Creating a Backyard Retreat

Imagine a calming oasis you could escape to, relax and let the cares of the day drift away. Now imagine that oasis is your own backyard! We want to help you accomplish exactly that. [COMPANY NAME] has wide variety of hot tub services, products and designs, making it easier than ever to create your very own perfect, relaxing retreat.

Trust your relaxation experts

This may be your first backyard getaway, but we are your local experts and we’ve done this before. We know all about creating a rejuvenating retreat. Through consultation with you, we can create a hot tub, pool or spa experience that is ideally suited to you. You’ll be amazed at the level of efficiency and expertise we bring to the job, so you can relax even before your backyard is ready.

The tools you need

When your new swimming pool or hot tub is done and installed, we want you to be able to spend your time relaxing and not working to keep things clean and running. It wouldn’t be much of a retreat if you’re always worrying about maintaining it.

We’ve got you covered! Everything from spa pre-filters to underwater vacuums. These products are easy to use, especially after some pointers from the pool experts, and produce fabulous results. Our professionals will even take the time to show you how all these new products work.

Making the most of your time in the hot tub or pool

In addition to products and services that will keep your spa looking great, we also offer products that will enhance your overall experience. With a variety of aromatherapy products, decorations and even fantastic underwater lighting, you’ll forget you haven’t even left your home!

Arrange an ideal space for fun with family and friends, or set up a quiet haven for some pampering and ‘me’ time. Whatever you’re looking for, our pool experts will be there to help you every step of the way.

Fewer Expenses = Fewer Worries

Owning a pool is a great experience, but it does come with expenses. Today, we want to share some simple tips that will help save you money and also help the environment.

Pool covers

Perhaps one of the most simple yet often overlooked solutions to saving money. Using your pool cover when the pool is not in use prevents water, chemicals and heat from being lost due to evaporation. This easy solution only takes a few minutes to do and will not only save the environment, but will also help to keep your pool warm and clean between swims.

Abandon backwashing

While we admit this cost saving tip comes with an initial price tag, the long term saving will more than offset the investment. Install a cartridge filter instead of backwashing will save 50-200 litres of water each month. Cartridge filters are easy to clean. Trust us, your wallet will thank you on your next water bill.

Use a variable speed pump

Traditional single speed pool pumps are energy pigs. Although they tend to be less expensive and work effectively, they account for almost as much of your energy bill as your heating or air conditioning do. A variable speed pump can save up to 90% of the energy used by a comparable single speed pump. This can result in savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.

PRO TIP: Check for potential rebates from your energy provider as a result of changing to a variable speed pump.

Are you Energy Star compliant?

Time to check on all your old swimming pool equipment. Does it has the Energy Star logo? If not, it’s time to consider replacing those old parts that are driving your hydro bills sky high.

Aim your jets

Simple, cheap and effective, this task requires no new equipment and will help keep your pool warm while spending less money. Direct heat from your pool jets to the bottom of your pool. This will allow your water to warm more effectively as less heat is lost to evaporation at the bottom of the pool.

Skim, skim, skim

​Regular skimming and removal of debris and leaves in the pool will reduce the amount of work your filter system needs to do, which in turn creates a need for increased chemicals to compensate. Keeping your pool skimmed not only keeps it looking beautiful, it will help you save money on chemicals and electricity while helping reduce harm to the environment.

Go solar

​Using a solar blanket is a very environmentally friendly way to help insulate your pool and your wallet. A solar blanket will pay itself off in roughly 4 years. Solar blankets can be used on their own or in conjunction with other heating systems. Take it to the next level by adding solar lighting around the pool.

Owning a swimming pool should be a stress free experience and we want you to always enjoy time in your swimming pool. Try out as many of these tips as possible and watch your monthly bills go down.

Four Fun Games for the Pool

Any day spent by the pool is a good day, but sometimes we all get bored. This summer, shake things up by injecting these 4 fun games into your old routines. These games are fun, easy and don’t require anything that you don’t have laying around the house.

