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Not all outdoor furniture is the same

We’ve all been there. You purchase a set of outdoor furniture for your patio or deck, and you love the way it looks…..For a while.

But it doesn’t take much exposure to our Tennessee weather until the quality of that furniture really begins to show. The fabrics fade or mildew – or both. The metal rusts, the paint flakes, the wicker deteriorates. Or a storm blows through and that lightweight furniture just blows away.

 

Suddenly that outdoor furniture that seemed like such a great deal … isn’t!

 

Maybe it’s time to invest in a quality set of outdoor furniture. A set that’s built to last. At Aurora Pool, we’re proud to offer the Telescope Casual line of quality outdoor patio furniture. Telescope Casual has been producing quality products in the USA since 1903. (It’s true! You can even check out their online catalog archive, going all the way back to 1927!)

 

AUR Lake Shore_04_2012Whatever you’re looking for in outdoor furniture, there’s a style for you.

 

Outdoor dining is a summer tradition for many families. Telescope Casual sets come in a variety of styles and sizes to fit your space and your budget. Round, rectangle, oval and square, table height and bar height, with chairs to match. Add an umbrella for protection from that hot summer sun!

 

Cozy conversation sets for the patio or deck are also popular. Ours are built to last, with powder-coated or marine-grade polymer frames, and built for comfort, with cushions that can handle the sun and rain without fading.

 

Fire tables add a fun dynamic to your outdoor area. Add coordinating seating and you have an instant gathering spot for family fun and grown-up gatherings.

 

But that’s not all – Telescope Casual also makes picnic tables, lounge chairs for the dock or pool, and even quality aluminum frame beach chairs for when you’re on the go.

 

When you’re tired of replacing your outdoor furniture season after season, and you’re ready for something that will last, stop by one of our showrooms today.

Go chlorine free, for free

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It’s what you’ve always wanted – a beautiful in-ground pool right in your own backyard. It’s your personal oasis. Someplace you can relax at the end of a long day, a place you can have fun with family and friends, a place to cool down during those hot Tennessee summers.

 
The thing is – those summer days will be here before you know it. So if you’re thinking about a pool, now is the time to make your move. Book your project with us before May 31st, and we’ll include a salt system (valued at more than $1500!) at no additional charge.

So, what’s a salt system?

 

We’re glad you asked!

 

A salt system is an alternative to using traditional pool chemicals for keeping your pool water clean and clear. In the long run, a salt system can save you a significant amount of money, since you aren’t spending so much on chlorine or other pool chemicals during the swimming season.

 

These systems are also very easy to maintain. Typically they need to be checked weekly or so to make sure they’re producing natural chlorine as they should, and you might need to balance the water from time to time. And you know what less maintenance means – more pool time!

 

Some people have asked us if the salt water will hurt their eyes, or if it tastes like ocean water. The answers are no, and no. Salt water pools have about 1/10 of the salt level of the ocean, so it’s not really comparable. If you’re concerned, you can wear goggles but typically the water is no more irritating than traditional pool water. And as for the taste – well, you aren’t drinking it, right? If you do get a small amount in your mouth or lick your lips you might notice a slightly salty taste, but that’s all.

 

If you’re interested in a salt water pool, and you’re ready to get started on your backyard pool paradise, give us a call today!

Take Your Grilling to the Next Level this Memorial Day

As you know, around here Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer grilling season. Whether you’ll be at the lake, in the mountains or in your own backyard, there’s nothing better than gathering together with your family and friends, and firing up the grill.  
 
Now, that old discount store grill may do an OK job on hot dogs for the kids, but if you really want to take your grilling experience to the next level, it’s time for a Kamado Joe. 

Kamado Joe Grills
The Kamado Joe’s proven ancient ceramic design gives food a rich, smoky flavor that just can’t be beat, and the flexible cooking surfaces mean you can cook a wider variety of foods on your grill than you ever imagined.  
 
Feeling inspired? If you think you’re ready, stop by our showroom in Knoxville, Farragut or Morristown to choose your Kamado Joe, and then try out some of these recipes over Memorial Day weekend.  
 
Steak is a delicious grilling standby. In this video, Kamado Joe’s resident chef shows you how to make The Perfect Steak. https://youtu.be/YDB4Vg_jLSg 
 
Burgers are always a crowd-pleaser. These Kamado Joe Smash Burgers use the Cast Iron Griddle and Stainless Steel Laser Cut Fish and Veggie Surface. The beautiful crust and juicy grilled onions can’t be beat! https://youtu.be/8mftTVitQOE 
 
If chicken is more to your taste, how about BBQ Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters? You’ll need the heat deflector for this tasty recipe. https://youtu.be/OUaI4UknoWk 
 
If you want to see what your Kamado Joe can really do, how about Kamado Joe Peach Pie? https://youtu.be/ILZOXK0kE5Y
 
Or, surprise everyone with breakfast! Bacon, Egg and Cheese Cups are quick, easy and tasty. Serve ‘em up with a fresh fruit salad and your day is off to a great start. https://youtu.be/z9lXfw04gWU
 
Wow! All of that, and it makes great hot dogs, too.

Get a Swim Spa Before Summer & Enjoy the Season

All winter long, we wait for summer and all the fun it brings. Blooming gardens, family cookouts, weekends at the lake – and swimming! Really, there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a dip in the pool.
 
Sometimes, though, budgets or space mean installing your own swimming pool isn’t feasible. If that’s your situation, have you ever considered a Catalina Swim Spa?
 
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Swim spas come in a variety of sizes, and offer features that just aren’t available on traditional swimming pools. Portable and in-ground models are available, and they can be installed indoors or out.
 
If you enjoy swimming for fitness or other forms of water exercise, a swim spa is made for you. The powerful jets allow you to swim against the current for unlimited distances at the speed that’s comfortable for you. Turn off the current, and the flat bottom is perfect for all forms of water aerobics and other low-impact exercise.
 
Most models also include dedicated hydrotherapy areas with powerful massaging jets, so you after your workout, after work, or for any reason you choose – you can enjoy a relaxing massage.
 
Beyond all that, though, swim spas are fun! There’s plenty of room for the family to play and relax together. The adjustable temperature means you can enjoy the warm soothing water of a spa when you need it, or the cooler water of a typical swimming pool when you’re ready for some summer fun.
 
You can even add a sound system, water features, LED lights and more to your Catalina Swim Spa, for a truly customized experience.
 
If you think a swim spa might be just what your summer needs, stop by any location soon to check out our line of Catalina Swim Spas and choose the model that’s best for you! In the meantime, check out this gallery for some inspiration!

Kamado Joe Easter Dinner

Looking for a way to take your family’s special Easter dinner up a notch? Why not make it a Kamado Joe Easter dinner? Here are some great recipes that are perfect for that bit of decadence, family fun and faithful celebration.

Curing & Smoking a Fresh Green Ham

The Kamado Joe is an amazing way to cure and smoke a traditional Easter ham raised and butchered locally for the best possible flavor.

Double-Smoked Ham

Take that ham up a notch with a Kamado Joe Easter dinner double smoke!

Bleu Cheese Stuffed Leg of Lamb Roast

Do this right and you’ll get a perfect smoke level and the marinade with onions and bleu cheese results in an outstanding flavor profile.

Carolina Brisket

This 13 hour slow smoked brisket will have mouths watering!

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Salmon with Crusted Crab Potatoes

If you’re looking for a seafood flare to your family gathering, this may be the way to go for your Kamado Joe Easter dinner!

Roasted Goose

You might associate roasted goose with Christmas, but there’s no reason you can’t make it for Easter too!

Bleu Cheese Filet Mignon with Tequila Scallops

Make the bleu cheese butter and marinade the steaks ahead of time for the perfect consistency and flavor.

Canadian Rack of Pork

Prep the brine the day before, refrigerate the pork in the brine for at least half a day and then slow roast for at least 2 hours. It may take a while, but it’s well worth the flavor!

Lobster Tails

This is a quick and easy recipe that is super impressive for your Kamado Joe Easter dinner!

Cinnamon Rolls

It doesn’t have to be Easter dinner that you make on your Kamado Joe! How about cinnamon rolls for Easter morning!

Whether you go a little more traditional with a ham, go fancy with a lamb roast, or go for seafood flare, the Kamado Joe is a great way to make your Easter holiday meal tasty and memorable.

Hydrotherapy: Hot Tub Pain Relief

There are just some pains that never seem to let up. Maybe you’re dealing with arthritis and your prescription medications only scratch the surface. Or maybe you’re incredibly active and muscle pain is par for the course. Maybe you want to be active, but the aches and pains you endure make that nearly impossible. Whatever pain you may be dealing with, you can find hot tub pain relief with daily hydrotherapy. Research published by the National Institute of Health shows how effective hot water therapy is for athletic and pain relief (and for cardiovascular health!). The Arthritis Foundation also advocates for warm water therapy as a treatment for arthritis pain. We offer a variety of hot tub models at Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiards. They all provide benefits for hydrotherapy and pain relief. As you’re deciding whether to purchase a Dream Maker Spa or Marquis Spa, keep these features in mind for optimal pain management.

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Hot Tub Pain Relief: Jets

How many jets a spa has and the placement of those jets is important to the physical benefits of a hot tub’s use. For example, Marquis’ high-flow, low pressure jetting systems achieve balance between the therapy they provide and the way they jets feel on your body. Jets drive heat deep into your muscles, bringing relief without pressure. Bahama Spas work to make sure every jet is placed for optimal pain relief benefits.

Hot Tub Pain Relief: Contour of the Seats

The right contour of the seats in a hot tub creates buoyancy in order to minimize the weight and pressure on your body. Signature Spas USA focuses on correct placement of the body for the best results. The soaking seat in Sundance Spas allows for control over your hydrotherapy experience and generous support to help you maintain posture.

Other elements to consider when looking for a hot tub that’s optimized for hydrotherapy are the number of available seats, seat spacing, and water temperature controls. Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiards is happy to help you find the best hot tub for your pain relief needs.

4 Great Ways to Spend Your Tax Return

Some might dread tax season, but if you’re lucky enough to get a tax return, it might be the perfect time to splurge on you and your family a little. Based upon the average tax refund amount of $2,500 to $3,125, here are a few great ways to spend that bonus (i.e. you overpaid on your withholdings):

That Hot Tub You Always Wanted

Now is a great time to finally get that hot tub you’ve been dreaming about. Hot Tubs at Aurora Pools start at just $2,999. But even with our higher end models, you can make a significant down payment and then talk to us about financing the rest with low interest rates and monthly payments you can easily afford.

Kamado Joe – Grill Like a Boss

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The average tax refund would easily cover one of our larger Kamado Joe grills and a slew of accessories! It comes with everything you need to grill, sear and smoke and has the most available cooking surface in its class, providing moister meat with a wood-fired flavor. It’s also the best built, best backed and most versatile grill! It’s great for socializing, whether just with your family or with a crowd.

Your Very Own Tanning Bed

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Forget tanning salon memberships to get the perfect, sun-kissed glow. Your tax return could mean a tanning bed right in your own home, giving you easy access and the privacy you prefer. Stop dreaming of buying a home tanning system… you really can enjoy your very own new home tanning bed or tanning booth at a great value and
price that fits your tax refund budget.

Accessorize Your Yard With Your Tax Return

Maybe you already have all the major elements for your backyard haven – the pool or hot tub or maybe even the grill. But why not create an extension of your indoor living space and take your outdoors up a notch? We’d love to help you install that Kamado Joe grill into a full outdoor kitchen, deck out your hot tub or pool, get you some comfy outdoor furniture, or simply get those accessories you’ve been wanting.

Daylight Savings – What to do With Your Extra Hour

Daylight Savings means you gain an extra hour of sunlight in the day. What are you going to do with that extra time? How about spending it with your family and friends in your newly renovated backyard? That’s right, at Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard, we have everything you need to create an amazing extension of your home’s living space just steps outside your backdoor. And the first place to start, is with a swimming pool.

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So Many Pools to Choose From

Whether it’s above ground pools, in-ground pools or on-ground pools, we have the perfect pool design to match your tastes, available space, preferred features and budget. When it comes to in-ground pools, you can choose from our vinyl and steel option (which tends to be the most affordable) or a fiberglass pool. The On-Ground Pool is the perfect solution for a pool enthusiast with a sloping backyard – the pool is installed partially in the ground and partially out and perfect for a partial deck too! Our above-ground options are metal wall pools that give the versatility of being a non-permanent fixture.

Eat Outdoors More

How about a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen to enjoy after Daylight Savings? Now dinner can be prepared and consumed poolside! We have a wide selection of outdoor kitchen designs and accessories including outdoor ovens, traditional and Kamado Joe grills, built-in refrigeration and more!

Bring Out all the Comfort

At Aurora Pool, we also have showrooms full of outdoor furniture, fire pits, umbrellas and even pergolas to help make the design of your backyard oasis all your own. Don’t waste a single minute of daylight! Come by one of our three locations today and we’ll help you get started on the backyard design of your dreams, just in time to enjoy it to the fullest!

Hot Tub Accessories for Safety, Convenience and FUN

There are so many hot tub accessories on the market today, you can add nearly anything you need for safety, for convenience, or just for fun!

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Hot Tub Accessories for Safety

Freestanding and side-mounted handrails can help you enter and exit your spa without losing your balance. This is especially helpful if you or someone in your family is using the hot tub to help cope with or recover from an illness or injury. When you’re sick or hurting, climbing in and out of a hot tub may not be easy. Having something sturdy to hold on to can greatly reduce the chances of a slip or fall.

Spa-side steps are also a great addition for safety. Most include some type of non-skid surface, and many include built-in storage for cleaning spa cleaning supplies. Or toys. You know – for the kids.

Hot Tub Accessories for Convenience

Free-standing towel racks keep your towels or robes nice and dry while you enjoy soaking in your spa. Shelves and tables that mount to the side of your hot tub keep drinks, snacks and phones within reach.

You might even consider adding an outdoor shower. Sure, you could invest in a plumbing installation and hire a contractor to build a shower surround. Or, you could set up an economic solar shower near your hot tub so you and your guests can quickly rinse before enjoying the spa.

Keeping your spa clean will add to your enjoyment, and small things, like a quick shower beforehand, make a big difference. If you spa is outdoors, just encouraging people to rinse their feet before stepping into the spa helps, too. A backyard foot bath – a shallow tray with a ridged bottom filled with water, is an inexpensive and easy way to encourage this.

Hot Tub Accessories for Fun

We saved the best for last! No matter the reason you purchased your hot tub, you want to enjoy it, right? From waterproof playing cards to floating bluetooth-enabled speakers, this is where you can create the hot tub experience that speaks to you.

A floating cooler, so your drinks are always close at hand? Check. A floating LED light system that produces an underwater light show? Check. Inflatable toys – for the kids, of course. Check. Fragrance, to set the mood? Why not.

There are just so many options – stop by one of our locations today and choose the accessories that are right for you.

Life Really IS Better With a Marquis Hot Tub

How is life really better with a Marquis hot tub? We’re glad you asked!

Sleep – we all need it!

