How to Maintain Your First Hot Tub

So you bit the bullet and had a Jacuzzi built in when you were having your swimming pool installed, and now you have no idea how you’re going to take care of it. There’s no need to worry.

A Jacuzzi or a hot tub is like a pet which will dirty itself if it is not taken care of. Most people who have hot tubs usually have someone else to take care of it, but since not all of us have the time to hire the neighbor’s kid to take care of our backyard, here are some tips for the beginners who are in a panic over having their very first hot tub.

Tip#1 Keep it clean

This one is a given. All bodies of water need to be cleaned at intervals. Hot tubs are basically full of bubbling hot water but that doesn’t mean they’ll be boiling out the germs. Hot water is more likely to gather germs because bacteria usually look for a hot place to settle. Hot tubs are fitted with a filter to keep the water clean and odor free. Companies such as Sta-Rite and Hayward make hot tub filters which are of high-quality and affordable so you don’t have to worry about them conking out after a few weeks.

Also remember to drain out your hot tub every three months. Although the water chemicals and installed filters do keep the hot tub clean and safe, it won’t harm you if you drain it out and refill the water every three months, just to stay on the safe side.

Tip#2 Understand your hot tub chemistry

A hot tub isn’t filled with plain water only. Just like your pool, your hot tub needs to have the right amount of chemicals to keep the water fresh and odor free. Most hot tub owners use chlorine to sanitize their tubs from bacteria and algae growth, and using equipment such as the hot tub “Spa Saltwater System” can greatly reduce your hot tub problems. You also need to keep the chemicals properly balanced with your water content, so keep an eye on the chlorine along with the alkalinity and pH levels of the water.

Another tip is to always pour the chemicals after you’ve filled in the water, never before. This allows proper water balance. Having a good chlorine chemical feeder will keep the water chemistry steady, so you will not have to worry about bacteria.

Tip#3 Keep an eye on the heat

Having a good quality hot tub heater is a must. Most heaters from companies such as Hayward are affordable and can be placed near your tub. Proper heat means comfortable water. A pool or spa heater is programmed not to let the temperature go above 102 degrees, and with a reliable and good quality thermostat, your hot tub will be warm and not just tolerable.

A hot tub is a luxury and should be treated as such, and by using extra precautions to keep the water clean and the chemicals balanced, you can enjoy the wonderful and soothing waters of your hot tub after a hard day’s work.

Getting the Right Pool Lights

When you get a new pool, there is nothing better taking your first swim under the glow of the moon at midnight. But the moon shouldn’t be your only source of light. Swimming in the sunlight would give you no problem, but with no lights, it will be a bit of problem when you step into the water in the dark.

Although many do have their pool lights installed accordingly, others prefer not to swim at night and save the cost. This can be a problem when you need to cool off and can’t, because you were stingy with the equipment you needed for the pool. Pool lights may be a bit more expensive than your usual pool accessories but you cannot deny their importance for your pool.

When buying lights for your pool, remember three important factors; color, shine and comfort. The color needs to be soft enough so it doesn’t make your pool look cheap. The shine needs to be clear enough so that the light doesn’t look like a floodlight, and when you put the light on, it shouldn’t hit your eyes in a harsh way but still provide you with a comfortable atmosphere. The comfort factor also incorporates how the light can be fixed and replaced.

Deciding on the right lights for your pool can be difficult so consider each option carefully. Different types of pool light fixtures are readily available in the market. Many prefer to use the affordable halogens for their swimming pool. Halogen lights are installed in above ground or in-ground pools. The reason why many people are fans of halogen lights is because of their versatility which means that they can work in any pool and are easy to replace.

Another popular lighting choice for a swimming pool is LED pool lights. LED has become very famous over the years because of its brightness, longer life and affordable cost. While halogens are the classic choice for a pool light, the LED pool lights are the popular one because they come in white and color changing models so you have a wide variety of choices. LED lights can be added to any pool type as well and if you want a bit of style, these LED lights can be used as floating lights for an above ground pool as well. Since LED lights consume only 20% energy, many people are now switching their pool lights to the option of LED pool lights.

However, if you want a pool which is an eye-catcher, you can also switch to fiber optic pool lights which may be expensive but can add personality to your pool. These lights are colorful and festive and if you want to have a party in your pool, fiber optic lights are the way to go. Fiber optic lights are the easiest to replace since they are usually placed above the pool in a dry box. All you need to do is open the box, change the bulb and you’re good to go.

