecide and make it useless. Last but not least, you should cover the pool. A tight fit of the pool cover is essential to keep the pool clean and in good working condition. Mesh safety covers provide the highest protection and safety. Above ground pools use a cable device to secure the cover around the pool to prevent movement. Air pillows can also be used in above ground pools to absorb the expansion of ice inside the pool.

    Don't have any of the supplies mentioned above? No worries! We have them all here at www.poolsandstuff.com. Prepping your pool for winter takes some work, but it's worth it in the end when your pool is in great shape next spring.

  • The Benefits of Converting Your Pool to Saltwater

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    Due to media coverage surrounding environmental chemicals and how they affect health and the body, many people are decreasing the amount of chemicals they are exposed to and have made changes in various areas of their lives to achieve this.  Converting your pool to a saltwater pool is a great option for those who fall into this camp.  These setups are virtually chemical-free and offer more benefits than chlorine.

    There are some basic differences between a saltwater pool and a conventional chlorine-based pool.  Saltwater pools use a system like a Saltron Chlorine Generator to change the saltwater ions into chlorine to help sanitize your pool. The salt solution in the pool water is virtually undetectable and its concentration is less than that of human tears.  A Saltron system also has fewer odors, a more neutral smell, and tends to be less harsh on your skin and eyes.

    Saltwater pools have far less salt content than the ocean, but the same great benefits, including those that help your skin, stress levels, and overall health.  Swimming in saltwater is cleansing and will leave your skin feeling smooth and supple.  It increases moisture retention, rejuvenates the skin by detoxifying, and promotes cellular regeneration.  Saltwater also reduces the inflammation of joints and muscles, leaving your body relaxed and stress free.  The minerals in saltwater also offer health benefits.  The potassium present in saltwater is beneficial because your blood needs it after exercise. Magnesium helps in making your nervous system healthy. The sodium in saltwater keeps your body's fluid balance in check. The calcium helps in keeping your bones and teeth healthy.

    PoolsAndStuff.com carries many great saltwater pool options.  We have a standalone Saltron unit that you can add to any pool and two dark blue Premier pools that can be used with saltwater.  Visit PoolsAndStuff.com to check out all the available options.

  • The Affordable, Versatile Above-Ground Pool

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    Above-ground soft-sided pools have become increasingly popular recently due to the combination of easy installation and low cost. With improved strength and durability, they make a great economical option for families seeking an instant improvement to their backyard entertainment space. The average family can assemble a soft-side pool in just an hour and move it as often as needed without damage to any of the parts.

    Soft-sided pools come in different shapes, including round and rectangular. These pools can also vary in depth and size, making it easy for homeowners to find one that fits their needs. The pools can be placed on any surface--including grass, dirt, concrete, sand, or gravel--and have liners that are extremely durable and puncture resistant. They can, in some instances, even be placed on uneven ground without issue, although level ground is always the best choice.

    Soft-sided pools usually come with a pump, pool cleaning kit, and ladder. They can last several years or more with proper care and cleaning. In cold climates, these pools may degrade slightly faster due to exposure to ice and snow, but they are still a very durable and affordable option for a backyard pool. Pro-Series makes a great selection of soft-sided above ground pools that are a great quality and built to last. Check out the many styles and options at PoolsAndStuff.com. Compared to Intex® brand pools, Pro-Series soft-side pools offer great value and features.

    Pro-Series offers a powerful surface skimmer that helps remove leaves and has a removable built-in skimmer basket for easy cleaning. It also includes a pump and filter system that attaches to the side wall, keeping it out of the way and safe.

    If you a looking for great quality, check out our Premier Soft-Side Pool models, made in the USA.

    With all the benefits of above ground pools including low cost, portability, ease of installation, many features and options, as well as easy maintenance, soft-sided pools might be the perfect option for your family. Visit our website for more details and an amazing selection of soft-sided pools to fit your needs and style. We also offer free shipping in the 48 states.

  • Getting Ahead By Going Above

    Above-ground pools are making a comeback due to their many benefits. With new innovations in the above-ground pool market and all the exciting bonuses of purchasing this type of pool, people are looking towards them more and more to satisfy their desire to have sensational swimming in their own backyard. Here are some benefits and highlights to purchasing an above-ground pool instead of in-ground pool.