50 to 70 million people in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. If you’re really struggling with sleep, it’s important to see your doctor. They’ll want to get to the root of the cause, and rule out anything serious. Some problems may require medical intervention, but don’t be surprised if your doctor also recommends lifestyle changes to help improve your sleep: avoiding screen time before bed, limiting the amount of caffeine you consume, and developing a calming bedtime routine.

A 20 minute soak in your Marquis hot tub can be the keystone in this routine. Hot water therapy triggers your body’s natural sleep mechanics, reduces stress and anxiety, and can help prepare your for a peaceful night’s slumber.

Stress – we all have it!

Just as there are nearly unlimited ways to add stress to your life, there are nearly unlimited ways to relieve it. But few of those are as enjoyable as relaxing in a Marquis hot tub.

The warm water and soothing jets can ease away the stress stored in your muscles, especially your neck, shoulders, back and legs. As you relax in the contoured seats you can feel the tension of the day begin to melt away.

As you know, stress takes a mental toll, too. Consider adding a sound system to your spa so you can enjoy your favorite music while you relax. Plus, aromatherapy additives for your hot tub water can help you achieve the state of mind you desire.

Pain – we don’t want it!

Many people who use a hot tub report fewer trips to the chiropractor or therapist, reduced pain medications and an overall improved feeling of wellness.

Regular use of a spa can help provide relief from a number of medical conditions, from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue to eczema and more. The warm water provides hydrotherapy – an increase in your body’s temperature, which causes your blood vessels to dilate, increasing circulation and promoting healing.

The water also supports your joints and allows free movement, so you can enjoy gentle exercise and build strength. Plus, the jets offer massage, relaxing tight muscles and easing your pain and discomfort.

From stress and pain reduction to a better night’s sleep, life really is better with a Marquis hot tub.

Kamado Joe Grill or a New Hot Tub? Why Choose?

Life is filled with tough choices.

Paper or plastic? Credit or cash? Cream cheese or lox?

Actually that last one isn’t tough at all. Cream cheese is delicious, and if you think it’s reasonable to put smoked, oily baitfish on a bagel at 6 o’clock in the morning, get your head checked. You’re a psycho.

One choice that doesn’t have to be difficult, however, is whether to get a new grill or invest in a hot tub. The choice isn’t tough at all because you shouldn’t have to choose in the first place.

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If you’re truly going to create a backyard oasis that’s the envy of the neighborhood, you need the bubbling bliss of a spa and a Kamado Joe grill that transforms meat into culinary heaven.

Not just any grill will do.

If grills were Billy Joel albums, Kamado Joe would be “Streetlife Serenade.” Sure, it might not be the best seller on iTunes, but every true fan wouldn’t want to live without it.

There’s a Kamado Joe for everyone, but no matter which model you choose, you’re going to reinvent the art of grilling. Smoke and sear your way to wood-fired perfection on every juicy, smokey thing you cook. Meat, veggies, and even dessert go in, and culinary euphoria comes out.

But what good is all that without a healing, soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating spa?

Bahama Spas took that name because stepping inside of one transports you to the Caribbean — but without airline tickets, watered-down frozen drinks and American tourists embarrassing themselves by pretending that they can relate to the locals.

Stiff, tight muscles loosen up. Achy, swollen joints recede. Stress and anxiety drown in bubbly, massaging ecstasy.

And what’s waiting for you when you get out? Oh, that’s right! Your food is done! Smoked and seared to temperature-controlled perfection.

See, some choices aren’t choices at all.

Compare Hot Tub Warranties for Peace of Mind

A new hot tub is an investment – not just financial, but in your health and in your family. When you make the purchase you want to make sure you’re making the best possible decision. It only makes sense. So while you’re shopping for a hot tub and comparing features, don’t forget to compare warranties, too. They may not be as fun as sound systems and jet configurations, but a good warranty is just as important to your long-term enjoyment of your spa.

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To make sure the warranty covers everything you need, ask a few questions:

Is the warranty easy to find, and easy to understand?

Hot tub manufacturers should be proud of their warranty, and it should be easy to find on their website, like Dream Maker Spas. Be sure you read the warranty, and ask questions about anything that isn’t clear.

Does it cover all your needs?

A hot tub warranty should cover all the necessary parts of the hot tub – shell, plumbing, equipment and even labor, for a period of time. If there are limitations or exclusions, these should be very clear, so that there are no surprises. If you fully understand the warranty – what’s covered, what isn’t, and any other details – you’ll be better able to compare warranties from different manufacturers.

Has the manufacturer been in business for a long time?

A warranty is only as good as the paper it’s written on if the company that produced your hot tub is out of business when your spa needs a repair. When you’re shopping, only consider manufacturers like Dream Maker with years of experience and certified by industry groups.

If you need to make a claim, can you reach the manufacturer?

If your hot tub needs a repair, making a claim should be as easy as possible. When you’re spa shopping and comparing warranties, see if you can easily find the manufacturer’s customer service phone number and other contact information. Are they on social media? If so, take a look at their accounts. Do they seem to respond to questions posed by customers in a timely fashion? These are all great clues to how responsive they’ll be to you, if you ever have a question or concern.

Quality hot tub warranties are a sign of a company that stands behind the products it sells. So when you’re looking for a spa shop around – compare features and prices, of course. But for peace of mind, be sure to compare warranties, too.

Unexpected Sauna Health Benefits

Saunas have been around for thousands of years. If you trace the sauna tradition back to its Finnish roots, you’ll discover it began as little more than a space dug into an embankment in the ground. Today’s saunas are comfortable, stylish spaces that can be equipped with custom lighting and seating, your choice of a traditional or infrared heat source, and more. But one thing hasn’t changed – the unexpected sauna health benefits. 

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You probably already know how saunas, like those from market leader Finnelo, can help you relax, reduce stress, ease muscle tension and even flush toxins from your skin. But you might not know that science has proven sauna use can also have some cardiovascular health benefits similar to exercise.

Unexpected Sauna Health Benefits: Overall Cardiovascular Health

A study, conducted by professionals at the University of Iowa and University of Texas, set out to determine if sauna use could be an exercise replacement for people who aren’t physically able to get the exercise their cardiovascular systems need. During the study, the researchers had 25 healthy volunteers sit in a 78.8 degree room to achieve baseline readings. Then, they had them sit in a sauna heated to 163.4 degrees for 30 minutes. The results were interesting, and encouraging. The scientists observed some significant changes in the study participants following their sauna use. For instance, heart rates increased an average of 22.4 beats per minute, systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased, and naturally occurring substances that have positive health benefits and that typically increase with exercise went up as well. Ultimately, the study determined that sauna use isn’t a replacement for exercise, as exercise offers some benefits that just aren’t achievable from sauna use. But for people who can’t exercise, using a sauna regularly may help their overall cardiovascular health.

So the next time you fire up your Finnelo sauna, remember the unexpected sauna health benefits. Not only are you easing pain and discomfort, improving your circulation and relieving mental stress, you’re helping condition your heart.

Dream Maker: A Perfect Valentine’s Spa Date Night

Life is so busy these days. Between work, school, kids and other commitments it sometimes feels like there’s no time to breathe, much less spend quality time with the one you love. Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy a romantic evening with that special someone. This year, instead of scheduling dinner reservations and fighting the crowds out on the town, plan a romantic spa date night in. All you need is a little ingenuity, your Valentine, and your Dream Maker Spa.

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Build the Excitement

Don’t just ask your Valentine to join you. Make it special with an invitation that will help build excitement for an evening of romance.

What: A romantic evening under the stars

When: Valentine’s Day

Where: Our Dream Maker Spa

Just bring yourself and a smile.

Set the Mood for a Spa Date Night

Create a romantic scene. It’s Valentine’s Day, remember? Plan to have refreshments on hand, like special chocolates and fresh fruit. Purchase your favorite bottle of wine or champagne, and serve it in shatter-proof glasses. Or, if you prefer, serve a special non-alcoholic drink. Just be sure to have a wine chiller or cooler nearby to keep your drinks cool and refreshing.

Use your favorite music service to build a romantic playlist. Classical music and soulful R&B are excellent choices, but anything your partner enjoys will work. You can play music straight from your phone, use a bluetooth speaker, or your home sound system if it has speakers wired to your hot tub’s environment.

Don’t forget the lighting. Scented candles can really add to the romance, and the LED Moon Glo Waterfall and optional perimeter lighting create the perfect ambiance. If your hot tub is indoors, be sure to dim or turn off the lights. If it’s outside, let the moon and the stars provide a romantic glow.

Relax and Reconnect

Slip into the warm water with your partner and rest in the contoured seats. Adjust the jets for your comfort, and let your spa ease away your stress while you and your Valentine reconnect.  Be sure to have a couple of warm towels, cozy robes and slippers hand for when your romantic Valentine’s Day spa date night is complete.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Recipes for your Kamado Joe Grill

You know your Kamado Joe isn’t just a grill. It’s a lifestyle. One that allows you to build great memories while preparing delicious food for your family and friends. This Valentine’s Day, instead of an expensive dinner out, why not add to those memories by preparing an amazing meal on your Kamado Joe?

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Cooking for two? Try this delicious Honey-Soy Cedar Planked Salmon with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes. After soaking the cedar planks for half an hour prior to cooking, you’ll have a complete, romantic meal in about 30 minutes.

Rotisserie cooking makes for juicy, flavorful meat. JoeTisserie Chicken will be the star of your Valentine’s Day meal. Just use your JoeTisserie accessory and you’re ready to go.

If you’re looking for a more traditional Valentine’s Day entree, try Restaurant Style Prime Rib on the Kamado Joe.Take the time to properly season and prepare the meat, sear it on the grill and and use the heat deflector to complete the cooking time for an entree that’s sure to impress.

Maybe your idea of a romantic meal includes a delicious seafood main dish. Iron Pan Scallops with whiskey pan sauce, bacon and a little Parmesan cheese combines delicious, unique flavors that will help you create a memorable meal.

Some people prefer a more casual Valentine’s Day celebration. Does this sound like you? Maybe a homemade Chicken Alfredo, Three Meat or White Pizza will please your special someone. Just serve with a salad and a good bottle of wine for a complete meal.

Did you know you can even make a special, romantic Valentine’s Day dessert in your Kamodo Joe? Here are some to try:

Drunken Pineapple a la Mode 

Kamado Joe Cheesecake

Just top it with your Valentine’s favorite topping!

This year, start a new Valentine’s Day tradition by preparing a romantic meal on your Kamado Joe – the grill that’s so much more. Your special someone is bound to be impressed.

Dream Maker Spa: A Common Cold Remedy

The common cold. It doesn’t sound so bad. But in reality, it can be miserable. A stuffy head, aches and pains, chills – they all add up to days of coughing and congestion, and many restless nights. You know about the over-the-counter cold remedy that Grandma would recommend – like hot tea or chicken noodle soup – to ease cold symptoms. But did you know your Dream Maker Spa can actually help you feel better, too? It’s true!

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Aches and Pains

You know nothing soothes your aches and pains better than your hot tub. So when your cold symptoms settle into your muscles, soak in your Dream Maker Spa and let the heat and jets help you feel better. Relax in the contoured seats and let the water ease the pain you may be feeling in your joints. You can even adjust the amount of air that mixes with the water to get the massage that feels best to you.  

Rest and Relaxation

When you’re sick, you know you need to rest. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. After all, it can be hard to slow down even when you’re feeling great. When you have a cold, a dip in your hot tub can help you unwind, so that your body can get the rest it needs to heal.

Breathe Easy

One of the worst cold symptoms is congestion. The stuffy nose, the sinus headaches – it’s just miserable. Steam is a tried-and-true remedy, and one your grandmother probably recommended. Just like the steam from a hot shower, the steam from your hot tub can help clear your nasal passages, giving you some relief.

Beat the Chills

When your body fights a cold, it can leave you feeling chilly. You can always snuggle up with a pile of blankets – but wouldn’t you rather warm up in the peace and comfort of your hot tub? Let the water gently warm your body and push the chills away, while your Dream Maker Spa’s digital controls keep the water within one degree of the temperature you select.

So this cold season, if the germs sneak through your defenses and you find yourself sick, turn to your hot tub for an all natural common cold remedy. Just be sure to have a warm robe, a snuggly towel and some slippers on hand for when your relaxing soak is complete. You don’t want to catch another chill on your way back inside!

Achieve Your 2017 Health Goals With a Finnleo Sauna

At the beginning of every year we’re motivated and driven for greatness. We want to go further, accomplish more and feel better. However, we often find that momentum dragging after a few short months (or even weeks) as life still come barreling at us at full speed.  Without the proper tools to help us be successful, it can be hard to keep our goals accomplish-able, especially when it comes to our health.

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Invest in Your Health

Why not give yourself a leg up for 2017 and invest in a Finnleo Sauna to help you on your road to a healthier lifestyle? Whether your ideal end result is losing weight, relieving stress or just helping to alleviate some pain in your muscles and joints, a sauna can help you to manage one or a combination of them with just a few minutes of use each day.

Sweat Your Way to Health

When you sit in a sauna, the radiant heat gets deep into the core of your body and results in a lot of sweating. While that may not sound entirely appealing at first, rest assured, it has amazing health benefits. For starters, white blood cell production increases, boosting your immune system. Also, the penetrating heat causes those sweating pours to release nasty toxins that impede optimal health.

If weight loss is on the 2017 resolution list, then a sauna can certainly help you get there when you pair it with an active lifestyle and healthy diet.

The heat causes your cardiovascular system to work harder, improving circulation and increasing your heart rate, in order to keep the body cool. This converts calories into usable energy, and you might consume anywhere from 300-500 calories when you spend 20 minutes in a sauna. And, as if closing the door to the sauna and disconnecting from the world around you isn’t enough to calm your nerves, the heat of a sauna helps to relax sore joints and muscles. It also helps to increase the release of endorphins, the happy chemical in the body.

Adding a Finnleo Sauna to your daily care regimen can be a great tool for accomplishing your health goals for 2017.

Above Ground or In-Ground Pool – Which Shall it be?

Your budget is set and the location in your backyard determined; you’re ready to get a pool installed this spring! But maybe you’re not so decisive about whether it’s going to be an in-ground or above ground pool.

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The most obvious consideration as you compare the two pool types is your budget.

The cost of either is broad depending on size, features, materials and design. You’ll find that the materials and installation process for an in-ground can make it significantly more pricey than your run-of-the-mill above ground. But you could easily get all the bells and whistles with an above ground and see a similar cost to a basic in-ground option. Your budget will be a large determining factor here.

Is safety a concern?

Small children run the risk of falling into an in-ground easier than gaining access to an above ground. Of course, you can make either as safe as you need it to be with latched fences, alarms, safety covers, and more. But if you’re looking at a basic installation without the extras and safety is a large concern for you, then the above ground may be worth considering.

Considering customization?

On the other hand, if you have the room in the budget for customization and aesthetic appeal is a big priority, then you’re going to have more design diversity with an in-ground pool. The shape of an above ground is basically limited to circular or oval, and sizes vary slightly. With an in-ground pool (more specifically, one made of concrete rather than fiberglass), you can dream up most anything and, with the right contractor, can have it made. Then again, adding some decking and landscaping and an above ground pool can look pretty great too.

Don’t forget, both types of pools require regular upkeep and maintenance.

