Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Closing Your Pool for Winter

As the seasons transition from summer to fall, many of us look forward to a handful of exclusively autumn events like college football, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice lattes. We can even allow ourselves to start getting excited about the special aspects of the coldest months like Christmas, ice skating, and hot chocolate. Sadly though, the welcoming of fall inevitably means farewell to summer and all of its seasonal splendor: sunshine, beaches, sandals, snow cones, and of course, the pool.

Closing your pool for the colder seasons can seem as simple as throwing a cover on it and calling it a day. However, there are many common mistakes made by pool owners every year when it comes to winterizing a pool. The following guidelines for closing a pool will ensure that your pool is swimmer-friendly and ready for use by the first day of summer:

Take Your Time The most common mistake made by pool owners who are closing up for winter is speeding through the job. This practice is based on the common misconception that pools will unavoidably collect dirt and debris over the course of winter and need a full, deep cleaning come summer anyway. Lucky for you, this is wrong. If you take the time to thoroughly clean and close your pool properly for winter, you can expect swimmable water on opening day.

Clean Pools Are Happy Pools Even though cleaning the pool before closing seems like an obvious necessity, many pool owners still make the mistake of leaving debris in the water after it’s covered. While a small leaf floating on the surface may seem trivial, any amount of debris left in the water at closing will disturb the chemicals and leave you with an avoidable chore when opening your pool for the season. You’ll feel a huge sense of relief next spring when you realize another deep cleaning isn’t needed as long as you put in the work during winter.

Chemical Dump To ensure that you’ll maintain a healthy pool environment by the time spring rolls around, winterizing chemicals should be added to the pool water before a cover is attached. The biggest mistake made regarding these chemicals is overuse. In the case of winterizing chemicals, more is not better. Shoot for the following levels when closing your pool:

  • pH: 7.2 to 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
  • Calcium hardness: 180 to 220 ppm

Unwanted Drainage Probably the most expensive mistake you could make when closing a pool is not properly draining your pumps and filtration systems. Removing “most” of the water will not suffice. In order to avoid bursting pipes or busted heaters, every drop of water should be drained. You can get rid of lingering moisture from your pool plumbing system with any kind of blow tool such as a leaf blower or a shop vacuum, which can remove exterior liquid as well as blow air from the skimmer through the equipment and back to the pool.

The best mentality to employ in regards to closing your pool is: more work now, no work later. The more care and effort you put into preparing a pool for the cold seasons, the less work you’ll need to do to ready it for spring and summer. The last thing you’ll want to do come springtime is worry about cleaning out gunk and green water that accumulated during the off-season. So be sure to avoid the most common mistakes when closing your pool this winter, and when the warm weather arrives next year, you’ll be ready to dive right in!

If you have any questions about the proper steps you need to take to winterize your pool, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help! Be sure to visit us at for all your pool supply needs at discount prices.

Monday, September 22, 2014

SoundCast Wireless Outdoor Speakers

Summer pool parties and back-to-school barbecues bring family and friends together in backyards across America. However, if there isn’t any music playing, it’s not a party! The SoundCast Wireless Outdoor Speakers from The Pool Guy Store are the perfect solution when you need high-quality, water resistant amplification that will play your favorite tunes wherever you want. These state-of-the-art patio speakers are proven to broadcast music up to 350 feet in all directions, through floors, walls, and ceilings when you want them to.

With two models to choose from, you will not be disappointed in these portable outdoor speakers that come fully-equipped with rechargeable batteries, charging systems, adapter cables, power cords, and line input for direct play. Both models are designed to accommodate superior sound in outdoor spaces with easy setup and a phenomenal sound range and quality.

SoundCast’s OutCast Jr. Wireless Speaker - without Transmitter

The SoundCast OutCast Jr. wireless speaker was specifically designed for the outdoors. This wireless model, made from water-resistant plastic, has an amazing broadcast range of up to 350 feet. Using the auxiliary input/output jack, this unit is compatible with any computer, home theater system, audio system, iPod, MP3 player, or TV by purchasing a companion iCast transmitter (for use with iPods, etc.) or a UAT (Universal AudioCast Transmitter). These options can be added on to your SoundCast speakers as needed, or you can select the model that includes an iCast transmitter. Enjoy up to 9 hours of uninterrupted play with the long-lasting, rechargeable NiMH battery that is included.