Games are a great way to engage with stubborn friends and family who may not want to look up from their phones or help bring a pool party to life. For kids, games are great and create hours of entertainment in and around your swimming pool.

Classic Marco Polo

As long as there have been backyard swimming pools, people have been playing Marco Polo. Simple to play and easy to learn, this game will be familiar to almost everyone at your pool parties this year.

How to play?

1 – One person is designated as “Marco Polo”.

2 – Standing in the shallow end Marco Polo counts to 30.

3 – Players stealthily hide in different areas of the pool.

4 – With eyes closed, Marco Polo explores the pool calling “Marco”. All other players must reply “Polo”.

5 – Marco Polo must now find and tag each player.

6 – Last player standing wins.

Dolphin racing

This seriously fun game requires nothing other than a couple of friends to play. Pretend to be dolphins as players race back and forth underwater across the pool, in an effort to win this time tested pool game. Whoever swims underwater the furthest wins!

Treasure hunts

You’d be amazed at how much time people spend playing this simple game. What do you need to play this game? Only a handful of coins and a few players. Take turns as throwers and hunters. While the other players have their eyes closed, the thrower strategically tosses coins about the pool for the other players to find. After all coins have been thrown and have fully sunk to the bottom of the pool, the race is on. Whoever finds the most treasure wins. When playing this game we recommend having a count of your treasure prior to throwing, so that you can ensure everything has been discovered.

Whirlpool

We are honestly not sure whether this is a game or just one of those crazy, fun, silly things everyone should do at least once in the pool. For this game the more people the better. Get everyone to stand in the pool around the edges. Then at the same time everyone starts running in circles around the pool. After a few times around a current will start to form. Now for the fun part: lay back and float as the current takes you round and round the pool.

Get your sun tan on…safely

Who doesn’t love lounging by the swimming pool, soaking up the sun and enjoying a lazy summer day. Everyone loves to get that perfect tan. These days we understand that it’s ok to be in the sun as long as we carefully protect our skin from harmful damages. There are lots of great tricks to help you tan safely.

Use a strong enough sunscreen

Using a suntan lotion with the wrong SPF (Sun Protection Factor), or worse, not using any suntan lotion at all, leaves your skin unprotected. This can result in harsh sun burns and higher risks of skin cancer. This is especially true of young children with delicate skin. When buying sunscreen try to find one with an SPF of at least 30 and apply hourly or as directed.

Find a waterproof sunscreen

While a regular sunscreen is fine for going out in the sun or touring about, consider using a waterproof sunscreen for days at the beach or by the pool. The advantage of using a waterproof sunscreen is obvious. Even when you swim your skin is protected, without the need to reapply.

Check the UV index

Know what you are facing; even a cloudy day can have a high UV index.

If the index is 2 or lower then:

1 – Wear sunglasses.

2 – Use broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen.

 

An index between 2 – 5:

1 – Ensure you have protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.

2 – Use broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.

 

6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure:

1 – Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

2 – Wear protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.

3 – Apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.

 

8 to 10 means very high risk. Take extra precautions:

1 – Minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

2 – Seek shade, wear protective clothing.

3 – Apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.

 

Finally, a reading of 11 or more means extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Skin and eyes can burn in minutes:

1 – Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

2 – Find shade, wear protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.

3 – Apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.

4 – Watch out for bright surfaces like sand, water and snow, which reflect UV and increase exposure.

Finally, set a timer

If you are going to be alone or plan on napping, then consider setting a timer on regular intervals to remind you to roll over and also to remind you of how long you have been out.

How to Change Your Pool Filter Sand

When was the last time you changed the sand in your pool filter? Your pool filter sand is one of those things that only gets changed every so often. Usually, every 3 to 4 years; because of this, it can be easy to forget.