One isn’t better than the other here (that is, unless you go with a salt filtration system, but that’s another post entirely). You’re still going to need to do seasonal opening and closers, regular cleaning and filter changes, chemical balancing and repairs to both in-ground and above ground pools. Incidentally, we have a maintenance guide to help you in this area.

Personal preferences and budget are going to be your key factors as you decide between an in-ground or above ground pool. There’s no right or wrong answer here.

Is an Above Ground Pool Right for You? Decide This Winter

Winter can be mental torture. Temperatures plummet, the grass turns brown and you’re trapped inside with nothing to do like Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining.” Well, instead of having lengthy conversations with ghosts before picking up an axe, use the bleak solitude as a chance to plan for the spring. The big melt, after all, will be here before you know it. So the big question you want to ask yourself this winter is this: is an above ground pool right for you and your family come spring?

Pros and Cons of an Above Ground Pool  

Compared to in-ground pools, above-ground pools are temporary and comparatively easy and inexpensive to install. They can be drained and moved when needed. Since they don’t require regular cleaning, chemical treatments and filtering, they’re super-easy to maintain. Also, modern above-ground pools are simply nice to look at.

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Now let’s look at the downside. Everyone loves an above-ground pool — except the grass it sits on. If you get an above-ground pool, you’re dooming a pretty big patch of perfectly good grass to a slow, painful death. Unlike their in-ground big brothers, above-ground pools don’t add value to your home. In fact, they can actually be a burden if you ever decide to sell. Above-ground pools are limited in size, shape and depth. They’re not good for laps and are pretty much limited to splashing around or just chilling out. Also, if you’re into diving, and you like your head and neck the way they are, an above-ground pools is not for you.

So there you have it. Like anything else, above-ground pools have pros and cons. Basically, above-ground pools come with a whole bunch of lesses. They’re less expensive, less work and less functional than in-ground pools.  

Who Says a New Year’s Resolution Can’t be Fun?

You set a New Years resolution. You’re going to lose weight. You’re going to quit smoking. You’re going to quit drinking — or at least bring it down to below Jim Morrison levels.

cameo_couple_close_720x458_72_rgb2017 is here, and your New Years resolution with it.

The thing is, improving your health and well-being doesn’t have to be something you dread doing (not that we think all those other things are bad ideas). You can reduce stress and anxiety, release muscle tension, improve mental focus and promote healing all without withdrawal, hunger or elliptical machines.

The Beauty of Hydrotherapy

Starting at about $150 a month, you can join the millions of Americans who have discovered the amazing benefits of hydrotherapy. You get out of a hot tub better than you went in, and with brands like Marquis and Sundance, there is an option for every person and every budget. Hot tubs have long been associated with fun, decadence and Champagne. We’re not against any of those things — unless, of course, they go against your New Year’s resolution. But science has proven that hot tubs are much more than just the centerpiece of a good party. The warm, relaxing water and powerful massaging jets are are truly therapeutic. Hence the name hydrotherapy. Time in a spa can rejuvenate the body and quiet the mind.

Make your 2017 New Years resolution one you’ll enjoy enough to stick with. Invest in a hot tub this year. Your body — and your family — will thank you.

Ideas for Screen Free Family Time

It’s a technology-driven world and your kids are submerged in it. Okay, let’s be honest, we all are. When we have a screen in front of our face, we are not engaging on a personal level with the people right next to us. Which is why screen free family time on a regular basis is a must. So how do you get everyone excited and involved without the glow of blue light? Consider creating an outdoor space that takes you away from your everyday woes and gives your family the opportunity to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

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Ideas for Screen Free Family Time

Swimming

For starters, consider a swimming pool. Aurora Pools in Knoxville has above ground, on ground and in ground pool options available, each with its own benefits depending on your budget and the landscape of your yard. Add accessories like a diving board, fit pits or even an outdoor kitchen to make an entire evening together.

Relaxing

Of course, pools are pretty seasonal. A hot tub from Aurora Pools is something your family can enjoy all year round, avoiding the it’s-too-cold-to-do-anything trap, which inevitably leads to burying our faces and electronics. Spas are the quintessential feel-good additive to the backyard motif, great for family time as well as relaxing connection with your significant other after the kids go to bed or following a long day at work.

Playing

Looking for something new for all of you? Why not get a billiard table. Then you can all learn how to play pool together and even have family tournaments. And hey, tie in those electronics by learning how to play through YouTube videos; that might even get your kids more engaged. What a great thing to add to holiday festivities with the extended family, too! Light up the fire pit, enjoy some hot tub time and organize a pool tournament to keep everyone off their phones and tablets and engaged in building stronger relationships together.

Thankfully, Aurora Pools has everything you need to make that happen.

Research Now: Start Your Saltwater Pool Journey Early

Pool season is over for most now, the pool cleaned and covered for hibernation. However, if you’re thinking of transitioning to a saltwater pool purification system when you open it up next spring, then now is the time to start researching the options that are available.

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Saltwater Pools & Chlorine

First, there’s something you should know but may not realize: saltwater pools do contain chlorine. The difference is, it’s a naturally occurring chlorine produced by the salt as it’s processed through the generator that comes with a saltwater purification system. The major difference is the level of chlorine produced by a saltwater system – it’s much lower than a pool in which you add chlorine yourself.

The Cost of a Saltwater Pool System

While the up-front cost of a saltwater purification system may be more than that of a chlorine pool, the longer you have it, the more that cost balances out. So if you plan to maintain your pool long term, a saltwater system certainly works in your favor. Of course, there are electrical costs from running the generator each day (how long you run it depends on the season). But you’re also not constantly having to add chemicals manually, saving the cost of both your time and purchasing replacement chemicals frequently.

Make Maintenance a Breeze

If you’re looking for something that makes it easier to keep your pool clean, then saltwater may be ideal for you. With a chlorine pool, you have to test the water, shock it and add chemicals as needed to get rid of algae growth and other concerns. If you’d rather not spend the time, a saltwater pool only has to be cleaned once a year. Now, mind you, that annual cleaning is rather labor intensive – drain the pool, scrub the pool, change filters, check the generator, and refill – but that one day a year may be more doable for your daily schedule.

Aurora Pools offers several saltwater generator options for your current pool or a new one – we’ll certainly find something that fits your needs and desired maintenance level. Contact us to examine more thoroughly if converting to a saltwater system is right for you.

Kamado Joe Thanksgiving Recipes Your Family Will Want All Year

There’s no hard and fast rule saying a delicious Thanksgiving meal requires you to slave over a hot stove all day. Instead, consider cooking this ever-important meal on your Kamado Joe! It keeps the kitchen clean, and your Kamado Joe is equipped to cook portions both bit and small. These Kamado Joe Thanksgiving recipes are so mouth-watering, your family will beg to enjoy them all year long.

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The Centerpiece: An Appetizing Turkey

Whether you’re a fan of turkey or you prefer the sides, a beautifully prepared bird is always the centerpiece of the holiday table. Using your Kamado Joe is the best way to get the tastiest, juiciest, and eye-appealing turkey. Brine your turkey for 24 hours using the recipe below, then cook it low and slow on your Kamado Joe. Plan to let your turkey 20 minutes for every pound at 250 degrees. Use a thermometer to check the internal temp of your turkey, but don’t overcook it. You want the breast to be 160 degrees and the thigh/leg meat at 180 degrees. Once that happens, pull your turkey off the grill and let it rest 15-30 minutes before you carve it. To really up your turkey cooking game, check out 11 Tips to help you cook the best bird on your Kamado Joe.

Apple & Orange Turkey Brine Recipe

2 Quarts Orange Juice
2 Quarts Apple Juice
2 Cups Kosher Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
10 Allspice Cloves (whole)
1 Gallon Water

Sweet Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts

It’s not a traditional holiday side dish, but it’s so tasty that it’ll be the start of a new tradition for your family.

Kamado Joe Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Pie

Yes, you read that right. You can make entire Thanksgiving meal on your Kamado Joe… even the pumpkin pie! Pair it with homemade whipped cream, and it’s the perfect finishing touch to a delicious Thanksgiving meal!

Clark Griswold and his Inground Pool

In the land of what-ifs, have you ever wondered what Clark Griswold would have done with that bonus if he received it in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Well, we tend to think an inground pool was definitely in his future. But not just any pool; it would have to be done Clark Griswold style, for sure.

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Clark’s Dream Pool

For starters, we know from Clark’s model in the movie that his pool would be square, with a diving board. While his pool model in the movie was pretty simplistic, we believe he would end up adding all the bling he could to make it stand out. You don’t go all-out once a year for Christmas decorations and not have a year-round swimming pool in your backyard without all the extras.

A Fiberglass Inground Pool for Mr. Griswold

Because Clark would want only the best, he would probably want a fiberglass swimming pool, because they tend to require the least amount when it comes to maintenance costs over time. The fiberglass shell is resistant to algae growth and there is no need for a liner replacement. The added structural bonuses, like steps, benches and coves are molded prior to installation and weather will not delay the installation process. It’s also a great option for salt purification systems because corrosion isn’t a concern with fiberglass.

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Over-the-Top Accessories

There would certainly be a slide in addition to that diving board in Clark Griswold’s swimming pool, and probably some over-the-top fountain display that sprayed water at variable heights. And the lights – they would probably line the entire perimeter of the pool and change colors while synchronized to music!

Of course, it would be critical for Clark Griswold to have his pool installed by a professional, like none other than Aurora Pools. Our certified electricians and pool professionals would install the pool properly, making sure that Clark didn’t cause a neighborhood power outage or flood with his grandiose backyard haven.

Our Favorite Kamado Joe Tailgate Recipes

There’s always a reason to celebrate, so bring out your Kamado Joe and enjoy some great tailgating party recipes. We’ve scoured the Internet and found some Kamado Joe tailgate recipes that are sure to be your favorites, too.

White Pizza

It’s pizza, with a twist! Game day will be even better when you serve up a Kamado Joe White Pizza with your favorite toppings.

Texas Style Brisket

If you want to bring a brisket to the game with a BIG and BOLD feel, try out this TEXAS STYLE beef brisket with a salt and pepper rub next time you fire up your Kamado Joe Grill!

Stromboli

It’s time to pull out your pizza stone and build this amazing Stromboli! This recipe is easy, fun, and can be used as a game day appetizer. Give it a whirl!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Check out this super outstanding Monte Cristo sandwich recipe on your Joe!

Buffalo Mac & Cheese

Here’s a new spin on a great side dish. Everyone loves smoked macaroni and cheese, so here’s a recipe kicked up to the next level with the addition of some hot sauce, BBQ rub and bread crumbs on top!

 

Declutter Your Pool Area Before Winter

Yes! You must properly winterize your pool before winter hits here in Tennessee. We posted a guide to help you do that, or a member of our team can come out and close your pool for you. After talking to customers and seeing lots of pools at the end of the season, many of you are looking for ideas to clean up around your pool area before winter. Why do this? It helps protect your equipment when it sits unused during the winter, and it makes it easier to kick off pool season in the spring because everything is ready to go! Here are some of our favorite ideas to declutter your pool area before winter.

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Sort Your Pool Toys & Equipment

It’s hard to organize your supplies until you know what you have. After an active pool season – especially if kids are around – it’s common to find pool toys and equipment scattered throughout the yard and stashed in odd places. Throw away anything that’s broken, and donate items that work but you no longer need (you’re not the only one wondering how 3 kids could end up with 10 pair of goggles). Categorize your toys and equipment so like items are together; toys in one pile, rafts in another pile, equipment in another, etc.

Create Organizational Solutions

Here are some of our favorite ideas to store your pool toys and equipment throughout the winter. The best part… most of these items are already lying around your house or you can pick them up at the store for just a few dollars.

  • Store sunscreen, aloe gel, sunglasses and goggles in a shower caddy.
  • Use zip ties to secure laundry baskets to your fence and use them like outdoor lockers. These offer great storage throughout the summer for towels and guests’ belongings, but they also give you space to store items throughout the winter.
  • Pick up some waterproof, stackable storage drawers to house nets, hoses, chlorine tablets, and other pool equipment. Reminder: place these drawers out of the way of kids and pets.
  • Create a hanging station using a peg board. During the summer, you can use this to hang towels, swimsuits and your guests’ bags. Over the winter, you can use it to wrap hoses and other large items that are better stored hung up.

Do you have any winter storage ideas that our customers need to know about? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

Hot Tub Exercises to End Foot Pain

The foot contains 33 joints, 26 bones, more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments, and there are 250,000 sweat glands in there. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all, your feet have the task of supporting your entire body! It’s hard to think about anything else when your feet are aching, and your feet are too important to feel tired and weak. A great solution to end foot pain doesn’t require prescriptions. Instead, all it takes is time spent exercising in your hot tub.

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Sock Pickup

Put a sock in front of you at the bottom of your spa. Pick it up with your toes, hold it for 10 seconds and then let it drop again. Repeat with the other foot. Continue this exercise until you’ve completed five repetitions with each foot.

Alphabet Writing

Lift your foot several inches off the bottom of your spa and use your big toe to write each letter of the alphabet. Repeat with the other foot. Write the alphabet several times with each foot every time you relax in your hot tub.

Everyone’s Favorite: Massage Foot Pain Away

A massage can work wonders to ease achy feet. Rub the center of your foot just under the ball of the foot with your thumb. Rub each foot for 30 seconds while you’re in the water and you’ll leave feeling less pain and more energy.

Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide

A hot tub is a significant investment, so you want to make sure you purchase the spa that’s a good fit for your family. Now is the time to do your homework, and make sure you have time to take a test soak before you buy. Check out our additional tips for finding the right spa in our Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide.

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Shop the Dealer First

Buy your hot tub from a reputable dealer that will provide service and support after the sale. Some traveling groups sell spas from city to city, but they’re not around when you have questions or need support. Where you buy your spa is just as important as how much money you spend; it might be even more important. Make sure the business has a good reputation in your community, is trustworthy, and can offer advice about how to maintain your hot tub.

Ask the Dealer for References

A reputable dealer will have satisfied customers, and the owner won’t mind sharing some of that information with you. Ask friends and family members too because they probably have stories about hot tub brands and/or customer service. If you’re considering buying a spa from an online outlet, think again. There’s no way to verify how the company does business because they likely won’t share satisfied customer references with you.

Is Delivery Included? What About Accessories?

Ask your dealer what’s included in the price of the spa. Does it include an insulated hot tub cover, a cover lifter, steps, water care products, and instructions about how to use the spa? Does the price include delivery and setup? Believe it or not, some companies will deliver the spa to your house and leave it in the driveway. Don’t call your neighbors over and injure yourselves wrestling the hot tub into place. Instead, choose a company that will make hot tub delivery day one of the happiest days of your life!

Look Online, but Don’t Buy Online

Yes, we encourage you to research your purchase online. No, we don’t encourage you to buy your spa online! Never buy from an out of state seller or a company that’s exclusively “in home sales.” It’s been proven time and time again that these guys aren’t there after the sale when you have questions about your product or when you need service. When you buy online or in your own home, you also don’t have the opportunity to compare products side by side or try them out with a test soak.  The odds are very high that you’ll be disappointed.

