Swimming Pool Safety - Jay's Precision Pools, NY

Home Pool Drowning Liability & Prevention Guide

This article, originally written by Anne Dennon on Reviews.com talks about home pool drowning liability and how you can prevent it.

Home Pool Drowning Liability & Prevention Guide

If you have a pool or hot tub on your property, whether in-ground or above-ground, implement a safety plan before tragedy strikes. Then make sure you’re holding the right insurance. You may need to purchase extra personal liability coverage to cover your pool’s costly risks.

How to prevent pool accidents

There are two distinct high-risk groups for drowning: children under the age of five and boys ages 15-19. Take the following measures to keep pool-users safe — and make your pool less inviting to youths when adults aren’t around to supervise.

Educate young swimmers

The three top safety tips from Pool Safely, a governmental public education campaign by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, all deal with kids in the water.

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
  • Teach children how to swim.
  • Teach children to stay away from drains.

Kids should have a healthy respect for any body of water, even if it’s the small, kidney-shaped one in their backyard. Swimming lessons are paramount, but there’s more to learn than knowing how to float and stroke. Educate kids about the dangers of water, both drowning and getting hair or jewelry caught in drain suction, as well as how to spot when others are having difficulty in the water.

Importantly, drowning doesn’t always look as dramatic as movies make it appear. Kids could look like they’re just playing underwater, but open mouths, glassy eyes, or efforts to swim without making progress all clue you into danger.

Know CPR

If you have a pool, you should know CPR. Find a class through the Red Cross or a local organization, then keep CPR literature near the pool for the benefit of guests. Note that there’s different CPR protocol for infants, kids, and adults.

While the quick administration of CPR can be life-saving, a child who has experienced drowning is not out of the clear as soon as he or she is out of the water and breathing. Secondary or dry drowning can strike hours or days after the incident, aggravated by leftover water in the lungs. Prolonged coughing, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, and loss of bowel or bladder control (among other symptoms) should alert you to bring your child to the ER.

Establish pool rules

Any kids who use your pool should know the rules. The top rule: No swimming without adult supervision. The Center for Injury Research and Policy states that when watching children in the pool, you shouldn’t have the distraction of a book, a phone, or a conversation. And the younger the swimmers, the closer you need to be: Toddlers should never be beyond an arm’s length from you in water.

Build a fence

A high, locked fence that surrounds all four sides of the pool is your best bet. Four feet is probably tall enough (five-year-olds stand about 3’6” at most) but consider going higher to block out the view of the pool and deter older kids from climbing. On the subject of climbing, vertical posts are better than horizontal. The gate should remain locked when not in use; consider installing an alarm that responds to tampering.

Use safety features

A covered pool is simply not as alluring as an open, sparkling blue surface — and that’s the point. Safety covers fit snugly over your pool, creating a visual and physical barrier that can deter impromptu visitors.

In addition to covering your pool when it’s not in use, be sure to clear away pool toys. The pool should look “closed” when you or another adult isn’t around to supervise use.

Lastly, keep a life ring with rope in a secure, nearby location, as well as a shepherd’s hook.

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Winterize A Pool - Jay's Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

How to Winterize a Pool & What Happens If You Don’t

As much as we don’t want to think about this, the Fall season is only days away, and that means Winter is right around the corner. With Summertime winding down, it’s time to start thinking about closing your swimming pool. This article from Realtor.com has important information about how to winterize your pool and what can happen if you don’t.

How to Winterize a Pool & What Happens If You Don’t

To help protect your pool from harsh conditions so you can jump right into the summer fun next year, here’s a handy guide on winterizing it.

When should you winterize?

It all depends on where you live. Homes in sunny Southern California or Arizona probably won’t have to close at all. But if you live where it gets frigid, your pool will need to be winterized before temperatures dip to 32 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent water from freezing. Try to aim to have it shut down in October, or by Thanksgiving at the absolute latest.

