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A Few of My Favorite Pool Games

Summer is the best season to catch up with friends and have a little fun. And if you have a pool, everyone will want to come to your place and hangout on a hot day. What can you do with everyone at your place though? Tan next to the pool and only jump in when you’re too hot? Pools are made for fun, not to just cool you down, so we’ve complied a list of the best pool games anyone can play next time you’re using your pool.

  1. Marco Polo – This is a classic. Everyone at some point in their lives has played this game. For some reason we stop playing it when we get older. That’s crazy! It’s time to bring this back. This perfect summer game has no limit on players and everyone can splash around in the water and still stay cool. The rules are pretty simple. One person closes their eyes and swims around the pool calling out ‘Marco!’ All the other players swim away from the person and call out ‘Polo!’ This continues until the person with their eyes closed catches another player. That player now becomes Marco and the game resets. This is a perfect game if you’re looking for a little competition and a way to include some younger members of the family.
  2. Treasure Hunt – This game is perfect for when you want to have some lighthearted competition with your friends or family. One person hides a ‘treasure’ somewhere on the bottom of the pool and the other players race to find it. Whoever finds the treasure first wins. The treasure can be anything you want, a coin, a pool toy that sinks, even a shoe! Whoever is hiding the treasure tells the other players to close their eyes and count to 10. During that time, the treasure can be hidden.This game can have an unlimited amount of players and is fun for the whole family.
  3. Shark – This game is similar to Marco Polo except it has a couple twists. The ‘Shark’ can leave their eyes open, and players can leave the pool. The shark chases players around the pool. Once the shark tags a player, that player becomes the new shark. Players can leave the water, but only for 5 seconds. Shark is a game that can have an unlimited number of players and is a fun game to play with young swimmers.

We came up with a few fun summertime games, but we want to hear from YOU! Check us out on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what your favorite game is! You could be mentioned in a later post! Also nothing ruins a day of summer fun like someone getting hurt so remember that children should never swim without adult supervision and you should never run in the areas surrounding the pool.

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Thinking About Getting a Pool Heater?

Heaters are a great addition to your pool. No one enjoys swimming in chilly water and a heater can fix that for you. There are many types of heaters, such as natural gas, propane, electric, and solar heaters. So we compiled a list of information on each heater to help you decide what heater would be best for your pool.

Solar Heater – A solar heater is an inexpensive way to heat your pool. Besides purchasing the solar dome, there is no other cost associated with a solar heater. The draw back with solar heaters is that if you don’t have any sun, then your water will not be getting any heat. You also need to look at the size of your pool. If you have a 24 ft round pool, then you will need more than 1 solar heater for your pool. Depending on the amount of sun available that day, your pool might not be getting noticeably warmer.

Gas Heater – Gas heaters are the most common heaters customers chose to heat their pool. Gas heaters have a copper heat exchange, so maintaining your water chemistry is very important. If your water becomes unbalanced or too acidic, it will begin to eat away at your copper heat exchange very quickly. If you are not constantly monitoring your water chemistry with a gas heater and your copper heat exchange is ruined then you will need to have it repaired and it can be a very expensive thing to fix. Most customers who have their copper heat exchange eaten away end up having to purchase a new heater, because the repair cost is so high. Gas heaters may also involve landscaping, if you run gas lines straight to your pool.

Propane Heater – With propane heaters you will have to purchase or lease propane tanks. Propane heaters are what you will want to use if you can’t get a natural gas line run out to your pool. Propane heaters also have a copper heat exchange so they have the same risk as gas heaters if your water is not kept balanced. All-in-all propane heaters are very similar to gas heaters.

Electric Heater – Electric heaters, or heat pumps, have a titanium heat exchange. With titanium heat exchanges, great water chemistry is not as critical to your heat exchange life expectancy, but we still recommend you keep your water balanced. Unbalanced water can cause problems with your heater and your pool water itself. Electric heaters are more expensive to purchase, but they are less expensive to operate long term. Heat pumps do, however, require the ambient air temperature to be higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because a heat pump draws warmth from the surrounding air to heat the water. Most people do not use their pools if it is less than 40 degrees, but if you do you may want to consider something else.

Pool heaters are a great way to extend your swimming season and get more use out of your pool. They also help make your pool more comfortable during the season. If you are in the market for a pool heater make sure you take your time and find the right solution for your unique needs. I hope this brief overview can give you good start in your search for the perfect heater for your pool. If you have any questions or need help in the process please give us a call or stop into one of retail stores.

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Frequently Asked Pool Opening Questions

Whether you’re a first time pool owner or a seasoned pro, pool opening can be a stressful time for everyone. Here at Rhiel Supply we realize this, so we sat down with one of our experts to get the answers to your more frequently asked opening questions.

Pool Opening made easy

 

What’s The Easiest Way to Open a Pool?  

Remove any debris and water from the top of the cover that may have accumulated over the winter. Once the debris and water are taken care of, you can remove your pool cover. It’s best if you have a few people to help remove the cover. Pool covers are heavier than they look, and if you are not careful removing the cover, you could damage the pool.

 

When’s The Best Time to Open My Pool?