Don’t Buy Your Spa & Trash Bags at the Same Store

Sure, “big box” retailers carry spas. Sometimes they’re less expensive. Every time, they’re stripped down versions and/or off-brands that don’t have solid warranties. These hot tubs have limited insulation and they’re almost always very noisy when they run. When you don’t have a chance to try out the spa before your purchase, you can’t test the noise levels. And when you buy from a “big box” store, the sales clerk has had as much training on a spa as he did the trash bags in Aisle 17, so he won’t be able to answer questions about the limited insulation. Any money you save up front will be spent in the long run because of maintenance, repair and your limited warranty.

Whatever You Do: Stay Away from Craigslist Spas

Sure, it’s possible you could get a clean spa in good working condition off of Craigslist. It’s more likely that you’ll win the lottery. People don’t sell spas on Craigslist because they work well, they sell them to get rid of them. Craigslist spas usually feature water that’s consistently cloudy and utility bills that skyrocket because it costs a ton of money to heat the spa. If you think you can’t afford a new spa, stop by the store and we’ll try to work with you. But please don’t throw your money away on a lemon.

Proud to Serve Tennessee

Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard has proudly served Tennessee since 2000 (and we have experience outside of Tennessee before that). We’ve seen and heard the horror stories of people who thought they’d cut corners, and we don’t want you to be one of them. The information in this Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide is carefully crafted to protect your purchase. If you’d like more information about our spas, check out the link below to download our exclusive Spa 101 Guide.

Click here to download the Spa 101 Guide, a companion to this Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide, free courtesy of Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard.

5 Hot Tub Cover Problems Not Worth Repairing

Your spa cover protects your hot tub from the weather all year long. Like any marine-grade vinyl, it needs some TLC to keep it in excellent condition. There are some hot tub cover problems that can be repaired without a problem. However, some issues aren’t worth the time – or the money – to repair. Consider these 5 problems that let you know it’s time to invest in a new cover.

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Locks & Straps

Safety is one of the most important reasons many families have a hot tub cover. If the locks and straps on your cover are compromised, it’s a big deal. If they don’t work to properly lock your hot tub cover, it’s time for a new one.

Smell

There’s no good cure for a hot tub cover that smells stinky, musty or moldy. The only way to completely get rid of the smell is to get rid of the cover.

Outer Vinyl

The vinyl on your spa cover plays a crucial role in heat retention, cleanliness, safety and the beautify of your spa. If the vinyl is torn or cracked, it’s very difficult to repair. If the vinyl is brittle and breaks easily, it’s not possible to repair it at all.

Foam Cores

Broken foam cores are easy to spot because of how your hot tub cover looks and feels. If water puddles on top of the cover, your cores are broken or bowed. There’s no way to fix this problem, and the puddling will get worse over time. If the cover is very heavy when you try to lift it, it means the foam cores have absorbed water. That’s a conclusive sign that you need a new cover.

Hinges

Spa covers are designed to help keep hot air from escaping from the tub, but that precious heat can find its way out if the hinge is torn. If the hinge tear is less than six inches, we can likely repair it. If the tear is more than six inches, it’s time for a replacement.

Give us a call or stop by one of our showrooms and we’ll be happy to answer any hot tub cover questions that you might have. If you’re thinking about a replacement cover, consider a Smartop cover. They are strong, durable, maintenance-free and look great for the life of your spa. An integrated hydraulic lift provides secure, easy-to-use, two-position opening and closing of the cover. We can answer any Smartop questions you have in our showroom.

What to Expect From a Hot Tub Test Soak

The reason you test drive a car before you buy it is so you can first experience how it feels. Nuances like how the dash looks when you’re behind the wheel, or how you navigate the radio, can determine whether you buy a specific vehicle or not. The same is true of a hot tub. You want to make sure it not only looks right, but it also feels right. That’s the purpose of the hot tub test soak. To get the most out of your test soak, it helps to know exactly what to expect.

What to Bring

Bring your bathing suit and towels with you. It might feel a little awkward, but you want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible when you try out a hot tub. Our test soaks are in a private room, so you can settle in and be comfortable.

Relax

Take a moment to enjoy the comfort of the hot tub, but don’t forget the reason that you’re here. You came in for your test soak to try before you buy. Think back to your wish list and see how this hot tub stacks up with what you want.

Just the Right Size

You want a spa that’s just the right size… not too big or too small. During your test soak, sit in there with everyone in your family, including your kids, so you can determine if that spa is the size that you need. While you’re in there, think about how the spa will fit in your backyard, because you want something that complements your landscape.

Remember Your Feet

When people test out a hot tub or a swim spa, they think about many details. However, people often forget about their feet. Do you have enough room for your feet in the foot well (even if all of your family is with you)? Do you want jets to massage your feet? How do they feel?

Seating Depth

Tennessee winters can be pretty chilly, especially at night. With that in mind, you’ll want the seats to be deep enough that the water can cover your shoulders to keep you warm, even in the coldest months of the year.

Seat Comfort

If the seats are deep enough, are they comfortable? Several spas offer multi-level seating so adults and children can both be comfortable. Check to see if the seats are appropriate for your children and for yourself as well. Test the lounge seat as well, because some customers love them and others don’t (because they can float away). If you opt for lounge seats, make sure they work for you and all of your other family members who will use them.

Jets, Jets, Jets

Real estate is about location, location, location. In the spa industry, it’s all about the jets. Take note of the jets during your test soak and where those jets are placed. Hydrotherapy is one of the most common requests among spa customers, so you want to make sure the jets work for the areas that you want. A variety of jets are available, including those that work your back, shoulders, wrists, and even calves. Feel each jet, and don’t hesitate to ask questions while you’re there.

Shhhh

Nothing ruins a relaxing time in the spa like an annoying buzz or hum. When the water is circulating and the motor is running, you want to make sure you can still be a peace. You don’t want an irritating noise to spoil it. Take a moment in the silence to listen to the sound the hot tub makes when it’s running to make sure it’s up to your standard.

Experience the Water

The water in our hot tubs and swim spas is an experience of its own. It smells fresh, and can provide a relaxing aromatherapy environment if you desire. You’ll also notice how great your skin feels after you’re in one of our spas. Your skin won’t dry out after spending time in a test soak; instead, it will feel silky smooth.

Check the Chemicals

Ask the sales representative about the chemicals we use in our test soak spas so you can replicate that same feeling at home. You want something that smells great, feels great, and is easy to maintain.

Call us today and set up your test soak so you can experience the relaxation a spa can provide for you and your family. We have spas starting at $2,995, so now is a great time to buy!

The No-Fail Process to Winterize Your Pool

As fall kicks into high gear, time spent in your swimming pool decreases drastically. Before temperatures drop too low, you’ll want to winterize your pool. A proper winterization process means your pool and your equipment will be protected from ice damage, which can wreak havoc on the inner workings of your pool. Properly closing your pool every year will help you save time and money.

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Clean & Balance Your Pool Water

Remove debris from the pool, clean out the skimmer and the pump basket, and clean the tile with tile cleaner. It’s easier to open your pool next year if you take the time to thoroughly clean it this year. Use a water test kit to make sure your pool water is balanced, too. Make sure you have the appropriate levels of calcium, chlorination, alkalinity and pH. If you want to use a winterization chemical kit, now is the time to do that. Follow the directions for the kit and be sure there aren’t granules still in the water when you shut the pool down for the season.

Prevent Freezing

It’s vitally important to drain the water in your pool so it’s below the mouth of the skimmer. Don’t empty all of the water from the pool; you need some in there to keep it weighted down throughout the winter. Draining the water so it’s below the skimmer mouth means you won’t have water in your pipes when the weather turns colder. When water freezes, it expands and breaks up pool pipes, pumps, filters and skimmer baskets.

Protect Your Pump

Disconnect your swimming pool pump and filter and drain all of the remaining water out of the pump.Turn the pump on for a second or two to expel the last bit of water from the pump, then store all of the small parts in your pump basket so you can easily find them next year.

Winterize Your Pool Heater

Drain your pool heater (if you have one) to make sure there’s no standing water inside. Use an air compressor to blow it out. You can store small heater parts in your pump basket, too, so you can find them next year.

Don’t Forget the Jet Fittings

Remove all of your jet fittings when you winterize your pool. It’s okay if you crack one while removing it; you can replace it in the spring. Take all of the skimmer baskets out of the pool, storing fittings and other loose items in same pump basket.

Remove Remaining Water From the Pipes

Unscrew the quick-disconnect unions or fittings that are on your pump and filter system. Blow out the pipes with an air compressor.  Blow out the return plumbing by hooking up your compressor to the return lines at the filter system, or by screwing it into the pump’s drain plug. Keep air running through the pipes until  you see air bubbles emerge from the return jets, then tightly plug the fitting below the water line. Close up all exposed pipes with plugs.

Clean the Filter

Remove your pool’s filter hoses, then spray the filter elements with a filter cleaner. Rinse them with a garden hose.

Install a Flotation Device

A flotation device in the center of your pool acts as a final level of freeze insurance. You can use a pool pillow or even a truck inner tube… whatever works best for you. The floatation device helps balance the rainwater and ice that can form on your swimming pool cover throughout the winter. Even more important, it eases pressure on the pool walls by allowing winter’s ice to push in on the flotation device, not outward on the walls.

Cover Your Pool

Use a winter pool cover – which is stronger than a summer cover – to protect your pool throughout the colder months of the year. Winter covers can hold the weight of ice and snow, and they help protect people or pets from accidentally falling through into the water. Repair or replace your winter cover if it has any rips or tears in it. Cover your pool very tightly, which can take up to three people to do properly.

Store Your Supplies

Store pool supplies and accessories since you won’t be using them while the pool is closed. Diving boards, ladders, your pump and filter, and rope and floats should all be stored outside of the pool during winter.

Now your pool is ready for whatever winter can throw at it! We’re happy to answer any pool closing questions that you have, or you can book a member of our service team to come out and winterize your pool for you. When done right, your pool will be ready to open and enjoy next spring.

Repair or Replace? Your Swimming Pool Cover Guide to Safety

A swimming pool cover is designed to protect both your pool and the people walking around your pool. The cover keeps leaves and debris from getting in the pool, but it also keeps pets, children and anyone else from accidentally falling into the pool. If you’ve noticed some wear and tear on your pool cover, it could be easy to repair. However, it might be time to replace. Use this Swimming Pool Cover Guide to Safety to help you determine what to do with your own pool cover.

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Check the Fabric

Fabric breaks down over time due to a number of reasons, and the fabric on your swimming pool cover is no different. A small amount of cracking and peeling is expected because of temperature variations and pool chemicals the cover is exposed to daily. If you notice weak spots in the cover and start to see water and debris seeping through the surface, it’s time for a new cover.

Feel the Fabric

New pool cover fabric is malleable and supple. If you touch the fabric and it feels tough and brittle… it’s time for a replacement cover. Stiff pool fabric is more likely to break and give out, which can be a significant safety hazard.

Inspect the Webbing

Over time, the threads in your pool cover can fray or even disintegrate. If you see holes in your pool cover, it’s possible the cover could fail. Also look to see if the webbing on the pool cover is bunched up around the strap, which could cause the fabric to catch and tear. A cover with sewn webbing is only as strong as the stitching used to keep it together. If you pull on the webbing with little force and it separates from the cover, the cover is rotted and irreparable, thus a replacement is certainly in order.

If you have specific questions about your pool cover, we can help you determine if a quick repair or a replacement is necessary. Stop by one of our showrooms or give us a call today.

Choosing the Perfect Patio Furniture

When you choose the perfect patio furniture, it brings function and comfort to your backyard. Outfit your outdoor living area with a spacious table and comfortable chairs, or you could even choose a classy sofa and rocking chair (loaded with comfortable cushions, of course). We want you to choose furniture that fits your style, helps you feel comfortable, and makes your outdoor space an inviting space to spend time in. Here are some of our favorite tips.

How Will You Use Your Space?

Knowing how you want your outdoor patio to function is the first step. Are you looking for a spot to entertain friends for dinner, or do you want a comfortable chair where you can drink coffee by the fire pit and watch your kids play? Dream big! Take some time to measure your patio so you know how much room you have to work with before you start shopping.

Look for Comfort and Convenience

Try out the patio furniture before you decide to buy it so you know it’s comfortable. After all, uncomfortable patio furniture will sit outside unused. However, if your outdoor furniture is comfortable, you’ll use that space as a second living area. Consider convenience when you’re shopping as well. Look for furniture that can endure all four seasons of weather without special care.

Store in the Off Season

Not everyone has the option to store their patio furniture during the off-season. However, if you can store your furniture during the winter months, it will add years to its life. If your storage space is limited, look for furniture pieces that fold or stack so it’s easier to store them.

Add Color with Cushions

Most people feel more freedom to use color when they’re decorating an outdoor space, and we couldn’t agree more! When buying your outdoor patio furniture, make sure you don’t burn out on the colors you choose. The best option is to buy pieces that are neutral, then choose cushions and pillows to add color. This allows you to change your colors as often as you want without having to replace all of your furniture.

Choose Quality Patio Furniture

You’ve heard the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” It’s true with patio furniture. Plastic chairs and side tables might look okay for the first year, but they lose their color and break easily. Check reviews and ask friends for references before you make your purchase.

We have a great selection of patio furniture for you to choose from, and we’re willing to work within your space and budget too. Stop by one of our showroom to check out our great selection of furniture, and mention this post before September 30, 2016 to receive 30% off.

5 DIY Backyard Labor Day Party Tips

It’s a great time to start planning your Labor Day party. Throwing an event that your friends and family will appreciate doesn’t have to break the bank; consider these 5 DIY backyard Labor Day party tips to throw the best party of the year.

Gnome Lawn Bowling

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Keep your empty 2-liter bottles of soda to create this adorable bowling game with a twist. All of your guests will love rolling a tennis ball to knock over bowling pins decorated as garden gnomes. Check out Makezine for the full tutorial.

Giant Jenga

Backyard fun for all ages is possible with a DIY giant Jenga game. Each piece is 10.5 inches long, and you’ll need 48 pieces.You can color-code the pieces to make everything appear more festive. See the full tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

Pool Party Movie Night

Turn a typical pool party into a movie night. Use a projector to display the movie onto a projection screen, and all of your party guests can watch the movie either in or out of the pool. Have popcorn and fun snacks on hand to complete the movie night experience.

Fruity Ice Cubes

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At the best Labor Day parties, the details can make a big difference. To make an average party even better, freeze cut fruit inside ice cubes. Leftover ice cubes don’t have to go to waste; they make great fruit-infused water.

Glow in the Dark Mason Jars

With a little glow in the dark and some glitter, you can turn a typical mason jar into a beautiful centerpiece for your Labor Day party.

What other backyard Labor Day party tips would you add? Share them with us!

3 Ways to Enjoy Hot Tub Star Gazing

One of the best things about relaxing in a hot tub is looking up at the stars, and the Perseid meteor showers make the month of August is a great time to do just that. Some customers keep their telescopes near their hot tubs to get an up close look at the night sky. Here’s a guide to help you get the most out of star gazing in your spa.

Full Moon

There’s an added level of romance and relaxation when you sit in your hot tub during a full moon. Each full moon sticks around for several nights, so you still have a chance to make it if you’re busy one evening. For the next full moon dates, check out the Farmer’s Almanac.