This model is built to withstand any type of weather and you will enjoy an easy pause/play and track forward/backward system on the remote. The setup is easy and the sound quality is phenomenal! At approximately 10” x 19.5” and only 16.4 pounds, it’s the perfect size outdoor speaker when space may be an issue or you want to be able to blend the unit in with your patio or pool d├ęcor and/or landscaping.

SoundCast’s OutCast Wireless Audio Speaker - with Transmitter

SoundCast’s OutCast wireless audio speaker comes with a transmitter already included in the package and price and is the answer to high-quality, portable, mega sound. This model offers leading-edge multidirectional sound that can be enjoyed in backyards, on patios, poolside or anywhere you may want to listen to music away from your home. The plug-and-play option broadcasts up to 350 feet away, through walls, floors or ceilings, all with no required wiring! This particular model is endorsed by national publications like Popular Mechanics, GagetNutz, and CrunchGear as an ‘exceptional weatherproof pool speaker’.

The OutCast model is also made from high-grade plastic, in order to withstand the elements, and features a tracking remote, easy setup, and amazing sound quality. At approximately 10” x 26” and only 25.4 pounds, this leading model includes an iCast transmitter for easy connectivity to a variety of audio devices, particularly the Apple iPod, using the auxiliary input/output jack. Those who purchase the OutCast wireless audio speaker will also receive an 8” downward firing woofer, four 3” high-frequency drivers in an omni-directional array, and a 100-watt built-in digital amplifier. The built-in NiMH rechargeable battery pack promises up to 10 hours of playtime using an internal AC power supply.

For high-end outdoor wireless speakers, the water-resistant systems offered by SoundCast are perfect for pool parties, backyard barbecues or any other outdoor setting all year long and in just about any type of weather.

When you need a wireless outdoor speaker system, The Pool Guy Store has the products and services you need to make your backyard sound system a rockin’ success! We offer free shipping on every order of $79 or more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Top 10 Best Pools in the World

As the final days of summer drift away, many across the country are crossing their fingers hoping for a few more warm days so they can savor the last few dips in the pool for the year. If you are getting ready to put the cover on your pool, The Pool Guy Store is sharing a few drool-worthy pools to add to your vacation bucket list from all over the world.

Nemo 33 - Brussels, Belgium

If you love diving into the deep end, The Nemo is the pool for you. Known worldwide by adventure seeking swimmers and divers, it currently holds the title of the world’s deepest indoor swimming pool at 108 feet deep. Filled with 2,500,000 liters of filtered spring water, the pool contains a series of underwater caves beginning at 32 feet under the surface. If you want to take a peek into other areas, the underwater windows allow visitors to peer into the pool at various depths.

photo credit:

Four Seasons Safari Lodge - Serengeti, Tanzania

While there are many hotels with luxury swimming pools in swanky cities or beachside resorts, pool at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge is the only pool on our list in the middle of the desert. Do not be fooled, this swimming pool is no mirage, and offers an unprecedented experience for the animal lover in you. As you lounge in the pool, releasing some of the heat from a day in Africa, elephants do the same in their own watering hole directly next to yours. Night vision cameras feed to a channel in the comfort of your room so you can watch the animals drink and play through the night. Plenty of swimming pools offer you the chance to swim with dolphins, but how many give you the chance to swim next to a 10,000 pound elephant? This is definitely an experience to add to your bucket list.

photo credit: Four Seasons Magazine

The Library Hotel - Koh Samui, Thailand

The swimming pool at the Library Hotel is certainly the most colorful on our list. Many are initially shocked by the bold color of the water, which appears to resemble blood thanks to the red, orange, and yellow mosaic glass tiles beneath the water’s surface. This has been widely named one of the best swimming pools in the world in highlight pieces by CNN and TripAdvisor, among others.

photo credit:

The Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle - San Simeon, California

The Neptune Pool may not be the largest or most expensive on our list, but it has certainly seen the most famous patrons. When owned by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, guests included celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, Charles Lindbergh, Greta Garbo, and Clark Gable, in addition to global political leaders Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. The Hearst family maintained the private residence until it was named a US National Historic Landmark in 1976. Since being named a historic landmark, only two projects have been granted permission to film in the pool: Stanley Kubrick for Spartacus, and more recently pop star Lady Gaga for her Y.O.U. music video. Unfortunately, visitors are not permitted to take a dip, but still flock from all over the world to walk around the statues and imagine the iconic personalities that once basked in the sun poolside at The Neptune.

