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The Truth About Above Ground Pools February 12, 2010

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Automatic pool cleaner, Heat pump, Heaters, liners, Out door living, Pool Deck.
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Over the years, the above ground pool has developed a less than stellar reputation. Seeing a neighbor’s older model pool, neglected and left to rust and corrode in the back yard, has left a bad taste in the mouths of people who would otherwise consider an above ground pool.

What people don’t realize is that above-ground pools just aren’t the same as they used to be. Nowadays, they’re made to last, taking advantage of technological and material advances. And with a little care and maintenance, they can be just as functional and enjoyable as their much more expensive in – ground counterparts.

Have you heard (or had) any of the following above – ground pool myths?

I’m thinking of getting a pool, and an above ground pool fits my budget nicely. But, I’ve seen above ground pool in the past that just looked junky, no matter how new they were. Is this still the case?

Above ground pools have changed enormously over the past few years, with manufacturers making a real effort to make pools more attractive, sturdier, longer lasting, and customizable. Above ground pools started out looking like oversized tin cans – and unfortunately, that’s how people have thought of them ever since.

The materials that manufacturers use now are completely different from materials used in the past, general pool design has improved, and the above – ground pool accessory market gives you a variety of choices. For example, you can now choose from a wide selection of contemporary colors and designs, printed liners and even tile borders.

I’ve heard the above ground pools don’t last that long.

Unlike above ground pools of the past that were made from cheaper materials and had a very stiff metallic look, most modernized above ground pools have been completely remodeled and are now made from a blow molded resin based product. Using a resin product for above-ground pools is something that started in the 1990’s and makes the pools much more durable. Admittedly, not every manufacturer is using resin, but even these manufacturers have taken extra measures to give their pools a longer life and better design. Need to mention the improvement in anti-corrosive coatings used on steel pools which makes rusting a concern of the past.

A friend warned me that the circulation and filtering systems in above-ground pools are awful! Is it true?

Well, times have changed…and with more horsepower and bigger filters, cleaning of above ground pools is now easier and more effective than ever. Because the filters are so much better, above ground pools actually use fewer chemicals. And if you want your above ground pool super duper clean, you can actually opt for an add-on cleaning package like an above ground in line pool chlorinator.

Aren’t above ground pools a pain to clean?

No, not at all! Unlike paddling or kiddie pools, they come with serious filters & pumps with serious horsepower that do serious work. With above ground pools, maintenance and cleaning is a breeze.

How deep can an above ground pool be?

Above ground pools vary in depth, with some above – ground pools seeming ‘deeper’ because they have a higher wall.  Pool wall depth’s come in 48″, 52″, and 54″.  You can also ‘dish’ out your pool floor, utilizing an expandable pool liner to get a depth up to 72″.

But what if I want to heat it?

This has got to be one of our favorite things about above-ground pools. Instead of using a heater, or simply giving up on using the pool in September, you can actually get a solar pool heater and solar cover that efficiently attract the free heat of the sun  keeping your pool warm, happy and inviting. Of course conventional gas and propane heaters are also available.

I want a pool, but I have a very small backyard, and I don’t think a regular round above ground pool will fit.

Congratulations…it’s your lucky day! Not only have manufacturers taken extra steps to make above ground pools longer lasting and better looking; they’ve also taken people just like you into consideration. Above ground pools now come in a plethora of sizes leaving you with a wide variety of options. Even a small backyard can have an above ground pool.

I want an above ground pool, but my kids are obsessed with getting a pool slide – Is this possible?

The really cool thing about above ground pools is all the features that you can add on; cool designs, interesting lighting and yes, even pool slides. Now, that doesn’t mean that all above grounders can have slides or that all slides can work for above  grounders. You have to make sure that you seek out a pool that will work with a slide. But have no fear, there are many to choose from so that you and the kids will be happy.

If I get an above ground pool I want it to look as much like an in-ground as possible, and I want to it to be very safe.

