Bathing In Your Swimming Pool

MSN’s Healthy Living has a post titled the “12 Myths of Summer” which addresses the myth about a dip in the pool substituting for a shower.  So, what’s the word?  Here’s what they say:

“When you’ve spent the day in the sun and don’t have time or access to a shower, taking a dip in a pool should suffice, right? Not really, says Philip M. Tierno, Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at the New York University Langone Medical Center and author of ‘The Secret Life of Germs’ (2003). ‘You would still need a shower even after being in the pool unless you know the chlorine levels are high enough to kill the bacteria; if it’s your own pool it may be fine.’ Showering with soap and water also takes off dead skin cells and bacteria, which you can’t accomplish with a dip in the pool, he adds.”

Provided it’s your own pool, it sounds like it’s better than nothing in a pinch.  Well, as long as you have plenty of perfume, cologne, or interest in smelling like your pool water!

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Scents of Smell

Our sense of smell is often overlooked, but it is powerful enough to easily evoke emotions, give a boost of energy, or awaken vivid memories from long ago.  Here are some fun examples of the power of smells:

  • Freshly cut grass.  Does it bring up imagery of a warm summer day?
  • Peppermint.  This revitalizing scent can enhance physical performance, relieve pain, indigestion, nausea, and headaches.
  • Cinnamon.  Whether cooking on the stove top or soaking in hot cider, cinnamon improves mood and concentration.
  • Fresh flowers.  This cheery fragrance makes people more energetic.
  • Citrus.  Scents from Oranges and Lemons increase oxygen flow, boost energy, and can improve immune function.  Many report associating Lemon with cleanliness, too.
  • Coffee Beans.  Coffee aroma can energize you and counteract stress caused by the lack of sleep.
  • Pine needles.  This energizing scent can release tension, and frequently brings up fond holiday memories.
  • Oatmeal.  This smell is associated with soothing and sedating feelings.
  • Pool Chlorine.  Smells clean and brings up memories of summer fun in backyard and neighborhood swimming pools.

Did we miss a scent that makes you feel a certain way?  Or brings up great memories?  Tell us in the comments!

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Ways To Use Solar Energy In Your Home

If you are thinking “green”, the Houston CBS affiliate has some good ideas for you in a May 16th article titled “Think Green Thursday: Ways To Use Solar Energy In Your Home.”  Here’s PcPools’ favorite part:

“1.Heating Your Pool With Solar Energy Swimming pools provide endless hours of fun in the summer. From pool parties to a great way to stay in shape with morning swims, pools are great assets! The greatest joy is diving into a pool that is warm; there is nothing worse then enduring the wrath of a cold pool. So consider a solar blanket that will warm the water.”

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Letter To The Editor

The Daily Freeman has a May 9th letter to the editor containing a good DIY safety tip for above ground pool owners concerned about animal safety:

For above-ground pools, an easy and inexpensive way to dramatically lower the danger to animals is to place sections of nylon rope along the sides and secure them to the edges. Make sure the knot is at the water’s surface so the animal can latch on to it and climb out. Sufficient rope can be purchase for about $15.

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Lightning Safety Tips: When Lightning Strikes and Thunder Rumbles Go Inside!

According to the National Weather Service, the USA has approximately 54 reported fatal lightning strikes per year averaged over the last 30 years. About 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed, 90% are left with varying degrees of serious injuries.  Because our swimming pool products and supplies are sold to be used outside, PcPools will provide a few tips to help protect our customers from severe weather.

  • Stay indoors. Houses and enclosed buildings are the safest shelters because they have an abundance of grounding paths that electrical currents can follow to reach the ground.  Such paths may include a steel framework, plumbing, able or telephone lines.
  • Avoid using wired appliances during a storm. Stay away from showers, tubs toilets, sinks and electrical boxes since lightning can jump through the air to reach a better grounding path.
  • Avoid damp basement floors or other areas with excessive moisture, which are ground current danger zones.
  • Hardtop vehicles offer better protection than being out in the open.  Roll up the windows, do not use electronics that are plugged in, and do not touch the metal frame including the steering wheel.
  • Stay away from metal fences, railroad tracks, and shorelines which can carry current for long distances.
  • Crackling or popping sounds on an AM radio mean lighting is nearby.
  • If you can not reach shelter, never lie flat on the ground.  Instead, crouch on the ground low and keep your feet close together.
  • If you witness a lighting strike, remember lightning victims are safe to touch-they don’t retain any electrical charge from a strike.
  • To calculate your distance from approaching lightning, count the seconds between a flash of lightning and the accompanying crack of thunder, then divide by five.  For example 10 seconds between lighting and the thunder means two miles.

For more information on lightning safety go to

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Happy Earth Day from PcPools!

Today is Earth Day, a day for awareness and action on behalf of Earth!  Swimming pools, whether an in ground or above ground version, are a wonderful addition to a home’s backyard.  But they also impact the environment; they require water, chemicals, energy, and a wide variety of materials to build and maintain.  So if you’re a pool owner considering your impact and looking for some eco-friendly actions to take to reduce your pool’s effect on the environment, here are five ideas:

1.  Install a Solar Pool Heater.  A solar panel heating system uses free heat from the sun to heat your pool water as it circulates through the panels.  Energy is required to operate the pump to push the water through the panels, but if used when the pump is operating at normal times, it’s a great “GREEN” option for keeping your pool warm.

