Drop the Bottle! Drink Filtered Water Instead.

iStock_000019689327_Medium - CopyLounging around the neighborhood pool this summer, I am aware of how many people still choose to buy bottled water.  True, it is convenient to toss a few in a cooler when heading out to the pool or beach, but there are so many better alternatives these days, so it still surprises me to see how many people still do it!  The latest published statistics state that over half of all Americans drink bottled water!

I thought this might be a good time to remind myself as well as others why we need to “drop the bottle” and filter water at our homes instead:

Reason #1:  Negative environmental impact.  The production and transportation of bottled water wastes our precious fossil fuels. It takes a plastic water bottle 1,000 years to bio-degrade. Knowing that 80% of water bottles end up in our landfill; that’s a pretty scary statistic! When not recycled, bottles produce mass amounts of litter, not only in landfills, but in our lakes, rivers and oceans.

Reason #2: Cost.  The average American spends over $100 per year on bottled water (think $400 per 4 person family on WATER).

These are just my two top reasons to drop the bottle.  There are obviously many more.  You can find detailed reports and statistics at The Water Project. Or read 15 Outrageous Facts about Bottled Water.

Additionally, if you buy bottled water because you feel that it is safer and tastes better than general tap water, there are many alternative options available to you.  Visit FiltersFast.com to find a full range of water filtration devices including whole house filtration systems, faucet mount filters, refrigerator filters, filtered water pitchers and water bottles (to throw in the cooler for the pool or beach).  These days, home water filtration options are endless.

Aside from the better taste and smell that filtered water provides, there are other benefits to filtering water as well:

  • More cost effective than buying bottled water
  • Eliminates the environmental impact of bottled water
  • Filtering removes unwanted, harmful contaminates from drinking water

This summer, when you head out to the pool, or pack a cooler for the beach, or venture out for a nice hike or picnic, forget the disposable water bottles!  Use instead a reusable filtered water bottle or fill some other reusable container with clean filtered water from your refrigerator or other home filtration device.

Check FiltersFast.com for available options.

Spring Swimming Pool Opening Tips and Checklist

pool opening tips

With spring right around the corner, it is never too early to start thinking about reopening your swimming pool for the season.  With temperatures rising and kids getting tired of being cooped up inside, why not focus on what’s to come…. swimming, frolicking and general pool merriment!  This process does not have to be a huge hassle with a little preparation and time management.   If you are sure that winter cold weather is behind you and temperatures seem to be stable, usually in the 70’s as a rule of thumb, then the time to reopen the pool has arrived!

Here are some basic steps to follow:

  • Clear debris from OUTSIDE of the pool.  This is often overlooked, but can be a real time saver in the long run.  Make sure to clean up any leaves, branches, dirt and other debris in the surrounding pool area that would later be tracked into the water.
  • Remove the cover.  Clear all debris and standing water from the top of your cover to avoid a big mess later when preparing the cover for storage. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cover removal and use all appropriate tooling as needed.
  • Add water to appropriate operating level for your pool.
  • Change plugs and check skimmer baskets/ basket strainers for damage.  Make sure to remove all of your winter plugs and parts that were installed to prevent freeze damage.  Replace with your in-season plugs and parts.
  • Clean debris from pool bottom.   Add a chemical clarifier to help breakdown the debris. Start by raking out the largest debris, and then use your vacuuming system for a thorough cleaning. Don’t forget to brush the pool walls as well. Visit Acepools.com to find a variety of cleaning systems.
  • Start the pump and filter system.  Follow instructions carefully.  Check filters for damage and water leaks at connections. Backwash your filter if needed. Replace filters as necessary.
  • Shock, test and stabilize the water. Chemically shock your water, then 24 hours later, test it. Once desired chemical levels are achieved, don’t forget to stabilize or condition your water to prevent rapid loss of chlorine due to UV rays.  Throughout the season, make sure to use a high quality algaecide to kill any present algae and to prevent it from forming.
  • Take inventory and replace needed items.  Now that your pool water is ready, go ahead and check other pool parts such as lighting, steps and ladders, pool toys, and all other equipment and maintenance items.  Repair and replace as needed.
  • Set-up your outdoor sanctuary. Clean and set-up your outdoor furniture, table and chairs, tiki torches and barbecue grill. 

Now all you have to do is wait for the truly warm weather to arrive so that you can start enjoying your backyard oasis!  Please visit Acepools.com, part of the Filters Fast family, for all of your swimming pool needs.

Repairing or Replacing a Damaged Swimming Pool Cover – When to Repair

Pool Cover repair

Winter is winding down and it is time to start thinking about opening the pool up for the season.  Given the harsh winter most of the country has endured, you may notice that your pool cover did not fare so well.  Whether you have a mesh cover or an easy drain winter cover, you may notice damage after months of brutal temperatures and heavy snow and ice.  Falling tree branches during the winter is also a very common way covers can become damaged.  Strong winds are also a source of danger during winter months, as they can blow damaging items onto your cover and/or cause your cover to rip.

When the time comes for you to remove the cover for the season, take the time to look it over carefully.  Search out any holes or tears.  Look for unraveling and damaged strapping. Now is the time to make repairs, or invest in a replacement if needed. Repairing your cover is 218-4350-Product_Primary_Imagepossible when dealing with smaller holes or tears, usually those under 3” in diameter.  There are many patching kits available on the market that work well on mesh covers. If you are dealing with many holes or those larger than 3” wide or longer than 6”, you will probably want to send your cover to a professional pool repair shop.

If you have a solid vinyl cover, it is imperative that you repair the holes immediately. Don’t wait until you remove it for the season.  If not repaired, damage can lead to contaminated pool water and/or the pool water can easily flood your entire cover. Following the same9918-4375-Product_Primary_Image rule of thumb as with mesh covers, if the holes are large and many, it is better to have a professional repair it or replace entirely.

If after determining that the damage is too significant, repairing will not work, and a replacement cover is in order, visit Acepools.com.  Here you will find a complete line of not only repair products, but also an extensive selection of all types of pool covers.  Depending on your needs, you will find mesh and vinyl covers, leaf catcher and safety covers, solar and winter covers as well as most other pool maintenance repair and replacement items.

Do not wait until the end of pool season, when it is time to close down and winterize your pool.  Repair or replace you damaged cover in the spring.  This is will save you valuable time and money in the fall.

Visit Acepools.com, part of the Filters Fast family.