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Pool Heaters Make Swimming an All Year Activity

Even in South Florida, there are times when the water in pools can be too cold to swim in comfortably. The solution is a pool heater. The only question will be what type to use. Individuals can choose from electric heat pumps, a gas model, or an environmentally-friendly solar option. Each will heat swimming pool water to temperatures that enable people to use their pool year-round for health, fitness and recreation.

More Family and Friends Time

When it’s possible to throw a pool party with 80-degree water temperatures, even in December and January, it’s a natural invitation to find creative ways to share. A warm pool provides an attractive venue for holiday parties and ways to spend time with children home from college during winter break. A heated pool means you can also swim at night, even when temperatures fluctuate.

Health and Fitness

A heated pool is especially beneficial for anyone with bone and joint conditions. Water buoys the body and reduces the force of gravity, thereby making movement easier and less painful. It’s also an excellent form of low-impact aerobic exercise that utilizes all the muscles in the body. There’s no need to go anywhere for water therapies with a heated pool in the backyard.

Enhances Value

A pool heater is an easy way to enhance the value of properties and increase the ROI on the pool. There’s no need to close and cover the pool in the autumn with a pool heater.

Consult with Professionals

There are exact calculations that will need to be performed to ensure the right size heater for the volume of pool water. An experienced pool professional will be able to make those calculations that will be specific to the type of pool heater to be installed. The experts can also provide information on the different types of heaters and recommend the one that will best fit the needs of the individual.

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Pets in Pools? Pros and Cons

Many individuals share their pool time with their canine companions. A great many dog breeds enjoy the water and there are benefits and disadvantages when allowing dogs in the pool environment.

Exercise

Swimming is a low impact aerobic exercise that can be as beneficial for dogs as it is for their human companions. Younger and high energy dogs can burn a lot of energy through swimming. The buoyancy of water supports movement for older dogs and those with joint conditions. When attended by a human, the pool can be therapeutic for canines recovering from injuries and surgery.

Pool Chemicals

Chlorine and other pool chemicals can result in watery eyes or a burning nose in dogs. It can dry out their coat and adversely affect their skin. Dogs should be rinsed off with warm water after getting out of the pool. Swimming also increases the potential of dogs developing an ear infection.

Pool owners should also know that dogs can bring more debris into the pool than humans, especially long-haired breeds. Loose hair will come off in the pool and that will have an impact on filtration systems.

Damage to Liners

Dogs have sharp nails that can damage pool liners and pool toys. Even trimmed, well-groomed nails can be injurious to swimmers due to the way that dogs paddle to stay afloat.

Dog Safety

Unlike people, a dog won’t automatically know how to exit the pool and it requires training to teach them where the exit is located. A pool that’s not equipped with steps or a shelf-type entry will be a death trap for dogs. They won’t be able to climb a ladder and will simply swim until they’re exhausted.

Any dog that enters the water should be wearing a canine life jacket. The same safety measures should be taken for dogs as for small children. Never leave dogs unattended in or near a pool and ensure they can’t gain access to the pool through safety fencing. Don’t use a floating pool cover. Children, dogs, and other pets don’t understand that it’s not a solid surface and can easily become trapped under a floating cover.

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Great Additions to Your Pool Party

A pool party is always a fun time for everyone, but coming up with ideas for themes, snacks, entertainment, and activities can be a challenge. Family, friends and co-workers are good sources of ideas, along with online searches. For those that want a truly memorable event, the following are some ideas to enhance any pool party.

Inflatables

Kids and adults of all ages love inflatables whether it’s a water slide or bounce house. Water slides can be rented that deposit party-goers directly into the pool for an extra splash of fun and stand-alone versions with wading pools are offered for younger children.

Glow Sticks

A great idea for evening parties, glow sticks are handy little items that can be activated and tossed into the pool for a party vibe. Glow sticks are available in straight, bendable, and fiber optic wand styles. They’re offered as jewelry and make excellent decorations that can be placed throughout the pool environment and given to guests.

