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Tips for Opening Your Swimming Pool This Spring

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Time to open the swimming pool!

Spring is here and the swimming pool season is about to kick off.

Maybe you just bought a home with a swimming pool, or you just installed a pool last summer and this is your first swimming pool opening, and maybe your going to attempt your own opening this year after watching the pool guy do it for years, and just maybe your a veteran and just want to pickup some new tips. Whatever your station opening a pool for the Summer is easy, just follow this guide and you will be swimming in no time.

Tip #1 If you are wondering when the best time to open your pool, opening the pool early is best, if you wait too long you will risk the chance of opening up to a huge mess. Always try to open the pool either before the first hot day or shortly after. Hot days heat up the stagnate water under your pool cover and that will create algae.

Tip #2 Every backyard with a swimming pool or a hot tub needs to have a few basic essentials in the backyard shed.

  1. Submersible pump is needed to drain water from the pool, hot tub, off the pool cover etc… great addition to your toys/equipment
  2. Shop-vac is great for not only sucking up wet and dry debris, but also is needed to blowing out lines in the winter.
  3. Pressure washer, garden hose, & deluxe spray gun these all go into one heading but basically have a good system for cleaning stuff off. Better to pay a little more and have a good hose and spray gun, and a pressure washer will help you keep your whole house clean.
  4. Sponges & rags are great for cleaning up around the pool, patio, and hot tub.

Tip #3 if you found that you were losing pressure at the end of the pool season the year before it might be a good idea to check the filter media and see if it needs replacing. This is something you can do weeks or days in advance of your pool opening and will save you time on the day you do open your pool.

When your ready to open the swimming pool the first step is to use the submersible pump and remove the water from the top of the winter pool cover. Its best not to try and remove the winter cover before the water is removed because you risk the chance of having the debris on top of the winter cover falling into the pool. Unfortunately I have learned this from experience, and I would add to be patient and let all the water possible be drained from the top of the winter pool cover before attempting to remove the cover.

Tip #4 start filling your pool while you are draining the water off the top of your winter cover. If you live in a rural community and use well water use a carbon pre filter on your hose when filling your pool. Locate and replace all fittings, plugs, and drain covers from your filter, pumps, and heaters but do not turn anything on yet. Remove all plugs, gizmos, foam etc. from pipes and skimmer and replace jets, skimmer and any other accessories. This saves time and you will be able to start your equipment sooner.

The next thing you must do is to remove the debris from the top of the winter cover. You can start this process with your leaf net when you are removing the water from the top of the cover. Try to remove as much debris as possible because the more that is on the winter cover when you remove the cover the more chance of debris getting into your pool when you remove the winter cover.

Once you have removed the debris it is time to take the winter cover off. I start by removing the water bags from one end of the pool and slowly roll the cover towards the end removing water bags on either side as I move down the pool. The same technique can be used for all covers and at the end you should have caught all remaining debris that should be easily lifted away from the pool with the winter cover.

Once your water is up to level which is about 2/3 up the skimmer, you can do a final check of all the connections and plugs, put your filter in the waste selection, roll out your backwash hose, open up your air relief at the top of your filter, fill your pump basket with water to get your prime, and start your system. Once all the air is released you will see water spraying out the top of your filter, close the valve and turn off your system. Change your filter setting to filter and turn the system back on.  I add a concentrated algaecide at this point making sure to broadcast it around the perimeter of the swimming pool. After 24 hours of circulation test your pool water for PH and Chlorine and adjust accordingly. The chemical levels should be PH 7.2 – 7.6 ppm and chlorine 1.5 – 2.0 ppm.

Take your swimming pool cover  and water bags out to the driveway remove all debris and wash them, let them dry out fold and store for the fall. Replace all your steps, ladders, and diving boards and tighten them down. Power wash the deck, and clean the scum line of your pool. And your done.

Tip #5 If you have a hot tub open it at the same time, or if it was running all winter this is a great time to change the water and clean or replace your hot tub filters. Use a carbon pre filter on your hose when filling your hot tub. Also clean and and remove debris from your hot tub cover, and replace it if it weighs more then 100 lbs. or is deteriorated beyond use.

Enjoy the swimming season!

Content provided by Backyard Blast By The Cover Guy

Tips for Closing Your Pool

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Winterizing your pool may seem complicated, but with a little preparation, it can be a very simple and pain-free process.Check out these top 10 tips to help you easily close the pool for the season!close pool or spa

1. Begin Winterizing One Week Before Closing Your Pool
One week prior to closing your pool, add a phosphate remover to help keep algae out.

2. Brush and Vacuum To Remove All Debris
Cleaning your pool before closing prevents algae and makes your spring opening even easier.

3. Manage Your Water Level
FREEZING – Water should be 4-6 inches below: skimmer (vinyl-lined) or tile line (plaster)
NON-FREEZING – Water should be filled to the top, almost to the point of overflowing.