photo credit:

Ubud Hanging Gardens Resort - Bali, Indonesia

The double decker swimming pool at the Ubud Hanging Gardens Resort is rivaled by few for the title of the world’s most beautiful swimming pool. Although each room has its own private pool, guests prefer to dip in the hotel’s iconic stacked swimming pools that seem to float as if by magic atop the jungle. Peer over the treetops at the beautiful birds and wildlife that Indonesia has to offer.

photo credit:

La Piscine Molitor - Paris, France

In the 1930’s swimmers at Paris’ famous La Piscine Molitor were protected by a lifeguard named Johnny Weissmuller, who would later be better known as Tarzan in the series of popular movies by the same name. A favorite spot for Parisian masses for decades, it was closed and scheduled for demolition in 1989, but wound up sitting derelict for years. When closed, it was colorfully targeted by vandals and graffiti artists. In 2014, the pool was reopened and restored to its original splendor as part of a new hotel in the city, regaining its place as one of the most beloved swimming pools in the world.

photo credit:

Huvafen Fushi - The Maldives

The Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives is home to one of the world’s best swimming pools, particularly once the sun goes down. A series of fibre-optic lights in the base of the pool create the illusion of twinkling stars beneath the water. Passes to the resort have also recently been given in gift baskets to Academy Award nominees, and it is not uncommon to see an A-list celebrity like Nicole Kidman from across the pool.

photo credit: Inlighten Photography

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa - Grindavik, Iceland

Kicking back in the steaming waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland may feel like you are in a natural bath, but in fact it is a man-made lagoon. With a year-round water temperature of 98-102 degrees Fahrenheit, the spa is a beautiful place to warm up after a chilly day in Iceland. Rich in minerals like silica and sulphur, the water is said to have rejuvenating and healing benefits for your skin, and guests flock from all over the world to step into this luxurious pool.

photo credit:

Oberoi Udaivilas - Rajasthan, India

Why walk across the hotel to your swimming pool when you can wade out directly from your room’s patio? At this luxury swimming pool in India, guests can do just that. Overlooking a lake, this is one of the most serene pools in the world, as the still waters provide relief from the heat.

photo credit: Travel + Leisure

Alila Villas Uluwatu - Bali, Indonesia

The second pool in Bali on our list, the infinity pool at the Alila Villas is one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the world, and one for every bucket list. Perched high over the ocean on a cliffside villa, it is picture-perfect. Wander out over the edge of the pool from the birdcage-like lounge and take in the sunset in this romantic setting and feel like you are floating on air.

photo credit: Tim Griffith & Patrick Bingham-Hall

Have you taken a dip in any of these pools? Know of others that didn’t make our list? Let us know in the comments or on our Google+ page.

About the Author: The Pool Guy Store provides discount pool supplies for above ground, in ground, and commercial swimming pools. For more information on products and services, please visit

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free Style Diving Platforms

Whether you’re expertly plunging into the deep end or working on your biggest cannonball yet, S.R. Smith’s Free Style Diving Platforms will make you look good doing it! Unlike traditional diving boards, which are essentially just long wooden planks, the FreeStyle and HipHop diving platforms come in unique shapes – similar to rock formations - and composite materials to give your pool a more natural look and feel. Available in colors like sandstone, gray granite and radiant white, these diving boards blend extremely well in an outdoor environment and will give your swimming pool a sophisticated touch.

A few prominent features of the Free Style diving platforms are:

Shape & Size

While the FreeStyle board is a good 75 in. long, the HipHop board, at 87 in. long, is fairly longer. However, both free style diving platforms are great for backyard amusement and are safer to use than conventional diving boards. With a width twice as large as a regular diving board, curved shape and sturdy base, these boards are certainly a reliable source of fun! And due to their lack of springs, the boards require you to use your own force and momentum, which discourages complicated dives and reduces the chance of related accidents and injuries.

