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This is the Year You DO It!

Every year, we utter, "This year will be the best year yet." And it typically results in disappointment. We feel stressed out and constantly in a hurry. How about this year, we take that leap and truly make this the best year yet! We all have a bucket list. So, grab a goal you have, for instance a new swimming pool, and follow this alternate approach to making your dream life a reality.

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How to open an inground fiberglass swimming pool

Opening your swimming pool this year on your own? Have no fear, it’s easier than it sounds! Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will be up and running in no time.

What you will need
  1. Pool cover pump or submersible pump
  2. Cover cleaner
  3. Start-up chemical kit
  4. Skimmer net and brush
  5. Friend
What you will do
  1. Remove any water from on top of your winter cover with the pool cover pump or submersible pump. Using both yourself and your friend, grab 2 corners of the cover on the same side and start to walk it over to the other side of the pool. Careful not to let any debris fall in the water. If this happens, not to worry, you will just have to remove this

    TIP: if removing the debris on the cover is becoming a hassle, remove all water off the cover and wait a day or 2 for it to dry, then blow the debris off with a leaf blower.

    remove-water
  2. Clean your winter cover using the ‘Natural Chemistry: Purge’ or ‘Natural Chemistry: Spray on Cover Cleaner’. You want to remove all of the chemical residue that will harm your cover if not removed right away. If you are using water bags to hold your cover, make sure to drain them completely and let them dry before storing them away for the summer. This will prevent mould and mildew from forming

    clean-winter-cover

    TIP: Use a heavy duty plastic container with a snap-on lid to store away your safety cover. This will extend the life of your safety cover by preventing rodents or insects creating nests and eating it over the off season.

  3. Remove any plugs that are in your lines; return jets, waterfall lines, stair jets, etc. and remove the Gizzmo or skimmer plug. You may see bubbles coming out from the pipes when you remove the plugs, this just means the winterizing of the pool was done properly. Don’t forget to replace each plug with the proper jet and to put your skimmer basket back in its place. Do another walk around the pool and double check that all lines are completely open and ready to go, before moving on.

    remove-plugs
  4. Now, it’s time to re-install any deck equipment. This includes your; ladder, slide, step rails, and diving board. To prevent rusting throughout the Summer, grease up each bolt as you’re installing.

  5. Check the water level in the pool and if it’s needing to be filled, now’s the time to do so. Using your garden hose, fill the pool so that the water level reaches halfway up the skimmer opening.

    skimmer-opening
  6. Pool equipment time. Replace the drain plugs and other parts, including your pressure gauge on your filter. Replace the drain plugs on your pump and check the pump lid o-ring for cracks. Using your forefingers and thumbs, run the o-ring through your hand, giving it a slight bend to check for any cracks in the material. Dried, cracked o-ring will have your pump sucking in air, not allowing it to prime fully. If your o-ring seems to have no issue, use Magic Lube to lubricate, and then install. On your filter, you likely have a multiport valve handle, it’s important to turn it to “Filter” before moving on.

    pool-equipment
  7. Turn on the power to your pump and filter and watch that it starts up properly. You need to make sure that the pump primes fully and that the filter has no blockage. The pump will take some time to prime, but it should at least be pulling water. If your pump is not pulling water, shut off your system, remove the pump lid, and fill the pump housing will the hose. You can use your garden hose to do this, or just fill a bucket of water and pour it in. Place the lid back on the pump and lock it. Turn the power back on and watch to see if the pump has primed.

    remove-water-pump

    TIP: If your filter pressure gauge is showing a psi over 15, it may be wise for you to backwash your sand filter or replace your cartridge filters. After backwashing, return your valve to the “filter” position.