Pool lights may be expensive, but their effects can be breath-taking. So whether you want to take a midnight swim or surprise your significant other with a romantic night, pool lights should not be neglected.

Adding a Little Cool to Your Pool

Do you feel like perhaps you need to something new to your pool? Has the simple kidney-shape finally lost its charm, are the pool chairs towering with your children’s used pool toys, or is it just the fact that it seems too boring to swim around in anymore?

When you have a pool, you know you need to spend a lot of money to make it look good, so you settle for the simple luxury of just having a proper safe pool for your weekly swim without any bells and whistles. However, the dreams of having a center-of-attention pool can now become a reality. Because companies are now making beautiful pool features such as waterfalls, fountains and pool lights which won’t cost an arm and a leg anymore. Thus, many people are thinking outside the box to add a bit of drama to the family swimming hole.


Magazines are filled with pictures of celebrities’ homes with their swimming pools decked with beautiful waterfalls, their beauty emphasized by the lights. However, you don’t need to be a millionaire to make your pool look like a million dollars. Companies such as Jandy are making beautiful waterfalls which are designed to fit in any pool.

A waterfall is a beautiful feature because it allows a peaceful and soothing flow of water as well as a bold and thundering shower, which adds excitement to your pool. It also isn’t as expensive as it was before, and if you have a sense of adventure, a waterfall would be the perfect addition for your pool.


Fountains aren’t just for the rich and famous. A fountain adds elegance and class to your home, and if you’re having a party, nothing is more of a show stopper than a fountain suddenly bubbling up in your pool. Polaris has designed two beautiful fountain features for swimming pools which are affordable and beautiful for any pool.

Fountains for a swimming pool take the water from the pool cleaner line or the swimming pool’s return lines, so the water stays clean and keeps on circulating. You can either have a floating fountain which bobs along the surface of your pool or you can have the fountain fitted to the wall of your pool. Add a few well-placed plants and pots to that side, flare up the fountain and you’re good to go.

Pool lights

Pool lights are necessary for every pool. Not only do they give off a beautiful luminous glow from inside the water, but with so many options, you can now add color to your pool with above ground lighting as well. Many people use halogen lights, which is a classic option. The other options for pool lights are LED lights, which are available in basic white and color changing models as well. They’re energy-efficient and last longer, so you don’t have to worry about the expense.

Another option is that of fiber optic lights. These lights are available in a variety of shades so you can have a lot of choices if you want some drama. With the proper pool lights, you’ll be able to see while you’re swimming at night, and you’ll have a beautifully lit pool.

So if you want to create a night to remember by bringing the party to the pool, deck it out with the perfect waterfall, pool fountain and gorgeous pool lights and you’ll be the most popular pool owner in the neighborhood.

In-Ground Pool Cleaners

In-ground pools are one of the most popular pool styles in the United States. If given the opportunity, many homeowners would prefer to have an in-ground pool, rather than an above-ground pool. One of the many reasons why in-ground pools are preferred over above-ground pools is because of their appearance. In-ground pools are more attractive than pools that stick out of the ground. If the appearance of your pool is important, you will want to keep your pool cleaned.

To keep your in-ground pool clean, you will have to obtain the proper cleaning supplies and equipment. If you have yet to purchase cleaning supplies for your pool, you may be unsure as to which type of cleaning supplies are best for your pool. Instead of just guessing, you are advised to familiarize yourself with all of the in-ground pool cleaning supplies that are currently available for sale.

When it comes to familiarizing yourself with in-ground pool cleaning supplies and equipment, you will have a number of different options. Perhaps, one of the easiest ways to learn about well performing cleaning equipment and supplies is to speak to those that you know. If you live in a warm area, it is likely that one of your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives has a pool. If so, you may want to ask them about the cleaning supplies or equipment that they use. If you receive positive feedback or product recommendations, you may want to consider further examining those products.

In addition to speaking to your friends, relatives, coworkers, or neighbors, you can also use the internet to familiarize yourself with in-ground pool cleaning supplies. In addition to visiting the online websites of multiple product manufacturers and pool supply stores, you may also want to look for online resources guides. There are a large number of online websites and resource guides that are aimed at assisting those with in-ground pools. On these websites, you should be able to learn more about the cleaning supplies that are currently on the market. You may also be able to read product recommendations or warning from other pool owners.

Whichever search method you select, it is likely that you will hear of automatic pool cleaners and manual pool cleaners. If you are looking to save time, you may want to examine automatic pool cleaners. If you are looking for low-cost cleaning supplies or equipment, you may want to examine manual cleaners. Before making a final decision, as to which type of pool cleaner you would like to purchase, you are advised to examine the advantages and disadvantages of each product.