You’ll want a few days of consistently warm weather, where the temperature was at least 65 degrees. Keep in mind that your pool water is usually 10 degrees less than what the outside temperature is. So if you’re opening during cooler temperatures, be prepared for chilly water.

 

Once The Cover is Off, What Chemicals Do I Put In?

You don’t want to add any chemicals at first. Fill your pool with water until the water level is at the middle of your skimmer. Then turn on your pump and filter and let your water circulate for at least 24 hours. This lets any remaining chemicals that were in your pool at the end of the last season  become mixed in evenly throughout the water. Then test your water to see exactly which chemicals you need. Circulating your water and then testing it is a good way to avoid buying more chemicals than are needed. If you are unable to test your water, we offer a water analysis free of charge.

 

If you have any other questions or concerns about opening your pool, contact us by phone or e-mail so we can help you get everything ready for a great swim season!

 




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Do You Know How To Properly Close a Pool (Infographic)

While we may not like to think about it summer will ending soon and we will need to start thinking about closing our pools. Make sure you are taking the proper steps to do so. Use this infograph to help you make the best decisions for your pool closing. As always make sure you call us if you have any questions or uncertainty. Also we can close your pool for you so please call to schedule that.

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What Do I Do About All Of This Rain?

As you already know, there has been a significant amount of rain over the past few weeks. This not only keeps you from using your pool, but it also creates problems for your swimming pool maintenance. I wanted to take a second to answer a few questions I have been asked during the past few days. The questions are as follows:

  1. All of this rain has increased the water level in my pool; what is the best way to drain it?
  2. What can I be doing to make sure this rain doesn’t create a problem in my pool?
  3. I have already spent a ton of money on chemicals this year; what is the best way to do my pool maintenance with minimal time, effort, and money?

All of these are big concerns that you might currently be worrying about so it is my goal to help you keep your swimming pool crystal clear and safe for swimming.

ALL OF THIS RAIN HAS INCREASED THE WATER LEVEL IN MY POOL; WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DRAIN IT?

This largely depends on your equipment setup, but I’ll try to address this question the best I can. I’ll list some common equipment and the best way to drain water using each. If you don’t find something that works for you then email me your equipment setup at marketing@rhiel.com and I will find the best solution for you.

For all these methods be sure to drain before adding any chemicals. This will reduce waste and save you money! Also keep in mind that the water should be lowered just about an inch below the top of the skimmer to the skimmer to do its job.

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Sand Filter

If you have a sand filter then the best thing for you to do would be to shut off your pump, turn your valve to “Waste”, and then turn the pump back on. This will send water straight from the pool out your backwash port. Run this until you reach the appropriate water level (half way down the skimmer opening for most pools) and then turn of the pump, set the valve to filter and turn the pump back on.

Make sure your backwash port is draining to an area that can handle the amount of water you need to drain. If it isn’t draining to a good place stop into one of our stores and we can help you brainstorm a solution that will work for you!

Cartridge Filters

For Cartridge filters your best bet is to unscrew the drain plug and drain from there. To do this turn off the pump, remove this cap, and then turn back on the pump, water will begin pouring out. Putting a plug in the return can help ensure that the water doesn’t reenter the pool. With this method you can let gravity pull the water out (if it is above ground) or you can turn on the pump to speed up the process.

Make sure the water drains to an appropriate place. If that is where your filter is then that’s fine, but if it needs to go elsewhere you should attach a backwash hose and drain to an appropriate spot. If you need help hooking that up come pay us a visit and well help you make something work.

D.E.

D.E. filters are a bit different because there are so many variations. The thing to do in this case is to turn off your pump, open the drain cap, and let gravity pull the water out. Just like a cartridge filter you may need to use a backwash hose to route water somewhere else.

WHAT CAN I BE DOING TO MAKE SURE THE RAIN DOESN’T CREATE A PROBLEM IN MY POOL?

I HAVE ALREADY SPENT A TON OF MONEY ON CHEMICALS THIS YEAR; WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DO MY POOL MAINTENANCE WITH MINIMAL TIME, EFFORT, AND MONEY?

rhiel-saves-you-moneyI didn’t forget to answer question 2, I intentionally am answering these questions together because the answers are the same. The best thing you can do is routinely monitor your pool. This could be daily, every other day, or depending on your system, weekly. By monitor I mean pay attention to slight changes in clarity or color (this means you can’t leave your solar cover on for more than a day at a time) and also test your water at least once a week. With the poor weather we have had I would suggest testing at least every other day.

The question now is what do you test for? You are particularly focusing on alkalinity and sanitizer. These two are very important in having a chemically balanced pool. If you notice that either reading is off then take the appropriate action to correct. If you do not know what your ideal readings should be or how to change them then stop into one of our locations or give us a call. Also if your levels are severely off then bring a water sample into our store for testing.

Keep in mind: A water sample or test should never be done during or immediately following the rain. Not doing this can result in an inaccurate test result and the addition of an unnecessary amount of chemical.

*During periods of heavy rain, monitoring alkalinity is especially important. This is because alkalinity buffers your pH by acting as guard against the generally acidic environment in which we live.

This all well and good, but how does it save you time, money, and effort? The bottom line is that regular and routine maintenance is the best thing you can do to prevent swimming pool issues.

I hope this has been helpful and that you can use this information to keep your pool crystal clear all summer long!