    The benefits include:

    Cost - The major benefit of an above-ground pool is the lower cost. When compared to an in-ground pool, the savings is many thousands of dollars. Also, in-ground pools add to the value of your home and cause your home to be assessed at a higher rate, increasing your property taxes. This is typically not an issue with an above-ground pool since it is not a permanent addition to a home.

    Portability - The portability of an above-ground pool is also a major benefit. You can relocate the pool if you redesign your backyard landscape or want it in a sunnier location, or take it with you if you purchase a new home. Above-ground pools offer many size options to fit your needs. You can also take them down after summer to allow the use of your full yard during winter or the off-season, if needed.

    Ease of Installation - The installation of an above-ground pool is simple and painless compared to the long process of installing an in-ground pool. Instead of tearing apart the backyard, above-ground pools can be installed in less than a day with minimal intrusion to current backyard landscaping.

    Similar Features - Above-ground pools come with many different features and accessories including diving boards, steps, slides, and more. They come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate a huge crowd or small family. Enjoying your backyard pool is equally as rewarding above-ground as it is in-ground.

    Safer Option - Depending on how you set up the above-ground pool, it is typically more difficult for small children or pets to fall in. You can remove the ladder when the pool is not in use, making it nearly impossible to enter and making it a safer alternative to in-ground setups. There are also a full range of safety ladders for above-ground pools. Some have a flip up ladder, some have locking gates, and more.

    Easier Maintenance - Despite still needing chemicals and a filter, above-ground pools are smaller than in-ground pools and require fewer chemicals and less water. Also, above-ground pool heating options can be cheaper as well.

    Pool season is slowing down in many parts of the country, making this the perfect time to start thinking about the next pool season. There are many benefits to consider when deciding between an in-ground or above-ground pool. Look at all of your options and weigh the benefits to help you make the best decision for your new pool.

  • ADA Pool Regulations - Lifts for Compliance

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    A disability should not be a hindrance to enjoying the recreational and therapeutic benefits of a swimming. Besides the obvious fun of being in a pool, pools also offer relief to joints and muscles and provide mobility to those who may find getting around otherwise more difficult. Readers looking to improve access to their swimming pool may be interested to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for disabled access, and about the wide range of lifts and aids available for purchase.

    Elements of ADA compliance laws include that any commercial pool under 300 feet must have a sloped entry or a pool lift. Commercial pools larger than 300 linear feet need two forms of access, one of which must be a sloped entry or pool lift.

    Spas, wave action pools, leisure rivers, wading pools, and sand bottom pools all need one access point. Wading pools must have a sloped entry. If you have multiple pools or bodies of water, the Patriot Portable Pool Lift or Revolution Pool Lift might be the perfect option to serve different areas.

    In order to confirm your current pool lift is ADA compliant, make sure it has a lifting capacity of at least 300 pounds and a footrest that accompanies the seat into the water. A manually cranked or manually rotated lift is not ADA compliant.

    You can review the entire new requirements at the ADA website here: http://www.ada.gov/

    Pools And Stuff has many great options for pool lifts and aquatic wheelchairs for all of your ADA compliance needs. Our qualified staff can help figure out the best option for your pool set up, as well as offer free shipping in the 48 states. Meeting the new ADA Pool Regulations can be easy!

  • Making Your Pool Eco-Friendly

    poolsandstuff.comFinding green and eco-friendly ways to live is the norm these days. There is always a way to make everything in your life more Eco-conscious, and your swimming pool is no different. Here are just four ways to make your pool more Eco-friendly:

    1. Upgrade Your Pool Pump. If you have a one-speed pool pump, you can switch to a variable-speed pool pump model. Despite being a higher initial upfront cost, these models run more efficiently and allow owners to see a 30 to 70 percent savings on electricity within the first month. These pumps can be programmed to run at lower speeds for circulation and a higher speed for the cleaning cycle. Or you can have them run at a low speed all day and night to help circulate the water during hot weather temperatures.

    2. Switch to LED Pool Lights. New LED lighting for your pool not only provides superior brightness and appearance, but is also 80% more efficient than standard lighting. Combine superior style with energy saving efficiency at the same time. (And while you're at it, consider changing to LED lighting inside your home, too.)