Clean sand in your pool filter is a very important part of keeping your pool water at its cleanest. As time goes by, your filter can become clogged with grime and debris. This build up makes your filter equipment work harder, costing you extra electricity and wear on your pool filtration system.

How do I know if my filter sand is dirty?

Old or dirty sand in your filter can make it harder to maintain water at proper levels, and often results in murky or cloudy water and can even make people sick. That being said sand is an excellent choice of filtration and is even used in many drinking water filtration systems.  Additionally, sand is also eco-friendly and inexpensive.

IMPORTANT! Always use proper swimming pool filtration sand. Using the wrong type of sand can destroy your filter cartridge.

Types of sand

There are three main types of sand. They are silica, zeolite and glass sand. Each one offers different benefits. If you’re not sure what you need, ask us. We’d love to help.

Changing filter sand

1 – Turn off the pump.

2 – Pull drain plug to allow the filter to drain.

3 – Remove filter head.

4 – Remove sand. A wet/dry vacuum works well for this.

5 – Perform a visual inspection of the area and remove any debris.

6 – Rinse tank.

7 – Reassemble and cover the interior stem and pipe.

8 – Fill tank halfway with water.

9 – Add the fresh sand as indicated on the filter.

10 – Reattach filter head.

11 – Run system on backwash.

Need help?

Changing the sand in your filter isn’t a regular chore for your pool. If you don’t feel confident or don’t have time to do it, contact us, we’d love to do the job for you. The best part is that you get to just relax.

How To Heat Your Swimming Pool | Enjoying a Longer Swimming Season

Enjoying a longer swimming season

If you have a swimming pool, then you’ll understand when we say that the length of your pool season is precious and anything you can do to extend it is certainly worth investigating.

It’s all about temperature

The key to extending your swimming season is heating your pool. In Canada, where we have to close our pools for the winter and open them in the spring, having a pool heater can easily add a month of comfortable swimming to both ends of your swim season.

There are several options to add and trap heat in your swimming pool for a longer season. Below, we explore the most common options, looking at their pros and cons.

Solar blanket

A solar blanket is a low cost solution to help heat your pool. Solar blankets, which look like giant sheets of bubble wrap, perform two functions. They prevent water evaporation, where most heat is lost and also use the sun to trap heat in a greenhouse like environment, working to heat your pool. Solar blankets work, but only so far. While they are an inexpensive option, they should ideally be used in combination with other solutions.

Solar water heater

A solar water heater is another solution you can consider for heating your swimming pool.  Solar water heaters are eco-friendly solutions to heating your pool and work much like a hose does when it’s left in the sun. The system is placed in a bright location and has special black tubing inside that absorbs the heat from the sun. As water passes through the pipes, water is heated. The swimming pool heating systems are moderately priced, but rely on having the sun to heat the swimming pool.

Electric heat pump

An electric heat pump is an excellent way to heat your pool for the whole season. Once the heat pump is turned on, it will start heating your pool, and in just a few days your swimming pool will be up to your desired temperature. Although relatively low in price, remember they do use electricity, so don’t try to heat your swimming pool to the temperature of a hot tub unless you are ready to pay the electric bill.

Electric pool heater

While a heat pump uses air to warm your swimming pool, an electric pool heater uses a coil to heat the water directly. Electric pool heaters quickly warm your pool water at an average rate of 1 degree per hour.

Gas pool heater

The rapid fire way to heat your swimming pool. These coil based heaters can heat your swimming pool at up to an astounding 3° per hour. These are ideal for heating your swimming pool for the whole season, but run on gas, so be aware of your natural gas prices before undertaking this venture.

Visit us or call to learn more about which heating solution is right for you, and give yourself the pleasure of two extra months of swimming.

How to Open Your Swimming Pool

Opening your swimming pool is one of the first priorities of summer and we want to help you get off to the right start. We’d be happy to help you open your swimming pool, but if you have the do it yourself spirit, here are step by step instructions on how to open your pool.