Floating Laser Lights

Create a sensation with floating, color-changing solar-powered laser lights. The eco-friendly lights float on the surface of the water for a unique, futuristic lighting experience. Submersible options are also available that rest on the bottom of the pool.

LED Balloons

These will fascinate and enchant kids and adults alike. The helium balloons light up as they float and shimmer in the air for a magical touch. Light up strings are available that come with on/off switches. They’re battery operated, making them ideal for decorations, party gifts, and for playing pool games.

Light Up Beach Balls

They’re great for pool parties and will keep kids and adults occupied for hours. The LED beach balls can be floated on the surface of the pool as decorations and they can be used to play games like a regular beach ball. A convenient remote enables color changes to the lights.

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pool resurfacing

Why are Swimming Pools Mostly Blue?

Swimming pools that are blue provide a tropical aesthetic and blue pool liners have been popular for decades for that reason. However, pool water with white or liners of other colors also appears blue. There’s a simple explanation rooted in science.

The molecules in pool water absorb light from the red end of the spectrum when touched by sunlight. The light that’s reflected from the bottom of the pool is filtered out by the water and loses much of the red light that was absorbed so it has a blue hue when viewed from above. The richness of the color will vary depending upon the depth of the water in the pool.

At one time, basic blue liners were used to help enhance the crisp, blue aesthetic. It’s a bit of pool psychology that’s highly effective. Today, you have dozens of colors and materials from which to choose that can add new and exciting dimensions to your pool – and the water will still look blue. There are also a myriad of textures that can add extra shimmer to the appearance of your pool.

With the technology available today, you can recreate the colors of locations from around the world. The methods provide a wealth of options for color coordination with your surroundings. The size and depth of the pool and your personal preferences, along with the pool’s positioning in relation to the sun, will have an impact on the color you choose.

There are other colors that you may see in your pool that should be concerning. Brown and green may be an indication that you have algae growth. For those that desire the beautiful blue of a summer oasis, it’s essential that the appropriate chemicals are added, in the right amount, and at the correct time to keep the blue aesthetic alive and well.

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Great Summer Reads for Poolside

Relaxing by the pool with a good book is one of the benefits of having a pool. While some people choose to catch up on classic works from every age, others prefer something lighter, shorter, or stories that will immerse them in another world. The following are just some of the books that have won popularity for reading by the pool, in no particular order.

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry – The only thing a romance writer and a literary fiction writer have in common is writer’s block, no money, and living in the same neighborhood. Until they strike a fateful deal.

“Craigslist Confessionals: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers” by Helena Dea Bala – The author ran an ad on Craigslist inviting people to share their secrets. Everyone has a story to tell and respondents tell all in the book.

“Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Montimore – Oona turns 19 and finds herself living in her 51-year-old body at the stroke of midnight. A stranger in her home discloses that she’s destined to live her life out of order and will jump to another point in her life on each birthday.

“Parakeet” by Marie-Helene Bertino – A bride-to-be is visited by her dead grandmother in the form of a parakeet. The bird directs the bride on a discovery of self, an exploration of matters long buried, and the path to true love.

“The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead – Based on the real life reform school in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s, Nickel Academy is an eye-opening look at the horrors that occurred there and they’re not always easy to digest.

“The Secret Women” by Sheila Williams – Three different women have recently lost their mothers and meet at a yoga class. As each go through their mother’s belongings, they discover secrets about the women that raised them and come to a better understanding of themselves.

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Creating a Pool Oasis

A swimming pool is a place for relaxing, washing away the cares of the day, and spending time with family and friends. The ambiance of the pool environment should reflect the feel of an oasis. There are multiple ways to accomplish that and the following are just some of the ways pool owners can enhance the overall pool experience for themselves and guests.

Greenery

Nothing says oasis like the lush beauty of plants around the pool. Foliage has the ability to change the entire look of the pool area and make it a place where guests want to linger. It can include potted plants and beds, along with a variety of palm tree species planted directly in the ground – but not so close that the roots will damage the pool or debris will find its way into the water. Plants also provide an added level of privacy.