If the temperatures unexpectedly plunge to 32 degrees or below before you close, you can run the pool pump for a full 24 hours. As long as the water is moving through the pipes, it won’t freeze.

Clean before you close

Start by removing any debris from the pool. Since the water won’t be filtered or treated chemically during the winter, it’s critical to ensure the water isn’t dirty when you open up the pool in the spring.

Take your skimmer net and remove any leaves. If you leave organic material in the pool for months, it can stain the surface of the pool. Be sure to store equipment like ladders or toys, too.

Next, ensure all of your pool chemicals are in the recommended range for your individual pool. Take a water sample to your local pool store if you don’t already know the recommended ranges.

Lower the water level

Lower the water level about 1 to 6 inches below the skimmer on the side of the pool, with the waterline below the tiles. Why? If the water freezes, the tiles can crack.

However, you don’t want to drain the pool entirely. A swimming pool with little or no water can become unstable due to hydrostatic pressure from underground water.

Treat the water

After you’ve cleaned the pool, consider adding chemicals to help prevent an algae bloom. Since algae eat phosphate, experts suggest adding a phosphate remover treatment and a stain prevention product too.

Winterize the equipment

All of the plumbing needs to winterized, including the pump, heater, filter, and underground pipes. To do this, use a wet-dry vacuum or compressed air to remove water from the line.

Afterward, antifreeze may be placed in the pipes. The equipment should then be plugged to prevent water from getting inside.

With the right tools, winterizing is certainly something a pool owner can handle, but if you don’t feel confident, hire a pool professional.

Add a cover

After you’ve treated the water and winterized the gear, cover the pool. This can help prevent leaves, debris, and even animals from getting in the pool.

One reliable option is a winter pool cover, which is made from a plastic fabric and is held in place by anchors surrounding the pool. These covers do a great job at keeping out dirt, leaves, and other debris. You can also use a tarp cover that’s held down by water bags surrounding the pool, but it could be a drowning hazard.

No matter what cover you choose, it’s a good idea to take a leaf blower and use it to get rid of excess debris on the cover.

Peek during the winter

Peek under the cover once a month to make sure nothing is amiss. Meece also advises pouring about a gallon of chlorine or household bleach in the pool once a month to help prevent bacteria and algae from growing.

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Hot Tub Terms - Jay's Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

Things You Should Know if You Own a Spa

This article comes from The Spruce.

Hot Tub Terms: Things You Should Know if You Own a Spa

Isn’t it about time you got to know your hot tub better? Owning a spa means you’ll need to know the words and terms that accompany it, whether you maintain the tub yourself or hire a professional.

Acid

A dry or liquid chemical that lowers pH when added to water.

Air Switch

A pneumatic-mechanical control device that is used to safely operate spa and hot tub equipment. To operate, a button that is located in or near the water is depressed, sending air pressure along with a hose to an on/off switch.

Alkalinity

The characteristic of water that registers a pH above neutral.

Aluminum Sulfate

An additive for sand filters that helps prevent sand from combining and hardening; thus, not filtering impurities from water.

Bromine

A sanitizer similar to chlorine and one of the original hot tub sanitizers.

Biguanide

A sanitizer which is part of a water treatment system.

Digital Programming

Popular controls used to manage such features as water temperature, filtering cycles, light and even accessories such as stereo and TV.

Fiberglass

A material shaped to form hot tub shells.

Fiber Optics

A lighting system in which light is generated at a remote source and transmitted along fibers.

Filter

A porous, fibrous material in cylinder form that’s called an element. It allows water to pass through while it collects particles, organic matter, oils, lotions and foreign debris that accumulates in hot tub water.

Flow Monitor

Gauges how fast and how much water is flowing.

Flow Rate

The measure of how many gallons per minute pass through a hot tub pump. A better measure of water movement than pump horsepower.

Heater

The method by which hot tub water is warmed electrically. Some custom hot tubs have gas heaters.

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Bugs In Swimming Pool - Jays Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

How to Prevent Water Bugs in a Swimming Pool

This article comes from Home Guides.