Non-Slip Composition

Speaking of safety, we haven’t revealed the best part yet! On top of using tough, composite material, the Free Style boards are wrapped and coated in a matching SureFoot non-slip tread – ensuring the safety of you, your family and friends. Say goodbye to holding your breath every time your child steps onto the diving board!

With the Free Style diving platforms, you can also be assured that their durable composite material, anti-slip tread and corrosion-resistant stainless steel hardware are capable of withstanding all types of inclement weather – ensuring your family a lifetime of fun and entertainment.

Salt Pool Friendly

Aware of the current trend of salt pools and salt chlorinator systems, our diving boards and the materials they are constructed from are salt pool friendly, meaning they function well in salt water environments.

Other notable features include:

  • D-Lux stand designed specifically for these boards, which installs on the existing 6’ Flyte-Deck jigs
  • Can be installed to Type I – Type V pools
  • May also be used with Cantilever, Supreme + Flyte-Deck II stands

One basic thing to remember when purchasing a board for your pool is that a diving board differs significantly to a jumping board. With the FreeStyle and HipHop diving boards, the board itself is flexible but the base is completely rigid, whereas a jumping board will have a spring at its base. In order to make sure you know the proper diving method for a diving board, check out this instructional video below:

Give your swimming pool a refined touch of flair with our Free Style Diving Platforms. Its natural design will not only harmonize well with the outdoors but also enhance the overall look and aesthetic of your poolscape. Visit The Pool Guy Store to browse our entire selection of diving boards today.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Swimming Pool Chemical Safety Tips

Using swimming pool chemicals is an absolute must for a clean, healthy pool, but while they work to keep the water safe and free of bacteria and other potentially harmful germs, they pose a significant risk if they are not stored or used properly.

The following sections will provide guidelines and recommendations on how to store pool chemicals, and will also provide tips on how to take properly handle them in order to reduce the risk of injury and accidental poisoning.

Chemical Storage

One of the first things to consider is where you will be storing your pool chemicals. You want to ensure that they are stored in an area with ample ventilation and adequate lighting for reading labels to avoid dangerous chemical mix-ups. It’s a great idea to include spill containment features, also known as secondary containment, in the design of your chemical storage area. Spill containment features are used to prevent any chemical leaks or spills from mixing with any other substances, which may create toxic fumes. Be sure to provide adequate security features to the space you will be storing your chemicals in order to keep children and animals out of harm’s way.

Pool chemicals should be stored below 95° F/35° C and in conditions recommended by the manufacturer.

Protect stored chemicals from getting wet.

  • Do not store pool chemicals directly on the floor where they could potentially get wet. Place chemical containers on shelves.
  • Store pool chemicals away from doors and windows as these are the two most common points of entry for water.
  • Always keep pool chemicals covered with waterproof material.

Other recommendations include:

  • Store different types of pool chemicals separate from each other. Don’t stack incompatible chemicals (especially liquids that may leak) above or below one another.
  • Store pool chemicals in original, manufacturer’s-labeled containers.
  • Protect pool chemicals from heat sources, flames and other potentially flammable substances.

Chemical Handling

Before using any type of pool chemical, be sure to read the full manufacturer’s instructions, recommendations, and warnings. If you ever come across an un-labeled container, it is better to be safe and discard the chemicals, rather than taking a chance and guessing what it is. Be sure to keep children and animals at a distance when handling pool chemicals.

Other important recommendations include:

  • Use caution when opening containers to avoid splashing chemicals on exposed skin or other nearby chemicals.
  • Never mix individual pool chemicals together or with any other substance.
  • Do not mix different types of chlorine products together.
  • Do not mix fresh and old chemicals together, even if they are the same product, as the chemical composition may become altered if expired.
  • Dedicate equipment such as scoops and buckets to only one pool chemical and never use for any other pool chemical.
  • Make sure you are only using dry equipment in your pool chemicals.
  • Do not pre-dissolve solid pool chemicals or dilute liquid pool chemicals.
  • Always wash your hands after working with pool chemicals.

It’s also a smart idea to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and safety goggles when treating your pool. If there is ever a pool chemical spill, be sure to respond to it immediately.

About the Author: The Pool Guy Store provides discount pool supplies for above ground, in ground, and commercial swimming pools. For more information on products and services, please visit

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Chlorinator

For those who frequent the pools during the summer, dry hair and itchy skin may be of no surprise to you. Regular exposure to chlorine, a popular swimming pool disinfectant, can result in irritated skin, stinging eyes and extremely parched and porous hair. But without it, you’d end up wading in a pool ridden with slime and bacteria.

