Sunset Pools and Spas

Holiday Pool Gifts to Surprise Your Family This Year

In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, there is nothing that Clark Griswold wants more for his family than a brand new swimming pool, something he plans on purchasing with a big holiday bonus check that, in a comedic twist, never comes. While this classic holiday film proves that there is no family gift more exciting than a pool, those that already have the pool may want to add some of the accoutrements of a more lavish and relaxing swimming experience.

Five Holiday Gifts for the Swimming Pool

If you are looking for some slick ways to supplement your own pool situation this holiday season, consider some of the following gift ideas courtesy of Sunset Pools & Spas:

Flotation Devices

Chances are good you’ve got some floaty noodles available for your pool and perhaps an inflatable raft or two, but there are so many other fantastic options for flotation devices out there to improve the way you and your family bask in the sunlight. For example, there’s a four-seater floatation device with drink holders for a more social swim, or fabric-covered chairs, or even devices shaped like all kinds of animals and objects. It can add a lot of fun and relaxation to a pool just based on the types of flotation devices you keep.

Sea-Saw Rocker

Sometimes flotation devices move beyond relaxation and head into the realm of pure, unadulterated fun. The Sea-Saw Rocker allows two people (most likely kids) to literally see-saw in the water. It’s a reasonably affordable addition that helps your children have even more fun playing in the water.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Everybody knows that music enhances the outdoor pool experience, especially in the warmer months, so investing in some kind of speaker system for the pool area is an excellent idea for a holiday gift. In fact, there are plenty of moveable Bluetooth speakers that hook up easily to a smartphone to stream whatever tunes you may prefer. Make sure these speakers are waterproof, though. Anything else around the pool would be folly!

Underwater Light Show

There actually are a number of incredibly easy-to-install light shows available for pools these days, as well. They come in easy-to-install packages and really jazz up the evening aesthetic of a swimming pool. They either can create a static, ambient vibe, or something a lot more colorful and dynamic. Either way, these lights can completely transform the way a pool looks at night.

Towel Tree

One of the biggest inconveniences of summer is trying to find a place for all those wet towels. Adding a towel tree or two creates an easy solution to that problem, and since they are portable it’s easy to place the towel trees wherever it’s most convenient for those in need of a spot to lay a sopping towel.

There are so many ways to make the holiday season memorable with or without a Clark-Griswold-sized holiday bonus. Your family and your swimming pool deserve the best the holiday season can offer, and these suggestions for holiday gifts are a great place to start when considering what pool items to purchase this winter.


Top Tips for End-of-Season Swimming Pool Maintenance

There never is any easy way to bid farewell to the warm months of summer, and closing up the pool for the season signifies that it’s time to start planning for the autumn and winter holidays. Prepping a pool for for the colder months is necessary by early autumn and thankfully it is not all that challenging to do. Doing it right, though, is essential to making sure the pool stays in great shape for next season.

Six Things To Do Before Closing Your Pool for the Season

Knowing all this, here are six pool maintenance items owners can do to ensure their pools get closed up correctly for the season:

Order Pool Closing Supplies

One of the most important aspects of swimming pool maintenance is making sure you have everything you need to close the pool. A week or two before closing, take stock of your pool parts and if anything is missing, make sure you visit us here at Sunset Pools & Spas to get a hold of replacement parts, including everything from brass anchors to water bags to winter pool plugs.

Balance the Water

In order to prepare the pool for closing, you’ll need to get the pH alkalinity and calcium hardness levels balanced and properly aligned. It’s no different from all the other chemical work you do all season, but you can’t close a pool that isn’t pH balanced.

Add Stain and Scale Prevention

After brushing the stains out of your pool in the days before closing, add stain prevention and scale prevention products to ensure that none of those trouble areas return. If stains sit all winter, they will be even harder to remove.

Use Chlorine Shock

One particularly useful thing to do before covering the pool is to add a chlorine shock to kill any bacteria or algae that may still be lurking in the water. It’s important to make sure the pool gets brushed and vacuumed thoroughly after applying this treatment.

Apply the Cover

Once all that’s done, you can go ahead and pull the cover over the water. Considering how heavy those covers can be, however, it might not be a bad idea to enlist some help so you aren’t left hauling that heavy tarp all by yourself.

Finish With Non-Chlorine Shock and Algaecide

On the day you are ready to finally close the pool and walk away from it for a few months, add a non-chlorine shock to oxidize the water one last time. Then, pour your algaecide into the pool last to keep the water from turning green over the winter. After that last crucial step, you will be all done for the season!
If you are able to take care of these six things, your pool will be safe through the winter and should cause very few, if any, headaches when the time comes to open the pool up again next summer. As always, if you need any help or supplies for this process, reach out to someone here at Sunset Pools & Spas and we will be happy to help you close up for the season. It is not hard work, just diligent work, but it can make all the difference in the world for the long-term health of your pool.


Salt Water Pool vs. Chlorine Pool: An Honest Comparison

Anybody that’s owned a pool knows that it can be difficult to choose between a salt water pool or a chlorine pool. There are pros and cons to each, and while either will do on a hot summer day, filling your own pool for the season requires that you make a decision. So which is the right way to go? That depends entirely on your preferences and values as a pool owner. Here’s a rundown of what each option has to offer.

Salt Water Pools

Benefits of Salt Water Pools

In our experience here at Sunset Pools & Spas, people who prefer salt water pools love that the chlorine levels are so much lower, which means their skin doesn’t dry out as quickly and the smell of chemicals washes off much more easily in a post-swim shower.

Also, depending on how long you plan on keeping the pool, it could prove to be more cost-efficient over time. Salt water pools work because salt water generators use chemical electrolysis to minimize chlorine in the pool, and while those generators require a higher up-front cost, they can be more cost efficient than constantly buying chemicals over the years.

Salt water pools stay cleaner, as well, in large part because those generators run so often to keep them that way, but they are much easier to clean as a result.

Potential Drawbacks of Salt Water Pools

The up-front cost of a salt water generator is, admittedly, much pricier than the chemicals you’d use in a chlorine pool, to say nothing of the utility costs that come with running a generator for up to 12 hours a day during pool season.

Furthermore, the salt can be corrosive to certain pool liners and pool lights, but those issues can be avoided simply by purchasing liners and lights in the first place that are designed specifically for salt water pools.

Chlorine Pools

Benefits of Chlorine Pools

First and foremost, chlorine pools are more inexpensive, especially from the outset, not only in terms of not having to purchase the aforementioned generator, but also in terms of energy savings. Saving money, frankly, would be the strongest argument for going with a chlorine pool.

Potential Drawbacks of Chlorine Pools

Consequently, keeping chlorine pools clean is not as easy as salt water pools. The pH balance of a chlorine pool can go wonky with little warning, which means it takes a lot more effort and diligence to make sure the water doesn’t go green and the filters don’t get clogged up with algae.

Furthermore, excess chlorine can seriously dry out a swimmer’s skin and hair, while also occasionally causing some eye irritation. This is because there are more chemicals in the pool water, which works for keeping the water safe to use, but doesn’t always do hair and skin many favors.

Contact a Swimming Pool Expert

Whichever type of pool you ultimately decide to choose for your home, we are happy to get you all set up here at Sunset Pools & Spas. Both chlorine pools and salt water pools will cool you off on the hottest days of the year, but the decision as to which works best for you is entirely up to your budget and lifestyle!