You can have the best of both worlds. Above ground pools can be made safer and more attractive by building a deck around them. The deck makes everything from cleaning to covering more easy, and provides a larger pool area to enjoy. So if you’ve been thinking about getting a deck to surround your pool, you now have a great excuse!

If that wasn’t enough to tickle your fancy, you’ll be glad to know that you can choose pool liners that just look like (if not better than) in-ground pools liners. You can actually get beaded liners that resemble a mosaic borders, overlap liners and more. It’s easy to choose above ground pool accessories and add-ons that will make your pool more attractive, comfortable and enjoyable.

Have you heard something about above ground pools, but want to make sure you’re getting the straight scoop? Be sure to check out our full tips section or e-mail us with your questions at customerservice@pcpools.com, and we’ll be glad to feature them for an upcoming article.


Helping Your Pool Weather a Storm November 17, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Back yard, In ground pool, Out door living, Patio, safety, safety covers, Shock, winter covers.
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Your pool is an investment. With regular care and maintenance, it’s a source of backyard fun for years to come. But what if you live in an area that faces strong lines of thunderstorms or even hurricane threats? Is there anything you can do to help safeguard your investment? There certainly is. Read more in our Storm FAQs below.

They’re forecasting a hurricane/terrible storms where I live. What, if anything, should I do about my pool?

It’s very important to do what you can before the storm arrives. Start by removing the debris from the pool – anticipate that you may lose power and get anything out the pool that could ‘spoil’ after a few days without the electricity-powered filter.

After removing any debris, don’t forget to chlorinate the pool, ensuring that you circulate the chlorine properly. If you anticipate that the power may be out for a while, consider adding a floating chlorinator to the pool to deliver a low, constant chlorine dose.

If you don’t have ample enclosed outdoor space (like a pool house or shed) you can store some of your pool-related items, including aluminum furniture, in your pool. See below for more specifics on this.

Make sure you turn off any electrical connections to the pool, then cover it. After all… you just got it nice and clean – why leave it wide open for the debris, leaves, sticks and bugs that may be getting tossed around in hurricane-force winds? This is the time that most owners wish they’d purchased a slightly higher quality pool cover — in addition to a cover being sturdier and more reliable, most of the mid- to high-end covers can be properly installed and fastened within 10 minutes—great for situations like this, where time is of the essence.

Remember, doing ‘something’ to protect your pool is always better than doing nothing at all. After making sure that family and loved ones are safe, do the best you can.

Somehow, the power has managed to stay on during this storm. Should I let the filters run?

To avoid potential damage to the filtering system (and to yourself, running out in the middle of a storm!) it’s better to leave the filters turned off until the storm has passed. As long as the pool has been cleaned prior to the storm, the post-storm cleanup shouldn’t be that bad — and even a potentially dirty pool is no reason to put yourself in harm’s way.

What about sinking all the outdoor stuff in the pool? I’ve heard you can do that.

Contrary to popular belief, submerging everything in your pool isn’t always the best advice. Some things CAN be placed in the pool, but it’s best to check with your pool manufacturer to know what’s safe to sink, and what isn’t.

One good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, ‘Would the chlorine damage it?’ before sinking something to the pool floor. The plastic white stacking chairs pass the test (as does your aluminum furniture), while something like a canvas and wood umbrella wouldn’t. If you can’t sink it, make sure to remove it from the outdoor area and bring it inside somewhere – otherwise, you’re chancing a grill or a kid’s toy turning into a dangerous projectile, capable of causing all kinds of damage during heavy winds.

The storm has knocked out our water, too; can we use the pool for drinking water?

It’s definitely okay to use pool water to flush the toilet during an emergency, but most experts agree that pool water isn’t suitable for drinking, cooking, or even shaving. The type of chlorine used in pools just isn’t made for human consumption.

If you’re reading this article, you probably haven’t run out of power or water yet! So take a moment now to either bottle your own water, (which can last up to six months if bottled properly, e.g. tightly sealed, and in light filled spaces) or add bottled water to your grocery list. Having a supply of bottled water on hand in case of any emergency is always a good idea.