  8. Now that the pool is hooked up and running, it’s time to clean up. Using a deep leaf net, remove any large debris from the water. Try to remove as much debris from the water as possible. Attach a pool brush to your telescopic pole and brush down the walls, steps and floor, to get the dirt that has settled moving around in the water to get filtered out.

    clean-up
  9. Time to balance the water. Add in your Pool Opening Kit and wait 48 hours before taking a sample of water in to AquaPRO Pools & Hot Tubs to get professionally analyzed. Once you have completed the recommended steps to balance your water, you can walk away and let the magic happen. Let your pool run for at least 24 hours and then vacuum out debris if necessary using your manual vacuum. Test the water at home with your DIY kit and if everything checks out, it’s time for safe swimming!

    pool-opening-kit
What you need to do before your Pool Open Service..

You have booked your pool opening service with AquaPRO Pools & Hot Tubs and are just waiting for the service date to come. There are a few things you should do as the homeowner to ensure a safe environment for the technicians to complete their jobs effectively.

  1. Ensure the water to the outside hose has been hooked up.
  2. Gather your pool equipment and place it near the pool - somewhere easily visible.
  3. If you own a winter cover bag, place that with the pool equipment, along with any other parts needed to be installed (eg. diving board, handrails, ladder, etc.)
  4. Have a peek under your winter cover to see where the water level is sitting at. If possible, and if needed, put your hose under your cover to raise the water level to be midway up the skimmer opening. This will ensure the pump primes when we hook it up initially.
  5. Lastly, ensure we will have access to the backyard - the gate is unlocked and no dogs running around at the time of our arrival. If you have any specific requirements for access, please just let us know at the time of your booking - we are happy to accommodate.

The little things are what matters. If you can do those simple steps before we arrive for your pool opening service, we will be able to show exactly how amazing our technicians really are.

The Best Fiberglass Swimming Pools.

Sometimes I like to compare products to see which would hold up best to my family and their aggressiveness. When it comes to large purchases like a pool, I need to know that my dog can't chew it, my brothers can't break it and my father can't run it over. There's a lot to know before you buy a pool, so I decided I would start with choosing the strongest, long-lasting, low maintenance fiberglass swimming pool. Everyone in the pool industry has said "Ours is the best!", "We are #1" or something along those lines, but how can you really tell? There's 1 thing that could help us figure that out; research. I know, it's not for all of us, which is why I'm going to do that in an easy-to-understand and hopefully entertaining way.

Structure and strength - will it be strong enough?

To be considered the strongest swimming pool, it needs to be capable of withholding a lot of pressure and weight. The structure of the pool needs to be designed and manufactured in a way that the walls of the pool won't cave in or crumble under extreme pressure. Manufacturer's spend a lot of time and money into research to ensure that this won't happen or shouldn't happen for quite some time.

I did so much research on this, my eyes started to burn. But it was totally worth it, so keep reading!

There were some similarities between the 3 pool brands when it came to the outcome of the pool and the process they used to get there. However, I did notice some interesting details that differentiated them from one another.

Trilogy Pools, Thursday Pools, and Barrier Reef Pools, all use high quality raw materials, vinyl resin as their waterproofing shield, and they all use a high-quality UV-resistant gel coat to protect from fading and other harsh climate conditions. But, every company chose to do something a little different for the inner cores of the fiberglass shell.

Trilogy Pools 'Unique by Design'

Trilogy Pools uses a 6-layer design, including 2 different layers of resin for rigidity, a layer of the vinyl ester barrier for extreme resistance to corrosive chemicals, and then they used a maintenance-free HydroStone gel topcoat to ensure durability for many years. The other 2 layers are an interlocking bond beam, which essentially structurally ties your deck to the pool shell (concrete is used for this part). And the other part is the coping. Now for this you have options, brick, concrete, or stone - again creating more strength for the entire perimeter of the pool.

All of this provides a very safe and durable swimming pool, which made me wonder how easy this was going to be. I knew I still had to look at the other 2 pool brands, so I went on to the next 1.

Thursday Pools Manufacturing and 'Innovations'

With every pool made, Thursday Pools uses a method called the "Composite Sandwich of Awesomeness". This method, uses 9 layers of raw materials, 5 of which are chopped fiberglass. A 'Honeycomb core' to provide rigidity and support, and a layer of hand-woven roving fiberglass which is woven glass, not plastic. Then, there's a layer of the vinyl ester barrier and a gel topcoat.