Investing in a salt chlorination device, like the Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Chlorinator, will solve this little conundrum with ease. Imagine diving into your pool knowing that the chlorine you’re exposing your body to is safe, natural and pure – not chemically enhanced.

How the Pentair IntelliChlor Works:

With this salt chlorinator, it’s no longer necessary to lug around and store harmful and expensive chlorine products. This simple recipe only requires a teaspoon of table salt per gallon of pool water! Just add the salt into your swimming pool, and the Pentair IntelliChlor will electrolytically convert the dissolved salt (sodium chloride) into pure chlorine. The best part is that the salt you add will be used and recycled repeatedly, whereas traditional chlorine additives need to be regularly bought and replenished. The IntelliChlor’s smart and automatic nature even keeps itself in pristine condition with its reverse cycling feature. It is the most reliable and convenient in pool sanitation technology out there!

Easy-to-Use Built-In Features:

  • Transparent displays – Check salt levels, cell sanitation, amount of sanitizer output and water flow quickly and easily with easy-to-view presentation.
  • Easy adjusting – Regulating and adjusting chlorination levels is as easy as pressing a couple of buttons.
  • Daily performance capture – Performance data such as production settings, hours of use, chlorine production, cell cleaning cycles, salt readings and water temperature averages are recorded every day for diagnostics and optimal operation.
  • Cell use tracking feature – Tracks and communicates cell life and remaining hours left in real-time.
  • Integrated sensors – Detects changes in water flow, chlorine generation and water temperature. Depending on such conditions, an automatic shut-off feature is included to protect the chlorinator and conserve cell life.

An Eco-Friendly Option:

The Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Chlorinator is the “greenest” choice in pool sanitation, because it tightens the belt on the waste of production and transportation of chemical processing plants. The device sanitizes pools with salt and chlorine that it recycles on its own, so it has the power to drastically reduce the amount of resources used in factory-made chlorine production, packaging and transportation. In effect, you can save the earth from the comfort of your lounge chair, margarita in hand!

Other Important Features:

  • Cell blades rated for about 10,000 hours of operation
  • Reliable chlorine output for about 5 years
  • On-time cycling prevents calcium and scale build-up to maximize cell life
  • Available for up to 20,000 – 40,000 gallons
  • Certified to UL1081 standard for safety

Receive all the benefits of swimming in the summer without having to sacrifice your health, time and money! To learn more about this product and more, visit The Pool Guy Store today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Importance of CPR Training

Summer is officially in full swing, and for most people summer means swimming as often as possible. Unfortunately, summer also means that there will be an increase in water accidents and drownings. In fact, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the US, where about 10 people die from drowning every day.

Now, we aren’t trying to scare you or give you the summertime blues or anything, but rather point out the undeniable importance of CPR training. Whether you own a pool or not, it’s a good idea to be prepared for any water emergency by earning a first aid and CPR certification.

CPR and first aid classes are quick, easy and fairly inexpensive to take and will teach you how to:

  • Perform CPR on adults and/or children
  • Relief of choking in an adult, child or infant
  • Use an AED (automated external defibrillator) in cardiac emergencies – class specific
  • Treat minor injuries with basic first aid techniques

Where and How to Get Certified

Two of the most well-known organizations that offer CPR and first aid classes are the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. Each of these associations offers classes in a variety of settings, including the workplace, in schools, at community centers and on an individual basis. Visit their websites to register for upcoming classes in your area.

American Red Cross

Average Completion Time: between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the type of class you take

Cost: $70 - $110, depending on the type of class you take

Certification Remains Valid For: 2 years

American Heart Association

Average Completion Time: between 3 and 9 hours, depending on the type of class you take

Cost: varies based on location and type of class selected

Certification Remains Valid For: 2 years

You can also get your CPR and first aid certification online through a variety of training organizations. One of the most popular and highly-credited training sites we found is CPRToday! They offer fully-accredited online courses that are recognized in all 50 states.

Average Completion Time: between 45 minutes and 2 hours

Cost: $25 - $50, depending on the type of class you take

Certification Remains Valid For: 2 years