The storm is over – What can I do while I’m waiting for the electricity to be turned back on or the professional pool help to arrive?

We’ll give you one guess. You’re right! Get all the junk out of the pool. Use your regular pool cleaning tools to get out any debris that may have entered the pool during the storm.
Don’t forget to clean the filters — a storm produces more debris that usual in your pool… and your filters weren’t really designed for such a major mess. Clean up what you can with a net, and if you have to get in the pool to get debris out, make sure that you wear shoes.

After you’ve cleaned, super-chlorinate the pool and circulate continuously until the water’s color looks close to normal. Keep the water “shocked” until power or help arrives, but don’t let people or pets in the pool while it’s in this state.

Nitro Wall Scrubber August 13, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Automatic pool cleaner, chemicals, In ground pool, Pool.
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Featured Product – Nitro Wall Scrubber

  • Cleans and scrubs floors, walls, waterline and steps
  • Intelligent navigation – does not require walls to change direction
  • Revolutionary robotic design enabling a wider cleaning swath for 50% faster cleaning coverage
  • Dual Direct-Drive motors for greater traction and pin-point navigation
  • Quad-port brush-to-port suction for thorough vacuuming of acorns, leaves and fine debris
  • Gel-Pro brushes – gentle enough for vinyl and fiberglass pools, rugged enough for concrete pools
  • Quick-drain system for Easy-lift removal from pool; weighs only 10 lbs.
  • 60′ super-cord with kink-resistant technology
  • Super capacity filter bag – Biggest in industry
  • Eco-friendly; uses 70% less energy than other cleaners
  • Consumer or dealer DIY serviceability
  • ETL, CSA and CE approved; manufactured in an ISO 9000 facility
  • 2-yr limited warranty
  • Works on in-ground pools UP TO 20’x40′ in size and up to 10′ deep!

Click here to view more product details at the interactive website.

Guide to New Pool Start-Up June 16, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Algeacides, chemicals, pH Balance, Sanitizers, Shock, Winterizing.
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As the owner of a swimming pool you want beautiful clear blue water without the hassles. PcPools.com offers a complete line of high quality chemical products that will simplify pool care and make your pool water sparkle. PcPools.com has the information you need to keep your pool water clean from spring start-up to winter closing.

PcPools.com offers complete easy to use New Pool Start-Up Kits. These pool chemical kits are formulated with just the right amount of chemicals to set your pool up quickly and easily.

Easy Pool Care Guide for Pool Maintenance

Now that your pool is up and running, follow our Easy Pool Care process to ensure clear, brilliant pool water.

Need Help or Advice?

This guide is designed to educate you about PcPools.com programs and some of the products we carry. In the event of pool water questions or problems please contact us at 1-877-727-6657 for expert advice and simple solutions.

Sticks & Spice Poolside Grilling Party June 2, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Back yard, In ground pool, Out door living, Patio, Pool.
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Great recipe idea for a summer pool party – Sticks & Spice Poolside Grilling Party

Shared via AddThis
Do you have any ideas for a summer pool party – let us know

Raypak Heater Information June 2, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Heaters, Spa.
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Where can I buy parts for my Raypak heater?

Raypak sells its products through distribution. Raypak does not sell parts directly via the Internet. If you’re having difficulties locating parts, Raypak has a few sources you may consider for parts and pricing listed below.

Commercial Parts

Commercial Pool Parts

Parts Depot

Manufacturer’s Referral Service


Where can I obtain service in my area?

Raypak does have warranty service information listed out on the website. There is a service locator for Gas Fired or electric units, just key in your zip code.

How do I winterize my heater?

Heaters that are installed in a freezing climate and are shut down for the winter, please observe the following procedures;

1. Turn gas valve and manual gas valve off. Turn off electrical supply to the heater (applies only to electronic ignition heaters).

2. Open the drain plug located in the inlet/outlet header, (under water pipes at the inlet/outlet header).

3. Remove the heat exchanger inspection panel on the side opposite water piping to gain access to the drain plug on the return header. Open the drain plug on return header.

