• A Spa Is Not A Tiny Swimming Pool

    by Scott Webb September 2005

    Water is water — two small atoms of hydrogen clinging to a single large oxygen atom. The formula is the same for both pool water and spa water. But when it comes to the chemistry and care of pool and spa water, you might as well be comparing apples and . . . pears.

    The two are related, of course. Both become contaminated during normal use. Both typically use...

  • Fine Redesign

    by Karen Erstad August 2005

    Since the Internet is quickly becoming the Yellow Pages of the 21st century, it may be time to invest some serious dollars in your Web site. Instead of hiring your cousin's friend's 14-year-old who does some Web work on weekends, you may want to hire a professional Web site designer. But how do you choose the person who will create this all-important Web presence? And...

  • Energize Your Ads

    by Phillip M. Perry August 2005

    "It pays to advertise." No one disputes that old chestnut. Even so, it's all too easy to place an ad and wait for throngs of new customers to crowd your store . . . only to be disappointed when your registers don't ring a merry tune.

    Fact is, some ads work and some don't. How can you improve the odds that your ads end up in the first group. Use these...

  • Winter Wise

    by Barrett Kilmer August 2005

    As September nears, thoughts turn from summer's lazy, hazy days to Labor Day picnics, back-to-school sales and fall foliage. For pool pros in northern regions, images of snow-laden pool covers also creep into the consciousness, in spite of the still-warm weather.

    This foresight is something of a mixed blessing. While it mutes one's enjoyment of the latter part of...

  • Filter Refresher

    by Barrett Kilmer July 2005

    With prices of steel, petroleum-based products, chemicals and energy skyrocketing, pool and spa owners are being asked to pay a little more for their backyard oases lately. And the problem is bound to get worse before it gets better.

    Dealers and service professionals have two options: They can ignore the problems and hope, in vain, that they go away. Or they can...

  • Puzzle Me This

    by Scott Webb July 2005

    When homeowners buy backyard pools, what they're really buying is water; and not dull, cloudy water, but clear, sparkling water that pleads for a swim. That's what the customers pay for.

    Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for pool owners to complain that their water lacks the transparency it once had. They've tried everything, they say — a bottle of this, a jug...

  • Pool Cover Pateontology

    by Scott Webb June 2005

    Somewhere out on the Oklahoma prairie, a lonely oil derrick labors in the summer sun, extracting the liquid remains of a brontosaurus. Up, down, up, down, tirelessly it pumps, while hundreds of feet below, precious crude leaps up a steel straw and squirts toward the surface.

    It is one more step on a long voyage. Long ago, the fauna and flora of the Jurassic...

  • Drips, Strips & Everything In Between

    by Karen Erstad June 2005

    Testing water is no day at the beach, but at least you can do it sitting in the sun next to a pool. Moreover, it's tremendously important to do it regularly - because no one wants a pool full of algae, stains or cloudy water. But what's the best way to test? To a degree, it's personal preference because for each type of test, there's usually at least a couple of ways to do it. To give you a...

  • Chemical Quandary

    by Karen Erstad May 2005

    As you've noticed, a lot of pool chemicals cost more this year. Last December, BioLab announced it would raise prices up to 35 percent on all its products containing chlorinated isocyanurates, and the prices of its other pool and spa products would be increasing by up to 10 percent. Advantis Technologies also raised prices on many of its chemicals earlier this...

  • Equipped For Success

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2005

    With an eye on increased customer satisfaction and sales, the makers of hot tubs and hot tub parts have been busy working to increase reliability and decrease the number of service calls on heaters, blowers and pumps. At the same time, retailers are struggling to find qualified personnel to diagnose and remedy problems with the equipment, with many considering their spa...