2.  Use Your Solar blanket.  Also known as a solar cover, a solar pool blanket is a cheap and easy way to obtain cost and energy savings on operating your pool.  Simply laying the solar cover on top of the water helps reduce water and chemical loss as well as increase heat production and retention.

3.  Use Sand Alternatives In Your Filter.  Using sand to filter your pool isn’t the Green movement’s biggest enemy, but there are alternatives like Zeobest™ and VitroClean that use natural or recycled materials to deliver superior results.  These products  may also reduce the need for backwashing, so overall water usage is reduced.

4.  Switch to Salwater.  Installing items like the SolarChlor® Chlorine and Ion Generator to switch to a saltwater maintenance strategy is a great eco-friendly option because chlorinators use natural minerals—salt—to generate chlorine and fight bacteria and other micro-organisms.  Some versions are even solar powered.

5.  Automatic Filtration Timer.  A timing system for your pool’s filtration system is a great way to reduce unnecessary energy usage.   Available in a variety of models, including a solar powered version, programming pre-set times for your pump and filter to run eliminates energy use when it isn’t needed to keep your pool is swimmable condition!

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How to Help Your Pool Weather a Storm

If you live in anywhere in the USA, severe weather can be a major factor in the spring and summer months. Obviously this is prime swimming season.  Most households have a box of storm supplies, candles, dry goods, waterproof matches, flashlight, radio, etc.  But have you thought about what might happen to your above ground or in ground swimming pool? Are you ready with storm season approaching?


#1 (and most important) DO NOT DRAIN YOUR POOL

Yes, you may receive heavy rainfall that could overflow your swimming pool however; a properly built and installed pool should be equipped with overflows or deck drains that will drain excess water. The water in your pool is a protector from the effects of a storm’s flying debris, and emptying the pool can result in permanent structural damage to the shell of your pool. In the case where surrounding structures might be damaged by water overflow, experts recommended only lowering the pool water.

#2 Turn Off Pool Equipment

Use extra care with your electrical parts and automatic pool equipment. Turn off the circuit breaker to the pool equipment (pump, motor, lighting, chlorinators, etc). If possible, cover the pool equipment with plastic tarp and secure with electrical or duct tape.  If flooding is expected, try to disconnect the pool pump and motor.

#3 Remove Outdoor Plants, Pool Toys and Patio Furniture

Try to move all of objects that are not secured to the ground like patio furniture and small backyard or pool toys.  Place as many objects as possible to a secure inside location such as the garage or shed. In a bad storm with high winds these can be like flying missiles catapulted towards your house and cause serious damage. If some items are too heavy to move, make sure to anchor them to something solid with chains, bungee cord, etc. It is NOT recommended placing any of these items into your pool.  This can cause damage to the pool walls or vinyl pool liner.


#1 Remove Debris

Clean out debris from the swimming pool.  Use a large skimmer or net to remove any floating debris and leaves.  Do not use your regular pool cleaner, pool equipment or pool pumps, until the pool water is clear of debris because the debris is likely to clog the plumbing or cause greater damage.

#2 Check the Electrical System

Make sure you inspect your pool pump and motor for any electrical damage and completely dry the equipment before turning the circuit breaker back on. Inspect the wiring to ensure it is properly connected. If you are unsure your pool equipment has water damage, have them inspected by a pool professional.

#3 Re-balance Pool Chemicals

During this time of re-balancing and pool cleaning, do not allow anyone to use the pool. The heavy amount of freshwater rain you may receive will need to be counteracted with stronger pool chemicals. Balance water pH, super chlorinate or “shock” your pool with chlorine, and run the pool filter until the pool water becomes clear.

The process of recovering from sever weather is difficult.  However, with some simple planning it can make the emotional, physical and financial toll easier to handle.  Hopefully these tips will help you bring your swimming pool back to its normal state.

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Filter Your Swimming Pool With Recycled Glass Instead of Sand?

Filtration systems use a variety of different methods to keep swimming pools clean.  There is the classic sand filter, a cartridge filter, and the D.E. filters.  But there are ways to update the classics!  Check out VitroClean.

VitroClean, made from 100% recycled glass, is designed to replace grains of sand as the filtration media in a standard sand filter system.  The glass is crushed, heated, and dried to form grains of glass with angular shapes and a high degree of sphericity.  This allows the filter beds to have more open packing, so there is greater surface area of the media actually filtering the pool water.

The glass media also has the advantage over sand because of how smooth it is—i.e. no grain boundaries—so bacteria is less resistant to flushing during backwashing.  The glass also has a slight negative charge which improves its ability to “hold” fine particles throughout the filtration cycle.

If you’re a pool or spa owner interested in a “green” alternative to sand for your sand pool filter, consider VitroClean.  It can even be used to improve the performance of your current stock of sand by mixing the two together.

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A swimming pool can be the fountain of youth!

A great article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “95 and still in the swim of things“, profiles the 95 year old Fran Bell, who swims 3 times a week to stay in shape.

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The Internet Ten Years Later

Here’s a great link from on the last ten years of the internet (click the image to view their original post). was founded in 2000 and has seen these big changes firsthand!


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