4. For heaters made before 1998, with a Pressure Switch Tube Assembly, (copper tube), You will need to disconnect the pressure switch at the header connection. For heaters made after 1998, there is no need to disconnect the Pressure switch.

How do I know the date of manufacture or model of my heater?

The heater’s model and serial numbers are located on the rating plate found on the inside of the unit. To locate the rating plate, first loosen the door screw. Remove the door(s), pull up and out. The rating plate will be either a gold or silver color with the Raypak logo. The serial number will have 10 digits. The date code is found in the first four digits of the serial number, for example, a unit made in April of 2001 will have the first four digits read as 0104.

The model number will have both numbers and letters, such as: PR-335B-EN

How can I convert my heater from Natural gas to propane?

Most Raypak swimming pool and spa heaters can be converted from one gas type to another, by simply purchasing a conversion kit listed in the Illustrated Parts List for that unit. Some complications may apply if your heater is equipped with electronic ignition. Please contact the factory, or your local Raypak Representative for more details. Conversions should be performed only by an “Experienced Gas Professional”.

Many states now also require a specific license to work on gas appliances. Check with your local utility provider for details.

What is the efficiency of my heater?

Raypak’s pool and spa heaters run at about 81 to 83 % Thermal Efficiency, (the amount of energy that actually heats the water). Raypak’s residential appliances have the highest efficiency that we can provide without creating rapid wear from the corrosive effects of condensation.

Pool products that have efficiencies in excess of 95% are also available from Raypak. These products are available through our commercial pool distributors. These are commercial grade appliances, and are not normally found on residential applications. High efficiency heaters are much more expensive than typical residential heaters, like the Raypak RP2100 series of heaters.

Where can I obtain a wiring diagram for my heater?

First look in your installation and operation manual. All our manuals have the diagrams for millivolt, and electronic ignition published within them. These are available for download in our document library.

Specialized wiring diagrams for wiring heaters to draft inducers, or other control devices are readily available from either the tech support group or the applications engineers. Contact the factory at 805-278-5300 for more information. Be prepared to have the exact model number and serial number with you when you call or Email the factory.

Guide to Spring Start-Up May 12, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Algeacides, chemicals, pH Balance, pool filter, pool pump, Sanitizers, Shock, winter covers.
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As the owner of a swimming pool you want beautiful clear blue water without the hassles. PcPools.com easy 4-step Start-Up Program will give you simple step-by-step instructions that will insure crystal clear water. PcPools.com offers the highest quality chemicals that are free of contaminates. We also offer full lines of products, which means you don’t have to mix and match, insuring superior performance and a clean, clear pool.

Spring Start Up Steps

  1. Remove your Pool Cover
    1. If you use a solid cover, drain the water off the cover.
    2. Clean Cover Thoroughly and let it dry in the sun before storing it. (This will prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from growing which could damage your cover and you might end up transferring it to your pool.
    3. Remove any debris, leaves, twigs and sticks that may have gotten into your pool water.
  2. Fill your pool
    1. Add enough water to bring the water level to the middle of the skimmers.
  3. Check your pool’s equipment
    1. Make sure the main drain and inlets are open
    2. Make sure that the pump and skimmer basket are in place and free of debris
    3. Start your pump and filter system. Your pump and filter system are the heart of your pool maintenance program. This system keeps your pool water clear and clean.
    4. If you did not clean you filter before you closed you pool do so now.
    5. PcPools offers filter cleaners that remove the build-up of grease, oil and scale in your filter allowing it to operate effectively, efficiently which will extend the filters life (and save you money).
  4. Test your water
    1. Start your pool and let it run for 24 hours before taking a water sample.
    2. Take your sample from at least one foot below the surface.
    3. Using your test kit or test strips, test the water for free chlorine, pH and total alkalinity.
    4. Using your results refer to the following chart to bring your pool up the ideal range.If any of these levels are not in their proper range, PcPools.com offers the proper chemicals to being them into balance.