All of these layers combined create a thick, structurally sound pool shell. Again, who could top that? Still, I have to look at the other pool brand to make sure I'm not getting ahead of myself.

Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pools Manufacturing Process

Barrier Reef Swimming Pools only uses a 4-layer process when manufacturing their fiberglass shells. This worried me a little at first, but then I read into their process a little more. Yes, there's only 4 layers; the gel topcoat, vinyl ester barrier, fiberglass, and a coloured flow coat sealer. But, when I read into their application process a little more, I found that they use multiple coats of each layer. Thus, creating more than just 4.

I'm not sure about you, but I remember this saying "less is more", from those good ol' Charmin commercials. Well, it appears Barrier Reef Pools has done just that. They found the materials that worked perfectly together and used only those, no need for anything more.

Ok, so far, I'm really liking how Trilogy Pools doesn't get too fancy with their techniques and uses basic tools to get the job done. Thursday Pools seems to have a better design for the structure but then, like I said before, Barrier Reef uses multiple layers of simple raw materials. So, who's really the better 1?

Beauty in the Design

The hard part, choosing what colours and style you want. You could do, the simple kidney shape or rectangle, but how will you know if you will like it 5 years from now? I'm going to have to go through every style until we find the perfect 1.

I do have to say, just by looking at the different brands' websites, Barrier Reef has more variety for shape, Thursday Pools has a huge range of shapes as well as a great variety of typical swimming pool colours to choose from. Trilogy Pools sticks to the standard shapes; rectangle, kidney, freeform, modern freeform, and classic or as some people call it, grecian. It's a very hard decision to choose from.

I figured that you would be using the pool mostly for; cooling off in the summer time, hanging out with family (including the dog!) and having parties with friends. This means you need something to accommodate large crowds but also something you will enjoy and not take up the entire yard. The rectangle seems too boring for me, but it may not be for you, I wanted something with a little more pizazz!

Look at Trilogy Pools

The brand with a wider variety of sizes. Trilogy Pools doesn't cut corners when designing their fiberglass pool molds.

The classic and modern form of the freeform shape has such a unique look, every time you look at it you see something new.

There are so many different sizes of the classic rectangle that anyone with at least a little bit of yard can have a pool.

The kidney shape, for anyone who enjoys swimming laps, this could be the pool for you. Trilogy Pools has a very small 10'X20' kidney shape pool - this can allow so many people to have a pool that thought they couldn't.

Lastly, their classic or grecian style swimming pool. These are elegant and perfect to add a tanning ledge or splashpad to.

Look at Thursday Pools

Perfect pools for exercise. Thursday Pools is known for being shallow even to the deep end. This could be good for volleyball or basketball sports or even water polo!

The rectangle, anywhere from 13.5'X27.5' to 16'X41', this beauty - no matter the size, has so much space for sitting and relaxing and of course swimming.

Freeform pools are a unique shape but look at how Thursday Pools took their design to a whole new level. Great for parties and the kids.

A very unique feature that Thursday Pools has done, is the Infinity edge pool. This is where the water looks like it never ends, but it's falling over the edge like a waterfall and circling back through the system.

Thursday Pools grecian or classic style pool was so popular they are coming out with a larger model.

Look at Barrier Reef Pools

Swimming pools that will accommodate your everyday needs. With a variety of depths, even the tallest people can go diving!

Rectangle pools are made more for hanging out with friends and having parties. Rectangle pools have the most space and allow for games and activities.

Barrier Reef's freeform models are very unique, as they add seating wherever they can without removing swimming space.

The grecian model from Barrier Reef is pretty standard but comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate different yard sizes.

The kidney shape is a wonderful design and Barrier Reef did a wonderful job by adding seating all the way around.

They have also made a model called the 'Milano', this to me looks roman and could accentuate some very nice patio furniture. At 11'X23', this pool is perfect for many people.

The most unique by far - the 'Daydream'. This pool is so unique I don't even think there's a name for the shape. Perfect to have people over!