Water Features

Excluding the sound of splashing in the pool, the sound of water has a calming and relaxing effect on the psyche. The installation of fountains and waterfalls are often overlooked when planning a pool environment. A mini island in the middle of the pool is also an option that adds a distinctive touch.

Lighting

Lighting has become an essential element for pools. The right illumination choices can dramatically change the way the pool is perceived. LED lights offer a myriad of options that are less expensive to operate than traditional bulbs and they’re eco-friendly. Lighting can be installed to give the impression of a hidden underground grotto, gently moving tides, or any other inviting effect.

Create a Fantasy

Each person has their own vision of how their personal pool oasis should appear. Some want a highly landscaped and manicured look, while others prefer a wilder, more natural appearance. There are no set rules about what an oasis should look like. Creating a fantasy pool oasis of their dreams will be a different vision for everyone.

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Drowning Prevention: Home Safety Tips

A backyard pool is one of the first things that people think of in connection with drowning prevention, but it’s far from the only danger. There’s a multitude of water-related hazards around the home that aren’t even on the radar of most people. The majority of threats affect children, but the elderly and disabled are also at increased risk. Even skilled swimmers can drown.

As little as .067 ounces of water per pound of body weight entering the lungs can result in death. It occurs when the liquid enters the voice box, causing it to spasm and close. It’s a situation that can occur several hours after an individual is originally affected. The following are some essential tips to minimize the potential for drowning.

Never Leave Children Unattended

Youngsters should always be within arm’s reach of an adult anytime they’re near water. Drowning is the primary preventable cause of death for children ages 1-4 from pools, ponds, lakes, and even small streams.

Know how to Swim

Teaching children to swim is one of the best ways to prevent drowning. That doesn’t mean that adults should relax their vigilance.

Eliminate Distractions

Everyone should put away their phones when they’re around water. It only takes a moment’s distraction for disaster to strike. The tip applies to adults watching children and for the safety of adults themselves. Alcohol is also a distraction that should be avoided.

Water Containers

All tubs, buckets and kiddie pools should be emptied as soon as they’re no longer being used. Children less than a year old can drown at home from water left in a bucket.

Install Fences

Every pool and hot tub should be encircled by a fence at least four feet in height to prevent an accident, along with a gate that locks automatically. It’s also helpful to install an alarm that will alert individuals should the gate be opened.

Toilets

Children can and do drown in toilets. They’re fascinated by the water and if they lean far enough, they can tip over into the toilet with no ability to right themselves. Toilet seat locks are available and it’s a good idea to keep bathroom doors closed.

Know CPR

CPR is a skill that everyone should know, along with how to respond to various types of emergencies. Always keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand at home, along with a shepherd’s crook or life ring with a rope if there’s a pool. It’s always better to be “over-prepared” than risk a life.

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Hosting a Safe Pool Party for Kids

Every parent knows how quickly children of any age can get into mischief. Youngsters are curious and have no comprehension of the dangers a pool can present. For anyone planning on hosting a pool party for kids, there are a few basic tips that should be followed to ensure everyone has a happy time but remember that safety should always be the top priority.

No Unaccompanied Children

This should be clearly stated when you issue the invitations. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. It may seem harsh, but make it clear that unaccompanied children will not be allowed to attend.

Have a Lifeguard

If there’s someone that can be trusted to act as a lifeguard, ask them to do so. If no one is available or willing to take on the responsibility, hire one from a reputable company.

Establish Health and Safety Rules

Set safety rules and make sure that each parent receives a copy of them when the invitation is issued. It will help reduce problems on the day of the event and be sure to post them on the premises where they’re easily seen. Some basics include no diving or running in the pool area, and no food or drinks are allowed in or near the pool. All children that aren’t potty trained must wear a swim diaper.