As mentioned above, automatic pool cleaners are popular because they save time. In most cases, automatic pool cleaners work without your assistance. For instance, if you are using chemicals to clean your pool, automatic cleaners would require that you just pour the chemicals into your pool. If you were looking for cleaning equipment, such as a pool vacuum, many vacuums only require that you turn them on and then the vacuum will do the rest. However, it is important to be on the lookout for automatic pool vacuums that may require your assistance to operate.

As previously mentioned, manual pool cleaners and cleaning supplies are ideal for those who are looking to save money. In most on and offline retail stores, you will find that manual cleaners and cleaning supplies cost less than those that are automatic. While it may take time to manually clean your in-ground pool, you can also make sure that it is done right, the first time.

In addition to either purchasing manual cleaning supplies or automatic ones, you may want to consider purchasing both. In the event that your automatic cleaner does not work, you will have an extra alternative and visa versa. Having a backup plan, when it comes to cleaning your in-ground pool, is the best way to ensure that you can swim anytime you want. In-ground pool cleaners do a great job of keeping your new and old pool clean while you are away.

Protecting Your Pet and Swimming Pool

When it comes to protecting your pet and swimming pool, there are many factors that can affect the water. The sanitation of your swimming pool can be easily affected, your pet can bring up several maintenance issues. The average dog brings in the same amount of contaminants as three humans. Dirt, body oil, Insects and so much more can be introduced to your swimming pool. In addition to this, your swimming pool may potentially transmit E Coli, Hepatitis A and Giardia to swimmers. With the increase of external particles, your pool’s ph levels will rise and FAC (free available chlorine) will be less available to combat bacteria. Although outbreaks rarely come from residential homes, bacteria can become extremely contagious once waterborne. Your pets are not the only risk to your swimming pool’s sanitation. Other swimmers and non disinfected water supplies can contaminate your swimming pool as well.

Most swimming pools are closed systems were the same water is filtered and when more bacteria are introduced, this increases the risk of disease. Large cartridge filters can prove to be an efficient and effective way of keeping your swimming pool maintained. If you ultimately decide to let your dog swim, make sure to rinse them after doing so as they can get the same skin irritations we get. Also ensure that your swimming pool is properly sanitized as your pet can get eye irritations from the lack of FAC in your pool as well. Take into consideration that your dog sheds enough hair when it is not in the pool. Choose the right filter as this is where most of the hair will either be properly disposed of or back washed. If you can keep your pets out of your swimming pool you will find it much easier to maintain.

I know if your dogs are like mine they will always want to jump in and swim with you. Sometimes a little extra work to keep your pool clean is worth it as my dogs and probably yours are part of the family.

Vinyl? Concrete? Fiberglass?

An inground swimming pool can instantly make any backyard more aesthetically pleasing. For those interested in purchasing an inground swimming pool, soon-to-be pool owners can choose from a selection of three types: vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass. Depending on your location, prices for each kind of inground swimming pool vary though. When it comes to choosing the right inground swimming pool for your backyard it’s best to get professional advice from your local swimming pool store.

The cheapest inground swimming pool available, vinyl pools can be purchased in several pre-manufactured shapes. They also require less labor than a concrete pool and customizable options exists, including vinyl liners that come in several colors or patterns. Construction can be done in a shorter amount of time because of the pre-fabricated materials as well with 3 weeks usually being the norm.

Concrete or gunite pools offer more flexibility when it comes to the design of your inground swimming pool. The adaptable nature of concrete pools, makes it possible for pool owners to fit them in irregular places. With the ability to be the most customizable pool comes the downside of an expensive and lengthy construction estimated at about 12 weeks. In addition to this the surface can discolor, attract algae and prove to be uncomfortable.

Lastly, fiberglass pools are the fastest to install as they arrive in one pre-finished piece. Construction can last from 1 to 3 weeks. Their smooth surface is a benefit in itself, as it makes it harder for algae to stick to and easier for you took maintain your inground swimming pool with less chemicals. Negatives for fiberglass pools are that it cost a lot and extreme weather conditions can cause shifting in the ground.

Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance

Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance is very important from removing dirt to replacing spa water or cleaning out the filter, knowing the basic steps to maintaining your spa is key. Using a mild non-abrasive cleaner and soft rag is an effective combination when it comes to cleaning your spa. Baking soda can also help clean small spots. Vinyl covers also need maintenance as well and this can be done with a hose and some mild soap or baking soda solution. Remember to always shower without soap before soaking in your hot tub, to prevent residue like detergent from entering your spa. Routine light cleaning each month is an effective means of managing your spa’s maintenance.