How to Prevent Water Bugs in a Swimming Pool

There are few summertime pleasures that beat time spent in the water. Surprise — there is any number of spiders, beetles, and bugs that agree. Even bees can hone in on your swimming pool and invite their buddies to join them. If the sight of bugs sharing your pool isn’t bad enough, some of the culprits actually bite. Convince unwanted swimming pool water bugs, and other insects as well, that your pool is closed for the season. Like any unwanted guest, it takes denying them food and making the place unlivable to them, but ideal for you.

Two Likely Suspects

From ladybugs to caterpillars and every bee, spider, fly or bug between, most any insect can end up in your swimming pool water. After all, it’s outside, in the open, where there are millions of insects both seen and unseen. All of them see your pool as a source of water. But there are a handful of bugs that target your pool specifically. They live, eat, breed and die in your water if allowed. Of these, two are notorious: water boatmen and backswimmers.

The Life of a Water Bug

The aptly named water boatman is only about 1/4 inch long with a thin, grayish-brown body. Long, flattened legs on the rear of his body rapidly propel him through the water where he lives. Usually seen underwater, the water boatman feeds on algae, dead organic matter, mosquito larvae, and other microscopic life. You may almost consider boatmen beneficial, and in fact, they make excellent fish food or bait and are even a delicacy in parts of Mexico. Backswimmers seem to agree. Slightly larger, with beetle-like legs and front mandibles designed to pierce their prey and suck out their insides, backswimmers eat boatmen and other small organisms such as tadpoles. You can always tell a backswimmer by the way he zips, upside down, across your pool surface — and bites you, feeling almost like a bee.

Kicking the Bugs Out

The best way to get rid of water bugs is to eliminate what they eat. Since water boatmen eat algae, and backswimmers eat boatmen, attacking the algae is the place to start. Wiping down the pool walls will eliminate slimy algae growths. Skimming and vacuuming will gather more. Finally, shocking the pool repeatedly or using a double shock treatment — 2 to 3 pounds of calcium hypochlorite for every 10,000 gallons of water — will kill the rest of the algae and likely many bugs, too. Another brush down and vacuum job and thorough skimming and filtration should remove dead algae and bugs. Adding shock during the night prevents the sun from dissipating it too quickly.

Keeping the Bugs Away

After killing the food source, several steps will help keep backswimmers and water boatmen away. An algaecide, used as directed, will inhibit algae growth. Without boatmen, backswimmers — the worst of the lot — have no reason to stay. Using swimming pool covers, spraying invading insects with a soapy water mixture to kill them — and in the case of bees, prevent them from bringing back a crowd — and other tactics will help. The most important thing, however, is to keep your water balanced with proper pH and chlorine levels. A quality pool water test kit used constantly, is essential.

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Hot Tub Vs. Spa - Jay's Precision Pools, Saratoga, NY

Comparing a Hot Tub and Spa

This article comes from The Spruce.

Comparing a Hot Tub and Spa

Like a spa, a hot tub has built-in jets to provide warmth, relaxation, and a massage-effect on people’s muscles and joints. Both are used for therapeutic reasons and socialization. In the early days—the late 1960s and early 1970s—hot tubs were made from wood, including cedar, redwood, cypress, teak, or a composite. In the mid-1970s, the technologically advanced portable acrylic spas were introduced, replacing the wooden tubs in popularity.

Hot Tub, Spa, or Something Else?

Today, the terms hot tub and spa are used interchangeably. Let’s throw in another one: jacuzzi.

Although it’s a company that has been around since the 1950s, when it started making pumps that could be submerged in bathtubs, people often use the word to describe a spa or hot tub, even if it’s another brand. All describe a large tub that is used for relaxation, hydrotherapy, warmth, and entertaining. All are equipped with built-in jets for targeting bathers’ sore muscles.