Spring Start-Up Kits

PcPools.com offers complete easy to use Spring Start-Up Kits. These kits are formulated with just the right amount of chemicals to get your pool ready for swimming and summer fun.

Easy Pool Care Guide for Pool Maintenance

Now that your pool is up and running, follow our Easy Pool Care process to ensure clear, brilliant water.

Need Help or Advice?

This guide is designed to educate you about PcPools.com programs and some of the products we carry. In the event of pool water questions or problems please contact us at customerservice@pcpools.com for expert advice and simple solutions.

Guide to Easy Pool Care March 19, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Algeacides, chemicals, In ground pool, pH Balance, pool pump, Sanitizers, Shock, Winterizing.

PcPools.com has this Easy Pool Care™ Program to keep your pool water crystal clear in a snap. Just 4 easy steps and you’ll be ready for summer fun! For best results, make sure to have a good water flow through the skimmers (or chlorinator, if installed). Operate your pump and filter 10 or more hours per day.

Step 1 – pH Balance

It is vital that proper pH is maintains in your pool at all times. If the pH is outside 7.2 to 7.6 it will greatly reduce the effectiveness of pool chemicals. Test your Ph level are lease three (3) times a week. You will want to use a pH reducer or a pH increaser to being the pH into the proper range, if you are finding it difficult to maintain your pH, check you total alkalinity and be sure it is in the ideal range. Adjust total alkalinity levels accordingly.

Step 2 – Sanitize

Sanitizing tablets are the most efficient sanitizer to use in your pool. Pcpools.com offers several varieties. Compressed 3” tablets are designed to dissolve slowly and steadily release free chlorine into your water to wipe out bacteria and keep your water clean. Look for tablets that are stabilized to protect them from the suns damaging rays, making them last longer and work more effectively. Always keep 3” tablets in your skimmer, floater or automatic feeder to continue sanitizing. PcPools.com offers stabilized chlorinated granules and sticks in convenient sizes.

Step 3 – Shock

As debris builds up in the water (such as perspiration, urine, suntan oil and hair products) they can cause eye and skin irritation and dull water. These contaminants tie up chlorine, keeping it from effectively sanitizing the water.

You can try BLAST-OUT® or CHLOR-BURST® once a week to oxidize the contaminants, freeing up the chlorine and keeping your water crystal clear. Regular shock treatments will also kill resistant algae in the water.

Most of our quality shock products will not affect the pH or the calcium hardness making them ideal for hard water areas.

For pool owners that would prefer a non-chlorine shock after opening their pool, there is chlorine-free shock chemicals

Step 4 – Algae Control

The best way to combat algae is to never let it get started. PcPools.com offers several algaecides that are concentrated and low foaming. Remember it is best to stay with one brand of chemicals for the best results.

Chemical Kits

Choose only the chemicals you need to maintain your pool or select one of our easy to use kits. Each kit has all of the chemicals you need for:

That’s all there is for Easy Pool Care. Because pools are for fun…not work!

Step 1- Balance – Step 2- Sanitize – Step 3- Shock – Step 4- Algae Control

Need Help or Advice?

This guide is designed to educate you about PcPools.com programs and some of the products we carry. In the event of pool water questions or problems please contact us at 1-877-727-6657 for expert advice and simple solutions.

Five Steps guide to installing an above ground pool February 26, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Back yard, Pool, safety.
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1. Plan your installation before you begin
Make sure your installation meets all municipal regulations and local codes related to above ground pool installations. Be sure to check the local laws regarding construction and electrical installations, and make sure your pool is installed to conform to all security regulations related to pool fencing and pool covers.  Better above ground pool manufacturers are providing an installation DVD with the purchase of an above ground pool. This is a great way to get an over view of the entire installation process. However, there is no replacement for thoroughly reading the installation instructions to insure that installation goes smoothly.