The last thing we need to look at is, maintenance. How much work will this take me to take care of? Will I be capable of doing all of this? Let's have a look, shall we?

Give me the easiest low-maintenance system you have!

With any fiberglass pool, the maintenance needed is very low. Considering the fiberglass shell is a smooth texture, bacteria and other non-organic compounds can't attach to it and grow. Thus, allowing you to use less chemicals for water balancing.

Trilogy Pools has a maintenance tool to help the circulation of the pool, pushing debris into a designated area allowing for easy clean up. And Thursday Pools created a skimmer designed specifically for fiberglass swimming pools to improve skimming function, optimize water level and provide the pool with a more uniform appearance.

Taking all of this in to account, I think you will be able to choose from these perfect fiberglass swimming pools - which would you choose? Each brand has a long list of pros and a very short list of cons. I would recommend any of these brands to anyone. So glad I did my research.

Does Chlorine Turn Your Hair Green?

Does chlorine turn blonde hair green?

A common misconception in the world of swimming. Now, I do have to say that yes, swimmers, and not just blondies, have found their hair colour to take on a bit of a green tinge after prolonged periods of exposure to chlorine, but this was for a different reason. Chlorine is not green, and it's actually not the chlorine that causes the color, although the chlorine may help indirectly. Here’s what that means; the green is caused by certain metals, mainly copper, seeping into the tiny cracks of the outer shell of our hair. This shell is called the cuticle, and it normally does a good job in protecting the hair. Swimming can cause a lot of damage to the cuticle, allowing the metals to attach freely to the hair strands. Once there, they oxidize, which is basically like rust on a car. Chlorine’s role in this, is that it helped damage that cuticle. So, although the green you see is not chlorine, the chlorine probably helped the copper get in and stick there. The copper then oxidizes, and voila! Green hair.

The first steps to owning your dream pool...

It all starts when you hear, "Can we get one?!".

I know... I've been through that. You have mixed feelings;
A bit of euphoria, thinking "I've got this, this will be easy, my family will enjoy this forever!",
Confusion or fear, wondering if you're ever going to find the perfect pool for you.
Sometimes even a feeling of being lost can surface as well.

I decided to write this blog post specifically for you. To help you find your way and choose only the things you need in order to achieve that wonderful backyard oasis we all dream about.

  1. Decide how you will use the pool. Do you want to relax with nature, participate in healthy exercise, or entertain your friends and family? Define the now to help you choose the best location for your pool and decide on the style that meets your needs.
  2. Consider the financial aspects. If the pool is attractive and not highly specialized, it will be considered an asset. Before work begins you should check with your insurance agent to be sure you have adequate protection. This insurance protection will need to begin immediately. Don't forget to factor maintenance into the cost of the pool that you choose. Routine pool maintenance will include keeping the water chemically balanced and sanitary, maintaining the support equipment, and cleaning the pool surfaces. At AquaPRO, we have maintenance packages to make things much easier for you.
  3. Determine yard size and conditions. In addition to your yards' dimensions, consider your yards' slope, soil type and accessibility for construction equipment. Pools are easier to build or install when a yard is level. Severe conditions such as steep sloping lots, rocky soil and limited access require special construction and installation considerations and typically add to the overall cost and duration of the project.
  4. Design your pool. Once you have gone over all conditions as well as determined what your pool will be used for, you can now begin designing your pool. When designing an inground pool you can add customized features. Be sure to design the entire poolscape including decks, water features, and the patio area.
  5. Consult with the pros. This would be a good idea, as we can determine which size and shape would be an ideal fit for your particular yard as well as determine the possible maintenance costs you will encounter.
  6. Choose your equipment. By selecting the correct pool supplies, maintaining a gorgeous pool all season long will be an absolute breeze. In addition to choosing maintenance equipment for your pool, you also want to consider safety equipment. Many safety products are available on the market, including water alarms, safety covers and personal safety accessories like life jackets and pool floats.

Now you'll be hearing, "When is the pool coming!".

Thanks for the read, I hope it helps at least 1 person in making a decision. A pool really does bring people together.




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