4. Balance the Pool Chemistry
Measure water balance using a test kit. Total Alkalinity should be between 80-120 ppm, pH level should be between 7.4-7.6

5. Shock and Chlorinate Your Pool

Shocking kills any bacteria that might linger in your pool during the winter

6. Backwash Your Filter
Allow the pump to run for a full cycle before backwashing and chemically cleaning your filter

7. Drain Pool Lines and Add Antifreeze (for freezing temperatures only)
This prevents the costly repairs that come from burst of damaged pipes

8. Install Air Pillow
Inflate the air pillow using an air pump and place in the center of the pool

9. Install A Safety Cover, Winter Cover or Leaf Net
Protect your pool and family with a secure cover

10. Monitor Chemical Balance Monthly
Using a test kit, routinely check water chemistry.

7 Health Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Tub

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1. Improves sleep

Sleeping Girl

Have you ever noticed how quickly you tend to fall asleep after taking a late night bath or a dip in the hot tub?

When your body is cold, your normal sleeping pattern can be disturbed. When your body is comfortably warm, you tend to fall asleep quicker and rest through the night with fewer disruptions.

It is widely accepted that getting quality, REM sleep has a multitude of positive effects on just about everything – from your mood to your mental alertness and even the way your body metabolizes food.

To improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, try spending some time in the hot tub before getting into bed.

2. Reduces stress and anxiety

Stressed Woman

Along with making you feel temporarily relaxed, studies show that the combination of the hot water, the massage of the jets, and the feeling of weightlessness can significantly reduce both mental and physical stress and decrease anxiety.

Experts note that when you’re not feeling physically and mentally stressed, you’re less likely scowl at neighborhood teenagers, which means you’re less likely to get teepee’d in the middle of the night.

Don’t get teepee’d – get in the hot tub!

3. Reduces arthritic and chronic pain

Arthritis Hand

For people suffering from skeletal ailments such as arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and other types of bodily aches and pains, spending time in the hot tub will typically provide some much-needed relief.

Due to the buoyancy from the bubbles created by the tub’s jets, we feel our own weight disappear, our blood circulation increases with the heat, the tightness in our muscles relaxes, and inflammation in our sensitive joints is reduced.

In this state, an aching body can experience heightened flexibility, strength, and a wider range of physical motion. It’s no wonder so many people see significant benefits from hydrotherapy when recovering from back, knee, or other joint problems.

4. Lowers blood sugar

Lower Blood Sugar

While further studies are still recommended, initial research indicates that spending time in the hot tub may actually lower the blood sugar level of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

In one study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, subjects with type 2 diabetes spent a half hour, six days per week for three weeks submerged to the shoulder in a hot tub. By the end of the three weeks, the subjects saw an average drop in blood glucose (BG) levels from 182 mg/dl to 159 mg/dl.

Essentially, the hot temperatures in the tub simulate some of the effects of physical exercise – which has proven to be an effective form of treatment for sufferers of type 2 diabetes.

5. Lowers blood pressure

Nurse Taking Blood Pressure

In addition to lowering levels of your blood sugar, relaxing in the hot tub can also lower your blood pressure.

When you get in the tub and the temperature is hot, your heart works harder and faster so that your body can disperse excess heat. In the process, your increased blood flow is producing extra oxygen and your cells are being revitalized. While there may be an initial uptick in blood pressure, your increased warmth will cause cells to dilate, decreasing resistance against the heart and lowering your overall blood pressure.

It should be noted that those with high blood pressure should avoid going back and forth between the hot tub and the pool, as this may increase blood pressure.

6. Promotes Healthier, Younger Looking Skin

Woman With Clear Skin

If you’re pondering ways to get your skin looking its best, soaking in the hot tub might not be the first strategy that comes to mind – unless it’s a hot tub filled with Neutrogena.

[NOTE: Do not soak in hot tubs filled with Neutrogena]

What you may not have considered is that some of the effects of using the hot tub have a direct influence on the health and appearance of your skin.

As mentioned above, regular use of a hot tub has shown to lower levels of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of premature aging, which means the hot tub can be a tool to help combat premature aging.

Furthermore, when you’re experiencing increased circulation in the hot tub, that means your blood is more efficiently delivering vital oxygen and nutrients to your skin – giving you a healthy, youthful glow.

7. Decreases Frequency of Migraines and Tension Headaches

Man with Headache

When you suffer from chronic headaches, like migraines, there simply aren’t a ton of treatment options, so relief is a hard thing to come by. Fortunately, there is some evidence to suggest that regular dips in the hot tub may in fact help to prevent certain types of headaches.

How can sitting in a hot tub possibly help with headaches? Well, consider some of the more common triggers of headache, like tension.

Migraine sufferers often report experience tension headaches right before the migraine. In the hot tub, you’re muscles aren’t contracted, your aches and pains subside, and you feel overall more relaxed – thus decreasing the chance of experience a tension-triggered migraine.

Also, sufferers of sinus and cluster headaches experience episodes when they’re stuffed up; spending time in the steamy hot tub – along with using nose drops and drinking fluids – is a good way to fight congestion and prevent these types of headaches.

The Health Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Tub Infographic

Hot tubs not only provide an excellent way to relax with your friends and family, but it is also beneficial to your health. That’s right!

Hot Tub Health Benefits Infographic

Happy Soaking!