PRO TIP: If this is your first time opening the pool at this property, please contact a professional to do the job. This is a good chance to have it professionally inspected for any issues you may not be aware of.

What you will need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Chemical-resistant gloves
  • Hose
  • Pool cover pump
  • Skimmer net
  • Winter cover cleaner
  • Silicone pool gasket lubricant
  • Thread seal tape
  • Skimmer on a telescoping pole
  • Pool brush
  • Start-up chemical kit
  • Pool shock
  • Test strips

Removing and cleaning the winter pool cover

Drain away any excess water from the top of your winter cover and remove. Brush away all debris and wash clean with winter cover cleaner or even car wash soap. Allow time for the cover to completely dry, then fold and store in a dry, protected space.

Skim away the debris

Take a few minutes and skim your pool to remove anything that may have settled in the water or fallen off the cover during the removal. For now, just focus on the big stuff.

Remove the plugs and ice compensator

Remove all winterizing plugs and the ice compensator from the skimmer as well. Double check to ensure all have been removed. At this point you may see water bubbles start to flow through the pipes. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Set up ladders, slides and pool peripherals

Your swimming pool is almost ready to fill. Before you do, re-attach any ladders, slides, diving board or other accessories you may have removed for the winter. This is much easier with an empty swimming pool.

Fill ‘er up

This is what you’ve been waiting for! Grab your hose and fill the pool with cool water. You’ll want to fill the pool up to the middle of the skimmer opening.

PRO TIP: We recommend you purchase a hose filter, to help ensure you are not pouring lose debris back into your swimming pool.

Start the filter back up

Time to get filtering. Start replacing the drain plugs in your pump and filter that you removed in the fall. Also, take a minute to lubricate and inspect all gaskets and o-rings. Replace with new ones if you see any cracks. Repeat this process for your heater and filter.

Position your return side valves to open. For multiport valves, set to waste, replace air bleeder, sight glass, and pressure gauge.

OK, time to turn on the filter. Turn on your circuit breaker, then turn on the pump. Wait until the pump is primed then if you have multiport valves, switch to filter.

Balance the water

Time to let your inner scientist out. Grab your test strips or even better come visit us with a water sample and we will use our free in-store water testing station to tell you exactly what needs to happen to balance your swimming pool.

PRO TIP: Always add alkalinity, then pH, then adjust the calcium levels.

Cleaning the pool liner

Grab your pool brush and brush down all the walls and floor, then give the water a few minutes to settle and start vacuuming down your swimming pool.

Shock that pool

Now it is time to put on your safety goggles and gloves. Shocking the water kills bacteria and algae that may be present in the water after a long winter. Do this as you would normally in the summer.

Filter and wait

This is the last step, and the hardest part will be waiting to jump in your freshly opened pool. Leave your pool filter running for at least 24 hours to allow the shock and filter to do their jobs of cleaning the water.

Have fun and enjoy your pool for the rest of the summer.  We realize this job isn’t for everyone and we are here to help you if you need it. Contact us to set up an opening appointment and remember the sooner you book the earlier your swimming pool will be ready.

Keeping Fit in the Swimming Pool

We all know how much fun pools can be, but fun is only one of their benefits. Swimming and other water activities are fantastic methods of exercise! With a touch of that summer fun thrown in, you can get an entire, well-balanced workout in the pool and not even notice it. We have some simple pool exercise options that will have you feeling fit (and having fun) all at the same time!

Treading water in the pool

Treading water is a tried-and-true pool exercise. We learn how to tread water to stay afloat, but used independently as a method of exercise it can be hugely beneficial. It delivers an excellent cardio exercise as well as a great full-body and heart-healthy workout. Sometimes the simplest methods are the best!

Classic swim laps or squat and splash

Laps are often the go-to exercise when people think of swimming pool exercises. And while laps can be great, they can be tricky to complete if you have small children with you. We are big believers that if you can include your children in exercises, it can be beneficial for them and more fun for you!