Basically, there are two types of hot tubs and spas: portable and custom-built or in-ground. Portable models can accommodate anywhere from two to eight or more adults. They can be inflatable latex or vinyl, which are usually less expensive; fiberglass; acrylic; polyethylene; or another type of plastic. Some hot tubs are built in traditional wood or even out of recycled materials, such as metal bins or barrels.

In-ground or custom styles are usually referred to as spas.

They can be attached or adjacent to an in-ground swimming pool and are often placed near each other as a warm-water-and-cold-plunge-type of therapeutic experience. Others are stand-alone hot tubs but set into the ground or custom-built. Some are sturdy portable models (not inflatable) from top manufacturers that are installed to look like they are custom-built in-ground models that can be positioned upon a raised platform, sometimes under a pergola or a gazebo. Others actually are custom-built and constructed of the same materials that pools are made of, such as concrete, fiberglass, or gunite, along with stainless steel, tile, or copper.

The word spa is often associated with a health resort where people stay overnight or longer. Spas or day spas are also commercial establishments where patrons receive aesthetic services, such as deep-tissue massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, salt glows, and other pampering treatments.

The term hot tub is more specific in describing that tub with many strategically placed massaging jets and has experienced a resurgence in usage to distinguish it from a day spa.

Small hot tubs that accommodate two adults and are designed for a more intimate experience measure about three to four feet high by five feet across and hold approximately 500 gallons of water. Larger hot tubs measure around four to five feet high and six feet or more in diameter and are built to accommodate up to eight adults or more. They hold about 850 gallons of water.

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Chlorine in Pools: Is it Safe for Pets?

This article comes from Pet MD.

Chlorine in Pools: Is it Safe for Pets?

As temperatures rise and a hairy creature’s thoughts turn to summer swimming, owners across the country are asking themselves: is it ok for my pet to take a dip in the family pool? As pet owners become more educated and inquisitive about the effects of various chemical exposures in their pet’s day-to-day life, it’s natural for people to wonder if chlorine poisoning is possible in pets. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Chlorine and What Does Chlorine Do?

When added to water, chlorine breaks down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. These chemicals oxidize microorganisms in water by breaking down the cell wall and destroying the structures inside. Without chlorine, pools quickly turn green or even black as algae and bacteria build up in the water.

Is Chlorine Toxic for Dogs and Cats?

Like many chemicals with the potential to be dangerous, the hazards of chlorine exposure are dose-dependent. Pool water contains very dilute levels of chlorine and is unlikely to cause chlorine poisoning in humans or animals. From a risk management standpoint, a pet is more likely to become ill from a dunk in a standing pool of water, or a lake filled with unknown microorganisms such as amoeba, than they are from swimming in a properly maintained pool full of chlorinated water.

Chlorine Tablets: Keeping Your Pets Safe

The biggest risk to both pets and people are related to handling the chlorine in its concentrated form before it is placed in the pool. Chlorine tablets should always be stored in their original containers and kept in a safe place inaccessible to pets and children. Chlorine gas can be dangerous if inhaled, and direct contact with undiluted chlorine can damage skin and eyes. It would be very unusual for a pet to ingest chlorine tablets as the scent is often unappealing to dogs and cats, but proper storage should eliminate the risk of chlorine poisoning entirely.

What Are the Risks of My Pet’s Exposure to Chlorinated Pool Water?

Drinking chlorinated water may cause minor GI irritation, but it should not cause serious issues for pets. Pets who love to gulp water as they paddle should be discouraged. Fortunately, most symptoms related to chlorine are minor. Pets who swim for long periods in chlorinated pool water may exhibit some signs of sensitivity, such as red eyes or itchy skin. Pools with high levels of chlorine may cause irritation to the airways due to the release of chlorine gas, particularly in poorly ventilated areas.

Pets who swim regularly may experience more frequent ear infections. While owners may wonder if this is related to chlorine exposure, recurrent infections are more likely related to damp ears than the chlorine itself. Your veterinarian can recommend a drying solution to use after swimming if your pet is prone to recurrent ear infections.