2. Check for necessary parts
Make sure you have all of the necessary parts and equipment to assemble and install your above ground pool. Check the manufacturers’ parts list against the parts received. If you find irregularities such as missing or defective parts, see your pool dealer for replacement parts. A reputable online pool dealer will have parts available to send out quickly.

3. Remove Sod and any weed growth
You must remove all sod from your pool site to prevent grass from rotting and emitting odors around your pool and to inhibit weeds from growing through your vinyl pool liner. Choose the best firm ground for your pool.  Strongly consider using a pool liner pad like gorilla pad to inhibit weed growth and provide more comfort to you pool floor.

4. Level the Ground
It is very important that the ground surface is firm and solid. The pool area must be free of rocks, roots, or other sharp edged objects. Avoid installing your pool on surfaces that have been treated with oil, weed-killer or chemical products which may affect the vinyl pool liner among other things.  After the ground is level use a sand or finely crushed rock for a base.

The entire pool floor surface must be completely leveled when preparing your site. DO NOT FILL LOWER GROUND AREA. Remove all high spots and level to the lowest point. Do not add any soil to the site. Added soil will generally not provide the strength required to support the weight of the pool. Even if your yard looks level, chances are it is not as almost every yard requires some degree of leveling prior to installing your above ground pool.

5. Assemble your Pool
Once the ground is level, follow the installation instructions provided by the above ground pool manufacture.

Safety is number one when installing a pool, and with these directions, you can get a leg up when it comes to installation.

10 Steps to Get Children Swimming January 5, 2009

Posted by Pcpools Above Ground Pools in Above Ground Pool, Back yard, In ground pool, Pool, safety.

Few activities provide more summertime enjoyment than swimming in a back yard pool. There is no better way to cool down on a hot summer day than a cool dip in a swimming pool. However, we also recognize that playing around any body of water can be dangerous especially for younger non-swimmers. Studies have shown that the earlier in life kids begin the easier it is to teach them to swim. Three to five years of age is the best time to begin swimming lessons. With summer around the corner, PcPools would like to encourage parents to teach their children to swim with these 10 tips.

  1. Take lessons from certified swimming instructors. Do not teach the child yourself. Get lessons at the YMCA or a city pool or community recreation center.
  2. Choose the right teacher. You can rely on most certified swimming instructors to be competent but it never hurts to interview them. Ask them where they were trained, how long they have been teaching and their approach. Try and choose an instructor that best fits their child’s personality. Make sure that all kids above the age of 4 attend a certified swimming class or at least learn basic flotation techniques.
  3. Start Early. The sooner the child starts the more comfortable they will be in an around the water. Many YMCAs and recreational city pools offer parent-tot classes beginning as early as 6 months of age. Individual lessons generally start around age 3.
  4. Make sure the child is well rested. Studies demonstrate that children who are well rested are more apt to learn than if they are tired and stressed. Make sure your child behaves appropriately. What they learn in swimming class may very well save their life.
  5. Expose children to water early. Obviously under strict supervision, expose your child to pools, beaches, lakes and let them enjoy themselves around the water. The more experience they have with water the more comfortable they will become.
  6. Practice swimming year around. Just like everything else, a child’s skill levels drop when they are not doing the activity. Try and find a pool open in the winter to polish their swimming skills they learned. The more they swim the better they become.
  7. Be a good role model. Be a safe swimmer yourself. If parents are fearful or careless around water their children will pick up on those traits. If you are not a strong swimmer yourself, enroll in swimming lessons along side your child.
  8. Explain the benefits of swimming. Tell your child why learning to swim is important. Swimming is good physical exercise, it can be a lifesaver and it is a whole lot of fun.
  9. Be knowledgeable to help with common mistakes. A parent should strive to know enough about swimming to gently point out common mistakes that young swimmers make. You do not want to have bad habits reinforced away from the watchful eye of a swimming instructor.
  10. Reward success. Find a reward system that works for you child when they achieve certain swimming goals.

Learning to swim is never a substitute for watching what your kids are up to in and around the pool and always supervise their pool activities. Never leave them alone around the pool even for one second.