Cleaning the filter cartridges can help calcification and its tendency to clog up filtration systems. Make sure to use a hose to spray each cartridge to cleanse it of any debris and use a filter cleaner afterwards. It is good practice to get a replacement filter every three years as well. Overtime debris, dirt and residue will eventually build up and any kind of spa cleaning will keep the water clean for so long. Drain and refill the hot tub to keep your spa water fresh, but do so following the spa’s owners manual and its instructions.

The Many Shades of Algae

Algae’s rapid growth rate can be explained through the symbiotic relationship it shares with most bacteria. Bacteria in swimming pools require oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Unfortunately for pool owners, algae can use carbon dioxide to produce the oxygen bacteria requires and perpetuate an endless cycle of blooming. Wind and rain can introduce the unsightly plant life into your swimming pool, but spotting the early sign of an algae outbreak will mean less headaches in the future. About 30,000 varieties of algae exist, but this hefty count can be simplified into three categories of swimming pool algae.

Green algae is the fastest growing and it usually floats, but can stick to walls. A hazy tint to the water and slippery feel on the sides of the pool, are just some of the early warning signs that green algae is tainting your swimming pool’s water. Mustard or yellow algae is a more serious problem, as a few days of careless maintenance will afford the algae enough time to become chlorine resistant. It tends to grow in the shaded areas of your pool, forming a deposit of the powdery substance. If you happen to find 1 to 3 centimeter dark blue-green spots on your pool, black algae is the culprit. This variation forms layers in which chlorine may be able to penetrate the outer or first layer, but not the numerous ones protected underneath it. Black algae’s growth takes more time than the other two, but it is the most difficult one to treat a swimming pool from, as it extremely chlorine resistant.

Preparing Your Pool for Summer

Without the proper knowledge on how to open a pool for the summer, you risk the health of both swimmers and your pool. Ensure that your pool is both properly operable and chemically safe. Never empty your pool even if you live in a cold climate, unless your pool hasn’t been covered and there are too many leaves under the swimming pool. Draining can bring up problematic situations, in which an empty pool won’t have the water necessary to hold down and prevent the pool from lifting. Not being cautious will make a complete pool replacement both necessary and costly.

While your cleaning up the baskets and starting up the filtration system, keep the cover on. Before running the filter, you may need to cleanse it and reassemble it. If your pool has a sand filter, backwash it and then leave it on the normal setting. Remove the cartridge filter as well and use a hose to rinse it. Taking a water sample to your local swimming pool store, will provide you with professional advice on what adjustments are needed in your alkalinity, pH, and chlorine levels. Cleaning the filter is a daily task that has to be done, until the water is no longer cloudy and you can see the bottom floor of the swimming pool. After clearing up the water with the recommended amount of chlorine, you can remove the cover and have the pool vacuumed for any left over debris.

Choosing the Right Pool Cleaner

Pool cleaners are essentially vacuum cleaners that provide convenience to swimming pool owners and remove debris potentially harmful to a pool’s sanitation with ease. Hand operated pool cleaners exist, but can laborious and time consuming.

Three types of this automated maintenance equipment exist and they are known as suction-side, pressure-side and electric robotic pool cleaner. Suction side is the least expensive and most popular, but cleans through a random course or path. Power is provided by the pool’s pump and debris cleanup is done through the pool’s filter system. Energy-wise, this kind of pool cleaner is the least cost effective and your pool’s filter system will need more servicing.

When it comes to pressure-side pool cleaners, a secondary booster creates highly pressurized water. This turbulence cleans up the walls and floor of a pool, ultimately distributing debris into the surface and then the pool’s main filter. Like a suction-side pool cleaner, pressure-side equipment requires use of a pool’s maintenance systems, but it has the highest electrical usage among the three types of pool cleaners.

Lastly, Electric robotic cleaners operate independently of a swimming pool’s filter and pump. Powered by another electrical source, electric robotic pool cleaners have two motors that allow debris to be captured and filtered water to be returned. Paint-roller like brushes remove particles from the pool’s surfaces and allows contamination-prone materials to be stored in a filter bag. Electrical robotic pool cleaners can also climb walls and reverse their direction, thanks to an internal microchip and some programming. Electric robotic pool cleaners are the most efficient of the three, but involve a large investment or upfront cost at first.