Is There a Right Time to Close the Pool for Winter?

It is possible to close your pool too early for winter, so experts agree that as long as the water is still warm, it’s okay to remain open — even if it is late into fall. Closing a pool too early will decrease the winter protection chemicals’ potency, possibly causing a rough opening in spring. Warm water can also cause algae to bloom, an issue you don’t want to have to deal with in the spring, especially if it’s been growing all winter long! So if you’re having a bit of an Indian Summer, extend the pool season a little bit. It may save you some time and money in the long run.

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Zesty Potato Salad Recipe Perfect for the Pool

Try out this “Super Zesty Potato Salad” recipe from Anne Burrell in Food Network Magazine to give your next meal by the pool a little kick.

INGREDIENTS

For the mayonnaise:

2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
kosher salt
1 1/2 cups neutral-flavored oil (such as vegetable, canola or peanut)

For the salad:

2 1/2 lbs small red bliss potatoes, quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed
kosher salt
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS

To make the mayonnaise: Put the egg yolks in a food processor and add the vinegar, mustard and 1/4 tsp salt. Turn on and very slowly start to drizzle in the oil (drip until the mixture starts to look like mayonnaise, then you can start adding it in a slow, steady stream). If the mayonnaise is too thick, adds a few drops of water; if it is not thick enough, add a little more oil with the motor running.

To make the salad:  Put the potatoes and garlic in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches and season generously with salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until fork-tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat an dstir in the onion, celery and vinegar. Season with salt.

Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl (discard the garlic). Add the bacon-onion mixture to the hot potatoes and stir to incorporate. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise and the mustard and season with salt. Refrigerate until cold.

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Tips for Hot Tub and Pool Energy Consumption

Energy Conservation
Reducing energy consumption is a hot topic these days, and there are ways to manage the use of energy with your pool or spa. Here a few conservation tips to consider from EnergyIdeas Clearinghouse:

Hot Tub Users

° Set the hot tub heater thermostat to maintain 102 degrees F
° Shift hot tub water heating to off-peak times (peak hours include 6 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.)
° Turn down the thermostat when you’re on vacation.
° Reduce pumping cycles
° Use a hard cover that has good insulation
° Add a floating blanket
° Avoid wasting water
° Drain the hot tub only when necessary
° Create windbreaks around the tub
° Buy only energy efficient hot tubs

Pool Users

° Use a cover, chemical cover and safety cover
° Set the pool temperature to 78 degrees F
° Follow the recommended circulation times
° Clean filters only when necessary
° Install energy efficient motors or a smaller pump or motor
° Add a time clock
° Correct any leaks or service problems that occur
° Inspect automatic pool cleaners to make sure they are in peak operating condition
° Have users keep the water in the pool
° Rarely drain pools
° Create windbreaks around the pool

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Find the Best Pools in Las Vegas from Travel and Leisure Magazine

Caesars Palace Poo

Caesars Palace

If you’re able to take a vacation with your spouse this year, and Las Vegas is your destination, be sure to check out what Travel and Leisure magazine has dubbed the coolest pools in the city.

The hotels and their ratings include: The Flamingo (A+), Mandalay Bay (A+), Bellagio (A-), The Mirage (A-), MGM Grand (A-), Tropicana (B+), Caesars Palace (B), Luxor (B-), Treasure Island (C), Excalibur (C), Circus Circus (C), New York, New York (D), The Venetian (D).

For a more detailed explanation, and such details as swimmability and family features, visit http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/lose-your-shirt-the-coolest-pools-in-las-vegas.

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Get your Pool Winterized and Ready to Close for the Season

pool coverYour Labor Day pool party has come and gone and it’s time to think about closing the pool for the season. Winterizing the pool the correct way is key to a successful and problem-free opening in the springtime. There are a number of steps from the professionals at Pentair Water Pool and Spa (www.pentairpool.com/pool-owner/resources/pool-tips winterizing.htm) that you can take to get the pool in tip-top shape for closing:

° Clean out the pool, skimmer and pump basket. Scrub the tile and vacuum it one last time.
°  Balance the water chemistry by adjusting the pH, total alkalinity, calcium and chlorine levels.
° Protect the pool from freezing water, as it can expand and cause serious damage. Drain the water below the skimmer mouth but DO NOT drain the pool.
° Disconnect your pump and filter, make sure all water is drained completely from the pump and store any small plugs in the pump basket to easily find next year. Drain the heater of any standing water by blowing it out with a compressor or shop vac. Remove all return jet fittings and skimmer baskets.
° Clean the filter thoroughly.
° Install a floatation device in the center of the pool under the cover so to balance rainwater and ice that could form on your pool cover.
° Install the winter cover.

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The Importance of being CPR Certified

CPR certificationAre you CPR certified? Get in touch with one of your local facilities that offer certification (American Red Cross, local hospital or the YMCA, just to name a few) or visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org to find where a course is offered in your area, and set up a time when you or everyone in your family can get certified. Take a few minutes to explain to the kids why understanding CPR is important and can be a life saver should the need ever arise.

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Understanding your Hot Tub Options

Pool with jacuzziHot tub

Thinking about buying a hot tub? Understand your options and what is best for you and your house before you buy. There are two types of hot tubs — a portable hot tub or a custom in-ground hot tub.

Portable hot tubs have a variety of styles available in a number of price points. Features that affect the price include the size, material, automation, lighting, jet packs and more. Be sure to do your research on portable tubs because not all options and additions are available on each model.

Custom hot tubs may be more flexible to incorporate exactly what it is you are looking for, but could be costlier because of the construction required to build the tub.

Be sure to research all your options and talk to your local dealer to find out more information. In the meantime, www.poolandspa.com offers this product showcase of all the portable tubs on the market as a great starting point.

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