    3. Heat for Cheap. Supplement your pool heating system with solar power. Retain the heat in your pool’s water with proper pool covers or pool solar blankets. Remember that keeping a warm pool uncovered on a cool night is like leaving your refrigerator open all day.

    4. A Smarter Filter. Many new cartridge style pool filter systems are simpler to operate and last for several seasons. Not having to replace sand each year not only saves time and money, it also saves the environment. Also, these filter systems are so efficient they require filtration less often, saving even more energy (and the environment!).

    These are just a few of the ways you can enjoy your swimming pool and keep an eye out for the environment at the same time. So what are you waiting for? Dive in and check out the latest in pool accessories today!

  • Fun Pool Facts!

     Santorini II Fiesta Cantilever UmbrellaIn many areas of the country, pool season is winding down to a close. Kids are heading back to school, bikinis are being packed away, and folks are returning home from vacations. Let’s send off summer with some fun and exciting facts about pools to lighten up the mood and provide some great talking points for those that are still lingering poolside.

    • The Titanic was the first ship to have a heated swimming pool.
    • Swimming became an amateur sport in the late part of the nineteenth century.
    • Ancient drawings and paintings found in Egypt depicting people swimming date back to 2500 AD.
    • Elephants can swim as many as 20 miles a day — they use their trunks as natural snorkels!
    • Swimming exercises all of the body’s major muscles
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt had the first indoor swimming pool put in the West Wing at the White House.
    • 65% of people in the U.S. don’t know how to swim.
    • An hour of vigorous swimming will burn up to 650 calories. It burns off more calories than walking or biking.
    • President Gerald Ford had an in ground pool installed near the tennis courts on the White House grounds in 1975.
    • Swimming became a part of the Olympic Games in 1896.
    • Most swimmers at the highest levels of competition train from four to five hours per day and five to seven days per week. They will typically swim about six to twelve miles per day along with weight training and flexibility training.
    • Water’s buoyancy make swimming the ideal exercise for physical therapy and rehabilitation or for anyone seeking a low-impact exercise.
    • The slowest Olympic swim stroke is the breaststroke.
    • The two-piece bathing suit known as a bikini got its name from Bikini Atoll, a US nuclear test site in the South Pacific.
    • Swimming strengthens the heart and lungs
    • The first man to cross the English Channel swimming from England to France is Englishman Captain Matthew Webb in 1875.
    • An Olympic size pool depending on its size (50 meters X 25 yards or meters) can hold from 700,000 to 850,000 gallons of water.
    • Swimming helps reduce stress
    • The average person produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in his or her lifetime — that’s enough spit to fill TWO swimming pools!
    • Swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin.
    • Michael Phelps has won a total of 14 gold medals and 2 bronze medals in a pool.

    How many of these did you know? How many were news to you? Share with us any pool facts we missed!

  • The Santorini II Line of Umbrellas is Here!

    The Santorini II line of cantilever umbrellas are now on our site and ready to ship!  These umbrellas are 10’ x 10’, offering a huge amount of shade and multiple tilting positions to block the sun from any angle!
    Perfect for keeping dangerous UV rays off your skin while you enjoy the summer.

    Not only that, but these new umbrellas are also available with a valance, as well as in the new Fiesta model, which comes with built-in LED lights in the ribs and center of the umbrella to provide light at night. Super cool!

    The GREAT features of these new deluxe umbrellas include:

    (1)    PRICES ARE 30% OFF!!!  The cost for these Sunbrella fabric umbrellas is 1/3 less than the Acrylic (Sunbrella) Santorini I and 10% less than the Olefin Santorini I
    (2)    FREE SHIPPING! Free shipping in 48 states. Usually ships in 2 business days.
    (3)    SAME GREAT COLOR OPTIONS! The Santorini II comes in best-selling Antique Beige, Stone and Terra Cotta colors
    (4)    SUNBRELLA FABRIC on all models carries a 5-year warranty

    Check out these attractive, affordable poolside umbrellas here at Pools and Stuff. To receive updates on new products, great deals, and other helpful information, sign up for our monthly newsletter!

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