International Space Station

Yes, we know you enjoy watching the stars, but have you ever considered watching for the International Space Station in your hot tub? NASA posts the dates and times that the Space Station will fly overhead, and the website also tells you where to look in the sky. Make a note of the next day and time and make plans to soak in your tub while watching for the Space Station. It’s an activity the kids or grandkids will love, too.

Meteor Shower Star Gazing

There’s nothing more breathtaking than a meteor shower. The only way to up the enjoyment factor is to watch the meteor shower from the comfort of your hot tub. Skyscrapers features information about the Perseid meteor shower plus other meteor showers throughout the year so you know what to look for in the sky (and when to look).

Grab your telescope and your sweetie and make it a date to watch the stars. Did you have an enchanting evening star gazing in your hot tub? We’d love to hear about it!

6 Family Favorite Kamado Joe Grilling Recipes

It’s the perfect time of year to pull out your ceramic grill and look for new and exciting ways to cook outdoors. Whether you’re looking for new ideas for your Labor Day cookout, or you just want some family meals to serve as summer turns into fall, we’re here to help! We’ve compiled some of our favorite Kamado Joe grilling recipes for you to try.

SoCal Tri Tip

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It grills like steak but slices like brisket. It offers the flavor of sirloin, but grills easily. What type of meat is it? If you answered the SoCal Trip Tip… this is the recipe that will make you a believer.

Kamado Bomb

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Taking two days to marinate and nine hours to cook, the Kamado Bomb is the brisket that everyone in your family will love. Our favorite step in the recipe is the last one (eat the whole thing.)

Honey Soy Cedar Planked Salmon

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In just about an hour, you can enjoy a delicious (and healthy) meal from your Kamado Joe. This recipe includes details about how to cook the salmon plus all the sides you’ll need to serve with it.

Cheese Bacon Sausage Dip

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Delicious as an appetizer or as a side dish, this dip is perfect for parties or for a night at home with your family. After all, the only thing better than bacon is bacon cooked on your Kamado Joe.

Pepperoni Pizza

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It’s not as fast as delivery, but it’s so much tastier! Making pizza on your Kamado Joe will instantly pass the pizzeria as your family’s favorite pizza spot.

Smoked Mac & Cheese

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Bring on the comfort food! With two types of cheese and an incredible smoky flavor, this is one dish that will outshine the main dish.

What other ways do you like to use your grill? Snap some pictures and email us your favorite Kamado Joe grilling recipes; we’d love to share those with our customers! Happy grilling!

Why Hot Tubs are Literally “Health From Water”

There are numerous health benefits that come with soaking in a hot tub. In fact, the word “spa” is actually an acronym for a Latin phrase, “salus per aquam.” The literal translation means “health from water,” so the fact that a hot tub has health benefits is nothing new. What is it about soaking in hot tubs that is so effective?

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Heat

A hot tub is HOT! You control the temperature so it’s comfortable, but that hot water is what brings about tremendous health benefits. When your body temperature rises, blood flow increases throughout your body. Sitting in a hot tub for as little as 20 minutes causes your blood vessels to dilate, which reduces blood pressure. Soaking in a hot tub also helps your muscles to relax. Unlike a bathtub, which cools quickly, the temperature in a hot tub stays constant so your muscles feel the full impact of this relaxation technique. Your blood circulates at a constant temperature, which delivers therapeutic heat throughout your body.

Buoyancy

The full weight of your body comes down on your joints. Whether you’re overweight or not, your feet and ankles support you each and every day. Knees, elbows, wrists, and your back can also feel the effects of long-term pressure. Relief for your joints comes when you’re sitting in a hot tub because the water supports about 90% of your body weight. This reduces the strain on all of your joints and gives all parts of your body a chance to rest. Reducing the pressure on your muscles and on your joints is a fantastic option for pain relief or just overall relaxation.

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Hydrotherapy

When you’re relaxing in a hot tub, you immediately notice the relaxing feel of the jets. Did you know there are health benefits associated with that? The jets in our hot tubs are designed to provide a therapeutic massage. You can control the pressure, so it can be as intense or as gentle as you desire. You can also customize the type of nozzle, the size of the jets, how many jets you want, and what kind of pressure you want in the hot tub jets. Smaller jets are ideal for the areas around your neck. Larger jets can sweep up and down your back for a full massage. You can also use tiny jets that spin around your wrists, or jets designed to target your arms, feet, or legs. When you purchase a hot tub from us, we’ll make sure it meets your needs so you can enjoy all of its hydrotherapy benefits.

Our showrooms are stocked with the latest hot tubs, so come on in and try it for yourself. Give our team a call, and we’ll work within your budget to make sure your hot tub has the benefits you need.

Inspiration for Unattractive Pool Equipment Storage

When it comes to swimming pool equipment storage, don’t feel the need to box yourself in. Pool equipment is never attractive, so why not tuck the unattractive away into something charming? These pool storage tips and trends will help inspire you to turn your yard into an outdoor living room.

 

Designer Pool Equipment Storage

Storage_Pool_HouseThere are numerous pre-built shed options that you can easily convert and use for pool equipment storage. Look for something that has windows so you can easily see inside, even if you decide not to run electricity to the storage unit. You’ll also want something that complements your backyard design and the look of the pool. This is something you’ll look at every day, so it needs to have a design that you love. Exterior examples include trendy color combinations, glass, cedar, natural wood, paint, and wall sculpture. In addition to storage, these pool house interiors offer work, food preparation and play areas.

Consider a Unique Design

Storage_UniqueFor storage that’s unique to your backyard, you may consider designing your own unit from scratch. One of the more intriguing storage ideas is a unit constructed in the shape of an obelisk. If you’re not up on your Egyptian-style architecture terms, an obelisk is a pillar that is usually square at the bottom and shaped like a pyramid on the top. One side of the obelisk pyramid opens up like a door, allowing storage for your long implements. The unit was built for garden equipment, but it’s an original idea for pool maintenance equipment storage.

 

Find Your Own Inspiration

In order to create an outdoor space that’s perfect for storage but is also wonderful for living, working, and entertaining you need to be aware of the best online resources. Many of our customers search websites like Houzz or Pinterest for photos and inspiration for designing and building elegantly executed pool and storage buildings. Pool house and storage combinations on the site include units constructed in traditional, contemporary, and artsy styles.

For more great pool storage ideas, tips, and trends consider downloading Latham’s Pool Storage Ideas e-book.

Tips to Keep Your Pool Cool in the Hottest Months

During the hottest months of the year, swimming pools in Tennessee can become unbearably hot. Some pool owners have tried creative ways of cooling down their pool, like throwing blocks of ice in it. Do-it-yourself methods are largely ineffective (and can be really expensive). However, there are three different pieces of equipment we recommend using to cool a pool: aerators, mechanical evaporative coolers and reverse-cycle heat pumps. All of these are effective and affordable for pool maintenance to keep your pool cool.

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Aerators

Aerators keep your pool cool by introducing oxygen into the water. They work like above-water jets because they attach to the side of an inground pool – slightly above the waterline. When turned on, they spray a stream out over the water. Aerators introduce oxygen into the water, which helps lower the temperature by a few degrees. They are most effective when there’s a large difference between water temperature and air temperature. Of the three ways that we recommend cooling down pools, aerators are the most affordable. They’re easy to install and they don’t significantly increase how much it costs to maintain a pool.

Mechanical Evaporative Coolers

Mechanical evaporative coolers increase evaporation in your pool’s piping. They cost slightly more than aerators, but they’re also more effective at keeping your pool cool. They’re installed between an inground pool’s pump and filter, and its salt chlorine generator. These devices have fans that blow air over the water that passes through them. This increases evaporation, which lowers the temperature. When run at night, mechanical evaporative coolers can lower a pool’s temperature by as much as 10°F.

Reverse-Cycle Heat Pumps

Reverse-cycle heat pumps are like air conditioners for pool water. They’re installed in the same location as mechanical evaporative coolers (between the pump and filter, and the salt chlorine generator). But they use refrigerant to cool the water, similar to what’s found in air conditioners. Reverse-cycle heat pumps can adjust how much refrigerant passes through them. So they provide precise control over the temperature of a pool’s water. They can be set to maintain a specific temperature up to 15°F below its uncooled temperature.

Reverse-cycle heat pumps have higher initial and operating costs than aerators and mechanical evaporative coolers. However, they’re still less expensive than purchasing blocks of ice every day. They provide unparalleled cooling power and precision, though. Additionally, many models will also heat a pool, and they’re much more affordable to run than gas pool heaters.

Don’t let hot water keep you out of your pool. Don’t waste your time with ineffective homemade remedies to keep your pool cool. If you want to cool your pool’s water, the best way to do so is to speak with our team of experts about aerators, mechanical evaporative coolers and reverse-cycle heat pumps. We’d be glad to help you select one for your pool.

Different Types of Pool Covers

When it comes to swimming pool covers, there are as many options as there are pools themselves. This means that you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding the pool cover that’s right for you. Use this guide to discover the traits of each cover, their uses, and the benefits.

 

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Bubble Covers or Solar Blankets

It’s the same type of pool cover, but different people call it different names. Bubble Covers and Solar Blankets are best used for keeping the heat in the pool when it gets cooler at night. They will also help to cut down on the amount of water that evaporates from the pool. They offer no safety protection whatsoever. It usually takes two people to take them on and off the pool unless they are attached to a reel system.

Plastic Winter Pool Covers

These pool covers are extremely inexpensive and are designed to separate the good water in the pool from the bad water on top of it during the winter. They will help cut down on evaporation and also help keep leaves and other debris from getting into the pool over the winter. Since these are poorly anchored down, the excess water on top of them has to be drained on a regular basis to keep these from being pulled completely into the swimming pool.

Mesh/Solid Safety Covers

These are one of the two main types of ASTM approved safety covers; they are considered an approved safety cover because they anchor securely to the pool decking and form a barrier on all sides from entry into the swimming pool water. Mesh covers do not have to be drained, but some types of solid covers will have to be drained periodically. These covers will keep most dirt, debris and leaves out of the pool. Because they are time consuming to take on and off a swimming pool, they are best for covering a pool and keeping it safe when it is not being used for long periods of time.

Automatic Pool Safety Covers

These are by far the most versatile of all pool covers. They are ASTM certified safety covers that form an ‘isolation barrier’ on all sides of a swimming pool to prevent entry into the water. The fact they cover and uncover the pool with just a flick of a switch makes them ideal for year round use. They also have been shown to stop evaporation, which saves pool water and chemical usage in the pool. They will keep blowing dirt, debris and foliage out of the pool on windy days. They also have many helpful supporting products that can be used with them such as Wi-Fi controls.

If you’re in the market for a swimming pool cover, we’re happy to help. Give our team a call or stop by one of our Tennessee showrooms and we can help you find the cover that’s right for your family and your budget.

8 Pool Exercises to Burn Calories Fast | Aurora Pools

No matter the reason you bought your pool, you can take advantage of the fitness benefits. Swimming is an exercise that you can do no matter your age, and the water makes it possible for people to do pool exercises even if they normally can’t on dry ground. When you think of burning calories in the pool, the first thing you think of is swimming laps. This is a great workout, but it’s not the only one.

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Underwater Bicycle

Biking is a great way to burn calories, and you don’t need any special equipment to do these pool exercises. Rest your elbows on the edge of the pool and then pedal an imaginary bike with your feet. If the edge of the pool isn’t available or doesn’t work right, rest your elbows on a pool noodle, instead. It’s a great way to work your legs, your core, and your shoulders.

Double Leg Lift

Lean back on the edge of your pool with your legs straight down, then left them up as high as you can. Keep your legs straight and together as you lift them. If it’s too difficult, sit on the edge of the pool and build your strength so you can one day do this exercise in the pool. This exercise is a great one because you fight against your body’s natural buoyancy to control your legs, which is a great way to build strength.

Bicep Curl

Doing a traditional bicep curl when you’re in the pool means you get twice the workout, because you build strength when you lift the weight up, and you work harder to lower your arm because of the resistance of the water. Hold your weight firmly in your hand, keep your elbow at your side, and lift the weight in and out of the water to do these pool exercises.

Flutter Kick

With a firm grip on the edge of the pool, a noodle, or your paddleboard, swiftly kick your legs behind you. It might be fun to splash the kids, but you’ll burn more calories if you keep your legs underwater. Move them faster, not higher, for the best workout.

Knees to Elbows

Stand in your pool, then bring one elbow down to meet the opposite knee. Hold your core tight for two seconds, then switch sides. Add some variety by doing this workout in the shallow end and then again in the deep end.

Knee Tuck

Knee tucks are great aerobic pool exercises without the high-impact. Stand in your pool then jump and bring both knees up to your chest. Start in the shallower end of the pool, eventually working your way up to the deep end where you can do this while treading water.

Cross Country Skiing

You can do the same motions you would do on the cross country exercise machine when you’re in the pool. Jump your legs back and forth while your arms move in the opposite direction. This is easiest in the shallow end, and the difficulty increases as you move deeper into the water.

Noodle Crunch

Place a pool noodle under your shoulders and pull your abs in towards your body to do a crunch in the pool. This is a great exercise for your core, because you stable your body vertically and horizontally while your abs work laterally. You can also do this on the edge of the pool if your noodle comes out from under you.

If you’re looking for a great way to enjoy pool exercises from the comfort of your own home, consider purchasing your own pool. Our team here at Aurora Pools can help you determine the type of pool that’s best for you, and we can find something that works within your budget. Give us a call or stop by one of our showrooms today.

Swim Spas: What Size Do I Need? | Aurora Pools

As you research swim spas and which features would be best for your family, you want to make sure you choose a model that’s large enough for all of you to fit in! Also consider how you want to use your spa. Do you want continuous swimming or room to exercise? Are you primarily looking for a space to relax? Do you want to play with the kids in it? Or, is it all of the above? The best way to prevent over-buying (or even under-buying) is to have firm expectations about how you plan to use your spa.

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Small Swim Spas: 10-11 Feet

Swim spas in this range are the smallest available, but they still pack a lot of exercise capacity in a small space. Some swim spas in this size range don’t pack enough power or space for the user to swim, but other options like the Therapool “D” make it possible even in this size range. Spas within this size range are a great option for aquatic therapy with up to 50 jets and impressive water features. These swim spas are perfect for people who don’t have a ton of space, but still want the benefits of a swim spa. It might not be large enough for a family game of water volleyball, but you’ll enjoy the powerful jets, the resistance during exercise, and the relaxing massage.

Medium Swim Spas: 12-16 Feet 

This range of swim spas are often called “fitness models” or even “trainers” because of the resistance they provide during your workout. Swim spas this size and up are large enough to provide a current, which is ideal if you’re looking for a model that allows continuous swimming. Ask about optional equipment like an underwater treadmill or a rowing machine. Spas of this size are most popular among people who are looking to combine fitness with family fun. You’ll enjoy hydrotherapy jets, so you can enjoy the aquatic therapy benefits of the swim spa, but there’s also enough room for several family members or friends to climb in with you. Upgrades like fountains, waterproof sound systems, and specialized lighting are available, which means your spa can be just as much for parties as it is for fitness.