Other Pool Safety Risks for Pets

When it comes to swimming, the biggest health risk for any pet is drowning. Although people mistakenly assume a dog’s instinctive paddling behavior means all dogs are water-safe, dogs can panic, tire, and drown in any body of water, chlorinated or not. Owners should always supervise pets when swimming, which allows you to spot any minor problems before they become major ones, whether it’s a cough, exhaustion, or red eyes. With a little monitoring and attention to your pet’s behavior, there’s no reason you can’t all enjoy a nice summer dip.

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Plants Near Swimming Pool - Jay's Precision Pools

10 Messy Plants You Don’t Want Near the Pool

This article comes from The Spruce.

10 Messy Plants You Don’t Want Near the Pool

Do you really want a high-maintenance relationship with your swimming pool or spa? The kind that requires you to spend your free time (what’s that?) cleaning out twigs, spent flowers, fruit, and plant debris from nearby poolside landscaping?

On the subject of things to be aware of when selecting poolside plants: find out how far their root systems are likely to spread, so you won’t get roots in your water pipes.

1. Acacia

This evergreen Australian native can be grown as a tree or shrub and has creamy-yellow clusters of flowers that grow along its stems from late winter to summer, depending on where you live. All species of acacia have pods, sap, and are fire resistant. When it’s time for the acacia to release its flower clusters, they spread—all over your yard and into your pool.

If you must have an acacia, plant it in the front yard and hope a mighty wind doesn’t blow around the time of pod and flower drop.

2. Azalea

Azaleas are known as “the royalty of the garden.” Colors range in the pinks, reds, purples and white, and there are approximately 800 species belonging to this large group. The shrub is a favorite of many gardeners for its stunning and often profuse flowers, long bloom time, and long life—some live for decades if treated well.

This is not to say that azalea lovers can’t have their beloved bushes inhabiting the same yard as a swimming pool. Just make sure the plants are in containers or beds that are as far away as possible from the pool. Why? leaf and flower drop.

Azaleas are either evergreen or deciduous. Deciduous azaleas drop all of their leaves in the fall. In dry climates, the plants may shed their leaves earlier than usual. Leaves will then grow back in the spring. In warmer climates or during unusually warm winters, deciduous azaleas may keep some of their leaves through the winter, according to the Azalea Society of America.

3. Bamboo

Nothing says exotic and tropical quite like bamboo, which can grow quickly and spread profusely if you choose the clumping variety. If your backyard has a tropical, Asian, or Japanese garden theme and you’re dead-set on using bamboo, plant it away from the pool to keep leaf litter from blowing into the water.

4. Bottlebrush

Natives to Australia, Callistemon, better known by their common name, bottlebrush, are naturally dense and compact, and make ideal hedges for privacy. Those red bottlebrush-looking flowers are known to shed, and when they do, all those individual red needle-like parts scatter into many pieces. If it’s near your pool or in the same yard, the wind will blow it you-know-where.

5. Bougainvillea

This shrubby, evergreen vine is native to tropical and subtropical South America. Many gardeners are able to control a potential mess by growing bougainvillea in containers on patios or decks, pruning them heavily, then moving them to protected areas during the winter.

Bougainvilleas are known for their vibrant colors, ranging from white to yellow and orange, and from pink to red and purple. However, that fabulous color does not come from the vine’s actual flowers, but from its paper-thin bracts that surround the flower.

Double-flowered varieties tend to look messy because they retain faded blooms for a long time. After that, they lose their bracts, or twice the bracts. If the vigorous growing vine is near your pool, that’s double the number of papery bracts you get to clean out of your pool.

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Pool Skimmer - Jay's Precision Pools, NY

What is a Pool or Spa Skimmer Used For?

This article comes from The Spruce.

What is a Pool or Spa Skimmer Used For?

Think of a pool skimmer in a residential swimming pool like you would a gutter in a larger public swimming pool: it helps to clean by skimming water and capturing floating debris such as leaves, flower petals, dirt, twigs, dead insects, and oil (sunblock)― before the waste can sink to the pool’s bottom.