Stock up on Essential Supplies

It’s inevitable that children will arrive without floaties or sunscreen. Floaties are essential for any child that has limited swimming experience or skill. Sunscreen is equally important. Children are at increased risk of sunburn in the late morning and early afternoon, and the potential increases due to the sun’s rays being reflected from the water in the pool.

Take Regular Breaks

Even though children are surrounded by water, they can easily become dehydrated. Make sure everyone takes regular breaks and they have plenty to drink. Get everyone out of the pool periodically and offer them juice and tempting frozen treats.

Prepare for Potential Emergencies

Despite the best laid plans and precautions, the potential still exists for an emergency. Hosts should be trained in CPR, have a fully stocked first aid kit ready, and keep a phone close to hand. It’s also a good idea to check and make sure the event is covered by the homeowner’s policy.

Prepare the Pool

A pool party is no fun if there’s algae growth or the pH levels are off. To ensure that the water is perfect for swimming on the day of the big event, consult with a pool specialist. Explain what’s needed and when the celebration will take place. A pool professional can ensure that the water is sparkling clean, safe, and inviting for the party.

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Small Pools for Tight Spaces

If you’ve always dreamed of having a pool but don’t think you have the space, there’s good news. There are a wide variety of small pools that are making a big splash with homeowners across the nation.  You can choose from in-ground, above-ground, and pools that can be installed indoors and outside.

Properties are getting smaller and compact pools are the perfect solution for narrow or small lots. They provide all the pleasure of a pool for cooling off, relaxing and entertaining for those that don’t have the space to install a standard 20×40 pool. Small pools have expanded the range and options for homeowners. They’re being placed in front yards, garages, extra rooms, and even as the focal point of a central courtyard.

It’s important to understand that the small pools of today are typically not for swimming in the traditional sense. They’re hybrids that are shallower and combine the benefits of a pool with a spa and can be used for relaxing or a centerpiece for entertaining. Their small size means that homeowners can often have the luxury of a pool with other elements such as decks and patios.

As pools have evolved to accommodate small spaces, they’ve picked up a variety of names to differentiate between them and their larger cousins. Small pools are called everything from wading pools and cocktail pools to plunge pools or a shortened version known as a spool. The different designations are typically used to identify the usage.

Compact pools can be customized in a myriad of ways. Specialized shapes can be created that accommodate the specific needs of the property, such as oddly shaped and unused corners of the real estate. Small pools can be raised or sunken and the only limitation for a small pool is the imagination.

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Is a Saline Pool Better for your Body?

One of the biggest trends in the world of pools is the saline swimming pool. They’re an alternative to traditional pools that require large amounts of chlorine to maintain the health and hygiene of the water. A saline pool still contains chlorine, but in much smaller amounts.

Some research indicates that saline pools may be healthier, simply due to less exposure to the chemicals required to maintain a traditional chlorinated pool. A combination of chlorine and ammonia is often present around the surface of swimming pools. Since there’s far less chlorine in a saline pool, it can be better for those with allergies or asthma and less likely to cause lung inflammation.

Many integrative medical professionals recommend saline pools over chlorinated options for skin detoxification and lessening of skin inflammation as it provides an antimicrobial effect. In traditional Chinese medicinal practice, saline pools are said to lower stress and have a calming effect on the nervous and immune systems. Salt water also acts as a natural exfoliator on the skin, which can have a beneficial effect for people with skin conditions ranging from acne and psoriasis to eczema.

Lower chlorine levels than traditional pools means that saline pool water is gentler on the eyes and skin of swimmers. An added benefit is that saline pools typically won’t turn hair green or give it a bleached out appearance.

It’s important to understand that a saline pool isn’t the same as swimming in the ocean or soaking in the Dead Sea. A saline swimming pool will still need regular checks, adjustments and maintenance the same as a traditional pool. The chemicals and processes of a saline pool are different than that of a chlorine pool, making it essential that owners obtain the services of a professional to ensure the water is tested and maintained correctly.

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