Try the squat and splash! While in the shallow end of the pool have your child hang on to you with their legs around your waist. Lower yourself and the child down in a squat towards the water until the child splashes in and then slowly stand back up. It’s a weighted squat that’s easy on the joints and great fun for your child. Win-win-win!

Use your children as weights

When it comes to kids, there is always the classic —the water toss! Simply pick up your child in the water and toss them into the air. If your child is not a swimmer, catch them just at the moment they start to splash back into the water. If your child is a swimmer (and is comfortable), toss them all around the pool. The kids will love the attention and splashy fun and your arms will enjoy the workout!

Never underestimate all the benefits a pool has to offer. To find out more about water exercises or to stock up on in-pool workout equipment, contact us today. We have all sorts of great tools to help you achieve your aquatic exercise goals.

Make the Most of Winter

Ice swimming pool in the winter, Steps, hand-rails and garden chair in the frozen blue pool ice-hole

It may feel like the depths of winter, but spring is on its way! If you’re anything like us, you’ve started your to-do list for the warmer weather. After all, It’ll be here before you know it!

We recommend adding some pool and spa maintenance to your list. Opening your pool or spa for the summer is the perfect time to make sure it gets a thorough going over. Adding ‘pool maintenance’ to your spring-cleaning list may seem formidable, but prepped with the right tools and know how from the pool experts, it will be the one of the simplest chores on your list. And if you feel it is out of your depth, or more extensive cleaning or maintenance is required, make sure you book an appointment with us today. We will happily and effectively handle all your cleaning and maintenance needs. That way the only thing you’ll have to worry about is being the first one in the pool.

While we’re waiting for pool weather, here are some fun pool-themed ways to get outside and have fun before winter is over.

  1. Any old pool inflatables or kick boards on their way out this spring season? Get some final wintery use out of them before throwing them away! Use your old tubes or boards as toboggans and ride down those snow drifts. There’s nothing quite like riding a giant pink flamingo down a frosty snow-covered hill in February!
  2. Remember the fun of hunting for dive rings in the pool? Well, you can translate that into some winter fun too! Mark out an area of deep snow, have someone randomly throw in the rings, and now the hunt begins. The person who uncovers the most points by the end wins!
  3. Have some old pool noodles lying around? Use them to help reinforce the walls of your snow fort or castle. With some added pool noodle support, your snow fort will be prepared to fend off any snowball attack!

It’s always nice to enjoy winter while it’s here. Before you know it you’ll be back splashing around having some proper pool fun!

All About Swimming Pool Safety Covers

So you have bought a new home with a swimming pool or have recently installed a pool and it’s time to close your swimming pool for the season. You’ve read up on how to close the swimming pool, but how do you cover it when it’s done and ready for winter. We recommend using a safety cover to protect your pool, family and local wildlife over the winter.

Safety covers protect

In the cold winter months, swimming pool safety covers are the first line of defense for your family. Using a safety cover creates a solid surface capable of holding the weight of any people, animals or debris that could accidentally end up on your pool over the winter season. Unlike traditional pool covers, a safety covers lays flat over the pool and does not sag or collect water in the centre. This is another set of hazards safety covers help to avoid.

Safety covers last a long time

Safety covers are built to last. Manufacturers of safety covers know this product has to hold up through the winter. Most reputable brands of safety covers come with ten year minimum guarantee and should be considered to be a ten year investment in your family and pool’s safety.

Safety covers really look great

Unlike standard pool covers, safety covers are clipped into hard points around your pool on your deck or patio. They come in many different colours and since they lay flat instead of sagging, they present a clean, solid surface.

Cons of using a safety cover

There really aren’t any cons to investing in a safety cover. They last long and protect your pool, pets and family from harm when the swimming pool is closed. However, when closing your swimming pool we recommend you ensure that there is no algae present before installing the cover. Algae sitting in your pool water over the winter season will have opportunity to grow and will make opening your swimming pool more time consuming in the spring.