Large Swim Spas: 17-18 Feet

Even the longest arms and legs can swim comfortably in swim spas that are this size. This is the range where there are different options for water flow, including propellers, which makes the current more consistent and smooth. These models make it feel like you’re swimming in a real pool because the jets aren’t active when you’re swimming and the type of water flow feels more realistic. Plus, depending on the model that you choose, the water flow options can make these models up to 70% more energy efficient. Additional upgrades mean you can also use this swim spa for gatherings and parties. Sound system, Wi-Fi, and even a built-in underwater camera are features you can ask about, if you’re interested.

Extra Large Swim Spas: 19-21 Feet

Our extra large swim spas are sometimes called “dual temperature” or “Olympic” models. These swim spas provide the longest length of all the swim spas, and they also usually have a dedicated hot tub or hydrotherapy pool that is separate from the area where you swim. Manufacturers call the swimming area the pool, and they often refer to the hot tub as the spa. Everything you need for exercise and swimming is possible on these extra large swim spas. If you can imagine it, it’s probably already an option. From body massage functions to deluxe LED lighting and even tiling that delineates a lane for swimming… these are standard on most swim spas of this size. The spa might include up to 60 hydrotherapy jets, enough seats for six people, and even sound systems and/or waterfalls.

If you think a swim spa might be right for your family, stop by our showroom or give us a call today!

Swimming: The Perfect Pregnancy Workout

You want to stay fit and active during pregnancy, but what’s a safe option? Many forms of exercise are considered too aggressive for pregnancy; however, swimming is a low-impact sport that helps the mom-to-be stay active, fit, and healthy. In fact, doctors say it’s one of the best exercises a woman can do during pregnancy.

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Swimming During Pregnancy

What makes swimming so great is that the water partially supports the weight of the pregnant woman. This means she can move freely in the water while actually decreasing the pressure on the spine, limbs, and joints throughout her body. As the woman’s pregnancy progresses, there’s no need to modify the swimming workouts as long as she stays well-hydrated and keeps her heart rate between 120 and 140. Swimming is a great way to build endurance, increase strength and muscle tone, and improve circulation. When a pregnant woman uses swimming as her main source of exercise, she works both of the large muscle groups in her arms and in her legs. Even though swimming is easy on the joints, it gives these muscles a good workout. The woman is able to get a good workout because she feels weightless, even though she’s added extra pounds throughout the pregnancy. The workout also provides the woman with a boost in her ability to process and use oxygen, something that’s vitally important during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Pain Relief

If you know a pregnant woman who’s struggling with back strain, she needs to get into a pool pronto. Because of the expanding belly, a woman’s shoulder and spine round forward and the pelvis can tilt out of alignment. The result is an aching back that doesn’t seem to go away. Swimming is a great way to solve this problem without medication. Swimming strengthens the muscles, which are then strong enough to support the belly without the bones falling out of alignment. After spending quality time in a pool, a pregnant woman might also notice several other benefits:

  • More energy (less fatigue)
  • Better sleep
  • Fewer emotional meltdowns
  • Healthy pregnancy weight gain
  • Less bloating

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A Few Safety Precautions

If you haven’t had an exercise routine before pregnancy, swimming is a great place to start. Check with your doctor or midwife first, just to be sure. Expect to start slowly; you’ll need plenty of time to stretch before you get in the pool, and then time to cool down after your workout. Even though you’re submerged in water when you’re swimming, it’s easy to forget about proper hydration. If you plan to be in the pool, drink one 8-ounce glass of water before you begin. Take a break every 20 minutes to drink another 8-ounce glass of water, and then drink another glass of water when your workout is done. If you’re in an outdoor pool in hot or humid weather, expect that you’ll need even more water than that.

Tips by Trimester

First Trimester

Try to swim for at least 30 minutes a day every day of the week. If you have morning sickness, swimming first thing in the morning can actually help counteract the nausea and give you energy to push through your day.

Second Trimester

The buoyancy of the water is your friend, so feel free to do the backstroke without putting yourself at risk of impaired blood flow like could happen when you lay on your back on dry ground. This is a good time to start shopping for a maternity swimsuit.

Third Trimester

Lengthen your chest muscles and shorten your back muscles with the breaststroke; this will make it easier to carry your expanding belly as you hit the home stretch.

5 Reasons to Consider a Swim Spa | Aurora Pools

The swim spa is an increasingly popular option in today’s pool and spa market. It’s appeal to water lovers is wide because they are the perfect mix of a swimming pool and a hot tub. If you’re having trouble deciding between a pool and a hot tub, you’ll likely find that a swim spa is the perfect choice for you.

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Your Own Gym

If you’re looking for a low-impact workout option, a swim spa is an ideal solution. Use the jets to simulate lap swimming, or you can use any of the numerous exercise equipment options for a great underwater workout. If you’re more comfortable exercising in your own home instead of at a gym, consider a swim spa to meet all your workout needs.

It Saves Space

The footprint is significantly smaller than a swimming pool. If you’d like a pool but you don’t have enough space, a swim spa is a perfect solution. Most are about 52 inches deep (4 feet 4 inches) so there’s plenty of room for play. The span ranges from 8 feet to 16 feet, so you can find the size that’s perfect for your backyard.

Great for Children

If you have children or grandchildren, they will love to use the swim spa just as much as you do! The depth is perfect for children to swim and play, but they never get too far away from you. Even if they play on the other side, they’re only a few feet away from you. That means you can keep a constant eye on them and they still have the freedom to play.

It Costs Less

The average cost of an in-ground pool is about $30,000. For the size and the features you get, it’s a great buy! But if your budget is smaller, you can enjoy a swim spa for about half the cost of an in-ground swimming pool. You’ll also save money on maintenance because of its smaller size.

Open Year Round

Even in the winter months, you can enjoy the benefits of your swim spa. Use it during the day for exercise, then turn on the warm, bubbly jets for muscle relaxation in the evening. You control the temperature, so you know it’s ready to use all throughout the year.

If you’d like more information about a swim spa and whether or not it’s a good fit for your family, give us a call today!

Pool Noodle DIYs Kids Will Love | Aurora Pools

Using a pool noodle in your swimming pool is a hit, but you can do so much more with this affordable, versatile toy. Thanks to creative minds online, here are some great reasons to love the pool noodle for more than a weapon kids use to whack each other. Add these crafts to your summer plans to build your repertoire of swimming pool toys and games.

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

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Your basic pool noodle can become a “force”ful weapon using only duct tape, electrical tape, a knife and some scissors. The best part, each lightsaber costs less than $2 to make. Feel free to make the details as general or as specific as time allows.

Floating Cooler

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For this craft, you need one pool noodle, a medium-sized plastic tub, waterproof nylon rope, and just a few minutes. Cut the noodle into four pieces to match the length and width of the tub. Tie them together around the tub and you have your very own floating cooler. Fill it with ice and your kids’ favorite drinks for your next pool party.

Lounge Chair

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What goes better with a floating cooler than a floating chair? Using a mesh laundry bag, a pool noodle, zip ties, and scissors, you can create your own chair. It’s easy enough that each kid who visits your pool this summer can make his/her own lounge chair!

DIY Water Sprinkler

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For some time in the water outside of the pool, turn a regular pool noodle into a fun water sprinkler. Poke several holes in the noodle, secure the bottom of the noodle with extra foam and duct tape, then stick your water hose inside the open end of the pool noodle. You’ve just created your own water sprinkler for about $1.00. Soak your kids by hanging it from a tree or your swing set, or you can lay it on the ground for your kids to jump over.

My Little (Pool) Pony

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With some felt, rope, googly eyes, a hot glue gun and, of course, a pool noodle, you can make your own pool pony! The kids can hop on their pony to race from one side of the pool to the other, or they can use their ponies with a leg race on land, too.

5 Reasons to Choose an Automatic Pool Cover

Automatic pool covers are without question the best way to cover your inground swimming pool. Other types of covers have one or two useful functions, but automatic covers check all of the boxes. Still on the fence? Consider these 5 reasons to choose an automatic pool cover.

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Attractive Design

You spent a lot of time, energy and money to create the backyard pool of your dreams. The last thing you want is for your swimming pool cover to distract from the overall appeal of your poolscape. When your pool is covered, automatic pool covers come in fabric that’s available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the color that blends perfectly with your yard. When the cover is retracted, it’s virtually hidden from view, so your swimming pool takes center stage each and every time it’s open.

Quality

You’ve heard that you get what you pay for, and it certainly applies here. Automatic pool covers are made of extremely durable parts and materials, including long lasting cover fabric, high-torque motors, state of the art electronics, and high grade aluminum and stainless steel. Most manufacturers of automatic pool covers stand by their products, too, offering some of the most outstanding warranties you’ll ever see on a pool product.

Easy to Use

When you want to swim, you want to swim. You don’t want to spend time fumbling with a large, cumbersome pool cover. That’s not the case when your pool has an automatic cover. It rolls on and off automatically; all you have to do is press the button or turn the key. You’re more likely to use your pool cover when you swim because it’s so easy to use.

Money

An automatic pool cover provides an excellent isolation barrier for safety, but it also pays for itself within just a few years. Keeping your pool covered will help keep your water from evaporating, which is the leading cause of water loss in a swimming pool. In fact, studies show that a solid pool cover stops at least 75% of a pool’s water loss from evaporation, which means you don’t have to use as much water to keep the pool full. Since you’re not refilling your pool as often, you’ll also save significantly on the cost of chemicals for your pool. Finally, you’ll spend less money to heat your pool because the cover traps a significant amount of heat that would normally be lost when the pool is uncovered. The cover acts as a blanket to keep your cool warm, even on cool nights.

Safety

The primary reason people purchase an automatic pool cover is for safety. When the cover is closed and lying on the water, it is the safest way to cover your swimming pool. That’s because the cover actually forms an isolation barrier when it’s closed. All sides of the pool are sealed, which significantly aids in the prevention of accidental drowning by children, non-swimmers and pets. When you start shopping for your automatic pool cover, make sure it’s certified to the latest standard performance specifications for safety covers.

Are you considering an automatic pool cover? Give us a call or stop by the showroom and we can answer any questions that you have.

6 Tips to Plan the Perfect Pool Party | Aurora Pools

Planning the perfect pool party doesn’t happen by accident. The key isn’t necessarily coming up with a unique pool party idea. Instead, focus on what you can do to make your guests feel welcome and have fun. Here’s a simple guide to help you create the ultimate summer pool party that adults (and kids) will remember all season long.

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Go for Unique Invitations

Sure, it’s easy to send out a few texts or to shoot out invites via Facebook. However, if you really want your pool party to stand out, send unique invitations to your guests. It helps set the mood for your party, and it’s sure to generate excitement as your guests wait for the big day. One creative idea… add sand to the bottom of several small soda bottles. Print the party details on a piece of paper, then roll up the paper and stick it in the sand so the edge is sticking up out of the bottle. It’s an affordable invitation, and it’s something that kids can help assemble, too.

Provide the Extras

One of the downsides for a guest going to a pool party is having to bring your towels, pool toys, and supplies with you. Let your guests know that they can bring their swimsuit, a change of clothes, and nothing else. Provide sunscreen, tanning oil, lotion, towels, goggles, and pool toys for your guests to use at the pool party. For even more comfort and convenience, set up a lounging area for people who aren’t swimming to sit around and talk

Find Personal Item Baskets

It’s so easy to misplace personal belongings when you’re at a pool party. Your guests will feel welcome, and they won’t worry about their personal items, when you give them a convenient place to store them. Items like cell phones, keys, wallets and other small items can be stored in a wicker basket that you give the family when they arrive. It’s much more secure than throwing those items in a pool bag, and you can set the baskets up high so there’s no chance of a giant splash getting those items wet.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Summer nights are the perfect setting for a pool party; add to the natural ambiance of the evening with some unique lighting options. Some people like to use candles of varying heights around the pool area, but that might not be a good idea if kids are invited. As an alternative, consider paper lanterns to cast a warm glow on your pool party.

Plan to Have Fun

It’s tough for guests to relax and enjoy themselves if the host or hostess is running around frantic. It’s your party, so you should have just as much fun as your guests. Bring coolers out to the pool area so you don’t have to run back and forth to the refrigerator. You can even add a floating cooler to the pool area so guests can swim up and help themselves to the endless supply of drinks. For dessert, consider an ice cream bar where guests can serve themselves and add whatever toppings they desire. It’s fun for them, and not a lot of work for you.

Get Your Game On

Swimming is a fun way to pass the time, but not everyone wants to swim all evening long. Adding some pool party games will liven up the party and encourage everyone to participate. Make time to play the usual games, like ring toss, water basketball, or tag with the kids who are there. For the adults, incorporate a unique pool game like Swim Up Blackjack. With a floating table and some waterproof cards, you can play a game of blackjack while you’re in the water.

Are there supplies you need to plan the perfect pool party this summer? Let us help! Stop by one of our showrooms and check out our full line of pool supplies so you can be sure you’re fully stocked when it’s time for your party.

Medical Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa | Aurora Pools

If you’re thinking about purchasing your very own hot tub or swim spa, get ready to take the plunge! Having access to one in your backyard will help ensure everyone in the family can relax and have fun, but there are also significant medical benefits. Instead of paying money to your doctor or to a hospital, studies prove that an investment in a hot tub or a swim spa can help everyone in the family can feel their best.

Back Pain

BackPainBack pain can be greatly reduced by spending regular time in a hot tub or a swim spa. According to the British Journal of Rheumatology, a controlled clinical trial proved that spa therapy provided positive short-term results and moderate long-term results in patients who suffer from chronic pain in the lower back. Patients reported they had more flexibility in their back, the length of time they were in pain was reduced, and they no longer had to take as many anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics after using the spa therapy treatment.

Diabetes and Weight Loss

Patients diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus were asked to use a hot tub for 30 minutes a day, six days a week. The results were astounding! After only 10 days on this plan, patients lost weight, required lower doses of insulin, and they had distinct decreases in plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients also said they slept better and had an overall feeling of well-being.

Arthritis

Regular sessions in a hot tub or a swim spa are a great option to keep joints moving, especially if you suffer from arthritis. Heat therapy is known for protecting your joints from further damage. When you’re in the spa, you restore the strength and flexibility you once had in your joints, and you also feel comfortable enough to exercise (which improves endurance, coordination, and self-esteem). The Arthritis Foundation reports that swim spas are the perfect treatment option for arthritis sufferers, because, “The buoyancy of the water supports and lessens stress on the joints and encourages freer movement. Water exercises may even act as a resistance to help build muscle strength.”

Heart Health

HeartHealthTime spent in a swim spa or a hot tub simulates exercise. That’s because your heart rate increases like it would if you were working out. However, with spa treatment, your blood pressure doesn’t increase. The Mayo Clinic reports that many patients actually had a decrease in blood pressure when they made soaking part of their regular routine. That means you get the same health benefits of exercise without the stress that exercise can sometimes cause for your heart. It’s a win-win scenario for heart patients.

Sleep Better

Even if you don’t have health concerns, you can still reap medical benefits from a hot tub or a swim spa because time spent soaking in hot water helps you sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation says that a hot soak before you go to bed can help your body transition into deeper, more restful, sleep. After going to bed, you can achieve a state of deeper sleep when there’s a drop in your body temperature. When you soak in your spa for 15-20 minutes before you go to bed, your body’s internal thermostat kicks in to lower your body temperature. That’s what makes it so easy to fall asleep, and enjoy the best kind of deep sleep, after you soak in a hot tub or a swim spa.