Most skimmers on in-ground pools are built into its upper sides, where the suction draws debris and traps it. Most pool skimmers are accessed via the pool deck area through a trap door or hatch. The skimmer is also in a convenient location to attach a suction line for a pool vacuum.

Skimmers for In-Ground Pools

A surface skimmer is typically made of plastic (or PVC) or precast concrete and has a tank with a projecting throat on its upper side. The skimming action is performed by the weir, which regulates the amount of water entering the skimmer. Since the weird adjusts to permit only a thin layer of water to spill over, water is pulled off the surface quickly―keeping a large part of the pool surface clear.

One skimmer that is positioned in a good location can keep about 500 square feet of its surface clean. If the debris gathered by the skimmer is left to accumulate, it can put additional strain on the pump. For this reason, among others, the skimmer basket should be cleaned out daily during swim season.

A skimmer must be installed with an equalizer line, which is a pipe that connects from the bottom of the skimmer basket through the pool wall and into the water. The equalizer helps to prevent air from being sucked into the system if evaporation causes the water level to drop below the weir level. Make sure air doesn’t enter the system―it could cause the pump to stall.

Many pool skimmers come equipped with automatic water level controls and automatic chlorinators.

Robotic Pool Skimmers

In recent years, floating and robotic pool skimmers have entered the market and offer an alternative to a stationary model. Operated by batteries or solar power, these automatic skimmers float on the surface of a pool, collecting debris as it moves through the pool.

Adding Chlorine Tablets to a Skimmer

While some pool owners claim that placing those chlorine tablets―known as hockey or chlorine pucks–right in the skimmer basket cuts down on time, many pros advised against this. The high concentration of acid can break down parts of the filter, possibly causing a need for more frequent replacement.

Above-Ground Skimmers

Because above-ground pools have thin walls, floating pool skimmers are most often used, as are units that hang on the pool’s edge. To keep skimmers for above- and in-ground pools working properly, try to clean out the skimmer basket daily during swim season.

Skimmers for Spas and Hot Tubs

Skimmers for redwood hot tubs usually have no basket; instead, skimming the surface and pulling debris to a plastic screen. Some portable spas have skimmers with built-in cartridge filters.

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Spa Safety - Jay's Precision Pools, NY

Spa Safety and Etiquette

This informative article comes from The Spruce.

9 Spa Safety Rules and Etiquette

It’s important to have a few safety guidelines for your friends and family to keep everyone safe and to keep your spa in great condition. Follow these tips:

1. Don’t Use Alcohol or Drugs

Drinking and hot tubbing do not mix. One reason why is that both alcohol and some drugs (prescription and recreational) can cause drowsiness or disorientation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t recommend it, regardless of all those movie scenes depicting characters enjoying a beverage in the hot tub.

2. Wounds, Sores, and Spas

People with open sores or any type of infection should not use a spa. The hot water is the perfect environment for spreading infections, especially if sanitizer levels are not properly maintained. The same goes for rashes and other injuries.

3. Comfortable Water Temperatures

Newer spas have factory-set temperature maximums of 104 F. Most bathers find that 100 F to 102 F degrees is a comfortable and therapeutic level. Higher temperatures can place undue strains on the cardiovascular system. Be sure to accurately monitor the temperature. If you or your guests feel “funny”, lightheaded, or get overheated, step out of the tub.

4. Kids

Parents and caregivers should never – not even for a moment – leave children alone near open bodies of water, such as lakes or swimming pools, nor near water in homes (bathtubs, spas), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Spas and hot tubs are dangerous for young children, who can easily drown or become overheated. Don’t allow young children to use hot tubs, the AAP advises. Parents should learn CPR and keep emergency equipment poolside.