We have swim spas and hot tubs to match all types of budgets and space requirements. We’ll do whatever it takes for you to find the spa you need so you can enjoy the medical benefits provided by a quality swim spa or hot tub. Give us a call today and let us find the right model for you.

6 Pool Accessories for Summer | Aurora Pools

PoolAccessoriesYou build a pool and fill it with water, but now what? These are the pool accessories you can add to amp up the fun all season long.

LED Lights

Keep the pool party going well into the evening with LED lighting in your pool. They’re energy efficient, you don’t need to change the bulbs often, and they offer changing colors to make your pool even more fun.

Tanning Ledges

Need a great place to bask in the sun? Add a tanning ledge to your pool. These are also a great place for young children to splash without being too deep in the water.

Glow Sticks in Balloons

For a colorful pool party on a budget, put glow sticks in balloons, blow the balloons up, and then allow them to float in the pool.

Floating Pool Cooler

Cold drinks are never far away when they’re floating nearby in a cooler.

Waterproof Speakers

Keep your music player on the deck and stream the music through wireless waterproof speakers.

Swim-Up Bar

Make your pool feel like a resort by adding a swim-up bar and grill. You can install a ledge in front of your grill and add submerged bar stools to complete the bar area.

4 Signs You Need a New Vinyl Pool Liner | Aurora Pools

Over the course of several years, pool chemicals and weather can cause your vinyl pool liner to deteriorate. How do you know if your pool liner needs to be replaced? Consider these 4 signs you need a new vinyl pool liner.

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Stretching

If the top edge of the liner, the liner bead, slips out of the track and you can’t put it back in place, it’s a sign that your vinyl pool liner is stretching. When your liner isn’t secure in its track, it will sag, water can drain from your pool, and your liner will start to wrinkle. If your liner is stretched, it can’t be repaired and must be replaced. Other signs of liner deterioration include loose fittings around the pump and the skimmer.

Fading

After years of exposure to sunlight and chemicals, your vinyl pool liner can start to fade and then become brittle. In fact, fading is one of the first signs of deterioration. When you have a brittle liner, expect more cracks and tears to develop in your liner.

Cracks & Tears

Harsh UV rays and pool chemicals can cause small cracks in your vinyl pool liner over time. If you see these cracks or small tears in your liner, chances are high that your pool is leaking water. To know for sure, monitor your pool’s water level for about a week to see if it changes. If the water level drops more than one inch, you know your liner is leaking.

Leaking

Even though modern pool liners are built to resist punctures and tears, they can still happen as your liner starts to age. If you know where the leak is, you can patch it with a wet patch kit. If you can’t find the leak to repair it, your pool will continue to leak water. That water can wash out the supporting backfill behind the walls or cause sinkholes by washing away the sand that’s underneath the pool.

Repair or Replace?

How do you know if your pool liner needs repair or replacement? If your liner is less than 3 years ago, it might be worth it to repair the liner instead of replace it. If your liner is older than 3 years, or if you have any of the problems listed above, it’s usually better to replace the liner.

Do you have questions about your pool liner? We can help. Give us a call or stop by one of our showrooms and we can help you with all of your pool renovation questions.

Above Ground Pool Buyers Guide | Aurora Pools

Now is the time for you to invest in an above ground swimming pool. These pools often have many of the same features as an in-ground pool, so you and your family will be able to enjoy it all season long. With an above ground pool, you’ll enjoy the same fun of an in-ground swimming pool with less maintenance and expense. Use this Above Ground Pool Buyer’s Guide to help you throughout the process.

 

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Planning

Above ground swimming pools vary in size, so you want to take a good look at your hard to make sure you purchase the size that works best for you. You also want to plan where to place your pool in your yard. In the sun, the water stays warmer. If it’s too windy, the water will evaporate quickly. Walk around your yard to scout the best location, keeping in mind that pools should be about 8-10 feet away from nearby trees. As you think about size and placement, consider how you’ll access the pool from your house. If you plan to add walkways, decking, or a patio, keep that in mind during this planning process. Finally, make sure the pool is approved through your homeowners’ association, your city’s zoning regulations, and make sure you can get the necessary permits.

Size & Shape

The size of the above ground pool you want to purchase is one of the first decisions you’ll have to make in this process. Small above ground pools are 15-18 feet across; the largest pools can be 30-36 feet across. Above ground pool depth ranges from 48-52 inches. A smaller pool is ideal for families who have only one kid, or those who only want to use the pool on the weekend. For families of 6 or more people, or those who plan to entertain frequently, plan to build a pool that’s at least 24 feet in diameter. There are two shapes for above ground pools: oval and round. Oval pools give you a lot of room for water sports (like volleyball and basketball) and swimming laps. It also helps maximize your yard space. Round pools are easy to install, and you have a lot of room to play in all directions.

Decorative Patterns

Choose from a variety of wall patterns for your above ground swimming pool, so your pool is designed to match the style of your home, your landscaping, and your neighborhood. You can also choose the design of the liner that goes in your pool. Add beauty and design when you choose the colors and patterns that you like the best.

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Installation

Our team is happy to help you throughout the installation process and we’ll work together to create a plan that is unique for your yard. For above ground swimming pools, the ground must be level and solid. There shouldn’t be rocks, roots, or other sharp objects under your pool. If you have a sloped yard, or if your backyard isn’t a good candidate for an above ground pool, consider one of our On Ground Pools instead.

Equipment & Accessories

Above ground swimming pools have a variety of equipment options to keep your water clean. Pumps and filters work together to keep your water circulating properly, and filtration systems allow you to spend less time on maintenance and more time on enjoyment. To help you get the most out of your pool, choose some of the many accessories available. A pool heater means your pool season can start earlier and extend later into the year. Automatic pool cleaners vacuum your pool (everything from fine dust to large leaves) so your water stays sparkling. Lighting in and around your pool provides both safety and ambiance to your pool area. Finally, the cover that you choose for your above ground pool means your water stays cleaner and retains heat, even when you’re not using it.

Decking

Adding a deck to your above ground pool helps you create a space for entertaining, but it also helps you hide the pool pump and other pool accessories. We have the supplies you need to make your deck function so well that it might be your new favorite room in your house. From patio furniture to outdoor kitchens and pergolas, we can help you spruce up your above ground pool as much or as little as you want.

The above ground pool buying process is new to you, but it’s something very familiar to our team of experts. Let us put our 34+ years of experience to work for you and help you from start to finish. Stop by one of our showrooms or give us a call today to get started.

10 Reasons to Own an Above Ground Pool | Aurora Pools

An above ground pool is the very best choice for many families, and not just because of the price. Is it possible that it’s a good fit for you? Consider these ten reasons to own an above ground pool.

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Money

You’ll save thousands of dollars when you purchase an above ground swimming pool instead of an in-ground pool. In addition, an above ground pool is a great way to test how a pool would impact your family without a significant financial investment.

Installation

There’s no need to tear up your yard during an above ground pool installation. Usually installed in a few days, the installation of an above ground pool isn’t complicated.

Location

You can choose the pool that’s the size and shape designed to fit your space, so there’s a lot more flexibility when you’re choosing the location for your pool than if you were installing an in-ground pool.

Portability

When you move, you can take your pool with you. It’s even possible to move your above ground pool if you want to relocate it to a different spot in your backyard.

Full of Features

Many features that you love about in-ground pools are also available with above ground swimming pools. Diving boards and steps are even options for some above ground pools.

Safety

Because above ground pools sit off the ground, it’s less likely that small children or pets will wander in or fall into the water unattended. When you’re not using your pool, you can disconnect the ladder so the pool is inaccessible when you’re not around.

Maintenance

Above ground pools are maintained with the same chemicals and filter to keep the water clean and sanitized, but you’ll spend less money on your chemicals and you won’t use as much water when compared to an in-ground swimming pool.

Space

Even if your backyard is too small for an in-ground pool, there’s a strong chance that you can accommodate an above ground pool. You can choose the pool size that you need, whether you’re looking for something small enough for your family or something large enough to accommodate your kid’s entire soccer team.

Landscaping

It’s possible to disassemble the above ground pool at the end of each swimming season so you can use that section of your lawn for something else. If you decide to keep your pool up all year long, make sure you have a great pool cover to keep your water safe and clean.

Taxes

Your property taxes will likely increase after the installation of an in-ground pool because your property value will go up. That’s likely not an issue with an above ground pool. Since it’s not a permanent addition to your home, it’s unlikely your home’s value will be assessed at a higher rate.

If you’re considering a pool for the summer, come see us and help you determine if an above ground pool is right for you.

Best Practices for Opening Your Pool | Aurora Pools

We’re approaching one of the most exciting times of the year: it’s almost time to open your pool! After a dreary winter, temperatures are warming up and soon it will be time for fun in the sun. Make sure your pool is ready for the first party of the season by following these best practices for opening your pool.

cover-1Clear Your Pool Cover

Leaves, debris, and puddles gather on your cover throughout the winter; you want to make sure all of this is cleared off before you open your pool in the spring. A cover pump is a great way to remove the standing water; however, the leaves, dirt, and debris can be a little trickier. Large piles of debris can be removed with a broom, but make sure you don’t use anything sharp or abrasive or it could damage your cover. Many customers remove the water, then wait a day for the cover to dry. A leaf blower is an effective way to remove dirt and debris from a dry pool cover. Remove your cover, making sure not to get any of the remaining debris in your pool water.

Clean & Store Your Winter Cover

Use soap, water, and a soft scrub brush to thoroughly wash your winter pool cover. There are winter cover cleaners available to use, too. Allow your cover to dry completely. Store your cover in a heavy-duty plastic container to keep bugs or rodents away, and to extend the life of your pool cover. If you secured your winter cover with water tubes, make sure they are empty and dry before you store them.

Prepare for Warm Weather

With cold temperatures a thing of the past, you can remove all of the winter plugs and replace the proper eyeball or jet fittings to your return lines. Remove the ice compensators from your skimmer buckets, and then replace the skimmer baskets. Now is also the time to re-install your deck equipment like ladders, diving boards, and step rails.

Fill Your Pool

Whether you drained your pool during winterization or it lost water over the winter, you’ll need to add more when you’re almost ready to start using your pool again. Fill it up with a garden hose until the water level is above the midway point in the skimmer opening.

Prep Your Pump & Filter

Replace the drain plugs and the pressure gauge on your filter and on your pump. There’s one drain plug on your pump, and you might have one or two of those plugs on your filter. If you have a multi-port valve, replace the pressure gauge, the sight glass, and the air bleeder. Reinstall all of your equipment, including your heater, chlorine dispenser, and booster pump.

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Turn It On

Fire up your pump and filter to make sure they work properly. Check all around for leaks or drips. If the pump isn’t pulling water, prime it. Shut off the filter system, remove the lid of the pump, then fill the housing with water using your hose or a bucket of water. Put the lid back on and turn it on; this should help get the pump working properly.

Clean and Shock Your Water

Remove any debris in your water using a plastic leaf net. Take your time so you remove as much of the debris as possible. Brush the walls and the floor with a pool brush to get the dirt off the walls where your filter will remove it. Bring a sample of your water to us for a professional analysis so we can help you make sure your pH and alkalinity are properly balanced. Add sanitizer to your water, and then double shock your pool using 2 pounds of shock (5 gallons of liquid chlorine) for every 10,000 gallons of water.

We are here to help you in any way we can. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, or we can do the work and open your pool for you. Give us a call today and let us know how we can help.

Create the Backyard of Your Dreams: Financing Available

Now is a great time to buy a new hot tub, swim spa, or swimming pool. Spending time in the water is a favorite summer past time in Tennessee, and now nothing is standing in your way! Owning your own pool or spa is more affordable than you might think when you choose one of our great financing options. Finally, you can worry less about the cost and more about finding the time to enjoy it!

 

Happy couple relaxing in hot tub. Vacation.

Get What You Really Want

When you make an investment in a pool or spa, you want to enjoy it for a long time. The last thing you want is to wish you had something else after a short time. With financing, that won’t happen. You can get the swimming pool, hot tub, or swim spa that you want — the one that you’ll get the most use out of — and you can pay for it as you use it. Stop by one of our showrooms so you can compare options, see which one works for you, and find the one that best fits your needs now and many years down the road.

It’s Affordable

When you finance your pool or spa, we make sure you find a model that’s within your price range so you’re comfortable with the monthly payments. You tell us what’s on your wish list, and we’ll do everything we can to find all of the amenities you want while staying within the amount you can comfortably afford.

 

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Applying is Easy

We make it easy for you to get the financing you need. Stop by our showroom and we can get you started. When you finance your pool or spa, you can use the money on your terms. You don’t have to finance the entire purchase price (unless you want to). You can also use financing to buy any chemicals and accessories you need to get started.

Stop by one of our locations today and let our qualified representatives help you through the financing process. Don’t wait; enjoy the oasis of your dreams right in your own backyard.

5 Benefits of a Fiberglass Pool | Aurora Pools

This is the time of year when demand goes up for in-ground pools. Customers who want their pools ready for summer are starting the process now! As you start your own pool process, consider fiberglass as an option. Over the past ten years, fiberglass pool popularity has increased dramatically. If you’re considering taking the plunge on your very own in-ground pool, fiberglass may be the best bet for you.

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Benefit #1: Easy Maintenance

For a maintenance routine that won’t make your head spin, consider fiberglass as an option for your in-ground pool. Maintenance requirements are easy to manage when it comes to chemicals and cleaning products, which means you spend less in the long run. Fiberglass pools require very few repairs, as well, making them an incredibly cost-effective option if you’re looking for an in-ground pool.

Benefit #2: They’re Beautiful

Recent technological advancements means fiberglass pools look stunning in your backyard. In the past, white was the only finish available. Today, different color finishes as well as new design innovations means your pool will look unique and inviting. Your brand new fiberglass in-ground pool will be the envy of all the neighbors.

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Benefit #3: Durability

Fiberglass pools are designed to withstand all climates, even the crazy weather we have in Tennessee. The flexibility of the fiberglass makes these in-ground pools remarkably durable and resilient whether temperatures outside are hot or cold. When a pool is durable, you’re less likely to pull out your wallet and pay for potentially expensive repairs and more likely to spend time enjoying your pool with family and friends.

Benefit #4: Easy Installation

Fiberglass pool molds are created in advance so they can perfectly fit the space that you have in your yard. The process of creating the mold takes about two weeks. It’s delivered directly to your house, and the process of installing the mold in your yard takes much less time than a concrete pool.

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Benefit #5: Smooth Surfaces

Pool surfaces are notorious for scraping hands and knees because of the rough texture. That problem is eliminated when you choose a fiberglass in-ground pool. The surface of a fiberglass pool is smooth to the touch, which is a perfect option if you have sensitive skin or young children in and out of your pool.

If you’re considering an in-ground pool for your backyard, let us show you the numerous colors and design options available with a fiberglass pool. Give us a call today!