5. Horseplay

In the limited space of a hot tub, there’s no place to contain any horseplay. Someone can easily slip, hit their head, twist an ankle, etc. Don’t jump or dive into a spa or hot tub. Climb in carefully, do not allow anyone to run or play white in or near the spa.

6. Spas and Drain Covers

Every public pool and spa in the United States must be equipped with an anti-entrapment drain cover. Learn pool and spa safety, how to install a compliant drain cover, and regularly maintain your pool and spa.

7. Storms

Never use your spa during extreme weather conditions (i.e. electrical storms, tornados, hurricanes, etc.)

8. Don’t Soak in Hot Tubs Alone

While those rules posted near public spas don’t seem exactly scientific, some just make good sense. If you’ve been drinking, taking meds, have high or low blood pressure, or any other medical condition, it would be wise to wait for a companion to join you for a soak.

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Swimming Pool Covers - Jay's Precision Pools

10 Smart Reasons to Cover a Swimming Pool

This article comes from The Spruce.

10 Smart Reasons to Cover a Swimming Pool

Consider these 10 convincing reasons for finally getting a swimming pool cover.

1. Slows Down or Stops Evaporation

Remember learning about evaporation in an elementary school science class? It’s the process in which a liquid is changed into a vapor, and that’s what happens with your pool water every day it’s not covered.

2. Cuts Down on Chemical Use

Watery red eyes and sneezing are a dead giveaway: pool chemicals can cause reactions ranging from irritation to allergies and asthma. Using a pool cover reduces a pool’s chemical consumption by 35 to 60 percent.

3. Helps the Swimming Pool Retain Heat

Covering a heated swimming pool at night will reduce heat loss. That means warmer water, which is what anyone who has ever swam in a chilly pool can tell you is very important. For a swimming pool that relies on the sun for heat, covering it at night can still make it warm enough to swim in the next day, instead of losing all the heat overnight when the temperatures drop.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive pool cover to notice a difference: lower-cost vinyl and solar covers will still keep the water warm.

4. Keeps Out Leaves, Twigs and Yard Debris

Visualize a pool without a cover. Stuff out of your control blows or falls into your pool: dog toys, dead insects, shedding shrubs and trees, etc. Next, you’ll be out there with a net attached to a telescoping pole, spending your afternoon fishing for random objects. Or, you could use a pool cover and not be chasing down every leaf that lands in your pool. Perhaps have more time to do something like, ummm, swim?

5. Less Maintenance

Do you enjoy vacuuming the swimming pool? Even if you do get an inexplicable thrill from this chore, wouldn’t it be nice to vacuum less often, and for a shorter amount of time? Pool covers make maintaining a pool a whole lot easier.

6. Saves Money

You know how certain things are worth the investment? This is one of those things. Buy a pool cover and experience the savings almost immediately. Heating bills will be lower, you won’t have to buy as many chemicals, use as much water, etc.

7. Cuts Down on Energy Costs

Besides saving money, pool covers can help save energy whether your pool is heated with gas, electricity or solar. Saving energy = saving money. Kind of a win-win situation.

8. Can Help With Safety

Swimming pool covers made of sturdy fiberglass mesh will prevent anyone from falling into the water, provided they are attached and installed properly. Some fiberglass mesh covers can hold up to 400 pounds per square foot. Not surprisingly, these covers are heavy and will need to be used with a manual or automatic track system.

Other covers, like tarps and solar covers, do not provide any safety against falling through and into the water. Be wary of anyone who tries to sell you a tarp or solar cover as a safety cover.

9. Conserves Water

A covered pool conserves water by losing less due to evaporation. This means you won’t be filling up your pool as often as you did when you were cover-less. If you live in a drought area, using less water is the smart way to go.

10. Can Be Easy to Use

If you can afford an automatic track cover that can be operated with the press of a button or a remote control, by all means, step up and save yourself the hassle of wrestling with cover removal. Kind of like something the Jetsons would have used on their boomerang-shaped swimming pool up there in space.

Even if you don’t have the funds for an automatic track cover, the other covers are easy to use.

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