Preschedule Your Pool Project | Aurora Pools

Summer will be here before we know it, so now is the time to start thinking about that pool project you’ve been dreaming of. If you want to have your in-ground pool ready to use by summer, get started on this checklist today.

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Write Your Wish List

Most people have been dreaming of that perfect in-ground pool for years. Now is the time to get those thoughts and ideas out on paper. Research the latest technology and see what options are available that you didn’t know about. It’s the perfect time to dream big, so put all your thoughts out there.

Make an Idea Book

It’s natural to have ideas about the pool you want, but not be able to vividly describe them. It’s okay! Take some time to put together visuals to show your pool specialist. You can print out some of your favorite photos, cut pictures out of magazines, or even compile digital photos in a Google Drive or on Pinterest. Showing your builder the style of pool you want will help both of you know that you’re on the same page.

Research Your Investment

An in-ground swimming pool is an investment; you want to make sure you purchase the product that works best for you. Just like you would research information about a new car purchase, take some time to look into different options for pools. Would a concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass pool be best for you? What type of filtering system are you interested in? Do you want any artistic finishing touches? Doing a little research will help you and your builder communicate effectively and efficiently throughout the entire process.

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Determine Your Pool Shape

A rectangular pool is perfect if you want a timeless, classic look; however, that’s not the only option when it comes to pool shapes. Free-form swimming pool or those shaped like a kidney are a great way to enhance your landscaping so the pool looks and feels more natural. Waterfalls and grottos look beautiful on free-form and kidney shaped pools, but they can also work well if you opt for a more traditional rectangle. No matter the shape you choose, make sure it matches the design you want to achieve and the function you need for your family.

Determine the Function of Your Pool

Why are you installing an in-ground pool? Is it for entertaining? For your kids? An architectural statement? A place to relax? A fitness option? Knowing what you expect to achieve from your swimming pool will help you determine the kind of features you want in your pool. For example, a swimming pool for young families might include a wading area. On the other hand, a pool that helps you relax might include a dynamic water feature or lighting. You’ll be your builder’s best friend when you let him know exactly what you want.

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Discover Your Pool Season

Tennessee has all four seasons, so there will be times of year when it’s too cold for you to operate your pool. However, you can choose add-ons like enclosures or heaters that will help you prolong your pool season every year.

Set the Budget

This is when you have to look at your wish list and decide what’s important and what’s not. Your pool project specialist will help you get a sense of what your project will cost, and you can adjust your plans accordingly. Make sure to ask about long-term maintenance and chemical costs so you can factor that into your budget. Call your insurance agent as well to find out if owning a pool will affect your insurance policy.

Check Local Building Codes

Your pool specialist will help you with this, but it’s a good idea for you to know the codes yourself. Building permits, restrictions, and property tax concerns should also be checked out when you want to install an in-ground pool. Above and beyond the required safety codes, consider the type of measures you want to take for your family. Child-proof locks and alarms are options.

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Consider Your Landscaping

Your pool project will be the focal point of your yard; consider the type of landscaping you choose to be around it. You don’t want messy trees (sycamores, gums, and pecans) or trees with shallow roots (birches, cypress, oak) near your pool. Instead, opt for perennial bushes that don’t grow as tall and are easy to move if you ever need to relocate them.

Plan Your First Party

Invite your friends and family over to enjoy your new pool! Make sure you have toys, games, floats, and patio furniture so your guests of all ages can have a good time. Pull out the grill and enjoy the summer evening you dreamed about all throughout the planning process.

We’re excited to help you get started on your journey to create a backyard oasis. Give us a call today so we can have your pool project ready by summer.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Swimming Pools

Great Moments in Swimming Pool History

Ancient writings and hieroglyphics are full of images of people swimming… at first in lakes, rivers and seas. But then human ingenuity devised a way to contain water in large, water-tight swimming pools specifically for the purposes of bathing and exercise.

  1. Great Bath – 2600 BC

The first known “pool” for holding water was the Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, dating from 2600 BC. The pool is 12 meters long, 7 meters wide and 2.4 meters deep in the center, with broad staircases at each end. It is watertight due to tightly fitted bricks set in place with gypsum plaster and then pitched with tar. The pool was probably used for religious ceremonies.

  1. Greek and Roman Times – 400 BC

Pools for swimming (rather than bathing) became popular in ancient Rome and Greece. The philosopher Plato considered swimming to be an important part of the education of elementary age boys, so civilizations as far back as 400 BC added swimming to the basics of a young boy’s education (alongside such basics as mathematics, writing and astronomy). In addition, the Greek and Roman militaries used pools to physically train their soldiers for war.

  1. 1st Heated Pool – 400 BC

The first heated swimming pools appeared in Rome around the first century BC, built by Gaius Maecenas, one of Augustus Caesar’s political advisers and a wealthy patron of the arts and literature. This extravagant pool was heated by a furnace-based central-heating system and fabled to include lush waterfalls and gardens, terraces, villas and other luxuries.

  1. Heating Tiles – AD 305

In AD 305, the Romans built an incredible, heated pool that was over 900,000 square feet. Giant fires were kept lit in a basement beneath the pool, and the columns and walls circulated the heat to the pool above.

  1. Indoor Pools – 1837

Swimming moved indoors in the mid-19th century; in the early 1800s, competitive swimming had been introduced in Britain by the National Swimming Society, and London had six indoor swimming pools by 1837 to accommodate year-round exercise and swimming competitions.

Seasonal Swimming Pool Maintenance for Fiberglass Pools

The Manly Guide to Seasonal Pool Maintenance – Fiberglass

One of the top reasons people choose to install a fiberglass pool is the minimal pool maintenance they need. But even these pools can use a little attention now and then.

Regular maintenance tips for your fiberglass pool include:

  • Chemistry: at least once each week, you should check the level of your pool sanitizing agents and pH. While topping up your chlorine or other sanitizer levels is recommended on an as-needed basis, pH should not be adjusted more than once each week
  • Water level: the optimal fill level for your pool is the midpoint of your skimmer, so when there are plenty of kids splashing away use your hose and top the level up. Similarly, if you have a heavy rainstorm or accidental overfill, a submersible pump might be a good option – but contact your pool professionals for specifics to avoid damage.
  • Skimming: empty the skimmer every few days, but also use a net and skim leaves and other floating debris off the surface of the water
  • Scrubbing: to avoid discoloration, brush your pool down at least twice a week – if you have a pool vacuum, run it on the same schedule.
  • Filtration: be sure your filter basket is emptied regularly, at least once a week and always after large gatherings. Also, set your filter on a regular schedule so that it’s running for at least six hours a day during peak season. In addition, occasionally you should undertake monthly maintenance tasks like:
  • CHEMICALS: in addition to your ongoing checks for sanitizer and pH levels, you should do a monthly test of your pool water that includes pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid.
  • FILTERS: whether you have a cartridge, sand, or diatomaceous earth filter, it is one of the most important keys to your pool operating smoothly. Cleaning your filter and regularly back flushing your filtration pipe work is important to ensuring reliable pump function.
  • INSPECTION: for a fiberglass pool, one of the most important regular checks is a visual inspection for cracks.
  • STAINS: while you’re inspecting for cracks, make note of any stains or discoloration, particularly along the water line. A Magic Eraser can work wonders on these with a little elbow grease – and for tougher stains, you can try treating the area with ascorbic acid.

Many of the maintenance steps for your vinyl liner pool are the same as those you would undertake for a fiberglass pool, but there are several differences worth noting.

Manual or Auto Pool Covers? | Aurora Pools

Manual Pool Cover or Electric Pool Cover, which one is the better swimming pool cover? This question is a lot like picking petals of a flower in the old lovers game, ‘does she love me or does she not’, because the answer can be a bit random when the question is asked vaguely like this. They are very similar in the benefits they have when the pool cover fabric is deployed over the pool; it is the ease of which they go on and off the pool that sets them apart. Let’s take a look at the two pool covers and maybe it will help decide which one is best.

Manual Pool Cover drill pool cover

These type pool covers, as the name implies, are a hand cranked pool cover that rolls along two straight pieces of track, one on each side of the pool (pictured above). A manual pool cover is a nice little addition to a backyard pool. Speaking of little, they are really not designed to be put on pools larger than 18’ x 36’ because the cover would get too heavy to roll up. They use a hand crank gear that turns the large aluminum cover tube that in turn allows the pool cover to roll on or roll off the pool.

These handy devices do a great job of keeping the pool clean when you are not using it and they have some other great benefits too. A manual pool cover is a pool cover that has solid cover fabric. When the cover is hand cranked over the pool it stops water loss from evaporation, saves on chemicals, saves on energy costs, and of course the most important thing it does is function as an ASTM approved safety cover. When the cover is in place over the pool it seals off all the sides of the pool from accidental entry. Because they have no drive mechanism or expensive electric motor, they are extremely cost effective for the many benefits you get from them.

Automatic Pool Covers auto pool cover

A fully automatic pool cover is very similar in terms of tracking and cover fabric to that of a manually operated cover; as a matter of fact, some people will purchase a manual pool cover and then convert it to an automatic pool cover some time in the future. Also just like a manual cover, automatic pool covers will save water, save energy, save chemicals, and it is also an ASTM approved safety cover. They also do an excellent job of keeping the pool clean and ready to use by keeping dirt, leaves, and other debris out of the pool when the cover fabric is closed over it.

For an automatic pool cover it all starts with its complex and durable drive mechanism and electric motor. The drive mechanisms and motors can either be mounted on the pool decking or conveniently recessed in a specially designed encapsulation module at one end of the pool. They are powered by electric motors which move the drive mechanism by either electric or hydraulic means. The process to take the cover on and off the pool is initiated by means of an electric switch. This switch can be either activated by a button, a specially designed electronic keypad, or a key activated switch that has a removable key for safety reasons.

Because of the fact that the automatic pool cover is simply activated by an electrical switch, it is the most convenient type of pool cover to use by far. It is this very same ease of use that makes it the most utilized type of pool cover also, and because of that, the owners get to receive the many benefits that these type of covers offer on a more regular basis than the owners of other types of pool covers. That is also why these types of covers are highly recommended for purchase and subsequent use by several independent and government sponsored studies.

So which type of cover is better between an automatic pool cover and a manual pool cover? As far as pool cover fabric function goes, there is very little difference between the two types of covers as far as the benefits you receive from them. The big difference is the ease of use of the automatic pool cover makes it used more often. So the Automatic pool cover pulls away from the manual cover in the stretch run and takes the victory as the better type of cover.

How to Close an Inground Pool for the Winter

As summer draws to a close, we all face a sad reality. It’s time to close your inground pool, getting it ready for the long, cold winter we will all have to endure before we can enjoy another summer in the sun. Here’s how to do it the right way so you can hit the ground running when the weather heats up again.

Get the Process Started

Once you decide when you are going to close your pool for the winter, it’s important to get all your ducks in a row. Get your winter cover out of storage, and make sure it is still in good condition. Once that is done, you can start pulling ladders, toys and any other removable equipment and get them ready to store.

Most pools are covered by one of three types of cover, either mesh, solid or automatic. The covers manufactured by Latham Pools can be custom cut and fit for your specific pool, meaning a perfect fit. Their Coverstar and Pool Cover Specialist lines of automatic covers make pool closing the easiest, especially when combined with an Auto-Drain cover pump.

Let the pool water start cooling as well. Once it’s below 60 degrees, algae is less likely below that mark. The last step in preparation is to shock the pool. Once the level of free chlorine (FC) sticks overnight, you can plan on closing your pool within the next two to three days. Run the pool filter for 24 to 48 hours, and you are ready to close.

Preparing Pipes and Pumps

Start by removing any floating debris such as leaves. Then, hit the pool with the maximum dosage of PolyQuat to help further prevent algae growth. You should begin pumping the water level down to the level recommended by your pool’s manufacturer. Typically this is around four inches. Once that is done, blow out the plumbing with a shop vac. Pull all drain plug on the filter pump, drain pump and heater. Then store them to prevent freezing.

Additionally, you can add pool antifreeze to all plumbing to protect them during the winter, at a rate of one gallon for every 10 to 15 feet of pipe. Seal the pipes with expandable rubber plugs.

Cover Up

Now you are ready to cover the pool. If you’ve got PCS or Coverstar pool cover, the process is as simple as pressing a button. Once the cover has rolled out over the surface of your inground pool, that’s it. They take normally the hardest part of the pool-closing process a snap. Even the solid or mesh covers that are cut to your pool’s exact dimensions are easy to get in place, with stainless steel springs and D-ring connectors to hold the cover in the correct position. The covers are strong enough not only to protect the water below, but also keep your family safe from accidents.
Your pool is now officially closed for the winter, but that doesn’t mean the maintenance is done. You should keep up swimming pool care during the fall, and blow any leaves that fall on the cover off once they have dried out.

Make Your Swimming Pool More Fun For Your Grandkids

Planning summer activities for the grandkids is easy when you have a swimming pool. Whether you’re entertaining a preteen who just wants to use the tanning ledge and read Seventeen between text messages or a six-year-old who never seems to tire, pools provide endless fun. Here are some ideas to take an afternoon of swimming to the next level.

Swimming Pool Toys and Crafts

Kids love a good hands-on activity that feeds creativity. There are hundreds of uses for pool noodles, from making race-worthy seahorses to light sabers and homemade lounge chairs. As an extra special surprise for the little ones, purchase a kiddie pool and fill it with sand (either purchased online or at a local home improvement store) and let their imaginations run wild on the “beach.” Host a contest with different prize categories for sand castles or sea turtles—or have them bury each other from the neck down. This is a great way to pass the time outdoors during swim breaks while also giving the adults a moment to make lunch without being on lifeguard duty. Just don’t forget to reapply sunscreen!

Games and Activities

When pool toys get old, encourage your grandchildren to get creative with old-fashioned water games like Marco Polo or mermaid racing. Not only are they a great source of exercise, but they also provide hours of fun.
Fill several empty two-liter plastic soda bottles with water and send the kids on a hunt to find them at the bottom of the pool. Purchase a volleyball net or floating basketball hoop for the sports-lovers in your family. Provided the pool is large enough to avoid dangerous falls, team up and play a game of chicken.

Bonus points if the adults act as horses for a friendly jousting match complete with pool noodles. You can even turn regular household items into an underwater scavenger hunt. Despite your preparedness, your grandkids will likely create their own games as the day goes on; the important thing is that you encourage their creativity and go with the flow (pun intended).

Fun Features

While slides and diving boards are being phased out within the industry due to safety concerns, there are still plenty of pool features that make for a good time. If you’re in the process of building a pool, consider adding a waterfall the kids can play under for hours. Grottos are excellent for imaginary games of pirates or cave-dwelling mermaids.

You could also buy floating fountains or install permanent ones that flow into the pool to serve as natural obstacles the kids can race around. Night swimming is all the more fun with colorful lights and water features; however, you can always go the Do-It-Yourself route by placing glow sticks inside inflated balloons or beach balls.

Chances are, your house is already the favorite among grandchildren if you own a swimming pool. All they really need are a few snacks and several hours of splashing around in the sunshine. But it doesn’t hurt to guide play time with inventive activities and games. As a grandparent, you want to see them exercise physically but also mentally. You can help by creating a new game each time they visit. Before long, they’ll develop poolside traditions to enjoy for years to come.